A Eureka Moment In Time

Chapter 18

Dr. Tenma was in his office reading though his email. Tobio sat on the floor with a laptop computer watching a "Blackjack" anime on YouTube. It was a school holiday, but Tenma was at work in main research building at Global Dynamics, so he let his son come to work with him. This wasn't the first time the boy had been there as there were enough official and unofficial school holidays in Eureka.

There was a knock on the door, which was more than slightly ajar revealing the face of Dr. Henry Deacon.

"Hello Henry, what can I do for you?" Tenma asked.

"Haven't you read my emails?" He asked.

"You know I've opened them, you've attached return receipts to them. I haven't replied to them though." Tenma answered.

"So you ARE going to work with Dr. Lamp on the reactor?"

"I'm working with Dr. Putzburger on the reactor. He has provided me with the parameters that need to be watched and controlled. I think Dr. Lamp is reviewing my design along with Alan, but I haven't yet needed to consult with Lamp, and he hasn't spoken to me since the first day. So what is your problem?" Tenma asked.

"You are NOT a nuclear engineer, nor are you a process control expert. What makes you qualified to design the software for a nuclear reactor system?" Henry demanded.

"Jealous are we? Look, I know this was your project, and that a good chunk of it was your idea. I get the idea that Fargo is more impressed with Putzburger's work in nuclear physics than yours. No judgment against you on my part mind you, it's just my observation on how Fargo see things. Anyway, Putzburger felt that he wanted an intelligent control system, rather than a preprogrammed CNC like process controller. I think I understand his logic there. All I'm doing is providing a system with the intelligence, he is providing the logic required for the nuclear control. So I really don't need to be a nuclear engineer to write this software." Tenma explained.

"You do realize that Putzburger was manipulated into that line of reasoning by Dr. Lamp, don't you?" Henry said.

"So what if he was? It's still a logical way to design the control system. Look just what DO you have against Dr. Lamp? Tenma asked.

"Look Uma; I can't prove this, and Jo Lupo hasn't been able to find anything on Lamp either, but I think he was the connection to Zachary Smith." Henry whispered.

"That's a serious charge against the man. Can you elaborate?"

"Jo Lupo is certain that Zachary Smith was hired by a mysterious syndicate to sabotage our power plant. This alleged power group is supposedly made up of top officials from most of the major oil companies, OPEC, and has ties to the Mafia, and various Tongs. They've bribed many key government officials and probably have made huge contributions to the re-election campaigns of many members of congress. Their goal is to keep the world dependent on oil by suppressing any important development of alternative power sources, especially nuclear power. Rumors have it that the disasters at TMI and Chernobyl were of their doing. They'd love to claim responsibility for Fukushima, but that one was mostly an act of God, and a little bit of stupid engineering."

"OK, I'm not surprised at the conspiracy theory here, but what's Lamp's connection?" Tenma asked.

"Lamp has done work for some of the major oil companies. He's not trying to hid that, it's on his resume. What he has hidden is where the money came from, and just HOW much he was paid. Jo hasn't been able to crack the money trail, and she hasn't convinced her NSA friends to look into it. I have some hacker contacts that have told me, unofficially, that they have hacked into some syndicate databases and Lamp's name popped up. I know that's not much to go on, but believe me, these hacker friends of mine are good. I haven't yet got a bum steer from them." Henry added.

"So you're telling me that Lamp hired Smith to infect our computers with viruses so the power plant reactor would blow?" Tenma asked.

"I can't prove that, but yes. Don't forget that Smith also sabotaged the breeder reactor to produce contaminated starting fuel for the reactor. I'm certain that Lamp was acting as an intermediate contact between Smith and the syndicate. Now that we are restarting the program in spite of the failure, Lamp must have seen it necessary to get involved personally." Henry answered.

"If you're right, shouldn't we call in the FBI, or at least involve Jo? Tenma asked.

"I will at least inform Jo of my newest information, and let her decide what to do. Jo Lupo is very good at what she does with security." Henry said.

The next day, Tobio stood at the edge of the pool and looked down into the clear water. Kevin Blake stood behind him waiting. Finally he poked Tobio gently in the back.
"Well, are you going to jump in?"

"I'm thinking about it!" Tobio said. Finally after Kevin poked him just a little bit harder he pushed off from the starting platform and made a perfect entry into the pool. Tobio glided along the surface of the water kicking and stroking along. Kevin watched as his classmate reached the far side of the pool to duck under and kick off from the far wall. He came back up to the surface and kept swimming toward Kevin, finally touching the wall and pulling himself out of the water. Kevin looked up at the clock and his jaw dropped.

"So how did I do?" Tobio asked. He wasn't the least bit out of breath.

"Don't look now dude, but I think you just set a school time record!" Kevin gasped.

Sgt Brown had been watching from the side lines, timing some of his students using a hand held stop watch. He had clicked the timepiece as Tobio touched the wall and nearly dropped the watch.

"Hey Tobio! I want you to join the swim team, and I'm NOT taking no for an answer!" the teacher yelled.

Jo Lupo entered Dr. Fargo's office to find Dr. Deacon already there.
"I got your message Fargo. What's up?"

"Henry has made some serious accusations against Dr. Lamp. His charges are based on a money trail that some hackers have dug up. He says that Lamp is part of an oil sponsored syndicate that has been behind various nuclear accidents, including ours." Douglas said.

