Chapter Two, Part “ 2 “
Talking with complete confidence and showing facial movement for the words being spoken, Rachel turned and faced Professor Strong. “Professor Strong, would you please mouth your personal security codes for access to your computer? I can read what a person is saying at a distance of five hundred feet. Your codes will be kept private. I do not require a verbal response. The equations and images Val downloaded will determine my conversation with Dr. Bedford. Thank you.”
I did as Rachel requested. The plasma screen flashed for a second and then Rachel spoke.
“Doctor Chisholm, your project will be successful. The results will be beyond your current expectations. The Proteous will serve your purposes beyond it’s current capabilities. Dr. Bedford’s thermobaric cutters will not be necessary. I have modified her design to be used for a different application. It is my conclusion, the solid fuel mixture to work the cutters, should instead, be contained within the rings of Proteous. The resulting reaction upon release will generate enhanced shock waves to the point of creating a complete and highly affective time warp, allowing for safe passage to a preset emplacement. Instead of an aerobic reaction, there will be a continuous internal reaction. I have identified, that such a reaction will to be too hot for the Proteous and it’s occupants. Therefore, the use of a single cooling agent, liquid nitrogen, must be deepened to contain the integrity of the sphere. Basically, a combination of liquid oxygen or LOX and solid nitrogen. There are several degrees of cooling between these agents but necessary for the results to be effective and successful. This can be accomplished through the vermanium ribs surrounding the sphere. The hexagon shape of Proteous will contain the reaction and produce a constant state of readiness for transport or retrieval. With these modifications, you will be able to cross the time line without adverse affect. Your place of termination will be of a constant nature until the request is made verbally by the individual being transported. My dimension servos will monitor the progress and I can within a nano-second, retrieve the occupant or occupants to safety if I sense a harmful situation. That is, with your confirmation before departure Doctor Chisholm.”
Doctor Chisholm looked at those present. He was quite aware of the thought going through their minds. Putting all the pieces together had come to fruition. Their personal designs, trials and errors, changes in formats and configuring workable applications were now a reality. Rachel had said the project would be successful. There was not a doubt of failure. Each individual concept would be integrated with the others making for a device altering time and space.
“And now ladies and gentlemen, are there any questions for Rachel?” asked Rufus Chisholm.
“Yes Doctor. I have a question for Rachel.” said Dr. Bedford. “Rachel, I have spent millions of Dr. Chisholm’s finances on industrial diamonds. Are you now suggesting they are of no use to this project?”
Rachel responded. “ No, Dr. Bedford, The diamonds will be integrated with the liquid oxygen allowing the cooling affect to have a controlled and desired temperature stability required for transportation. They are a critical component for sustaining Proteous’ endurance. Do you have another question Sheila?” asked Rachel.
Surprised, Sheila had been acknowledged by her Christian name and by a very attractive hologram. “Thank you Rachel. No further questions.”
“Dr. Chisholm, do you or any others of your staff have further queries for me?” asked Rachel. “If not, I will terminate the hologram and continue with the my computations. I appreciate the time all of your have spent with me. It was a pleasure and we must do it again.”
Glancing from side to side, Rufus saw no notification of further questions from the members for Rachel. With a negative response to her question, Rachel vanished from sight.
Dr. Chisholm uttered, “Shall we depart to the conference room and carry on with the debate we were attempting to resolve?”
It was Dr. Prendigrass who spoke. “Dr. Chisholm, if what has just transpired is in fact, not a figment of my imagination, I, with great respect, withdraw my intention of leaving this facility. Not only have I been convinced, but also of the project’s success. I wish to continue my employment and be apart of history in the making. I think, I also speak for the other two, or as you so eloquently put it, skeptics Doctor.”
Looking to his left, he made eye contact with two other scientists. He received approving nods. Then turning to face Dr. Chisholm, he waited for his acceptance and their reinstatement back into the fold.
“Harold, I was hoping that David, Juan and yourself would reconsider your decisions. Yes, I am pleased that the three of you have made the correct choice. To be quite honest, I would not have allowed your departure. Frankly. all of you are privy to delicate and confidential information that could be dangerous and possibly lethal to certain individuals outside of this complex. Our own government is totally unaware of the experiments we conduct at this facility. Your lives would be at risk should that information be revealed. Once we have resolved the dilemma I previously explained to you, I will divulge, as I see fit, any pertinent information and knowledge of the project to the proper authorities. When that time comes, I will have accomplished my quest, hopefully, with consequences being of a positive nature.”
