Science Fiction

“Are you the new guy?” My new supervisor was balding, headstrong, and well dressed.

“Yes sir.” I stood up towering over him.

“Cut the sir crap and follow me. We have a lot of work to do.” I liked him already. Sharp and to the point. Okay old man, I thought, let’s get started.


That was 10 years ago. 10 years ago to the day and I was ready to revolutionize the world. It was like that song “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger, I wish I knew then what I know now. It was a different context of course but the same premise. If I would have known then what I know now I would have never started but hindsight is 20/20.

I am ready and so are my associates except for one. He was sharp. His name is Christian and the name matched his persona. He is an old school ultra conservative church goer who only cares about the bottom line. So his morals were surrounded by a budget and his congregation’s regurgitated interpretation of scripture. He was a great business analyst but his moral fortitude always caused problems. He was the kind of person that condemned divorce until it happened to him. Then it was okay. Funny how you can find the perfect verse to fit your life. I guess that’s why it’s the most widely spread book in the world.

My car was a prototype of the technology we were about to expose to the world. 98.5% renewable vehicle resource with the combination of solar, wind and shock absorption power. Yes, shock and wind power. To put it as simply as I can without getting too technical, think of the Hoover Damn. That water generates a flow of energy or resistance through a turbine can be captured, reused or stored in batteries. Now think of that water as wind; it’s the same principle. Stick your hand out of the window when you're moving. You feel that? That resistance you feel on your hand is energy that can be stored in batteries for future use thus ridding ourselves of fossil fuels. Not completely but almost entirely. My car alone can gets 1000 miles to the gallon. The suspension alone gathered resistance from every bump and jump on the road. This prototype is going to shock the world and we were ready to open it up to the public in a spectacular fashion. The shock absorption designed by my mentor, Jack who hired me 10 years ago to this day and the wind power designed by yours truly. It was kept under a complete need to know only basis. 50 people in our company and only 5 knew of the actually technology.

As I pulled up to a stop light I usually get the normal queer looks from the other drivers in town. Weird looks like they see alien technology pulled right up beside them. But this time it was different. AS I looked around, I didn’t see another car in sight. In fact, as I gazed across horizon, I didn’t see anybody at all. Anyway, my car is the same as everyone else’s except for one main factor; the engine, hood and front bumper were gone. In its place was a huge hole that showcases a spinning cylinder. That cylinder is the basis of my energy collection system. So long as that moves, I’m continuing to gain energy. It’s a complicated transition of conversion of energy but with the team I had, everyone an expert in a certain field of mechanical engineering, it made my idea come alive.

I was in my car at the time when he called. It was used as data gathering and reporting for records. We did have a car ready but it wasn’t used. It was used more as a show car. Everything we found to be faulty on my car was upgraded and enhanced on that one. The phone rings. I put it on speaker. Christian, (he didn’t like his name shortened or abbreviated in any way), must have gotten the memo I sent out last night. He always wanted to talk to me personally about his concerns; one quality I liked about him. (sarcastic aside, honestly is always helpful).

“Hello Christian. How’s the morning treating you?”

“Well Mr. Kodi. How are you this morning?”

“Couldn’t be better…What seems to be up your ass this time?”

“Well, one thing I don’t appreciate the greeting, as always. And two, I think it’s unwise to continue on this reckless path of opening up our findings to the public. More needs to be done; data gathering; research, we should tell the government…”

“Weeee aren’t doing anything of the kind. You should be crunching numbers, not worrying about the marketing aspect. It’s not your place.”

“You’re not understanding Mr. Kodi. We really need to sit back and look at the ramifications of everything. Not only is it going to revolutionize everything as we know it, but it’s also going to upset all economics. Millions of people will lose their jobs, if not billions of people. Their retirement , their lives, everything. Everything will change and change isn’t always for the better. We’re in over our heads.”

“You need to relax Christian. First of all, nothing is set in stone. This technology could be out there at another company for all we know. We need to be the first to present our evidence. Secondly, I’m so glad you’re worried about the world economics, but you really should be worried about ours first. When we’re filthy rich you can spend your money however you want but until then, you need to worry about our numbers and stick to that. Let the world figure things out on its own because it will and it will change with or without us.” I hung up and move through the current ghostly town called Michum.

Pulling up to the last red light, I notice the light isn’t working properly. It blinks yellow and policemen are directing traffic. He waves me another way. I pull up beside him and wind drop my window. 

“What seems to be the officer problem?” By the confused look on his face he didn’t get the South Park reference. I thought it was hilarious. “It’s a South Park joke.”

“Oh I get the reference Mr. Kodi, I do. Very funny indeed.” I stand corrected. He did understand the joke but I guess the timing was inappropriate. And how did he know my name. I don’t know him. I never met him in my life and I grew up in this town. “Pull ahead Mr. Kodi, up to the next light. Our men will direct you from there. ”

“Yes officer, right away.” I pull up my window and lock the door. 

I pull past him slowly and look in the direction he’s directing me. Scary men in black suits were there eagerly awaiting and ready to direct me into the ugly brown parking garage. It was always vacant and looked shady. I hated this part of town. It was dirty and unkept. The rest of the town was nice but this part was an eyesore. Graffiti all over the building, bums hung out here getting drunk but weirdly enough no one like that was around. The garage itself looked run down, it was a mess and looked like it was about to be fumigated. I always said to myself, when I get rich I was going to rebuild this town starting with this lot. A lot of bad things happened here and by the looks of things the building never forgot.

