From: Unknown Sender.
Date: December 24th.
Subject: Antimatter Xmas
Hi there, whoever you are reading this. Though as I sent this to news organizations, I can at least be pretty confident that you are a reporter.
I realize that this is a bit long, but it is worth the read, and if you make it to the end, there will be some extra information in store for you. Sure, you could skip ahead, but you won't have the context to make sense out of it. So take a few minutes and read what I have to say, then do with this information, and the little bit extra at the end, what you will. I'll spare you the boring day to day details, because that really isn't important. What is important is what happened on that last day, today, right now as I write this actually.
As of this writing, it has been more than three years since I was taken. Stolen from my wife, my kids, my home, and my job. I was given a new job and promised that my family would be taken care of. Assuming that the pictures and video my captors, my employers, if we use their preferred term, showed me are in fact true, they did just as promised. I could assume nothing else, hope for nothing else, and keep going, keep working. I worked, and worked hard. I worked much harder than I think they realize.
My days consisted of waking up, doing the normal morning things anyone does, work, work, work, rest, work some more, the usual evening stuff, occasionally watching some random thing on Netflix, and then sleep. Slip eating a few times in there somewhere, and that has been my life for these past three plus years, essentially non-stop. In that time I have been extremely productive, even if I do say so myself. I wouldn't have earned the privileges that have allowed me to create the situation that brings you to be reading this if I wasn't.
My fusion plant design powered the facility after just the first six months, but I have done so much more than just that. So much more than my employers realize. I'm pulling a bit of an Iron Man from the first movie, but my tech is not cobbled together, these fools actually gave me the tools of their own destruction, even begged me to build them.
I got up early this morning, just couldn't sleep anymore, too much adrenaline, the anticipation for what was coming today just wouldn't let me sleep anymore. I was so excited, so distracted by what I have set in motion, that I almost left the damn tracker in my room. It'll be the last time I deal with that thing though, and that makes me very happy.
It is almost Christmas, which means I am kinda giving myself an early present. My freedom, the destruction of this facility, and the destruction of the bastards that have held me here. So, is that three presents? Four? I told them I have a big reveal, and they trust me so much, they brought in several dignitaries. I saw a senator and at least one general, along with several other suits. Not sure which senator, but does that really matter? I suppose not, at least not to me.
I have all my work and so much more on a portable Hard Drive, that they gave me, because none of the computers here are on the internet, and this facility is too old to have proper networking, not that they would have the systems networked, or so I told them. The place actually had full fiber optic networking in place, but they didn't know that, and I wasn't going to tell.
I convinced them to give me the drive. I did need a way to move data between labs after all, and I have been such a good worker. They just don't seem to have even suspected. I even convinced them that requiring it to be encrypted wouldn't work because the computers were not networked, so I would have to have the password, or it, and the systems, couldn't be encrypted. They bought it! Going the easy route, no encryption, I mean, all the systems were not on a network after all. It isn't as if they would bring some peon IT guy here, I mean, they had me, why would they need someone else? Fools.
Now I am just waiting, sitting in the Fusion lab and typing this out for you while I wait for it to happen. Should be about 10 more minutes, about 3 after they realize that something is very, very, wrong. I have to smile at that. They are going to know that something has gone seriously sideways, and there is nothing they can do about it. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't stop what I have started. It has been in place since I programmed the first lines of code for the Fusion control systems, since i typed the first sentence of the security protocols, which they have faithfully implemented, without modification.
I'm sure they took those security and safety protocols and had them reviewed, at least generally, by someone who would know, and I did those really clean, because a safety lock down is best practice. That it plays right into my hands in this moment is an entirely separate, and serendipitous fact.
So, to whoever sees this email. You'll know that the explosion was not some accident, but set off deliberately. With any luck, I'll be walking away from all this. I mean, I was right about the Laser, the Fusion power plant, and a dozen other things I have worked on while I have been here. I just have to hope I am as smart as they think I am.
Then again, I'm not sure where this facility actually is. I was drugged and unconscious when I was brought here. I know it is underground, but that is about it. I kinda hope it is near, but not in, a city. I mean, I am about to set off a rather massive explosion, and I get to be at essentially ground zero. About 30 feet actually, but if my calculations are right, that is all but a pointless distinction.
