Tom Avitabile’s latest book, The God Particle, once again visits William “Wild Bill” Hiccock and his team. Tom has graciously shared two short excerpts with us, in honor of the book’s publication today. Enjoy!
A brilliant and very dangerous man surveys the scene where he hopes to strike a deathblow to all mankind.
In the first nanosecond, everything he saw all around him would simply disappear – the instantaneous end of the concept of ‘solid’. Everything, every molecule, every atom would suddenly fall apart, its basic ability to hold together dissolved. For a few millionths of a second it would all be an instant liquid, in a few millionths of a second more, the concept of liquid would no longer exist, as all that was once matter became a version of plasma. The minutest pieces of existence would suddenly be ripped apart into a gaseous fog, until even that dissipated into nothingness. Within the first seconds the earth would cease to exist. Well within ten minutes, the entire solar system would vanish, then everything in creation, and in time, which itself would be dying, everything that ever existed would become non-matter.
With that apocalyptic thought, “The Engineer” took one last drag on his Gitanes Blonde then snuffed her under the toe of his Italian designer shoe. Maybe it was the late autumn fresh air flushing his lungs, or the bucolic panorama of Lake Geneva surrounding him, but once again he vowed to, one day, give up these ‘Gypsy women.’ Unaware of the small ritual cough that always punctuated his extinguishing of a cigarette, he walked back to his rented Smart Car to drive to another surveillance spot he had pre-selected on the map of Switzerland.
Presidential Science advisor William Jennings Hiccock is also the head a super secret operations cluster at the White House and reports directly to the president. The President has invited he and his family to a well-deserved weekend at Camp David, the one catch, Bill had to meet with a particle physicist who represents a new level of scientific discovery and risk! Here he is saying good bye at the helipad on the bucolic presidential retreat.
“Thank you, and good luck professor.”
With that, the professor was met by a Marine Guard who took his brief case and escorted him up the steps of the older Sikorsky helicopter, which once may have served as Marine One, but was now assigned to ferry missions of lower level personnel to and from the White House to Andrews or Camp David.
Little Richie came crashing into the back of Bill’s legs as he watched the professor board. “Hey, you! Trying to chop-block me?” Bill said as he reached around and threw Richie a few feet up and caught him, bringing him in close in his arms. “Let’s watch the helicopter go…” They stood there and watched as the door closed, the turbo fans spun up and the green and white hulk rose at a slight angle, then started turning towards Washington.
Instinctively, Richie started waving, bye-bye and saying it out loud, “Bye-bye! Bye-bye!
Bill just kissed his cheek.
Suddenly, there was a hot flash that smashed into the side of Bill’s head, a heat wave. Richie’s face turned orange and Bill’s central nervous system already had him turning and shielding his son as the first shockwave hit as a deafening explosion. The force knocked them both to the ground. Bill was able to use his elbows to stave off crushing his son beneath his weight. From the corner of his eye, he saw the orange plum of fire and black smoke rising up as the hulk of the copter spun out of control, until it exploded on impact into a shattered mass of metal and parts. Flaming debris landed twenty feet from them. He put his head down and covered his son with his body and his mind. It took a few seconds for Bill’s hearing to return, and then he heard the sounds of Marines and Seabees trying to take control of a situation that was out of control. A voice said, “Mr. Hiccock, come with me, sir. Now.”
Bill got up, cradled his son’s head and trotted back to the house with a Marine in front and one behind.A few feet from where they were blown down, a six-foot part of the chopper’s rotor blade impaled the ground and jutted out like a twisted knife.
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