Poetry Reading Room
I got accepted in the STARS program at the Academy in my Freshman year and was the envy of all the new students. Classes start tomorrow and I'm told the Professor is a real tough old bird. She fails more students on a percentage basis than any other faculty member here. 973425/2892
Met Zen today. He's in my class and seems to be as smart as I've been told I am. He and Sh'va and Moham'd were in the lunchroom and invited me to sit with them. I just love making new friends. 973428/2892
I got my first assignment in STARS lab; Creative Sciences. The Professor cautioned me in CHONS distribution, stasis fields, VOID handling and said something about contaminated experiments. I placed my CHONS particles in the VOID chamber, and after making sure the stasis fields were in place, initiated the explosion sequence. Sounds frightening, huh? Not really, it's strictly controlled and very safe. I watched through the micropic
scanner as beautiful clouds, spiraling vortices and tiny pinwheels expanded inside the VOID chamber. Suprising how much matter is contained in those ultracompressed CHONS. I dutifully noted, on my touchpad, all the data and my understanding of the processes involved. Made an A on it. 973435/2892
The Professor is shutting down some of the other student's projects. She told the class some of the CHONS particles contained contaminated polycarbon chains and didn't want to deal with the Reagents or supply new additions to EDEN gardens; that's a pretty place where the fouled up student experiments are placed on display for as long as the guilty perpetrator is affiliated
with the Academy. I'm one of the lucky few whose project was spared. I hope my project doesn't get contaminated or placed on display in EDEN. 973461/2892
Aced my finals and will be a Sophomore soon. Zen was over the other evening and asked me what I was writing in so often. Said he gave up taking notes a long time ago. I didn't care to disclose to him the fact I still kept you. 973475/2893
Would you believe, Organic Proliferation? Why do they have a class like that here at the Academy. No one wants Organics. I guess the class is supposed to teach us how "not to". It would be funny, in a quirky sort of way to make a bunch of organic entities. Couldn't let anyone know! You'ld be laughed right
out of school. 973490/2893
OrgPro is easy. I've made 2 A+'s and 3 A's so far this year. The Prof liked my distribution patterns so much, she gave me extra credit. Sorry I haven't had
time to write you lately. I'm a Junior now. Best grades at the Academy. Even the Prof was impressed. I had a problem with my VOID project. In the past three energy cycles, I've counted over 14 million seperate and distinct occurrences of elemental particle degeneration. They just dissappear from the VOID chamber through some kind of spatial tunnel the Prof hasn't covered in her lectures. 973550/2893
Found the problem. I sure was relieved. I vented the escaping elemental particles over to another VOID chamber in a closed loop so if they dissappear from there, they will reappear in the first chamber. The Prof closed down all but three other projects. Mine, Zen's and Sh'va's are still going. Moham'd's was closed because he found the problem but didn't rectify it. He was afraid something would be harmed. Should know by now you can't hurt CHONS. You just recompress them and start again. We terminated the organics in the OrgPro chambers today. Strange entities, those! 973776/2894
These 3 and 4 year projects are tough. It's hard to keep up with everything going on and all the new assignments the Prof keeps piling on us. Gotta go! Too much homework. Studying for finals. They should be easy but I always like to be prepared for anything. 973862/2985
Senior now. Not much time to write. Really messed up today. Bye. 973921/2895
"It wasn't my fault. Really!" Yaweh, stammering and in tears,
explained to Zen as they walked back across the campus. He and Zen were in the same Simplified Theoretical/Applied Radiation Subatomics class in their senior year at "The Academy". Thousands try to get in the class each semester but only twenty lucky, and very smart students are accepted. As they entered the door, Yaweh's eyes blazed in sudden remembered fury at the public embarassment of being humiliated by their professor. The class was a small one but she could have taken him aside for what he felt was an undeserved reprimand.
"Settle down and tell me how it happened", Zen said in his soft, nearly monotone voice as he plopped his well rounded self into a typical, half-lotus on the gold braid rug his mom had sent to him during his freshman year. Yaweh, sauntering back from the kitchen of their small, but well furnished on-campus flat, folded his seven foot muscular frame into a well stuffed, slightly worn recliner and placed his already sweat-beaded, iced 'fresher down on the rich blue granite table by his elbow. With a sigh of resignation, Yaweh knew he had to "tell it all" or Zen would never give him a moments rest until he spilled his guts. Zen was the epitomy of patience, but sometimes, too blessed persistant.
