Large Hadron Collider competition: VOTE NOW to choose the WINNER
Who will triumph? Villain, hero ... or urinal cake?
Poll The call for Reg readers to put their most inventive hats on and summon up short stories of the most evil genius or the most awesome hero that could be spawned with the aid of the Large Hadron Collider went out - and it was answered. In a bid to lay hands on the truly incredible "Large Hadron Collider Pop-Up Book: Voyage to the Heart of Matter", readers put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, if you prefer) and came up with some twisted, some inspirational and some truly bizarre stories.
We asked for the most nefarious deeds a criminal mastermind or evil genius could come up with if they seized control of CERN's prized particle collider or the origin story of a super-powered hero birthed in the bowels of the LHC by some accelerator-related calamity. In results that should be surprising to no-one, Reg readers have a good grasp on the evil genius bit, a slightly more tenuous hold on superheroes and a healthy respect for janitorial staff.
Reg central has now managed to cull the entries down to these eight tales, for which we invite you, the rest of the readers, to vote. The story that gleans the most votes by the end of the week shall be crowned the victorious winner and its wordsmith will lay hands on the glorious prize of the pop-up book.
For your consideration (and only edited for typos and style):
1. I Am Collider Man - this is my story …
It was a stormy night in Switzerland when Professor Cox and his cronies were drinking to the success of the firing of the collider. Drunk on ambition and crazed with power, they upped the ratings. Little did they realise that I, Barry Technician, was cleaning the pipes after the first firing. They amped the power and as the whirling mass of potential bosons hit me, my soul splintered as the raw power of God particle struck.
I was Barry Technician no more. Before I knew it, I was transformed, transmogrified, transmitted, transgendered. I became … Collider Man! … with the ability to run at things really fast and explode into minute particles. This is my story, this is my time.
2. The Transformation of Edwin
Edwin was a urinal cake. There is no shame in this. If it is his lot to slowly bleed out his essence to keep a urinal clean and smelling fresh, then so be it. After all, some people play tennis (Edwin never really did understand this).
Edwin's days were spent sitting in a box in a supply closet with his other box brethren wondering when they would be called upon to make the Ultimate Sacrifice for sanitation.
Then That Day happened. Not the day the Euro crashed, the day a week and a half later when the scientists did not get paid and subsequently, rioted. They disabled all the safeties on the LHC, grabbed all the cleaning supplies including Edwin and his brethren and threw them all into the beam before running it at BCM (Batshit Crazy Mode).
Only Edwin got caught in the beam. His box brethren died before they even knew what happened. Edwin was not so lucky. He experienced terrors and madness and suffering beyond even the wildest imaginings of Lovecraft as the subatomic particles shredded his body and mind.
Then he was touched by the God particle.
Peace and tranquility washed over Edwin. Time stopped. He experienced Infinity. Then the God Particle spoke. It apologised for Edwin's suffering even though it was not the God particle's fault. It said it could give Edwin life, life beyond that of a mere urinal cake. Edwin would have powers, but with power comes responsibility.
"Would you promise to use these powers only for Good?" the God particle asked.
Edwin said "Yes".
This is the genesis of the Sanitary Avenger - he who wipes out all dirty schemes and the dirty men who perpetrate them.
3. My Name Is GOD (and I don't know what I'm doing)
One day, the Hadron Collider cleaner (yes, it needs a cleaner) is sweeping away, when he accidentally trips and falls into the running LHC. To his dismay, he cannot get out and the God particle zaps through him. The room goes white, and soon the whole Earth is engulfed by a white light and then it disappears, along with the Earth.
The cleaner wakes up, in space, with no body. He is an entity, known as GOD. Falling into the LHC and being struck with the God particle has transformed him into God himself. The Earth has been swallowed up by itself and now there is nothing. The Cleaner, now God, must recreate the world from the start.
