Chapter 1: Frank Lyon Invents the Transporting Device
Frank leaves a message with the authorities, shifting his voice, much colder and lower in register: “I am a prominent businessman. I will make this message short so that you cannot trace it. I have left two million dollars in a locker at the Dulles airport in DC. You will get the key by courier in an envelope with a note indicating the locker number. I will watch the news tomorrow to see if the Terrorist Group has received their monies. And they better have released the passengers from Flight 363… or else…. Thank you.”
Thirteen months previous, Science Professor Frank Lyon was in his final stage of glory, having completed his grand and majestic invention. He had spent several years on creating a portable camera device that was the only one of its kind. It was a Transporting tool. He called it “Brigid”. “Brigid”, a machine, or more like a clone-cam, stores images in the memory of a chip that transfers you to wherever you desire to go, as long as the data is an image of a landscape or locale stored inside the device. “Brigid” helps you travel, without cost, passports, security, long lines and countless other pains. Call it a marriage of technology and sainthood, as St. Brigid was one of the noted Patron Saints of Travel. Frank presses his thumb on the electronic pad of the device, and the image transmigrates into a same time, life-sized experience, in a place other than where you began.
The first time, he succeeded in making this experimental dream come true; he could not speak for weeks. The elation was simply overwhelming. It was beyond Science Fiction, because it was happening in the dreariness of the here and now. Like the walking dead, Frank had functioned with mediocre purpose. His heart was ailing from having lost his dearly departed wife Brigid to Breast Cancer. Working on the invention, had a hand in healing Frank forward.
Having been a shy and awkward boy, Frank was fortunate in being accepted to M.I.T, and in the wake of computer technological advancements. But what made school even more exciting, was a lovely Irish exchange student who swore a mean streak, winning theoretical arguments with her advisors. Brigid had translucent skin; a strong maternal body like a Celtic warrior, with a walk that let the world know she was comfortably aware of her fine qualities. She never understood why beautiful American women insulted their looks, never finding solace with how the Creator had made them. They had a good eight years together.
After Brigid’s death, months went by when Frank could not keep food down, rarely woke up on time to teach class, could not look people in the eye, or even react to what they were saying: he simply was not present.
One night, in a dream, a dream that felt like a nanosecond, Brigid visited Frank and reminded him of the importance of forging ahead for their son Jimmy, who at the time of her death was only 2 months old. “Oh Lover, get off yer arse… Frank get the kid a Nanny…a female hand is important…and make sure she’s a foreigner…everything foreign improves the American way. Don’t you think it right, Frankie?”
Through the right references and channels, Frank had fortune in the form of a sweet boisterous Pilipino Nanny named Imelda Fernandez, who loved and cared for little Jimmy like he was her own. Most importantly, his guilt now alleviated, allowed him to focus on another inspiration, from another dream, another visitation from Brigid.
It was this dream, which was the turning point for Frank, who was certain that this was an exact and real conversation with the love of his life. “Frankie, get over it, get over me.. get back to work…I want you to think of all the crazy things we used to laugh about Frankie…D’ya remember Dolly the Sheep? Ach, that stupid Doctor must have been some nutty lapsed Catholic… I mean, the nerve! The nerve of ’im playing God was beyond rational comprehension. D’ya remember Frankie? Frankie m’love? And we used to laugh and laugh and imagine how you and I would one day inspire the world with a better cloning device, a tool that might clone vistas and the beautiful wonders of the world, rather than sheep and people…or Sheeple as we used to call ’em…”
In half-sleep, Frank, for the first time in a long while, was wearing the largest grin. A grin inspired by her dreamy smile, her ingenuity, peppered with their shared oddball humour. All of this was a nod to their great life together, where Husband and Wife were not only the best of friends and lovers but also a collegial team sharing a shrewd view of Science, inspired by their twin dismay of the modern world.
The dream was a wake-up call, reminding Frank of the potential abuse that would exist if human beings were to be duplicated. His Catholic upbringing and value for human life were still with him and sobered him from deep grief. “Cloning landscapes and inanimate objects might be a worthy project”, he pondered. The technology he had at his disposal was not yet advanced enough to allow duplication of any kind. He now had his work cut out for him.
