Finishing Up


Finishing Up

 

Chapter 11

 

 

Carl rolled out of bed. Standing in the middle of his bedroom he stretched and then quickly stepped into his bathroom. He was relaxed and happy. Everything had been coming up roses. Finishing up his morning ablution he quickly dressed and hurried downstairs; there, he entered the kitchen from the garage entrance.

 

“Carl, darn it, I’m never going to get used to having that entrance from upstairs”

 

Carl, by that time, had grabbed a glass and was pouring orange juice from the pitcher on the breakfast table. “Yeah, but it’s so much faster than going all the way down the hall to the other staircase.”

 

He sat down and sipped on his juice while watching his mother fix breakfast.

“Morning Dad,” he greeted his father as he stepped into the kitchen.

He watched as his Dad walked up behind his mother and hugged her, and then kissed the nape of her neck.

Turning, he returned the greeting. “And morning to you Carl; anything big on your schedule today?”

 

“Nah, just the last day of school, nothing big. This is really my last day of school at the high school so I will most likely be saying good bye to a lot of acquaintances.”

 

“Oh, Laura and I talked it over, and thought we would have one last date. Well not really a date. She’s giving a small party, and wants me to meet some of her friends I have never met. I think I’m being shown to her new boy friend.”

 

“Oh, do you know him?” his dad asked.

“Nope, he does some track and field. That’s not too bad; better then football anyway.  I swear it must be all that hitting on the Helmet that makes them so dumb.”

 

“What is your summer going to be like, do you want to go somewhere for a couple of weeks?”

 

“Nah, me and Uncle Rick are going to have to set down and do some figuring. We have been waiting for some free time and for mom to finish up the books.”

 

“I finished the books three weeks ago!” His mom stated as she took her seat at the table.

 

“Yeah, I know mom. Anything important I should know about?”

 

“The company is building up too much cash reserve. It needs to be put to work. If my sister Clara knew anything about business, I could show her these books and she’d never worry about going to the poor house. This last month you’ve sold over 10,000 units of Power Supplies at $1,800 each, that’s revenue of over 18 million. That’s with expenses of less than 5%; of course, we have had to pay the IRS 25% upfront.  That was after paying the state 8%. You are now in the position where you are making money from your money.”

 

“But that’s still a tremendous amount of cash in your reserve.”

 

“I really hate to distribute it as that just adds more to the IRS pocket book.” Carl said. .”Let’s convene the board of directors this evening, I suggest we distribute like $150,000 to each stock holder as dividends.”

 

“But I need to start getting ready for college. Dad, I will be in another state. I will not have ready access to all of you, my family. So I need to get an emancipation decree to allow me to make purchases and act like an adult while I’m there.”

 

His father stopped with a fork of food half way to his mouth then continued. “Yeah, I see. Are you going to live on campus? Or are you planning to rent an apartment off campus?”

 

“I need real privacy, I’m thinking of buying a house, but we have only a couple of months to finish all of that.”

 

“Well have you decided on the college you want to go to?”

 

“Yeah, it’s in East Missouri, the East Weatherford Liberal Art Institute.”

 

It got quiet for a minute, “Why there, son?” his father asked.

 

“I have no idea, except it felt right when I finally pinpointed it.”

 

“It’s less than 400 miles from here, south of St. Louis and Northwest of Farmington. So, I might have Uncle Rick to come with me to check out any house I decide to buy.”

 

“That sound like a good idea son,” his father finished his coffee and excused himself and left the breakfast nook.

 

Carl sat there in the quiet looking at his mother.

 

“You did not mean to do it I know but you hurt you father’s feelings.” His mother said softly.

 

“What? How did I do that?”

 

“By saying you would get your Uncle Rick to go with you to check any house you found.”

 

“But…but mom, Dad doesn’t know anything about building construction!”

 

“I know that and you Dad is smart enough to know that also, but it the father son thing. He would of appreciated you asking him. Then he would have suggested Rick.”

 

“Mom, when will I learn all of this grown up things?”

 

“Haw haw, never! If my parents were still alive I would still being making mistake with them. Your parents never think you are grown, if you can remember that then you can figure out when not to step on sensitive toes. And remember it when you have kids.”

 

“By the way any suggestion for the buildup of cash in the corporate accounts?”

 

“Well, diversification for one: Mutual funds, municipal bonds, treasury bills, no more than 25% of it in stocks. No utilities! If tocks in the auto industry then only the automobiles manufactures that are going big in electric cars.”

 

“Bring that up this evening; also keep a couple million in readily liquid funds.”

 

“Carl, what did you mean when you said that college felt right?”

 

“Well mom, I tried to use divination to find a college. It was real wild, all over the map until I define my question. I asked to find the best college that would be right for me and my future.

 

“Then it locked on that college like I fired an arrow at a target. I mean no hesitation at all. I even contacted that Homeland Security agent and asked him if there was any reason not to go? He looked a little surprise, and then he made a comment that got me to wondering.”

 

“He said kind under his breath, ‘we need to open an office there’.

 

[read The Novice Sorceress, especially before continuing this to part 2]

 

 

 

End Part I

 

 

____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

My thanks to TxAgBand59 for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

 

Posted in The Quantum Knight | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Ready To Go


Chapter 10

Ready To Go

 

 

They had all gathered at Carl’s home that night. Uncle Rick, Aunt Clara and Peggy had come over for the meeting that Carl had called. Carl’s father had once more been called out of town so was not present.

 

Sitting around the dining room table, they all sat silently waiting for somebody to start talking.

“Well since I asked all of us to come over tonight I guess I better start the meeting. Today some people tried to kidnap Peggy almost in front of her school.” Carl said.

 

“The Homeland Security has no idea who they were. They have some pictures and a mixture of DNA. Even with them almost on the scene they were not able to stop them from getting her into a van and start driving away. It was only when they tried to drug her that her protection was triggered. That worked, but what happens when they grab one of you to uses as a hostage, trying to force us to do what they want?”

 

He waited, hoping that one of the adults had an answer.

 

“Well, Carl, can’t you put one of those wards on each of us?” his Uncle Rick asked.

 

“Maybe, but the problem comes about in setting the safeguards to prevent the wards going off by accident and taking out innocent bystanders. Let say they use some gas to just put you to sleep, and then they use an ambulance to take you away. They have not crossed over the threshold that sets off the ward. But they now have gotten you under their control.”

 

“One thing we can do is to get enough material to prove you are you, so that we can use it to find, or even transport you to a place of safety. Then, we set a ward on you that even you can’t take off.

 

 

They spent the next couple of hours getting the identification items together. First he took a digital picture of each one of them. Then he took the memory card from the camera up to his computer where his reader took the pictures from the card and stored it on his computer. He then printed two copies of each picture.

 

Returning down stairs, he then pricked each of their thumbs, and had each of them put their bloody thumbprint on the back of their picture, and sign their name in full across the blood. Next, he took a clipping of hair and finger nails and taped some on the back of each of their pictures.

 

He folded the pictures and placed them individually in a Ziploc sandwich bag. Turning to Peggy, he handed her one set of identification materials. “Peggy, hide these and put a real big ward on them; I will do the same here in my lab in the basement.”

 

“That way, we each can rescue all the others. Mom, as soon as Dad is home we need to get his picture and have him put his fingerprints on the back side. You get some hair from him; hey!, trim his toe nails.”

“As soon as you get two sets, send one to Peggy and get me the other set.”

 

With that he got up, and went down to his lab. When he entered his first ward at the bottom of the steps he could feel it; then the next one and the next. In the area under the basement he opened his file cabinet and put all the identification material in the bottom drawer.

 

As he started back upstairs he paused to read the Placard on the wall.

 

You are entering an ultra top secret area as designated by the Department of Homeland Security. Trespassing in this area without authorization is a felony punishable by 20 years in a maximum security prison.”

 

Behind him he heard a beep and a flash of light for each step he took. Even knowing, he could not help but look at where the flashes of lights and beep came from, there was a closed circuit camera recording him. Looking away, as if to hide his face, he found himself facing another set of cameras.

 

These cameras had magic in them. They took pictures of the person on the steps and nothing could block their vision. The pictures were sent automatically to a server in Amity, Missouri. He waved as he continued his trip back upstairs.

 

Carl paused at the top of the stairs; there, on the side wall, was a file holder where his family could put things for his attention. Such as letters, papers or just notes to remind him of things or messages from people. It was empty; it was mainly a backup system for things that came up while he was gone.  This is where his mother would put his father’s identification materials when she got them.

 

When he reached for the doorknob, he froze. He had forgotten the ward protection for the family. He closed his eyes and leaned forward until his head rested against the door. He grabbed his own ward on his chest in his left hand, and held his other hand palm up. Visualization could be very important here. One, two, three and four items appeared in his hand. Straightening up, he continued to the dinner table where the rest of his family waited for him.

 

Peggy was setting there big eyed. “I felt that Carl! What did you do? You did it outside a circle! After all the warnings you have sent to me!”

 

Carl dropped in his chair. “I should not have done that. I’m sorry Peggy, but I didn’t want to tramp back down those steps sending more pictures to that DHS server in Amity! There would have been some agent banging on the door wanting to know what I was up to if I had made two trips down there.”

 

They set there staring at each other for a time.

 

“Yeah, that’s why I rarely go into my own lab at home now days; it’s so invasive. I throw up a temporary circle in my garden when I want to do something new.”

 

“I think of it as just another ward, one that is just a little more annoying than the others.”

 

“I did a full transmutation spell with materialization carrying a protective ward.”

 

Carl brought his right hand to the table and dumped the items he was carrying. He pushed one to his Aunt and Uncle. They were a pair of hands clenched together; engraved on them were the words. “In these protecting hands, my love for you will always abide.” With a twist the hands could be parted, and each person could wear one.

 

The set he pushed to his mother said the same. “I think Dad will not object to wearing his when he reads the words engraved on them.”

 

His mother removed hers and put it on. He watched as his Aunt and Uncle did the same.  He and Peggy stared at each other, feeling the wards as they snapped into place.

 

His Aunt’s and his Uncle’s wards were interconnected! He had not done that! But when both wards snapped into effect an additional element came into played. Their hands reached out for the other and he could see the glow from each join, as their hands touched.

 

Now almost the whole family was protected. If anything happened and they disappeared he could find them. Carl would have bet that his dad had enough things, photographs, hand writings and hair samples laying around that he could use to find him if he was snatched. The problem was that until he got the ward on his person, he could be physically harmed.

 

That night, Carl and his Uncle Rick returned to the factory to do the setup. The workers had finished the refurbishing of the interior. All the conveyors were in place; the only thing missing on the assembly line was the ‘energizer’ for the Power Capsule just before the two conveyers met. There, in the joining of the two roller conveyors, a person would pick up a Power Capsule from one set of rollers, and insert it into the Inverter on the second set of rollers.

 

The Inverter then would be pushed on down the merged set of rollers, where the next person would lock the toggles on the power capsule, turn the power capsule on to the selected setting for that Inverter, then give it another push down the line. 

 

The next person on the line would flip the power cage shut and put butterfly nuts on the anchoring bolts. Then, close the inverter top, and give it another shove.

 

The next person would use a power screw driver to drive the final screws shut. Then it was the tester who would flip the switch on the front and test the voltage coming out from the outlet plug.

 

The labels were put on the outside with the date and serial number on them. Then, the next person boxed the Inverter, and put the final label on the outside of the box. The last person then sealed the box, and set it on a pallet.

 

When the Pallet was full, a person would pick it up with a forklift and moved it to the shipping area.

 

That night he, with the help of his Uncle Rick, assembled the energizer. This was a lead foil blanket draped over the conveyor rollers. A person on one side would switch the finish Power Capsule to off, then gently shove the capsule through the covered energizer, the rollers had a downward slant under the drapes, so that the capsule would continued to roll until it exited the other side.

 

Inside the draped area there were two glowing balls the capsule flowed past. They acted as storage for the magic spell and released the spell as the capsule passed them. They simply instilled the magic that let the energy from a higher dimension leak into the capsules.

 

The energizer was locked to its location any attempt to move it would cancel the spell.

 

It took Carl and his Uncle Rick about two hours to set up the energizer and put the spell in it.

 

He had a hard time sleeping that night. He worried about the attack on Peggy and when the next one would come. He was anxious to see if the factory worked as well as he hoped.

 

____________________________

 

It had taken them almost four full weeks to get the factory setup and organized. For more than a week, they had assembled capsules and then disassembled them. They had done every step of the assembling process with all the employees working each station of the assembling; from loading the conveyor rollers at the supplies area, to actually putting finished product in shipping boxes. The only step that was not actually the same as the real assembly was the lack of the energizer for the capsules. However, the un-energized capsules had been allowed to roll through that stage as if the energizer was in place.

 

All of them, his Uncle Rick, Peggy and himself were sure that the real assembly would work. Their floor supervisor, Luis Gonzales, was confused as to what the final product would do, but he was sure they could put them together with no problems. After working through each station himself he was also sure that this could be a mixed gender assembly with no problems. The final station was a 30 lbs lift to a pallet and most women could lift that little weight with no problem. But he understood that it would be better to have someone with muscle to do that last station.

 

They had ordered a large quantity of different sizes of lift belts, and all workers that had to pick up any weight over 10 lbs were required to be wearing a belt at that time. Uncle Rick had held a meeting with the entire employee crew presents to explain that failure to wear a belt would lead to termination. He did this with a member of the local employment commission present.

