When science went too far

Submitted into Contest #253 in response to: Write about a character who has the ability to pause the passage of time.... view prompt


Fantasy Science Fiction Mystery

Chris Hemsworth was one of the best : a scientist who excelled at any subject or job given to him. He was not married, stating that he was "married to science". As such was the young man, who had dreamt of discovering a new element, after his friends at Dubna, Russia had found and christened element 118, Oganesson. The race was on. He needed a new element in order to impress his superiors, and prove that the US excelled at everything. He was under constant stress to deliver, and was often found sleeping at the laboratory by his colleagues when they returned the next day.

At home, he was greeted by the familiar portrait of himself smiling at the observer after he had just won a nationwide contest. He chuckled to himself, and continued to the kitchen. It was awful living alone, his parents had been martyred in a plane crash, after which he was left with an overwhelming sense of emptiness, fulfilled by a puppy that his mother had paid for the day they were to return. Everyday, the puppy happily followed his master, and frolicked with him, cuddling him to sleep everyday, when his master fell down due to the stress of work. Tired, lonely, sad, depressed, all sounds like a recipe for disaster, and Chris was just a time bomb waiting to detonate, as stated by his therapist whom he visited for advice.

However, with the arrival of a female colleague, who Chris felt very attracted to, he felt that the days of emptiness and sadness were going to be gone. He knew, that having an affair with a colleague during an experiment was, for a lack of better words, illegal. Often resulting in a swift booting from the program. Unfazed, he went for it. After shooting his shot, his colleague agreed, and they hugged each other. A warm embrace similar to that of a mother cuddling with her son, or a brother comforting his sister during a thunderstorm.

She was very beautiful: Somewhat short hair, Blue eyes and wore red glasses that emphasized just how intelligent she was. Immediately observed and loved by a very lonely Chris, who up to this point had nothing except a sweet beagle, a mansion his parents had willed to him, and millions of dollars. Of course. If it had been you or me, that money would've brought infinite happiness, but for Chris, it just acted as a placeholder : a way to fill in the emptiness.

No one visited him. As such, he got very lonely, and often did very weird and funny things such as celebrating the birthday of his robot vacuum cleaner, and throwing lavish parties of one : himself and his puppy.

But that all changed, as they recieved the project briefing for the day, it was just priming and calibrating the Krypton beam, making sure the bismuth target was properly supported, and hoping, that 119 would be quickly synthesized, as element 118 had taken Dubna months of firing to produce a single atom. He met up with his girl, and they worked side by side. She winked, and he winked back. It appeared to be a perfect match.

But before all of that could even happen, the superintendent called her to the meeting, with a loud and commanding voice. Chris wanted to pursue, but knew he couldn't. 

An hour later, she was visibly shaken up, and had tears rolling down her cheek. He had no idea why, but had no choice but to continue working. That day, he returned and fell asleep immediately, without even having supper. As usual, his beloved beagle followed him everywhere, with its floppy ears and straight tail, and laid down in his arms. 

He woke up the next day, and got dressed up an hour earlier than anticipated. Because, this would be the biggest day of his life. It would bring him to new heights of respect, and give his enemies another reason to subdue him. Unbeknownst to him, a hooded person, along with several others, were following him into the laboratory. 

He went immediately to the krypton beam, with its futuristic lines and sophisticated computers, it would in theory, be able to quadruple the amount of produced atoms, which was already evident after it has been used to produce copious amounts of polonium, which up to now had been produced only in Russia.

On this day, a krypton beam would be aimed and fired at a bismuth target, hoping that the two fused, and gave birth to the much  sought-after element 119. The experiment began, with the beam firing trillions of krypton atoms at a piece of bismuth. Chris keenly watched as the first atom began to fuse and emerge. 

Unlike element 118, which could only last a fraction of a millisecond, 119 was found to be scarily stable : when out through a time acceleration machine, which rapidly aged anything inside it, it found that 119 had a shelf life of almost 9 trillion years, meaning the substance they had just found could potentially last forever (in refrence to the destruction of earth after the sun becomes a red giant)

Producing more, they decided to play with it. Creating body Armor by melting it in a super furnace, and found it resisted all sorts of things : it resisted fire from a .50 calibre sniper, 9mm, .22lr and anything in between. Scariest of all, it disintegrated and destroyed tank shells, be it Armor piercing or high explosive. It was resistant to heat, cold, and did not rust. 