So, if I don't survive this, you'll be getting another message with a link to a secure storage location on a cloud server I set up. A follow up set of emails will give you different access instructions, and each new domain you access will give you more information about who these bastards are, what they have been doing, where they have people like me working as essentially slaves, etc...
If is do survive, you'll still probably get a few of those emails, but I'll be keeping most of the data for myself. I plan on burning it all down around their heads, and what better way to do it, than from inside their own world, now that I have all of their data, and I do mean all of it.
Hopefully emailing you again soon.
A hopeful, abducted genius.
Hitting send on the email, the message CC'd to every news organization he could think of and could find an email address for. ″That does it." Looking at his watch. "Should be any minute now.″
The door to the large facility monitoring room bursts open, the Sargent looks at his charge, taking in the fact that he is dressed in jeans, a dragon T-Shirt, heavy boots, and a backpack. ″What have you done, and where did you get the back pack?″
Looking up from the computer he had just used to send the email, glancing one last time at the fusion plant monitors. The sudden appearance of the Sargent surprising him. ″Hello Mike. I do feel kinda bad, as you have been one of those who have been around for the whole time, but there isn't enough time for you, or anyone in the facility to get away.″
″What did you do?″ A sudden dread clear on the Sargent's face as the cold and almost detached look on his charges face sinks in. He doesn't get the chance to ask again, or get a response as several others burst into the room, including the supervisor. The Sargent violently shoved out of the way and falling to the side.
The facility supervisor, the person he hated most there at the facility, the person most directly responsible for him being there glared at him. ″What have you done?″
He chuckled lightly as he turned slowly in the chair to look at the supervisor. ″I have only bypassed a few safety protocols, ensuring that the fusion plant will experience a catastrophic failure.″
The facility supervisor charging over to him and staring menacingly down at him. ″Then stop it. Shut it down.″
He looked up from his chair at the supervisor, clearly not scared in any way. ″Can't. There is no stopping what I have set into motion, and there is no escape for you, or anyone here. Once the Fusion core ruptures...″ Glancing again at the monitors. ″In about 30 seconds, the entire facility will go into full lock down. Because, you never bothered to have the systems updated in this old derelict facility, while also implementing the safety protocols you had me lay out for you.″
″This is not a derelict facility.″ The supervisor took several steps back as the response was not that of the timid and friendly former IT guy he was used to dealing with.
″No? Come on man. The camera system, where it works, is out of the 1980s at best. The equipment, accept the new stuff you brought in for me, is all out of the mid 90s. This place was abandoned before you picked me up and decided to use it. Certainly couldn't afford to upgrade it, and I suspect this isn't a sanctioned project. I mean, there were the storage systems in the lower levels, and yes I have been through the entire facility. I considered using the escape tunnels, but I couldn't be sure that you wouldn't do something stupid and set things off early. Though I did destroy all the samples down there. I have the data though.″
Stepping back further in surprise, the alarms going off; indicating an imminent core breach. ″Of course this is sanctioned. I've shown you the documents. Now stop this.″
He shook his head sadly, watching the fear that was creeping into the supervisors eyes with supreme pleasure. ″Even if I wanted to. Even if you had the time to try and convince me, there is nothing I, or anyone on this planet, not a person in this entire Universe, can do to stop it.″
>>WARNING. FUSION CORE BREACH. WARNING<<
″You are going to blow us up with a fusion bomb, in the middle of a city? Are you insane? You'll kill millions!″
He smiled at the admission. ″Oh. I do so hope that this facility is in a city, or at least on the outskirts of one. That will make my escape that much easier.″
The supervisor growled and pulled a device out of his pocket. ″Fine. You have been such a hard worker, I never had to threaten you, but now you leave me no choice. You think we didn't put insurance into you?″ Mashing the yellow button on the device.
>>WARNING. FUSION CORE BREACH. WARNING. BEGINNING FACILITY LOCK DOWN<<
Lights and sirens begin to strobe throughout the facility. When the supervisor his the button, he bends over and screams, starting to thrash in the chair for a moment before giving into a deep belly laugh. ″Hahahaha. Oh man! I can't believe you actually did it. Hahahaha.″ Wiping tears from his eyes.