Now, who's to say this hasn't happened before? Why is the universe so old compared to how old Earth was? If this has happened before, what happened to the other "Gods" before the cleaner. If he starts creating the world again, could he change anything? Could he make war in the Middle East non-existent? Could he make it so the tsunami never hit Japan? What could he actually do to change the world?
And if his Earth has been destroyed, what has happened to any of the other neighbouring galaxies? Has another planet found this particle and accidentally done the same? Or are there planets who have managed to harness the power to conquer the Universe?
Nobody had expected a crack in the LHC to ever to develop. During the design phase all contingencies had been factored in and as time went on and the results of the experiments came in as predicted, everyone began to relax. A minute crack had appeared, however, but no-one noticed, and nothing happened because no-one had been in the direct line of the crack during a test - yet.
One day, however, a test was being run as Steve, one of the staff members, was out for a walk and making the most of the summer sunshine. He walked past at the exact time a test was taking place, and his body was flooded with bosons and fermions for a split second. That day a maintenance check at the LHC discovered the crack, and it was quickly repaired, with the assurance that no damage had been done.
That night however, Steve discovered changes taking place to his body. His strength and intelligence increased by a considerable amount, as if his mind and body was now at its full potential. He didn't want anyone to know what had happened until he had reasoned it out for himself, but swiftly realised where and when the change had occurred.
Steve hoped he was a good person, however with these new powers he knew that worlds of opportunity lay before him. He would be able to do almost anything he wanted, and no-one would be able to stop him. Using his newfound power, he developed a costume to wear which reflected light around him, making him almost invisible. Only in bright sunlight was a faint shadow shown on the ground. A month later, Steve vanished from his flat and no-one ever heard of him again, but shortly afterwards, things started to happen.
It started off in a small way, a group of low life thugs went to mug a pensioner. They were later found hanging upside down by the police, after an anonymous call alerted them. and attached to the rope was a small card with the shadow of a man pinned to it. Then a gang of bank robbers were found by the manager, tied up inside the safe they had intended robbing, with the tell tale card.
Soon tales were circulating of bank accounts belonging to drug barons being cleaned out, just leaving a small image of a shadow of a man contained within the account, which were password protected and using industry level encryption. By now the police were receiving anonymous emails of accurate information assisting them in their fight against crime, and as these successes had their effect, the crime rate started to drop. The common factor in each of the emails was the signature of "Shadowman".
Soon the papers had a hold of the story and it made the headlines.
"Who is Shadowman?" was on every front page, who did he work for, and what was his real name?
Every morning crooks would go into their accounts, only to find the Shadowman had already visited but left no trace, apart from his calling card. Gangs of villains tried to track him down, but even then stories circulated of an invisible foe that no-one could overpower, regardless of the technology they used, even guard dogs did not work in the case of a warehouse where drugs were manufactured, until Shadowman paid them a visit.
He is still out there somewhere today …
1. The Anti-Spider-Man
As Dr. Niederschlangermeyerwaldeinsamkeit worked through the night tuning the antimatter coils at the LHC, he was blissfully unaware of a rare and poisonous spider sitting on his arm. The spider had previously crawled into the highly radioactive energy modulator/demodulator module next to the control panel he was working on, and was now sitting on his arm, confused and angry from the radioactive burning sensation it felt after trying to copulate with the glowing central core of the energy modulator/demodulator.
The spider sunk its fangs into Dr. Niederschlangermeyerwaldeinsamkeit (or Bob, as his friends called him).
"Ow, f***, that's a f***ing spider! How the f*** did that …" he screamed.
And died. (Radioactive spider bites from a poisonous spider … yeah, you be DEAD).
While collapsing in paralysing agony, Dr. Niederschlangermeyerwaldeinsamkeit fell on the "Energise the antimatter coils" button (the flip-up cover had been carelessly left up).
Meanwhile, Dr. Niederschlangermeyerwaldeinsamkeit's colleague, Dr. Boesendorf, was cleaning out the wonderflonium injectors of the LHC. As Dr. Niederschlangermeyerwaldeinsamkeit's body fell and the antimatter coils were energised, Dr. Boesendorf's body lit up like a Christmas tree in the concentrated beam of antimatter, before imploding into a state of uncertainty.
