Blacker than Energy

 

A story of caution by Javier R. Romero

 

It wasn’t long ago that physicists ramped up efficiency numbers for solar panels. It seemed to be a material engineer’s dream. Exotic materials were being created based on nano-technology that had just been prototyped. Bleeding edge technology for a bleeding edge world. Like software, video games, and cellphones, now the energy sector was releasing “Developer level” technology to the public. What’s cooler than being in on beta testing? Well… alpha testing obviously. The newer the better! Who cares if you get cancer? There’s a new experimental drug for that out now anyway.

 

But I digress… solar power!

 

Triple-junction cells were just the beginning! While studying what the energy transfer looked like in those cells they found something strange happening. In areas of the cell that were darker than others things seemed to be bi-locating. That is to say in layman terms one particle was in two places at the same time. Even more fascinating the waveforms were harmonizing in these areas but as soon as they left the darker regions the waveform collapsed. What did it mean? It didn’t take too long for the fringes of society to start worrying that scientists shouldn’t study the phenomena. If we listened to them we’d still be sitting in caves because fire is dangerous.

 

Needless to say, everyone got to work on making a perfectly even distribution of those darker areas until they managed to produce a perfect 350mm x 350mm panel. The scientific world rejoiced just because they were able to create the panel, it would be 7 months until they were able to test it but that was the hard part. In order to pull energy from the panel we had to rethink the way we interface with solar panels. Unfortunately the only person who had come close to explaining the process was a disgraced electrical engineer. He was the guy who blew up a power-plant because the “gnomes” said it was bored. Don’t ask me how a power-plant can be bored. Normally no one would’ve paid attention to him but he locked himself in on one of the meetings and forced everyone to listen to him… at gun point.

 

After a 2 day hostage scenario the scientists came to see that Englebart knew exactly what he was talking about… this time.

 

After coaxing 5 million dollars out of the federal government for “Renewable Energy Technology Development” Englebart got to work. He locked himself away in the warehouse and any attempt to get inside by the scientists was met with frantic yelling about disturbing the “Quantilis”. Even when the power went out he calmly walked outside, started up the generator trucks and went back to work. The phrase, “A man possessed” was too perfect. At the end of it all he wheeled out a 10 foot tall behemoth of wires, glass tubes and a board with at least 14 different knobs on the front.

“Don’t touch the knobs they’re for the song. You have to sing in tune or else it will get dark. Not colour, dark in, in, in, feel. Everything will change… feel different. Change isn’t good, not this kind. Don’t touch the knobs. Gotta sing in tune. A…A sharp should be good. Sing once, first song, final song. No change.”

 

He only agreed to and was able to get one interview despite the constant push for him to become the face of this new technology. The other scientists said he would be a sympathetic personality for people to connect to. Englebart knew they were making fun of him.

 

“So, finally Mr. Englebart…”

“Please, Timothy. Call me Timothy, I like Timothy.”

“Well then, Timothy. Why is it that you’re so intent on having your… tuner set to A sharp?

“Energy is important. Runs through the wires like a, like a hum. 60or 50hz. Boring sound but ok for cavemen. A sharp is alive and happy.”

“I see. Well Timothy, is there…”

“Music makes people happy. When you hear a good song you smile. When you hear a bad one you feel bad. Electricity is waves. Waves have sound. Make good sound, make good energy. Make bad sound… Bad sound bad. A Sharp happy.”

“Tell me this Timothy, what would happen if your tuner fell out of tune?”

 

It was at that point that Englebart started crying uncontrollably. Newspapers would go on to call him a freak and a weirdo. The other scientists were quickly branded as “The minds behind the future.” No one ever understood what he meant. All they needed to know was that he made the tuners and once the first one was set the others were automatic because of his “Quantilis”, whatever that was. No one knows because they’re locked inside the tuners.

 

Needless to say, with the oil reserves nearly dry, the world was holding its breath when the first test occurred. In actuality the theoretical numbers were so good they were already in talks for retrofitting existing solar farms and manufacturing single home units. It was impossible to stop the machine of commerce now.