The supervisor mashing the button several more times, looking at him in disbelief. ″Impossible. How?″
>>WARNING. FUSION CORE BREACH. WARNING<<
″Haha… Do you really think, in three years, I would not have found, and removed, all the devilish little devices you had implanted in me. I removed those little pain devices in the first two weeks.″
The supervisors face going dark. ″So be it.″ Pulling a little panel back and pressing a black button with a glowing red ring around its edge. In the far corner of the room, a small explosion occurs.
He frowned up at the supervisor. ″Removed that little thing the day after you stopped checking. Of course, as it was also a tracker, I had to keep it on me at all times. Funny. I almost forgot it this morning, and that would have been problematic, wouldn't it.″
>>WARNING. FUSION CORE BREACH. WARNING. FACILITY LOCK DOWN COMPLETE<<
>>ALERT!! AUTO-SHUTDOWN DISABLED. ALERT!! CATASTRPHIC SYSTEM FAILURE EMMINENT!! FUSION CORE FAILURE. ALERT!!<<
The supervisor pulled his gun, leveling it at him. ″Fine! The old fashioned way.″ Taking aim and pulling the trigger, then having to duck as the bullet ricocheted off something unseen.
He grinned at the supervisor, despite flinching. ″Well, that would definitely qualify as a final field test.″ Looking at a gauge on his wrist. ″Thank you for that. You'd have been doing me the favor of just ending it, or as you actually did, prove that my personal shield is fully functional, which means I will most likely survive the blast, whereas you will most definitely not.″
More alarms scream as the core finishes breaching, power failing and the facility systems switching to emergency lighting. He looked up at the panicked and confused look on the supervisors face. ″Time to try and run little rabbit.″ Picking up the backpack and putting it on. ″You see. I have downloaded every bit, byte, and electron of data on every single computer in this facility, including your own. You gave me the ability to do it, since you never bothered to bring in an IT person. Which is why I know this isn't a sanctioned project. All the better for me. Yet, better than that. Via your computer and the very functional fiber optic network here in the facility." Grinning at the shocked look on the supervisors face. "Oh. Did I not mention that? My apologies. I have, using that and your computer, also been able to access, using your codes, so much data as to be properly absurd. I had to set up a cloud server to store it all, the really important parts duplicated here of course." Patting the backpack. "In the portable hard drives you gave me to move data around. Well, that is what I am still using it for, so thank you also for that.″
Turning, the supervisor and the guards he entered with exit the room and make a run for the stairwell, where his code fails to open the door because the electrical shock implants that he had triggered first had been placed in all of the keypads, resulting in them all frying.
Grinning as he watches the Supervisor run out of the room, he stands and walks over to the Sargent who is curled up and crying. ″Hey Sarge. Why are you crying?″
The Sargent glared up at his charge. ″Because I will never see my daughter again, my wife, my brother, hell, even my cat.″
He kneeled next to the sergeant. ″Seriously Mike. You have really been the only person here in the entire three years that has been nice to me. I mean that you have been more than just a minder, but as close to a friend as I could get. Bringing me chocolate when I was needing it, keeping me in good coffee, and I know it was you that would get the video of my family.″
The klaxons screaming of an eminent explosion from the core breach, the Sargent's eyes a mix of anger and fear. ″I did it because I could kinda understand what you were feeling. How I would feel if it had been done to me.″
″Right. Which is why I decided a few days ago to help you if I got the chance.″
The sergeant looks up at him, tears straining his face. ″By what? Killing me before the bomb you created does? Before the Fusion plant you built explodes and destroys the city my family lives in?″
The grin, almost devilish, still on his face. ″No. I am going to save you, or at least try.″ Pulling a device out of his pocket and placing it on the Sargent's chest, pressing a button in the center. The device glowing blue for a moment and then disappearing.