After hours of playing with wire filaments and travelogue imagery captured from a collection of the most updated and distinct Photo-journalism, Frank settled on the fact that the one locale he had the most images from, with the most angles and heights was Times Square in New York City. The prime objective was to build the device cleanly getting him standing in front of the famed statue of George C. Cohon, right in the centre of the hub.
The prime tool, or rather Brigid was thus far a black box – one by one by one cubic feet. The side of the box is concaved-a shaped glass semi-dome. This box is the portal meant to negotiate all the elements in play to making this fantastical travel happen. The last piece of this machine would be a platform or landing pad made of gold and zinc combined (he melted his and Brigid’s wedding bands). Now, this landing pad receives the imprint of your thumb, where it’s valleys and ridges act as the transmission and the human fats and oils from the skin is the gasoline thus transporting the individual in question who will travel to the desired locale.
Unobtrusive, wooden and collapsible, the box seemed to nevertheless develop a mild but annoying presence that Frank developed great intimacy with. He would brew his coffee and begin his day chatting with the dusty box, staring at it for hours, sharing impressions of the world he believed he lived in, details about little Jimmy’s abilities in improving his baby crawl. Like Mesmer, Frank would play a mind game with the box, forcing his will to find the gap that would see this experiment to fruition. He sang a song to it, his and Brigid’s wedding song, “Sweethearts Together” from The Rolling Stones LP “Voodoo Lounge”. It was then that he referred to the box as “Brigid”. It was common practice for him to now imagine a musical Irish voice from the box consult him while he was working. “What coloured filaments and cables and in what configuration, order and frequency might create the strongest light source, Frankie? And which physical equation is gonna move you to a foreign dimension of an “elsewhere”? Think! Think!”
He had recorded 467 experiments since Brigid’s dreamy visitation and progress was starting to show at the 427th exercise. These were increments of mild successes, which had Frank jumping with joy, even grabbing Nanny Imelda and twirling her in their bright red-tiled IKEA Kitchen, taking her away from preparing the baby’s strained carrots. With the odd high, came many a low. Like the day his body transported for 12 minutes, yet he had only made it to the basement bathroom. Still, it was a form of progress. H.G Wells would be proud.
There was still one piece missing in this equation and it was driving Frank nuts. Depression and some procrastination set in, mostly in the form of renting out piles of Science Fiction movies, to see what might inspire him. He would not change his clothes for days. When his eyes became watery and tired from the late night viewing, he would find himself reading to little Jimmy at 6 am. But it was not Dr. Seuss.
Frank read the boy passages written by Isaac Asimov and H.G. Wells. Of course, the sweet Toddler did not understand, however was smiling with joy, sensing his Father’s playful exuberance.
One Christmas, noticing his son playing with a Toy Ray gun, the thought came to Frank that he was living in the past with the spirit of Brigid. As well, he existed in a future dominated by the concept of this Transporting device that would conceivably function and change the human experience of Vacation Travel. The problem he realized, while looking at his boy, was with all this past and all this future, that he was not living in the present. It was at this moment, he decided to give up the whole struggle and simply be pleased that Jimmy, a blessed and biological remnant of both himself and Brigid would be enough in his life. Moreover, it should be enough! To simply love, cherish and raise a lovely angel as such. Frank decided at this moment to put the invention to sleep. To let it go. He needed to watch his son grow and be there and enjoy the details of the now, like how the boy’s ginger hair resembled his Mother’s colouring and how his smile was evolving to becoming hers.
During this bittersweet moment, little Jimmy was exhausting the plastic trigger of his new Ray gun, wearing out what was a simple mechanism. A metal piece dropped. The trigger was now stuck and the toddler cried in frustration. Frank picked up the mechanism and noticed it was simply a magnet, and that he should immediately repair it to bring a smile back on little Jimmy’s face. It was impossible to fix the piece back into place, as the magnet kept attaching itself to other things like TV remotes, nail clippers and paper. Paper! It then dawned on Frank that if the image rested in the semi-dome was a developed black and white silver print of the landscape… along with magnets staggered from the thumbprint pad to filaments back to the silver image again, there might be complete impact and success! Moreover, this might be the relenting force field in facilitating the human body to be sent to another environment. He should have known of this! It was definitely an a-ha moment. Merry Christmas Frank!
