Author : Phill English

Bob leaned back in his chair and sighed. The first day had been a long time coming. Every time they thought they had the whole project licked, a new feature came to light that had to be incorporated into the preliminary model. And there were a whole lot of features. How long had he even been at this? It seemed like decades ago that he had begun the project as a hobby in between building planetoids for superstars. It wasn’t long before it consumed more hours than the weekend could provide. He started asking around at work for people interested in joining his little experiment and found a few kindred spirits willing to get involved for a laugh. It was just a bit of fun; a problem to get a kick out of wrapping your brain around. After a year or so of hacking together what they could, the now dozen-strong group realised they needed some outside expertise and advertised for volunteer positions on the Galaxyweb. A modest following sprung up, which then exploded when the project was mentioned on one of the more popular news feeds (Jump Squared; a self-proclaimed “directory of awesome”). Soon the job of overseeing thousands of eager minds overtook Bob’s weekday efforts and he resigned to more effectively manage the project. Its popularity only seemed to grow over time, forcing Bob to start screening volunteers. This lead to the whole deal becoming a yardstick for the hacker culture. Every tinkerer, repurposer, and eccentric engineer wanted in on the prestige that came with being selected to help with Bob’s grand experiment. It was tough, but eventually he had a steady core of brilliant minds helping him to achieve the nigh-impossible detail required by the original plans.

And now it was time. He felt like the unwitting participant in the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine. He wondered what it would do, this replica, this cynical doppelganger. Hopefully provide a bit of harmless entertainment for the news feeds to report on from time to time. It would probably get the zealots up in arms. Whether they’d do something drastic was still to be determined, but he figured they’d probably be curious enough to let it be. He didn’t really care, for him it had been all about the build; now that it was done, he had no interest past letting it go. Bob spoke calmly into his microphone. “Is Adam in place? Good to hear. Illumination technicians on standby? Great. Alright guys, get ready to set the timer on my mark. Three-thousand years, that’s correct.”

Everything was in place. Alright, thought Bob. Time to see if it really went down the way He said it did. The panel in front of him flashed green. The station went quiet. Millions held their breath.

And Bob said, “Let there be light.”

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