 

On the big day Englebart was nervous. He kept saying the weather was bad, but that’s because he was struck by lightning in the past, hence his mannerisms. Clouds always made him uneasy. He made sure everyone was standing far enough back as not to disrupt his tuning. After 4 minutes of him humming to himself on national television he yelled in triumph, startling some of the people around him. He said before they started that “When I say you can make toast it’s a success.”

 

Everyone held their breath as the numbers on the power meter rose, 30 volts, 60, 120, 240. The camera pans over to the other side of the tuner and the screen said 30 amps. When the numbers stopped rising a reporter walked up to Englebart curious about what the readouts on the myriad screens meant.

 

“So Englebart, what do these readings mean? Is it a success?”

“Well these numbers are for each line and when the lines are used there are 14 in total. Cut one of them in half and you have the others singing fine through the wires to, to, to, to your toaster. We just have to let the tu, tu, tu, tuner… You can make toast.”

 

It was at that point the reporter slapped Englebart on the shoulder in congratulations. The reporter walked in front of him and motioned the camera to zoom in on the screens.

“Please be careful. It has a few more seconds to set.”

The reporter waved at Englebart and walked back down the stairs talking into the camera as everyone else was rejoicing. Finally, we have an alternative to oil that was cheap and easy to access. The wire on the reporter’s backup mic was now coiled around Englebart’s feet. With each step the wire was pulled taught, eventually making Englebart lose his balance. His hand landed on one of the knobs and a look of horror fell over his face. However the cameras were now focused on the more photogenic faces of the scientists Englebart had held hostage. His tuner made the sound to let him know the frequency had been set and Englebart fell to his knees.

 

It wasn’t until 4 years later that Englebart had his last interview.

“… Don’t you love how everyone is smiling now because of the green, cheap and affordable energy you helped provide them?!”

“Smiles hide mean thoughts. I don’t like the smiles. Everyone mean outside now not just inside… I said A sharp… this isn’t A sharp.”

 

It was slight, only visible for a flash of an instant but it was noticeable. The interviewer glared at Englebart with a murderous intent.

The Wisdom to Know

A conversation between Panzer Steegle and an Energy Being.

 

“Well you guys are hyper advanced compared to us on Earth, it’s more than likely life will exist 4 billion years from now. How are you going to prevent the collision of Andromeda and Milky Way.”

She gave me a look one would expect from their grandparent before speaking.

“Why would you want to stop existence?”

“That’s not stopping existence! It’s preventing billions of planets from being destroyed and countless systems from being eaten by blackholes!”

“Keeping our two galaxies in their current places throws all the other galaxy’s out of balance. Are our lives so important as to disrupt and destroy countless others whom we may never meet, solely because we don’t know them? We know their stories. Families, children, persons whom are ill, persons whom are doing all they can to improve someone else’s life in the face of evil and negativity.”

“So what you’re saying is, it’s possible to control a galaxy… but it’s irresponsible?”

“Of course it isn’t possible! Could you stand in front of a speeding, out of control truck and stop it from running you over with just your Earthling body?”

The Impossible Nut

The Impossible Nut

Ever since they could remember the Ilakos have never been able to break open the Improbum Vessel, colloquially known as the Impossible Nut, or the Improbum Nut. There are stories and tales passed down through generations of families about the nuts. “The Gods do not want us to be able to grow the fruit at our behest. In order to control the growth of the Improbo Fruit, they made the nut inside impossible to plant, and by extension impossible to break.” Another being that the knowledge gained from peering inside of the nut can cause you to go mad, or that were one ever opened, it would swallow the entire universe and it would start over from the zero point. A more simpler explanation is that there is no nutritional value to be had from them so there’s no point to care about it. But the Ilakos are a story favouring people so that last theory was not well liked.

