A Eureka Moment In Time

Chapter 19

A letter arrived in the mail from Japan for Tobio. Dr. Tenma called carried it into Tobio's room and sat down on the bed next to him.
"This just arrived for you son."

"It's from God Father." Tobio smiled. He tore open the envelope and two photos dropped out, one of "God father" Ochanomizu, and the other one was a street view in front of the Institute of Science. The enclosed letter was short, wishing Tobio and his father well. Ochanomizu said he had been very happy to see them both again during his recent visit.

"It was very good to see God Father again. Did he come just to see me in the hospital?" Tobio asked.

Dr. Tenma thought carefully before answering. He didn't want to tell too much of an untruth.
"He knew you needed healing and that we were in Eureka for that purpose. I'm glad he came, he was a big help to me. Once you recovered, he had to return to Japan. He has an important job there you know, as the new head of the Institute of Science. See, he sent us a picture of the place."


The day finally arrived for the startup of the experimental power plant. The reactor was fully fueled and had been tested at lower power levels for several weeks. Jo Lupo had Deputy Andy hang around the power plant just in case. Dr. Fargo and Dr. Blake both watched as the reactor was being tested. Zane Donovan inspected everything as well. If Dr. Lamp had tried to sabotage anything, none of the experts could find a thing.

The power plant was silently put into operation without any fanfare. This time the press was not directly involved, Putzburger and Fargo prepared a press release bulletin and put it on the news wires themselves. Press coverage was space, with mostly page 10 coverage at best in the newspapers. Even Eureka's own news media hardly gave it much coverage.

It was in the end, a non-event. The reactor powered up nicely and the turbines came on line. Eureka once again disconnected itself from the State power grid and became self powered. Putzburger was quite happy. Dr. Lamp monitored the power plant's operation along with Dr. Putzburger, but he was rarely out of Henry's sight whenever he showed up at the reactor. Dr. Deacon still didn't trust him.


Zachary Smith looked up from his computer terminal at Dr. Lamp.
"Where's my sandwich?" he asked.

Lamp tossed him a two foot long submarine he had picked up from Cafe Diem.
"Here you go Zach. Now how is our little computer bomb coming?"

"I just finished it. I still have some static testing to do, but by tomorrow you should be able to load it into the computers at the power plant."

"I'll have to do that at night after the day shift calls it quits. I'm still being watched whenever I go over there. Can you do something about the security cameras in the building?" Lamp asked.

"Yeah, I've got that figured out. I can hack into Lupo's security system and put a few of those cameras on a loop file. Whenever someone punches up one of them they will see the same half hour of video playing over and over again. Since nothing goes on in that building after normal work hours, it won't be suspicious. I can also disable the motion detectors and entry sensors as well. We should be able to get in there unnoticed." Smith bragged.

"OK then, it's just a matter of when. Probably in another week or two. Listen, I don't want anyone being able to find us when we leave here. Leave your cell phone behind, I've picked up a couple of prepaid units under phony Id's that we won't activate until we are out of here. We're going to need another car so I've arranged to have one waiting at an auto bone yard just outside of Eureka. The syndicate gave me the address of the place, it's owned by someone under their control. There's even a car crusher so we can get rid of the one I'm driving now. No evidence left behind." Lamp scowled.


Henry Deacon had been away from his computer all day taking care of mechanical issues for the new project he was working on. It was very late in the evening when he finally got to check his email. One of his good hacker contacts had followed up on an idea that he had a few days ago. As soon as Henry opened the email and read the attachments he was both elated and dumbfounded.
"I am an idiot! I should have thought of this sooner" he thought. "All this time I was looking under the wrong rock!"

The first attachment was a PDF file of a photographic copy of a Department of Justice secret document. It was a document from the Witness protection program, containing information about Dr. Lamp. Lamp had formerly been known as Geta Sankaku, a low life type that had been relocated by the government for agreeing to testify against some heavy weight mob figures. Reading though the second document, a collection of dirt dug up by the FBI on Geta Sankaku; Henry discovered that the man who was now known as Dr. Lamp, had been linked by the FBI to several syndicate groups seeking to control various energy and high tech commodities. In fact, Sankaku was a member in high standing of the syndicate that Jo Lupo had suspected was responsible for the first reactor's sabotage. But the best part was that the mobster that Geta testified against was never convicted. His trial had ended in a mistrial after the DA found evidence of jury tampering. The guy was released on bond by mistake and left the country. It almost sounded like the syndicate pulled some strings with the mob to get the FBI to hid Sankaku under a new identity.