Soon enough, his body had made it as far as the front yard, 20 miles outside of Toledo, Ohio and Albany, NY. Each time he equipped himself with maps, cash and transit cards in making his way back home, to his lab, his son and his job. All he had to improve upon was the strength of the magnet, filament and silver presence of his Kodak developing paper.
On New Years’ Eve, Frank had a hunch to book Imelda for a week to sit with little Jimmy. Wouldn’t it be amazing if he could ship himself from his musty science lab in Readfield, Maine all the way to Times’ Square in NYC? What a way to celebrate the passing of a new year! What a way to mark progress! This positive ray of hope was quite the contrast from the recent tragedy that befell the great city, known as 911. And this held some meaning for Frank. It was 11:50 pm and having cleaned his lab, stealing a sip of champagne, with a wing and a prayer… in an instant, the life-size image of the subway stairs were right in front of him. He folded up “Brigid” and put it in his knapsack. He did it! By the aid of his revolutionary invention, he had broken through the barrier of the image and found himself by the “1” Train, in the Times’ Square station.
It was New Year’s Eve, about to become 2002. The air was tense because of the tragic events that had taken place only 3 months earlier.
Frank Lyon was slapped with an eclectic spectacle of scintillating sight, scent, sound and people. Raucous yelling partnered with glaring spectrum of neon dancing around thousands of partying revelers. This was the cradle of capitalism: The billboard giants that are Coca-Cola, Toyota and TDK loom over the aggressive aroma of the hot dog smoke arguing with the stench of exhaust fumes. This made Frank both hungry and teary. Horns honking, sirens from emergency vehicles blaring, happy-go-lucky whistling with streamers tooting to signify that this year was dying, welcoming the birth of another.
Walking by the Hard Rock Café, where Frank was perusing a portrait of a dazed and confused Led Zeppelin, he overheard two older people engaged in conversation. One of them said, “Nothing is going to happen, because we all got faith.” This signified the anxiety that people had about living in the wake of 9/11 and the fear of it being repeated. Nearby, Frank then witnessed a man holding a stack of balloons. In the spirit of giving, he handed a balloon to those who stretched their arms out to get one. ‘Too bad that doesn’t continue for the rest of the year’, thought Frank.
Confetti of tourists with cameras worn around their necks clashed against the haggard homeless, who illegally solicited spare change, avoiding the army of security swarming every inch…
And the ball was about to drop as the humongous crowd yelled, “...3,2,1...Happy New Year!” Two-thousand and two was now upon us. Frank felt this was going to be a year of great significance.
He had 4 days before making it back home to Maine. So seizing the moment ASAP was the significant act in question.
He took “Brigid” out of his knapsack and inserted a picture of his hotel, from the pamphlet. In an instant, Shazam …he was there.
“That’s 3 dollars saved and also earned!” beamed the happiest Scientist of 2002.
On his bed, with a bag of BBQ Lays chips and full-on red Coca Cola Classic, like an anxious teen, he booted up his computer and “googled” the “new” 7 Wonders of the World. This was something he wanted to check off his “places to visit before I die” list. “Might as well, explore it now, while “Brigid” is in the zenith of her strong and willing function as the ultimate Transporting device- Mwah! He kissed the wood all around her.
For a moment, he wished of she: the Brigid in the flesh. He wished an image of the two of them as a pair of globe-trotting Aladdins wandering, buying time with the dream of shared memory. Like the memory of love they had pledged to one another. He wiped his tear quickly as to focus and escape New York, before check-out time. After all, he didn’t want to be expensed the extra day.
And so... The List was an interesting one. It read: On January 1, 2000 an Organization announced a “new” set of the Seven Wonders of the World based on on-line voting from around the world.
Christ Redeemer, Brazil—Large Statue
The Great Wall, China
Chichen Itza, Mexico—Mayan City
Machu Picchu, Peru
Petra Jordan—Ancient City
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India
The third and fifth wonders were not priorities. But the others were. He thought to himself, ’I am going to visit these five places with the aid of “BRIGID”. But why stop there? There are five cities he wanted to visit also. They are: Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France; London, England; Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil; and Moscow, Russia.
