Monday September 15th
At last the replacement equipment has arrived. I arrived back in Sway to find a large lorry parked in front of the lab, and Kyp overseeing a couple of men carrying cardboard boxes inside. At last, although the previous weeks sojourn to the seaside had been pleasant; I needed to get back to work.
After the men and the lorry departed we unpacked our goods and set about pluming them in. It was at this point that I noticed something very disturbing. On two of the pieces, namely the read out monitor for the humidity analyser and the auxiliary sump for the magnatron had highly worrying stickers attached to them. Now, it is normal procedure to have equipment safety checked at source, and this to result in a small label stuck to the main body, which includes the date and the name of the of the tester.
The date was fine, 10.9.03, I had no problem with. It was the tester that made me feel uneasy, as the tester signed himself L.Parkes.
Mr parkes might have a greater deal to do with our current situation than I had previously thought.
However I have decided to still withhold Mr. Parkes existence from Kyp, until I have found out more about him and his intentions.
Tuesday September 16th
Another day spent re-configurating our kit and running safety checks. Not much to report
Wednesday September 17th
By noon we had everything set up and the magnatron was humming away. The sound was curiously comforting. We had spent so long scared of what it might do, but now it was just good to have it up and running.
The sound of the rig kicking in sounded healthy and fulfilling. Sometimes a low a level background electrical hum is all that is needed to put one in a good frame of mind. .
With all the equipment humming away and achieving the outputs needed we decided to call it a day and shut it down.
Tomorrow will be the day of the first real test. Tomorrow we will see if we can make a force field.
Thursday September 18th
We started early and packed a borrowed van and headed into the field.
We aimed for Boulderwood, a hidden enclave within the forest. Kyp drove, and I read the map. With a combination of my direction and Kyps driving skills we completed a thirty-minute drive in just under an hour.
We had to park about a mile from the test site, and the first hour was spent repeatedly carrying out return journeys from the van lugging the equipment through some quite hostile territory.
We had rehearsed this moment many times before, and the set up was completed within a couple of hours.
That was it; the rig was all in place. We donned our encounter suits and masks and got ready to hit the switch. There are not many times in ones life that prepares you for this.
Finally we were going to test something we had been working on for so long, something that had taken up so much of our time, and that had tested us both to our limits.
This was it. A flick of a switch will trigger a set of boxes to flicker on, and produce our first intentional full strength force field.
Kyp seemed nervous, but expectant.
I was, I admit excited, but still had to go through basic health and safety procedures.
This pissed Kyp off no end, and caused him to skulk off to the refrigeration unit to retrieve an ice lolly and eat it sitting under a rather large poplar tree, one that had obviously been hit by lightning.
As I turned round to Kyp to tell him that we were set for lift off I saw a man and two children looking at us from about 50 yards away.
From behind my mask I tried to exchange looks with the man.
‘What are you doing?’ he shouted at me.
I had to think about this one, as I thought we were off the beaten track and didn’t expect to come across members of the public.
‘Testing ground pollution levels; we think we have found a hot spot. I suggest you and your family move away’, I shouted with what I felt was an air of authority.
‘Eh?’ said the man.
Testing ground pollution levels, we think we have found a hot spot. I suggest you and your family move away’ I repeated.
The man and the children still looked non-plussed.
‘Take off your mask ‘, he shouted ‘ I can’t understand a bloody thing’.
I found myself losing my patience.
It was at this point that Kyp took off his mask and shouted
‘We are testing an invisible force field, which might be lethal so I suggest you piss off as fast as you can’.
I looked at the group and waited for a response.
The father looked at us with a blank stare, not sure what to say, and finally said ‘I’m a great fan of the X-Files’.
I didn’t know what this meant, but it seemed to result in a sudden rage in Kyp.
His face contorted in despair and he turned round to the magnatron, a fearsome looking thing at the best of times and shouted;’ If you want to stay being a fan of the X files I would fuck off because this baby could pulverise you in seconds’.
The children already seemed discomforted by being hectored by a man in an encounter suit, and obviously wanted to leave. They were the clever ones.
The father gave a weak smile and was obviously under stress.
The father took his children and walked away, a walk that became a run.
As they scuttled off he threw us a backwards glance before he disappeared into the woods.
We both realised we had a limited amount of time to do the experiment, because if they told the forest authorities we would be hung drawn and quartered.
We knew we had to act quickly .
Kyp put his mask back on and went over to the generator. He gave me the thumbs up and I nodded. He flicked the switch and the air was permeated with an exhilarating hum.
I switched the magnatron and the ioniser to stand by, and we retreated to the master control panel. This, although in appearance, a large laptop, it was nothing so high tech and was in fact a box with a large red plastic switch with two settings, On and Off.
I switched on the video and said to Kyp, ‘let the experiments begin’.
Kyp hit the switch.
The needles in the meter began to judder, and various red lights flickered.
As the magnatron powered up, we noticed a very slight shimmering of light envelop the central test zone.
I checked the readings, and all seem to be going to plan. Something was forming.
It may have been slightly visible, but at least something was there.
All the readings were now telling us that there was a force field 20 yards from where we stood. However there was only one real test, and that was throwing something at it.
We had brought with us a tennis ball. It seemed as good a projectile as any. We had weighed it and had thoroughly tested the bounce.
Kyp took the ball out of his pocket
I noticed that Kyp had written ‘I.F.F.E 1’ on it with a felt tip pen.
He pulled his arm back and launched the ball at the highly ionised air we hoped was a force field.
The ball flew through the air and after what seemed like an eternity it made contact.
It did not bounce, but what it did was marvellous. Suddenly it’s speed drastically reduced, a wonderful inertia causing it to for a brief moment to hover in the air, and then slowly drop. It was as it was about three feet from the ground that it burst into flames, and fell to the floor burning and spitting.
It was weak, it was not quite invisible and it was most probably lethal, but it was a force field.
We were happy.
Friday September 19th
Today was a good day. Buoyed by yesterdays experiments we spent hours collating yesterdays results and readings. There was obviously had a lot of work to do, but at least we moving in the right direction.
I left for London in good spirits, although I was aware that we had carried out experiments before, and never been able to repeat the results.
However, I felt this time we were really onto something and the October 25th deadline we had set ourselves was within our grasp.