Well, I’ve been inspired by my son-in-law, who has been writing a novel over the past year. I decided to try my hand at storytelling as well. So here’s the start of what is either a short story or a massive novel. I haven’t quite figured out which yet. Maybe it’s a screen play. All I know is I have a story in my head, and for once I thought I ‘d put pen to paper (so to speak) and get started…
So, the fact of the matter is that many of you don’t really know what happened on Earth fifty years ago, do you? You might think you do, but you don’t. W.W.A.R.P. technology is something that you’ve grown up with, and you don’t give it a second thought. It’s as common to you as, say, the cell phone was to people at the turn of the century. Hard to believe that was nearly 100 years ago, and even harder to believe that I’m still around to remember it.
For those of you who use it every day, you probably don’t even remember what W.W.A.R.P. originally stood for. It’s just “warp here” or “warp there” or “let’s warp over to Jason’s place for a vodka zintini”. Well, for those that care, it stands for “Wallace’s Wormhole Algorithm for Randomizing Particles”. Yes, I know it randomizes terchons, not just particles, but W.W.A.R.T. just didn’t have the same flair.
I don’t have much time left, so I thought I’d finally pass along exactly WHAT went into creating W.W.A.R.P. You know, clear up some of the deliberate mistakes in the history books. Oh, by the way, my name is Ted. Ted Wallace.
And this is the story of how I became humanity’s savior but destroyed the Earth in the process.
“Hey Wallace! Quit your daydreaming and get over here and help me lift this projector!”
Theodore “Ted” Wallace looked over at his friend, Norm, and said “Hey, you’re the one who’s always saying I’m the brains and you’re the brawn in this partnership. How could I possibly be of help to you?”
“Just shut your pie hole and get over here before I drop this! If I break it, all your precious smarts won’t be able to replace it, especially with those budget cuts coming.” Ted didn’t need to be reminded of the budget cuts. If he didn’t have a working prototype within the next month, he could kiss his project funding goodbye. “Okay, okay, I get your point.” He helped Norm wrestle the expensive particle phase projector onto the workbench.
“What do you need this thing for anyway?” said Norm.
As usual, Ted couldn’t resist screwing with his partner. “It’s used to calibrate the phase synthesis of the tarledyne emitter on the framijack to the same frequency modulation as the jaznark on the second level of the…..”
“Okay, okay! If I didn’t know better I’d say you were just making up words to mess with me.”
“Well, let’s just say it’s important to the project, and leave it at that then.” Ted had to admit even he didn’t know what he had just said…
Changing the subject, Norm asked “You planning on seeing Chase this weekend? It’s her birthday tomorrow, isn’t it?” Ted cursed. He had forgotten about her birthday again. As he thought about it, he remembered the subtle hints she had been dropping all month that he had been too preoccupied to pay attention to.
“Fark, Norm! Why didn’t you remind me earlier? Now I have to go out and get her a present, and you know the only places open in this neighborhood this time of night are the weedmarts!” Ted didn’t look forward to having to shop at a weedmart. When you walked into one of those places you couldn’t help but get a healthy dose of the “happy smoke” rolling around. He didn’t like the way it took the edge off his mind. He felt he needed to stay sharp all the time.
“Well, wrap it up and I’ll help you pick something nice. I’ve been needing a new pack of reefsticks for a couple days now anyway.” Unlike Ted, Norm didn’t feel the need to avoid the vice. Since the National Marijuana Legalization Act of ’24 and the government quality controls it put in place, it had actually become healthier to smoke reefsticks than it was to smoke cigarettes. There was even a bill in congress that would outlaw tobacco production altogether. Since most of the tobacco companies had shifted to marijuana production anyway, passage of the bill was looking more and more likely every day.
As they got in Norm’s car, he told it “Walgreens” and they took off. They passed by a couple of independent weedmarts and stopped at the drugstore near Ted’s house. Ted couldn’t help wondering what his great-great-grandfather would have thought of people going into the local Walgreens for their daily helping of marijuana and candy bars. He walked over to the gift section and started to look around. Norm said “I’ll be right back Ted, just gonna go grab a pack. Don’t pick out anything without me!” Ted had no idea what to get Chase, so he obediently waited for Norm to return.
“With money being tight, I thought I’d pick up some of the house brand this time,” Norm said, holding up a pack of Wally Wackies. “So, what are you thinking? Jewelry? Clothes? Stuffed animals?”
As usual, Ted didn’t have a clue, so he said “I thought that’s what you came along for. I do enough thinking during the day.”
“Well, let’s take a look at jewelry then. You’re not going to find anything real high quality here, but it’s the thought that counts, right? How about a bracelet?”
Ted looked at the display of bracelets, and finally picked out a nice rhodium plated bracelet covered with artificial trilinites. It was an obvious copy of a Kartoosh original. In a way, he was grateful he had forgotten to pick something up earlier. He would have been tempted to go to a jewelry store and get the real thing. That would have set him back several thousand creds, while this one was only about fifty. And he couldn’t tell the difference…
“Ted’s place” Norm told the car. As they took off, Norm asked “So, how close are you really? Are we going to get shut down?”
“Well, the only thing I haven’t been able to work out is focusing the beam tight enough to target the individual electrons. That’s what I’m hoping the new projector will help with. I’ll have a better idea after I test it out next week.”
As they pulled up to Ted’s house, Norm said “Well, in that case I’m glad I didn’t drop that projector after all. See you on Monday. Say hi to Chase for me.”
Ted headed into his house. As the lights turned on, he was thinking more of the project than of Chase. He told the house to wake him at 10, and remind him of Chase’s birthday in the morning. As he headed to bed, he went over his work for the day in his head. He knew it should be working. It had to be working…
When Norm got back in his car, he made a call. “Yeah, he says he’s real close. We’ll know better next week… No, I’m NOT going to tell him yet. It’s important that he think the money is coming from the college, not you. If he knew you were involved, he’d stop working just on principle… Okay, I’ll let you know. So long.” As he headed into his house, he thought again about how he’d been misleading Ted and, as usual, he regretted it. But there were some things more important than friendship.
Well, there it is. Now I just have to keep at it long enough to finish the tale. It’ll probably take awhile, but hopefully it’ll all make sense when I’m done. I have it all in my head, I just need to figure out the best way to tell it.
And to make sure I don’t get any “Where’s the motorcycle reference?” comments, here’s a picture…
If you want the story behind this, click here…
In the meantime…
Have Fun and Ride Safe,