The Black Hole

Bernheim, one of Governor Hentoff’s lackeys, was vomiting off behind a trash receptacle. I wasn’t big on politics, but for what it is worth, Bernheim would have been an idiot regardless of his profession. That morning and before the black hole had opened up in the middle of Chicago, he’d eaten three cheese steaks.

“Try not to get any of that on the floor, Berny – they just waxed in here!” I called out as I clacked away on the keyboard.

“Fu— blauguguguguguguugugug!” replied Bernheim.

I laughed. My laughter was quickly quelled though. We were in big trouble and by my calculations had 1 hour and 17 minutes to stop a black hole from consuming all of Chicago. In another twenty-four hours, it would be the world.

Doctor Wheat, Belinda, was racing through the printouts. Sure, she had a dumb last name, but what a rack. Besides being a knockout, she was great in bed. I had designs to marry her one day, but for now I was content to sleep with her.

Beside Belinda was Jerry Norman. Jerry was a top-notch scientist, but to be blunt, my brain was more powerful than his. Of course, this accounted for why Belinda slept in my bed and not his. Besides not possessing the mind I did, Jerry was a nervous wreck. Normally he was all ulcers and covered in sweat. Right now, however, he looked like the Amazon during rain season, and I figured it was moments before his stomach acid erupted from his naval like a geyser.

“Belinda,” I asked, “have you turned anything up in the printouts yet?”

Belinda shook her head no. “No, I haven’t.” Even in a time of crisis she looked hot.

“Goddammit, none of this makes sense!” screamed Jerry.

“Jerry, dude, man, comrade – take a chill pill,” I said.

Jerry glared at me. “How the hell can I be calm in a time like this?!?! We’re all gonna die ’cause a black hole has just opened up in Chicago and no one knows how to stop it! No one even knows how it happened! It’s impossible!”

“According to what we know,” I said.

Jerry looked at me, and so did Belinda. Even Bernheim stopped vomiting for a brief second.

“What???” asked Jerry flabbergasted.

“I said, according to what we know. We need to think outside of the box Jerry. We need to think like a black hole.”

Jerry nodded his head. “Okay… but how?”

“We need a fourth science to defeat the black hole,” I said. “Chemistry, physics and geology can’t explain what is happening. In fact, if you combined all those sciences, you still couldn’t explain things. So we need a new science, a fourth science. Then we can fight the black hole. We need blackholeology.”

“I thought… there were –“

I finished Jerry’s sentence. “More sciences? Like Biology?”

“Yeah…,” said Jerry.

“The black hole just ate biology, Jerry. You’ve gotta quit thinking like a scientist and start thinking like a black hole.”

Bernheim started vomiting again and I winked at Belinda.

11 thoughts on “The Black Hole

  1. Hard boiled science ‘eh?

    Two things came to mind in reading the above story. One was this, which I’d just heard last week.

    The other was this (second one down), which I’d known about for a long time.

    Though a third (which I’m sure will remain clearly etched into Loki and She Dragon’s memories for eternity) now comes to mind as well: The infamous Black Hole to Hell.

  2. Aside from the implausibility (ie. the fact that a blackhole on earth would quickly get pull it’s way to the Earth’s core) it might be interesting if they actually had a show where the black hole produced other plausible effects:

    • Tidal forces near a black hole will rip things apart. People within a certain distance would find their arms getting ripped off, pavement would crumble, steel warp, etc.
    • Paradoxically small “black” holes actually churn out alot of radiation for two reasons: 1) They rip apart incomming matter before it actually gets sucked in, 2) They are actually evaporating through an odd process.
    • Time dilation: As you get really close to the event horizon time slows down for you. Of course once you get close enough for this to be an issue the tidal forces will already have ripped you apart.

    On a related note:

    Why the heck can’t Sci-fi produce any good movies!? Is it a rule these days that they all have to suck? Honestly, the last one (maybe the only one) I saw that didn’t utterly suck was Alien Cargo. Which was made like 7 years ago.

  3. That is a pretty sci-fi question you pose. What if Sci-Fi Channel actually produced some good sci-fi movies? Who knows, it might just cause a rip in the time-space-continuum. I think I smell The Black Hole III/ Event Horizon III.

    What is weird, is that Sci-Fi Channel has actually been churning out or picking up some good stuff lately. B.G. is good, and I like Screw-On Head and Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace. Along with Stan Lee’s Superhero, it seems as if Sci-Fi is trying to carve out a comedic niche also. And while I don’t think any of the shows is truly awesome, all of them are commendable for their ambition, which steps far outside the norm.

    Ultimately, I think the movie ideas have something going for them, but their realizations are all pretty deplorable. The thing is, any of them could really be exciting if someone attempted to treat the subject matter with just a bit more zest and flair.

    On a side note – Escape Pod looks like a cool site.

  4. No problem though.

    As the article points out quantum tunneling allows blackholes to slowly evaporate. And the smaller the black hole the quicker the evaporation. Really tiny blackholes actually evaporate so rapidly they radiate a significant amount of energy.

    My layman’s understanding is that the microscopic black holes they would be able to generate in this experiment will probably evaporate to nothing almost instantly. And since when blackholes evaporate they can only release as much energy as they’ve already absorbed the explosion would be tiny.

    But I suspect Bear has a better grasp on such things and if there are any errors in my reasoning he could probably clear them up.

  5. Pete – something like that sounds reasonable. I don’t know about “explosions” etc., but they do evaporate and little ones would eventually evaporate away into nothing…

  6. Loki – Well we all know that black holes really lead to hell (Hence the old saying “the road to hell is paved with Hawking Radiation”)

    But the kind that let displacer beasts through aren’t black holes, rather more like wormholes. And it’s those worms that you really have to worry about.

    Bear – I just thought I heard that the smaller they are the quicker they evaporate so that just before one evaporates entirely it churns out all it’s remaining mass in a tiny amount of time. I guess maybe not technically an “explosion” but some sort of final peak in output.

Comments are closed.