2 of 3 | Chapter 3

 

Karen felt sorry for her.

It seemed that Steersman's communication with the world consisted mostly of shocking news ever since his name was first mentioned in the press. People became so accustomed to that that they began to expect nothing else from him. And this time was no different. Shots showing the plant demonstration disappointed neither the huge audience hungry for sensation and scandal nor the scientific community.

Steersman presented his latest brainchild in the company of media representatives and a small army of security guards. At first, the spectacle impressed no one. It basically looked like just an ordinary bowling ball resting on a table. Its surface was dotted with panels placed in a seemingly random order, suggesting that it was some kind of mechanism. The most striking thing about it was its color, a dark gray with an intriguing array of subordinate colors that appear to move and change.

Steersman stepped back so that everyone could have a good look at it.

He held a palm-sized console in his hand. He waited patiently and, as the sound of voices subsided to a murmur, he began.

“What I'm about to show you all will open a new age in travel! Since the invention of the wheel, we have traveled in many ways by many different means, yet the basic form of the wheel has always remained with us. Admittedly, its development was spectacularly remarkable, but the principle has been the same for each step forward: movement supported by a circular body rotating around a single axis. Ladies and Gentlemen, remember this moment … because what you're just about to witness will replace one of the mankind's greatest and most ancient inventions. It will do so by breaking with tradition, discarding a primitive principle and increasing the rotational axes to an infinite number!” Steersman looked about and observed a ripple of interest move through the audience, then he looked down at the device in his hand. “Let the show begin,” he whispered under his breath.

He activated the mechanism with the console and the crowd collectively gasped. Panels popped out from the surface of the sphere and the gray was replaced by an incandescent orange that vibrated and rose from the core to the surface. A quiet hum began to emanate from the device, yet it seemed much louder in the frozen silence. The sphere then lifted up off the surface on which it had sat and began to move slowly back and forth across the table.

The crowd appeared to suddenly wake from their tranquil and somewhat hypnotic silence, the murmur quickly became a roar as cameras started flashing and eager reporters began to talk amongst themselves. Steersman picked the sphere up off the table as if to assure the audience that the little mechanical creature meant no harm.

That was all that was needed for the storm to break.

“Mr. Steersman, tell us what we are seeing right now!” shouted one of the reporters over the babble.

Steersman waited as the questions continued to rain down upon him. Held up one hand and waited. When calm had descended he continued, “this mechanism is based on Dark Core Gravity technology. It works in a similar manner to a planet's gravitation, the only difference being that it works in reverse and is much simpler of course. There's a specialized form of liquid in the device that rotates at very high speeds in a complete vacuum. This helps keep the substance in a liquid and active state.”

“Mr. Steersman, what do you mean when you say that the inside of the device rotates? What makes it rotate?”

“Well, the liquid is continually trying to escape,” he responded.

“Can you tell us more about the substance?”

“For the time being, let's just say that it's a new, as yet widely unknown material that is very dark in an inactive state,” he said, shrugging the question off.

“How is it possible to control this substance?”

“This is achieved with the help of these panels, or lamellas, that initiate motion. First of all, they control the device's distance from a surface depending on the planet's gravitation strength. It's imperceptible to us, but gravity is not uniform. Secondly, the lamellas can also make it possible for the sphere to move in any direction.”

“You mentioned that it worked in reverse. What did you mean by that’?”

“Well, in practical terms, the goal is to create a force that is equally opposed to the gravitational force. That only becomes possible in an active and reverse rotational mode.”

A voice from further back in the crowd called out, “what applications do you see for this device?”

“Basically, this is a drive unit. It's capable of moving a larger object or vehicle. I will soon demonstrate,” Steersman replied.

“You have stated that it's completely safe, but what would happen in the case of an accident … if the sphere broke, so to say?” Steersman peered across the crowd to a South African reporter.

“If the mechanism breaks down then the vacuum ceases, the liquid solidifies and disintegrates into tiny pieces almost immediately. However, it would take an incredible amount of force for that to happen.”

“Has it been patented yet?” shouted a Chinese reporter from the back row.

“No. The mechanism is not under any patent license.” Steersman smiled.

“And what do you intend to do with the drive?” a well-known voice asked. Natalie Garner stepped forward from the crowd.

Steersman paused momentarily.

“I'll be putting it on the market!”

“You mean to say that the drive could be a substitute for the energy sources we now use?” she asked.

“That's exactly what I mean, Natalie. Watch!”

Steersman put four of the DCG spheres into sockets in the ground and then, with the help of a crane, he placed the modified chassis of an everyday family car onto the spheres. The car rose slowly and began to levitate back and forth. When the reporters finally realized what they were seeing, the effect of the sight was electric.

“The anti-gravitational force of the DCG balls can be controlled and directed so that the vehicle could be controlled by a driver,” Steersman explained. “Of course, much development is still needed,” he added.

“Mr. Steersman, your invention is more than just a reworking of the wheel. If I understand it correctly, this mechanism could replace all of our current energy supplies. What do you think the automotive industry might have to say about that?” Natalie asked.

Steersman grinned. “We shall find that out soon enough, Natalie.”

*

There was a certain amount of restless activity on televisions and in newspapers all over the world that evening. Interest towards the invention suddenly skyrocketed making many communications systems paralyzed. Soon enough, the leaders of the world's largest car manufacturers had crowded onto the top of Steersman's tower where the helicopters changed places in endless streams. Steersman welcomed each visitor personally, fully aware that they needed him just as much as he needed them despite the fact that he was being hailed as the next tech revolutionary.

The battle-hardened businessmen came with only one purpose: to get their hands on the manufacturing rights for the DCG spheres. Steersman had no desire to sell the rights, however. Instead, he would deliver the ready-made product.

The most stubborn, and perhaps the most arrogant of them all proved to be the rather worried CEO of BMW. He got straight to the point, almost as soon as he had stepped out of his helicopter.

 

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CHAPTER 3 | A NEW TECHNOLOGY

CHAPTER 1 | EXCOLOPOLIS
CHAPTER 2 | MACHINES
CHAPTER 4 | ATTACK
CHAPTER 5 | THE SOURCE
CHAPTER 6 | THE SCIENCE CENTER
CHAPTER 7 | UNIVERSITY CITY
CHAPTER 8 | GLIDECRAFT
CHAPTER 9 | SECTOR TWO
CHAPTER 10 | THEY KNOW WE ARE HERE
CHAPTER 11 | GRAVITOR
CHAPTER 12 | INSTALLATION
CHAPTER 13 | ENERGY WAR
CHAPTER 14 | AFTERSHOCKS
CHAPTER 15 | INITIATION
CHAPTER 16 | PREPARATION
CHAPTER 17 | DEFENSE CORPS
CHAPTER 18 | TRUTH
CHAPTER 19 | BEYOND EARTH