Improbo trees grow strangely when compared to others, always in clusters of 4, 6, or 8. Also if all the trees in one area were cut down they’d grow back somewhere along an invisible logarithmic spiral. They’ve tried planting the nut many times obviously, but the nuts never grew into Improbo Trees. They also tried planting the fruit, going so far as to make sure there were no blemishes on the outside. In those cases the fruit just ended up rotting and the nut, as always, turned into dust 4 days after the last fibre of the fruit fell away from it. Observing the “dustification” of the nut provided no insight into what the inside looked like. Like Mega Man exploding into tiny bits when he dies, the dust went everywhere and quickly vanished from sight.

Every year since the Ilakos can remember, they have had a global festival, every city, town, and village would devote an entire week to the Improbum Vessel. Sculptors would try their best to imitate it’s perfectly ovular shape. Contests of nearly every imaginable type took place during the Gaia Festivus actually. One even lasting the entire week where participants would try to hold onto the nut as long as possible. This contest was near impossible with the nut having curves so perfect that trying to grab one bare handed proved a comical task. Hundreds from each city, town and village would enter these contests and nary a few would be able to hold onto theirs until day 3 let alone day 7.

There was another contest. One held at the end of the week where the best engineers from around the world would showcase their Improbo Machines. Machines designed for one purpose, to try and crack or maybe even break an Impossible Nut open. With the dawning of the industrial age 428 years ago the machines became more elaborate and larger as the years went on. Often times having to be constructed on the festival grounds due to transportation issues. Many of these colossal machines had construction started months in advance with full construction crews that received wages. This contest was the most anticipated every year, but every year the people would leave disheartened as the impressive and sometimes laughable titans failed at their tasks. After a terrible accident one year a mandatory blast radius was instated around the machines and power-plants were not to include nuclear elements of any kind. They could however request for the entire city, town or villages’ power to be routed to their machine for operation purposes. The danger was in the chunks of the Improbo Machines damaging the nearby powerplant.

Seeing the immense power requirements that these so-called “Improbo Machines” called for, the Ilakos looked for new, amazing and insane ways to generate energy. After last years festival a breakthrough of unimaginable proportions was announced. Actual clean and limitless energy generation. A team of energy researchers had stumbled upon the possibility 15 years prior and since then worked tirelessly to prove it was indeed as they claimed. They were looking forwards to next years Festival to showcase the power of their generator and what better way to do so than to build an Improbo Machine, THE Improbo Machine.

They had finished construction earlier that day and finally, the project that generated more money for their town than any of them had seen in their lives, was ready for it’s first and final test. Unlike many other machines of this size they had to set it on an anti-gravity foundation as to not drive a massive crater into the ground when the 4096 tonne hammer hit the nut after it’s 2560 meter high launch. The hammer would be accelerated downward by a rail-gun-like mechanism which would see the hammer break the sound barrier 6 times over, also known as Mach 6. The shock of the immediate stop would be handled by a secondary anti-gravity drive, mechanically similar to the “long recoil” system in some guns where the barrel slides in the opposite direction of the projectile as it is fired. Only in this instance it’s entirely designed to offset impact shock and there is no second projectile to be loaded unlike with guns. The 4096 tonne hammer is also treated like a bullet and spirals on it’s way down to meeting the Impossible Nut with the very small, relatively needle like point at it’s tip. The nut will be placed into a sonic field that will keep it levitated and as stable as if it were encased in a material stronger than anyone can think of. This colossal machine will use 6 yottawatts, or about the same energy that was unleashed from the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful Hydrogen Bomb ever detonated.

It was time for ignition, the blast radius for this Improbo Machine was estimated at 10 times the normal 5 mile radius for machines of this size, so people set up their towns festival 5 miles farther than that. This was not the first machine to have been built in the desert but the Ilakos from the same town as the scientists who created it were glad to have the thing out here rather than in their back yards. The signal relay satellite was positioned over-head and the countdown began. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Ignition. The word appeared on the large outdoor screens set up for the event. They all wore goggles even though they were facing away from the Improbo Machine, just in case. The rails were charged and the sound was an amalgam of a few high-pitches with a low hum behind them.