 

He further pointed out the cameras all over the building that recorded all action on the work floor at all times. Then he took them to the eating lounge and break area, where he also showed them there were no cameras.

 

He stressed that on their time they had privacy, but on his time it was his time, and privacy did not exist. All workers, male or female started at $12.00 an hour; they would be schedule for 40 hours a week. They would be paid time and half for any time over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week; except for 15 minutes before the schedule start time and after schedule stopping time. 

 

There would be time on job raises, and positions raises. Luis Gonzales had taken charge his second day on the job and began showing some of the others how to do the work on most of the stations. By the third day, he had paid so much attention to the things around him, that he could handle any station with the same skill level of any of the other workers, if not better.

 

Uncle Rick not being a fool, and knowing that they themselves could not be present all the time, made him Floor Supervisor. His pay went to $15 an hour for a 45 hour week. But only 40 on the clock, the remaining 5 hours could be staggered as he thought needed.

 

Angie Bikinis, their office manager, was paid the same. $15 an hour for 40 hours on the clock, and an additional 5 hours as she thought was needed. Her four office workers were paid the same as the factory workers, $12 an hour.

 

Each member of the work force signed an employment agreement to these conditions, plus acknowledging their awareness of the policy on sexual harassment, racial, national and religious policy. On site, no harassment of a person for his religion or sexual orientation; no solicitation for religious or political purpose was allowed.

 

They continued to practice until the first Monday in February. That was to be their first real and full workday. Carl, his mother, Uncle Rick and Peggy would be there to watch the flow of the work. First, to be sure everything worked and second to see if it could be improved. Luis and Angie were both advised ahead of time that it would be a real work day that Monday. So, they were jittery themselves.

 

Carl and Peggy had gotten excused from school ahead of time. So, bright and early that day they arrived at the factory.  One of the things Carl had implemented was regular breaks in the days work. They had enough workers to let some go for 15 minutes break twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. With two shifts of one hour lunch breaks, helped by slowing the flow of the lines for those two hours.

 

The first thousand units finished had packing slips and shipping papers waiting. They were being sent to the research and development department of every major home construction company in the state, for “testing”.

 

They had invested around $300,000 dollars in property, insurance, and supplies, now it was just a matter of time.

 

There was not one construction company out there that could allow their competition to start exclusively building and selling homes with free electricity supplied. So as soon as they had tested those powered capsule converter units they would have to start buying them and making them the center of their all electric houses.

 

Now it was time to put his nose to the grindstone, the school grindstone. He had been coasting the last month. Now he had to catch up.

 

Their first day had gone so well he had to slap himself a couple of time to be sure it was not a dream. It was not. They had taken it easy and had completed 120 units. They had shipped 98 units. They had not been able to convince Fedhex that they had 120 packages at 30 lbs each to be picked up. If they did not make the required pickup the next day they would contact United Brown Trucks and see if they could send a big truck over to pick up the shipments by pallets.

 

They had a call that day from Home Workers; they had received the brochures Carl’s mother had mailed out. They wanted a couple of the power packages to test. The ones they were going to send had instruction for changing the power setting internally. The warranty on those units would be extended to resetting them at factory if they ceased to work.

 

If they set them up as a limited service facility, it would make them a much more attractive business dealer. They could be resetting the switch on the power capsule to double the power output of the packages.

 

“Uncle Rick, I need an electric car with no power package in it. Those batteries are expensive, and all that regenerative braking a waste of time. I need an all electric car, with disc braking system. Why try to make the car so different from a normal car? All we need is no internal combustion engine and all the accessories for the said engine.”

 

“Oh my god! Not only have you set yourself up as the enemy of all the major power companies but now you going after the gasoline companies!”

“Why have only 20% of the big businesses mad at you when you can have half of them?”

 

____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

My thanks to TxAgBand59 for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

 

Posted in The Quantum Knight | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Power Factory


 

The Quantum Knight

Chapter 9

 

Okay, can you throw a prototype together?” Asked his Uncle Rick.

 

Sure; we need a piece of stainless steel, some Aluminum and some hard plastic.”

 

His uncle knew where everything was in the warehouse and came walking back to the work area carrying an empty plastic bleach bottle, A stainless steel mixing bowl and an aluminum wheel. Carl looked at them laying there on the worktable.

 

Carl got up and starting setting up the ritual; first he molded the bottle into a plastic ring about three inches wide with a plastic film that stretched over the opening from the center of the ring band. Then he shaped the steel into a half capsule. The plastic slipped right over the edge of the steel for about an inch, than locked over a ridge that circled the steel cap.

 

He held up the steel cap, and rotated the plastic ring setting it over the open end of the steel cap. Next he shaped the aluminum into an almost identical shape and size cap as the steel one. This he took, slipping in the plastic ring until it too locked in place on the ridge line of the inserted end.

 

Carl held up the capsule. The steel portion gave the capsule a substantial weight. He now rotated the plastic ring that was at the center of the capsule; it locked into one position, and wouldn’t move if you rotated the ring all the way right.

 

He made a mark on the plastic and a matching mark below, on the aluminum.

 

No matter how hard you tried it, the plastic would rotate no further to the right. Now he made a second mark on the aluminum and rotated the plastic ring back until the mark on the plastic aligned with the new mark on the aluminum.

 

He made it so that the assembly locked in that position until enough force was applied to rotate it once more in either direction; now he added one more mark on the aluminum. Now when the plastic mark was aligned, it locked the ring once more; this time it could only be unlocked by turning it in the original direction. 

 

He stood staring at the capsule, which resembled a giant medicine capsule. The ring would now rotate to three different positions locking fast in two of those positions. He rotated the plastic so that when the steel was on the bottom of the capsule it locked to the far right. Above the mark on the aluminum the word “Off” appeared. Over the center mark “Half” appear and all the way to the left “Full”. Leaving the capsule set to “Off” he did the magic needed to activate the Power Capsule. He picked up some rubber gloves and put them on.

 

It had just hit him how dangerous this could be! Next, he hooked up a voltammeter to the two ends of the capsule and set the dial to the 500 volts max. Then he twisted the plastic ring to half. The dial of the voltammeter went to 220 volts and hung there. All of them stood there looking at the meter. Finally Carl reached over and rotated the ring to ‘Full’ the needle flipped over hitting the dial stop then drifting back until the gauge read 440 volts. Carl looked at the capsule for a minute then it changed, each end of the capsule forming a flat terminal connection.  Damn! He needed a converter also.

 

“Peggy, do you have the design I came up with for the inverter?”

“Yeah, Carl, here are the plans you drew up that I redid with the CAD software.”

Wow! The capsule delivers too much power! These designs are for low voltage like 12vdc to 120vac, nobody thinks about 220-440vdc to 120vac. It needs a heavy duty step down transformer!”

 

This is too much power! My estimate is that it’s over 44 kilowatts. He moved his hand over the capsule and it split in to four separate capsules, each at one fourth the original size.

 

In fact, they looked a lot like heavy duty fuses. These capsules’ settings were 12, 24, 48, and 120 VDC. Now he had to set the voltages and mount them in an inverter for the AC current.

 

He began to work on another design for the inverter, using pictures he had taken from the Internet. Soon there was a small metal cabinet sitting on the workbench. It had a standard outlet socket for power.

 

Inside the cabinet was a squared cage; inside of the cage, he inserted one of the power capsules; the ends slid into the terminal connection, and a snap of the toggle locked it down.

 

He twisted the selector band to 24 volts. Closing the protected cage around the power capsule he used a butterfly nut to lock it closed. He closed the cover of the metal case and used screws to lock the cover closed. The unit weighted about 30 pounds. 

 

It had four LED lights on the outside, Red, no Power, Green Power on, than two Amber lights one over each of two levels. One labels said ‘110 VAC’ the other ‘220 VAC’. Below the lights was a selector switch. He turned it; the Red light went off, the Green and first Amber light came on showing the unit was set for 110 VAC.”

 

He carried the unit to the power room where the outside power had been disconnected a couple of weeks earlier, when he had installed his first power source. Uncle Rick turned off the demonstration power source, and then disconnected it.

 

The warehouse Emergency Power lights turned on, providing enough illumination to maneuver. Rick pushed the demonstration unit back and out of the way.

 

Carl set the new power source on the floor. Then he hooked up a cable to the unit, and then to the input connector outside of the fuse box.

 

Once connected Uncle Rick threw the switch turning the power source back on. The dim lights of the emergency power kick off as lights and noise from all the normal electrical function came back on. They had previously set up a multitude of alert sensors around the power connection.  If it over heated an alarm would go off alerting all of them Uncle Rick, Carl and his Dad via their cell phones.

 

A meter at the power distribution box gave 2,100 watts as being used in the warehouse. This set up was done with magic alone. But everything except the charging of the power capsule could be done and built by anybody.

 

While they had done no heavy work, the effort of planning, and using magic to make their prototype had taken a little out of them. Time wise, almost the whole morning was gone. 

Carl, we need to stop and have a light lunch before heading to the Civic Center. The Aikido competition starts at 12:45.”

Durn I forgot about that.”

So let’s go, we can stop at the Henny near there.” His Uncle Rick said.

 

So that what they did; Carl left his car in the warehouse, and picked up his Gym bag. He joined Peggy and Uncle Rick in their car.

 

They got a quick lunch, Carl settled for a chef salad and some iced tea. Even though the hamburgers with French fries were tempting, he knew they would not have settled before his first match.

 

It was a lot easier Saturday then it had been the night before. Carl went straight to his locker where he had left a couple of things. This time he had to put on headgear protector, shin guards, gloves, foot protection and groin protector. When fully dressed he exited the locker room and headed for the auditorium.

Aikido was originally derived from jujitsu but was developed as a more spiritual art. Over time it became more involved with joint grips and safety of the opponents. However, over the last twenty years that had changed. Some blows were added and more intense defense created.

His Sensei had not hesitated to extend certain techniques. Currently, Aikido competitions outside Japan were getting closer and closer to mixed martial arts.

 

Carl approached the first Official he saw, “I am Carl Black, Orange belt, 16 years, 140 lbs. Aikido.”

 

The official looked at him and a sneer appeared momentarily as he directed him to the side of the floor. Carl did note he wrote his name down on a clipboard. Carl then went to the same area he had waited the night before.

 

This time there was a difference, no white belts. Half of the competitions waiting for their match were wearing black belts. Carl looked and saw that like the night before a lot of people were on the floor warming up.

 

Instead of going to the side, he found an open area and joined the warm up. By the time the officials called to clear the floor he was loose and his muscle felt fine.

 

Carl took a place almost at the end of the row of people waiting to fight. When they called out the first set of names they started at both ends. Four black belts and four yellow belts were the first’s matches. The blacks took the floor at the other end of the auditorium; while the yellow belts took the floor just in front of Carl.

 

He noticed that all the yellow belts were older than he was; he was probably the only teenager.  Two black belts and one yellow belt were completely eliminated in the first match. One of the three yellow belts who were still competing had won one fall of his match.

 

The very next match Carl’s name was call. Entering the circle area he noted that his weight was almost the same as his opponent though his opponent was at least 7 years older.

 

The official directed him to the Black ‘x’ and his opponent to the Red ‘x’  Carl had not forgotten the bowing, first to the judges, then the official of his match, then to his opponent. The official backed away, saying “Fight!” at the same time.

 

Carl’s opponent slowly moved forward; having only seen two fights he wasn’t sure of the best methods for starting the fight, so Carl waited, moving slightly to the side. Suddenly his opponent moved to grab his wrist. Carl dropped to his knees bringing the wrist down and using the leverage did a wrist throw. His opponent flipped in the air and landed on his feet.

 

Carl did not hesitate he was up and moving into his opponent who was turning to face him. His hand shot up and grabbed the throat adding pressure and throwing his opponent completely backward out of the circle.

 

Black, first fall with a neck throw.”

 

Carl backed up and waited his opponent’s return.

 

It was becoming automatic; he blocked grabs and twisted wrists and arms. He took the next two yellow belts he faced with no falls lost, giving him three matches. He was the only yellow belt still competing.

 

His next opponent was an Orange belt. He used a leg sweep to take Carl down for the first fall. There were no objections so it must be legal. He had never been shown a leg sweep for Aikido. He stepped back and requested a conference with the official.

 

Sir, I have never been instructed about leg sweeps in Aikido. So can I use Jujitsu hold and throws?”

 

Yes, any holds and throws are legal from Jujitsu in Aikido.”

 

Oh well Carl thought. He bowed to his opponent. The man came across the ring flying. Carl jumped toward him and dropped to one knee. He grabbed the Gi tunic and pulling it tight, came to his feet, lifting his opponent into the air. Twisting, with a shoulder hip throw, he used his shoulder as a fulcrum into the opponent’s hip and threw him into the mat.

 

The official was screaming “Break!” Carl backed off and watched. An EMT quickly entered the circle and examined the opponent; finally the EMT help the opponent get to his feet, and shook his head. Turning to the official the opponent shook his head and almost fell. The EMT helped escort him to the circle’s edge where he stopped, and turned to face Carl. He bowed a full bow to Carl, who returned it with full respect.

 

Black match point with one fall, opponent unable to return to the center.”

 

The official turned to bow to Carl. Returning the bow then Carl turned to face the judge’s table and bow.