As the lead scientist, Chris got naming rights, and christened it Saturnium, due to the brilliant rings it formed on its surface when exposed to heat. 

One day, while he was travelling around with his puppy through town, he had stopped to refuel his Ford Mustang mark 1, when a group of thugs approached him. The lead thug, who was in a hoodie, enquired about the car's price. But Chris said that it was not for sale. This enraged the thug, who wanted to shoot Chris in the head, and take his lovely car for himself, but was restrained by an accomplice. 

Saturnium was found to have weird effects on the passing of time. If in an enclosed space, it could accelerate or warp back in time based on the amount of electricity passed through it. As such, Chris started to experiment, with various types of ways to pass current through the metal. At first, he had a simple on/off circuit. It worked, and Chris found that he could warp forward years into the future, the discovery of 120, or warp back in time, to see the mighty and grand dinosaurs.

With his new found power, which he integrated not very carefully(explosions are inevitable, cut me some slack), as part of his basement was coated in soot due to explosions. But eventually, he managed to perfect the system, it a processor sized square of Saturnium within a phone, and with a program, he could control when he warps ahead or behind.

Nobody knew about his ability.

He had invented time travel.

The next day, while everyone was celebrating the invention of Saturnium, Chris was to deliver a speech. As he got on the podium, he realised his girlfriend was nowhere to be seen. At the same time, out of a window at the back of the building, he saw a flash, like a torchlight. He ducked, and a sniper shit hit the screen which he was standing in front of, exploding and destroying the building in the process. Before the explosion could do real damage, however, he paused time with his invention. Everything was frozen, even the flames. He saw the bullet trail come from a nearby building.

Climbing the building, he saw his girlfriend tied to a chair, the thug who had previously toyed with him at the gas station, and another thug lying down on the roof with the sniper in his hand. He took the gun from the guy, and lifted his girlfriend up and walked down the building. After untying her at a safe distance, he came back, and shot the guy with the gun. At the same time, he took the sniper, and shot it at the guy who was holding the same.

Then, he climbed down and resumed time. 2 gunshots rang out at the same time, and he climbed back up to find two bodies. Thinking quickly, he paused time again, and picked up one body, walking it to a nearby creek and dumping it there. He did the same with the other body. Then, he decided to have fun. He wandered into a museum, into the car's section, and walked into the security room, with a closet that held all the keys. He took a key, and walked out to a Mercedes Benz 300 slr. After inserting the key, the welcoming roar of 3000ccs was deafening, and the car slowly rolled out. 

With his newly found ride, he zoomed around town for a while before getting bored, and returned the car back to the museum, with the keys still inside. 

Then he resumed time again, and everything was back to normal.

Or was it?

The shadowy figures who followed him into the laboratory revealed themselves as a man and a woman. Without introduction, they warned him about the consequences of time travel, and that the world would become unstable, but he did not listen.

Chris had lost it. He was journeying everywhere. He saw so much in his life, that he failed to notice that the world was dying, slowly corrupted due to the continuous warps and alterations in time.

When he came back to the original world, his girlfriend had left him long ago, and his puppy, was now gone. 

A distressed Chris tried to warp back, but the Saturnium had lost its power. He tried to go back to the lab, but found that it was nowhere to be seen.

What was he going to do now?

The race was on.

June 07, 2024 08:53

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Lee Kendrick
14:47 Jun 15, 2024

The story has a good plot, and in my opinion there is too much in the way of narrative. Get some dialogue going, show more than tell the reader what is going on in the story! With practice your stories will improve in leaps and bounds. You will notice a big difference to your story writing.


Jenitta Daniel
16:58 Jun 21, 2024

Thank you for the suggestions.


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C. J. Payling
10:41 Jun 12, 2024

Hi Jenitta I think I'm correct in saying that there are issues with using a well known celebrity name, even if they are not the character in question. I feel like this story has a lot of "telling" and lacks "showing". I'd like to have read some dialogue too. It feels as though we rush through the narrative. I did like the premise. With some editing, I think it would make a great story. Keep writing C.J.


Jenitta Daniel
12:10 Jun 12, 2024

Hi C. J, Thank you for your valuable suggestions, will keep that in mind for the next story. Thanks, Jenitta


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