The mag-locks were released. The telltale cloud of the sound-barrier being broken came and left. The hammer spun faster and faster then crashed into the Imbrobum Vessel. A massive cloud enveloped the entire machine and some of the cameras went off-line but not before chunks of metal were seen whipping past them. The vid was immediately played back at a slower rate for the crowd of 310+ thousand people and they all stared closer than they had when it happened the first time. The rail arms lit up and the hammer cruised down, reaching it’s top speed in less than a second. The needle-like tip of the hammer shining as it raced closer and closer to it’s target. As the hammer struck the nut it exploded, the top of the hammer peeling down and around the needle as it met the Improbum Vessel. Then the impossible was seen for the first time. A crack appeared in the nut just before the mutilated hammer blocked it from view. The towers that propelled the hammer shot up as they were designed and the chunks of the hammer were allowed to shoot out in all directions.

The team of scientists had already jumped into their 3 desert buggies almost before they fired the hammer. They had the luxury of a relatively flat terrain between them and their machine which meant driving at 130kph (80+mph) in the desert wasn’t as suicidal as one might think. Hitting the occasional dune they made their way at 160kph (100mph). They knew it was going to work. Just then a chunk from the hammer shot by them, nearly crashing into them and landed with a thud not too far behind them. They weren’t supposed to be seeing debris out this far… Then they saw something that terrified them. One of the rail-towers was falling, 2.5 kilometres or 1.5 miles of metal, composites and electrical systems came crashing down out of the sky.

When they finally reached their machine the dust was still settling around them. One of the scientists checked the energy consumption meter, it read “8 Yottawatts consumed, .8 seconds…” that wasn’t what they designed it to operate at. They all ran to the power-plant and saw it was running fine. Not so much as a hiccup in operation. The machine had set itself down from it’s anti-gravity supports after the hammer hit it’s mark and the scientists clambered up the ladder to look at the nut. What did it look like inside?!

Was it really the secret to the universe?

The sonic field was still operating and the nut was sitting inside of it. Two perfectly split halves. The same ordinary greyish outside but the inside was similar to something they had seen before. In fact, it was sitting inside the generator not too far from them powering this machine. In essence, the power-core that had just provided 8Yottawatts in .8 seconds was at the center of the Imbrobum Vessel…

Act Five Finale

           It had been three days since the president of the airbike company released his statement, 7 since the 25 R’s were stolen, and I had finally found one of them. One of the Young Beasts had just left it there after he got bored with it. His friends tried to destroy it but they didn’t understand how the thing was put together. They were made to withstand 800 mph+ crashes, hitting one with a steel beam wasn’t going to do anything but scratch the paint and buff the alloy underneath. I was wearing a lab coat I found a few days before along with the station issued gravity boots. The boots came up to my knees and were law in case the gravity field ever gave out… I thought they made me look cool and when riding a 25 R you had to look cool.

           I made sure the Young beasts had left the area before I tried to approach it. They already killed two people who tried to steal the bikes from them and I didn’t want to be number three. After giving the area a good over-watch I approached the bike and plugged in my key hack. Hopefully I wouldn’t kill the operating board with my low tech hack but it was worth a try. Just then I heard the other 25 R engines screaming nearby and terror shot through me like high voltage. I jumped on the bike and smacked at the key as if that would have sped up the hack. I must’ve been in their line of sight judging from the way the engines sounded. My engine screamed to life and a smirk shot across my face. I gunned it and felt the immediate rush of accelerating from 0 to 60 in 1.8 seconds. I was still terrified about what they would do to me if they caught me, but the smile never left. So for the next 5 hours I would run from them, pushing the bike as far and as fast as it would go off-track in this now cramped city.

           After the first hour it was child’s-play out running them. Their reaction times were milliseconds too slow to keep up with me and that’s when I figured out something. Not all Young Beasts had super strength and some of them were actually very smart with super human agility… I was a young beast. At that moment, almost immediately, I started thinking of ways to hide it from people if I survived running from the gang. It was a realization that nearly petrified every fiber of my being.