 

By the approach of the end of the Aikido competition Carl had won 7 matches with the loss of three falls. By the last match, he was facing blue belts.

 

By this time it was late, so he was on the Black ‘x’ and bowing to the Blue belt. Carl quickly came to the conclusion that this opponent was very good. He went to both knees as soon as Carl stepped toward the center. This lowers the center of gravity. It also gives the person kneeling more leverage. It also allowed the person the ability to slide on his knees.

 

A person practiced in the technique appeared to float over the ground. It could be very distracting.  The match lasted longer then any other one he had fought. Mainly he was tired. But eventually he got an arm bar while his opponent was trying for a wrist lock. The both of them held for minutes before Carl’s arm bar gave more leverage and brought surrender.

 

On the last fall, he went straight into his opponent going to both knees in a slide that ended with a duel wrist lock.  Again his opponent was force to surrender.

 

He dragged himself to the shower and got cleaned up. Before he left the locker room an official came to notify him that he was schedule for the early rounds on Sunday, starting at 10:00.

 

Carl was worn out and just wanted to go home and rest. He thought for a minute of telling his Uncle that he had had it. No More! Nah, His Uncle would never understood a quitter, way in the back of his mind, was the thought his father would never forgive a quitter.

 

Neither would care a bit if he lost but to quit is something else. He knew he never would not with those two as living example of what men in his family were like.

 

Once home he took another shower and then crawled into bed. He had nightmare that night. He was constantly coming up to the ‘x’ marks and hearing the Official say “Black number three thousand and twenty-ninth match.”

 

When Carl got up the next morning he was as tired as when he went to bed. He could remember every dream he had. He could actually visualize each of them; see the holds and throws that he had used to win. Even the hundreds of grips, throws, and holds that he had not yet been taught.

 

At the civic center his Uncle Rick wandered into the locker room after a while.

 

Carl, you might have a problem.”

 

What kind of problem, Uncle Rick?”

 

I see your Sensei, in discussion with the judges. There is a mass of officials around the judges table. I heard you name a couple of time. I think a decision is being made that he does not like.”

 

Well, I wonder what kind?”

Carl and his uncle walked out of the locker to the auditorium floor. There he reported to the floor official to report in.

 

Carl Black, yellow belt, 16 years, 140 pounds, Mixed Marital Arts.

 

Awh, Mister Black, you must report to the judges table.” He waved to the side of the auditorium where the judges table was setting.

 

Carl turned and headed that way, his Uncle Rick followed.

 

Approaching the judges table he came to a stop and bowed. Then he waited. A short time later he was motioned forward to the table. There were over seven high level sensei setting at that table including his own. Sensei Inoue stood and bowed to him. He returned it.

 

Mr. Black, many here feel that you are not fighting in you true belt level. I have explained that you were completely untrained when you started with me less than six months earlier. But most after seeing the two skill set you have fought in the last two days cannot believe it. So, the consensus of this board…” He halted, and looked over the gathering sensei, “You will be awarded the rank you have earned before you will be allowed to compete today.”

 

Carl looked around and all he saw was a bunch of people staring at him. He figured bowing would never get him in trouble.

 

He bowed to the table, then individually to his sensei. The big man in the center reached down, pulled out a belt and handed it to the sensei on the end. He took it and stood up. He bowed and said something in Japanese.

 

Mister Black, the honorable sensei Ilyowk is proud to award you the brown belt first in Jujitsu.”

 

Carl was shocked, a brown belt! He expected at least two more years of training before he would even attempt to win it. Carl stepped forward and took the belt. He bowed and backed away. Everybody waited. He removed his yellow belt and put his new brown belt on; in jujitsu there are two stripes that go on a brown belt before they are awarded a black belt.  Of all the martial arts Jujitsu is the slowest to award belts.

 

Once Carl had put his belt on he bowed to the judges table and started to back up. The senior sensei raised his hand to stop him. Another sensei at the other end of the table began speaking. Once again his sensei spoke up. “As senior sensei of Aikido it is his duty to award a brown belt with double stripes to you.”

 

Two black belts came up to him on either side and undid his belt removing it, they then wrapped two thin strips of tape around the end of his belt. Then the youngest black belt replaced his belt and fastened it. They both backed off and bowed. Carl was frozen; he was now one step below a black belt.

 

His sensei dismissed him to the floor. He moved down toward the area that he considered his and took the floor to warm up. Then the announcement to clear the floor came. Carl turned and found himself in the middle of orange and blue belts, so he slowly walked up the line until pass the halfway mark where brown belts showed up. There were not many brown belts; just the other side of them was a mass of young black belts.

 

Carl slipped into the end of the row of brown belts with blues on one side of him.

He sat and watched as one after another black belts were called. From the other side the orange belts were quickly eliminated and they started on the blues. No brown belts had been called yet.

 

After an hour two brown belts were called. Carl sat up to pay attention to their skill levels.  With intense focus to observe everything he was shocked. Their skill levels appear no better than blue belts he saw fight the day before.

 

They seem to go through the brown belts quickly. His name was called. He quickly reported to the official and took his position on a newly replaced Black ‘x’ that had worn off the floor. He had bowed to the judges table as he turned to face the officials he saw  one judge nudged another and nodded at his match area.

 

He did his final bow before the match started and waited. His opponent was one of the brown belts who had lost his match but taken one fall. “Fight!” He attacked full speed, leading with a clothes line slash at his neck, but followed through with an inside leg sweep.

 

Carl was never fool, he went over the leg sweep as he went under the clothes line, grabbing the opposite tunic edge he pulled as he went around the outer edge of his opponent when he stopped moving his opponent was in a full body spin and left the circle.

 

The second fall was just as easy. He used a leg throw to lift his opponent but kept hold of him and dropped him with a shoulder throw.

 

They called the two remaining brown belt before he had returned to his waiting area. So, his next match was against a black belt. It was very unusual, half the judge’s table was watching; it was likely to be one of two such matches today. The winners of the brown belt match that was going on would most likely face a black belt.

This one would eliminate all the non black belt competition.

 

Carl came to the match area and bowed in. The official stepped back before bowing in and was exchanged with a higher official. Ensuring that we were ready he uttered the command. “Fight!”

 

The Black Belt moved on Carl like smooth ice. A blow went at his head, a kick to his gut, and then he was reaching to grab his gi. Carl moved his head an inch, his forward hand blocked to the outside and then moved into the hand reaching for his gi, he did an outside inside leg sweep and the black belt found himself trying to stand on his back legs as his body twisted trying to follow the leg that was going up into the air.

 

Carl grasped the body it touched his, and held tight. He used to it as a fulcrum to twist his own body around his opponent, then let his body drop with a twist. The black belt rolled through the air a three quarter of a turn then slammed into the mat. All the air in his body was ejected. Carl continued his roll and came to his feet. He waited a second to hear the official call. He began to move back toward his opponent as he heard no call. Then it came, “Break!”

 

He pulled up short and backed off. The official was now standing over his opponent then he went to one knee as he waved in the EMT.

 

For the first time Carl saw the offside hand of the official going up and down. He watched it when it moved sideways after a count of nine, he was sure it was a match sign.

 

The official stood and faced the judges table bowed. “It is a Black match point, full body twist take down, Red unable to come to the center.”

 

Carl had kept his attention on his opponent, who was helped to his feet to exit. The opponent turned to face him and bow. He returned the bow then rotated to bow to the official.

 

By the time the tournament was over, Carl had lost three matches but won at least one fall in each of those matches. He had also won three matches in which he lost one fall also. When his final match was called the judges table gave him a standing bow as he left.

 

He was completely dazed. With no idea what had just happened except it was considered unusual. His sensei came into the locker room to talk to him. He had not expected Carl to compete so his wins were very unexpected. After an hour of talk Carl understood that he should go now. That Sensei Inoue would give him his beginning black belt the next week.

 

The next day at school, a couple of the less abusive athletic came to him with the “Grats! Good job.” They offered him a fist bump and went their ways.  He was at a loss to understand until later when a friend of Laura’s sat down with them and open a paper to the sport section. There on the second page was a photo of him throwing a brown belt about 5 feet in the air being thrown by him. They had list how many matches he had won.

 

If that had not been too much before they got out of the lunch room one of the junior coaches came over to his table gave him a formal bow then said.

Excellent performance, Mr. Black.”

Then he turned and left.

The first thought that hit him was ‘I will never be able to keep out of sight now’

 

They left the lunchroom for their classes. Carl had noticed that Laura was drifting away from him. They were not in each other pockets like they had been earlier. Leaving school together he drove her home, and as she started to get out of the car he pulled her over and kissed her gently “If you need me or anything from me let me know Laura.”

 

She stopped as she was pulling back and looked at his face, and then smiled back at him.

 

I know Carl, you are my best friend, but I know that now. Good luck to you.” She turned and walked into her house.

 

Carl eyes misted up as he drove the short distance to his house. He pulled into the garage and then sat there for a time. Finally he got out and walked into the house.

Carl, it’s unusual to see you come in this way.” His mother mentioned as he opened the refrigerator to get a soda.

 

Had something on my mind, Laura and I have decided to go our own ways. We are still friends, but not a relationship type.”

 

Oh, I am sorry. She is a great person.”

 

I know mom. But it could have gone the wrong way, Dad told me to take it easy and let it build naturally. Well doing that let it fizzled out as just friendship.”

 

Do you blame you Dad?” she asked.

Nah, I could have let my hormones get in the way, made me think she was the greatest thing to ever happen to me. But she was not. She is a great friend. That is what she it.”

 

Oh well I got to head over to Uncle Rick’s warehouse.”

Drive carefully, get something to eat.”

 

Carl left his school work upstairs and changed his clothes. Soon he was driving over to the warehouse.

 

He was mentally planning the factory, he didn’t know what machines to put where but he knew the machine went here and the incoming supplies, aluminum and steel caps and the plastic rings would be stored here. Most of the inverters would be ordered as pieces and assembled in the factory.

 

He had been looking at a system so that no power capsule could be sent through the charger with the switch on. If they did that they would come out hot with lots of voltage and wattage on them.

 

Carl pulled into the warehouse parking which was actually inside now.  He got out of his Chevy and walked over to where his Uncle and Peggy were looking at some plans on the drafting boards.

 

Carl, I think we have the block plans finished. Now we need a building.”

 

Are you sure?” He asked after all he had just been thinking about this on the way over.

 

Yeah, we have two roller conveyors that merge after the capsules are charged so the workers can insert the capsules into the inverters and lock them up. The Power Capsule’s assembly and charging is the simplest step. Steel cap, plastic ring and then aluminum cap and it’s finished.”

 

The power capsules enter the charging chamber and then exit it fully charged. The two lines merger and the capsule are placed in the finished inverter assembled on the 2nd line. Then it’s closed and locked shut. We have a complete power system.”

 

A metallic label with the serial number is placed on it. Then it’s put in a shipping case and the second label goes on the case. We get our lawyers to apply for export permission.”

 

Okay Carl, I got a place that’s for sale right next door. Even though it’s not the best it is right on our property line and we can merge the two properties. So let go look at it.” His Uncle Rick suggested.

 

The inspection took no time as the building was abandon and his Uncle had the keys. After a thorough inspection Carl agreed that it would work; with some magic maintenance to the building.

 

Peggy was full of optimism, so as soon as all three agreed they shook hands on the deal.

 

The next day his Uncle had an attorney makes the arrangement for buying the other building. Carl made sure to clean it up and fix anything structural that needed it. Carl came in and used his magic to get everything ready.

 

His Uncle got the insurance, building and liability for both building in place. Everything was about ready. Carl made a duplicate power source and installed it in their factory. Then he placed wards on the building, properties, and vehicles, inside and out.

 

They notified the employment commission that they were hiring a hand full of office workers, and about twenty-five unskilled labors. The interviewing started on Saturday morning. It took them almost four hours just to hire five women to work in the office. Carl’s mother came in to help the first day.

The first employee was a fifty-five year old woman who had been fired after working at one place for twenty years. She got sick and had to miss two days of work.

 

They hired her to be their office manager. She was asked to stay and help with the interviews. Right at the beginning Angie Bikinis, the new office manager, eliminated two of the other applicants.

 

As she informed them, during a job interview the applicants should be putting their best foot forward from the moment they approached the business. The two in question were talking about how they really needed the job as their boyfriends were out of town and they had no way to call them, so  they needed a good job in an office with phones.

 

The rest of them just set back and watch her handle the applicants from that time onward. That was when the interviews starting moving.

 

Peggy and Carl had to go to school. So it was up to Angie, their office manager, and Uncle Rick to get things moving at their new factory. Uncle Rick had the new employees start to put the factory together.

 

He had ordered section of manual rollers so that things like boxes could be pushed down. The workers put these together they reached from steel cap storage to plastic ring storage and finally past the aluminum cap storage.

 

On the other side of the building the parts for the inverter were added to another push conveyor section.  A whole area of the power capsule assemblage was missing, as it had not been built yet.

 

 

Then the trucks started arriving. They had ordered enough parts to make 50,000 power capsules. The laborers moved the supplies into storage as fast as they were delivered. Then the parts to make the power inverter began to arrive as they, in most cases, were standard parts from regular manufacturers they expected no problem with delivery.

 

The final step was packaging it was very generic no flashy pictures, just data. Like the marketing for the devices, it consisted of the raw data.

