The Waking Edge - 1989
Critical Mass- Y Kontulis
(page 4/10)


Critical Mass

Y Kontulis


Dr Store walked up and down, deeply concentrated on his thoughts, waiting impatiently for his guest at the gate of the university. An older man got out of a taxi, approached him, and loudly said "Wake up, James!"

"Er...welcome, professor! Glad to see you again!"

"Come on, James it's been twenty years since I was your professor!"

"Sorry Roger."

Professor Hawle led the way into the same old building where he had given his lectures, years ago.

"My new office let's have a coffee."

"Please. This is a new wing, isn't it?'

"Yes much of it contains my labs."

"Ah...your famous labs. Tell me, how is your work progressing?"

"First, tell me what you already know."

"I've seen equations, dimensional correlations, time condensation theories and so forth in the literature, but I could not have figured anything out had you not shown me your experiment with the book. Since that secret experiment you must have proceeded even further. I am interested to know if you have managed to transfer a man."

"Men are being transferred to other times, past and future. But the time has come for a big experiment. Until now, my students and myself have been moving through Time but what we really need is a massive transfer of at least fifty people. Then we can attract publicity and grants to continue our research. I propose to use a group from the past which will give historians a great opportunity to obtain first-hand reports!

"My problem is to find the right people to bring here. A bunch of panicked idiots would be useless. That is why I need your advice."

"But have you thought of the implications of the matter? You could alter the Past!"

"The subjects will stay here for a week and then be returned to a millisecond after the time we transferred them. A careful dose of our special drugs, and some psychological tricks will make them think they had a mass hallucination."

"If you are sure about it, maybe the best place to look for candidates would be this university. Years ago, groups of fifty or more would repeatedly watch audiovisual emissions for some hours, in a darkened chamber. They called it 'cinema' .."

"Not a bad idea. My people will check the university records. Meanwhile, I'll show you to your room and then we can have lunch."

"Good news! We've managed to spot a kind of 'cinema' ideal for our purposes we're trying to find the exact co-ordinates. We'll be able to proceed tomorrow and bring the group forwards. "

"Why 'ideal'?"

"The spatial proximity simplifies calculations and increases accuracy. But, more importantly, they seem to be very suitable specimens. The 'films' they watched concerned extremely unbelievable situations, which suggests they may be more receptive to the idea of being transferred to the future, and they will be more co-operative whilst 'now'."

"They also seem to function as a group, which will increase the rate at which individuals become able to cope with the transfer. They use a collective name - icsf...