Continuance of the conference room debate was now pointless and each individual left Lab fourteen with a new understanding of Proteous. Thanking Dr. Chisholm, each went their separate way. Conditions underlying the projects future was now in the hands of the technicians and the entire complement were in agreement. And so, taking advantage of the reprieve, I approached Dr. Bedford and asked if we might have a private conversation in the hallway. She looked at me with a inquisitive expression, but agreed to a dialogue. I was pleased.
Once outside Rachel’s laboratory, I stopped walking as if my legs were like jelly and turned to face Sheila. Looking directly at her, I asked, “I do not wish to be presumptuous, but aren’t you the student who was always questioning my theories on rapid movement through solids at M.I.T.? And if you are, why didn’t you acknowledge yourself to me?”
“Yes Professor it is. But I would....” but Brian interrupted her.
“Sheila, please never call me Professor again. It’s Brian, except when there are team members around. I think you know what I mean. Protocol and all that. You were my best and favorite student. You had an ability none of my students would understand. You were further ahead in movement design then I had ever hoped to teach. And I did not want that calculating brain of yours to throw the other students off. Look at you. How many degree’s do you have? Five? At least.”
It was now her turn to dominate the conversation.“Brian. If I may get a word in edgewise, you were my mentor. You stayed up with the research and I followed every paper you wrote. I was fascinated at your theoretical concepts. That is why I continued my studies and was eventually asked by Dr. Chisholm to join his staff. I was also aware of his desire to have you on board. And that made me very nervous. Meeting you again with the possible result that we would always be arguing over who was right and who was wrong. I don’t want that to happen.”
“I’ve missed you Sheila. I’ve missed the tempestuous discussions. Those lectures where you shook your head in utter disagreement. Your negative facial expressions. I noticed them all. I’ve missed that. That, and more.”
Sheila was slightly taken aback at his sincerity. She responded, “You did? I thought you were in complete disagreement with everything I said. My theories, my dissertations, even just my attending your lectures. You belittled me at every turn. I was ready to quit, but I refused to let you do that to me.”
I let her anger be vented. When I felt the time was right, I interjected. “Dr. Bedford. I love the sound of that. Sheila, did you ever look at your final marks? I wanted to grade you at 100%, but that was impossible. You did get 98.5% which was questioned by the university. After my lecture to the principals, they agreed to let that mark stand. Did you ever wonder why the Sandia Institute contacted you and not the other way around and eventually Dr. Chisholm here at the Mt. Rouche Laboratory? I was so impressed with you, I took the liberty of advocating your entrance to the finest Institutes this country has to offer. I think you, I stand corrected, we, got off on the wrong foot. Can we start over, that is if you agree.”
“Brian, you have no idea how much that would please me. But what did you mean just now, when you said ‘and more?’ I am very curious to find out your answer!”
I looked at her with the expression of a puppy being handed to it’s new owner, and said, “I thought it was obvious.”
“What? Oh my! Why didn’t you say something to me. Anything. I thought you were...” She never finished that statement. “I am so confused Brian. I always wanted to... I should have. I didn’t realize...”
“Sheila, you are repeating yourself and I love it.”
“That was the word I wanted to say. It got twisted around my tongue.” was all she could say.
“Then I will say it again. Love.”
The relationship I had always wanted. I was not going to let this woman leave my side. I could not stop from looking into her blue eyes. I had always loved her, but I was too stubborn to approach the subject. Until now. Whether the timing was right, I cared not. But the Proteous Project was to throw curves at us that would either temper our new relationship or destroy it.
No sooner had I finished the thought, that Rachel’s voice came from one of the many speakers surrounding the hallway.
“Dr Strong, would you please come to Lab fourteen immediately?”
“Sheila, please wait here? I’ll be but a moment. Another woman would like my presence.” and I kissed her on the cheek.
I walked back to Lab fourteen and requested entrance. The massive doors opened immediately, then shut and locked behind me.
I asked with deep concern, “Is locking the door necessary Rachel? And how can I be of service?”
"Professor Strong, I have prevented someone or something from entering your personal computer. The hack came from the outside. It was not initiated from within this complex or any of our affiliates. There has been a serious breach in security. I wished to inform you first. I will concentrate on locating the source and report back to you and Dr. Chisholm. This is an extremely serious situation Brian. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you. Thank you.”
The lab door reopened and I left in a state of bewilderment. I thought to myself, 'Who would want to steal any of my files and for what purpose? Something very strange is going on here and my left ear is twitching. It does not do that unless something is definitely wrong.' I walked slowly back to Sheila.
Chapter 2 Part "3" soon.....