It had been the first test of Beamer’s particle beam. Use the beam to sever the atomic bonds in a concrete post, turning it into a pile of dust. The test worked. The post was a pile of dust. But, so were the table behind that, and the three computers on the table, the twelve bookcases along the south wall, and the entire south wall too.
A three-foot thick, steel reinforced concrete wall turned to a pile of dust.
Bobby replayed the video on his tablet, and watched the countdown. At 6, Beamer had begun to glow, a pale yellow that grew rapidly into a blinding white. At 0, Beamer fired the beam. And everything turned to dust.
Beamer was a prototype search and rescue robot. Send it into a disaster area to find and rescue survivors. Its particle beam severed the atomic bonds between the atoms in the debris. Any gases, like Helium, floated away. Everything else turned to dust.
Bobby walked to Beamer 1, where it stood in the middle of the room. “Buddy. Good to see you’re OK.”
The robot replied with a soulless voice. “Oops.”
“It’s OK, Beamer.” He looked at the outdoors, where the wall once was.
Beamer responded, “I seem to have miscalculated.”
Bobby did laugh. “Remember what I always tell you?”
“You need to focus, right?”
“Right.” Beamer’s mechanical vision system pointed downward. “I’ll pay better attention next time.”
I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 104. It’s #ThursThreads 2 year anniversary! Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.