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As he looked down upon the trap containing the substance that might be the key to their freedom, Armin could do nothing but smile at what he finally had accomplished. The liquid substance suspended in the large spherical enclosure looked like the head of a pin, but Armin knew that this was an enormous amount as is, and there would be more coming very soon. Armin thought back to when he and his colleagues where forced underground. It was 10 years to the day that Earth had received the message from one of its ships that the space explorers had found an alien life form. Not long after, the war between the alien race and humans began. The aliens launched a surprise attack, and with faster ships and superior weapons, the fight lasted less than a year. Every country gave all its ships and resources available to the effort, but it was not enough. The alien race was too powerful. In a desperate attempt to allow hope for the future the best scientists and smartest minds were sent underground into a hidden city to develop the means and a plan to combat the alien race. Shortly after, the earth surrendered, and those left on the planet’s surface were forced into producing raw materials for the conquering alien race. Ever since being sent underground, Armin and his colleagues worked endlessly doing research and developing new technology in hopes of finding a way to liberate the planet’s surface. As Armin looked down at the enclosed substance all he could think about was that an answer might have arrived. Armin looked down at his watch. It read 3:30 am. Unless they were staying up late working on a project, everyone would be asleep. He would wait until morning to tell them the fantastic news.
It was early in the morning and Dolaf Lerith sat at his desk thumbing his Rubik’s cube. He shuffled it up, and without much effort he would return it to its correct color alignment. The Rubix cube was given to him by his parents on his seventh birthday back when they lived on the surface. Dolaf solved the puzzle shortly before being sent underground with his mother and father. In his early teens, he would shuffle the puzzle and time himself on how long it took him to reach a solution. Now at age 17, the Rubix cube only served as something to fiddle with to pass the time.
Having just finished breakfast, Dolaf was getting ready to leave and assist one of the scientists. It was something he did every day, and he enjoyed the work. All of the scientists show Dolaf the greatest of respects. Since being sent underground, Dolaf had been schooled by his parents and their colleagues. He progressed through his schooling at a rapid rate. In his early teens he was well versed 3 languages, math, and all the natural sciences. He loved to be challenged and was superb at solving problems involving strategy. Dolaf mastered games such as Chess and Othello with ease. Two years later, at age 15, he made major breakthroughs in his mathematical studies. In just over a year, Dolaf found solutions for the Riemann Hypothesis, Mass Gap Hypothesis, and the Hodge Conjecture. His incredible intellectual ability was admired by all of the scientists and they welcomed his assistance on their ongoing projects. For the past several weeks, Dolaf had been working with one of the most respected scientists, and they were close to a breakthrough. Dolaf got his things together and headed to the Physics lab where he knew Armin would be waiting.
Dolaf strolled through the corridor and pushed his way through the large double doors leading into the physics lab. As he appeared through the doorway Armin lifted his head and shot a giant smile across the room to Dolaf.
“I wondered when you’d show,” he remarked in a light-hearted tone of voice.
Dolaf returned the smile and said, “It is not even half past seven”. “I usually don’t arrive until almost eight. Has something important happened?” remarked Dolaf who knew very well that there must have been some sort of development to make this 53 year old physicist look as energetic as a 25 year old athlete.
“Take a look over inside the trap,” said Armin.
As Dolaf approached the clear sphere, which was about 5 feet in diameter and was mounted on a silicon stand, he began to notice a small grayish material suspended in the center. “Is that?!” began Dolaf, but before he could finish Armin shot “YES!” across the room. “But how?” asked Dolaf.
“Last night I made several adjustments to allow for an increase in energy inputted into the accelerator. The result is what you see in front of you.”
“We have to tell everyone else,” remarked Dolaf with excitement.
“I said earlier, I was waiting for you to show up,” responded Armin.
A crowd developed in the Physics lab around the transparent trap. There were mixed expressions among the people in the crowed. Some people didn’t understand what was going on, and others had an idea to what was about to be announced. Among the people standing in the crowed were Mr. and Mrs. Lerith. Dolaf’s father was a renowned nuclear theorist on the surface and had been brought underground along with his wife and son to help in the development of a weapon to fight the aliens. Dolaf’s mother was a brilliant chemical engineer who was welcomed by the other scientist in order to assist in weapons development. Both of Dolaf’s parents were well familiar with the physics lab and upon seeing the Transparent trap standing next to the particle accelerator, drew the logical conclusion. There speculation was soon to become fact as Armin asked for the crowd’s attention.
“I would like to make an announcement” declared Armin. “After years of research and experimentation, I have finally made breakthrough that may help save the human race. Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see in front of you is an amazing advancement in science.”
Dolaf couldn’t help but chuckle inside, for he could tell that Armin had undoubtedly practiced this speech several times.