He was to explore 3 main aspects of these destinations, namely the scenery, the food, and the weather. Frank saw endless possibilities. His invention was something he could now use to fulfill his main passion: Travelling instantly to exotic destinations.
Professor Lyon pondered which of the five of the Seven Wonders of the World he would start with. Would it be Christ redeemer in Brazil? The Great Wall of China? Machu Picchu, Peru? The Roman Coliseum in Rome? Or the Taj Mahal in India? Frank considered these destinations and concluded that he would visit them in the order that he listed them. This was the time to set out on his journey.
Yes, his dream came true. “Brigid” gave him the opportunity to visit these cities without the hassles of airport security, long flights, and passports. Frank knew that his time was limited to six hours on New Year’s Day morning. That meant that he would visit only 3 of the 5 cities, namely Tokyo, Paris, and London. He could now visit exotic locales simply by placing a thumb on a pad!
The first stop was Tokyo. He checked his watch. Tokyo already rung in the New Year and as much as Frank loved the experience, he always preferred it when the crowds dispersed. A New Year’s Day brunch item much sought after was the sumptuous eating of Dashi, which was fish steak, in an outdoor restaurant. As that experience felt optimum enough for a satiated Frank, he was ready to say Sayonara to Tokyo.
He determined his next destination: Paris, France. In an instant, he was at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Eyes popping out of his sockets! Quel Spectacle! He observed it with the memory of his late wife in mind and in heart; the city of lights shone not only in front of him, but also within his soul’s memory of her. Frank only wished he could visit all 3,800 Historical monuments that encompassed this magnificent city. He could hear Brigid say: ‘Hey Frankie, this is our second Honeymoon! Let’s get some raspberry berets and hold hands like teenagers while we enjoy the sights!’ A tear trickled down his cheek.
He sampled French cuisine in the mild and moderately wet weather. French cuisine was some of the most exquisite in the world. He indulged in a serving of Foiegras and Duck Confit. The first word that came out of his mouth was “Parfait!”; Oh so perfect; Oh so French! The next thing he did was wash it down with wine: “Chateau Neuf de Pape”. This wine was a French specialty. Frank had to have it, or his trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete! He took the last sip of wine from his glass. ‘Here’s to us, Brigid’ said Frank to himself. He could almost hear her response: ‘To us and happy memories.’ Frank couldn’t agree more.
He was now back at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. He took “Brigid” out of his knapsack. The final destination of the night was London, England. Three steps: Insert picture; put thumb on thumb pad; arrive at destination. He arrived right where he wanted to, which was on the outside gates of Buckingham Palace. Frank marvelled at the audacious sight that appeared before him. As an American, he was not the type to marvel at royalty, but often wondered what it might be like to have a Grandmother-esque Queen rule over some of the bumbling presidents he had lived through.
He was feeling a little hungry. He stopped at a Pub that specialized in Sunday Roast. With a side of potatoes, Frank knew he was as close to a gourmet dinner that you are ever going to get in London! “Brigid” took him to five other sites in London: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; Palace of Westminster; St. Margaret’s Church; and Trafalgar Square. It was a fantastic two hour tour of London.
It was 6 pm. London Time. Conversely, it was noontime in New Jersey, where his hotel was. “Enough, time to go home.” A warm feeling emanated knowing that Brigid had taken this tour with him in spirit. Last night’s journey was only the beginning. Professor Lyon calculated that he could visit dozens of locations around the world with his marvellous invention. He would start with five of the Seven Wonders of the World. .
Off to Rio. He inserted the picture of Christ the Redeemer in the Transporting Device. Placing his thumbprint on the pad did not activate “Brigid” right away. What? The second time, it malfunctioned again. Panic set in. Heart beating a mile a minute, Frank saw two measly greenbacks in his wallet. My Lord! No!! And his credit card was maxed out from advanced mortgage payments, in keeping the nasty banks at bay. ’This is the house that Jimmy is to be raised in— geez!!!’’I’ve got to resolve this problem now! I will not be trapped in stinky old London. Not the city I want to be poor, homeless and trapped in and most of all away from my boy. Press Press, darn!!! His sweat was dampening his every inch of self and worry.
