A newly rich guy ends up saving the world in his attempt to save the world.
| April 6 2040 ends up being an important date not least for the stir Friday dinner I knew I could expect at home that evening. My old Gmail service reminded me to sell my Game Model stock which should be happening right about now.
As I thought that my notification pane started lighting up as if I had a virus. I saw achievement after achievement scroll past and no matter how fast I cleared them, they kept filling and blinking at me. If my calculations from last night were correct, I should now have just over three-quarters of a trillion dollars. I checked my current balance and saw it was nearly 60 billion more than I expected. Apparently, my sale didn't cause the price to drop as much as I feared it would.
The next step was already planned out and only needed to wait on the funds to be available. With an authorization that made my toes tingle, I started the process that would result in owning billions of acres of mining tunnels. All of the defunct yet modern tunnels had their layouts and air handling systems standardized and I took advantage of the glut in the undervalued real estate.
Now I needed to purchase the programs and rights to duplicate them in the thousands of sites I now controlled around the world. The local mother machine received my authorizations and commands to start creating things and my underground farms started to assemble themselves. The details in the progress bar that my AI so helpfully supplied told me that the clean rooms were being roughed and the seeds were being prepared for delivery. I still didn't think we should have to buy physical seeds in this day and age, but laws are laws.
The growing frames, walls, and lighting still seemed magic even if I understood all of the principles involved in nanite swarm production. The interacting systems between the fish tanks, shrimp runs, chicken coops, and plant systems the simulations showed that we should be able to produce tons per acre per day of each in reliable quantities after just a couple of months, for some of the products at least.
Above each property on the often sun-scorched surface, the reflecting heliostats were growing and tracking the sun like magical sunflowers. The collecting systems were converting the ever-increasing quantities of sunlight directly into energy. The same systems on the other side of the world were also growing and moving, but these were gathering the ethereal light from everything that isn't the sun. The reflected light in the solar system was being cataloged and processed in ever more precise ways as the massive quantities of data were processed and sifted for the nuggets.
Before the first full day of being rich was even over, I had enough heliostats to map the night sky multiple times over for anything of significant mass. The warning icons that started flashing of an earth impacting body was not the news I had hoped for. The figures easily meant a civilization-ending event.
After considering my options, I reprogrammed the heliostats to become less efficient in return for sending thirty percent of their off-peak time output towards the harbinger of doom. It wasn't due to impact us for another seven years, but coming from outside of the solar system, it was still carrying enough kinetic energy to punch a hole in the atmosphere, ocean, and mantle before the rebound effects would begin. I couldn't send enough energy at the body to slow it down into a useful orbit, but I could ensure that it would be a clean miss. Two years of steady pushing now from what will eventually be a distributed seven petawatts, at ground level at least.
I guess my profits for the first couple of years will be slightly below my estimates, but at least I will still have a market. Now to figure out how I am going to play with the stock market as people see the body, panic, then realize it won't hit earth after all. Maybe I should hold back on announcing my purchases and instead of selling the food, look into preserving and storing as much of it as I can for the inevitable rush on goods.
712 Word Count