Thursday, March 8, 2012

'Man in the Bubble' - An End of the World Senario

Staying with this 'doomsday' theme I've blogged about lately, I thought I'd break from the worry & fret and give you a gift of entertainment.
This is a short story I wrote three years ago. This story is featured in 'The Trinket and other Short Stories' published by PublishAmerica Baltimore.


                                               Man in the Bubble
                                              A brief questioning.
Q: State your name and occupation.
A: Ahmad Eugene Decamp, Professor of Quantum Physics attached to the government program dedicated to developing a force field.
Q: So, you are the man in the bubble, are you not?
A: It seems that in the media I have been labeled as such, yes.
Q: So tell us, Professor, exactly how long were you in the bubble?
A: Seventy years to the day that I entered it.
Q: What day was that?
A: February 16th 2012.
Q: Four days after 2-12-12 then.
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Would you like to tell this committee how you came to enter the bubble and seal yourself off from mankind for seventy years?
A: Yes, I will tell it again. Four days after D.C. was nuked on February 12th by the terrorist group Al-Qieda, I realized that my project was in the peril. I was one of the scientists working on the government project to develop a force shield that was impervious to anything including nuclear detonation. We were just a few months from perfecting it. President Reagan's dream of a 'Star Wars' type defense for America's cities was about to be realized in the form of a fail-safe dome defense instead of killer satellites trying to shoot ICBMs out of the sky.
The bubble I sealed myself in was a smaller prototype. It worked perfectly; exactly as it was designed.
Q: Yes, too perfectly I would say. Many times attempts were made to enter the bubble. No one, over all those years, was able to even scratch the surface. Please continue.
A: Well, when the first bomb went off in D.C. the destruction was immense. I got scared; we were all scared I figured that New York or maybe Chicago or L.A. would be next. Then I remembered the terrorist attacks on the world trade center on 9/11/2001 and I just knew it would probably be Yew York next. I feared that it could happen at any moment and that I was living on borrowed time. The whole project could end in a flash, literally. I decided to pre-empt the situation and seal the bubble immediately; without delay. I alone set the sequences and then entered the chamber. The program began; I sealed myself away from the rest of the world. The world, I feared, would soon be destroyed by an escalating nuclear exchange.
Q: You were the head of the project, were you not?
A: Yes, I knew the machine inside and out, it was my baby. Nor did I fear the cryogenic chamber, I also helped develop that. I would seal myself off and sleep away the dark years that was to follow the nuclear war. The government was in chaos, martial law was declared, I was receiving no instruction from the pentagon. It was gone. I was on my own. My staff and most everyone else had evacuated the city. I felt that it was my patriotic duty to save the project. I had no close family to worry about, so I stayed. No one was around to question me, I moved about freely within the building. I stocked the bubble area with a few supplies and moved in all the computers, files, books and anything else pertaining to the project. The following morning I awoke to the short-wave radio blaring out the news about the war in Asia. Pakistan and India had angrily launched nuclear missiles against each other; ancient cities smoldered, the nuclear war had started! Again I was scared, I listened to the broadcasts. I hurried to leave.
Seven-hundred and eighty-thousand people killed in Asia and counting.
Three-hundred and thirty-thousand killed in Washington, D.C.
Over a million people killed in the last four days! I had to seal this thing up now, fast! I was positive New York would be next! So around noon I was ready, I completed the set-up and began the sequences. I sat in the chamber listening to the short-wave radio as the world around me closed in and sealed into an indestructible bubble thirty-five feet in diameter. The bubble extended underground and completely engulfed the laboratory and the first two floors of the building. The radio stopped broadcasting, the computer went of-line, and the outside monitors went grey. I was totally sealed in. Over the next few days I ran tests and diagnostics, the bubble was perfect. It was a resounding success. If only we had had more time. The shield could have been used to protect all of America's cities. The shields could have been turned on and off at will.
As I prepared to ride out the destruction that was surely to befall New York City, I prechecked and prepared the stasis chamber. In the chamber I would survive, frozen in time, for the next seventy years.
Q: You had no outside communication whatsoever?
A: No, the seal was complete, no particles nor light or even radiation of any kind could penetrate the bubble.
Q: Can you tell us, Professor, how you came to be working on a stasis field and a suspended animation chamber at the same time, was the government also funding that along with the bubble?