It was not till the thirtieth time, that he turned his finger slightly to the right. It worked. Good bye to London Town. Amazing what you learn about yourself in moments of truth and panic.
And when my Brigid flies with me we go to Rio… De Janeiro… humming the old standard, Frank was stopped in awe. In front of him was a 190 foot tall concrete image of Christ. It was 98 feet wide resting on a 31 foot pedestal. This statue symbolized the greatest man that ever lived. He was born without sin, and saved the World from its sins. ‘I think my faith has gotten stronger just by looking at this massive structure’, thought Frank to himself. He glanced down. Majestic Rio de Janeiro disguises the massive derelict areas it’s centre encompasses. Frank had little time to eat the savoury meat and beans known as Feijoada. Finishing off with the tangy beach sugar apple that was native to Brazil. Yet it was time to go back. He wanted to feel baby Jimmy’s warm cheeks next to his own.
In an instant, he was back in his quarters at the university via home.. It was shortly after that Frank called his closest colleague at the University of Maine to his home. Frank was Godfather to his son, Tony. Angelo Carvelli and Frank were both electronic engineers. Professor Angelo had an insular and calculating personality. He was also ambitious and somewhat conniving.
Angelo entered Frank’s home. Frank explained the virtues of the Transporting Device, it’s features, and how harmless it was when it was used for space travel in the space-time continuum. The aspect that appealed to Angelo most was that it can duplicate inanimate objects and landscapes.
“What I am to understand is that objects can be duplicated with the transporting device; is that right?” asked Angelo.
“That is correct,” replied Frank.
“I can see where we can profit handsomely with this invention”, said Angelo.
“If I were—we were—to sell this device to the Pentagon, they could duplicate military equipment, save millions of dollars, while at the same time, we could make millions of dollars!”
“Angelo, I am ashamed of you! You want to take something I invested time and money in, and you want to use for a malevolent purpose?”
“Look at it this way, Frank. There are two sides to every story.
You’ve got your side, and I’ve got mine!”
“I will not allow you to destroy my reputation and jeopardize my son’s future for your selfish gain!”
“Frank, all that I ask is that you show me the blueprints for the Transporting Device. You don’t have to be involved in the selling process. I’ll buy the blueprints, and take full credit for the invention.
You will not feel any of the repercussions.”
“You are despicable, Angelo. I have something that is harmless in the right hands, and if I would turn it over to you, it would be in the wrong hands.”
“So is it a deal? Are you going to give me the blueprints in exchange for a million dollars?”
“You are a low life, Angelo! I hope you drop dead soon!”
“That’s a terrible thing to say, Frank.”
“You are a terrible person; you have shocked me”
Angelo replied: “As the saying goes: Appearances can be deceiving!”
Deceit was the correct word. Frank had to think quickly. He remembered that at his disposal were two sets of blueprints. What he would do is sell the set of blueprints which had a technical flaw illustrated which made the Transporting Device inoperable. Frank realized he had solved his dilemma. And it would net him a million dollars!
“Come back tomorrow with a certified cheque for a million dollars. The blueprints will be yours.”
Frank, you are not going to regret this.”
Angelo stormed out of Frank’s home with a huge smile across his face. Frank was gratified knowing that the Transporting Device would remain harmless because constructing it from the phony blueprints would not actually reproduce military equipment.
Half an hour later, Frank sat down in front of the T.V. He wanted to keep up with current events by watching CNN. The top news story was unexpected but shocking. Angelo Carvelli died at the scene of a car accident he was involved in. It was determined that it was cardiac arrest he experienced while he was behind the wheel of his car. Thank goodness, ironically, he veered off the road into a ditch and no other vehicle or person was involved in this altercation.
Frank was watching in disbelief. He was extremely devastated that his best friend was no longer alive. It was a cruel twist of fate how his friend, who had a malevolent intent for the Transporting Device, could do no harm with it now.
The idealistic scenario of using the Transporting Device for good purposes was now tainted. Throughout history, Frank thought, there were those whose self-imposed mission in life was to do good and those whose self-imposed mission in life was to continuously impose harm on others.
The Transporting Device was Professor Frank Lyon’s legacy to his son and by extension to mankind. It would be a few short years when he could teach this moral lesson to his son.
