The Day Has Come
This was not just any ordinary day, this was the day the world changed forever. A whole new world would be discovered. A world of chaos, a world of fear, and Brian was the cause and solution to all of Earth’s problems. Brian was on the verge of the biggest scientific discovery of his generation. The theories worked, the calculations proved it, and this was going to make him famous. He had poured years of his life into this work, sacrificed more than he cared to admit, and was so close to reaping the reward: infinite power.
The world had become hungry, starved for the power it needed so badly to consume. People now let technology do all the work. Cell phones and social media consumed everyone’s insatiable appetite. The demand for power was going to continue to grow, even if it was to the detriment of the human race. Technology has taken over, life as we know it could not survive without this infinite power source. People had become so reliant on constant power, that they were willing to sacrifice Earth itself to feed their desires. Brian had the theory and now was the time to prove it, regardless of the consequences. For years people had been pushing clean energy and renewable power. Nothing permanent or feasible had come along to quench this thirst for power. Fossil fuels had been determined to be nearing the end of their useful supply, and time was of the essence. Solar and wind had proven to not be cost effective. Brian knew that the only possible solution was a reliable endless supply of power, and he knew the only way to do this would be emulating the sun. His plan to accomplish this, build a stable nuclear fusion reactor.
Many of the world’s greatest scientists have all agreed that nuclear fusion is the theory behind what’s responsible for the sun’s energy. Brian had created the environment he needed to prove this theory and provide the building blocks for creating a power generator strong enough to support everyone on earth. Some colleagues were on board with the idea, some feared the possible outcome, many doubted it was even possible. These were only theories after all, but Brian was blinded by his need for fame and fortune. They told him there was no way he could create a hot enough environment to prove this theory. They said he will never be able to stabilize the fusion reactor, even if you can get it to occur. Some said he was going to destroy Earth if the experiment went wrong. He was willing to prove his theory if it gave him what he craved, no matter the costs.
Brian had lost his marriage to his work. His high school sweet heart who supported him through some of the toughest times in Brian’s life. He neglected her, put his work first, and ended up driving her away. Most of his friends hadn’t heard from him in years, and Brian was jealous of the success of his colleagues and counterparts. Brian had been passed up for cutting edge technology projects, his family was worried about his insane addiction to his work. He ate, slept and bled for his work. Every action and thought dedicated to proving his theory and claiming the fame he felt he so rightly deserved. He had held fundraiser, tried to raise money, applied for grants and all he had gotten is mocked and ridiculed. No one thought it was possible, they all thought he was wasting his time and money. He just kept telling himself that no one believed Albert Einstein at first, Nikola Tesla faced many obstacles with his ideas, and it took doctors years to believe in germs and hand washing as a preventative practice. Brian was a pioneer, and he would prove his doubters wrong.
His life savings now invested entirely into this project, Brian slaved away in the lab on his nuclear fusion reactor. If he failed now, it would be all for nothing, and he would be another broke laughing stock of the scientific community. All he needed to do was prove it was possible to use nuclear fusion to generate more power than was needed to run the fusion reactor. Science had proved that fusion was possible, but he would be the first to show everyone a safe, stable nuclear reactor, that would change the world as we know it. Fossil fuels would no longer be needed, every house could have their own power source, every car their own nuclear fusion generator, rechargeable electronics would never need to be charged again. Brian was willing to do whatever it took to prove this, even if it cost him his life.
Years of his life had been spent reading, researching and following the directions of his professors and employers, but it was now Brian’s time to shine. He had spent months taking all the critical measurements, double checking every procedure he had put in place, and today was finally the day he would create the greatest invention of mankind. He was nervous, fearful of failure, but confident that his calculations would work. He fired up his reactor and all the test equipment. Brian prepared to emulate the nuclear fusion of taking hydrogen nuclei and converting them to helium. Isolated in its vacuum chamber, the nuclear fusion theoretically should produce the desired outcome of pure power. If stabilized, it could be harnessed for endless uses. Brian ignored the skeptics, he blocked out the warnings, forgetting about any possible negative outcome. It had taken him years of designing, engineering, and testing his theory. He had spent countless sleepless nights hunkered down in his lab slaving away. More than once he had woken up at his desk, drooling into a pile of notes. The time was now for all his hard work to pay off. The low hum of electronics filled the room, he could feel the heat pulsating off his reactor, and a warmth of fulfillment engulfed him. There was nothing left to do but wait.
For what seemed like an eternity, Brian waited for any sign of his theory coming to true. He frantically scoured every monitor, looked through every log until he thought he saw what he had been waiting for so patiently: proof. Every blip of the oscilloscope made Brian’s heart skip a beat. He was on edge with excitement. The random hiss of pressure relief valves made him jump. The whirl of cooling fans kicking on made him suspiciously glance around the room. Brian knew that it would take time for the test to work, but all these years of work had used up his patience. He decided to take a walk down to the break room for a coffee. It would be awhile before anything happened, and he needed to take his mind off the experiment.
Almost as soon as he left his office, he was ready to turn back around to check the readings one more time. He was so anxious for the results, but looking at his test screens was not going to make it work any faster. The building was mostly deserted, besides a janitor and a few tenants using the space for storage. It was not in the best part of town, but Brian liked the peace and quiet of his office space, and there was no one to question what he was working on. He made it to the break room, and poured himself a 12 hour old cup of coffee. Brian barely noticed the bitter congealed tar he was sipping on, his mind was focused solely on one thing, nuclear fusion. Sitting down at the peeling laminate table and wobbly chair, Brian’s mind wandered to how is life is going to change. His face will be all over the news. Maybe if he’s lucky he will win the Nobel Peace Prize. Who was Brian kidding, he would win the Nobel Peace Prize with this revolutionary discovery. Women would fawn over him, he would finally have the respect of the few friends and family he had left. Taking another sip, he got a mouthful of coffee grounds that brought him back to reality. Time to go see if he changed the world.
He could barely contain himself from running back to his office, so he compromised with a speed walk to get there faster. Back in his office, it was as if he never left. The test was still running, everything was going as planned. He sat at his desk, kicked up his feet, and continued to sip the thick cold coffee syrup. Brian knew that it wouldn’t be long now. The reactor should have reached peak temperature, and soon the fusion reaction will occur, theoretically. He glanced from screen to screen, and through the jargon of numbers Brian saw what he had been looking for, evidence that his fusion experiment was successful. It was not much, but the numbers didn’t lie, he had finally done what no other person had been capable of before. He had just succeeded in nuclear fusion, while being able to generate more power than was consumed to create it. Brian had done it, he had essentially created a star. The small glowing pin prick in his reactor was all it took. It didn’t look like much, but Brian knew what this meant for the world. A smile overtook his composure as he thought about how great it would be to rub this in to all the doubters. His life would never be the same. He could finally walk around with his head held high. His name would be all over the news with this discovery, he would have his pick of any job in the world. Money, houses, women, Brian could now have it all. It was at this moment that alarms started to sound, lights and sirens started to go off as the hiss of the over pressure relief sounded. Panic set in, Brian rushed around the lab checking all the gauges and readings.
Everything looked normal, what was going wrong? Brian knew he should shut off the equipment, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it immediately. What if this is just a glitch, maybe it will level out and stabilize. Brian snapped to his senses and ran to the emergency stop. Just as he was about slam the stop button there was strange silence followed by nothing but light. He was blinded and felt a warmth surround his body, followed quickly by darkness. Had he actually hit the emergency stop? Was he dead? Was this the afterlife?