martes, 21 de julio de 2015

Men as monsters

   Inoctium was the name of the compound that they had invented in the lab. It had many properties that a normal human would have deemed incredible and many of those who had been involved in the project thought exactly that. Many had wanted to leave the project before it was finalized but that wasn’t possible, as no one wanted any leaks or stolen information. It was obvious that any foreign power, anyone to be honest, would love to have their hands on such a potentially disastrous little element. So very few knew about its existence and another handful thought it was just an urban legend and that no one would be so stupid to create something so incredibly dangerous, although good in every way too.

  Only a small amount had been created but what had amazed the creators was what that small quantity could do. It was an alchemist’s dream as it had the capacity of transforming anything into platinum, one of the most expensive metals in the world. It could also be used to manipulate magnetic fields so many objects had been created around it to transform the world, as we know it. But of course, all of those objects, like flying devices and many military weapons, had not come out to the world yet. The committee that had approved tests to create the compound, finally decided to cancel the whole thing altogether and ordered the inoctium to be destroyed in the act and not a single thread of evidence to be left around. The reactions were varied but it wasn’t like they could say anything to prevent it.

 Nevertheless, the destruction never took place. And that was simply because the inoctium behave almost as if it was a living creature, a very strong and resilient creature. It couldn’t be destroyed. They tried every single corrosive agent, viruses, alloys, even small bombs but nothing seemed to do anything to it. The only real difference they detected was that the amount of inoctium had somehow grown larger. The committee, after hearing the results of the attempts to kill the thing, decided to keep it away from every single human forever. It was sent to a nuclear waste disposal facility, where the deepest chamber had been redesigned to contain even the largest explosion. The inoctium was placed there, under several locks, security and around several amounts of nuclear waste.

 Its creators never forgot about it. They felt it was their baby, their proudest moment as scientists. But they knew it was dangerous so they never spoke about the inoctium, ever again. The files that had been created around it had all been destroyed and their lab was dismantled. Thirty years passed and no one dared to go back to those dark times. That was until the day Yucca mountain, the place were the inoctium rested, exploded in a massive way. A whole was opened in the desert and some small towns were in the way; the earthquake that was generated wiped them out. It was the biggest disaster involving anything nuclear and scientists couldn’t explain what happened.

But the creators of the inoctium, a group of only six people, knew exactly what had happened. They had warned the government against burying the compound in a place were other chemicals and elements were kept but no one heard then and no heard after the explosion, mainly because only a handful of government officials knew about inoctium and they were all close to retirement. The president didn’t believe a word that he heard, thinking that if such a powerful thing existed, the past governments would have used to finally impose the country on the world. Maybe that was what he would have done but it wasn’t what had happened. The team knew that the explosion had a cause but no one would believe them.

 Two of them, who had married and had children, decided to try and recreate the process that had created the inoctium but they failed horribly, dying in another explosion, less massive but also a tragedy. Only the two of them died, so the other four members of the team knew what had happened. They insisted on talking to the president, they wanted to explain to him how it all worked for him to understand but he just wouldn’t listen. Word had it that he was trying to blame the explosion on some terrorist group or another country, so he could get a hand on their resources. This president was not like the other who hid their intentions; he didn’t care for those who were ashamed of what had to be done, according to him.

  The team reunited with other experts and tried for them to understand what was going on and how they should prevent anyone from mishandling what was left of the compound on the site of the explosion. If the wrong person got there first or if someone mishandled the inoctium, something even more awful could happen. The scientific community was much more receptive than the government, mainly because the four remaining members of the team had time to explain how they had created the compound and what were its properties. By doing so they were going against the law and against every single paper they had to sign the day the inoctium project was shut down. But lives had been lost and they couldn’t afford to allow more to happen.

 Nevertheless, the scientific community was very divided. Some, like the government, thought the four scientists were insane old people that needed to be in a retirement home and not talking to anyone about science. Others believe some parts but the properties of the inoctium were the thing that put them in high doubt. And other believed them, mainly because they had worked on similar projects before that had ended in failure. Despite that, they felt it was possible to do what they had tried to do back then. So the team got some support and tried again to contact the government, with no more success than before. It was announced, a few days after, that the country had concluded the explosion to be a terrorist attack.

  For the members of the team, it was a tragedy when they saw the images of tanks and planes attacking some country on the other side of the world. The government had declared them guilty of harboring terrorists and claimed that they should be brought to justice. What was obvious after a few days though, was the fact that every suspect they found was killed. No one was apprehended. In a few days that nation had fallen and occupation began, like it had happened before elsewhere. Of course, every single company prepared their luggage and landed in the destroyed country to set up business, weather it was security related or minerals related. Anyway, the world had lost another piece and scientists weren’t closer to prove anything.

So they decided to disobey in the most visible way possible: they would get the proper equipment and then travel to Nevada, were the explosion had taken place, to illegally enter the site and see for themselves if the inoctium had been destroyed or not. Many fellow scientists helped them prepare and get the equipment and it took them only a week to be prepared and leave for the desert. They had brought weapons too because this time they weren’t going to be just scientist but also madmen, even if there was a women among them. When they got to Nevada, they started doing vigilance on the site, which was very heavily guarded. Fortunately, they were able to get a military drone from one of its makers and used it.

 The drone discovered that the site was not only a whole on the ground as it had been portrayed in the media. The truth was that they had built several building around the explosion site and the crater created had been covered by a white fabric, which looked like plastic, or something like it. They didn’t get to see or know more as the drone was shot down and by the military, who were the ones guarding the place. The scientists had controlled it remotely so no one knew it had been them watching but they decided to head for Las Vegas, to think about their next step. The news had changed their headlines from “Patriotic war” to “Our heroes triumphed” showing military man “guarding” the streets of a ravaged town.

 The team knew they just couldn’t get into the site as no one would allow them to and another drone would be even more dangerous, because then they would really be in the eye of the storm. They didn’t know what to do, what to think of it all. Because of them, because of what they had done so many years ago, people were dying every day. That fake war and the explosion were a symptoms of a cancer that had to be taken out. And although the government was also another disease, it was preferable to deal with the inoctium first. They planned to seek help from the opposition to the president and to the war and try to get international help from scientists around the world, willing to speak on their behalf.

   But when the war on the other side of the world expanded and spilled onto other countries, the scientists were rendered mute. Because on one morning in august, people around the world got to see the most incredible and most horrible thing in the world: the military had used the inoctium against other. They had seized it and created weaponry with it. Easily, the world started to crumble and people, for the first few seconds, were all without a voice. They couldn’t believe they were seeing the end of their world on their TV and computer screens. And many wouldn’t get to see the real end, further ahead.

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