The Quantum Knight
Copyright© 2011 by vlfouquet
Next Carl simply pointed and a stream of fire leapt from his finger and blew large holes in the rock face. Rock shattered, and the air was full of shrapnel. Carl saw more than one piece headed their way; without thought he stepped in front of his Uncle, covering him with his own body.
He felt the thuds as the shrapnel hit him. But he never budged from his position. When it was over, he checked his Uncle quickly to be sure he was okay. Then he checked himself, not a single piece of shrapnel had been able to penetrate his costume or knock him down.
Carl checked his Uncle Rick one more time for any hits or injuries. There were none, he did not notice that his Uncle was checking him out just as thoroughly as Carl had checked him.
"You are okay." Carl said with relief in his voice.
"Yeah, boy, I am sure glad you didn't do anything like that at the hotel! What the heck was that?"
"First was the Light Saber; I made one better than they had in Star Wars. The Second was a direct fire burst from me. That was a surprise I just expected the fire to hit and splash. But the heat was too intense, it actually melted elements in the rooks into gases and the rocks exploded."
"Carl, I would say you got some real weapons there. How many times can you fire them?"
"I have no idea, I powered them internally; the source is the same as those miniature suns I make. Probably forever, and I can jack up the juice."
"God! You can't let them fall into the hands of anybody else!"
"Here Uncle Rick fire it over my shoulder."
With that he handed his Uncle the Light Saber. Then he crouched down.
"Boy I can't what if I make a mistake?"
"I don't think anybody can fire them but me Uncle Rick. So just point it at the cliff and push the button."
With that encouragement his Uncle Rick brought the Light Saber up and pointed at the torn up rock face and pushed the button; nothing happened.
"Yeah that what I thought; the power source is internal to me." Carl reached over and took the Light Saber back. He slid it into a holster on his belt.
"What about the costume?"
"It worked also it did not get a scratch, or even a nick. Then it absorbed the force and used it to anchor itself so that the impact was zero. Now that could be something the military could really use."
"Nah, somebody would steal them or sell one of them. Then you'd have invulnerable criminals robbing banks. Things like that, you just keep for yourself."
"How come I can hear you plain as days with that helmet covering your head?"
"It's just passing the vibration of my speech back outside the helmet."
"Okay, one more question, have you grown three to four inches?"
"I don't know; I know I feel just like I normally do. I think it's an effect of the costume."
"You ready then, son?"
"Yeah Uncle Rick let's go get the Caterpillar."
Carl once more dressed in his regular clothes over the costume. They drove back to Ft. Smith and found the warehouse address that his Uncle Rick had been given.
He parked his pickup outside the door to the office and went along inside.
Awhile later he came back out and got into the pickup. He just sat there for a minute or so.
"Carl they insist that they have to be here when I pick up the Cat and all the pieces."
"Oh, I've got an idea; take us to a hardware store." He pulled his hood back and the face mask and helmet softened and folded up over his head and laid down his back once more.
They ended up at one of those giant discount places. Carl found them interesting just like he did that family owned one at home. They just didn't have the feel of those smaller stores.
But they had what he was looking for, a thermoplastic heater. This would melt the plastic sheet into one totally sealed mess!
Due to the size and to make it truly 'portable' they bought a propane electrical generator to power the heater. Then Carl spotted the plastic sheeting. They actually had a dispenser similar to Scotch Tape. It held a three hundred pound roll of plastic and had a cutter blade. It took a while but the store mounted all three devices on the back of Uncle Rick pickup.
As they drove off his Uncle Rick commented. "We need to buy another truck for these trips, maybe after this sale."
This time, Uncle Rick drove around behind the warehouse to a working area where parts of trucks and cars were laying everywhere. A man came out as they backed up to the Cat. It was huge; Carl could see the broken window in the operator cab. The steel cage that had held the glass was warped and slightly squash. The tracks where completely missing on one side.
He could also see that a couple of the road wheels the tracks ran on were missing; the spindles that were supposed to hold them were broken off.
