Duty and Decisions

Fantastic Four #1 (Option 1)

Baxterbuilding.jpgNYC, Baxter Building, April 19

“I called you together because I have some pictures to show you…. this is important.” says Dr. Reed Richards, dressed in a blue suit with a red tie.

With him are Susan Storm, wearing a pink dress and white gloves, Johnny Storm, her blonde brother, wearing a pull-over brown sweater, and Ben Grimm, wearing a yellow rain coat and a green fedora to cover up his stone skin.

Showing them all a satellite photo, he explains, “This image was that of a soviet nuclear power plant… at least what is left of it… you can tell by the huge black section in the middle that something is wrong. That black thing is actually a HUGE hole in the ground, which destroyed the plant that was there.”

“That hole would have to be 300 feet across at least based on the size of the buildings that are left, what the heck could have made a hole that big? A bomb?” Asks Ben Grimm.

Susan answers as Dr. Richard’s raises a finger to make a point, “A bomb big enough to make that hole would have demolished every building for 1,000 yards. That hole is not from a bomb.” she says.

“Correct,” confirms Dr. Richards.

“I reviewed the seismograph data for that part of Russia to see if perhaps it was an earthquake and indeed there was activity that registered but it was inconsistent with the typical size and regional impact an earthquake would normally have.”

“So you’re saying it is not natural?” asks Johnny, with a touch of boredom in his voice. He knows that if one is not careful Dr. Richards can turn into Professor Richards with an hour long lecture on one boring thing after another.

“Even if it was not natural, why should we care? That’s in Russia.” He adds.

Dr. Richards says, “Johnny, that’s the problem.. its not just in Russia. Earlier in the month the same thing happened in Australia and two weeks prior to that South America. I only learned of this after I saw the news about the Russian accident. There seems to be a pattern, so I have contacted the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission …. the NRC for short.”

“The NRC was created as an independent agency by Congress to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.”

“I briefed the director of the NRC on my findings related to the accidents in other nuclear plants and asked that he monitor the seismographic activity near the US Nuclear plants.” said Dr. Richards.

“Ok….” said Ben, “good for them. What do you expect us to do about stopping micro earthquakes?”

“Good question Ben,” Dr. Richards said. “As with any scientific problem, one must apply scientific theory to the situation as to what can be observed before we can proposed a theory. Once we have a theory, we must setup a method of testing and then repeatedly test to confirm our theory through observation and experimentation.”

“So, in other words, we just keep trying things after guessing and hope we find the right answer to stop these target earthquakes.” grumbles Ben.

Johnny laughs.

Susan glares at both Johnny and Ben.

Just at that moment, an audible alarm begins in the Baxter building.

“WWWAAAaaaaaa…..WWWAAAaaaaaa….WWWAAAaaaaa”

Fi-M-Fantastic-Four-480i60_480x270.jpgDr. Richards rushes to the control panel and after silencing the alarm he turns to the others. “We have just received a report of an extreme seismographic activity in Nevada, near Las Vegas. There is a Richter scale report of over 8! Worse yet it is moving in a straight line towards Yucca Mountain…. one of the U.S.’ largest nuclear plants!”

“That’s impossible!” yells Susan, “earthquakes, even micro ones don’t move in a straight line.”

“Precisely,” states Dr. Richards, “This isn’t natural at all. Suit up! We are taking the Fantasticar Model III, since it travels over 1,000 MPH.”

“Crap,” grumbles Ben, “I freaking hate that thing… it reminds me of the flight that gave me this,” He opens his rain coat revealing his clay-colored stone skin.

- End Issue 1

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