Author : Roi R. Cechvala, Alumnus

Graham Banyon was enjoying a television retrospective, “2012: The Mayans Were Right and Other Crackpot Beliefs”, when a tremendous explosion rocked the house. “Damn kids,” he muttered. With a weary sigh he rose from his chair and walked to the back door. He looked up at the moon hanging low in the sky. The last orange rays of the sun waned lazily in the west.

“What the hell are you kids doing out there,” he half heartedly bellowed at a scarred and slightly smoking tool shed. The shed had a slightly guilty look he thought.

“Just a little experiment in cold fusion, Pop,” said the shed amidst a flurry of childish giggles.

“Cold fusion does not go “BOOM”. What are you kids up to?” Graham noticed that several shrubs and a small tree were also smouldering slightly. The tree did not appear to be happy about it’s current state of thermal affairs.

“Nothing, Pop,” the shed replied, as it shuddered from what appeared to be a smaller secondary explosion, “Um… would you get us some more uranium?”

“Ha,” cried Graham, “I knew it wasn’t cold fusion. What happened to the uranium I bought you last week?”

“That’s yellow cake. We need something fissionable,” the shed said as it’s battered roof settled an inch lower with a groan.

“Absolutely not. I haven’t forgotten what you did to Mrs. McNutt’s dog last month. By the way, did you manage to get it back?”

The shed paused a reflective moment before replying. “Not all of it.” A gale of laughter followed.

“Well… um… play nice,” Graham said, remonstrating himself for a somewhat lacklustre admonishment.

Graham turned and entered his pleasant Cape Cod style home and settled back in his recliner, un-pausing his documentary and took a sip of sweet green iced tea.

He must have dozed off, for when he woke his wall screen was set to a pastoral image of the Jovian system. Europa waned a crescent. Graham knew instinctively that something was wrong. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something was definitely not right. He bolted for the airlock of his habitation unit.

The small geodesic dome situated among a bed of Venusian squorn worm plants had erupted in raucous laughter. “I close my eyelids for two seconds and you kids have cooked up another mess. What is it this time?”

“Nothing, Pop. Isn’t everything okay?” The dome failed to stifle a string of titters.

“Yes, everything is quite okay. That’s how I know something is wrong.” Graham’s current round of logic momentarily baffled him. “Wait a minute. Have you two been messing around with temporal/spatial flux again?”

“What makes you think that, Pop,” the dome answered. Gales of laughter poured through the dome’s slightly irised portal. “How could we…” Before the dome could finish it’s sentence, it quickly blinked out of existence with a nearly inaudible “pop”.

Graham could only imagine that the dome and his two sons within, had been destroyed by a miniature black hole of their own creation. Crushed to death by the tidal forces of the most powerful gravitational field in the universe.

His beloved sons. Gone.

“Well,” he mused to himself as he stared into the twilit sky of Mars, “at least it will be quiet around here.”

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