Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

The Neutrinos are coming! The Neutrinos are coming! By Dinker Charak |
Issue 3

The Neutrinos are coming! The Neutrinos are coming! By Dinker Charak

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The Scientist-Poet

The scientific community never liked one of their own straying into the world of literature and trying to mix the two worlds. Hence, when Carlo Errum published his collection of poems, he was declared a juicy target for jokes and attributed quaffs. Though most of the backlash was claimed to be good humored and with no malice, but still.

And now the present world condition was also being blamed on him. Had he not romanticised the Neutrinos, the world may have been a wonderful place to live in. On the face of it, the poem, ‘The River that Flows’ was just another third-rate ranting of a lover who had nothing useful to do in life.

“I can not sleep,
Nor can I eat,
I lay in my bed,
Facing the east.

I can not sing,
Nor can I fly,
What shall my love,
To reach you, try?

I hope from west,
Elusive and mum,
As a river infinite,
Neutrinos may come!

I will seek each,
Plant my kiss on them,
And let them run,
No wall stopping them.

As they pass you,
Dropping off my kiss,
Love shall find way,
To reach you, Miss.

Now you know they’re coming,
Wait with a heart pounding,
On hint on their arrival,
You will be singing,

The Neutrinos are coming,
The Neutrinos are coming!”

It all started when Carlo won the Noble for Physics. Like every decent Noble winner, he was expected to write a book about it. An inspiration for the future generation. Whatever he was going to write would be an inter-settlement best seller. For once, his wife was very proud of him. But there was a minor issue. Carlo was an experimental physicist. The ones, who in the movies, wear a white coat and sit all day and all night watching the results of the experiment on a haloscreen.

Nothing wrong with that. Just that what he did was not very tough to understand. A theoretical physicist abstracted theories out of seemingly vague data using complicated mathematical formulas. They were the ones who in the movies sat in their office with ruffled hair and an expensive pen, which they wore off more easily than their tennis shoes.

If one wrote a book about their theories, the common people would not understand even a quark of what was being said. But the pleasure for the ignorant masses lay in their having read about these high intellect theories and know the keywords and phrases. It gave them a sense of being there where they were not in the first place because they lacked the ‘thing’ to be. But they were there now, thanks to a book and a small payment.

The problem with Carlo was, however clever his idea was, it was easily describable. In one book he could easily explain the physics, technology and his extremely clever twist that made it all possible. Unfortunately, that is not the purpose of a Noble winner’s book. That is the purpose of a school textbook. No ego would be fed and hence no currency weaned away from possessive pockets of people.

Always an a-finder-of-way-out, he decided to write a collection of poems. A show of diverse intellectual talent! And hence the poem and all the fuss about Neutrinos.

The Lonely Control Room

Obuka’s back was hurting. His posture was wrong. His chair had a faulty seat and had only one armrest. Due to the dangling wires underneath the table in front of him, he could not spread his legs. The rubber pads under the metallic legs of the chair were worn. Each time he slid the chair, it squeaked like a squeaky lady. He was a bit sweaty due to all the heat the electronic was generating. The air conditioner was yet to be installed and the window had to be sealed due to safety regulations. The haloscreen in front of him glared with the display of the status of some ten-hundred-thousand things. All the colours of mother nature were squeezed in the numerous dials on the small haloscreen.

And Obuka had no reason to be there. But he had not come so far in life to miss out the reason he had worked so hard. To sit in this room and battle heat and ignoring an attention demanding bladder. He did not want to miss the computers detect the first shower of the Neutrinos.

This shower was distinct from the cosmic shower that filled the cosmic background. These Neutrinos would come in a distinct pattern following the Morse-rella Transmission Protocol. It was a brainchild of one of the brilliant physicist of all times, Dr. Carlo Errum.

Neutrinos come in three types. These types are called as flavours by the scientists. Probably named so by some physicist working way past his dinner time. And when the neutrinos oscillate, they transform from one flavour to another. This happened when they travel long distances. As if they were getting bored and decided to have a little fun along the way. They were so small that could pass through thickest concrete as if they were passing empty space. Hence, they could travel large distances without getting obstructed. And therein lay a perfect solution for data transmission from the remote settlement of Mehran which generated important scientific data.

Mehran was next to the first black hole humanity had discovered. It was placed such that it was just beyond the reach of the black hole. And there were many experiments running there. No human lived on Mehran and machines ran that place. The data sent back was analysed by a scientist. Carlo had devised a clever way to use the black hole to generate a huge amount of energy needed to manipulate the neutrinos.

