Katharine Osborne Fusion Short Story
Every day, she writes a story based on one of the 365 songs that happen to be playing in her iPod playlist. On day 83, she was inspired by the vision of a wonderful fusion future.
Inspired by “O-O-H Child” by the Five Stairsteps
“Are you ready?!” yelled the mayor of Las Vegas to the assembled crowd of reporters, casino workers, conventioneers, and tourists. He was on a raised dais around a building sheathed in smoked glass. He was flanked by several pose-hitting showgirls colorfully clad in ostrich feathers. They stood next to a large pipe painted red. It was 3 A.M.
“Yes!” The crowd roared back.
“I can’t hear you!” yelled the mayor playfully, cupping his ear towards the crowd.
“Yes!!” they responded.
“Then let’s start this thing up!” he yelled. The crowd roared again. He turned and grasped a long-handled valve. He waved over to one of the showgirls, and she held the end of the handle. Together they pulled the handle, and pure water shot through the pipe at high velocity, and into the chamber inside the building. When the chamber was full the the valve shut itself off, and the magnets started to spin up. The building started to give off a low humming sound. The crowd fell silent, waiting.
The visible light lasers turned on, and the lights in the buildings around them started to dim and flicker. The lasers criss-crossed each other in a nest-like pattern. The real work was being done with higher frequency lasers that could not be seen, but since this was Vegas, the engineers were commissioned to add some glitz.
A tiny light started to glow from the center of the nest. The water in the chamber was super heated and became a plasma. The mayor and the showgirls all donned pairs of wayfarer sunglasses. The crowd took this as their cue and did the same, with a flimsier version that was handed out to everyone for the event. Each of the glasses was stamped with the Las Vegas Fusion logo.
The light grew and shimmered. The magnetic fields condensed and intensified, and the ball of light became tighter and smaller, but glowed brighter. The humming went higher, and eventually out of the range of human hearing. The white light shifted to blue, basking the faces in the crowd with an eery glow.
Then the whole building filled with bright white light. The crowd gasped. It was like a piece of the sun had landed on the Strip. The showgirls swung their arms to showcase the event, cutting the light into rays that swayed across the crowd. They burst into whoops and screams and applause.
It went on for several minutes, as the mayor pleaded for the crowd to quiet so he could speak. Finally they stood quiet, many with tears rolling freely down their faces.
“Thank you, thank you! I have just been told that we are officially powering the entire city of Las Vegas!”
The crowd roared again.
“And we are feeding back electricity to the grid!” There were more whoops and screams. “With the revenues we generate from this project, we can fund the entire budget of the city…tax free!” There was more wild screaming for a full minute.
“Yes, yes. Amazing, isn’t it? First in the nation!” The crowd cheered and clapped. “And we have the casino owners and the regular citizens to thank for funding this project. All electricity in the city will be free to homeowners and cost pennies a year for large businesses and even the casinos. Please, give yourselves a round of applause, for your vision and your fortitude in seeing this project through.”
The crowd applauded and murmured happily.
“Let’s hope Los Angeles doesn’t build one!” joked the Mayor. The crowd laughed dutifully. “We don’t want to lose those revenues anytime soon!” The crowd clapped again. “There’s nothing we can’t do now!” The mayor started to cry with joy. The showgirls embraced him. “I have the best job in the world, ” he muttered into bright pink feathers. He turned to look at the ball of plasma, perfectly spherical within the chamber. “Someday has finally come.”
More from the Story-a-day project.