 

Carl’s mother, mailed out thousands of brochures. To every licenses Construction Company in the state.  The brochures stated what the device did, 120—220 VAC at 200 amp, at 60 hertz, 44 kilowatts. The weight, physical size and the cost, $2,000 the final statement was the warranty, 50 years if returned sealed. Any opening of the device voids all warranty and liability.

 

At school Carl was having a much easier time socially then the previous years. He and Laura still hugged and greeted each other but no longer lived in each other’s pockets.

 

Carl also began to recognize the agents of Homeland Security. They did not try to hide from him. In fact they even waved at him every so often.

 

Then it happened one day, right after school let out Carl heard a loud explosion. A car passed him with lights flashing in its front grill area, another showed up behind his car.

 

Then his cell phone rang, he used the no hand system in his car. “Carl.”

 

This is Agent Blake, Mr. Black, someone just tried to kidnap your cousin. That’s where the explosion is. We are headed there, stay between your escort vehicles.”

 

Is she okay?” Carl asked.

Oh, yeah our reports are that she had no problems.”

 

Carl and his escort vehicles pulled up a block from the middle school that Peggy attended. There were pieces of a vehicles spread over a 100 feet radius in the center of the radius Peggy set on the curb crying.

 

Carl barely stopped his car and ran to her. She jumped up and met him with a flying leap.

Peggy, Peggy are you okay?”

 

All he got were grunts and whimpers as she nudged his neck. Finally she stopped and pushed back.
“Carl they grabbed me and threw me into a van! Then one of them started to give me a shot!”

Did he stick you?”

 

Nah, the needle broke when he tried to stick it in me.”

She wiped her eyes and a grin began to show. “I remember everything you told me. I never take my medallion off. Nothing dangerous can get to me.”

 

Then the man tried to hit me. When his fist got near me my shields activated. There was a red flash and then I was sitting on the curb.”

Carl looked up at the Agent standing nearby. “What happened?”

 

Just like she said we’ve been told to give you kid’s breathing room so we were closing in when there was a flash and she was sitting on that curb. The van no longer existed except in small pieces.  We are viewing the cameras that were focused on her at the time. It looked like her shields expanded instantly to about 100 feet. Hopefully we will be able to use DNA to identify who they were. We do have some photos.”

 

Peggy you did just what you needed to do.”

_________________________

 

My thanks to Grumpybear and TeNderLoinand TxAgBand for their editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

Posted in Into The Shadows | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Martial Arts or Magical Arts


 CHapter 8

 

Spring Semester

 

Carl pulled up to the curb in front of Laura’s house. She leaned over the console to give him a kiss, and then jumped out to rush into her home. Carl hit the window down button.

“Hey Laura! Come over tonight and we can study together.”

 

“Okay, I’ll call you later to let you know, see you!”

He watched her hurry into her house. She was a great friend. If she decided not to come over he would get with his Uncle Rick to see if there was anything useful they could do for a couple of hours.

 

Then it hit him! He turned his car around and headed to his Uncle’s house. Peggy was great with CAD software. Her plans for the garden for Carl’s house were in his workshop; as soon as spring arrived the three of them were going to convert their backyard into fairy paradise.

 

But right now, he needed to design a factory that could build Power Capsule that nobody could duplicate. Then he would build a flying car! The Power Capsules would power them!

His brakes squealed as he stopped in front of his Aunt and Uncle house. It was Friday an unusual day to start school but with the shake up in the Department of Education the rules were that school had to start the first weekday after the New Year. So the best the school district could do was start school on the 2nd a Friday. Peggy would love his suggestion that she do a sleep over.

 

He did not run to the front door! He moved a little fast but he didn’t run! Carl stood there for hours pounding on the door while holding the bell button down.

His Uncle jerked the door open, “Carl! What’s wrong, boy^

“Peggy^ Where are you Peggy?” He hurried into the house looking for Peggy. Carl did not see his Aunt step into the living room as he headed for the upstairs.

 

“PEGGY!” He hollered at the top of lungs. By that time he was running up the stairs.

“Carl! Wait boy, she’s not up there.”

He had made it to the top of the staircase before what his Uncle had said made sense. PEGGY was not here, somebody had stolen her!

“Who took Peggy?” He screamed as he almost fell down the stairs. “Tell me! Who did it? I’ll reduce them to sub-atomic particles, and then reduce those to quanta of energy!”

 

“Carl, son calm down, nobody took Peggy. Its Friday night, the 2th, tonight is the City Martial Arts for juniors tournament. She went with her class at the dojo, we’ll be leaving soon. Now what is wrong, that you’re flying around without wings?”

 

“Oh, I was going to get her to come over for a sleepover. I have some idea and I need her skills with CAD software.”

 

“I thought you two had finished the designs for the garden?”

“Oh yeah, got the plans, and put them away until spring.  This is something new! Hey Uncle Rick! I’m going to need a factory! I’m going to start making Power Capsules similar to our power supply in the warehouse!”

 

“Settle down Carl, you’re jumping around like a rabbit in a cage full of Dobermans!”

“Oh, sorry but the idea just popped into my mind.”

“Well you see, I know how to make a power source that needs no fuel, and will basically last forever. What I am going to do it make them so they don’t last forever. They will be simple, easy to manufacture capsules, easy to assemble and to operate. But, if you take them apart, they cease to function.”

“Each one must first be energized here in our factory.”

“They will be two halves of different conducting metals, with an insulator between them that acts as the control. Twist it; turns it on and increases power by one order of magnitude. The insulator will have a plastic film that separates the two halves. The whole thing is a farce, a distraction; it works because I will make it work.”

“I need Peggy to help me design the capsules and the manufacturing process to put them together. We will need to design and build an alternator to convert the pure DC current to AC with a selection of current and cycles.”

“Well that all sounds good, but now we need to get to the Civic Center. That’s where the tournament is being held.’

“You mean Peggy is really going to compete? Why?”

“Oh Carl, I know you were never into that competition thing, but Peggy wants something that says she was good, great or the best.”

“Okay, it was just that all those jocks always seemed like bullies to me.”

“You know, you could compete also. Your Sensei will be there, and can clear you as qualified. You did get the yellow belt for your knowledge of the Kato’s.”

“Nah it’s too late. I’d have to get my parents to sign the application form.”

“No it’s not too late. I can fax them the forms, they can sign them and then fax them back to us at the center. Just make sure you have your Gi in you car.”

 

Carl hesitated, and learn the meaning of the saying ‘he who hesitates is lost.’ The parking lot at the Civic Center was a mad house; hundreds of people filled the sidewalks. The entrance to the Civic Center was crammed with people trying to get inside.

He walked with his Aunt and Uncle. “Where do we go?”

They gave no answers; maybe they didn’t know the answer. But soon Uncle Rick pulled them out of the people headed to the auditorium. Carl at first had no idea where they were going, but finally spotted the signs directing them to the Tournament Organizers. They entered a huge office with dozens of people examining papers and charts.

“Yes, may I help?” asked a man sitting at a desk.

“We need to get an application filed and fees paid. I had the application faxed to this ofice.”

“Name of the applicatant?”

“Carl Black, 16 years old, yellow belt aikido, Japanese Jujitsu, Mixed Martial arts, Inoue dojo of Tulsa. ”

The man looked up at him, studying him.  

“Master Inoue rarely teaches the mixed arts. I hope you honor his teaching here today.”

Sensei Inoue was one of the few people outside his family to whom he gave his full respect. One reason was how he had evaluated Carl the first time they met. The man got up, and walked across the room, where a bank of printers was located. He quickly returned with the application that Carl’s parents had signed and faxed to the center.

 

Sitting down, he looked over the application, and then looked up at them. “Everything appears to be in order. Your class division in Jujitsu will be starting in one hour; you must report to the weigh-in area as soon as possible, fully geared up. Gi, protective cups and shin protectors. For mixed, you will need head gear, gloves and foot protection.”

 

With that he dismissed them. Uncle Rick, who seemed to know the place like his warehouse, led them away. Aunt Clara was looking all over the place. Uncle Rick dropped Carl off at the locker room, telling him they would wait at the entrance to the auditorium.”

 

The locker room attendant signed him in and gave him a locker, towel and a lock with a key. He charged ten dollars, which made Carl dig through his papers to find that Uncle Rick had paid the $150 application fee for three different divisions.

 

He put all his clothes and extra gear in the locker and locked up. Finding his Aunt and Uncle at the entrance way from the locker room, he handed his key over to them. At that time a man in a black gi with a Red Dragon embroidered on the back show up and asked for his papers.

 

“See that area over there? Find an empty spot, kneel there, and wait until your name is called. At that time come to your feet. Bow to the judge’s table over there, report to the nearest official, who will wear a red sash around their waist. Have you ever competed in an open tournament before?”

“No Sensei.” Carl said and bowed to the man.

“Hum that’s good and bad. You have no bad habits to unlearn, but you have no good ones to help you. The most important rule is always show courtesy. Bow to all official, bow to your opponent before fighting, and after winning or losing. A person who is always courteous is never dishonorable. Go!”

 

Carl bowed, turned away, and walked over to the area the official had shown him. He found an empty spot between some white belts and yellow and orange belts. He then took a kneeling position. He knelt there for a few minutes; then noticed some people stretching and limbering up. He had not done that! He knew that it was a real no-no not to have his muscles ready when facing an opponent. He came to his feet bowed to the judge’s table then turned to look for the nearest official.  Finding one watching the people stretching, he walked over to him, and bowed as soon as he had the man’s attention. “Sensei, I have not had a chance to warm up. My I do so?”

 

He looked at Carl’s belt then asked, “Which division are you competing in?”

 

“I will compete in three, Japanese Jujitsu, Aikido and mixed martial arts weight 140 lbs and 16 years.”

“Very good! The Jujitsu will be first and very soon. Go get warmed up.”

Carl took a position at the end of a line of people. Then for the next sixteen minutes he twisted, stretched and fell.”

 

“Attention everybody! Take your positions!”

 

Carl looked around all the people on the floor were exiting the mats. He headed over to where he had previously knelt, but before he got there, he could see the line was longer and the space between belts and white belts had moved down the wall. He finally made a space between the color belts and the whites and knelt.

The competition started, and right away he saw that they were doing four matches at a time. It was white against white all four fights. Carl listened as the guys to his left discussed each match near them. They basically tore down each of the fighters. To hear them, none of them were any good.

 

His own opinion was the fighters were fair. None of them would give him any problems.

 

The guy to his right must have heard his name, as he came to his feet bowed, then approached the nearest official. He was directed to the far end of the auditorium. Carl followed the fight as much as he could from his awkward angle. The fight went to full three falls. His neighbor won.

 

Carl watched as the winner was directed to another official who took the winner over to a table where something was done. He brought his attention back to his area of the auditorium. That was when he noticed that the whites were thinning out. If you lost with no falls you left. If you won one fall of the three, then you came back to the kneeling position, and waited some more.

Then those were called a second time to face off with one of the others that had taken one fall. This time, if you did not win the match you were gone. Carl was thinking that probably meant he be out of here quickly.

He sat up and looked around; Peggy’s name had just been called. There she was on the far side, darn.

 

They trained at different times so he really had no idea how good she was. He watched closely. She was facing a girl that was a little larger then she was. They bowed, and the other girl jumped her, grabbed her Gi and did a move into a hip throw. Just as the other girl went for the twist to lift her up on the hip, Peggy did a full leg sweep. The other girl was down!

Wow, that was good.

“Carl Black, yellow belt, Sensei Inoue Tulsa Dojo.”

He quickly got to his feet, bowed to the judges, then stepped over to the nearest official. “Carl Black, Sensei.” He said with a bow.

“Take your position on the black ‘x’.”

He moved over to where a Black taped ‘x’ was on the floor. There, 15 feet away was a Red ‘x’. Another yellow belt contestant took his position on ‘X’.

“Attention, this is two falls out of three. A partial fall counts as a half fall. You will bow, when I say “Fight” you will come off the ‘x’ the match begins. If you leave the circle it counts as a fall.”

He backed away slightly “Fight”. Carl had watched enough of the other matches to know the best way to go, was quickly engage. So he was moving as the word coming out of the official’s mouth. Then he did the really unexpected, Carl went for an arm bar. With that firmly in his grasp, he pivoted, and his opponent went down on his face. Carl stood there holding the bar, until the official looked closely at what he had and said, “Break, first fall.”

 

Carl dropped the bar, and stepped back when his opponent got to his feet. He bowed and held it until his opponent returned it. “One more fall by Black will be match, Red still needs two falls.”

 It helped keep Carl confusion down that he called him Black. “Fight” He had let himself get distracted and his opponent was determined to make up for that last fall.

 

Carl stumbled back as the opponent bulled into him, trying to push him out of the circle. He dropped to the mat and swept his legs out, catching the other fighter across his shins. It was almost a trip but not quite. Carl came back to his feet, and was on top his opponent as he came up to his feet. Carl reached over and took a firm grip on his opponent’s gi, with that he now controled the other’s movement.

 

It was a classic shoulder throw that rattled their part of the auditorium. Carl kept his grip until the official could see that he still had hold of his lapels. In jujitsu, the matches were almost true sports that judo evolved into. They were not supposed to let the opponent go until he was down. In Mixed Martial Arts, with that same throw, he would have let go while the opponent was still at least a foot above the floor.

 

After the match, Carl had to go through the paperwork. Finally, he was told to return to his position on the side. As he returned to his position, he spotted his Aunt and Uncle, so he went by where they were seated.