The three flavours helped in defining a trinary code. Unlike the oft-used binary code which used 0s and 1s, trinary code used 0s, 1s and 2s. The detector inside the solar system received this trinary data. The data was carried using Morse code like language (hence the name Morse-rella). And Obuka sat in the control room of that detector watching the equipment that would detect those neutrinos. He wanted to be the first human to see them coming.

In the room next to the control room two more people were present. But both were not really physicist. They just happened to do what most physicist did in that lab. One was a chef who once drank an exotic drink, costing half his salary, to get a chance to talk to the lovely lady at the bar and forgot to read the caution label which warned that in some quirk way the drink reacted with somatic functioning of green-eyed people and they lose the capability to differentiate between sugary and salty. Being green-eyed, that ended his chef days in an instant.

The other one did not know what he really was. Apart from turning knobs and making the computer work he was not worth much. He just hung around just in case something went wrong. Anyway if anything did, the experts would automatically get called and they would fix the problem. But he stayed. Just in case. It was rumoured he was once an expert too. Then one day someone found out that he could solve problems without referring to a diagnostic checklist, standard procedures, five hundred generic equipment sanity test or calling the more expert experts. Being so anti-procedure, he was asked to leave and was promptly hired by All Physics Society who could not believe their luck that some kind of professional wanted to join them.

They had drifted into sleep. So when they heard Obuka scream, they woke with a start. First, they heard him scream, “Turn me on! Turn me on!” Before the shock of what that might mean sank in, they realised Obuka could not speak American. Then they heard, “Tur Nmeh Aun! Tur Nmeh Aun!” What happened next was probably the fastest know translation by someone who does not know the language at all. They both screamed at each other, “They are coming! They are coming!” and rushed into the control room.

A yellow light in the haloscreen was blinking. The first shower had arrived!

To Every Action, there is Media-ic Reaction

“The Neutrinos are coming! The Neutrinos are coming! That is how the young Physicist from Pshuuk settlement, with whom I shall talk soon, announced the success of the experiment,” the halocast reporter reported with much excitement. “Any question till now from our audience?”

A click told him someone had connected.

“With all respect to the scientific staff there and with due congratulations for their success, I want to know how is this going to be of any use to the people?”

“A very good question and I will surely ask. Anymore?”

A click.

“‘The Neutrinos are coming! The Neutrinos are coming!’ It sounds so poetic! Is the young physicist a poet?”

“The inspiration is evident. As the lines from the romantic poem ‘The River that Flows’ by the Father of Neutrino Usage, Carlo Errum goes: On hint on arrival, You will be singing, The Neutrinos are coming, The Neutrinos are coming! For the young physicist, the heart was indeed singing! Those are the only questions we can take from the audience.”

“Hello, Mr. Obuka!” The reporter continued, “How are you doing today?”

“Jin naam, haam!?” (I am sorry, what!?)

“And you should be. Anyone present here at such momentous occasion would be feeling good!” The reporter said in his contagiously excited tone. “People have only one question on their mind – How is this going to be useful to an ordinary person? I know you are still a researcher, but what is your comment on that?”

“Jin naam, haam!?” (I am sorry, what!?)

A few moments of confused looks followed. Moving his hands ostentatiously to side pocket and shaking it, the reporter continued, “I must apologise to our audience. Our translation service seems to be broken!”

“Je ter wah. Tui mae khabur choi na!” Obuka continued. “Qeafe, ai neha ura Carlo Errum-u-keba tubekah.” (And quickly, please. This is for you Mom. Tell dad thanks for the translation of book by Carlo Errum. I will read it later this week.)

“We will have to continue later. I am sure the listeners in your settlement will be happy to hear from you. I am sure you just paid due respect to Carlo Errum and his poem now famous line which you quoted. I am closing from the small lab from where the big future starts. Have a good time!”

The Two Neighbours

“We will build a wall so high (a few yeahs rose from the crowd listening to him), so high that the Neutrinos coming from their side will not reach us (the crowd cheered)! We will not let their dirty thoughts and dirty intentions reach us. (the crowd cheered louder). Listen. All of you people on Phalug, your neutrinos won’t be coming (the crowd cheered even louder)! The neutrinos won’t be coming (his voice now was drowned in cheers of the proud crowd)!!”

The politician scored high on his election campaign by kindling the settlemental pride with speeches like this in a settlement that has more issues to solve than the people they had. The blessing had come in form of a song that was being played in everywhere in the rival neighbouring settlement.

When Dawar recorded his new song, everyone knew it would be a smashing hit on Phalug. If the music failed to titillate, the lyrics would!