"I was right all along, Lamp is dirty." Henry laughed to himself. Suddenly he felt ill. He just remembered that the next day would be the anniversary date of the Three Mile Island incident. Dr. Lamp would probably set his planned sabotage in motion tomorrow. He had probably planted the seeds in the power plant computer already.

"I've got to get over there and inspect the systems, and I will need Tenma's help," he realized.


"Your cover has been blown!" Zachary told Lamp.

"What are you talking about?" Acetylene asked.

"It's a good thing I tapped into Lupo's office with my hacking. Using her security systems I placed taps on Dr. Deacon's email. I was sure Deacon was still after the truth. He had a brainstorm to dig into the Witness Protection program records. Some hacker friend of his just emailed him all of your dirty laundry." Zach said.

"Those records are supposed to be sealed and impossible to get." Lamp moaned.

"A good enough hacker could always find something. I know I could. Now what do we do?"

"We have no choice. We have to do it tonight. Actually it's good timing, you do know what day tomorrow is don't you? I should have thought of that earlier. Pack your things up. We are going to break into the power plant as soon as possible." Lamp said.


Henry Deacon rang Dr. Tenma's doorbell and hammered on the door with his fist until Uma opened it.

"Henry, do you know what time it is? Uma asked.

"Yes I do, unfortunately. Get dressed. We need to run down to the power plant and do an inspection. I was right, I finally found the dirt on Dr. Lamp. Only that's NOT his name. It seems our government relocated a syndicate heavy weight under the witness protection act, probably also had his appearance surgically altered. Once I found his former name all the pieces fell together. Tomorrow is the anniversary date of TMI and I bet that Lamp has already sabotaged the reactor to fail sometime tomorrow. I need your help in inspecting the computer over there." Henry said.

"OK, give me a few minutes to get dressed." Tenma agreed.

Tobio had been standing out of sight in the hallway, listening. He looked outside and saw Henry's truck parked in front of the house. Tobio climbed out of a window and hid in the back of the truck. He didn't want to stay home alone in the house, he wanted to be with his father.


Over at the power plant, Acetylene Lamp and Zachary Smith had just finished planting the computer bomb software. Lamp tightened a few bolts on the plumbing to the coolant valves after closing them down to the bare minimum safe value. He used a welding torch to make sure they couldn't be turned back.

"There, I'm done. How about your end?" Lamp asked.

Smith was still typing on the terminal.
"Just setting the detonation time for early tomorrow. They will probably declare an emergency here at the same time that the emergency was declared at TMI. If we hurry we can be in the next state when it goes" Zachary said.

Out of the corner of his eye, through a window, Lamp saw the headlamps of an approaching car.
"Someone's coming. Hid in the closet with me so we can get the jump on them if they come in here." Lamp told Smith.

Smith pulled his USB disk from the computer panel and closed down the terminal. He turned off the lights in the reactor room and joined Lamp who was already in the closet. Lamp removed a small bottle from his pocket and soaked two handkerchiefs with the fluid contents. "Chloroform and Ether mixture." He explained to Zack. "For our guests."

Henry's truck pulled up to the front of the power plant. He didn't notice Lamp's car parked a few hundred yards away in a dark spot. Henry and Uma ran into the building, it seemed deserted. Tobio climbed out of the back of the truck and watched.

"Looks like nobody's been here." Henry said. "Check the computer for any signs of tampering, I'll inspect the hardware."

While Uma was occupied at the terminal and Henry was looking at the reactor relay panel, Lamp and Smith quietly snuck out of the closet. Lamp held one of the chloroform soaked handkerchiefs over Tenma's nose and mouth from behind him, until Uma passed out and fell to the floor. At the same time Zachary overpowered Henry with the same tactic. There was some rope in the closet and Lamp tied Henry and Tenma up to one of the upright beams supporting the roof inside the reactor room.

"That will hold them. When this thing blows they will get the full effect of it!" Lamp laughed

Tobio quietly crept into the building after Tenma and Deacon. He saw his father and Henry being tied up, and he quickly looked for a place to hid. Before he could get out of sight, Lamp and Smith ran out of the reactor room and spotted him.

