Monday, November 02, 2009

FFF # 8 - The White Hole

"Warning: choking hazard, small parts, not suitable for children under 3 years" was what the Li'l Edgar Allan Poe Posable Figure box said, but Johnny didn't listen because he was almost thirteen so he ripped off the head and ate it. Without a seconds hesitation the rest of Poe followed his head down the impressive gullet of this typically always hungry teen. Johnny burped, picked some of Poe's hair from between his massive molars and looked up at his dad. "Can I eat the box too Pop?"

The hulking figure crammed into a chair at the other end of the anti-matter table looked at Johnny. He was perturbed with the interruption, but well, it was "Bring Your Kid to Work Day" and little Johnny was his pride and joy after all. The Director looked around the table at the group of bored and disengaged Sector heads. This meeting was in need of some entertainment, some small diversion to get these guys back in the game. Besides it would have been rude to not show some gratitude for the gifts brought him by the Sector chiefs from the Fringes. "Sure son, why not? Dinner's not for a few more hours." The box, the Styrofoam inside and the bar code disappeared in a flash of teeth mashing. "That's my boy!"

What a bunch of stuffed shirts he was dealing with today. It never ceased to amaze him how the representatives from the Fringes always carried themselves with more self importance than the staff who shouldered the bigger load near Headquarters. He smiled or grimaced. With him there really was no difference.

"So where were we gentlemen?"

The representative from Sector 3 continued his report. "Before this unseemly interruption, I was filling the Director here in on some odd goings on at the outer edge of the Expansion in my territory. It seems some of the Matter that is self aware has found the key to what is really going on. I submitted a report some time ago and it obviously did not make it to the good Director's desk. Gentlemen, we may be in trouble. If Matter has figured out what we are doing, then it's all over for us."

The Director sat with his massive head propped up with one of his massive hands. He looked bored. Everything was a crisis with these clowns. Some Matter somewhere sneezes and these flounders from the Fringes get all panicky and nervous. Damn he hated dealing with issues that meant nothing in the over all business model set up many years ago. The plan, once implemented, could not be reversed. And these boneheads should know that. But he did need to humor them. Their participation was key to completing the plan on schedule and under budget.

"So, just send an asteroid their way and take them out. Standard procedure when Matters get out of hand is it not?"

Sector 3 Chief looked annoyed at the interruption but answered the Director's question. "Uh yes sir, it is standard policy to snuff out any hint of resistance. But this Matter is different. They have figured out how to defeat the use of Asteroids and such."

This meeting was really starting to piss the Director off. Underlings who needed their hands held at the drop of a hat just rubbed him raw. The Director straightened up and dropped his hand hard on the table. The whole room shook. "What do I have to do here ferchrisakes? Draw you guys a freakin map? Come on, you know policy. Just fire out a Perforation and take care of this Matter. End of story." The Director placed his head back on his hand. With the other he flipped his massive fingers dismissively. "Go on, Continue."

Sector 3 Chief shifted his weight uneasily. He had never felt the anger of the Director before. He was still new. Only on the job now for a couple of epochs. But he hadn't risen through the ranks because he was timid. Stiffening his back he cleared his throat. "Well it appears they have stumbled upon the secret of.......The White Hole."

The silence in the room was deafening. The Director snapped his head up and stared at Sector 3 Chief. His mouth began to move, but no words came. Murmurs from the rest of the Sector Chiefs turned into chaotic discussion among themselves. The Meeting had gotten out of control.

"Silence!" The Director was now on his feet and leaning hard on the anti-matter table. It bowed under his copious mass. "That is impossible! White Holes are still just a theory. No one has been able to prove their existence."

Sector 3 Chief stood his ground and stared back at the Director. "Yes sir that is correct. We have yet to prove or disprove the possibility that White Holes can exist. But how do I explain that the six Perforations and then the Tear I sent out just disappeared? No reports. Nothing. And in the meantime, a new anomaly has been noticed in that sector of the Expansion and the Matter I intended to take care of still exists. I have been over this with the slip stick boys and they have concluded the only answer is indeed a White Hole."

The Director was not ready for this. Matter only existed to feed their expansion into this universe. He could not get his mind around the idea that the Matter created by his forebears had now discovered the one weapon he and his kind feared the most......Anti-anti-matter. If true, his race had finally overstepped their abilities and created the means of their own demise. The Director tried to imagine a hole that could eat darkness, thus producing Light. As he understood the notion here, Light produced in such a fashion indicated with a high probability that their race's bogeyman, Anti-anti-matter came through as a byproduct. His limited intellect in things scientific stopped him from even being able to conceptualize the concept. He sat back down with a plop. The room shook and the various cool drinks of liquid Matter on the table tipped over. He sighed. "So where does this leave us?"

No one spoke. Eyes were cast down at massive hands clasped in nervous grips. Everyone around the table just sat there as if struck dumb. Little Johnny, who had been mindlessly looking out into the nebula, turned and said, "Gee guys, Dad always told me when I was little, never be afraid of the Light. The Light would never hurt you."

The silent tension in the big room broke. These heavy wieghts representing the far flung territories of the Empire relaxed, some even grinned. The Director was smiling or grimacing again. Sector 3 Chief managed a nervous haha as he sat down and straightened the copious collection of sheets he had used for notes during his presentation.

