(noun) electromagnetic pulse: a burst of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, considered capable of widespread damage to power lines, telecommunications, and electronic equipment.
Sirens blare, swords clash, arrows fly, bombers blow the fences, and the loot is being taken.
Suddenly all of the chaos stops.. Carter pressed the home button and Clash of Clans closed as his teacher began to scold him for playing games in class.
“Computer lab 208 everybody, the one in the sixth grade wing!” Ms. Bell told the group of about 20 students as she rushed out of the class. The class logged into Internet Explorer on the stressfully slow server PCs. Carter opened Google to a rare “404-Server Error” that restricted the class from using Google.
“No big deal class, just go on Bing or Yahoo,” Mrs. Bell told the students. The same thing happened… The class began to try a few different websites, none worked. Mrs. Bell decided to page the office, but the intercom wouldn’t work. A few kids decided to turn on their phones only to see black screens. The computer monitors began to become staticky, and the picture began to fade until an error message popped up:
“Memory Error. Check RAM and HDD”
One by one the monitors completely shut off. The smell of confusion filled the air as the students suffered technology withdrawal.
The confusion was a little much for the students, considering they have spend time with technology every single day in their 13 and fourteen years on planet earth. Soon enough, rumors spread about the loss of technology, a solar flare, a hack, an internet glitch, an electromagnetic pulse. An electromagnetic pulse.
Carter took the bus home, as did the other students. Clueless to what was going on and stressed with the lack of technology, the students were somewhat lost. Carter was lost, but he knew one person that wouldn’t be, his dad, and electrical engineering professor at Yale. He was just brilliant, he attended, and led conferences on a monthly basis.
Quickly, the word spread about what had happened. Representatives from the government traveled to each and every house explaining what had happened. Along with their very scripted explanation, was the promise of a solution in the near future. Nobody knew what new near future meant, could be days, could be years. All relative.
More news came later that week that the detonation of the EMP was from the North Korea which was assumed by most due to the tensions between them and many other countries. The technology of the EMP remote activation device self destructed after detonation and, the ONLY way to turn it off was to travel to space, where the atomic device was located. It was unclear who’s duty it was to actually travel to space, considering the US space program isn’t active, and it is not considered an act of war, but it was, in fact more powerful than any physical weapon. It wipes out banks; no money, it wipes out telecommunications; no TV, no phone, no internet.
A solution was urgent, who was it going to be? Who was going to go into space and disable the EMP device? Who has extensive knowledge of electromagnetic pulses and astro engineering?
As if it was planned, exactly an hour later four blacked out Suburbans showed up to the Smith household. Armed and dangerous, two men walked in, and took Mr. Smith. That was all, he was gone, there was no way to communicate with him, maybe he’d never come back.
Carter broke down into hysterical cry. He remained face down on his soft bed. Several hours later he woke up to the sound of banging on his front door. To be cautious he look out the window to find four blacked out Suburbans…
Mr. Smith was not taken by the government. He was taken… the only man that could complete the mission, was gone.
Several hours of questioning went by before the agents finally got what they needed to hear,
“There was one man, a ‘star’ student” Carter said.
“Great, and do you happen to know his name?” Agent Phillips asked.
“Yes, I believe His name is Jared, Jared Smalls”
“Thats all we need. Thanks for your time.”
Agent Phillips drove to the backup storage facility; a large warehouse containing paper records of every resident in Connecticut.
“S, S, S, SM, SMA, SMALLS, JARED, JARED SMALLS, 117 North Street” Agent Phillips mumbled as he walked the huge facility.
“Let’s go men. 117 North Street. GO GO GO!” The presence of urgency was very apparent in his voice.
A short car ride into the woos led the team of operatives to the house of Mr. Smalls
“Open up. We know you’re in there Mr. Smalls”
The agents finally busted the door only to see Mr. Smalls playing on his computer with his headphones on.
“How was this possible? Computers don’t work during and EMP strike….” Questions raced through Agent Phillips’ already focussed mind.
“I can explain officers!” Mr. Smalls surrendered.
“I have reinvented the faraday cage. It’s conceptually quite simple. The signal set off by an EMP is simply redistributed, and therefore, my internet works, my house is a faraday cage. In theory, If I were to get enough electricity I could in fact redistribute all of the electromagnetic wave, and even create power for the grid.”
That was all the agents needed. The man asked for more power, and the government reposed how much. This man was, in fact a genius. Within several hours, enough power was generated to disarm the nuclear EMP device.
No moon mission, no nuclear disarmament, and no dad. Carter was still with out a dad, and, and Mrs. Smith was without a husband, but not all stories have happy endings. This is one.