The Device
Chapter 10

Copyright© 2013 by JOHNNY SACHU

David Evans threw his entire efforts of body and mind into his new Mars project. It might not do a thing, but it might restart the planet's magnetic field, deep inside the damaged core of Mars. It also might destroy both worlds, as they now existed, with the added planetoid he considered using, by bringing it in close to the God of War. But he would take that chance. Mars was far enough away to not cause a problem or be a danger to earth, on the larger scale, if it collided with Ceres. Yes, he knew some meteors could zoom their way towards earth, but nothing significant would happen. Math didn't lie.

Ceres, the planetoid dwarf planet in the asteroid field beyond Mars and between it and Jupiter, was only 590 miles in diameter, or 950 km's across, and with its density of 9.4 X 10 to the 20th kg, it would be more than suitable for a significant moon for the Red Planet. The two orbiting asteroids now circling Mars were insignificant to its future, as they had been in the past, and were expendable, if anything were to disturb their orbits. And with the introduction of Ceres, it certainly would cause anomalies, he knew. But with it's planned proximity to Mars, and spinning Ceres at a predetermined rate until the core started producing some magnetism, wherein, David would change it to a synchronous no-spin, in orbit around that red world, based on earth's moon as an example, in that way David hoped to restart the field that would allow life to propagate and flourish on the now dead world; In time, that is, as the atmosphere thickened to allow plants to take hold in some artificially made seas and hopefully, plankton, the main producer of oxygen on earth, as many scientist believed. But that was off the board, for the moment. The first task was to get that little bugger, Ceres, closer to Mars without letting the two spheres collide.

David had studied everything he could get his hands on, working most of it out in his mind, the math, the axial tilt, the distance from each sphere he would need to place the smaller world in orbit around Mars, based on densities and size, any and every aspect that pertained to a moon orbiting another world, as near as he could understand it. He wrote things down in a composition tablet for reference purposes, but with his eidetic memory, David was confident he could pull this off, bring Mars to life.

It had been written about in various papers for years and years, that life on this planet, Earth, could never have survived or grown had it not been for our moon. It led the way to stabilizing things on a scale grander than most people ever realized and much less, thought about, but it was true. Mars, to be a life-filled world, had to have a significant moon. A big one, similar to ours, adjusted to the mass of the planet. The plus for choosing Ceres is that if speculation was correct about it having an ocean beneath its mantle, even if it was now frozen, or not, deep beneath its surface, it would be an added feature that might be exploited for more gain and productivity on Mars, and vise versa. But only time would tell.

David had equipped his small space craft, the one he had built up in the past, to carry a small stasis sphere, with a pointed tip to one end that was just a shell, really, and comparatively small, anyway. There was also a dropping mechanism beneath the craft, where the stasis device would be stored and transported. The ball was his special mixture of metals and was a fixed stasis field mechanism, not unlike the ones he used for his home and own protection. Those elements had made his device a reality, years ago. He would drop this onto the surface of Ceres, activate a field where the sphere would force its way deep into Ceres interior, grab it by its core, and with any luck, and if all his math saying it would work, pull Ceres into orbit around Mars. It would be set precisely and definitively at the exact location it needed to be, measuring the densities of the two worlds with instruments that were easy to come by and calculate, and after a few rotations, fix Ceres in place. Then wait.

Things would happen and David already had a small camera satellite in place to take various readings and pictures/video of events that would be happening on both worlds. It proved to be a challenging and interesting exercise for him, for someone who so needed a challenge.

Ceres was tugged away from its orbit in the asteroid field with little more than a short grunt, of sorts, with his ship, the stasis field dramatically decreasing the weight and mass, and thus, the pull of the stabilizing forces against it. It was always harder to get something moving than keeping it in motion.

David set the course for an intercept with Mars and rechecked everything. Satisfied, he sucked the air from the cockpit area and stored it for further use, later, and cracked the hatch, then left the ship and Ceres mass to its own trajectory. He would come back when it got closer.

Testing the devices limits again, David, propelled himself home, back to earth. He had thought of picking up some more space junk, off Mars, and bringing it home with him for souvenirs, on the way back, but decided against it. If something in his suit malfunctioned, that wouldn't be good, he knew.

It took mere minutes but all alone and vulnerable, David was relieved to re-enter the atmosphere of his home world. He scoffed at the idea of faster than light travel that most scientist accepted, believing that it wasn't possible, for he had disproven that again and again to himself. It wasn't that hard to do with his device technology. He had done it many times. And the time anomaly; that too, was wrongful speculation and theory. Oh Einstein, he thought, you have a lot to answer for.

David watched with delight as the upper and then lower atmospheres condensed around the extreme line of his flight, the faster than light, speed of he and his stasis bubble surrounding him during reentry, lit up the sky. It was a marvelous bit of Tec' he reminisced. The re-entry blossomed the daylight sky with a line of lightning and lightning fire behind him and smoky vapors as the microscopic bits of dust and gases that burst into white flame and were dissimilated and tortured into an explosive burst, and then winked out of existence after a few thousand yards, almost as fast, leaving only a white trail behind him with his velocity creating a shock wave that would harmlessly, but noticeably, reach the surface of the planet. With that trail of cloud behind him, now, like a low flying meteor would leave, yet this being much more dramatic and not caring that it was, he was announcing his return to the world.

