Sentience of Time - Chapter IV: The Rise of Glimmer
May 4, 2013

Sentience Of Time – Chapter IV

The following story is a work of fiction and is 100 percent original work. I will be publishing a chapter per week on Saturdays, which can be viewed right here on redOrbit Blogs / Sci-Fi Saturday. I have always been interested in writing science fiction and this is a step toward realizing my dreams. I hope you enjoy this serial novel a chapter at a time!

Sentience Of Time – Chapter IV: The Rise of Glimmer

In 2019 an element later to become known as fractanium was discovered by Russian subterranean explorers while searching for new sources of natural gas, which had come to be in short supply after relied-upon global deposits had mysteriously run dry in the mid-2010s. In a deep cavern in the Siberian tundra the mother lode of this precious metal was found, and after months of research, it was found that the element, which had an odd luminous appearance, even under low-light conditions, was well-suited for use in high-tech electronics.

As technologies grew around this new relatively malleable element, more and more corporations were vying to win strict rights to the resource. The metal, which was never in high supply, began commanding top dollar prices and within a relatively short matter of time, only the wealthiest brands were working with fractanium.

Among those companies was a multi-billion-dollar industry owned by young global business entrepreneur Raphael Asterim, the multi-billionaire owner of Asterim Council Brands. With a very deep pocket, Asterim bought up seventy percent of the available resource and commanded enough fractanium to keep his tech market running for decades. Other companies that won bidding wars for smaller stockpiles of the metal ran dry of their supply through the mid-2030s.

With Asterim now in control of the only known source of fractanium, the world’s tech industry was in its hands. But as the tech titan reeled in the market, demanding nearly 98 percent of the technologies sector, world leaders were looking to reel in Asterim and take back the remaining fractanium stores to protect and preserve the element for future needs.

With growing concerns over an ever-decreasing supply of the precious element, the United Nations ordered Asterim to relinquish its remaining fractanium supplies in 2042. As the UN continued a tightened grip on the tech titan, Mr. Asterim worked with key stockholders within the company to move the precious element out of the eyes of world leaders. Asterim secretly divvied up some 4 tons of fractanium to his most loyal investors to keep it safe. The remaining 3 tons of ore was relinquished to the UN.

In 2049, one of Asterim’s most loyal investors, Shakar Abadhij, struck a deal with a Swiss scientist to study fractanium ore more closely. The deal came to light after Abadhij brought a small sampling of fractanium with him on a trip to Switzerland. Sven Longsveldt, a longtime friend of Abadhij, found upon studying the metal ore that its properties could possibly be broken down into smaller particles, possibly allowing for uses other than in technological components.

With an understanding that fractanium could become an even more precious resource Abadhij gifted Longsveldt with a few pounds of fractanium, expecting great results. After several long months of exhaustive research and secretive experimental testing, Longsveldt was able to produce a derivative of fractanium – a powdery substance he dubbed fractanide. Through further testing, Longsveldt found some very unique characteristics of the powder.

Upon sharing his studies with Abadhij and others within a tight-knit circle, including Raphael Asterim, Longsveldt explained that the newly formed powder, which was almost golden in color, like sparkling glitter, actually had euphoric properties.

Through further testing, Longsveldt, with financial backing now in hand, was able to develop the powder into a small pill, with a dose just right that would cause a powerful range of euphoric emotions to overcome the body and mind. And not only did this pill alter the senses and emotions, but it caused a strange glowing of the blood vessels as it ran its course through the veins, which further heightened the experience.

After clinical testing proved fractanide was relatively safe with few side effects, Longsveldt and Abadhij worked closely with Asterim to begin re-allocating the fractanium stores in secret to mass produce the new enhanced drug. In late 2055 the drug was first offered to select clients and within a few short years the drug was widespread on the streets under the moniker Glimmer.  At first, governments tried to take down the sales of the drug, but once they found it was relatively safe and could turn huge profits, many countries stepped up enforced sales markets.

However, like with the fractanium used for technologies, there was a limit on how much Glimmer could be produced with the fractanide powder. And by 2066 the drug was in high demand but very short supply. By mid-summer 2066, only the wealthiest individuals could score hits of Glimmer. With the only known stores of fractanium now existing in UN hands, it seemed an end was coming soon for Glimmer.

However, all was not lost. Austrian physicist von Weitz began working out the possibilities of quantum time travel in the early 2040s and over the course of two decades or longer believed he had within his reach a machine that could send atomic particles backward through time.

While in 2066 this was not anything known about in modern science, it would soon prove to be a doorway to the return of Glimmer.

So when von Weitz proved to the world on January 15, 2070 that time travel was possible, Asterim and investors were quick to get von Weitz on their side. Asterim, which had become known simply as “the council,” was able to outbid government sectors and win rights to von Weitz’s patents. This time the UN and other government agencies would dare not get in their way.

In the beginning, ethical issues kept Asterim backers from putting too much faith into time travel, but von Weitz made it clear through his extensive research that there was a strict rule to how quantum time travel worked. For reasons that were not entirely understood, anything being pushed through time was limited to a weight of no more than 125 pounds. On several attempts of pushing through matter over that limit, the end result was less than satisfying. Also, the wormhole that the time machine apparently opens up needs some sort of downtime to repair itself before what is sent into the past can be brought back to the present. Again, it was not really known why this was, but anything being brought back in less than 16 hours at that time also ended in failure.

Still, the concept of time travel was alluring to Asterim. With this in mind, he schemed his way to a new realization. What if one could be sent in time to acquire something of great importance; something that no longer exists in the present world?

It occurred to Asterim that a lot of money could be made if there was a way to steal fractanium from the past and bring it to the present in order to continue production of Glimmer. With billions of dollars in funding, Asterim put von Weitz in charge of finding a way to make it happen.

Stay tuned next week for Chapter V

Image Credit: optimarc / Shutterstock

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