Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Endless Possibilities

The scene in the Oval Office and the limits of John's power popped fully formed into my head about 15 minutes ago. This is the result:

John teleported into the middle of the Oval Office, grinned at the President, and teleported out just as the astonished Secret Service agent standing unobtrusively in a corner regained control of himself and began drawing his sidearm.

Two minutes later he reappeared in a stretch limousine cruising at over 90 mph in a subterranean tunnel running deep beneath the streets of D.C. Once again he grinned at Alfred Insbrook, the current President of the United States, and with a mental flick sent the bullets in the standard-issue Berettas belonging to the 3 agents riding along to the far side of the moon. After a few seconds of rapid, violent clicking noises, one of the agents caught on and launched himself across the limo. He blinked and found himself rapidly, wetly descending a water slide in southern Florida.

"Good afternoon, Mr. President," John began calmly. "Might I have a moment of your time?"


Two weeks later, John was eating lunch with NASA's chief space infrastructure engineer. "So is there any limit to how much you can move, and how far you can move it?" Bob Haskell was a largish man with a fuzzy beard and the kind of quiet, intense eyes which indicated a cautious yet powerful intellect. He was busily chowing down on a roast beef sandwich, and he slurped noisily on a can of Coke before continuing. "The reason I ask, is that given the demonstration you gave us this morning, it seems like we could colonize the solar system within your lifetime! Which reminds me, have you ever met anyone else with your abilities? Do you think your progeny will inherit them?" He faltered as he spoke this last sentence, then lowered his eyes to his sandwich. "Sorry," he mumbled.

"It's fine," John replied. "The administration and I have reached an agreement about that." The past two weeks had been a finely balanced negotiation with the Insbrook Administration, whose Secretary of Defense had adamantly demanded that John be "studied" in a thoroughly invasive sense. When John disappeared for two days after that little suggestion, (taking a short trip to a beach in Vietnam which served, quite literally, the best Mai-Tais on the planet) Secretary Kostin had changed tack, suggesting that if John wasn't prepared to go under the knife, he could at least supply the government scientists with a blood sample. John refused this as well, at least for the time being. Kostin had next attempted to persuade him with less classically respected means; when John returned to his home in Tenessee, he found no less than 5 stunningly attractive women in his bed, practically begging him for a romp in the sack. He resisted the temptation, however, and sent the women north to the Secretary's bedroom. He imagined Mrs. Kostin was not amused.

After that Alfred Insbrook threw up his hands in defeat and asked John "just what the hell" he wanted.

That had been yesterday. After making clear that his genetic makeup and future family prospects were totally and unexceptionally off limits, John had laid out for the President his goal of lifting mass into orbit for NASA. This morning he had been introduced to NASA's mission director for Mars Robotic Exploration. Upon inquiring if he might view a live feed, Roger Simmons had directed a video tech to bring up the Inspiration Rover's feed. His eyes had seemed to bug out of his head when the feed displayed an American flag plunged into the Martian soil next to a plaque which read "Thanks, Roger."

Which brought him back to lunch...


"I seem to be able to move smaller objects anywhere within the solar system. I tested myself once - I moved a dust mote about 2 light years, and then I blacked out. There seems to be a relationship between mass and distance; there's some limit to what I can do. For example, I can easily move a flag or a plaque - " and here he grinned easily to take some of the sting out of his words - "to Mars, but moving something like a pickup truck would be a strain. I think I could move about 10 tons as far as the moon, but again, at that point things become difficult. Earth orbit is much easier, of course, since it's so damn close. I'm pretty sure I could move a mountain range into orbit, if I had a reason to do so. I should also point out that I've been getting stronger since my abilities first manifested themselves, and the acceleration of that growth is non-negative. I'm frankly a little terrified of what I might be capable of by the time I'm 30."

A piece of roast beef, drizzling mustard onto the tablecloth, hung from the corner of Bob's mouth, which was opened in a wide "O" of shock.

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