This week’s Sci-Fi flash fiction.
To fit in with the new Kickstarter, this week’s flash fiction deleves into the history of “A jolly Fine Dystopia” and how the towers we have created helped to solve the worlds energy crisis and allows the jolly fine dystopia to function….Sort of.
For a change this story is written by me, your humble narrator. So without further ado please enjoy.
The nucleus of outrage
It was in times past, after the virus sheared through humanity. It triggered a loss of resources that crippled much of the globe's economy and shattered society. With production capacity gutted, power was a scarce resource indeed.
A great final push was embarked upon by an unholy and, frankly unlikely alliance. The world's remaining scientists, engineers, flat Earther’s and televangelists, found their quest for power unifying. A great experiment was undertaken. All remaining equipment for the last push towards fusion was moved to a massive underground bunker complex. Locked away and setup with as many resources and communion wine as the world could spare (or at least lay their hands on), it was the last great project for humanity and a sight to behold.
The underground labs containing the world's hope worked tirelessly on this fusion experiment away from the chaos above.
They used all available knowledge and equipment to explore different methods of making the fusion reaction happen in a stable and continuous manner: lasers, magnets, gravity pulses and even flower presses.
Nothing worked, but tirelessly they pushed forward.
After a particularly frustrating year of building the giant wave based particle compression tower, the machine was ready to be tested. This five story piece of engineering resembled an old grain silo crossed with a moonshine still, its construction was so massive that it used up most of the good materials and they resorted to cannibalising systems and materials from their very living space, the behemoth had a few patched panels here and there bandaged joints on pipework. All over its surface were storage and pressure tanks, control panels and valves. Despite its appearance this was humanities magnum opus. According to the research and experiments this was the key to sustainable, limitless electricity.
The particle accelerator was spun up. The multitude of latent energy collectors came to life; the scientists were filled with hope. This was the culmination of, for many, their life’s work. They wouldn’t get another shot, the last roll of the chance cubes. The machine began to splutter, the needles fumbled, the energy levels rose within the collectors and the wave induction coils pulsated with eerie frequency.
The hum of induction wavered on the edge of hearing....the scientists hit levers, pressed buttons and streamed over the machinery to coax it to critical mass. Then as soon as it began, with a loud sigh and hiss, like an old man reclining on a sofa, the machine died and the lights dimmed. That was it, the lights faded, their power reserves were gone.
The failed ignition caused every member of the entire facility to scream out in pure unadulterated rage towards physics, and they cursed the limitations of light speed. The cacophony of outrage rose and reverberated off the walls of the cavernous space; it was deafening. Then suddenly and to everyone’s surprise, an amazing thing happened. All the negative waves exuded from the very fibre of the scientists and engineers permeated the latent energy collection cells of the compression wave accelerator tower. It had come back to life. Their monster merely needed a jolt from a more potent form of energy.
The whole ground shook. The tower began to whir and pulse. Softly at first, almost missed below the radiation of projected emotion. Then the sound rose and grew tumultuously to a level it had never reached before. Steam jetted from loose joints and fuses blew. The silent darkness that followed was punctuated by a thin hum, the reactor then glowed luminescent in the recent darkness of the bunker complex...
--- Eureka ---
What is more powerful than lasers and magnetism for compression of matter....?
The human capacity for outrage was the greatest known force they had never thought to tap into.... It also had the added side effect of making the bunker's population reach climax simultaneously with the sheer emotional release.
As the glow began to fade from the reactor the bunkers population set to works. The next couple of days were the happiest of their lives. They repaired the machine, re-sensitized the latent energy collectors and tuned it into the negative wavelengths, those that hide in the shadow of joy.
Soon enough, their elation subsided, their frustrations returned. The effect was short lived! The power boost the micro-reaction gave them was fading fast.
They sent teams to the surface, long forgotten to those in the bunker. It was known that in the wastelands and wrecks of the old world, there was an abundance of excess outrage and intolerance to go round.
The mission to round up stray fleshies was on. The experiment had to continue! The monster needed to be fed.
The supplicants arrived, herded in groups, bedraggled apprehensive and told nothing, these fleshies were questioned deeply on their key triggers, and how they overcome them. They were led into the reactor room, and strapped into a heavy looking apparatus with a vizzy screen in front of them. horns blared and lights flashed in their faces. Eyes held open and lubricated with saline. Emotive accelerators and stimulus retollerancers were directed to each subject.
Next, the screens lit up, and they were hit by trigger after trigger. A series of tubes, mics and electrodes were extended, and a sign flashed REACTS. The subjects released all their outrage and aggression as one, roiled up by the data they had just been pummelled with. Once again the machine began to shake. Dials raised and the background hum rose to terrifying levels.
Apprehension gripped the room.
The hum from the core slowly rose from below the cacophony as the reaction chamber began to glow. Then pulse. Then the output needles climbed and climbed until every system within the complex was fully operational. Capacitor storage rooms reaching maximum and the battery backup began to charge.
They had done it, they had made fusion work. The power of a star's limitless energy could be harvested.
The useful side effects too became instantly apparent.
The fleshies were happy. Not just happy, but euphoric. The world around them was no brighter, no better. They did not understand what they had achieved but these fleshies were not their old selves.
They smiled. They actually smiled.
They were released from the machines and many instantly asked "can I go again?"
10 years later, micro generators appeared in every major suburb. Collection booths and latent energy harvesting centres popped up in public areas.
While power could be transferred near globally with the 15G wireless transmission system, the power of outrage lost potency the further from source it was.
And so it became the responsibility of every citizen to visit these booths on a daily basis and pour out their rage with all their heart for 30 minutes of every day. The further upshot was that the rates of violence within society dropped to almost minimum levels. The baseline of the zeitgeist was pacified to a flat line and everyone experienced happy joy joy feelings. Even when one of the scavvies jumped them in the street. Now every man, woman and child held the key to power.
But you could never stop the cycle of outrage, or the power would go out.
By Neil Woodman
Should you wish to support the Digital Taxidermy - Storytime Collective please consider a small donation to help boost their enthusiasm.
So what did you think? Please do let us know in the comments or jump over to the Digital Taxidermists to chat with us and our interesting band about what possibilities you see ahead.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
(C) 2020 Neil Woodman, Digital Taxidermy – Storytime Collective
All rights reserved.
This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
A big week for Digital Taxidermy
Digital Taxidermy is pleased to bring you the fruits of the last months labour.
Alongside the products and stories we have been able to bring you, we have been busy working away on our new concept for modular gaming terrain that will allow the use of your old spools to create sturdy and imaginative backdrop pieces for any table-top conflict.
Spool tower – Modular multi-level terrain from recycled materials
Digital Taxidermy has an extreme dislike for waste, to combat this we took the biggest problem with 3D printing and made it into the foundation of your collection. These towers take the structure provided by old spools and we provide you with facades that are designed to print with less than 10% (100g) of filament to make an entire layer.
We have incorporated the design ideas from our past terrain and construction kit experiments to make an interconnected hive of platforms and towers to enhance your gaming experience.
As an added bonus these towers make an excellent backdrop to display and show off your favourite printed minis.
We have given a lot of thought in how to use minimal print materials in the construction of these facades and as a bonus our designs incorporate the ability to add lighting using small strings of LED’s.
We have added some videos showing off our Spool towers to our Youtube channel
Spread the word far and wide
If you know someone that may be interested in this Kickstarter or you have a local gaming group with 3d printers in it then please help us get the word out, this is up for such a short time and you don’t want to miss out.
The promotional post is located on our Facebook group
Or on our Twitter account