"Gather round everyone!" The Professor said with a big smile. His technicians obediently dropped what they were working on and shambled over to where he was standing. The professor was in front of a large machine which he had crudely covered with an old gray sheet.
"Now I know that most of you have been working on this baby in some capacity or another. But now, after four years, we are finished! It is time to unveil" he pulled the sheet away, "my Mirror Traveller!"There was a scattering of applause which slowly gained momentum as the Professor stood in front of his creation.
After a few minutes, he held up his hand for silence. "I know a lot of people doubted that mirror travel would be possible or even wise. Some of those doubters are even in this room. But no matter: we have succeeded! First we sent inanimate objects through, such as rocks. The mirror world gave us the mirror image of the rocks in return. Next we sent test animals through with the same phenomenon. And now, here today, I am about to be the first human to test the Mirror Traveller! Since Alice, I will be the first human through the looking glass!"
His proclamation was met with gasps from the assembled. Everyone was staring at the Professor like he was mad.
"Sir," a young researcher finally piped up, "I would advise against this. While animals have successfully come through, the mirror animals aren't just mirror images of those we've sent through - they also exhibit opposite temperaments. We need much more data before we attempt such a thing!"
"This will be the best way to gather the data we need. Cats and rats cannot communicate, and we've had problems with any electronic equipment which goes through. No, we need someone to observe this world and report back. I have volunteered myself because I do not wish anyone else to come to harm. As many of you know, this has been my dream for many years now."
With that, no one was able to dissuade the Professor. And so the Mirror Traveller was prepped. The Professor stepped forward when all was ready, his senior PhD students trailing after him with a large, plain mirror. They placed the mirror directly in front of the device and stepped back. The Professor adjusted a few dials, then powered up the machine. There was a burst of light as a thin beam of energy contacted with the mirror, but then the mirror's face clouded over, revealing the mirror image of the room they were in. But the people reflected back were not mere reflections; they stared into the real world with hunger in their eyes. The Professor drew closer to the mirror.
One researcher caught a glimpse into the eyes of the professor's reflection. There was an intense gleam there, at odds with the professor's happy features; it was like the reflection was anticipating freedom. "Professor, I don't think-"
But it was too late. The professor stepped through the mirror. First his hand touched the surface, but instead of resting on the glass, it passed through; his entire body continued into the mirror. At the same time, his reflection stepped out of the mirror, seemingly through the Professor. It was immediately apparent that this was not the Professor. Where the Professor was a friendly and open man, the reflection looked guarded and somewhat sinister. What had the Professor done?
The reflection slowly took in the room and everyone who was in it. "Are there any other volunteers who want to enter my world?" he asked, a smirk gracing his features. "No? I thought not." He turned to the assistants by the Mirror Traveller. "You there. Turn it off."
"But, what about the Professor?"
"Oh, I imagine he's having a grand old time in my world. Now shut it down. And cover this mirror. In fact, I don’t want to see another mirror in this room ever again!" He watched as researchers scrambled to obey, continuing under his breath, “If he wants to be a mirror slave it’s fine by me. But I’m never going back there ever again!”