Chapter 16

Hadron Destroyers


“I don't know,” Rority said, “maybe this time we stopped them?”
“Fat chance,” replied Gumal. “You know history says they kept at it until it worked.”
“Yeah, Gumal, but it was supposed to have been permanently offline when we put that bird on the wire.”
“Look, I don't want to go back there again!”
“Maybe you won't have to.”
“I mean, it really sucks there,” Gumal whined. “They have weather. Real weather! It gets cold, and hot...”
“Yeah, Gumal, but it doesn't get very hot where you're going.”
“It does compared to here!”
“Yeah? It could be worse,” Rority said, “you could be going to Neptune. Or Mercury. Just wear your suit.”
“The suit doesn't stop those damned people from being assholes. What if someone shoots at me?”
“It'll hurt. So what?”
“Yeah, but it'll HURT! You ever been shot with one of those things? God but it hurts! It burns like hell!”
“Hurt? It's just a metal projectile and you have nobots. Pussy!”
“Yeah, lets see how pussified you get if you get shot! The slug is made of lead and launched by a chemical explosion, and the projectile itself is as hot as a frying pan from the explosion.”
“Yeah, I know, I've been shot but the nobots make the projectiles bounce off. It does smart a little from the heat of the projectile, but it doesn't hurt that bad. Pussy!” he said again. “But what's a frying pan?”
“Oh, it's a cooking thing my grandpa uses when we go camping. It's a really quaint antique, more than antique. It makes the food taste funny.”
“How is it heated?”
“You set it on a fire.”
“Damn, that is primitive!”
Rula walked in. “Coffee break's over, boys. Time to go back.”
“Shit!” Gumal exclaimed. “You checked? I have to go back?”
“Yep. They got the damned thing started again. It's on your monitor over there.”
“Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck FUCK!”
“Calm down,” said Rority, “this one's easy. You don't even have to go into the facility.”
“You got the specs?”
“Yeah. You only have to cause a minor power failure. It should knock out the coolant and prevent them from fixing it for another year at least.”
“Yeah? Lets hope the setback isn't minor.”
“So they won't confirm the Higgs until that stupid war they're having is over?”
The confirmation of the Higgs had nothing to do with the war, it was a matter of making sure that the things that had happened in the last ten million years had happened in the right order.
Everything is tied together. Every single subatomic particle in the universe is connected to every other subatomic particle in the universe, no matter how weakly, through time as well as through space. If things happen in the wrong order all sorts of entropic problems ensue and they're never fun or pretty, but instead rather strangely weird in a scary kind of horrible way. Rority's and Gumal's jobs were mostly to fix things earlier travelers had distorted.
“No, damn it, I don't care about that damned boson or when they confirm it, I just don't want to have to go back again! I hate it there. It's so... primitive.

 

 


Chapter 15
Index
Chapter 17

Hardcover