Off to work we go
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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.
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.