IRL (Interdimensional Research Laboratory) is an ongoing project and virtual environment made in collaboration with Selden Paterson.
IRL currently maintains 22 active and 114 in-process portals. Below are some of our recently discovered portals.
All IRL Lab Assistants must take the following New Employee Orientation
First off, we’d like to orient you to the history of IRL.
The Interdimensional Research Laboratory was founded in 2012, but our portal science goes all the way back to ancient times, as many cultures around the globe sought interdimensional travel.
Artifacts found across the globe and dating to a range of several millennia indicate an awareness of not only the possibility of the multiverse, but also the form that the portals would take.
While a number of theories attempt to explain why these forms are seen so long before the advent of the technologies that would allow interdimensional exchange, the prevailing theory is that incoming portals from another universe may have been built by a parallel civilization in what for our Earth was ~3200 BC.
Early civilizations in our dimension witnessed the travel to and from our dimension, though it’s hard for us to say how much knowledge they had of the technology and whether any of our early ancestors engaged in interdimensional travel themselves.
What’s clear to us is that their understanding was fairly rudimentary, and that at some point the portals opened into our dimension were closed forever.
While interdimensional travel has long had some presence in human knowledge and imagination, the theoretical framework necessary for such travel only became available to us in the late 1980s with wormhole theory and early 1990s with the Alcubierre warp drive.
These developments, spurred by a revelation in spacetime topology, truly began the modern era of interdimensional research.
IRL’s founders were among the first to invest serious effort into the pursuit of stabilizing a negative energy-density quotient, in order that the parallel-plate vacuum could form a significant warp bubble, allowing hyper-lightspeed movement.
At the time that IRL’s founders first enacted these groundbreaking ideas, the mainstream scientific community still thought of these concepts as theoretical rather than actionable.
Portal science suffered some unfortunate setbacks after several failed attempts at interdimensional travel, most notably the Solar Temple and Heaven’s Gate portal malfunctions in 1997.
Despite a 15 year precautionary ban on government sponsorship for portal research, IRL emerged as the country’s leading laboratory for portal science in 2012.
In 2013 we opened our new facility and began developing a network of portals with an emphasis on safety and portal consistency. In 2015 we adopted our current crowdsourcing strategy for data collection by hiring Lab Assistants to monitor and analyze our portals.
Twenty years after the failed attempts of the late 90s, IRL hosts a large quantity of functioning portals with a 86% consistency rating--which, for the field is INCREDIBLY high--and a growing staff of dedicated Lab Assistants, all working hard to advance the field!
That’s where you come in! In this segment of the orientation you’ll learn all about the IRL facility and your position as Lab Assistants.
Our state-of-the-art facility, located in the historic Wonderlands Mall, uses the rich history of consumer-culture-infrastructure as a base upon which to build our endeavor. The shopping mall in and of itself acts as a sort of labyrinth of disparate worlds, each with a separate branded identity.
As IRL’s founders traveled between various dimensions and developed their Interdimensional Universal Understanding (IUU), they recognized that these macro-commercial institutions were an active or inactive feature of many, even most, of the dimensions they found; this realization prompted further investigation into why these institutions are nearly universal, as well as providing the perfect location for our new laboratory and an access point for understanding commonalities and divergences within the realms.
For convenience and security purposes, we decided to keep the original mall facade and floorplan, leaving most of the interior architecture and decoration intact. We believe that this creates a more welcoming, albeit unconventional, environment for our staff.
IRL is two stories tall with a functioning escalator, though the south end of the mall is currently under construction and the lab is not ADA accessible at this time. The IRL office is located on the first floor, and the company food court is located on the second floor, with portals distributed throughout the remaining space.
Now it’s time to go over your contract and benefits. Please open your packet and follow along with me. First, let's review your employment contract.
As a Lab Assistant, your job is to monitor all currently functioning portals and record notes on the dimensions that they provide access to. Be aware that in rare instances, portals can malfunction, sending you to another dimension besides the Laboratory.
In case of portal malfunction, remember to stay calm. While it may seem like you are traveling large distances, you are never leaving the spatial premises of the lab.
As a Lab Assistant, you agree to follow IRL’s Portal Best Practices when on duty. Please pay attention to the code of ethics and best practices, as they are essential to your employment.
By accepting the position of Lab Assistant and signing the voluntary employment waiver, you agree to absolve IRL of all responsibility for what may occur while on duty. This includes instances of physical injury due to hostile environments or portal malfunction, as well as psychological side effects such as manic optimism, disillusionment, and PTSD.
Once you have reviewed your contract, please sign page 3 and pass your contracts to the left where Dr. Paterson will collect them.
You are required to clock in and out at the IRL kiosk each day upon arriving and departing from your shift. If you forget to clock in or out, please notify a Lab Manager immediately as Lab Assistants who have not clocked in or out within the expected time are put on a probation list within 24 hours.
You will receive training on all duties during your first day of work. Any additional training or catch-up must be scheduled with a Lab Manager on your own time.
Now, for benefits! As an IRL Lab Assistant, you receive 5 vacation days and 5 sick days per fiscal year. You also receive tuition remission for 1 class in portal science from our upper level research team. The employee food court provides 4 complimentary meals per week, however these are only for IRL staff and cannot be shared with family or taken to go. Unfortunately at this time, IRL does not have subsidised health insurance, so everyone is required to enroll in their own insurance plan.
Finally, everyone should have an employee ID and clearance pass in their packet that indicates the level of access they have when inside the facilities. Please do not loose this pass or exchange passes with fellow Lab Assistants, as your access level is tailored to your particular assignments and capabilities.
Now it’s time for an activity we like to call “WWALAD” or “What Would A Lab Assistant Do?” Please click through the following slides to complete your training. No cheating!
Finally, to conclude our New Employee Orientation, we’re going to screen a video made by former Lab Assistant Tamás Felker that provides an entertaining but cautionary tale of interdimensional travel. You’ll be able to use the skills you learned in WWALAD to gauge the situation.
I hope that you enjoyed this educational video. Please partake in some refreshments and get to know your new colleagues (but only for 15 minutes). We can tell this is a very strong team and that you will all go far. Congratulations and good luck out there in the multiverse!