Because when it came right down to it, the Transporting Device in the right hands is harmless. But in the wrong hands, it is fatal and dangerous.
“Brigid” brought him to many places before he visited the next Wonder of the World after two years had gone by. The next Wonder of the World he visited was the Great Wall of China. It was a very long wall! In fact, it’s total length is approximately 5,500 miles. Frank thought he’d go to town and savour a delicious supper. It was made up of rice, meat, and fish. He decided to sit outside because the temperature hovered around 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Frank enjoyed another fruitful lunch hour. “Brigid” took him back to his home base.
Several more destinations were visited before he transported himself to the third Wonder of the World on his list: Macchu Picchu, Peru. ‘What a sight to behold!’, thought Frank to himself. He was standing 7, 970 feet above sea level. The other tourists would be green with envy if they knew that a lovely “lady” by the name of “Brigid” transported him to this destination. He turned his head to check the temperature on the thermometer: a very warm 69 degrees Fahrenheit. With half an hour left during his lunch, he headed to a local restaurant with some of the other tourists. It was located in the picturesque Urbana Valley. Frank ordered potatoes and lamb. He finished his lunch with a fine cup of coffee. Lunch hour was over. It was back to the University for the remainder of the day.. Never had “Brigid” conked out on him. He was now going to visit the fifth of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was the Roman Coliseum.
“Brigid” whisked him instantaneously to the exterior of the ancient structure. Researching this site, he discovered that it was a massive 131,000 cubic yards. If only the Transporting Device were a time machine, Frank would have loved to see the great battles that took place in this historic site. But, there was no time to waste! His lunch consisted of the legendary Italian artichoke, deep fried appetizers, a reasonably priced but very delicious cut of meat, all accompanied with a side of pasta. ‘Magnifico!’, thought Frank to himself! He discreetly took “Brigid” out of his knapsack and transported himself back to the University of Maine.
Frank could not get enough of seeing all these majestic sights. The planet was truly a beautiful place. God willing, Frank thought, mankind will preserve it for many generations to come. He wondered whether or not he was engaging in wishful thinking.
The next Wonder of the World was the last one on his list of 5. It certainly wasn’t the last place he wanted to visit. Frank Lyon was transported to the place in India where the Taj Mahal was located. It was a breathtaking sight to see! This domed, marble mausoleum was perhaps the most talked about tourist site in the world next to the Eiffel Tower. Entering inside the building, Frank felt he was but a speck dirt in a sandbox! His eyes popped out of his head. He was marvelled at the vision of this spectacular structure. Lunch time was almost over. There was popular restaurant nearby. The temperature outside was not very cold, but it wasn’t freezing either. He helped himself to fine Indian cuisine consisting of rice, potatoes, and vegetables; all of which contained Indian spices and herbs.
After visiting the final of the 5 of the 7 Wonders of the World, Frank couldn’t help but think about how his deceased wife Brigid was with him in spirit during this fabulous journey.
Professor Lyon earned his Ph.D. at M.I.T. in Electronic Engineering. Shortly after, he married his girlfriend of four years whom he met while studying there. Brigid succumbed to breast cancer two months after the birth of their only child, James. James was now twenty years old and studying medicine at the University of California at Berkley. He chose that school because he was an avid Oakland Raiders fan and he could attend regular season games on a steady basis. James appearance was more portly than his dad’s. He was athletic and intelligent.
“Jimmy, how are you?” asked Professor Lyon of his son while talking on his cell phone. “I’m doing great and really enjoying the weather here in Oakland!”
“Never mind the weather, what about your grade-point average; what did you end the semester with?”
“Three point Eighty-five—a sparkling ‘A’, Dad.”
“Son, I’m very proud of you. You’re doing great in your studies, and the Oakland Raiders have home field advantage throughout the playoffs”.
“Damn right, Dad. And I plan to be at all the playoff games.”
“Well son, I’ll meet you at my farmhouse in Readfield in
about a month. “It’s all right Dad, I’ll be home with you to
watch the Super Bowl on our big screen T.V. – I mean the one you bought.”
“As far as I’m concerned it’s yours too, because when you visit me, you spend more time watching it than I do!” “That’s true Dad but you did pay for it”.
