Ex Nihilo Res


“Electricity.” John smiled. “Electricity is the answer, and you know it.”
His black, collared shirt was loose over his lank frame and strangely long arms. He wore a white tie, and shiny shoes. Behind horn rim glasses, his dark eyes gleamed.

“For the short decades that Man has truly studied the universe in a clear and scientific manner, he has never discovered any other force so radically important or powerful. Electricity will end the world, Mr. Jacobson.”
Martin laughed. It was not a kind laugh, or one communicating any amusement. It was a short bark, a pronouncement of his disagreement. Martin looked down his nose at John, despite the fact that he was at least two feet shorter. He whirled, his hands clenched behind his back, and paced to the other side of the room.
“Mr. Bullworth, I would never think of contradicting you.” He stopped suddenly, and slowly turned to look at John over his shoulder. “However, we both know the consequences of underestimation. Just look at poor Gimli.”
John narrowed his eyes to slits. His lip curled. “Do not conflate my ideas with the spurious drivel of that– of our poor, late comrade.” He bowed his head by a quarter of a degree.
Like a tiger stalking its prey, Martin closed in on John. “Yes! You see!” He laughed maniacally. “Gas will end this earth! Its tendrils weave their way into our minds, our thoughts, our dreams– all the while our attentions eclipsed by its dark ally electricity! Electricity’s greatest danger is that we waste our last precious moments thinking about it!”

He paced frantically. Pushing his long black hair out of his eyes and rubbing his temples, he grimaced and said, “Look, we know it’s got to be one or the other.”
The apparatus on the table was on the smallish side of book-sized. It was covered in blinking lights. All but two of them were red.

John took a pinch of snuff and gestured to the apparatus. “The forces of the universe decline our invitations, one by one. How are we to escape if our most basic allies in the empirical world turn their backs on us?”

At that moment, the window shattered and all the air in the room howled out of it. The Gas had come for them.

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