"Wow, Uncle Rick this thing met the Jolly Green Giant, and he wasn't feeling jolly."
"That's strange, that almost the same thing the previous owner said happened," a voice spoke from behind them.
There, standing behind them was a person with a long mustache. "He went bankrupt and we got a foreclosure order before he could file. So we recovered the property. That was good money after bad. It cost a fortune to bring this in. We're going in the red on this deal. But it will get it off our books."
"Excuse me sir, but I thought these things were just about impossible to damage."
"Son, nothing is completely impossible to damage. It's just a case of apply more force. In this case the previous owner was trying a massive tree poaching; the trees were not on land he had rights to. He had been warned by the Indian Council that it was considered holy land. They even got a court order from a federal judge. That's why we were able to get a seizure order before he could file bankruptcy. He was in jail. Not that I expect he will be tried. They transferred him to a mental institute for evaluation. He keeps insisting that this huge green furry thing picked up the Caterpillar and slammed it repeatedly into a mountain."
They stood there staring at the man who had just told us this outrageous story.
"The Indian Council, just said one word, 'Mundoo' it means the Great Spirit."
"You seem to be up to date on this Indian Council."
"I am a junior member; I am three/quarter Western Cherokee. They get upset every time I attend, it's my mustache. They hate it, it a sign I'm not a full blood."
"I don't go along with all the mystical crap that my 'forefathers' believed. But I went out there when we recovered the Cat. It was strung along the mountain side for about half a mile. And there were no tracks to show how it got where it was. We lucked out; there was a low level stream that we were able to get a crane and hauler up to reach the site."
"So there it is. And now, if you have the cashier check, it will be all yours. You must remove it in three days. As it is, I will have to get our shaman in to cleanse the place. Half my workers will not even come in sight of this area."
They stood there as the manager walked off. Without speaking, they started to pull the plastic sheet off the roll. Carl then helped pulled the edges up and over the Cat.
Taking a quick look around showed them the Manager had been right. There was nobody in sight of where they stood. Carl quickly circled the whole area where all the parts had been stacked. Using the chant he had used on the last Caterpillar, he soon had the bulldozer in one piece. Then the plastic closed in on the Cat.
They heated up the thermoplastic heater and Carl walked around the Cat blowing the hot air over the plastic. The thermo heater was just a prop, acting as a decoy while he chanted a spell. It was the spell that melded the plastic together into one huge shrink wrapped bundle.
"Carl, this is different plastic sheeting then what we laid out in our warehouse. Will that make a difference?"
"Uncle Rick, you have to understand, this is similar to exercise. You go to a gym lift weights, run, swim, and do pushups. Then you go out on a field and learn to play football, you can now run further and hit harder than if you had first come to the football field instead of going to the gym."
"The more things I do the better I am at doing them. There are laws in magic. When you first start, those laws are very important. They act as road map showing the way, and helping you get from point A to point Z because you went to point B, C, D, ... first."
"But because you went to those points you now know in a mystical way where all those points are. You no longer have to go to each individually. I don't have to have everything exactly the same each time. The idea itself is now a symbol that I can use."
"Everything here is sealed, nothing can open our shrink wrapped package. So we don't have to send it now. We can call the package from the warehouse instead of sending it to the warehouse."
"So, Uncle Rick let's go."
They put all their equipment back into the pickup, drove out of the work area, and headed home to Tulsa."
"Well I guess all that costume and stuff was a waste of time."
"Oh no, Uncle Rick, I've been watching you. You never throw anything away. I don't mean trash, I mean like a broken part. You always set it aside to look at later. I have seen you repair parts that seemed to be absolutely worthless. So I have learned there is very little in life that is a waste."
Carl called his Mom and let her know they would be later getting home. She had lots of questions, but he explained that the people in Ft. Smith had been very obstructive.
They drove straight to the warehouse. As they drove up to inside door, Carl checked out the wards on the property. There had been a couple of low level attempts to get on the property, but they been shunted off easily. So nothing serious had even been tried.