Men in black suits with black sunglasses were the only ones about. They followed the car while taking in their wrists. It was something you’d see in a movie. They look the same like they’re in uniforms. Black tie formal everyday for these scary looking assholes. Their heads are on swivels and they look nervous. One man close to me had his jacket open and underneath was a gun strapped to his side. I am too terrified to think and then I snap out of it. Is this government? Is this a private company trying to steal my car? What is going on? Who are these people and what do they want? It’s so intimidating, I don’t know what to do! 

They manually open the garage door to what looked like a black hole. It looks dark and dingy. There’s no way I’m going in there. There was an opening 5 feet away in between them. The road up ahead was blocked off by police. It would have been certain death if I would have went in there. When I pulled forward and had them believe I was going in the garage they let their guard down. The opportunity presented itself so I jacked the wheel to one side and got out of there as fast as I could exit stage right. I flew down the corner road looking back in my rear view mirror. Of course they were going to follow but I had a head start and they didn't know the roads like me. I grew up here, I knew all the shortcuts. My garage was right out of town. I had to get there as soon as possible to alert the rest of the guys.

I maneuvered out of town as best as I could. It wasn’t hard but every turn I took was a black SUV stopped in the middle of an intersection. They were watching every way in and out of town. This was a nightmare. What did I do to deserve this kind of attention? They had most of the town blocked off except for a couple streets they didn’t know about. My mind was racing. Who were these people? Why was the town completely vacant? It’s like everyone disappeared. It didn’t matter. I managed to make it to my garage and if I would have been smarter, I would have realized these men were going to be here. My attempt to evade were squashed the second I saw the men in black waving me in. They directed me into my garage like they were welcoming ushers at a hotel. They knew they had me. 

I composed myself with some deep breaths that were sorely needed, unbuckled my seatbelt, turned off my car and got out. Once I got out they immediately threw me against the car and patted me down. After one of them finished frisking me, he turned me around, smiled and threw the keys to another drone waiting in the wings. That guy walked to a tractor trailer that had the hatch open. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what they were going to take. If they went to all this trouble, why am I still alive, I thought? As they walked me towards the entrance of my garage, I saw the coworkers who helped me create what they were now rolling into the back of their trailer. Some were sobbing, some apologetic, some with that glint of I told you so look stapled to their faces. I tried slowing down to talk to them but instead was pushed toward the door. All that work, what was it for, I thought to myself. It was the morning but it already felt like I ran a marathon. I was tired, aggravated, short tempered. I walked inside and all was quiet. It was dark. Too dark.

I sat down where they wanted me to and I could recognize the room. It was my mentors office. My mentor was old school so he liked a high leather bound chair and marbled mahogany desk that spanned the corner of the room. We always joked around with him saying he had the taste of a villain. The corners of his desk were lions heads as were the chair’s arms. The legs were paws at the bottom. I guess these guys thought the same.

Someone was sitting in the chair and had their back to me. 

“I’m sure you have a million questions.” He sounded old. He coughed like a 30 year smoker. “You’re being bought out. Everything associated with the work you’ve been doing is now ours.”

“Is this a joke? Who are you people?”

He goes silent. He slowly turns his chair around. He’s an old, diseased looking man with lesions on his face. He wipes the sweat off with his handkerchief. 

“We are the government Mr. Kodi and no this isn’t a joke. Your coworkers have been paid. You have been paid.” He wipes some sweat off his brow and puts the handkerchief in his pocket. “The fact of the matter is this technology is too advanced for the world. It would upset not only the economy but would destroy it completely.”

“How did you know about us and what we were doing here?”


I was blown back. First, I didn’t expect him to tell me. Second, I can’t believe this is happening. What do they plan to do with this technology? Bury it? Use it? I patented this technology. If people wanted to try this…

“Don’t worry about the red tape, we’ll take care of all of it.” He throws a black bank card on the table. “This is a credit card. You will use this for your money from now on. Whatever you want, cars, houses, anything and everything, use this card. It will always go through until it doesn’t. Then you’ll get a visit from us.”

“This is ridiculous. I’m not…”

“Mr. Kodi, listen to my words carefully. This is happening and there’s nothing you can do ab out it. The government will decide when this technology will come out to the public, not you. You wanted to do good in this world and you did. With the money we give you, you still can continue to do well but not with this. This venture is over and if you discuss it with anyone…well, you understand. Listen, whether you wanted to do good or just get paid, you got both. Now it’s time to retire and enjoy your life. Buy mansions, sports cars, women, drugs you name it just have fun because you earned it.”

They pushed me out the door before I could even speak. They handed me the card and put me on my way like it was routine. The men disappeared and the town reopened like nothing happened. After a while I felt lucky to get away from the situation. Then embarrassed. Then furious. After a couple of months and a couple purchases, I forgot all together. I never saw my team or anyone from that day again. Every once in a while I reminisce of what happened, what might have been if I resisted. One of the last things the coughing man told me before shooing me out of the office was, for the greater good.  Was it? Was it for the greater good?

December 02, 2022 20:10

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