As the meeting settled down, Sector 6 Chief remarked, "Yeah guys, no need to be all positive and up. Things could be better you know. There isn't always Light at the end of the tunnel. And every cloud doesn't have a silver lining. Just keep thinking negative and all those pesky Matters will take care of themselves."

The Director let his head settle in on that massive hand again. His face once more the face of a bored and overworked bureaucrat. "Okay. Settle down guys. We have quite a few more Sectors to hear from. Who's next?"


For some unknown reason this, I kept thinking of Frank Zappa while I wrote this. Zircon Encrusted Tweezers, Montana, and Dental Floss Tycoons came to mind more than once. Anyway, I am once again left wondering where the Hell that came from?

I had serious issues with the ending. Must have re-written it 3 or 4 times. Still not sure.

(1302 / 1852)


BBC said...

To hell with all that dust in the ruts of history behind us as we hurtle toward the future.

Tell me about the future. Monkeys spend way to much time looking behind them and the history behind them.

The only real reason to look back is to see if you are being followed. And to determine if they are friendly or not.

You don't have time to learn all the past history on this rock and a lot of it was bullshit anyway.

Demeur said...

Oh no Billy the dumb monkeys never seem to learn. They're always repeating the mistakes of history even though they've read it. History then just moves in a big circle. Hey didn't we pass that a while back? Killer storms, mass murders, invading countries, plagues all happened and will happen again. The future is the past and the past is the future. And if you look over your sholder far enough you just might see yourself.

Beach Bum said...

Now that was unexpected and flat out fantastic! As for the ending I thought it worked well, although my curiosity is up concerning the other endings.

MRMacrum said...

BBC & Demeur - Not sure what to say here given the fact I have no clue what you two are discussing as it relates to the post. But thanks for stopping by.

As to History and your claim we pay too much attention to it. I would say you are completely wrong here Billy. Demeur has it right in my opinion. We (the general population) do not pay History the attention it deserves. We keep making the same mistakes.

Beach Bum - Thanks. My different endings were attempts to take the wordplay on "Matter" and "anti-matter" further than any connection could sanely or even insanely be made. I really got out there.

Kulkuri said...

"Slip-stick boys", how many remember what a slip-stick is or was as about the only ones left are in museums.

Thought it was a good read with nice tongue in cheek puns.

Randal Graves said...

Color me disappointed. Where was the promised cameo from Princess Di-lithium?

Very cool idea, sir and obviously the product of a late night and/or shrooms.

Cormac Brown said...

This is all so Herzog to me, I'm still not sure what transpired...

sunshine said...

Great story! I enjoyed it. :)

Tomorrow is "Take your kid to work day" here. (grade 9's only).
Of course my son Tony wants to come to work with me. I'm a stay at home Mum.
I don't think I spend my days playing X-Box though... ;P


Cormac Brown said...

I didn't mean that to sound negative, I'm just fried and in desperate need of a vacation.

MRMacrum said...

Kulkuri - I wondered if anyone would catch that. My dad used one all the time. I used one in high school and college. If we ever lose power and I need to figure the square root of 1312, I can just pull it out and my slip stick will answer the question.

Randal - Color me disappointed also. But the Princess pre-empted this death by fiction by her own. And no, no shrooms or late night. I just could not pull it together to pull it off I guess.

sunshine - Thanks. But I missed I think. Oh well.

Cormac - No problem. You nailed it I think. I did get all Herzog. And all of us are always in need of a vacation.

sunshine said...

You most certainly did NOT miss.
I enjoyed it.


Doc said...

Sushine is right. You didn't miss. I think it stands on it's own and is one you should be proud of.

Like several of yours that I've read, you tend to leave it open to the interpretation of the reader and don't take them by the hand to leed them down the garden path to a cut-and dry solution. They have to figure it out for themselves.

Myself, I saw the Director as the Christian God taking a meeting with His angels, which only leaves little Johnny, the doll and box eater, to be Jesus. I am certain that this was never your intent, but it does give the story a completely new spin. I like the fact that your tales are open-ended as it let's my imagination run as wild as yours does and they do it hand in hand.

In short, I thought it was swell.


Alan Griffiths said...

You had me from this point on - Johnny burped, picked some of Poe's hair from between his massive molars and looked up at his dad. "Can I eat the box too Pop?" Great stuff MRM!

Paul D. Brazill said...

Very good. Top pulp.

Kulkuri said...

Glad you still know how to use a slip-stick. I learned how in a math class in high school where we studied it for a week or two and promptly forgot it.

MRMacrum said...

sunshine - well thanks. I just never felt it was exactly what I envisioned.

Doc - You are pretty much on target with my basic idea here. And thanks for seeing the underlying idea. What I kept trying to nail and with mixed results was the play on words and ideas.

Paul D. Brazil - I had teachers in school who would catch me reading my SciFi pulp during class and after making me make it disappear would all denigrate the medium with comments like, "How can you read that crap? It's not literature." Thankfully, my parents were smart enough to allow me to read anything I wanted. At least I was reading.

Kulkiri - many of the more intricate operations on the slide rule have move along with the rest of my memory. I can only do the most basic stuff anymore.