The Excalibur Project

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The year is 2632. Scientists have discovered a particle that connects all space and time. This particle was dubbed the ‘Quantum Motivator’ (QM) after its ability to enhance connections between objects. It allows instantaneous travel between any object, place or time. Unfortunately, like any particle, it has an opposite. This opposing particle was named the ‘Quantum Disruptor’ (QD) and it caused all matter to freeze, making the atom break apart and cease to exist. The QD nearly destroyed the world. This is the story of how that catastrophe was prevented.
Cedric Bircher felt the surge of energy course through his body as the sharp, icy pain ran through his chest. Time seemed to slow down, then stop as he held onto the pendant around his neck. A vortex of purple light emanated from his pendant and surrounded him. Time started reversing, spinning back. He felt a powerful jerk and the light faded. He was standing in his office, 30 minutes previously.
Cedric, a scientist working at CERN in Switzerland, was assistant to the famous Gabriel Rissler. Rissler discovered the Quantum Motivator and was the creator of many inventions related to this particle. Among them was the small brass disk hanging around Cedric’s neck known as the Quantum Lock. This device, when activated, caused time to go back 30 minutes if the wearer was killed. Cedric had been told only to use this if humanity was also in grave danger.
Cedric fingered his saviour as he thought about what had just happened or more accurately, will happen! Cedric had walked in on one of his colleagues, Lucien Grasser, discussing one of his inventions. Lucien called it ‘Project Excalibur’ and it could only be described as a superweapon. It looked like an ordinary sword but when activated, the blade was filled with Quantum Disruptor particles. These gave the sword the ability to instantly destroy whatever it touched. Cedric walked in just as Lucien was about to announce his weapon to the world. Lucien murdered Cedric when he objected to this use of technology. Now Cedric was the only one who could stop him.
Cedric sprinted down the corridor to the archives to research a way to counteract Excalibur. He checked his watch. 28 minutes until Lucien would release the device. As he was running down the corridor he bumped into another one of his colleagues, Sofia Carle. “Sorry!” he cried and tried to race on but Sofia grabbed his arm. “Cedric! You’re just the person I’m looking for. I need to ask... wait, where are you going?”
“Can’t talk now!” he shouted as he bounded down the passage. He reached the archives and threw the door open. He started rummaging through pages. “Plans for space colonisation, teleportation, asteroid mining, dark matter, UH!” Cedric let out a cry of exasperation. A maintenance worker who was loitering outside gave him a wary look.
A newspaper clipping attached to a journal article caught Cedric’s eye. He snatched them up. The clipping showed a wrecked city and had the title, ‘Chicago Destroyed in Antimatter Explosion’. The journal article was about matter and antimatter reacting with each other and creating an enormous explosion, destroying the matter and antimatter. Cedric put his hand to his forehead. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before!?” Matter destroyed itself when it came into contact with its polar opposite, why shouldn’t QD be the same? He held the pendant, it contained small amounts of QM, the inverse of QD. If he could contain the explosion in one of CERNs bunkers he could destroy the weapon forever. He knew what to do.
He ran to the magnetic hover rail that snaked through CERN and leapt on the nearest train. He checked his watch again. 7 minutes left. He hoped the train would hurry up. When the train reached the station he sprang off and hurried to Lucien’s office. He rushed in and saw Lucien standing there with a phone to his ear. “Hold on”, Lucien said to the person on the other end and spun to face Cedric. “Cedric, look at this!” He took him to his desk and pointed to a large silver sword lying there. It had a single button on the hilt. “This is ‘Excalibur’” he said. “It is...” Cedric interrupted him. “I know what you are doing and it has to stop. The reason CERN is in Switzerland is because of our neutral status. We do not build weapons. We study and discover.”
“I have to say I expected to encounter some opposition,” Lucien growled. “Well, it’s too late to stop me. The moment I press this button every military power will receive an invitation to a live auction where I will sell Excalibur to the highest bidder!” He tried to grab something on his desk but his fingers closed around empty air. “What the...?” He looked at Cedric. In Cedric’s hands was a small glass cube with a large red button inside it. “Cedric!” shouted Lucien. “Give that back!” Lucien grabbed the sword and it glowed icy blue. Cedric dashed off with the glass case, leading Lucien to the bunker. He was planning to throw down the pendant, thus releasing the QM particles, before running out of the bunker and slamming the door. As Cedric snapped the pendant’s chain, he glanced around and saw the blue blade drive through his chest. Everything went black.
Cedric felt the surge of energy course through his body as the sharp, icy pain ran through his chest. Time seemed to slow down then stop as he held onto the pendant. Suddenly a vortex of purple light emanated from his pendant and surrounded him. Time started reversing, spinning back. He felt a powerful jerk and the light faded. He looked at the pendant in his hand. He had failed to destroy the sword. But this time it was different. This time, he had a plan. The pendant wasn’t just his saviour now, it was the saviour of the whole world.