“Carl that was good! You were looking sharp and crisp.

“Yeah, how did Peggy do? I saw one fall but then they called me.”

Uncle Rick grinned and held up his video camera, “She took the first two falls. I got you and her so you can see them later.”

Carl returned to his position. The yellow belts had thinned out a bit; neither of the two mouthy critics that had been sitting to his left were there. He looked over the matches on the floor they were not in any of them. After kneeling he learned over to the contestant who had not been called yet.

“Where did the two motor mouth guys setting between us go?”

Looking over at him, he grinned. “Wham bam thank you mam, they are gone.”

“Wow, that fast?”

“If you’re not good to start with then it takes no time to be eliminated.”

Carl’s neighbor turned to face the floor once more. Then he got to his feet as his name was called. He was pretty good. He took the next fighter with two straight falls. Then he was back. Carl listened but he never said anything. No bragging, just good straight skill. He knelt there thinking about what he was seeing. These matches were in most cases just good straight skill versus skill.

Carl was enjoying himself. This was fun, stretching his abilities to the fullest. He was good, he finally admitted. The next three matches were breezes, even the last one where he was paired with an orange belt.

 

He had to keep telling himself don’t get over confident. One of these more experience contestants was going to clean his clock. Then his fifth match started. His opponent had an Orange Belt with two stripes on the ends. He was not sure but thought that meant he was about to go up a belt.

 

His opponent simply walked out to the center of the ring and reached out to grasp his gi. Carl did not wait; he turned the reaching arm into another arm bar, and forced his opponent to his knees. That was a far as he made it. The opponent grabbed his pants leg and pulled his feet up off the floor. Carl started falling backwards and the arm bar started to come apart. He twisted, sticking out his leg; it came across his opponent, and instead of Carl falling backward on his back, he was now falling forward into his opponent’s chest.

As they fell he got his grasp on both the left and right lapels. With a twist, using his falling weight he had a legal choke hold on his opponent. He exerted pressure. He felt the official who was now crouched over him watching. His opponent had one of his legs trapped under his body, the arm on that side was trapped under Carl and his right hand was pushing the collar of the gi to the right putting pressure on the neck. “Break!” The official said!

Carl let go of everything, and then moved carefully, to be sure not to apply pressure from his leg. He felt a grip on the back of his gi lift him up. Then he was standing upright and backing away from his opponent.

 

He watched as an EMT team rushed into the ring. This part of the auditorium got very quiet. Then one of the EMT held up his hand with a thumb up. They waited, and then waited. Finally, a bell rang and the official turned to the judges table where one of them was standing, pointing to his wrist watch.

 

The Official turn to face the audiences, “Black, full take down for the first fall.” He paused, “Red failure to come to the center of the ring for the second fall, match point to Black.”

Carl slowly turned to his opponent who they were helping on to a stretcher. Carl bowed to his opponent, and held it until the stretcher was out of the ring. Then he turned to face the official and bowed to him. Then he turned to the judges table where all five judges were standing and bowed. He was shocked as all five gave him a bow. He walked over to the table where the winners went.

“Is he okay?” were the first words out of his mouth.

“Yes, it was his own fault he should have retired with a slap to you or the floor. When you’re beaten, there is no reason in competition to take it to extremes. His Sensei will have a lot to say to him.”

 

Carl returned to his position at the side. There were huge empty spaces. There were no yellow belts left. He looked at the floor where an orange was facing a blue. The blue was playing with him. He saw the official was frowning at the blue. Then finally that match was over. As the blue started to leave the official called him back; Carl was close enough that he could hear the dressing down the official gave the blue belt.

When it was over the blue belt stumbled away. Carl waited, only an hour and a half had passed since the tournament had started.  There was some stirring around at the judges table. Finally they were calling names again. He watched as a blue went to the circle nearest him. Then he heard his name, but that had to wrong there were no more yellow or orange belts. 

He stood and approached the official that had chewed the last blue belt out. “Sensei, I am Carl Black.”

“Red ‘x’ this time.”

For the first time he didn’t get the Black ‘x’ to start with. He was facing a blue belt; a high ranked blue. The expression on the Blue’s face said it all. A look of disbelief flashed on his face, and then followed by one of distain.

 

Carl bowed to the official. Then to his opponent; he held it while the Blue belt just stared at the judges table.

 

“Prepare to fight Black.” The official stated.

His head whipped back around and finally he gave a sloppy bow. “Fight!”

Carl didn’t wait; he hit his opponent with a full body block staggering him backwards. It was not going to be enough as he stopped his motion toward the edge of the circle. As Carl bounced, he reached out and hugged his opponent closer to him. His right leg went between his opponent legs, and did a forward leg sweep while pushing him away. His opponent had one leg to support himself, and he was up on his heel. He reached out, grabbing for anything he could get, and caught Carl’s gi at the mid-point on the front.

 

He twisted as he felled, and Carl went with him. The pull rotated Carl, and he was going to land on his back. Carl brought his right arm down and locked the left hand of his opponent in his tunic. Then he added to the twist rotating his body instead of his back, it was going to be his left side that hit the mat. Carl did not have time to think. What was about to happen was not illegal. In fact in Mixed Martial Arts he might have even tried to do what was happening accidentally. But with all the angular momentum he was about to break his opponent wrist.

With a twist of his mind he cast a spell; the arm flexed and did not break. But it was locked tight and his opponent had no leverage to break free. He slapped the mat behind Carl. The official was right there “Break!”, “Break!”

Carl rotated his head to see the Official, “I can’t. It’s locked; I can’t release his arm.”


“HOLD! Both of you do not move.”

 

Within seconds a group of men were kneeling around them then slowly, they began to reposition the two of them. They in fact, had both of them up in the air at one time. But slowly they came apart. Carl saw flashing lights and knew that cameras were recording this for future examination. The final act was to slide his opponent’s hand out of his gi where the tunic had been twisted around it.

Carl stood facing his opponent as the official step up, “Red’s fall with a wrist lock take down.”

“Center!”

Carl looked at his opponent who was twisting his wrist around and around. He turned to the official and held his hand up; the official went to him and they talked.

Returning to the center, then official made the announcement. “Black forfeits the match.”

“Winner is Red”

Carl staggered around in shock. The official told him he was the only undefeated contestant in his division. That was it for the night. The Aikido matches would start Saturday in the afternoon. Peggy had won three matches, lost one, and tied one, which was very hard to do. He showered, and left his gear except his gi in the locker. The gi needed a good washing.

It was not all that late so they went by to get some clothes for Peggy, and to get a copy of her CAD software to take to Carl’s house. They sat around in his basement work area discussing what he wanted. He sketched out what the Power Capsule would look like, and the possible material they would be made of.

Then he sketched out the alternator designed to convert the DC current of multiple hundreds of volts and amps to AC at 50-60 cycles. He went on the internet and found where he could have stainless steel half capsule made. Then he did the same for aluminum. Then a plastic company that could make the insulator to go between the two pieces of metal. By the time they went to bed they had a plan outline.

 

At nine the next morning Carl was up and on the phone. He soon had a price per unit of stainless steel half caps. Then it was the aluminum manufacturer’s turn. It was ten thirty by the time he had gotten a price quote from the Plastic molding company. At one thousand units he could get all the parts for $33,000 dollars.

 

It was time to get his Uncle Rick involved. The two of them piled into Carl’s car and went to her house. They found that Uncle Rick had gone to the warehouse. They were soon on his trail.

 

When they told him what they wanted to do, he just shook his head. “You do know you are going to make a lot of enemies with this?”

“Yeah, that’s why I waited until I had it fully figured out. The converters or alternators can be built by anybody. But the Power Capsules can be made only by me or Peggy. We can buy the converter and install the power capsules then sell the entire package.”

“I’m thinking a small unit that turns out 120-220 volts at 50-60 cycles, will be just what is needed to run a household.”

 

“We can sell them at about $1,200 and make a real profit. Just the saving on electric bill will pay for one in a year.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

My thanks to TxAgBand59 for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

 

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, Sorry to all my readers, this is my first day home from 6 weeks in the hospital, I will return very soon.


the above

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Off To Work We Go


Off to work we go

Chapter 7

 

 

 (Previoously)

Next Carl simply pointed and a stream of fire leapt from his finger and blew large holes in the rock face. Rock shattered, and the air was full of shrapnel. Carl saw more than one piece headed their way; without thought he stepped in front of his Uncle, covering him with his own body.

 

He felt the thuds as the shrapnel hit him. But he never budged from his position. When it was over, he checked his Uncle quickly to be sure he was okay. Then he checked himself, not a single piece of shrapnel had been able to penetrate his costume or knock him down.

____________________________

 

Carl checked his Uncle Rick one more time for any hits or injuries. There were none, he did not notice that his Uncle was checking him out just as thoroughly as Carl had checked him.

“You are okay.” Carl said with relief in his voice.

“Yeah, boy, I am sure glad you didn’t do anything like that at the hotel! What the heck was that?”

 

“First was the Light Saber; I made one better than they had in Star Wars. The Second was a direct fire burst from me. That was a surprise I just expected the fire to hit and splash. But the heat was too intense, it actually melted elements in the rooks into gases and the rocks exploded.”

 

“Carl, I would say you got some real weapons there. How many times can you fire them?”

“I have no idea, I powered them internally; the source is the same as those miniature suns I make. Probably forever, and I can jack up the juice.”

 

“God! You can’t let them fall into the hands of anybody else!”

“Here Uncle Rick fire it over my shoulder.”

With that he handed his Uncle the Light Saber. Then he crouched down.

“Boy I can’t what if I make a mistake?”

“I don’t think anybody can fire them but me Uncle Rick. So just point it at the cliff and push the button.”

With that encouragement his Uncle Rick brought the Light Saber up and pointed at the torn up rock face and pushed the button; nothing happened.

“Nothing happening!”

“Yeah that what I thought; the power source is internal to me.” Carl reached over and took the Light Saber back. He slid it into a holster on his belt.

 

“What about the costume?”

“It worked also it did not get a scratch, or even a nick. Then it absorbed the force and used it to anchor itself so that the impact was zero. Now that could be something the military could really use.”

 

“Nah, somebody would steal them or sell one of them. Then you’d have invulnerable criminals robbing banks. Things like that, you just keep for yourself.”

 

“How come I can hear you plain as days with that helmet covering your head?”

 

“It’s just passing the vibration of my speech back outside the helmet.”

 

“Okay, one more question, have you grown three to four inches?”

“I don’t know; I know I feel just like I normally do. I think it’s an effect of the costume.”

“You ready then, son?”

 

“Yeah Uncle Rick let’s go get the Caterpillar.”

 

Carl once more dressed in his regular clothes over the costume. They drove back to Ft. Smith and found the warehouse address that his Uncle Rick had been given.

 

He parked his pickup outside the door to the office and went along inside.

 

Awhile later he came back out and got into the pickup. He just sat there for a minute or so.

 

“Carl they insist that they have to be here when I pick up the Cat and all the pieces.”

 

“Oh, I’ve got an idea; take us to a hardware store.” He pulled his hood back and the face mask and helmet softened and folded up over his head and laid down his back once more.

 

They ended up at one of those giant discount places. Carl found them interesting just like he did that family owned one at home. They just didn’t have the feel of those smaller stores.

 

But they had what he was looking for, a thermoplastic heater. This would melt the plastic sheet into one totally sealed mess!

Due to the size and to make it truly ‘portable’ they bought a propane electrical generator to power the heater.  Then Carl spotted the plastic sheeting. They actually had a dispenser similar to Scotch Tape. It held a three hundred pound roll of plastic and had a cutter blade. It took a while but the store mounted all three devices on the back of Uncle Rick pickup.

 

As they drove off his Uncle Rick commented. “We need to buy another truck for these trips, maybe after this sale.”

 

This time, Uncle Rick drove around behind the warehouse to a working area where parts of trucks and cars were laying everywhere. A man came out as they backed up to the Cat. It was huge; Carl could see the broken window in the operator cab. The steel cage that had held the glass was warped and slightly squash.  The tracks where completely missing on one side.

He could also see that a couple of the road wheels the tracks ran on were missing; the spindles that were supposed to hold them were broken off.

 

“Wow, Uncle Rick this thing met the Jolly Green Giant, and he wasn’t feeling jolly.”

 

“That’s strange, that almost the same thing the previous owner said happened,” a voice spoke from behind them.

 

There, standing behind them was a person with a long mustache. “He went bankrupt and we got a foreclosure order before he could file. So we recovered the property. That was good money after bad. It cost a fortune to bring this in. We’re going in the red on this deal. But it will get it off our books.”

 

“Excuse me sir, but I thought these things were just about impossible to damage.”

“Son, nothing is completely impossible to damage. It’s just a case of apply more force. In this case the previous owner was trying a massive tree poaching; the trees were not on land he had rights to. He had been warned by the Indian Council that it was considered holy land. They even got a court order from a federal judge. That’s why we were able to get a seizure order before he could file bankruptcy. He was in jail. Not that I expect he will be tried. They transferred him to a mental institute for evaluation. He keeps insisting that this huge green furry thing picked up the Caterpillar and slammed it repeatedly into a mountain.”

They stood there staring at the man who had just told us this outrageous story.

“The Indian Council, just said one word, ‘Mundoo’ it means the Great Spirit.”

“You seem to be up to date on this Indian Council.”