″What did you do?″
Sitting down next to the Sargent. ″Just gave you the backup shield unit. I'll need it back afterwards. Besides, the fusion plant has already done all the damage it is going to do. You guys really never understood a thing I was up to, nor what I was creating for you was really capable of. This is the right wall to be against. It is an outer wall to the facility and should help protect us from the blast by preventing us from being flung up into the air.″
″If not the fusion plant, than what?″
″I cut the leads between the battery back up and the magnets for the antimatter containment, or rather I reversed what the action will be when the system tries to switch to battery. When the system flips to fail-safe, instead of maintaining containment, the system will trigger the antimatter to be drawn to the containment walls. Should be equivalent to about 14 or 15 Tomahawks. About 150 tons of TNT, as there was only about 1.6 x 10^-6 grams.″
″And we are going to survive that?″ asked the sergeant, turning to look at him incredulous.
He shrugged. ″Maybe. Depends on if the shields hold up.″
″When will we know?″
″Any moment now.″ Putting his head against the wall, the sergeant doing the same.
They sat in silence for another minute before the fail-safe on the antimatter containment kicked on, and a few fractions of a second later, the antimatter impacted the containment vessel walls. The detonation was initially soundless as the wave of destruction and hard radiation expanded outwards. The initial event actually causing a back pressure event with the un-annihilated antimatter, causing it to collapse back to the center and actually fuse from anti-hydrogen, into anti-helium, resulting in a secondary explosion, which accelerated that remaining antimatter outwards and resulted in a final explosion. The end result, due to the rebound effect was the equivalent of 260 tons of TNT, and obliterated the facility.
At 11pm Christmas Eve, a massive explosion ripped a hole in the middle of down town Indianapolis, the blast shattering windows for several miles and seriously damaged or destroyed several nearby buildings. The small building that had hidden the facility was gone, the buildings next to it, all but destroyed, the nearer buildings heavily damaged. The blast was heard and felt in the form of the blast itself, as well as what some thought was an earthquake, far out into the suburbs.
Early reports and a few witnesses said that two men climbed out of the hole. There was even a shaky and grainy cell phone video, which showed little, and which few believed was real. The stories said that one of the men who climbed out of the hole was wearing fatigues, the other blue jeans. Each walking a different direction after sharing a hug and hand shake, but few believe those stories as no one could have survived the blast, which is said to have been the result of a sink hole filling with gas from a cracked gas line, which was later ignited by a lightning strike, as there had been a storm that Christmas Eve.
From: Unknown Sender.
Date: January 12th
Subject: Antimatter Xmas 2 – I survived.
Hello there again, and happy new year. I do hope you had a great holiday.
It would seem I survived. What happened? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you have the right contacts, you'll know that an old government research facility blew a hole in down town Indianapolis. If not, then you think it was a sink hole filled by a gas leak and ignited by a lighting strike. Plausible, but really?
I'm sure you have seen some of the data now, and there are still a few pieces to come. Though I have stopped the stuff that I am keeping for me. As for me. Well, I've been busy of course. Work work work. I have a lot of work to do. I need to ensure my family is secure. I have been using some of the accounts I now have access to in order to buy little things, and to prepare for the next stage in my vengeance.
I am going to use their own systems, their own processes, and their own projects, against them, and they are never even going to see it coming. They can't. Because I never existed. The site I was in never officially existed, and where it was documented, it was defunct and no longer used. Heck, they didn't even know that there were samples of some very interesting things in the lower levels there.
The supervisor did the whole thing off the books, even the deepest, darkest books. He was in a bad way. Several failed projects, lots of money lost, and I was going to be his redemption. That's what the senator and the others were there for. He was going to show off me and the stuff I had created and get himself back into the good graces of the brass. Instead, he took them with him. There really was almost no one at the facility. Just me, the supervisor, my minder, and the techs. No loss to the intellectual community there, and since it was to be a surprise show off moment for the supervisor, everyone had to be there. So about a dozen people all told.
One fell swoop, and I, the facility, and everyone who could ID me, save my minder, gone. I know he's not talking. He was no more officially there than I was. He just went in the next day to his normal job, resuming it as if nothing had happened, and there is no record that he has ever been anyone else.
Well. Time for me to go. Enjoy the data.
Muse – Formerly an abducted genius
© D.C.Ballard 2019