"You know the Vacuumed Orbital Initiation Detector experiment I've had going for the last four years", Yaweh began. "I had about twenty zillion ultracompressed CHONS particles doing their little dances in the chamber and it seemed I was going to ace that class but something started causing a chemical anomoly buildup about two thousand els from the center of a real nice spiral sequence I set up last week. I had my null suit on and didn't think I had contaminated the experiment. I was sweating and breathing hard because the suit's an old model and not working properly. I removed my faceplate for a mil or so to get a breath of fresh air. Remind me to check out the element regeneration coils after the next STARS class, Zen."
Just thinking about that stuffy null suit made Yaweh's throat so dry he drank nearly half the iced 'fresher before setting it down again. "Anyway, I was literally gasping for air and may have inadvertently breathed too hard next to the Cold Hydro/Argon/Oxygen System assembly. It's a possiblity the CHAOS unit picked up a few molecules of my breath but with all the redundant atmospeheric safetys installed, I doubt it. I sealed and purged the holding tank and was running a routine LIGHT when I found that chemical anomoly. I told Prof about it immediatly and she actually wanted me to stop my experiment! Shut the whole thing down and start over! I thought she was being overly cautious so I went back to the VOID tank and pretended to arm the Geddon program. I wasn't going to energize the CHONS reclaim unit for her or anyone else on sheer speculation or what I thought was trivial fear."
"That was four days ago, Zen. I had no idea that the anomoly would start a polycarbon replication sequence; but that's what happened. I don't know if it was caused by a few molecules of my breath captured by the CHAOS unit or if the Low Intensity Gaseous Helium Test I performed was the cause; or maybe a combination of both. Now I have to turn in an analysis paper next week giving the Prof an assessment of the current conditions in the VOID and a five thousand word thesis on experimental safety procedures involving polycarbon contamination. She said her verbal reprimand would be transcribed and placed in my permanent record and could possibly trash my chances of getting a job at H.E.V.N.!" "The Hydrogen Explosion and Velocity Nuances' research facility is the best place to work in the Universe!"
"Maybe the Prof was just making empty threats to get your attention," Zen interjected. "I mean, you really should have shut down the experiment when she told you to do so. She has a couple of eons experience in that particular field of study; besides the other two or three dozon Doctorial plaques hanging in her office. When she gives seminars, they probably have to put up an additional board for that alphabet soup after her name." "Yeah, I know, Zen. I was so worried about getting a low grade that I didn't think. I just reacted. I hope you're right about the empty threat." Zen, feeling he had interrupted Yaweh's train of thought said, "Have you run a sub-scan of the problem area with the contaminated particle yet?" "I did", Yaweh nearly shouted, with an excited gleam twinkling in his striking, violet eyes. "There are multiple, highly mobile polycarbon molecular structures all over the area. One of the Ultra CHONS has begun gathering a few sub-particles into a cute orbital pattern and with the gravitic pressure it applied, a sub-particle shattered into tiny pieces, which are also orbiting around the Ultra CHONS. The system looks like the spirals we saw in the micropics on display during our Muon and Quark control class last year."
Understanding where Yaweh was headed, Zen began to show a little of the dismay and consternation that Yaweh felt. Zen didn't get excited very often so it was very noticible when it happened. "Do you mean rampant self-replication of mobile polycee's is the contaminant?", Zen asked. "If that ever got to be public knowledge, you would never live down the reputation and probably would be unable to stand the jokes and namecalling that would ensue. Imagine, "Yaweh the Creator", and "Hey, Yaweh, have you breathed life into any more polycee's lately?", Zen ventured. Seeing the approaching frown on Yaweh's face, Zen shut up but couldn't help the goodnatured smirk twitching the corners of his mouth. Yaweh, keeping his temper just under the boiling point, continued with his narrative. "That's is exactly what I mean, Zen. Only, it isn't self-replication, it seems as though there is interactive replication on the third sub-particle orbiting around a small Ultra CHONS. Here, I took a picture of the surface", Yaweh said pulling the micropic from his shirt pocket. Zen, with his eyes nearly coming out of their sockets, stared in disbelief. Polycee's all over the surface in an unimaginable variety.