 

“I am a junior member; I am three/quarter Western Cherokee. They get upset every time I attend, it’s my mustache. They hate it, it a sign I’m not a full blood.”

 

“I don’t go along with all the mystical crap that my ‘forefathers’ believed. But I went out there when we recovered the Cat. It was strung along the mountain side for about half a mile. And there were no tracks to show how it got where it was. We lucked out; there was a low level stream that we were able to get a crane and hauler up to reach the site.”

 

“So there it is. And now, if you have the cashier check, it will be all yours. You must remove it in three days. As it is, I will have to get our shaman in to cleanse the place. Half my workers will not even come in sight of this area.”

They stood there as the manager walked off. Without speaking, they started to pull the plastic sheet off the roll. Carl then helped pulled the edges up and over the Cat.

 

Taking a quick look around showed them the Manager had been right. There was nobody in sight of where they stood. Carl quickly circled the whole area where all the parts had been stacked. Using the chant he had used on the last Caterpillar, he soon had the bulldozer in one piece. Then the plastic closed in on the Cat.

 

They heated up the thermoplastic heater and Carl walked around the Cat blowing the hot air over the plastic. The thermo heater was just a prop, acting as a decoy while he chanted a spell. It was the spell that melded the plastic together into one huge shrink wrapped bundle.

 

“Carl, this is different plastic sheeting then what we laid out in our warehouse. Will that make a difference?”

 

“Uncle Rick, you have to understand, this is similar to exercise. You go to a gym lift weights, run, swim, and do pushups. Then you go out on a field and learn to play football, you can now run further and hit harder than if you had first come to the football field instead of going to the gym.”

 

“The more things I do the better I am at doing them. There are laws in magic. When you first start, those laws are very important. They act as road map showing the way, and helping you get from point A to point Z because you went to point B,C,D,… first.”

“But because you went to those points you now know in a mystical way where all those points are. You no longer have to go to each individually. I don’t have to have everything exactly the same each time. The  idea itself is now a symbol that I can use.”

 

“Everything here is sealed, nothing can open our shrink wrapped package. So we don’t have to send it now. We can call the package from the warehouse instead of sending it to the warehouse.”

 

“So, Uncle Rick let’s go.”

 

They put all their equipment back into the pickup, drove out of the work area, and headed home to Tulsa.”

 

“Well I guess all that costume and stuff was a waste of time.”

 

“Oh no, Uncle Rick, I’ve been watching you. You never throw anything away. I don’t mean trash, I mean like a broken part. You always set it aside to look at later. I have seen you repair parts that seemed to be absolutely worthless. So I have learned there is very little in life that is a waste.”

 

Carl called his Mom and let her know they would be later getting home. She had lots of questions, but he explained that the people in Ft. Smith had been very obstructive.

 

They drove straight to the warehouse. As they drove up to  inside door, Carl checked out the wards on the property.  There had been a couple of low level attempts to get on the property, but they been shunted off easily. So nothing serious had even been tried.

 

The lights came on inside, as his Uncle drove up to the opening doors. Once inside he turned and backed up to his work area. Carl climbed out of the truck and walked over to the laid outstretched plastic sheet.

 

Carl waved his hand and the plastic appeared to melt into the concrete floor. He walked over to the edge, and then began to walk around the plastic coated area in a large circle.

 

His Uncle came over and carefully avoided stepping within the plastic area. There was a flash of light, and a giant Caterpillar stood inside the warehouse. But Carl did not stop; he kept circling the area and chanting. The plastic slide off the Cat and flowed like liquid down to the floor. Once more a Caterpillar sat in front of them looking like new.

 

Carl staggered over to his Uncle’s office and found a seat. He leaned back and fell asleep.

 

“Carl, Carl you need to wake up! Let me take you home.”

 

“I’m awake; let me doze for a minute more. School doesn’t start until 8:30 I got time for just a little more sleep.” He tried to roll over and couldn’t do it.

Suddenly, he was awake. Sitting up he looked around. Oh; the warehouse, he thought. His Uncle was leaning over him.

“Wow Carl when you wake up you really wake up.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing you fell asleep and I let you doze. I cleaned the plastic away from the Cat and took a lot of pictures. It runs smoothly. I already got it listed on eBay. Bids are already coming in. The very first bid was $100,000.”

“What did you set the buy out for?”

“One million, plus $25,000 for transportation.”

“So let’s get you home. Your mother might be thinking about killing me.”

He didn’t remember going to bed. Carl woke after the sun rose still in his clothes, both sets, but with the covers up over his head.

 

Three days later while Carl  and his parents were sitting down to breakfast. Uncle Rick knocked and then staggered into the breakfast area after Carl’s Father let him in.

“Coffee please!” He begged.

Carl’s Mother quickly poured a mug for him. He gulped it down, and then held the mug out for more.

As he slowed down to sipping the coffee all of them were staring. Uncle Rick looked over at Carl. “Kid we did it!”

“Somebody made the buy out?” Carl asked astonished.

“No; the buyout has to stand alone for thirty minutes to be final. Somebody made it, and it was bid higher in less than 5 minutes. It finalized at 8:00 this morning at 1.47 million dollars!”

Carl sat there gaping like a fish out of water.

“Yeah, that makes you $700,000; I think you got your college fund.”

“Wait a minute Rick, what are you saying?”

“Joe I am saying that your son share of our last deal is over $700,000. Of course that’s gross, before expenses come out. But that was only $45,000, that machine was a busted wreck.”

“Tell you what; I’ll drop you off at school, and we can talk on the way.” His Uncle said.

“Mom?”

“Go ahead Carl.” She held up her hand at his Dad who was about to object.

“Rick, I’d like to see the books.”

“Sure Grace. I have to file a tax report by the end of the year. Quarterly reports are just one of the banes of operating this kind of business.”

 

They got in the truck and started to school. His Uncle told him that he had nothing on the burner right now, and that he needed to start researching heavy equipment junkyards. So, for the rest of the year, they would do minor construction demolition. Rick would put in bids at the lowest possible price; after all he needed no equipment or explosives to take the place down or to excavate a hole. In relation to the huge Caterpillar restoration work it was pennies. But they would have revenue of 25-35 thousand a month.

 

The rest of the time it was just school for him. They bought a new heavy duty super-cab with four wheel drive. The reel of plastic dispenser was moved to the rear bed of the super-cab, as well as the thermo heater and power generator.

 

In November, when the temperature really dropped, he built a power system in the warehouse that would supply all their electrical needs. Then all the heat was converted to electric power. In their secured power room, a small canister shaped device poured DC current into an alternator that made 220volts and 200 amps at 60 hertz. It would work until the materials it was made of wore away, in about 100 million years.

He dated Laura regularly; their relationship went so far but no further. His Dad had been right; they liked each other but it was not love, not the love that marriage and family was based on.

 

They were friends, and probably would always be friends. But that was it. He helped her plan her post secondary school life. She had found a college in Virginia that was one of the leading lights in the field of Nanotechnology.

 

She had worked hard and received notice of a scholarship award that would cover books and tuition at that college. Her parents would have to only cover living expenses though high these were nothing compared to the non-resident tuition and the books.

 

Carl was happy for her; but knew, though he would miss her, and she him, she would miss the college more if she did not take it.

Carl did not know where he was going. Just that he would.

The basement had become a laboratory again. Only now it was really esoteric. His protected area was under the garage. It had wards and shields in all six directions. The walls, ceiling and floor were all super hardened; Carl figured that he could explode a nuclear device in that area and not even shake the building.

 

One of his experiments was a floating device that ran off simple electricity. It was the materials which made it work. A tube containing liquid neutronium; this was circulating at huge speed inside the tube. The neutronium had such high mass that it had a noticeable gravitational force just by itself. Then the high speed rotation generated a gravity field at 90 degrees to the rotating tube. This caused the tube to float.

 

It was interesting, strange and very dangerous. If the container broke the free neutronium would expand immediately, generating millions of degrees and melting an area the size of Texas. For safety, he had placed a quantum trap on the device. If it began to lose containment, it would instantly be displaced to a neutron star.


Carl could not see any way to make use of the device easy and safe. So it looked as if Alcubierre warp fields were the way to go. Not that they were much better, he would have to release the method of his zero-point energy source.

 

By the time they made it through the holidays. Carl was glad to be back in school.  He had piled up his credits, two more semesters and he would graduate. This semester was all advanced courses. The morning sessions were at the High School but then he would spend the afternoons at the local Community College. He would start the next year Fall Semester full time at the Community College. Then transfer for the Spring Semester of next year to a senior college.

 

“Hey, Laura.”

Carl caught up with her as she stopped to look for him. They hugged and he kissed her on the cheek.

“Carl, you’ve grown!”

“Yeah it happens when you don’t see someone for a month. You look like you did some growing too.”

She did, maybe an inch or two taller but she looked like maybe an incher or two fuller in the bosom also; made her look ‘hot’, real hot.

She grinned and pulled her shoulders back.

“Yeah I know.”

“How did you make out for Christmas? I still have your present at my house.”

“Oh, my Carl you shouldn’t I did not get you anything!”

“Hey, if it was really about exchanging gifts then we would just be giving gift certificates. No gifts are just a way to say I like you I hope you like me.”

 

“So; my gift is not based on a gift that you might give me.” He hugged her to him one more time.

“Are you giving me a ride home today?” Laura asked.

“Nah, Laura, you’re going to have to run alongside the car; that’s a silly question.”

“Okay, why do you have that silly grin on your face?”

“I bought a car over the break. I turned sixteen while you were gone and got my license!”

“Oh my God, you didn’t!”

“Yeap got a Chevy Equinox.”

“Equinox? What is that?”

“It’s what they call a cross-over. It’s like half van and half car. It’s real nice on the inside. It has leather interior, navigation system and a rear-view camera system.”

 

“Carl you sound like it’s brand new?”

“It is! Bought it right off the dealer showroom floor, we did get a deal on it as the new models were already coming in.”

 

“But Carl, I thought your family was having financial difficulties from new home and everything.”

 

“Nope, a turns out my mother is a cutthroat when it comes to dealing. She made out like a bandit on the houses. Then I started working with my Uncle Rick, we do construction and salvage and restoration on vehicles. We made some good deals ourselves.”

“Okay, I just don’t want you getting in over your head.”

“Don’t worry; I actually have my college paid for unless, I decide to go to Harvard or one of those Ivy League schools.”

“Boy! That’s great! Have you decided yet where you are going?”

“Nope, I have a funny feeling it’s not going to be where I would normally go.”

 

“Okay, I am just glad you will be going.”

 

They stopped outside of Laura’s class; Carl gave her a peck on the cheek. Then turned and hurried to his class. It was like that the whole day. They’d find each other then separate, this semester they did not even have the same lunch time.

 

He waved at her as she was leaving the lunch room and he was entering. He had lost any aspect of his former shyness and was making new friends. So he was not lonely at lunch. A group of them had started making the lunch time a meeting where they discussed all kinds of weird things, since most of them were involved in advanced science courses.

 

“I am telling you Quantum Physics is bull!” Jerry, a transfer student, stated loudly and firmly.

Carl spoke out without thinking. “Nah it’s just magic which makes it hard for the straight science type person to understand.”

“Magic? See if a person thinks magic is all you have to know, then you know it’s all bull!”

 

Carl finished off the hamburger he had bought for lunch. “No that where you are wrong. Einstein hated it. That why he never was able to come up with a unified field theory. It was just too weird for him. So don’t get upset that you can’t figure it out neither could Einstein.”

 

The table got real quiet and everybody was staring at him.

Jerry, the new kid, was staring at him. “So you understand Quantum Physics do you?”

“Sure like I said it’s just magic. The same thing that apply to magic apply to Quantum Physics.”

Jerry pulled out a science magazine and flipped through it to an article. “Here; explain how this is the same as magic.”

He opened the page and held it up, ‘Quantum Entanglement breaks the speed of light!’ was the article headline.

“First; Jerry, do you know anything about Magic?

“Of course not, why should I?”

“Then we will have a tough time talking about the matter, it’s as if you will be speaking Chinese and I will be talking in Russian. So let’s get some guidelines laid out.”

Carl was going on autopilot, in fact his subconscious was fighting a battle and losing it trying to get Carl to shut up.

 

“Magic theories of almost all types have certain specific laws. The most important is ‘Do what you wish with harm to none; what you sow will be returned three fold.’”

 

“That part is one that a lot of people compare to the Golden Rule from the bible.”

“But the laws that are the operand of magic are:‘The Law of Similarity’ and ‘the Law of Contagion’.”

“What you have there with Quantum Entanglement is the same thing as The Law of Contagion.’” Carl looked around the group and saw that half had smirks on their faces.

 

“I have not even read that article but I bet you I can describe in general terms what the experiment consisted of.”

 

“They took something I don’t know what and then divided it up. Then they took one part to a distance from the other part. Then they did something to the first part and the second part did something they detected. Now the problem they have is that the detection was a time interval multiple times the speed of light from the incident at the first part. How am I doing?”

 

“You read the article!” Jerry accused him.

“No really, I did not need to read that article, they been doing these kinds of experiments every since the mid 1930’s, when Einstein first got involved. He called it that spooky thing at a distance.”

 

“He did everything he could to get around Quantum physics but it’s real, and a fundamental aspect of our universe.”