“Here, in this container, lies antimatter, in the largest quantity ever made. This small substance weighs only 10 grams but has the potential to cause never before seen damage to a planet”
Armin continued to talk for a while longer. He explained how he had changed the configuration of the accelerator to allow greater power input. He explained how he cleverly configured the power input system to automatically annihilate a small portion of the antimatter created and use the energy given off to create larger portions of the substance. In essence he allowed the power of the substance to create the substance.
Dolaf was awakened suddenly by the beeping of his alarm. He had gotten less sleep than usual, but then again everyone had since the large sample of antimatter was displayed several days ago. For years the scientists and theorists had been planning for the day they would discover the power to fight their enemy. That day was here. The construction of a rocket ship had begun shortly after the scientists were sent underground. The materials to build the ship were put underground before the scientists were sent there, but equipment and man power was limited. The scientists did manage to develop some new technology that did end up helping in the construction. New materials such as cyroplate were invented that could stand much greater temperatures and weights nearly one tenth that of any known metal. After almost 9 years, the ship was just now reaching its final stages. Upon reaching the construction site, Dolaf saw people everywhere, fixing one mechanism, or kicking another. Today he would be assisting Armin and his father in redesigning the propulsion mechanism on the ship. Originally the ship would be propelled by 3 nuclear fusion reactors allowing for a top speed near that of light. Now with the discovery of antimatter a more efficient system of propulsion could be used. Theoretically with 3 terminals allowing for antiparticle annihilation there could be enough energy created to travel almost 2.5 times the speed of light. The catch was making the ship strong enough to stay in one piece at that speed while keeping the passenger alive. However, that was the problem to be solved by those working on modifying the outer hull of the space craft. The job at hand for Armin, Mr. Lerith, and Dolaf was creating 3 antiparticle conduits that would allow for antiparticle expenditure and creation at the same time. This would allow for an unlimited amount of fuel.
“Excuse me, Armin,” came a voice. Armin looked up from what he was doing. It was one of the senior scientists.
“There’s a meeting being held in 20 minutes. We need to discuss some of the details about the spaceship, our weapons, and plan of attack.” The scientist said.
“I’ll finish up here and go over to the center” replied Armin.
“That’s fine,” remarked the scientist as he turned and left to tell other people about the meeting.
As he arrived at the meeting, Armin noticed that not the entire underground community was there. He noticed the presence of the most senior scientists, including Mr. Lerith, but not Dolaf or Mrs. Lerith.
“Your attention, if I could,” said a voice. It was the man that had asked him to come to the meeting. “I have asked you hear to discuss some important issues involving the revolt against the aliens. We need to organize our route to the alien’s home planet, our plan of attack, and who will fly the spaceship,” said the man.
Mr. Lerith spoke up, “My son, Armin, and I have adjusted the propulsion systems to allow for faster travel using antimatter. My wife and several colleagues have constructed a launching mechanism and device to detonate the antimatter.”
“Our next issue is to find a pilot” stated the original speaker. A rumble among the scientist arouse over the topic. “Armin, you are the most knowledgeable about the propulsion; maybe you should be the pilot.”
“I know the propulsion systems well, however, even at maximum speed the journey will last over 2 years. I am an old man, and I am not healthy. To travel in space for such a period of time will be hard on the body and mind. By the time I reach the planet I may not be in the best condition to address the problems that may arise,” remarked Armin. Looking around everyone in the group was over 45 and nobody was in great physical condition. “Dolaf knows the antimatter conduits and is extremely bright,” remarked Armin.
“He’s 17 years old,” responded the elder scientist.
“He’s an exceptional 17 year old, and what do we have to lose,” replied Armin. “The human race as we know it!” yelled the elder scientist.
“Is there really anyone else truly more qualified?” responded Armin. “Think about it; he’s fast on his feet, young, ambitious, and he knows the technology.”
“I still have my doubts,” stated the elder scientist. “I still think he is too young, but he is well suited for the job. Unless anyone else has any objections, I will accept Armin’s proposal. Dolaf will be the pilot.”
Dolaf walked back and fourth wondering how long the meeting would take. Only the elder male scientists were invited to the meeting, but Dolaf knew what it was about. He wondered how long it would take for Armin to return so Dolaf would know if everything went according to plan. Just as the thought passed through his mind, a knock came at the door.
“The news?” questioned Dolaf as he opened the door.
“All according to plan,” replied Armin with a sinister grin appearing on his face.
“Good, I can almost smell the air from the surface now,” said Dolaf returning the grin.
