This is Part 1 of the Blog Battle Entry for November 2021 and the prompt is Hypnotic.
The Conker Singularity – Part 1
Gloria’s eyes had closed for just a moment – or so she had thought. Hopefully Professor Abdul Sahan Deere hadn’t seen that once again she had dozed off. The last time she had been spotted he ridiculed her in front of all one hundred and forty two of the other students in the hall. Gloria didn’t know that there was one hundred and forty two it was just a random number that came into her head. The lectures went on for some time and it wasn’t that they weren’t interesting to Gloria or that she wasn’t a great physics student. It was the out of hours project – her job as she coded it that meant she had gone for weeks with little sleep.
The lecture was almost over now, this is where Gloria paid attention, the lat five minutes where the Professor went through the principles and equations and that was enough for Gloria. Somehow she could remember the equations, all of them and think through what they meant from the principles, every lecture she attended she made progress and learned something new that bring her project closer to being completed. Then she would show Penny what it really meant to complete a proper, brilliant and fantastic physics project. Not one that you got the Professor to think up and your team of mindless harpies to make for you. It was those nails, building physics could not be done with nails that long. It just wasn’t possible.
Gloria looked at her nails, they weren’t long. Bitten to the quick by excessive thinking her dark complexion against the pink nails showed them off far too much. Listening intently she tried not to bite them, gripping her black wild looking hair she needed to take all this in and gripping the hair on the back of her head was all she could do stop the urge to bite. The it was over, Gloria couldn’t help feel that the professor glanced at her when he dismissed the class. Gloria made her mental notes, wiped the sleep from her eyes and gathered her books. started the long walk out of the lecture hall.
“Hey – Glo!” came the call from behind her.
Gloria froze, rolled her eyes and turned to face them, standing front of her were three well made up girls and a tall and geeky but nice looking boy “Pen. How are you? How are all of you?”
Penny stood there, looking accusingly at Gloria. “You know that next week you need to have the particle physics experiment ready and you know if you had joined my little group like I suggested you would have it done by now!” She said pointing a finger at Gloria with a long a pink, glittery nail on the end of it.
Gloria didn’t even flinch, rolling her big dark eyes she looked at Penny replied simply. “When my project is done, it will smash you and your project into quarks!”
Penny’s finger wobbled, Gloria knew she was nearly at boiling point, in a swift move the finger and the pink glittery nail lowered and without another word she stormed past, entourage in tow.
Gloria waited for them to depart and then turned but then another voice from behind her stopped her.
“I noticed you were distracted in my lecture today, I do hope that your work will be in on time Gloria. Your final grade is depending on this.”
It was the professor’s voice, a strange mix of some Arabian accent mixed with English and a dash of Indian. Despite the fact that Professor Abdul Sahan Deere was her prof, he wasn’t what someone would call the most intelligent. Gloria wondered how he got to where he is today as he seemed to learn from his students than they did from him. This made her suspicious that Penny’s project was a joint effort between him and her gang becasue she knew that Penny wouldn’t have lifted a finger.
“I know that prof, thank you.” Gloria replied without turning. “Whether it’s complete or not my work will be all mine let’s just say that!” Then she walked out of the lecture theatre, the last to leave now. Hurriedly she made her way to the post grad canteen, picked up sandwiches, snacks and drink stuffed then into a bag and then headed down to the basement. Two levels down under the floor there was no daylight just the flicker of the florescent strips and the fans trying to blow fresh air down. After snaking through the corridors she opened the door to lab 42.
“Hi Em!” Gloria announced as she walked in. No response. Looking around the hypnotic mess of wires and circuit boards strewn about the benches she could hear the sound of music playing on headphones. Gloria made her way though and under a large metal tube that wound around the lab. A small young woman sat in the corner repairing some piece of electronics, solder fumes wafted up and round her. Gloria pulled back one of the headphones.
Em shrieked. “What the hell Gloria don’t do that!” Em replaced the soldering iron into the holder and looked at Em through small round spectacles speckled with dots of stuff. “How did you get on?”
“Well I’ve got food and I’ve annoyed Penny again.”
“I don’t mean that.” Em replied. “I mean the final equations. Oh you’ve got food?”
“Yes, I have the final equations we need to make this work.” Gloria replied “It a project that set up a superhetrodyne particle accelerator to run is going to totally smash anything that anyone has done before. Even the top prof doesn’t think it’s possible, every time he see’s me he tells me I’m wasting my time.
Em replied with a mouthful of BLT sandwich “So if we make this work, what do you think they say to us?”
“I don’t know, I mean not only will we get our PhD’s but we could share the Nobel prize for this and it will mean we’ve made the Large Hadron Collider obsolete, everyone will come here and want to use it.”
“What do you think our first experiment should be?”
“Hydrogen, we should smash that and prove it works, if we’re right and it works as it should a particle accelerator that’s about 10,000 time more powerful than any others of a similar size we should be able to fuse some of the atoms at least into oxygen or maybe even carbon!”
“You think that’s possible?” Asked Em.
“We need to find out!” Gloria replied. “Let’s get on!”
In the world of science and technology there are two types of person, the type that throw it together and hope for the best and those that check, test and re-check. Gloria and Em fell into the latter category, so the next couple of days were spent assembling and checking and testing. Empires could have risen and fallen, an atomic explosion could have wiped out the city above them and they would have not noticed. After two days of being on a shift things can go wrong.
To be continued…
Part 2 coming tomorrow.
Part 2: The Conker Singularity – Part 2
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