 

“Now we know the physics says it is. So let’s look at ‘Magic’ in fact the Law of Contagion, which basically states anything that has been part of another whole is still part of it even when separated. Think about that and now thank about the experiment. Two parts that act as if they are still one part, and react so fast that it’s as if they communicated faster than the speed of light.”

 

“In magic this law comes into play with things as simple as a voodoo doll, you take things from a person: hair, nail clippings, sweat or blood. Then, through a ceremony you combine these into a doll.

 

Now the doll uses the Law of Similarity, an object that resembles another object is that object. The Doll resembles a person so with that person’s parts in it, it is that person. What happens to the doll will happen to the person. Of course more is needed than that, but that’s the simple foundation.”

“But as I said, quantum physics is the connecting force that ties magic to the real world.”

 

“Anybody here know what Arthur C. Clarke Third law is?”

 

The ‘yeah’ outweighed the ‘what’ from the group.

“Then I need say no more.”

 

He stood up; took his tray to the dish room, and dropped it off.

After school, he walked out of the school building with Laura to the Student Parking Lot. Laura stopped and stared when Carl guided her to his car.

“Oh my God! It’s beautiful!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

 

My thanks to TxAgBand59 for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

 

Posted in The Quantum Knight | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

No More Allowance


Due to the notice of some major grammar error and editing lacks this posting has been reedited.

 

No More Allowance

 

Chapter 6

 

 

In the morning, the first thing on his mind was that he was taking Laura on a date that night. He picked up his clothes from the night before and remembered his Uncle Rick had him sign a receipt for some money. There it was in his pocket two hundred dollars in twenties. He had been so tired last night he had been lucky to find his pockets to put the money in.

 

Today, he got his billfold out and put the money away. He felt good, so he got out a pair of dressy casual slacks and a matching polo shirt. After adding a light windbreaker he was ready. His homework was in the printer output tray. He picked it up, folded it carefully, and placed it in his backpack.

 

In the breakfast nook off the kitchen, he sat down as his mother set a plate of food in front of him.

“You’re looking nice today Carl.”

“Thanks Mom.”

“What’s up for day?”

“The furniture delivery is coming today, a lot of it. You’re getting a new bed set, a computer workstation for your PC, printer and scanner. I want to put a table and a couple of easy chairs in there, too. Some book cases, and also a large screen TV.”

“But Mom, can we afford it?”

“Yes dear, we have made out like bandits these last couple of weeks. Turns out that our insurance company had received certified copies of all the state and federal inspection of our home. That was before they denied us our money.”

 

“When the attorney your dad was talking to in Tulsa heard that. he filed a law suit for fraudulent practice. They have agreed to a full payment plus 25% as penalty. The lawyer said he settled for the penalty. So we got the full amount, paying off the mortgage took less than a third of the payment, so we got two-thirds of the insurance money as ours. “

 

“Then there’s the fact that our new house payment is forty percent of what we had been to paying! We are actually making money off the old house. Oh, we are carrying enough insurance to actually rebuild this house if anything happens to it; plus renter insurance on our personal property.”

 

“Well I guess that’s good. Ehg Mom.”

His mother turned to look at him then she grinned. “Tonight is you date night right?”

“Yeah, it is.” He answered distracted for a minute.”

 

“Well, then I know we forgot to give you your allowance this last month. I will have it for you when you get home tonight.”

“Mom, that not what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Oh, what then?”

 

“Uncle Rick had me signed for some money last night. He gave me two hundred dollars.”

 

His mother stood there for a moment then she turned the stove off and set her cooking utensils down. Then she pulled out her cell phone and pushed a speed dial button.

 

“Clara, I need to speak with Rick is he there?—- Hi Rick, Carl was just telling me that you gave him two hundred dollars last night.— Okay we’ll wait.” She hung up the cell phone slipping it back into her pants pocket.

 

“Your Uncle Rick said he’d be right over. I don’t like that. It seems as if he doesn’t want Clara to hear what he has to say.”

 

“Well Mom gets your food over here and eats. That is one thing out of the way when he arrives.”

“Where is dad?”

“He left early wants to get to work early so he can make sure everything in his office is done, and leave early. Then we’ll be free to help you out tonight.”

 

They sat quietly finishing up their breakfast and then clearing the table and stove. Then she made a pot of coffee. The front doorbell rang and Carl went to answer it. He let his Uncle in the house. Uncle Rick looked like he always did.

 

“Grace you are looking good.” He pecked her on the cheek. Then he looked back at Carl. “You too kid, very good.”

Mom directed them to the den where she had a table and three chairs waiting. She sat down and waited for us to sit. “Okay, Rick what is up?”

 

“Grace, nothing really it’s just that Clara does not understand business. Every since we’ve been married, she acts like we are going to end up in the poor house any day. I have tried to explain what I do, and how much I make, but every time she hears I spent a thousand here or there she has a fit!”

 

“Well why do you spend a thousand here and there anyway?”

“To make more thousands, there and more here.”

 

“Listen Grace, last night I picked up a Caterpillar Excavator, I spent like $20,000 dollars for it; that’s salvage value for metal price. By that, I mean if I take it apart I can get that much out of it for parts and just the metal. But that’s not what I do. I will spend even more money to get it up and running. My plan was to sell it for around $60,000; I would double the money I spent.”

 

“But that not what I’m going to do now. I placed a picture of the machine on eBay last night, with a quick buy price of $150,000. It was taken as of 8:00 this morning.

 

“Okay, but my question has to do with you giving Carl here two hundred dollars last night.”

 

“I did not give him two hundred dollars. I let him draw on his earnings, two hundred dollars. You see he’s the reason I got $150,000 this morning for the machine. He moved the Cat to the warehouse last night that was a $2,500 dollar job by itself. And I would have been lucky to get it done for that amount!”

“Then he saved me another $10,000 I had earmarked for fixing up the Cat. Instead of getting $60,000 I made $90,000 more than I planned. So I take out the expense of $25,000, I made a $125,000 dollars; the papers you signed the other day made him a minor partner in a LLC; he gets 49% I get 51%, so let’s just say he has $61,000 dollars he has earned and last night he drew out $200.”

 

“Are you joking Rick?”

 

“No; I could never explain this over the phone with Clara behind me screaming about going to the poor house. Carl, every time I do a deal like this I have set 10% aside in a trust for Peggy when she turns 18. So last night you made like $6,250 for Peggy and she doesn’t even know it.”

 

“Now, anything else Grace?”

“No I guess not Rick.”

“Well I’ve got to run; the haulers will be at the warehouse by 10:30 to pick up the Cat.”

 

Carl was sitting there with a slight case of shock. He had made $61,000 last night. He had thought two hundred was a lot of money.

 

“Well, Carl, it looks like your days of getting an allowance are over.” his mother said.

 

“Mom! What am I going to do with that kind of money?”

“Now? Save it. Your Uncle spent $20,000 up front to get the chance to make more money. I understand why Clara is scared. She has never understood anything about business.”

 

“Now, some of your money will be used for the next purchase of things to sale. If it costs $20,000, then $10,000 will come from your $61,000 so you will only have $40,000 left to draw on. I remember now what the bylaws said. He took the first risk for the company but now you will share equally in the risk and rewards.”

“Also, there will be money there to buy your car when you get a license.”

“Oh Wow my own car!”

“Carl have you ever heard the expression that ‘Money talks but doesn’t sang or dance’?”

“No Mom, what does that means?” Absently as he visualized the car he would buy.

“Well, you can imagine the attention if money jumped up and started singing and dancing down the streets. Soon everybody would be out there trying to grab it. So money doesn’t sing or dance, it does not attract attention to itself. So when you buy a car, you do not buy one that everybody will look at and point at. A nice strong and safe car is what you will buy.”

“Oh Mom!”

She sat there looking at Carl.

He slowly began to nod his head. “Let’s get you to school”, She said.

 

_____________________________

 

It was a nice day in school. No dumb jocks, easy lessons that he sailed through, and Laura everywhere he went; a very nice day. Today the Physics teacher’s lecture was over speculation in Physics. Carl noted the fields he mentioned, warp fields, anti-gravity, lasers, Quantum entanglement, and Casimir effects almost all of which he had used with his ‘magic’.

 

One of the things he had found out about Laura was she was just as enthused with science as he was. She was more into chemistry than Physics, but saw that in some ways they were connected. Chemicals were held together by physics principles. And the field she was interested in was Nanotechnology.

That was almost the ultimate merging of Chemistry and Physics.

 

As they were waiting for his mother to pick them up, one of the juniors that played football came over to the bench they were sitting on.

“Are you Carl Black?”

Carl looked the guy over; he had seen him around mainly at Pep rally before a game. He was not as obnoxious as other members of the team.

“Yes, that me.”

“Guy, listen I’m not here; some of the other guys are blaming you for losing our first string offensive line. There’s talk that they are going to get even. So be careful.”

With that he turned and walked away.

“Carl? What was that about?”

“Remember those guys who fell down and got suspended from school. That was our first string offensive line. They jumped me earlier in the year before we really met.”

 

“They were going to try it again in the hall there when they lost their pants. They are blaming me for their suspension.”

 

“That’s crazy!” Laura said.

“Yes it is, but then, so are they. It must be from hitting their heads so much playing football.”

 

His mother drove up then so they quit talking about primitive primates.

 

That evening his mother drove him to pick up Laura at her house. He got out of the car; and walked up to the door, and rang the bell.

The door opened and a very large man stood there looking him over.

“Are you Carl? Come in.” he stepped out of the way.

Carl stepped past him as he closed the door behind them. Laura came tripping into the room/

“Carl, you’re looking good!”

“Laura, that’s what I’m supposed to say to you. Now it will look like I’m imitating you. But Laura, you are looking great.”

She was looking great; the dress wasn’t as fancy as a party dress, but it was very nice. She was wearing a light coat of makeup. In her hand, she carried a clutch purse and a light sweater in case the night got too chilly, which it would soon. It was mid fall, and the weather fluctuated from warm to chill day to day.

 

As he escorted her to the door, her mother called from behind them. “Let me see you one more time.”

They turned and her mother took their picture.

“Have fun but be careful.” Her father said as he close the door behind them.

 

His Mom drove them to Tucks, where Carl had made reservations. Tucks was a very nice restaurant that specialized in American food. Nowhere as upscale as La Chevez, or Gutenfuze, two restaurants that specialized in European style cooking.

He knew from their conversation that Laura loved seafood, so he was sure she would like the food they served here.

 

Carl didn’t really notice his food, he simply ate it while talking with Laura. He knew he had ordered a seafood platter that was almost like a plate of appetizers.

Then his phone beeped; he had forgotten about his new cell phone. Pulling it out Carl answered it.

“Carl, your dad here, I’m heading your way.”

“Thanks Dad!”

He looked around; the plates had been removed and all that remain on the table were their drink glasses.

A folder was sitting right next to him. He opened it and looked at the ticket. Egh! The meal came to $33.95. He pulled his wallet out and put two twenties inside the folder.

 

“My Dad is on the way to take us to the movies. So I guess we should go out front and wait for him.”

 

With that, he stood, and pulled her chair out so that she could stand up. As he shoved the chair back under the table, he noticed the smiles on people’s faces all around the dining room. One elderly lady was almost grinning she winked at him and nodded.

 

The waitress appeared and opened the folder seeing the two twenties, she smiled also.

“Hope you had a great time, please come again.”

 

They stepped outside the restaurant and he helped her slip her sweater on. The temperature had dropped, and a light breeze was blowing. His Dad drove his car up in front of them.

 

Newton theatre was the main one in their part of the metropolex. People, and on Friday, a lot of teenagers came from all the small towns around Tulsa to this complex. It had twenty screens so there were a lot of choices. Few people even worried about what they were going to see until they arrived. That meant lots of lines not moving as people examine the marquee to see what was showing.

 

It hit Carl at that moment; they had never discussed the movies they liked. He did not think she would like the action type that he did. He reached over and grasped her hand where it rested on his arm.

“Well Laura, what are we going to see?”

“That is going to be a hard choice they are showing four older movies, plus eight new ones. I didn’t get to see that ‘Easy A’ when it first came out. Nor the ‘Let Me In!’”

“Well the ‘Easy A’ is humorous but ‘Let Me In’ is a vampire movie, and not one of the romantic ones.”

“Ehg, no not that then, well we could see one of the new ones.”

Carl started to smile. “Did you see the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ when it came out?”

“No I didn’t.”

“So then let see it. Then later, we can rent the DVD of the ‘Easy A’ and sometime see it at my house.” Carl said.

“Okay let do that.”

Carl led her to the empty space in front of the ticket window. He was putting a twenty in the slot as he said “Two for Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” At that moment, he got shoved completely into Laura and almost knocked her down.

 

Helping her to stand upright, he turned and spotted the three football players smirking at him. He stepped in front of Laura. Leaning toward the box office slot he said.

“Get the manager and call the police; I’m charging these three with assault and attempting to rob me. Your cameras should show it all.”

“What!” The one in front screamed. “You attacked us.”

“Oh, I just stepped up here, ordered two tickets, handed my money to the person behind the window, and then assaulted you by falling on my girl friend here. Yeah. That’s very believable. They’ll want to run drug tests on you three. It’s obvious that you’re doped out of your minds.”

The door behind the booth open and a man wearing a suit stepped in. He looked at Carl and the girl gripping his arm. Then he looked at the three hulks glaring at him. Nobody outside the booth could hear what he and the clerk was saying. Then he turned and exited the booth; then he came out the theater door.

