Author : Clint Wilson
It was Professor Decker’s moment of triumph, what he had worked so hard for all these years. As the media looked on he manipulated the keys on his console. At first nothing happened, but then slowly the spherical device atop the garbage heap began to open like an egg. And although completely invisible to the gathered spectators, the microscopic androids descended onto the trash pile and became immediately busy doing two things; devouring the refuse as fast as they could suck the matter into their tiny nuclear furnace bellies, and duplicating themselves at an exponential rate.
Off to the right of the fuel site was a bare patch of earth -the build site- purposely cleared and leveled for the experiment. One of the reporters gasped and pointed. Suddenly they all saw it, a definite layout was appearing there in the dirt; lines of a foundation, plumbing, electrical, all appearing seemingly out of thin air. The microdroids were definitely on the move.
And while the refuse fuel was now visibly shrinking away before their eyes, on the build site steel stud framing grew from the just recently completed foundation while windows were progressing upward into fast appearing aluminum frames. Now a large red entrance door was materializing as if by magic.
And as the flat roof of the small two-story building nearly completed itself they could all see that the former garbage heap was now no more than a smoldering black patch of earth.
Ted left his console and motioned to them all, “Come inside everyone, it’s quite safe!” The gathered mob needed no coaxing. They followed Ted Decker like he was the Messiah.
Together they explored the brand new building with its gorgeous tile work and perfectly functioning plumbing; but it didn’t take long for one of the reporters to point out something quite startling on the second floor. “Say Decker, this building sure looks like it’s only two stories tall from the outside.”
“Well that’s all it is,” replied the professor.
“Then how do you explain this?” The reporter opened wide a closet door which gave way onto an upward spiraling stairway.
In unison they all climbed cautiously into the sunlight to find a completely unplanned and unexplained third floor growing out of the roof, which was surprisingly not made of tin or tarpaper but expensive looking hardwood flooring. Together the bewildered people gathered tentatively at a northward facing window as a new ceiling closed in over their heads.
They looked out of the unplanned third story window to the gaping hole in the earth which had now opened up under the former fuel site. And the healthy ground continued to seethe and writhe as the microdroids multiplied and took fresh matter into their tiny bodies
Ted Decker exclaimed, “Oh lord something’s happening, the program was supposed to end, they’re not stopping.”
“Well, when will they stop?” asked a young wild eyed reporter as a light switch panel materialized on the freshly erected wall behind her.
Decker paused, as if grasping for words, and then finally, as the fuel hole widened and deepened even further, and as they all watched an unplanned western wing of rooms begin to stretch away from the main building, he replied with a question, “When they run out of fuel?”