The lights came on inside, as his Uncle drove up to the opening doors. Once inside he turned and backed up to his work area. Carl climbed out of the truck and walked over to the laid outstretched plastic sheet.
Carl waved his hand and the plastic appeared to melt into the concrete floor. He walked over to the edge, and then began to walk around the plastic coated area in a large circle.
His Uncle came over and carefully avoided stepping within the plastic area. There was a flash of light, and a giant Caterpillar stood inside the warehouse. But Carl did not stop; he kept circling the area and chanting. The plastic slide off the Cat and flowed like liquid down to the floor. Once more a Caterpillar sat in front of them looking like new.
Carl staggered over to his Uncle's office and found a seat. He leaned back and fell asleep.
"Carl, Carl you need to wake up! Let me take you home."
"I'm awake; let me doze for a minute more. School doesn't start until 8:30 I got time for just a little more sleep." He tried to roll over and couldn't do it.
Suddenly, he was awake. Sitting up he looked around. Oh; the warehouse, he thought. His Uncle was leaning over him.
"Wow Carl when you wake up you really wake up."
"Nothing you fell asleep and I let you doze. I cleaned the plastic away from the Cat and took a lot of pictures. It runs smoothly. I already got it listed on eBay. Bids are already coming in. The very first bid was $100,000."
"What did you set the buy out for?"
"One million, plus $25,000 for transportation."
"So let's get you home. Your mother might be thinking about killing me."
He didn't remember going to bed. Carl woke after the sun rose still in his clothes, both sets, but with the covers up over his head.
Three days later while Carl and his parents were sitting down to breakfast. Uncle Rick knocked and then staggered into the breakfast area after Carl's Father let him in.
"Coffee please!" He begged.
Carl's Mother quickly poured a mug for him. He gulped it down, and then held the mug out for more.
As he slowed down to sipping the coffee all of them were staring. Uncle Rick looked over at Carl. "Kid we did it!"
"Somebody made the buy out?" Carl asked astonished.
"No; the buyout has to stand alone for thirty minutes to be final. Somebody made it, and it was bid higher in less than 5 minutes. It finalized at 8:00 this morning at 1.47 million dollars!"
Carl sat there gaping like a fish out of water.
"Yeah, that makes you $700,000; I think you got your college fund."
"Wait a minute Rick, what are you saying?"
"Joe I am saying that your son share of our last deal is over $700,000. Of course that's gross, before expenses come out. But that was only $45,000, that machine was a busted wreck."
"Tell you what; I'll drop you off at school, and we can talk on the way." His Uncle said.
"Go ahead Carl." She held up her hand at his Dad who was about to object.
"Rick, I'd like to see the books."
"Sure Grace. I have to file a tax report by the end of the year. Quarterly reports are just one of the banes of operating this kind of business."
They got in the truck and started to school. His Uncle told him that he had nothing on the burner right now, and that he needed to start researching heavy equipment junkyards. So, for the rest of the year, they would do minor construction demolition. Rick would put in bids at the lowest possible price; after all he needed no equipment or explosives to take the place down or to excavate a hole. In relation to the huge Caterpillar restoration work it was pennies. But they would have revenue of 25-35 thousand a month.
The rest of the time it was just school for him. They bought a new heavy duty super-cab with four wheel drive. The reel of plastic dispenser was moved to the rear bed of the super-cab, as well as the thermo heater and power generator.
In November, when the temperature really dropped, he built a power system in the warehouse that would supply all their electrical needs. Then all the heat was converted to electric power. In their secured power room, a small canister shaped device poured DC current into an alternator that made 220volts and 200 amps at 60 hertz. It would work until the materials it was made of wore away, in about 100 million years.
He dated Laura regularly; their relationship went so far but no further. His Dad had been right; they liked each other but it was not love, not the love that marriage and family was based on.
They were friends, and probably would always be friends. But that was it. He helped her plan her post secondary school life. She had found a college in Virginia that was one of the leading lights in the field of Nanotechnology.