"I know, Henry has told me all about it. I'm going to tell you the same thing I told him. Those hacker reports are no proof of anything. Lamp has already given me his financial records and they include payments from oil companies. Legitimate organizations mind you, and payment was for research about nuclear power vs other fuels. Lamp is an expert on nuclear energy and was the perfect man to evaluate it as a threat to the oil industry. Come on, in every industry companies research their competition. That's not illegal. I haven't been able to find a link between Dr. Lamp and any syndicate. " Jo said.

"Don't tell me you're going to ignore the possible threat?" Henry said.

"Look I intend to watch Dr. Lamp carefully. He's a newcomer here and hasn't yet earned the trust of my security team. However I can't have such a tight dragnet thrown over him so as to interfere with the work that he's doing for Dr. Putzburger. We will take every measure we can, and Dr. Lamp won't be aware of us. If Lamp is dirty, we will catch him in the act. But, I think this is going to turn out to be a witch hunt, and a waste of my time." Lupo concluded.

For the next several weeks, Dr. Tenma worked closely with Dr. Putzburger as he designed the AI for the new computer systems in the experimental power plant. On occasion Acetylene Lamp would stop by and look over Tenma's work, but he rarely spoke to him. One day, however Lamp did try to start a conversation with Uma.
"I've been looking over your AI system design for the power plant Dr. Tenma. Dr. Putzburger and I are pleased with your design so far." Lamp said in a pleasant tone.

Tenma looked up at Lamp. He wore thick glasses in a heavy dark frame. His wrinkled forehead seemed to hang over the top of his glass frames.

"Thank you, Dr. Lamp. I'm glad that you approve, but this is the first time you've spoken to me directly since the day I first started on this project." Tenma said.

"If I've been rude, then let me apologize." Lamp smiled. "I've been mostly doing the design on the reactor itself, and Alan is more of the software type than I am, so he's been the interface with you on this project. I have, of course, been reviewing your work myself and giving my input to Dr. Putzburger. Now if you will excuse me, I need to do some more design work on the fuel rod specifications." Dr. Lamp waved goodbye as he walked away.

"Thanks for stopping by!" Tenma called back.

"Seems like a pleasant enough fellow."Tenma thought.

Time passed, and things still seemed to running smoothly in Eureka. Dr. Tenma was still working on the AI for the computers that would run the reconstructed experimental power plant. Zane Donovan was now working with Dr. Henry Deacon on another project, though he spent some time with Dr. Tenma, assisting him with software testing.

Tobio still didn't remember a thing about his adventure with the reactor, or that he was not just a ten year old child. He was doing well in his school work, and was enjoying the PE class because everything was easy and natural for him. His classmates knew all about him, but kept the secret to themselves, as their parents and teachers had told them to do.

Dr. Deacon kept digging on the Internet for proof of Dr. Lamp's involvement with the reactor sabotage, but could find nothing. Jo Lupo and lost interest in the detective work, and insisted the Henry was on a wild goose chase. Dr. Fargo and Dr. Putzburger were satisfied with Dr. Lamp's work on the power plant. Construction of the reactor had started. The first assemblies were being machined and site preparation was nearing completion. The start of the actual assembly of the new unit was now only a week away.

The transformation of Deputy Andy now seemed to be complete. Dr. Tenma gave him a complete checkup and was quite pleased.
"Your weight has stabilized and all of your systems are now balanced. You are now an advanced android with the same abilities of flight, vision and hearing that I had designed into Atom. You don't have nearly his horsepower output, the nanites couldn't perform that kind of modification without the installation of some advanced raw materials. Still, you are now ready to take care of any high tech menace that Eureka could come up with." Tenma told the deputy.

Andy looked in the mirror. He liked his new look; leaner, a bit shorter, and a new hair style. It was like a man in his late twenties suddenly becoming eighteen again, something George Burns had often sang about. He looked like he was in his prime.
"Thank you Dr. Tenma. I wish I had been built like this in the first place." Andy said.

Dr. Lamp had rented a small house on the outskirts of Eureka for his residence. He had wanted to stay out of sight when he wasn't working at GD, and he needed a place to hide Zachary Smith. The home had a two level basement, since it had been built with a fallout shelter during the days of the cold war. It was one of the few such homes remaining in Eureka. Zachary was hold out in in the bomb shelter, studying the AI source code that Acetylene Lamp had been secreting out of the power plant computer as Dr. Tenma completed it.
"So Zach what do you think? Can you plant a time bomb in Dr. Tenma's system?" Lamp asked.

"Sure no problem. I've already started to work on it. A few weeks after they get the power plant up and running you can put my spiked code into the computer. We'll sneak out of town and wait. Piece of cake!" Smith smiled.

Like a Phoenix, the new reactor rose over the ashes of the old one in the experimental power plant. Externally, it looked much like the old one, a bit wider and not quite as tall, but otherwise quite similar. Putzburger and Lamp personally watched each part being assembled over in the Nuclear Engineering section of GD, and they also directed the assembly of the reactor in the power plant. The largest parts, the upper and lower shells of the reactor were lowered into the building through the temporary roof. Once the largest parts were sitting on the floor of the reactor room, the new roof was constructed and the building was sealed off.

Acetylene Lamp worked with Putzburger, checking each part of the reactor before it added to the assembly. He had gained the elder doctor's trust and was able to substitute a critical part of the control rod assembly with one that he had secretly modified. It would work just like the real thing until the computer commanded the reactor to make a rapid scram from near full power. Then the control assembly would jam wide open and self destruct. The reactor would not be able to be shut down without pulling it apart, and it would take a rad hardened robot to do that. Lamp had also modified a critical part in the cooling system valve. Again it would work fine with its fault undetected until the critical moment. Between the two subtle bits of sabotage and Smith's computer hack he would be able to make the reactor melt down on his command.

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