           At the top of the sixth hour I heard the familiar dock alarm. Another freighter was coming in. That’s when I had a psycho plan, maybe I could get these guys sucked out of the air-lock. I risked getting sucked out myself in the split second there was no vacuum shield, but these guys were dangerous… and they probably wouldn’t die… I wasn’t sure if I would survive though.

“Ok you four, I’m lining up the air-locks. You have your suits on?”

“We are ready for torpedo disembark captain.”

“I don’t need one.”

“Shut up Rayne.”

“Quiet you two. Go ahead captain.”

“Air pressure approaching max tolerable levels… check. Firing in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, MARK!”

           The air-lock doors shot open and they were sucked out into the vacuum. Rayne spun around and saluted the crew on the bridge then spun back and focused on not smacking into the side of Epsilon 001.

“Alright sis, how many minutes until we enter port?”

“At our current speed we sh….”

“Sis… RAYNE!”

           Ryder looked behind him and sighed in relief as he saw his sister fussing with the communicator on her neck. Since sound doesn’t travel in space Old Beasts who could survive out there got communicators that picked up on their vocal chord vibrations, handy when you can’t really exhale while speaking.

“Current speed 2 minutes… give er take.”

“Watch out twins, debris!”

 

          Three of them flew apart like a squadron of fighter jets in formation. Xephyr, the woman with the tattoo on her neck unsheathed her sword and slapped her hand on the side of the blade as she pointed it directly in front of her. She bore through the meteoroid and came out of the other side with her sword glowing yellow. The hole she bored was molten and glowed eerily in the vacuum. Rayne noticed something shooting out of the dock in front of them.

“Guys what’s that exiting the dock? Holy! It’s the Young Beasts! Quick bro! While they’re still clumped together!”

“On it!”

           The twins pulled their short staffs from their waists, two large beams shot out from the ends and started to surround the Young Beasts who were floating helplessly in the vacuum.

“I only count 7, we were told 9 were here.”

“Did you want this to be easy sis?”

“Shut up.”

           The beams of light split apart into thousands of strands and completely surrounded the free floating Young Beasts, shocking them with enough electricity to knock out a heard of rhinoceros.

“Gimme the load sis, you should concentrate on not breaking anything as we land, regen wasn’t one of your retains.”

           Rayne handed her brother the short staff and they snapped together as he locked them onto his waist, the odd net of Young Beasts and airbikes trailing behind him. As they entered the dock they had to stop their acceleration before the stations gravity did. Hayden pulled out his sword now and as he and Xephyr pointed their swords behind them and an unseen parachute slowed them to a sliding stop. Ryder spun around, landing sideways on his feet as if he were riding a skateboard, with the net of Young Beasts and airbikes now slung over his shoulder. A concussive blast shot forward from his side and slowed him to a halt. Rayne clapped her hands in front of her and a small sonic boom shot forward, slowing her acceleration and she dropped to her feet right in front of a boy who was straddling one of the Airjet 25 R’s. But he wasn’t dressed like the other gang members. Unlike their faux leather jackets and neon construction workers pants, this boy was wearing a pair of tattered jeans, a compression shirt and an over-sized lab coat with his regulation gravity boots. Rayne held her hand to his throat like it was a knife and a blue light surrounded it from a curious bracelet on her wrist.

“Don’t move and don’t lie. Are you apart of their gang?”

“No, I heard the docking alarm and thought I could get them sucked into the vacuum so they’d stop hurting people.”

“Are you a Young Beast? Only a Young Beast would be able to ride one of those with no armor from what I’ve heard about them.”

“I think I am.”

“Hmm, so you don’t know the extent of your abilities?”

The boy shook his head no.

“Smarter than the other kids in your class?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm… super fast reaction time and I’m guessing you heal pretty quick too?”

“I think so.”

“Where are your parents?”

“I don’t have those.”

           At this point Rayne lowered her hand, the blue light dissipating as Ryder, Xephyr and Hayden walked up behind her. Each holding a helmet under their arms, Ryder now dragging the unconscious Young Beasts behind him.

“Well now you’ve got a family kid. We can’t leave you he….”

