Playing Santa

Hello, Amalgamated Fluorodynamics, security desk, Noel speaking!

Oh, hi, Ralph. Hey, I wanted to thank you for your Christmas card, that was really nice of ya! … no, Ralph, I’m kidding, I know you didn’t send me a Christmas card this year. Nobody did. Don’t worry about it, really, I’m okay with it, I’m used to it. I’m chief of security. I make people’s lives difficult by telling them to change their passwords and lock their lab doors. If they liked me it means I’m not doing my job right. If I wanted to be popular I wouldn’t be in this business. Still, might be nice, right?

Slow down, Ralph, you’re yammering too quick, I can’t understand a word you’re saying. What got broken into? No, that can’t be, I’d know about it. My console would be lit up like a Christmas tree. Nobody can disable the alarms ‘cept the CEO.

Uh-huh. He did, did he? What’d he take?

Now, Ralph, you know I can’t tell you anything about the top-secret stuff that goes on in there. I don’t even know a whole lot about it myself, just what I hear during lunch break. They came up with something that can move you freely through any dimension, and I learned back in high school that time’s the fourth dimension – yeah, I did a book report on Stephen Hawking once – so I hear they can hop back a couple of minutes just as easy as strolling across a room, and they can go through walls as simple as stepping around a flagpole. Crazy, right? But the secretary tells me they can’t find a decent practical application for it that wouldn’t give Homeland Security a wedgie. So the official word is that I don’t have any idea what goes on in that lab. And neither do you, y’hear?

So he took that. Man, I’m glad I didn’t schedule any Christmas vacation. Anything else?

Huh. But there’s really not a whole lot special about the 3D printer. It’s just an off-the-shelf model from China. It even came with a whole bunch of schematics for stuff that gets shipped out of Shanghai, mostly toys and personal hygiene products. Me and the guys played with it some and now we’ll never need to buy another toothbrush so long as we live. But the printer ain’t any good without the raw materials to go into it, and do you know how heavy that stuff is? How’s he gonna lug it around?

Oh, that too, I see. Yeah, they call it a “massless gravity-nullifier”. See, gravity is like a bowling ball on a rubber surface – the mass of the ball bends the surface and anything close to it gets drawn in, see … sorry, Hawking’s book again, but basically they found a way to make that not happen, so if you hold up a pencil and let go it just stays here. Strangest thing in the world. Yeah, somebody was showing it off in the cafeteria. I would have written him up for it ‘cept it was just too cool.

That all, Ralph? All right. One 3D printer, one time-and-space-shifting doodad, and one antigravity thingamabob. What’s he going to do, become a revolutionary toothbrush distributor? And even if he can make all of it float, that’s still an awful lot to move around. Is he planning on pushing it from house to house?

By the way, Ralph, I hope you’re going to the Christmas party this year. The invite says they’re bringing in live reindeer from Norway or Canada or someplace so they can put venison on the menu. Really fresh, if you know what I mean, as long as the activists don’t hear about it. Maybe I’ll see you there. No, I promise you, Ralph, no hard feelings about the Christmas card thing.

Ralph. Calm down. Yes, I am listening to you. Here at Amalgamated Fluorodynamics, we take the security of our research and development work extremely seriously. The CEO is the only guy who could have taken anything out of that lab, but we thought of that too, we have a contingency plan for everything. Remember what I said about moving stuff through dimensions? Every one of our prototypes is tagged and I’m the only guy with the button that will pull all of the stolen goods right back here to my office. I’m pushing the recall button right now, Ralph. See, worked like a charm. I’ve got all of it right here in front of my desk and the authorities have been informed as to where they can pick him up. All in a Christmas Eve’s work, Ralph…

Hey Ralph, look, I’m going to have to call you back. I think I’m gonna take the evening off after all.

Playing Santa