Zen's gaze slowly moved to Yaweh's face which was nearly glowing from the hot pink flush of embarrasment mixed with a little pride at what he had accidently done. "Are there any sentient's shown in this micropic?" asked Zen, having difficulty in beliving his eyes and really not wanting to hear the answer to his question. "Only very low forms. It was really hard to ascertain the level because of generational occurance speeds. Whole polycee species segments vanish in a few mils and some only last nanomils. The most recent species is in the micropic I took three day ago. Check out the viewing index for biped's on the micropic. You have to use the freeze function though; otherwise, they blur into nonexistance." Zen, accessing the database, gasped in his amazement. "They look like us!" "How can that be?" Yaweh, with a chagrined look and the shadow of a smile said, "I guess the CHAOS unit picked up a few molecules of my breath which contained DNA strands in the moisture content. They look like us because, essentially, they are a part of us, or at least me. Looks like I created a polycee lifeform in my own image."
"What are you going to do about rectifying the situation?" Zen asked. You can't keep this a secret for very long, can you?" "The Prof doesn't know the extent of the contamination in the VOID yet." Yaweh answered. "Guess she's so busy with the other projects and all the seminars and conferences she has going this time of year. I don't plan to let her find out either. I'm going to use one of the old VOID units the school keeps in lab storage and move my entire experiment into it using the portable MatTrans. I think there is room in the spare bedroom to set up the VOID unit. There is an energy source by the closet and it should fit on that old Spatial Mapping stand I wanted you to get rid of last year. We could sneak..." "Wait a mil, Yaweh! What do you mean We! It's going to take more than two of us to pull this off. Besides, I didn't say I wanted any part of this.", Zen barely got out between the the conspiratorial chuckles which rumbled up from his hugh bronze belly.
"I knew I could depend on you, Zen!", Yaweh said with a sly grin. Friends like you are one in a million. Do you think we can count on Moham'd and Sh'va to help out?" We don't have to tell them everything." "I think they will jump at the chance to facilitate the VOID transfer but we will have to let them in on why it's being done. They always want to be "a part of", you know. Both of them would give anything to put one over on the Academy. This will be the best prank ever pulled in the Academy's history and you would have to tie them up to keep them from helping with something like this." "Fine! We should do it tonight", Yaweh said with relief. Moham'd and I will get the VOID unit moved over here, set up the power grid and obtain the transfer coordinates. You and Sh'va get the MatTrans ready to send the contents of my experiment over here..."
I shouldn't even tell you about this. Someone might find you and then I'd get into a lot of trouble. Me and some friends are going to fix my mess-up. Have to get to the lab. Tell you about it later. 974165/2896
The four co-conspirators stood around the Portavid Microscan screen watching the tiny bipedal blurs stopped here and there in Freeze Frame. Swarthy Moham'd hit the off button and turned to Yaweh. "How are you going to explain the absence of CHONS and any contamination in your experiment to the Prof?", he said. As they all followed Yaweh into the livingroom, Yaweh told Moham'd and his other two friends, "After she finished chewing me out for not shutting down the experiment when she told me to do so, I told her I was going to dump the whole thing back into the CHONS vat and start again. She still wants that paper and my analysis of how it all happened but without hard evidence, she's not going to grill me for any additional facts. That's the nicest thing about being the smartest guy around. You get to cover up stupid mistakes, if you have some good friends to help, and no one is any wiser. This may have been the best prank in the schools history but no one except us four will ever know about it. There will, of course, be rumors spread by some of the students and maybe a few "thumbs-up" signs from the other seniors who will feel the rumors have some merit but nothing else. I'll get my old VOID chamber full of orbiting CHONS and insert a few strands of non-recombinant polycee DNA for effect. Then, when they pull my VOID chamber from the holding tank and hook it up in a controlled loop at the display gardens with the rest of the E.D.E.N.'s, everyone will want to see the new "Evidence of Destructive Experiments in Nullspace" addition, courtesy of the guy with the highest grades in school. When that happens, I'll get the ticket consession and make enough in entry fees to the garden of EDEN to build my own HEVN facility far away from here. Then I can give my contaminated chamber a permanent home."
And He Did!
Larry D. Jennings
©February 18, 1997
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