Coming in low over the world, a mere seventy thousand feet above the surface, David reduced his speed to a trickling 200 knots per hour, turned on his time stoppage device so no one would see him land, even if they knew he was near, he cut the power to his stasis engine, then free-fell down to the surface, to his front yard, his ring on active and full. He had set aside a spot to fall toward and there were numerous craters where he had created a field of them, 'practicing' his 'sport landing', as he called it, and aimed for it, again. He was able, he discovered several weeks ago, that he could manipulate where the stasis bubble went, that protected him, where it would land by tipping himself this way or that much like a sky diver could manipulate where he would land, and would influence its landing spot, within several yards and feet, anyway. It was a fun way of touching down, he thought, a game, and a challenge all in itself.

The had staked out a ribbon 'X' of plastic, on the ground, that could be seen several miles up, but he was way off to the right, this time, he saw as the dust cleared away after plopping down on the earth. David smiled twisting his stasis ring to off, and walked inside his home. Maybe I'll get closer next time, he thought, but mostly, he thought about how grateful he was to be back. He loved Mars, but going through space was awfully scary at times.

He showered and put on new scentless deodorant and dressed in some straight-leg faded jeans and a white tee-shirt. He put on some thick socks, white basketball high tops, and went out to see his pet dinosaurs. He still didn't know what they were, name wise, nor did the professor of paleontology he visited out of the blue, one day, which in itself, caused a heck of a stir, locally. They were smaller than chickens and bigger than lizards and stood on two hind legs. They weren't carnivorous, like the little guys in the Jurassic movies, but they were about the same size and fun. He liked having them as pets. The only ones he ever had and besides, they were from the Triassic, as close as he could tell, when dinosaurs were just coming into their respective own. It most closely resembled the meat eating Coelophysis of the same era, but was much, much smaller, and a herbivore. They gobbled down duck feed faster than he could put it out. They might have been preyed on by Coelophysis, but they were cute little guys and safe, here. David loved playing with them. They had increased in population this past spring and summer from eight to twenty-seven. He'd soon have to give them away. They'd be too much for him in a few months. Their reproductive growth rates were frightening.

David scratched and patted their little heads, sitting on one of the rocks in the cage, his little friends perched on his back and shoulders and thighs inside the enclosure while he talked to them. Like horses, he observed, they tolerated him and even liked him around at times, especially when he was feeding them, but they were happiest when they were with each other.

"And what did you do today, huh beautiful? Been tearing into the dandelions again?" They liked the wild flowers and seeds, he discovered.

David finally fed them, leaving them to themselves, and went back to the house. He watched TV for a while, played some video games, and feeling hungry, decided to get out of the compound he had created and go get something good to eat, like a sit-down meal. Let someone else do the cooking this time.

He drove into town but noticed so many of the stores, no, all of them, he soon discovered, were closed. He drove all over town. Everything was closed and deserted.

Stopping his car, David thought it through and quickly came to a conclusion. He instantly boosted the stasis ring protection on his finger as well as the car, both, to maximum. Then, without any police or traffic, David raced home as fast as his 32 hot rod Ford would safely take him. He adjusted the property's stasis there, too, to the max and began to dawn the new suit, but thought better of it. He went to the garage and quickly dressed in one of the Rocketeer flight suits. He might just have to visit the President again, the dumb ass.

David thought he would sweep the overhead skies in case the delivery plane was somewhere around. Checking his radar, he found a lone jet approaching about forty miles out. It was the only airplane around for a hundred and fifty miles. What luck to have gone looking for the aircraft that would deliver the atomic weapon when he did. They were actually going to try and nuke him. Hadn't he made anything clearer to them that the complete destruction of the United States of America would occur if they harassed him in any way? Stupid! Stupid! Stupid leaders.

David intercepted the jet then came back and swept up near the plane and ejected the pilot via the wire and handle on the outside of the F-22. It was a system all American fighters had for rescuing pilots by ground crew, when landed or crashed. Stealth didn't work with me, did it Commander Richards? David smirked, reading the pilots name from the side of the plane's cockpit. The Commander didn't look too happy either at seeing a Rocketeer pulling his ejection ring. It was on the outside and not even dramatic rolls could deter or toss this guy. He just stayed there on his wing, grasping it with one arm and finally yanked on the outer rescue cord.

There was a quick explosion and a terrified Commander Richards flew up and back, away from the new and very expensive jet. David let go of the useless ring and made sure the pilots chute opened. It was automatic. At the speed he was traveling, the pilot would be knocked out, for sure. They usually were but he would be fine.

David took the F-22 under his control, grabbing the nuclear weapon on the belly and steering the whole assembly of the half crippled plane towards Washington D.C...

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