He did not even look at Carl, but stepped right up to the three football players.

“The whole business of attacking this customer from his rear is recorded. The police are on the way. When you did that he had his wallet in his hand and had just placed money in the slot. Let me tell you what it looked like on the play back; it looked like you were attacking him to rob him. Now, if you look behind you, that’s Sgt. Wilson; he is our night security, he is also an off duty police officer, so I would not make anymore moves if I were you.”

 

“You three! Hands on your head then slowly kneel. You will maintain that position until those police cars you hear in the distance get here.”

 

The manager said one more thing to them.

“Your pictures will be printed up and posted in every box office in the metropolex as ‘Unwanted in Theatre’. So don’t come back. This is official notice you will be charged with unlawful trespassing if you are found on Theatre property in the future.”

 

He turned to Carl and handed him the two tickets. They entered the theatre.

“Laura I’m sorry, I never expected anything like that.”

“Carl, you have nothing to apologize for, it was those apes that were in the wrong.”

Carl examined his tickets; there were two additional coupons behind the tickets. Free sodas and popcorn!

 

The movie was absolutely silly, stupid and very funny. They laughed and joke, drinked their sodas and ate their popcorn. Carl had an amazing time. Then at the end he turned to Laura and bend to kiss her forehead. She would have nothing to do with that, as her arms went around his neck and pulled him down to her mouth. At first it was tentatively feeling around with their lips, but finally they got fitted together.

 

The world went away. The hugged each other, holding their kiss for what seemed like forever. Finally, Carl felt a nudge on his shoulder and broke his kiss looking around the auditorium was lit up and one of the ushers was grinning at him.

“Sorry, but we have to clean up for the midnight show.”

“Midnight shows? MIDNIGHT?” He quickly checked his watch and saw that the time was 11:20. “Oh my god, Laura it’s almost 11:30. My Dad must be looking for us.”

 

They got out of their seat and hurried to the lobby. There standing at the front, his Dad was talking to the manager.

 

“Sorry Dad we kind of fell asleep in there. The Usher just woke us up so he could clean the place up.”

 

The manager had turned when Carl had begun speaking to his Dad and was now standing there with a grin on his face.

 

“Yes, I have seen that happen a lot in my Career. People fall asleep all the time.”

His Dad looked at him with a question on his face, then he looked at Laura and his eyebrows rose. Carl then looked at Laura in the light and choked. Her lipstick was smeared all over her face. He did not hesitate but rotated her around and walked her to the ladies room. She gave him a funny looked but went into the restroom.

 

A minute later he heard a loud ‘eek’ from inside. When she finally came back out she had wiped all of the lipstick and smoothed her makeup around. Her face was a little red, but she then handed him a couple of damp hand wipes.

“Wipe your face off.” She said.

Carl did not hesitate, he began scrubbing at his face.

They then turned and rejoined his father who was still talking with the manager.

“Come again soon.” The manager said as they exited the theatre.

 

His Dad drove up in front of Laura house at 11:40. Carl got out walked her to the door. As they stepped up to the door it opened, and her father stood there with a frown on his face.

“Sir, I am sorry, but we got out late at the theatre. I didn’t know how late until we were in my Dad’s car an on the way.”

He looked him over and then looked Laura over; her father noted how she was clinging to his arm for support.

“Next time call. We were getting worried.”

“Yes sir, I will need to get your home phone numbers and cell numbers so we will never be out of touch.”

“Good Idea.” He turned and walked further into the house, leaving them in the doorway.

Laura turned and grabbed his neck to once more give him a real kiss. This time Carl kept his awareness and broke the kiss with a big smile.

“See you later Laura!”

He skipped all the way back to his father’s car.

“Carl, I know you will not want to listen but please do. Take it easy. Both of you are new at this. So don’t push and don’t be pushed. Let it come easy don’t let hormones and lust get in the way of a great friendship. Think! Life is a long road; you sure don’t want to start down the wrong path. Remember, it’s her life too.”

 

“Egh, I am not sure what you are saying.”

“Okay, if you continue to see Laura, and go out with her, you’re going to have a lot of alone time with her. Kissing and petting can lead you further and further into doing more things. Remember it’s both of your responsibility to be sure that both of you are protected. You never leave the house without a condom.”

 

“I will talk to your mother who I am sure will talk to your young lady.”
“Aw Dad…”

“Don’t worry, your mother will just love doing this, she always wanted a second child; a girl, in fact.”

Carl kept his mouth shut; he remembered the conversation in the Hospital when she told the Homeland Agents she could not have another child.

 

Saturday morning he was up early, for him, and for a Saturday. He went through the kitchen like a speed racer, a bagel in the toaster, and glass of orange juice in a driving mug. Then he slapped some butter and Jam on the bagel and was sitting in the garage with the door open waiting for his Uncle.

 

He drove up before 7:00, Carl climbed in eager for the trip. “Where’re we going today?”

 

“Ft. Smith, Arkansas it’s about 140 miles one way. The trip will take us about six hours round trip. It’s another Caterpillar a larger one this time. It’s partially disassembled; got a real good price on it.

“Uncle Rick I don’t want anybody to see me doing magic. It would be bad if they tried to track me down. There are more idiots’ then smart people in the world. You think someone seeing someone else perform magic would leave them along.”

 

“I always thought that the Salem witch trial were proof positive that they were not witches. I mean if you could do magic there ain’t no way they should be able to hang, burn of drown them.”

 

“I know what I have done to protect me and my family. Uncle Rick, you really don’t want to know what will happen to anybody that comes after Peggy’s family.”

 

“She’s just a little girl!” Uncle Rick insisted.

 

“You just saw her Star Trek shields; you didn’t see her ship’s phasers or photon torpedoes.”

 

“So to help prevent any such incident I want you to stop at an Army and Navy store before we go to get that Caterpillar. No, let’s make that a costume store.”

 

A couple of hours later, on the edge of Ft. Smith they found a costume store.  Uncle Rick followed him around as he browsed through the thousands of costumes.

 

“Carl aren’t these too small for you?”

“Size doesn’t matter, it’s the similarity to reality that is important. I just need the symbol. The shopping cart was slowly filling up with the individual items he had been tossing into the basket. The store was also a toy store. When questioned, the manager admitted that they switched over to Christmas items after the Halloween season was over.

 

Uncle Rick paid with a debit card. When they tried to find a cheap motel room they were out of luck, there was a convention of some kind in town and all the lower cost rooms were taken. They finally settled on a suite at an upscale hotel. 

 

“Sorry about this Uncle Rick.”

“Carl, don’t worry. You’re the master of magic here; if you think this is necessary, then we go for it. I find the deals, the items to get and sell. See, a perfect partnership.”

 

Carl set up a working area where the tables and chairs were placed. First to test the concept he got the toy light saber out. Taking it out the package, he laid it on the table. Then he read the description of the toy. He had never played with one when he was younger, at that early of an age he was already messing with chemistry sets.

 

He removed the battery space cover. Then he examined the LED light source that lighted up the inside of the plastic blade.

 

“Hun, I could make a better toy then this!”

 

“Oh?” his Uncle said.

 

Carl absently said, “Yeah.”

He laid that on the bed and went to the next toy, a space or battle helmet. He gave it a only glance, then laid it to the side. The next thing he picked up was a knight’s helm he examined it closely. Hum, not bad; a good replica even if done in plastic.

 

Carl looked around; his uncle had gone into the second room, stretched out on the bed, and fallen to sleep.

 

Carl took a roll of white wrapping paper he had purchased, and cut off enough to cover the table. Then he used his markers to make a circle and a pentacle inside the circle. He folded up one of the costumes that was all silvery gray and placed it in the center of the circle.

 

He pointed his finger at each point of the pentacle where they touched the circle; above each, miniature suns appeared, each one a different color. Three times he said the spell he had created.  He felt as if space itself was warping, as all the suns flared up, and then settled back. He snapped his fingers, and the suns were gone.

 

He reached into the circle and picked up the costume he had laid there. It was definitely not the costume he had put there. Shaking it out, it opened up, and he was holding a suit of silver gray material, that while feeling light, was very substantial. It had Velcro like tabs that peeled back easily. He stripped out of his clothing and stood there completely nude.

 

Folding back the upper part of the garment he stepped into it. The bottom of the legs had what looked almost like booties. His feet slid into them easily. Then his arms went down the sleeves that had gloves at the end. His hands easily went into the gloves, which then shrank to skin tight, as the booties had done previously.

 

Carl then pulled the shoulders up, and as he reached to close the Velcro closures they did it themselves.  He turned to face the mirror, and saw that he was completely enclosed; including a hood over his head that was skin tight everywhere. There on his chest was a large letter ‘Q’.

 

He felt perfectly comfortable. He twisted and stretched; the material did not bind or bunch up anywhere it felt almost like his skin. He strode around the sitting area and spotted something on the table. In the center was a piece of plastic. He picked it up; it appeared to be a transparent plastic mask. He held it up to his face to look through it. Where the edge of the mask touched the hood, the material of the hood closed over it. Letting go he turned to look in the mirror.

 

His face was completely blank, nothing showed through it. Next he put the light saber in the circle, followed by a belt that was supposed to have all kinds of goodies on it. When he was through, he stood in front of the mirror in his ‘Q’ suit, with the short handle of a light saber hanging from the belt.

 

He was a little scared to test what he was wearing in the Hotel. If they worked, he could destroy the hotel; if no success, and then he was going to be embarrassed. He kept looking at the large ‘Q’ on the chest, “What did that mean?” Nothing in his visualization equaled that ‘Q’.

 

He absently picked up the knight’s helm and put it on. As he let go, the hood of his clothes flowed up and over the helm. He could feel the helm changing. He looked at the mirror once more; now the hood had disappeared.  His head was now encased in what appeared to be a glass helm, except that his face was still not visible.

 

Though the helm appeared to be completely air tight he was having no difficulty breathing.

 

“What the hell!” He twisted completely around facing the door to the bedroom his Uncle had been sleeping in. There stood his Uncle Rick, bug-eyed with surprise. Carl froze.

 

He was looking straight into his uncle face which was impossible his Uncle was six feet tall, while Carl was only five feet nine inches.

 

“Who the hell are you? Where’s my nephew Carl?” With that he started straight for Carl.

Carl threw up his hand and said, “Stop.”

 

His Uncle Rick came to a dead stop. He tried to move; his arms and hands moved, but his feet seemed to be glued to the floor.

 

“What!”

Carl was thinking quickly, he needed to let his uncle know that this was him. With that though the helm swung up and folded itself down his back.

 

“Carl? Is that you?”

His Uncle asked tentatively, his eyes were going from Carl’s feet to his head.

 

“Yeah Uncle Rick it’s me.”

 

He was still staring at Carl.

 

“Well I understand the ‘Q’ at least if nothing else.”

“You understand the ‘Q’? What does it mean?”

 

There was a pause, and then his Uncle said what he thought.

“’Q’ for question, like what the fuck happen while I was asleep?”

 

“Oh, I used those things we bought, and did some magic to them. I don’t know for sure what all I have here. I think that I let my visualization run wild.”

 

“Well then what do we do next?”

“I need to go somewhere and test them.”

His Uncle thought for awhile, “I know a place. It’s an old rock quarry on private land. I know the owner; if I can contact him, he will let us go there, and you can test away.”

 

“Okay that sounds like what we need.”

His uncle pulled out his cell phone and stated phoning.

Carl set down where he had left his clothes and started putting them on over his costume. After he was fully dressed in normal clothes, and had put his work shoes on over the booties, he did not feel a bit uncomfortable. No over-heating or tight clothes, or anything; he felt as if he was just normally dressed.

 

His Uncle turned and did a double take. “Where’s the costume?” he asked looking around for it.

“I have it on underneath my clothing.”

 

“Well I contacted my old acquaintance. He said go on out, that the key to the padlock was hidden in a hollow rock on the right side of the gate.”

 

In the morning, they got up and check out of the hotel. The things they had bought, in addition to those he had used, they dumped in the trunk bed. It was a thirty minute drive to the old quarry.


Carl stripped out of his regular clothes when they got there, standing in the booties. He reached for the folded down hood. But before he could touch it the helm unfolded and was once more encasing his head.

 

“Uncle Rick can you hear me?”

“Sure I can hear you why…” He had turn toward him and now noticed Carl was once more fully covered in the costume.

Carl turned to face toward the quarry and the hill which had been torn open to mine for gravel. He pulled out the light saber, and pointed it toward the hill, and pressed the button on the hilt; a solid shaft of light slowly extended itself from the hilt until it hit the rock face.

 

A loud crackling sound was emitted by the rock as it shattered and fell down the face. He moved the saber across, then down and across the back, up, and a large rectangular area of rock fell out of the cliff.

 

Next, Carl simply pointed, a stream of fire leapt from his finger and blew large holes in the rock face. Rock shattered and the air was full of shrapnel. Carl saw a more than one piece headed their way; without thought, he stepped in front of his Uncle, covering him with his own body. He felt the thuds as the shrapnel hit him. But he never budged from his position. When it was over, he quickly checked his Uncle quickly to be sure he was okay. Not a single piece had been able to penetrate his costume or knock him down.

 

 

 

____________________________

 

My thanks to TxAgBand59 for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.

 

 

© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and ‘vlfouquet.wordpress’, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents.

 

 

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