Titled “Jack Strange: Peril of the Particle Accelerator”

May 12, 2007 at 3:35 am 1 comment

I have just spent the last two hours producing a very crappy short story, for the sole purpose of inflicting it on all of you. For your reading pleasure, I now present a truly lurid piece of writing:

*****

Jack Strange looked upon his ruined world and despaired. The entire populations of France, Belgium, and Switzerland had been wiped from existence in an instant. Continental Europe followed seconds later, the very fabric of the universe unweaving around it. The rest of the world would come to envy that fate; a quick death seemed preferable to the weeks and months that followed, as reality itself was torn asunder by Jack’s creations.

The survivors had no name for these creatures. They were impossible to describe, composed of Escherian geometry and sub-atomic madness. Space/time shook as they spread across the globe; effect preceded cause, history was rewritten and replayed, two and two made five. Australia suddenly housed the ruins of Ancient Egypt and the American Old West. Across Asia matter broke down, reducing hundreds of cities to thin clouds of radiation. In North America the air itself turned to gold. Those who weren’t killed outright were destroyed by the horror of the creatures themselves; to simply look at them was to gaze into terrors beyond reality.

Jack Strange saw all this, saw his beloved science run amok, and knew what he had to do. His particle accelerator had created these things. Now it was the only thing that could stop them. In his hands he clutched a homemade Cyclotron, an electromagnetic-cannon that shot charged particles at over 80,000 miles per hour. In his mind he held his knowledge of physics and a half-formed plan. In his heart he grasped one last, desperate hope.

The creatures had been born from particle collision. Perhaps, Jack thought, they could die the same way. The Cyclotron in his hand hummed with energy, containing all the hope there now was for humankind. It was time to step up and do what had to be done. It was time to fight science with science.

*****

In reality, particle accelerators are perfectly safe. Though they could theoretically trigger a catastrophic event, the odds of this happening are so low as to be practically zero. To put the probability in perspective, natural particle accelerators already exist in the form of Cosmic Rays bombarding the atmosphere. These are faster, more powerful, and more numerous than man-made particle accelerators, and have been gleefully striking us for billions of years without any real consequences. As such we can see the dangers associated with particle acceleration are infinitesimally small, and that man-made particle accelerators are a statistically insignificant source of peril.

The more you know.

Also, for the record, I wrote that entire thing because I decided earlier today that “Cyclotron” would be an awesome name for a sci-fi weapon. Obviously I had to devise a story that would allow me to use it. The (lack-of) quality in the piece really reflects the origins, no?

I’d like to be a good writer, but sometimes it’s also fun being a very bad one.

Editor’s Note: Look for the epic thirteen-novel series, coming 2012.

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Essays n’ Stuff Beware of Crude Jokes

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. stephen  |  February 6, 2009 at 3:20 am

    I have a LARP character named Jack Strange. I was worried about Dr. Strange comparisons, but now I’m just a hack.

    Reply

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