Agreeing to something you don't understand can result in the unexpected.
All I wanted to do, was reduce my ping and be able to have a better online experience playing my favorite online game. I was using the latest and greatest satellite internet provider with the inevitable high as hell ping and trying to play against people with ping as low as five, while I was getting ninety five on a good days was frustrating.
I did my best yet time and time again I found myself being a victim of the lag and losing more often than I won. I was already using a split tongue to control my character and my personal response time was half of even the youngest players, yet that wasn't good enough.
I had to figure out a way of working around the speed of light limitations inherent to the whole process. Luckily my brain is wired differently than most and my frustration must have caused a part of it to work overtime and come up with a wild ass guess that might just work.
I had to hang out after hours at the applied physics department of the University of Maryland and discuss some of the ideas with the post graduates there, but eventually I worked out a method that I thought had a chance of working. I would have to have a quantumly entangled carrier signal that had been split with half of the signal travelling from the origin point, and the other half going through my slowed down earthbound pipe.
I designed it to be addressable twice while in buffer with the final total of buffered signal giving one hundred fifty three milliseconds altogether. If I tried going beyond that though, the equipment I was using and or the materials used degraded the signal beyond coherence and it all broke down. While it worked though, it allowed me to change the reserved data stream prior to arrival and effectively send a message faster than light. It never actually went faster than instantaneous, but that was good enough for my purposes.
The process caused seventy five percent of the upload data limit to be wasted, performing redundancy and error correction, but twenty five percent of the maximum at speeds that I couldn't get on a local network was more acceptable to me.
I was trying to work through how to get the download responses integrated into the existing system with set bits reserved for distant change, when the window shattered and the world went first bright white, then darkness and ringing signalling hearing damage. I found myself being bundled up and carted out of the room by three very large men in black swat like outfits with no patches or name tags.
I didn't know it yet, but my experiments had been watched for weeks and the obvious applications were apparently so valuable that my continued independent progress was not going to be allowed to exist in the civilian world. Yes I had obviously thought about how helpful a system like this could be to interplanetary operations, but honestly I was just hoping for better gaming experiences.
Every time I tried to say something, I was reminded to not say anything unless I wanted to be stopped from being able too. I didn't like threats, but knew that I had no power here. I said nothing as they held me in a blacked out van while every piece of electronics from the house was recorded in place, and then labeled and boxed up into a series of moving vans.
Near the end of the twenty minutes or so that it took for all of this to happen, a man who reminded me of Dr Jackson from Stargate walks up and asks everyone but me to step outside for a moment.
"You have built the strangest machine that we have ever come across." He says to me with a hint of admiration in his voice, but none apparent on his face.
"You clearly are not a signal processing genius, or you would have been able to increase your efficiency by an order of magnitude as well as provide the downlink process into the signal itself. What you have come up with though, is an improvement in literally every way that matters though. You are going to let us talk to distant ships, light hours away, in real time." He tells me with real admiration showing even on his face now.
I say nothing, assuming that he will reveal more and he doesn't disappoint.
"We would like to offer you a place in the Witness Protection Program based on your obvious qualifications as an out of the box thinker." He says making the words automatically capital where appropriate.
"If I say no, does that mean I spend the rest of my life deep in some hole in the ground otherwise?" I ask
"We will have to see what happens, in the event you decline, but I really don't think you want to do that." He replies.
"Would I be in some Eureka type secret town if I agree?" I say assuming he will get the reference.
"Something like that yes." Is his answer with a clear grin barely suppressed.
"Fine. Send me to your dumb town." I respond with a wide grin on my own face this time.
He sits there for nearly twenty seconds and finally must have decided against asking why I chose that word before going on:
"We should have grabbed you right out of high school. You clearly have a great imagination, but need to learn how to keep some of the ideas to yourself."
I laughed at this since I had made a wild guess as to where I might end up, but had no idea it was actually being used.
Ten hours later I found myself entering the mine shaft leading to the latest and greatest Deep Underground Military Base excavated miles underneath the Nevada desert.
"This is going to be awesome." I say to myself as the elevator car starts down at a rate fast enough to make me light enough to nearly float up to the ceiling.