Over the next week everything came together. The outer shell of the rocket craft was equipped with the stronger materials. The ship was equipped with its antimatter propulsion units. Dolaf’s mother succeeded in creating a detonation device that would allow the antimatter to be shot into a planet and not be exposed to matter for several minutes allowing for a ship to leave the vicinity of the planet before the annihilation process. Several mathematicians plotted the most efficient course for the rocket craft to take. The journey would take just over 2 years, 1 month, and 6 days each way. In his lab, Armin was almost finished preparing the 1000 gram antimatter substance for the weapon, and secretly a 1 gram sample that only one other person knew about. The launch would take place in less than 2 days.
Dolaf waited in the physics lab for Armin to arrive. He stood staring at the 1000 gram sample of antimatter suspended inside the trap. “Could this really destroy a whole planet?” thought Dolaf. Just then, he heard footsteps coming down the corridor.
“How are you feeling before your big trip tomorrow?” said Armin walking through the door. “I bet you can not wait to get back onto the surface. I know; I can’t”
“Is everything set? Where is the smaller quantity? Is it still in the lab?” said Dolaf in a fidgety tone of voice.
“Take it easy, Dolaf. The smaller sample is already inside the rocket and is equipped. Everything is going to plan. You need not worry. Go back to your quarters and get some rest. You have a long journey ahead of you.”
“Ok, I guess I’m a little nervous. I’ll see you in the morning,” said Dolaf.
The next day, everyone gathered around the launch pad. The retractable stadium roof below the ground, that had not been exposed in over 8 years, was about to be opened. People watched, as the final tests on the rocket were being made. Scientists were running around with different gadgets, checking airlocks, power systems, and the computer controls. Dolaf prepared himself for the launch by having one last dinner with his parents and gathering his things. His food, water, and oxygen supplies were already aboard the craft. He took with him very little. He brought a comb, some pictures, and of course, his Rubik’s cube. Dolaf was placed on board and the countdown began. Every person who was underground said a prayer and thought good thoughts for Dolaf, for they knew that the lives of all human kind was in his hands. Little did they know that they were not entirely correct.
Dolaf awoke to the pleasant melody of Beethoven’s 5th symphony, provided by the ship’s computer. The day was finally here. In just a matter of minutes, the alien planet would come into view. It would take almost another half of an hour to get within firing range. Dolaf prepared himself for the final stages of the task. He checked the components of the weapon to make sure they were still operable. Again, he was amazed that such a small quantity of substance could do so much. Once sphere trap was broken the annihilation of the planet’s matter and the antimatter would take place. Instantly a 1000 mile radius would vanish followed by a shockwave that would theoretically blow the planet into several pieces. The Alien race would be totally wiped out from their home planet. Dolaf looked out of the shuttle and began to see the orange red haze of the planet approaching. He used the computer to calculate the exact distance to the planet so the weapon would fire at exactly the right time. Everything else would be controlled by the computer.
The time passed by slowly, but eventually, the time came. The craft began its orbit around the planet. The orbit took only a fraction of a second, and right as the craft completed its circle, the weapon discharged, and the rocket took off back toward Earth. Dolaf looked back at the planet. The flash of light was so bright it almost blinded the Dolaf, who couldn’t believe the size of the explosion. The Alien planet was destroyed, but Dolaf’s mission was not over. There was one more thing he had to take care of that only one other person knew about. Dolaf began to reprogram the computer’s course just slightly.
Another 2 years had passed by, and Dolaf stood at the controls of the rocket. He was approaching earth, and was slowing the craft. He set up the smaller sample of antimatter into the launching device. “How short-sighted the underground scientists had become?” thought Dolaf. “The alien planet was destroyed, but there were still aliens on earth. Did they think that the aliens would just surrender to humans after we blew their planet to bread crumbs?” Then, Dolaf thought about the humans on the planet. “What have humans become? They do nothing but obey what the aliens instruct. They don’t try to revolt or fight back. The humans left on the planet were weak, and they had no dignity.” Dolaf remembered the day Armin had come and talked to him. He remembered how Armin had said that the human race would never be the same. Armin said, “The humans on the surface have become cowards. They are an inferior race. Those who were put underground were chosen for a reason. We are the brightest of all humans. The human race needs to evolve and evolve quickly. I believe that when we make our attack on the aliens, we should take the opportunity to purify the human race.” The words were stuck in Dolaf’s head. They made sense. If the human race was purified, those left underground would be left to repopulate the world. A new and more powerful human race would be formed. From then on, Dolaf was convinced.
Dolaf looked down at the controls in from of him. In a couple of minutes, he would fire the small sample of antimatter into the center of the Pacific Ocean. The result would be a tidal wave covering the earth for a brief period of time. The aliens, as well as the humans, on the surface of the earth would be wiped out. Only those underground would be left.
The time approached. Dolaf closed his eyes, thought of Armin’s words, and launched the antimatter. He looked forward to the future awaiting him.
©2005 by the author