Part 33 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.
CHAPTER NINE WISE VAMPIRE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 2023 10:25 A.M.
“Thank you for meeting me on such short notice,” Satoshi said. He had set up a meeting with Theo Birnbaum, Roberto Romero, and Professor Neidensteiner, who had volunteered to take a look at the Glaring Glasses. They were at the New York office of Greenpeace.
“Who are you?” Theo asked. “Did you also come from the 24th Century?”
“No. I’m just some guy who happened to be around when Angel arrived last week. I’m a writer. I write books, lots of them. I haven’t written about global warming yet, though. I must admit it,” Satoshi explained. He did not mention the Perfect Purse, his bitcoins, or Khalmorot. He was back to hiding from the World again. Angel had been an exception that would not be repeated, if he could help it.
“So, is she dead now?” Theo asked. “This whole story sounds completely nuts. But I like it as a metaphor.”
“I don’t know. I was not with her when her time ran out. She sent me away. I’ll check on the room in my apartment where I left her yesterday evening later this morning. Maybe I’ll find out something,” Satoshi said.
“So, how about starting with the purpose of this meeting?” Professor Neidensteiner asked. He was tenured at New York University and one of the leading experts on wearable computer technology.
“Okay. Let’s start with a couple of demonstrations,” Satoshi said.
He faced a wall of the office and projected a video from the Glaring Glasses. It showed a simulation of Moros 27 on its way to hitting Earth in 2327, with exact data on its location and speed shown at the bottom.
“Meet Moros 27,” Satoshi said. “That’s the reason Angel came back from 2323. They finally had the positive feedback loop under control, but it was an all-out effort. They didn’t have any resources left for developing space technology far enough to deflect this rock. And they would have had only a couple of years left anyway.”
“Interesting,” Roberto Romero said. “So that’s what I should be writing about once that little global warming problem is solved.”
“Yes. This is probably the most important part of her warning to humanity. Are you recording this?” Satoshi asked.
“Actually no,” Theo said.
“You should. This needs to be distributed far and wide.”
Theo took his phone out and started recording. The video of Moros 27 would be on the Greenpeace blog later this day. And on Roberto’s blog as well.
Satoshi stopped the simulation of Moros 27 after a couple of moments.
“Now for some historic data on global warming from the 2323 Wikipedia article,” Satoshi said. “I understand you have some interest in the matter.”
“You could say that,” Roberto said. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to the issue.”
Satoshi displayed a table with data on the office wall.
“Here’s how warming has played out. We get about 3 degrees until 2100, and then another 2 degrees each following century, for 7 degrees warming by 2300,” Satoshi said.
“How come you got the pace down in the 22nd Century?” Theo asked.
“Well, it helped a lot that billions of people died from global warming by 2100. Also, there was much less industry left after the World War starting in 2080,” Satoshi explained.
“Could you show us that simulation on sea level rise again? The one that Angel showed last week?” Theo asked. “I would like Professor Neidensteiner to see it, so he can give us an opinion about the technology.”
“Here you are,” Satoshi said. He displayed the simulation on sea level rise sinking New York again.
“How about it?” Theo asked. “Could this be done with present technology?”
“I guess it could,” Neidensteiner said. “We have the necessary computer simulation software. Simulations like that could be done over a decade ago. However, the hardware is rather powerful. Usually you would need an external projector for displaying the simulation on an office wall.”
“Okay, let’s try something else,” Satoshi said. He stopped the projection. “Have we ever met before, Professor Neidensteiner?”
“Did I contact you before this meeting?”
“No. Theo Birnbaum did. I never spoke to you directly.”
“So, if I told you that this morning you nearly had an accident when driving your car here, would that impress you somewhat?”
“It would. How do you know? Are you with the NSA?”
“No,” Satoshi said. “I’m just doing a bit of mind-reading with these Glaring Glasses. There was this cyclist speeding into the street crossing from the wrong side of the road. You only barely managed to stop the car in time to avoid hitting him. He lost control and nearly crashed into a guy walking on the sidewalk. You were quite shocked at the time.”
“I was. And I am. How did you know?”
“Of course I might have had someone watching you. I might even have paid someone to do this stunt with the bicycle, so as to impress you. But there is no way I could know about this really dark secret of yours involving Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil’s Arse? You never told anyone.”
Professor Neidensteiner turned slightly pale. His jaw dropped.
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep that to myself. No one needs to know. But in your expert opinion, would you agree that there is no way 21st Century technology could come up with this level of mind reading capability?”
“Yes. I certainly think so,” Neidensteiner said.
“Do you think you need to examine the device?”
“Actually, I personally think there’s no need to do that. It is clearly beyond anything present technology could come up with. Even the NSA could not pull this off. But that won’t convince Senator Nutt, I’m afraid.”
“She’ll just say I told you before.”
“I see,” Satoshi said.
He took of the Glaring Glasses and handed them to Professor Neidensteiner.
“I authorized you to use them in data display mode. You can’t put them into mind-reading mode, though. Try it.”
Professor Neidensteiner put the Glaring Glasses on. He did not know what to expect, or how to operate the device. So he got a demonstration on autopilot. The Glaring Glasses showed him more data on how global warming would play out in the coming three centuries. It didn’t take long for him to reach a conclusion.
“This technology is far advanced over anything we have now. There’s no way 21st Century humanity could come up with this. It looks like space alien wizardry to me.”
“Are you ready to state this in public?” Theo Birnbaum asked.
“Of course I am. This is the high point in my career. I will be telling my grandchildren about this. And I understand that my testimony might help with getting global warming and this Moros 27 rock under control.”
“Okay. Thank you. So I’ll just record a short statement right now, and ask you to follow up with an official opinion in writing later on. When could you get it to me?”
“This shouldn’t take too long. I’ll give it priority over everything else, so you should have it later today,” Neidensteiner said.
“Thank you,” Theo Birnbaum said. “Now what about Senator Nutt?”
“What about her?” Satoshi said. “She refused to cooperate, remember?”
“Haven’t you seen her comment on Angel’s blog? She changed her mind. She wants her expert to look at the device now.”
“No, I didn’t see that,” Satoshi said. “But I guess I can arrange something with her. Some-time later, though. She’s not important, and there would be some security issues to work out. She might be tempted to rob me of the device. I wouldn’t want to contribute to that temptation.”
“Could someone else operate it without your authorization?” Roberto asked.
“No. If anyone tries to do so without root access, they will get their brains fried in a really unpleasant way. This device is dangerous. It has its own security built in,” Satoshi explained.
“Well, anyway, we’ll deal with Senator Nutt later,” Theo Birnbaum said. “Greenpeace can provide the necessary security, once it comes to having her expert look at the device. Why don’t you just contact her and set something up right here. They won’t be able to try any funny business that way.”
“Good idea,” Satoshi said. “I’ll be in touch.”
Link to part 34: Wise Vampire