           It was at that moment the other two gang members crashed the last bike into the CO2 scrubbers. The explosion shook the entire station. Hayden unfurled a see-through sheet and placed it on the ground, kneeling as he did so. It stuck to the floor like a magnet and a list popped up on the left side, the tiled surface of the dock showed through the rest of the sheet. The list had the different sections of the station named. He tapped the choice that read sub basement systems. The clear part of the sheet x-rayed through the floor of the dock and seemed to be looking for a vantage point on the explosion. It zeroed in and he saw one of the Young Beasts laying unconscious with an inferno in front of her, then a second explosion shook the station. This time the evacuation alarms started to sound. Ryder looked at me and said the weirdest thing I’d ever heard.

“You should actually go evacuate with the rest of the station, if the station doesn’t explode and we survive, we’ll adopt you. You need Beasts as parents if you don’t want to end up like these kids. Also, if you can hang on to that bike then I guess we can just say it blew up in the explosion.”

           I figured I had a few hours till the evacuation was complete. There would be a back up scrubber working in over-clock mode but we’d have to leave so they could run a full check of the station. I used those hours to change the appearance and sound of the Airjet 25 R and was able to hold onto it while we were transported to the frigid moon Antarctica II. The brief time I spent there I got a job doing colony messenger work. After we got back to the Station I was finally able to connect to the network and find out the names of the four people who said they’d be my family. Since then I’ve helped them corral the unruly Young beasts with my Airjet 25 R and they raised me like a Young Beast should be raised, like a human and not a monster.

Act Four

           A shuttle on it’s way to Epsilon 001 is carrying 4 people, two men, and two women. It’s a military grade shuttle but there are no weapons mounted, a fact the pilot is very nervous about given his destination. Three of his passengers are wearing the latest in space suit technology, each with 180 hours of air in case something went wrong and they were ejected into the vacuum. The suits look more like armor with a sizable tank on the back. The tank contained the air supply as well as the force-field generator. Each is red with a visible gray exoskeleton, designed to protect you from high speed impacts that can happen when you’re out and about in the vacuum. The mini force field generator is there to protect them from space debris. The vacuum is dangerous and some of the smallest pieces of debris can have an impact strength equal to 100 pounds of TNT. However one woman is wearing normal clothes with a short staff strapped to her waist. Her hair is braided on the opposite side of her head from one of the men who also has a short staff strapped to his waist. The other two have swords at theirs with matching tattoos on their necks.

“Honey how much longer until we get to Epsilon? I want to deal with these Young Beasts and get back home as quick as possible. I’m not as comfortable in the vacuum as I used to be. I’m sure the twins feel the same.”

“I could care less but that’s cuz I can survive in the vacuum, right Ryder?”

“Oh yeah bring that up again Rayne! Meanwhile, I’m in this suit and you’re not. I miss sitting on the surface of Mars and watching the stars without a visor skewing the light.”

“Look you two, don’t start fighting again.”

          The tattooed man walked over to a video panel on the wall and hailed the captain. His boots squeaking as he moved, meaning the suit was brand new out of the printer.

“Ahoy captain, how much longer till we get to Epsilon?”

“Well Hayden I’d say about 16 hours, 5 if we fire up the Vasimir’s after burner.”

“Well those Young Beasts are terrorizing the hell out of Epsilon 001 so I’d suggest you fire those up.”

“Yeah, I could, but what’s to stop them from trashing my little ship when I dock?”

“If that’s what you’re worried about then just line us up to their docking terminal and open the airlock. We’ll torpedo on over, we are Old Beasts after all.”

           Rayne, the woman without a space suit, shouted for joy.

“Hell yeah! I love doing that!”

          She pulled out a small device and tapped something into it, a second later “Rocket” by Def Leopard came on the sound system.

“You ready Ryder!?”

“Yeah sure, you psycho.”

          A red light started flashing and a yellow band appeared, wrapping itself into a circle while hovering in the middle of the room with the words “METEOR SHOWER IMMINENT” scrolling across.

“Strap in guys we got a….”