“O.K. son. I’m looking forward to it – take care, and I love you.”
“You’re the best Dad. See you in a month”, concluded James.
Professor Lyon had been back in Readfield, Maine for nearly a month. When the phone rang, the call display indicated that it was his son, James, calling from Oakland. “Hi, son.”
James immediately replied: “Dad, my Raiders are in the Super Bowl.”
Frank Lyon responded, “You make it sound like you own the team”.
“When I save up enough money, then I’ll buy the team!”
“Listen, son, I’ll see you at Augusta International airport next Saturday”.
“Gotcha, Dad! I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl on
Sunday when the Raiders are going to cream the Buccaneers.”
“All’s I’ve got to say is ‘never count your chickens before they’re hatched’!” warned Professor Lyon.
“Come on Dad, be more optimistic than that.” “See you in a week, Jimmy”, concluded Professor Lyon.
“Time to join the party again”, was James reply before he hung up the phone.
There was a knock on the door. Looking through the viewfinder, Frank could see Tony Carvelli standing in the thirty-two degree Fahrenheit weather. Tony was Frank Lyon’s Godson. Tony is athletic and gregarious; a social butterfly. At 22 years old, he became more calculating and greedy. Perhaps he was studying law enforcement to become a corrupt cop?
Frank opened the door, gave Tony a bear hug and said, “Come in, Tony.”
Tony greeted Frank by saying, “How are you, Uncle Frank?” Frank Lyon had briefed Tony about the transporting device.
Tony was anxious to see how it works.
“Get into the van, we’re going to Toronto” exclaimed Professor Lyon.
“Why? asked Tony.
“Because with the U.S. to Canadian dollar exchange rate, we can see the Rolling Stones at Skydome for a lower price!”
“That makes sense.”
As they were driving on the 41-S heading south to Toronto, a disturbing news story was being broadcast on radio station WRSR on the digital radio of the SUV. The newscaster proclaimed:
“The NOIR bandit has robbed his third bank since New Year’s Day. Unlike the other robberies, this time he was photographed holding an UZI rifle, but no bullets were discharged. Augusta police chief Sam McBean has told citizens of Augusta and Maine not to approach the NOIR bandit as he is very dangerous...”
Frank and Tony were now half way to Toronto via the 41-S. Frank explained to Tony the virtues and detriments of the transporting device. Frank Lyon started explaining the facts of the transporting device.
“Tony, listen to me very carefully. The transporting device in the right hands is harmless. But in the wrong hands, it is very, very dangerous and fatal.”
“What do you mean, Uncle Frank?”
“Just like anything, it was invented to do good things. Now imagine if the NOIR Bandit were to get his hands on the transporting device.”
“What he could do is take an image of the UZI with the clonecam and literally clone, one-by-one, as many UZI rifles as he prefers!”
“That’s a scary thought, Uncle Frank.”
“You better believe it is.”
“So how can you prevent someone from using it for a malevolent intent?”, asked Tony.
“What I did was to make sure that on the scanner of the transporting device, only my thumb-print can make it operational.
“Nobody else’s thumbprint will make it operate?”
“Then there’s little to worry about.”
“For now there isn’t. God forbid someone who has a malevolent intent attempts to blackmail me into activating the transporting device for his evil purposes.”
” Can anyone input images of a CD-ROM into the transporting device and have those images released by it?”
“No way.”, said Frank. “The images must be transferred from the clone-cam to the transporting device only. You cannot transfer
CD-ROM images into the transporting device,” concluded Frank Lyon.
“This digital radio is very impressive, Uncle Frank.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we are within view of Skydome in Toronto and we can still hear WRSR that’s located in Augusta.”
“Yes, very impressive, isn’t it.”
The next moment, the newscaster on WRSR described a bank robbery that took place in Augusta of a major downtown bank. The robbery failed, but Augusta police confirmed it was a failed attempt by the NOIR Bandit.
“Hey, Uncle Frank, want to hear me imitate President
“Go ahead, I’m all ears”, said Frank.
Tony lowers his voice sounding like the former president and says, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” After saying this, Tony chuckles and asks “What do you think of that, Uncle Frank?”
