First Short Story: Forgetting the Moral

This will be presented in two parts. Today is part one. Next week is part two. Simple enough, right? Enjoy!


Forgetting the Moral

Part one

The Survivors

Our species’ cultural history has varied greatly through the passage of time, as have our ideologies. Geography has determined this, and as the human race has evolved over time, brought upon us poorly-divided arguments. The truth of this bears repeating, for in our own time we have learned to meld technology with dangerously conflicting ideologies. We have harvested the atom, the wave-particle, and the quantum particle; perfected nuclear dispersal, implementation, and eradication, all whilst forgetting the value of peace.

The severity of this has led humanity to the situation it is in. Our leaders, though meant to speak for us, willfully fought against our cries. But perhaps it would be best explain what led humanity to this predicament first.

Somewhere nearer or farther than two-hundred years ago, we discovered the atom. That is; we were able to see it with immaculate instruments, scrutinized and perfected since the time of the great Galileo. Where he wished to view the vastness outward, we wished to turn inward. To look upon that which has so gracefully eluded us, and is beyond the ranges of the most powerful microscopes.

And so we devised a quantum-nuclear microscope. Fusion powered and capable of reaching views in the billions of times, we looked down upon the minutiae with an awe found anew. But Our devious nature was bound to catch up with us. With this newly discovered subatomic sight, we began to experiment with the basic building blocks of all reality. And licking quantum physics by discerning the state of the universe at the Big Bang, created new technologies, elements, and a number of other fascinating advances. We agonized upon the most crucial of subjects, then perfected particle transportation.

This transportation, though limited in its range at first, went into wide-spread use. The first of the travelers through this strangeness, a feline aptly named Schrodinger, (or perhaps ironically, as this test made obsolete the man’s theories) was transported from one laboratory in Massachusetts, to another thousands of miles away in Berkeley, California. The trip itself lasted only six seconds; from the transporter firing at M.I.T to the other powering down at U.C.L.A.

But what of those who felt the machine might tear the fabric of time, sundering particles, and thus the universe itself? Naysayers, they were called. And the others, worried there were far too many, unpredictable circumstances might disrupt the transport? They were wrong. As were those that said the poor animal would be turned outside-in upon arrival– they and their riled activist groups.

Science moves ever forward, yet again a day had come for it to show that eternal persistence. It was magnificent, marvelous. Though the public’s lack of knowledge into new physics does not permit a proper explanation, it was perfect in its function, and after an overhaul, in its form.

The transporters were manufactured with swiftness. New industries sprang up to accommodate them, others died out. The automobile was obsolete, as were planes, trains, and all other manner of transportation. So it went that particle physics became the aspiration for many, new minds. From cooks, to welders, and all in between, the sole occupation became programming assorted machines to the specifics of the clientele ordering it. The new technology became as common as the television, more so even through it boundless applications.

It was a beautiful time, it seemed. Science had clutched so tightly on the consciousness of man. As expected, it caused many an outcry from the faithful. However, in time each renounced their apprehension, in danger of being left behind in a new golden age.

Such great detail of this achievement has been imparted, but only because it was through this that we humans lost our true sense of right and wrong. In truth, none saw it that way– it is the folly of man that we become myopic in the sense of great pains and pleasures. We played with the fabric of our reality, and in turn were so fascinated with it, we wished to stretch it to our will– morph it into some facade of a canvas with which to paint.

Much of what came next has been lost, but enough is known to relay the effects.

Two decades after the wondrous new transporters were constructed, distributed, and subsequently marveled upon; a new imperceptibility was encountered. Fields became stagnant, industries threatened. Most of the learned were satisfied to begin research, (and not long after, production) of quantum multiprocessors. Once again these inventions were hailed as a venturous step forward, a great marveling of humankind. True to effect, they were bought and sold unscrupulously.

But it was in the first new industry that pioneers had been born. These pioneers, having made unimaginable fortunes in transporter technologies, saw the new computational industry as merely a footnote. In keeping with human behavior, they sought other, more profitable applications. There they found the epitaph to Earth’s story.

Several, major manufacturers and military organizations, under the false pretense that someday we would fear militant invasion by extraterrestrials, developed the Particle Bomb. The specifics of its construction were kept secret– unlike the transporter machines, a renowned story of mankind. But it was later tested upon a plot of land in Nevada. It was immediately apparent that something was terribly wrong with this new technology.

Worldwide organizations of peace lobbied for its destruction, pled for disarmament with our allies, whom vowed immediate conflict were the weapons not destroyed. Still the tests continued unabated, and soon their disastrous effects were seen by all.

It seemed an impossible thing to hide from the public’s eye: a portion of the Mojave desert, inhabited only by those few beasts that can live comfortably in such a clime, simply disappeared. The bombs differed so completely from our other weapons as to make Nuclear Fission primitive by comparison. Where an atomic or nuclear weapon exploded, leaving behind radiation, these bombs achieved critical mass. There, their vibrations triggered isolated, earthquake-like tremors. But what was there in place of cracking earth? The horrifying ripping of the seams that held together the fabric of space and time. Whole swaths of reality disappeared, the spans varied by yield.

It was not destruction. It was eradication. To see the Mojave afterward would leave one as empty as it is. The land rises and falls with normality. Then, isolated nothingness– a veritable black hole in the desert without the physical gravity to tear the shattered heart asunder. What a dreadful sight!

Once revealed to the other countries, they offered us an ultimatum; destruction of the bombs, or war. It was challenged, cast aside by the shortsighted leaders whom fought against us. Chaos ensued. The coming wars were swift, bloodshed a given. Those against their enemies equally offered their citizens safe-haven. But a coalition was formed, nuclear weapons of old reintroduced. By war’s end, the whole of North America had become incurably irradiated– but not without a moment’s revenge.

The particle bombs were dropped in clusters, disintegrating masses of Europe and Asia. Beautiful, timeless, mountains; serene brooks and fields; even the occasional, drab beauty of human habitation was cut-clean from existence as though that particular part of the universe had never fully formed. When the dust settled, all were eerily silent.

To tell of the rest would introduce far too many uncertainties, opinions, and speculation. Most of us, the Survivors, have wandered out and around the voids and radiation zones for so long our minds have left sanity behind. Those few who’ve retained that precious commodity have devised new aims for the particle technology: We shall leave this hallowed world, find a place to start anew. Cunningly devised ships, in only a few years time, will transport us to a new world to Terra-form it. One, perhaps, where we may finally learn to co-exist peacefully. Only one thing is certain now; where we go from here, only time may tell.