At thirty years of age Federica Ebonique Antonetta Rasmas was a doctor in the field of nuclear energy working, in a large airy laboratory in control of a very important experiment.
Her parents came from a small village in Eastern Europe, and as a child she would roam over the footpaths of the mountains in which her house nestled, like so many others nearby.
She was named after her grandmother, which is a little puzzling as her elder was a white European. However, Ebonique’s second name means black, which originates from an uncle on her father’s side. The story in the family was that one hundred or so years previously, one of her forbearers had taken a gypsy’s woman who was from an African tribe touring through the area at the time, resulting in the birth of a baby boy.
The boy was left to die on the side of the track when the African group moved on. It was Ebonique’s Great Grandfather who, late one morning, when he was returning after collecting firewood from the forest which covered the landscape, came to a stop as he heard a noise at the side of the road. He had noticed a little earlier that his two dogs, who were racing in front, were interested in a pile of rags lying in the scrub grass near some bushes. He was stooping down when, inside the bundle of old clothing, he found a very hungry baby boy.
The child was taken in by the family, where they brought him up as one of their own. He became one of them taking on the family name of Rasmas.
Ebonique was a progressive young woman in her nature, her direct ancestry was more evident than other members of the family. Her approach about everything she did was more outgoing than her kinfolk and she strived to do things differently, especially in her work.
She had been interested for some time in propulsion. The means of developing a small nuclear-powered unit as a way of propelling all manner of vehicles, from the large but especially the small. She had visions of a new type of small personal carrier silently scuttling around the streets and felt certain the prize was within her grasp.
The thought had first come to her consideration when she was studying through her college years and she developed an interest in how submarines, vessels and other large plants used fission to produce a result.
After years of studying the subject Ebonique became well known for her knowledge and was recognised as the top expert in her field. There was excitement spreading amongst the specialists as it became known that she was on the edge of a breakthrough. People would gather in groups, in bars and elsewhere, discussing the possibility of a car which did not need fuel, once it was built.
However, her work was very secretive and although the media tried to find out what her real progress was, they were none the wiser, but they still reported on rumours and the small snippets of information they could glean.
The powerful people funding the development were anxious to move the project on. Ebonique on the other hand knew there were many small problems which needed to be resolved before she was ready to display her work, which was to be in a secure laboratory.
The pressure from her sponsors to exhibit what she had achieved was too great, and after a heated discussion she agreed to hold a demonstration of her findings.
Crowds gathered in the small building where chairs had been laid out for the visitors to be able to follow the result of her work. Scientists, news people and the individuals funding the project, were standing in groups, others were seated with microphones, smart phones with tablets on display.
The small machine she had produced was displayed on a bench behind a thick glass screen. On the clear partition embedded in the glass were the letters of her initials ‘FEAR’ this name was repeated on a sign above her new development.
Ebonique was more interested in her work than public speaking. She appeared from the side and there was excited clapping and cheering. Looking through the glass at the audience, murmuring a few words of greeting as she smiled. Promptly standing to one side and holding out both her hands in a gesture to show what she had developed.
Everyone went quiet as she went to a control board with flashing different coloured lights and a large white button to the centre. Her hand hovered over it. She turned, once again smiling at the audience as she pressed it.
At first nothing happened. Then a large red display sign above the project bearing her initials ‘FEAR’ started to flash. There was a rumbling noise and the machine started to shake. A siren sounded its piercing blare, drowning out all other noises.
People were now looking at each other, the clamour of the warning was shattering and deafening. Terror spread amongst the visitors as they quickly stood up, knocking over the chairs in their haste. They were being encouraged to quickly leave the building by the security staff.
A low rumble started to shake the ground. People were shouting and screaming trying to squeeze through the exit doorway. A fire wave swept through the building and as the eruption drowned out all the noise a thick white cloud swept upwards.