Frank Lyon rolls his eyes and responds by saying, “You know, you’re so funny that you should be doing the comedy club circuit on the Eastern Seaboard!”
Feeling proud, Tony slaps his hand on his lap and replies by saying “Hey, I never knew I was that funny!”
They now had driven into the parking lot of Skydome. As they were walking towards the box office, Tony asked his godfather why they didn’t buy tickets on the Internet. Frank explained that ten years earlier, in 1993, he had been to an electronic engineer conference in Toronto during the World Series. He wanted to re-live the moment when Joe Carter hit the Series-winning home run even if it was only in his mind. A security guard brought him to the seat he was sitting in when he was at Skydome that night.
Professor Lyon sat in the seat and turned to Tony and said, “When Joe Carter hit the home run, the 54,000 people in this place almost made the roof cave in! It was electrifying. The noise was deafening. I’ll never forget that night.” The memory made him hallucinate about seeing the scene in his mind as if it were happening that moment.
Realizing that he was lost in his thought, Tony put his mouth to Frank’s ear and hollered loudly “Uncle Frank. Wake up.”
“Is the game over?”
“There is no game; you were hallucinating”, replied Tony tersely.
“O.K., let’s get back to Readfield within the hour.” declared Professor Lyon.
“What do you mean? It takes twelve hours from here to get back to Readfield”, reminded Tony to his godfather.
“Don’t worry; I’ve got that figured out. Remember something: the transporting device can duplicate anything but printed material and human beings. I imprinted the image of my driveway into the clonecam. We’ll drive to the amusement park which is closed at this time of year, and we’ll be back at my place within the hour.”
“Uncle Frank, I’ve always said you were a genius!”, said Tony facetiously.
“That’s funny. I haven’t heard you say that in a long time”, replied Frank.
When they got to Canada’s Wonderland, Professor Lyon made sure nobody was within sight of the parking lot. His cell phone rang the next moment. The call display indicated it was his son James calling from Oakland.
“Hi, son. Where are you?”
“I’m at Oakland International Airport about to board the plane for Augusta. It’s Flight Number 363 and it’ll be arriving at 4:00 p.m. E.D.T.”
“O.K., Jimmy, I’ll be there to pick you up. Have a safe flight in.”
“Thanks Dad. I can’t wait to see the Raiders win!”
“See you later on today, Jimmy”, concluded Professor Lyon.
He turned off his cell phone and swung his head slowly toward his godson and said, “O.K., Tony, let’s do it.”
Tony was hesitant to proceed saying, “What if the power shuts down on the clone-cam?”
“Don’t worry, I put it in it’s special battery charger whenever I get home. Both the transporting device and the clone-cam have enough power right now.”
The back door of the SUV was open. The transporting device received the image of Professor Lyon’s driveway. He put his thumb on the scanner. Ejecting from the transporting device were several dozen brilliant beams of light. In an instant, they were on the driveway. At the end of the driveway, stood the 3,000 square foot house that Frank Leon called home. The inside corridor had a spiral staircase. When the lights were turned on, they illuminated the corridor and the adjoining rooms appeared palatial.
“That’s amazing!” exclaimed Tony. “You’re not only my godfather, but you really are a genius too.”
They walked up the driveway into Frank Lyon’s house.
“I’ll turn on the T.V.”, said Tony as he took off his shoes and coat and walked into the living room. The living room had 2 red sofas, lush carpeting, expensive paintings, and a 50” big screen T.V.
“I’ll grab us a couple of beers”, said Frank as he walked into the kitchen.
“Hey Tony, when do you go back to your part-time job as a security guard at the bank?”“
“On Monday”, replied Tony.
Tony then picked up the remote and turned on the T.V. The channel was on CNN. Tony was stunned at the news report. It was about American Airlines flight 363. The news was devastating because the plane had been hijacked by terrorists. As the news story continued, the newscaster pointed out that the ransom demand was for two million dollars.
Tony called Frank into the living room. Frank Lyon was shocked. His son was on that plane. Frank Lyon’s worst nightmare had come true. He had to use the transporting device for a malevolent intent. He contemplated about the paradoxical situation he never imagined he would have to use the transporting device for. Frank Lyon had to do anything in order to save his son from being killed by terrorists.