The song was about a lover on Phalug, his settlement in love with a girl on the neighbouring Shalug. The lover sleep facing the east and claims that the Neutrinos coming from Mehran will flow through him, carry his love and love-seed and impregnate her! In the end she would have to come into his arms when she realises how much he loves her.

Though considered a lewd song by elders, the perversion of it made it a big hit amongst the youth on Dawar’s settlement, Phalug. Initially, it was a hit on the other settlement, Shalug too. But then the few, the proud, the politicians of Shalug decided that it was an insult and dent in pride of the descendants of the proud ancestors.

Adding sugar to already sweetened milk, the elections in Shalug were coming. And the smart politicians realised these high calories could generate enough momentum to push their groups to success.

“A lie, when mixed ten thousand times with pride, becomes a truth!” That was a warning given by one of their proud ancestor which no one heeded to. Soon after series of lectures, not only was the song banned but a million or so copies were bought by Shalug to be publicly destroyed at election meetings.

It was around then when the victory clinching speech, ‘Phalug, your neutrinos won’t be coming! The neutrinos won’t be coming!’ was made.

When that group came to power, they were decided to spend a lot of money on neutrino blocking material research.

It had another advantage besides the pursuit of pure science and all its goodness. In a settlement where there were more power groups than people, it was the best way to keep things together – Their hate for the neighbouring settlement, Phalug. As the winner had made conceded candidly and off-the-record, “If everything else fails, bring on the mindless rhetorics!”

The Anti Neo-Agers

The Neo-Age manifesto claimed they wanted to be true mammals.

Neo-Agers were a strange set of people who went a long way in blending with their environment. In Punn settlement, where the mud was green coloured, they had genetically changed their skin colour to green.

But the real extreme was the way they chose their food. The rule of thumb was – ‘To eat that what asks to be eaten.’ Though their critics often pointed out, this meant they would even eat a human if one asked to be eaten, the Neo-Agers were quite sincere in their effort to not to tread on nature.

The rule of index-finger to know what asks to be eaten was simple. Anything that did not have any sap flowing inside them at that given moment, could be eaten. Live animals had blood, trees had sap and vegetables too had liquid flowing. So they should not be eaten. The idea was as long as the liquid flows, it carried with it something that it delivers to various parts. Once the flow stops on its own, the life has left. So they ate only already dead animals and fallen fruits.

Over time, and with that critical amount of people becoming Neo-Agers, humanistic instincts took over. Soon there was in-fighting and interpretations and re-interpretations. Soon they had divided themselves into Modern Neo-Agers, Moderate Neo-Agers and True Neo-Agers. Though each group thought they were true Neo-Agers, only the true Neo-Agers has ‘True’ in their name. That, in all practicality, made them conservative Neo-Agers.

And then came the report on the success of the Mehran Neutrino experiment. The truest of the True Neo-Agers saw themselves in a dilemma. The flow of neutrinos carried information inside them and hence could be considered the same as blood or sap. And the neutrinos flew in through everything. Everything around them was now alive and living. They could not eat anything.

One of them declared that this was the sign of the end. In the ancient texts He had clearly said – ‘When all is alive, nothing lives.’

The Modern Neo-Agers called it a wrongeous interpretation. They claimed that the righteous interpretation of the words spoken to the Neo-Ager Prophet was when all is seen as alive, one sees all as one and then the concept of living and non-living disappears.

Amidst the ping-pong of abuses and the clash of interpretations, the Moderate Neo-Agers disillusioned, abandoned this belief. They formed what as called as the Anti Neo-Agers. This movement was led by the green people of Punn. The Anti Neo-Agers ate anything and everything and in their zeal to be anti Neo-Agers, often ended up eating poisonous plants and indigestible materials. The reason for the gluttony they gave was that the blood of neutrinos feeds all, so all tasted the same.

Death of a Child

“In a sad turn of events, Barlu Errum, son of the noted physicist Carlo Errum was killed in front of his home. (In the background they showed the scene of the crime). The culprit was a mentally disarranged man who claimed that, had Barlu Errum’s father not perfected the experiment, the world would have been a much less complicated place.

“His parents belonged to the Punn settlement and had started the growing Anti Neo-Agers movement. His parents had subjected him to numerous medical procedures to get rid of his green skin. A failed marriage to a girl, for whom Dawar was rumoured to have composed a song, was the final straw that dislodged his sanity. I am closing from the scene of the crime. Have a good time!”

Cover pic of MiniBooNE from Wikipedia.

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Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains as Industrial Automation, Home Automations, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. His books #ProMa, Absolute and None & The Murmurs of the Dawn are available on Amazon.