Dr. Boesendorf found that he both exists and does not exist at the same time, and that he can manipulate people's hopes and dreams into the same state.
True, Dr. Boesendorf blinks in and out of existence based on whether he is being observed or not, but he can at least crush people's hopes and dreams, pushing them towards evildoing. Being a bit of a prankster, as well as an evil genius, Dr. Boesendorf is now called … The Bozo(n).
2. A Trainee Evil Genius' Guide to the Large Hadron Collider
The uses to which an evil criminal mastermind could put the Large Hadron Collider(LHC) to are endless. However one particularly evil plot should be obvious to all; imagine if you will a large horizontally orientated hamster wheel (looking suspiciously like an LHC) filled with cute rodents (not unlike furry minions). Using the LHW (Large Hamster Wheel), the criminal mastermind can accelerate the furry minions to almost the speed of light by the cunning use of tasty hamster trail mix on a constantly moving platform at the front of the herd. This platform will be driven by the rapid forward motion of the hamsters and remain in a constant yet unobtainable position relative to the hamsters. This cosmic blur of furry minions will produce an Earth-shattering (literally) amount of static electricity (remember the balloon and Aunty’s angora jumper when you were young?!). If you are an evil genius then it is a simple matter to harness this inexhaustible power supply to your orbiting space laser and hence threaten all life on Earth. I say inexhaustible because the furry minions will also be breeding at the speed of light and there will be an exponential growth in the power produced, allowing the evil genius to threaten life on other planets as well.
3. The Bosonic Supermassitronic Weightificator
The plan is simple: to hold the world to ransom by harvesting Higgs bosons and using them in a new weapon of my own devising: the bosonic supermassitronic weightificator.
As we all now know, the Higgs boson gives mass to everything else. So, I intend to use the LHC to create several gallons of Higgs bosons which I will use to fuel my revolutionary new weapon. The weightificator, however, is no weapon of mass destruction. It is a non-lethal paralysing agent that puts its victims under my instant control. The weightificator is aimed at the head of the intended controlee, and the stream of Higgs bosons released then attacks the behavioural centres of the brain, adding huge amounts of extra mass to the victim’s conscience by interacting with the W and Z bosons in their neurons.
Weighed down by their own consciences, world leaders such as Putin, whose conscience must already be so heavy that he could potentially collapse into a black hole of regret and bare-chested denial, will be paralysed by an instant hit of self-awareness and an overwhelming sensation of guilt. Soon, the great and good will be under my control, unable to move, crippled by doubt and self-realisation, ready to hand over the keys/launch codes to the evil genius in control of the yawning chasm that is their moral turpitude. My evil minions will work day and night at CERN, harvesting the bosons into special bosonic capacitors, which store the Higgs particles ready for loading into the weightificator like little bullets of self-disgust. Soon, I will have incapacitated all the major world powers and I will be able to usher in a new era of prosperity (for myself).
4. The Saga of CERN's Massive Super Villain Problem
Without wishing to cause much concern,
Be informed a criminal has taken CERN.
He is of the white cat stroking kind
Thinking himself a great mastermind.
With the power of the Large Hadron Collider
He plans to make the Higgs Boson a bit wider
With everything heavier falling to his will
He plans to dominate with a new diet pill.
No need to worry or hit the gin,
CERN's already had a hero's origin.
Years ago a catastrophic helium leak
Enhanced one science girl's musical squeak.
All we need now is for the great AlpineKat
To sing once again the Large Hadron rap.
A supercool science geek can easily foil
Some super-villain's pseudoscience snake oil.
As the time draws near to beer o'clock
Without wishing to frighten or shock
Placing the white cat in a box is one thing to do
If you don't look, maybe it's not that cruel.
In the final scene the collider's switched on,
Dark energetic antimatter hits the boson.
The Higgs mass problem is finally diminished
And with that this little saga is quite finished.