Lamp grabbed Tobio, who fought hard to get away. Zachary gave him a hand and between the two of them they grabbed Tobio and subdued him. They dragged him outside, kicking and screaming.
"Damn kid! Can't leave him behind as a witness. We'll have to take him with us." Lamp said.

Lamp reached into his pocket while Zach held Tobio. Lamp found some cable ties which he used to bind the boys hands. Acetylene Lamp then opened the trunk of his car, grabbed the boy, and tossed him into the trunk, slamming it shut.
"There, we'll dispose of him along with the car. Get in, we're leaving!" Lamp told Smith.

"No, he's only a kid. You can't do that to him!" Smith protested.

"Are you going to get in my way here?" Lamp replied. "Now get in the car!"

Zachary made a grab for Lamp's car keys. Acetylene punched him in the face knocking him to the ground. Zachary tried to get up but Lamp had already pulled a Luger from under his belt. He fired one shot, right between Zach's eyes. Zachary fell to the ground, dead. Lamp picked up his body and threw it in the back seat of the car.

Acetylene got in the car and drove off. It was dark inside of the trunk and Tobio was scared. He knew he was going to be killed but he couldn't do anything about it. He banged on the side of the car and the trunk lid screaming "Let me out of here!" again and again.

Lamp pulled the car into the junk yard. He planed on crushing the car into a tiny cube of metal, with the boy inside. A neat way to get rid of the vehicle and the only witness against him, besides the two men that were going to be irradiated to death. Lamp parked the car next to the crusher and walked over to the control panel. He inserted the key he had been given and turned on the machinery. Using the joy stick, he operated the overhead magnetic crane and picked up the automobile. The electromagnet grabbed the car by its roof and lifted it off the ground. Lamp maneuvered the car over the crusher and dropped it in. He then activated the hydraulics. This part of the system was automatic. Six heavy fingers of steel started pressing against the car to crush it. When it finished, just a cube a less than two feet on each side would remain.

Inside the trunk, Tobio could hear the machinery of the crusher running. The car moaned and groaned around him as the metal was distorted by the heavy fingers of the crusher. The trunk twisted and Tobio could feel the space he was in getting smaller. Now he was in total panic. He had to bend his legs over his chest as the available space inside the trunk shrunk around him. Tobio felt himself being confined and knew his life was over. "I don't want to die!" he screamed as the crusher pressed the car even more tightly around him. He felt pain as his body was being compressed tightly and he knew that he had only seconds before he would be no more.

Lamp watched as the crusher was about to finish the job. He stepped back from the control panel to take in the entire view of the machine about to finish the deadly work. Suddenly, there was an explosion. The heavy metal fingers of the car crusher blasted apart and flew up into the air. Metal shrapnel from the car flew in all directions. Without warning an object flew out of the middle of the fireball at supersonic speed. It hit Lamp square in the chest and his body exploded into a cloud of hamburger.

Tobio strained against the walls that were closing in on him. His eyes were clamped shut from the pain. Deep within his brain the threshold had been crossed. Autonomic systems switched on and Atom's full 100,000 HP came on line. Escape or die was the order of the moment. Atom's rocket engines fired at full power and the inside of vehicle filled with the exhaust gases. The pressure built up to the bursting point. The rocket engines blasted Atom out of the rear of the vehicle and through the solid steel walls of the crusher. His eyes still clamped shut, Atom flew just above the ground at high Mach speed, like a naval shell fired from a battleship. He slammed into something, and it felt warm and wet. Atom opened his eyes in time to avoid hitting a building, he flew straight up into the air as he snapped the cable ties around his arms with shear brute strength. He looked behind him and saw the fireball of the car crusher exploding.

He was free! Tobio's memory flooded back to him. He knew who he was and what he could do. He remembered Kevin's rocket and Ethan's drone. It all came back to him, from the very first day that he woke up in the IOS back in Japan. He remembered lifting the reactor into space to let it explode.

"Oh no!" He also remembered that it was happening all over again, unless he would be in time to stop it! Atom let his mind reach out, and he felt Andy's being. He planted a message there and he received an answer back. Atom set a course back to the power plant. He hoped they would be in time.


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