Mathematically Improbable - Part 1
Written by CavemanNinjaJoe :: [Friday, 05 March 2010 18:25] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 20 December 2012 09:14]
Jamie stormed out of her maths professor's office in a huff, her bleached blonde hair flowing in streams behind her. “Your little chat with Daestrom not go well?” her friend Brooke asked. “Not at all! He says I'm failing the course unless I can get eighty percent on the final!”
“Guess you'd better study up. Need help?”
“You offering?” Jamie asked tentatively.
“Of course! What are friends for?” Brooke smiled. “So, any plans for the afternoon?”
“Not really, you?”
“Well, I thought we could go to the science institute? They're showing off some new gizmo that fires particles faster than the speed of light!”
Jamie laughed, “Oh God, you're such a nerd!”, then shook her head, “Well, okay. Let's go, I'm sure it'll be more fun than it sounds. Not like that'd be hard.”
“Wow, I didn't think this place was going to be this crowded.” Jamie said in obvious surprise.
“Shh, they're about to start!” Brooke hissed, as a man in a lab coat stepped up to the podium in front of a large blue curtain.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is my great pleasure, on behalf of my esteemed colleagues, to introduce the UYP-74205. As many of you know, this machine, in theory, can move particles, and in time maybe even objects, faster than the speed of light. This would have all manner of potential applications, not least opening up the possibility of practical interstellar travel. When I activate this machine, it will usher in a new age for all humankind!” The crowd broke out in whispers. “Now, without further ado, here it is!”, he gestured dramatically, and the curtain fell.
The machine was massive, and covered in gauges and blinking lights. Tubes snaked in and out of it, alongside what looked like giant light bulbs. “Who built this thing, Dr. Frankenstein?” Jamie quipped. Brooke just giggled and held a finger to her lips. The man in the lab coat walked over to the control panel and tugged on a large orange lever. The machine began to hum. “I now declare the UYP-74205, operational!” he declared theatrically. The crowd applauded. “What, that's it?” Jamie said, disappointed. “Duh, what'd you think would happen?”, “I don't know, electricity, funny coloured liquid, explosions...”. “Not likely.”, Brooke said.
No sooner had Brooke stopped speaking, than there was a loud pop, and a metal bolt shot off the machine. “Uh oh... .” the man on stage muttered, as the machine began to spark. “Now that's more like it!” Jamie said excitedly. Around her the gathered crowd began to move towards the exits. “Jamie, we should go!”. Jamie just stood, stock still, and watched as lightning began to arc from the machine. The men gathered around it started screaming “Everybody out!”, and fled.
“Jamie! Let's go, now!” Brooke yelled, tugging on her friend's arm. Jamie stayed put, entranced by the bright blue ribbons of electricity now arcing between the machine and the walls.
“Pretty... .” Jamie breathed absent-mindedly. Brooke suddenly leapt aside as a chunk of the roof crashed down beside her. She bolted for the door, “Jamie! Run!”.
“In a minute... .” Jamie said blankly, as another lump of masonry crashed down. Brooke, reluctantly, ran out of the room, and out of sight. As the now empty auditorium caved in, Jamie just watched the machine. Suddenly, one of the arcs changed course. Jamie barely had time to give a little yelp before it crashed headlong into her, and her world went dark.
Some time later, Jamie awoke. She could feel a great weight pressing down around her. She opened her eyes, but could only see inky blackness. Her heart beat faster. Would anyone be able to find her? If they could, would they be able to get to her?
No, they'll know I'm here... she reasoned, ...after all, Brooke will tell them... oh God, Brooke! What if she's... !, Jamie's breathing quickened, her heart pounded so hard it hurt. “Hello?” she called out. Hearing no reply, her breathing quickened further. They won't leave me... will they?
“Hello! Somebody!” she called out desperately. She felt specks of dust and rock fall on her exposed skin, like the rubble around her had shifted. Her heart now beat so quickly it was more of a hum. Each short breath sucked in more choking dust. Her eyes darted from side to side, looking for even a small crack of light, but there was none to be found.
Finally, in sheer panic, Jamie screamed as loud as she could. “HELP ME!”.
In an instant, Jamie's world lit up. There was a thunderous crash as the piles of steel and cement that formed her impromptu tomb exploded skyward. The debris smashed through the remains of the auditorium, propelled by nothing more than the force of Jamie's scream.
As the dust settled, Jamie sat up, stunned. She gradually pulled herself to her feet, and looked around. She now stood at the epicentre of a gigantic crater. “How... ?”, Jamie breathed in wonder. Warily, she bent down, and picked up a chunk of the steel and concrete rubble in her delicate hand. She stared at it for a moment, as though expecting something to show it was fake, that all this was somehow an elaborate trick. She found nothing, this was a perfectly ordinary lump of concrete. Delaying no longer, she slowly squeezed the concrete lump.
In moments, she was rewarded with a satisfying crunch. The shadow of a grin crossed her pretty face as she compressed it further. The steel inside groaned in protest. Dust fell through the gaps between her slender fingers. Finally, when she had squeezed her fist as tight as she could, she flattened her palm out again.
The concrete chunk was gone, ground into dust. The steel was now just a metallic lump, with a perfect imprint of her palm lines. “Oh... my... fucking... God.”, Jamie said quietly. “I'm...”, she paused, lost in contemplation. The she let out a loud whoop and screamed to the heavens, “I'm super! Oh hell yeah!”.
She looked at the small lump of metal in her hand, and giggled. With a gleeful cheer, she pitched the metal skyward, and watched it glint in the sunlight as it sailed higher, and higher, until it vanished from sight. Jamie laughed, “I'm going to enjoy this! Now, I wonder... ?”. She looked up, bending her long legs. Suddenly, she leaped into the sky, long hair flowing behind her as she climbed higher and higher, her arms outstretched. “Now, the moment of truth... .”, she said quietly. She tilted her body around, looking to the far horizon.
As though responding to her thoughts, her body gradually floats towards the horizon. Then, as Jamie willed it, she moved faster, and faster. Soon, she was nothing but a blur to the people below. She laughs at the ease of it. “These powers are great, but what am I going to do with them?” Jamie asks herself. Spying her college in the distance, she quickly formed a plan.
Smirking, Jamie swooped down, heading straight for the maths building. The old brick walls rushed up toward her. Suddenly, there's a loud crunch, and Jamie's sight is clouded by dust. As the cloud dissipates, she stands up and looks around. Over in the corner, a man backs up against the wall, shaking. Jamie puts her hands on hips, throws her head back, and thrusts her chest out, thoroughly enjoying the moment.