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[April 2010 Vignette] Destructive Testing

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Time: March 31st, 1999. Late evening.

Place: Hanover Institute of Technology, Freedom City, USA


"Red team, how’s it going, over," the walkie-talkie crackled.


"Three down, von to go," Viktor Archeville replied as his two cohorts stood by. Rose and Jenet were both very nervous, and very excited, not only at what they were about to do but with whom they were doing it. "Everyding is set dere, over?"


"Yeah, landing pad is clear," Steve replied, "and the dampers are in place." He looked to Veronica and Ted, and both nodded back. “Blue Team out.â€


The "landing pad" the Blue Team referred to was the roof of the five-story Panettiere Memorial Library, an area not meant to receive airborne vehicles. But it was not an aircraft that was expected to arrive: it was Provost Michael Moses’ car. To that end, kinetic dampers had been set up over the entire roof.


At Provost Moses’ car in the Administrative Building’s parking lot, the Read Team worked to make that happen, by setting up wormhole generators around the car. If their calculations were correct, the four beacons set on the pavement would open a portal under the car, large enough for it to fall through, appearing in the air a few inches above the roof of the building and landing there. The kinetic dampers would deflect much of the force of the impact, preventing the car from crashing through the roof.


The prank had been the idea of Steve Nighton, a financial whiz, but he wanted to do so in a way that showcased the advanced science of HIT’s students, which he himself lacked. He had covertly asked others for assistance, and got the aid of Jenet Kyln (a cybernetics expert from San Francisco, who was as fiery as her red hair), Veronica Hawkes (another businesswoman with a stunning knack for PR and spin), and Ted Lineman (a lighthearted scientific omnidisciplinarian). Steve was shocked with Viktor approached him about the project; Steve had wanted to ask the odd German student, but never knew quite how to do so. Viktor had learned of it by overhearing some snippets from Ted, and was interested; he brought along his girlfriend of the past two weeks, Rose Morganite (a Chicago native studying manufacturing efficiency). Viktor had come up with the wormhole idea, but Ted pointed out the need for the kinetic dampers. Their team names were taken from redshift and blue shift, the phenomenon which caused a source of light to appear redder when it moves away from an observer, or bluer when it moves towards an observer.


"You sure this is gonna work, Vic?," Rose asked. She knew Viktor would have already made up his mind by know on whether or not to go ahead, but she also knew he often needed an outside voice to make him slow down and see things.


"If he drove a respectable car, like an Audi, or even a Bimmer, I vould take a bit more care," Archeville replied. He looked up from the toaster-sized generator he was adjusting, to the Provost's car, to Jenet who was monitoring the other three generators, then to Rose, and smirked. "But since our esteemed Provost drives a Renault Clio, I am less inclined to care if it gets roughed up in transit."


Archeville set the last generator in place, and it and the other three began to a cycle of blinking. "Blue Team, come in, ve are ready for transport. Over."


"Blue Team here, we are ready to receive," the walkie-talkie crackled, "Over."


"Den stand back!," he shouted; the force of his words alone made Jenet jump back. Archeville pressed a button on one of the generators, then leaped back to be well clear of the vehicle. The cycling lights of the four generators spun faster and faster, and a bubble of light blue energy grew out of them to engulf the car. Sparks and then bolts of blue lightning leaped off the bubble, scorching but not severely damaging nearby vehicles and structures. The bubble then appeared to abruptly collapse in on itself, vanishing with a loud POP!


Viktor, Rose and Jenet all cheered and jumped for joy, and Rose gave Viktor a quick kiss. Before he got too into it, the walkie-talkie crackled to life. "Red Leader! Red Leader, this is Blue Team! You almost took Ted's head off, and we've got a part of the parking lot's asphalt here... but we did it, the car is here! And in one piece!"



I knew I could do this!

Oh, I cannot believe you let them talk us into this!

Eh, lighten up, this is college! An American college, at that! We never had this much freedom back home!

Exactly! It is our future, and you are ruining it!


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