Thursday, January 18, 2007
New Beginning 195
In the nineteenth century the search for life on Mars was a search for a new civilization, a power with whom to converse on equal terms, to learn from and compete against and accomplish great and memorable things by that exchange. By the end of the twentieth century the search for life on Mars had become the search for a chemical reaction. Nothing more. Just water and carbon acting in predictable ways. Life as a chemical reaction like it was for those senile zombies in the nursing homes. In the twentifirst century even that was abandoned. Any chemical reaction would do. Not water, but hydrogen peroxide would do.
Bartholomew Jones had had a life like that. The early high hopes had given way to trying to fit in, had then degenerated to just being alive by any definition. Survival at any cost.
But coincidence meant if he could not renew his ancient dreams he would at least be able to avenge them. His chemical reactions were no longer like theirs. There was no form of communion any more. Now, he needed only one more thing in order to have his revenge.
There was a knock at the door...
Bartholomew took the package handed to him by the tan-clad courier and ripped it open. Seratonin levels spiked in his brain. Dopamine levels plunged. He twisted the cap off the canister in the box and fingered the aluminum powder within. Senile he wasn't. Pathfinder had made a fatal mistake; had mixed water with Martian soil. Certain death to life that sparked in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. He wouldn't make that same mistake.
That night he parked his rented van under the Brooklyn Bridge. Only one way now to survive forever.
He began emptying bags filled with ammonium nitrate. Added the aluminum powder and a little zinc. Splashed on some diesel fuel. Threw in a handful of magnesium to make it biblical. And struck a match.
Some chemical reactions are as unproductive as the search for life on Mars.
Some ignite like a war of the worlds.
Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Phoenix