“That’s not a mirror, Mr. Trent,” a voice said from a hidden source. Cortez, Mark thought. “Since your pop can’t pay my money I figured we’d play a little game.”
“Dammit, Cortez! We’ll get the money!” Mark yelled through cracked lips, flinging a cheap vase in the voice’s direction.
The madman chuckled. “Don’t think of this as a trap, but an opportunity. I’m giving you a chance to pay me in full. Game?”
Mark was silent.
“I’ll take that as a yes. The room you’re standing in is special. Unique. Built by your pop as down payment.” Mark’s eyes continued to dart, looking for some sign of escape.
“That is not a mirror, Marky boy. That’s another room, another you. The perfect copy in every way, even the little umbrella in the corner. Quantum entanglement, yes? And that vase you broke held the tiniest bit of uranium…”
When Cortez wanted revenge, he made it personal. This had been his dad’s research, his underfunded livelihood, the reason for his gambling and loss. Mark knew where he was. He was no longer a man, but a cat in a box, a Shrodinger’s paradox. That is not a mirror. The “him” on the other side was now choking and wheezing, features blurred in a cloud of gas from a smashed flask. In a game of chance at the quantum level, his twin had rolled snake-eyes, a single atomic decay setting off a geiger counter and its tiny hammer. With one last gasp he struck the floor, dead.
“Right now you’re dead and alive, but when we open the door, you can’t be both.
“Care to make a wager…”