Author : Townsend Wright

“Now, who can tell me what antimatter does?” said professor Argent as he tightened the rope around his waist.

We were all a bit disturbed by the professor's request to go stand out by the empty old building and tie ourselves to a tree, so he was forced to repeat himself. Someone cried out “Powers the Enterprise?” One of those idiots who signed up for physics class for a nap.

A smarter student said “It causes a nuclear explosion.”

“Correct,” Malke proudly said, scratching his bald head. “But why?” This was a small, round faced man whom everyone knew quite well was insane, despite being an absolute genius.

I, rolling my eyes at my classmates' silence, pointed out “When antimatter and regular matter come in contact, they cancel each other out, converting both into pure energy, hence the nuclear explosion.”

“Very good, mr. Jones. Now I've invented something using antimatter. A kind of destructive device. No, no, don't worry, I'm not going to nuke the school. Well, I don't think I am. In any case that's not what the device is for.”

“What are you talking about?” asked the rude girl standing beside me.

“I call it the paradox bomb. It distributes antimatter throughout an area to annihilate all matter there.

“Where in God's name would you get that much antimatter?” I exclaimed, my knowledge of the man's declining sanity now reinforced.

“Wouldn't have to. The device produces the antimatter.”

“Still, that would take a massive amount of energy. Where would that come from?”

The old man smiled. “Ask the other question on your mind, mr. Jones.”

I was confused. “What—Why isn't there a nuclear explosion?”

“There you go! I also would have accepted 'why is it called a paradox bomb?' The thing is, the answers are the same. Once the antimatter is distributed, the resulting energy release is channeled back in time and is used by the machine to produce the very same antimatter.”

“Using something to destroy itself,” someone cried from behind me.

“Like the candle feeds the flame.”

“That's ridiculous!” I exclaimed. “It's impossible! It defies every law of physics! It—” the professor held up a small device and pressed a button. A flash of white light burst from the center of the abandoned building behind him. Wind pulled us all toward the light with tremendous force, that we felt the ropes tug around our waists. When the wind died down we looked at the building, only to see nothing, just empty space and the corners of the building's foundation cut into wedges lining up with a circular hole in the ground with the old professor standing before it.

“Any more questions?”

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