A rubber band ball with a green background.

“We’re not building a Collider, we’re building a rail gun that fires on itself.” Says the Engineer.

“The Navy defines it differently.” Says the Lawyer.

“Check’s cleared.” Says the Accountant.

“Camanche Peak, Unit 2, is diverted.” Says the Engineer.

“DoD says go.” Says the Ensign.

It’s a little known secret that the Super Conducting Super Collider went fully operational on June 6, 2013, at 706 hours. Brad Corbett paid the bill posthumously with one condition: “Make two rubber band balls with cobalt magnet cores, and lob those dogs.”

The Navy loved the idea. Super cooled electromagnets were built around an airless tube inside which two balls silently flew 54 miles in three minutes. The Engineer changed the route. The balls slammed dead on. The flash in the collision chamber turned black. Millions of eyes glowed from every surface. The Engineer fell screaming through the floor, trying to dig them out of his skin. The Lawyer fell over dead. The Accountant lay motionless, clutching frantically at her neck. The Ensign had a third eye look into his skull as he died. Everything fell through the Engineer’s chest, twisting into oblivion.

The light came back. The Engineer lay in a crater as long and deep as a basketball court. The eyes were gone, leaving only gouges in his skin. He couldn’t hear the chopper’s blades over his own screams. Men in orange hazmat suits strapped him to a gurney. The helicopter took him up, up, up. In the distance, Unit 2 was blown open, bellowing grey smoke. The Lawyer, the Accountant, and the Ensign were lost to the blast. The Engineer survived despite missing pieces. The angry gouges in his skin puckered over. Holes remained in his brain. Eyes stared at him from every shadow. The Navy hid the Engineer in a padded room. One day his hands got free of his jacket. He plucked his eyes from his skull. In going blind, he could no longer see the eyes, and in death, found peace.


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