          Hayden was cut off as the pilot started evasive manoeuvres, throwing him from where he was standing into the opposite wall with a sickening crunch as his head made contact.

Act Three

“…the manufacturer has finally issued a statement on the attack of their latest shipment to Epsilon 001. Here is the audio recording.”

           “We will not stand by while our Swan Song the Airjet 25 R is abused for hooliganism and capital crimes. The latest murder that our bikes have been accomplices to in combination with the many people who died from their initial theft is deplorable and fills me with sadness., we have no choice now but to offer our backing to the Young Beast Prison Project.

          At first we thought that all teenagers afflicted by the Young Beast gene should be allowed to live a normal teenage life. Spending each day along-side the rest of us, but if this is what some of them can do while just “having fun” we cannot allow them to live on the streets with normal people. The main thing we must do is figure out what disease is afflicting our youth and some of our adult populations.

          However as my knowledge lies mainly in the racing world I am ill equipped to do anything but offer capital for different programs dedicated to helping these people. The first step we are taking towards helping is in the direction of education and containment. We have commissioned the first Hyper Security High School to be built here on Earth. The plans will be available to any other Space Station, planet, or moon that wishes to join the Young Beast Prison Project. We have been assured that even though they are called prisons, the students will be treated as humans. The main point of the Young Beast High Security High School is to prevent the rowdy ones from causing havoc and teaching them all about their affliction as we learn more.

          It is unfortunate that we must be the first ones to actively deal with the Young Beast issue. However I feel this is an important step in getting those more knowledgeable to do something and not sit by and argue about talking points any longer.”

           “Those “plans” he is referring to have been called at best “over engineered” by many human rights activists, stating that the few should not dictate how the many are treated. Still others are calling for harsher measures for anyone with Young Beast attributes, including any adults who have retained one or more of these super human attributes from their teenage years. The so called “Old Beasts” have been vocal, stating that most of them have dedicated their lives to tracking down and controlling the renegade youngsters. Some are even on their way to Epsilon 001 to further prove that they are not like their younger counter parts.”

Act Two

         “The highly anticipated shipment of the Airbike Racing Series’s newest model is finally arriving at the largest Air Racing port in the galaxy today. The racing enthusiasts of Epsilon 001 are chomping at the bit to get a look at the new model in person. For more on the story we’re going to Jus Roissin, live on Epsilon 001.”

           “Thank you Hera, and she’s right, the residents of Epsilon 001 are out here in all their racing gear. Every person here representing their favourite team from each of the four quadrants. Some are even wearing their full high speed armour. The current generation of bikes can reach speeds of over 480 kph easily, 300 mph for everyone else, but the Airjet 25R is reported to be able to double that speed effortlessly and the armour looks the part. Compound curves and pointed edges offer the riders unparalleled aerodynamic protection, pressure skins underneath protect them against the G-Forces they experience while changing direction at those incredible speeds. But let’s see what these fans have to say about finally being able to see the latest in Air Racing technology. I’ve managed to corral James and Heather for a little insight into the excitement. So guys how excited are you for the…”

           Just then, the thousands of people that showed up to the dock were hit by a sonic-boom, the latest tell-tale sign of a Young Beast attack. It seems a few of those kids are able to cause massive air pressure changes and they always seemed to be the bad ones, hence the sonic-boom. When I could hear again, the cries of everyone at the docks were almost deafening. I was more focused on the fact that my ears hadn’t popped from the sound wave. Everyone around me had blood coming out of their ears, but mine were fine.

          It was then that I heard the amazing hum of the Air Jet 25R for the first time. All 9 of the Young Beasts shot over head and raced down the dock, 2 of them riding on the side of a building before they disappeared from view. All that I could hear the rest of the day was the sound of the bikes’ engines in my head replaying over and over. It was a high pitched hum that seemed to harmonize with itself without being earsplitting. It sounded like speed… and I wanted one, badly. The Young Beasts used the bikes for smash and grabs mostly. They hit banks and fast food stalls and always managed to get away. It would be a week before they crashed one into the CO2 scrubber modules.

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