A: No, we came upon the principle by accident actually. The principle was parallel to forming a force shield. To make a shield it is necessary to slow the motion of atoms. This makes them bond in such a way they cannot be broken apart, like stacking block. When slowing down one's metabolism their atoms, molecules, chemical compounds, organs, heart, brain, and bone are all slowed down to a minimum. They become as stone that is until their biological systems are re-animated.
Q: Tell us what it was like to enter a suspended animation chamber and freeze yourself for decades, did you fear failure or pain and discomfort?
A: No pain or discomfort, it was like going to sleep, as you might imagine. I lay down in the chamber, closed the glass seal and the chamber did the rest. I was wondering when I would get sleepy when I dosed off and slept for seventy years. Waking up, now that was a little more intense.
Q: What do you mean, professor?
A: Well, the machine was set to wake me up on the same date I went in, seventy years later to the day. So on that day I was awakened. I was weak and sick and confused. I had had no real conception of time passing those many years. It felt like only a few days ago I went to sleep in that thing. Yet, I was experiencing muscle loss and weakness. I just lay there as the machine ran diagnostics on my physical health. When the chamber seal opened I left the bed and I went to the medical unit. I spent that day and the better part of the next day just recuperating. The only proof of how long I lay there in that chamber was the foot long beard I had grown. I also needed to clip my very long nails.
Q: Did you dream?
A: Sir?
Q: While you slept in the chamber, did you dream?
A: Oh, no sir. My metabolism was slowed down dramatically. My heart beat could be measured in days. My mind was in very slow motion, it was essentially idle. All of this information is in my medical files on the main computer in the chamber. No sir, I don't remember dreaming at all.
Q: Professor, did you not concern yourself with what the authorities would say, even all these years later, about you’re commandeering the one and only force shield in existence for your own selfish use? That you took all materials pertaining to the shield with you in your self imposed exile?
A: Frankly, no I did not. I expected to wake to a country rebuilding itself after a nuclear world war. WW III.
My snap decision was based on my saving this information for the future of mankind. If it could not be used to stop this war then I wished to save the world from a potential World War Four.
Q: Professor, there was no World War Three in the first place. The United States knew who was responsible for detonating the bomb in Washington. The government had been spared because of prearranged contingencies. The COG (conservation of government) set up by Eisenhower was very effective. After D.C. was nuked, Pakistan and India went to war with each other, missiles were launched. America used that unexpected contingency as a cover to launch a nuclear attack against Al-Qeida in Afghanistan. They were destroyed by a CIA nuclear blast across the border from Pakistan. After the nuclear war was stymied by the refusal of the super powers from taking sides, the United States and her Allies found and destroyed all nuclear components held by any third world country. All nuclear material was located and secured away forever. Over the next ten years the New United Nations committee for the destruction of all nuclear stockpiles had virtually all nuclear weapons scrapped. The world never wanted to face another 2-12-12. Peace through fear, which is what we have in the world today. Wars are still waged, rarely, in our day and age, but in the most controlled and conventional ways.
You Professor, have the only knowledge (that if it got out) could cause a rogue government to attempt to build and launch nuclear weapons. With shields that government could destroy it enemies without fear of retaliation. Without that government worrying about mutual destruction. The information in your laboratory has already been erased; we cannot take the chance it will get out. We have waited for seventy years to tie up this final loose end. Now, only in your mind is the information that the world fears. We cannot allow that information to exist. It would be too tempting to build shields and then the next step would be to restock pile nuclear weapons. That cannot ever happen. Therefore the temptation must be removed, you will be sequestered and your mind will also be erased. I am sorry, Professor.
A: Sir! I have no intention of releasing this information to this government or anyone else! Please reconsider! Mind cleansing will not be necessary! Sir, all I have in this new world is my memories! I have nothing or no one else, please!
Q: The chance cannot be taken, sir. I am sorry; this committee's decision is final. Guards, take him away! This committee is now closed.
The End                                                                       
Gary Cox



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For the asteroid enthusiests read this Novel for a different take on the subject!

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