Trade Secret

It was the during the war of 2103, the Xenosians had begun their third wave against the TDF, or Terrestrial Defense force. Among their scientists and engineers who were doing all they could to understand the alien technologies was Doctor Elric Vaans Developer of several “Reclaimed Alien Technologies”

Doctor Vaans developed a great number of things, there were electromotive systems that were able to generate force without propellant, there were personal shields developed for battlefield use.

Vaans however was also a brilliant businessman, and he sought the use of the shields for civilian consumption. the military was meant to protect the citizenry, but they couldn’t stop falling rubble, should the orbital blockade’s line be broken, which was a rare but frequent occurrence.

he went to his CO with the same B-38 forum, with the permission to release his invention for public use.

“Vaans, they’re never going to let you do it. you should quit asking, ’cause it’s a pain in my ass to do all the accompanying paper work” The corporal said seeing again the scientist

“You know you wish at least once you had something like this off base.”

“Even so, they deemed the damn thing mission critical, and I repeat, they will NEVER let this thing out into the public… but as a formality I’ll do your damn paperwork. better than sitting on my ass anyway”

Vaans left the room disheartened. the Corporal was right. this was the fifth time they rejected his offer, the items would sell like crazy and would generate a ton of revenue for the war effort at the price they could sell them.

there were already damaged versions being repaired and sold on the black market, but they could fail, or just be active camouflage made to look like a shield.

Vaans grasped the pendant around his neck in his hand, the one he had gotten his wife on their anniversary. an attack from the Xenosians had killed her, and this is why he had his heart set on helping the effort. but he had hoped that he could make something that would help the everyday people. just like the forms, he often asked those around him how soon they thought the war would end. the answer would always be the same, “Never”

he wanted to test the new device he was working on. it was essentially a box of nano-machines, with tiny television screens. It could make any surface of any dimension a screen, or, more applicable to combat effectiveness, it could make people invisible. the non-military applications would also sell, which meant that as he was again on break, he filled out the B-38 Form. Of course, the other came back

“Project 1Z-799 is Mission critical and cannot be disseminated to the public in it’s current form” and the signing officer’s mark.
 Vaans sighed and brought the modified B-38 form, to the corporal, who again gave him the same spiel, declaring that

“It’s never going to happen, you’re just wasting time.”

Vaans was insistent, “I think this time it’ll be different”

“Aghh Alright fine.”

“Thank you sir.”

When the document came back, it read 
“Project 1Z-799 is available to disseminate to the public with modifications to function. you have been granted a patent for use in commercial markets,”

Vaans nearly jumped for joy! he could sell his product on the markets, and do as he had planned, help the victims of Xenosians by way of starting a charity with his cut of the profits.

The problem was, a clerical error had taken place, and it was assumed by the officer in charge that what was happening was the shield technology being stripped of military application and becoming a spray on TV screen.

In reality, this technology had not been vetted correctly. and soon enough after every attack, there were invisible looters stealing from bombed out shops, the authorities were unable to catch many of these geared up looters.

The Council in charge of the TDF found Vaan guilty of a treasonous act, he appealed, but the damage had been done. every person knew his face. knew him as a traitor to the human race.

It was a good thing he had that cloak technology, because he had to hide his face from the world…Forever.

Prompt Provided again by:

  • Genre: Military
  • Character: A capitalist
  • Material: A very small television
  • Sentence: “Never.”
  • Bonus: Your character is hated by everyone.

PS: in Huntsman’s Handmirror, I misunderstood what material was, and thought it was what the piece was,

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.