Canyons and Plasma


Canyons and Plasma


The pile MAG-90 had been sitting in the corner of the hanger, nabbed months ago from some grey market dealer. They were not supposed to have it but there it was. Hiro had machined it down into magnetic rings, big ones, and Jimmy had been eying them off ever since.

A Mars colony native, Jimmy Jones, ‘Overclocker’ to everyone that knew him, had been messing with power plants for as long as he could remember. ‘Jones Dynamics’ seemed the logical place for him to ‘go’; as everyone would agree, he did not have the right temperament for the mines. Those that really knew him though would say the whole Jones Dynamics thing was just an excuse to keep canyon racing; most had given it up when they realised they were unable to keep up with the ‘pros’ but with his company behind him, Jones was able to keep up... just.


For months Jones had been messing with trying to get a small Fusion plant to work. Not as a commercial idea mind you but as a one up on his racing competition. He figured if he nailed it, the fusion plant when combined with what Hiro was calling the Helium 6 Thruster, would make him unstoppable. But keeping the fusion plasma under control, that was the issue. Sure, it’d been nailed over a century back for industrial sized power plants but finding enough magnetic force for smaller scales, that was another story.

It was late on a Monday when he had the idea. He’d heard about what MAG-90 could do when enough current was pumped into it but cooling it was the issue. As such, it was mostly relegated to being turned into inert alloy, or kept in experimental labs across the system. After two decades of designing and developing power plants though, Jones knew more than ‘most’ when it came to cooling shit down and that’s when the idea popped in his head. Taking a liquid nitrogen cooling jacket they were fitting to mining rigs working the belts, and embedding it into the MAG-90 rings Hiro had machined, Jones found a way to cool the rings from the inside out. It was stupidly simple but it took his unique experience to piece it together.

From there it was like a, b, c. Mount the rings to surround a small fusion toroid, get the toroid up and running and before it could turn the lot into a molten mess and his workshop to a charred hole in the ground, siphon off power created to charge the MAG-90 rings which in turn stabilised the plasma in the toroid; a process that ultimately became known as the ’Jones Jump’. And that was it. With the reactor running and stable, Jones was able to rig it, and the H6 Thruster, unbeknownst to Hiro, to his canyon racer.

A week later, 3 clicks from the start line, Jones and his canyon racer vanished in a blinding white flash. The exact cause was never really worked out, though Hiro, Jone’s 2IC, guessed the whole thing was just too powerful for the lightweight canyon racer and Jones simply lost control and hit the wall; Jones had a habit of not listening to Hiro when it came to anything to do with canyon racing. Seeing the whole lot was effectively just strapped to the chassis, there was no way the reactor was not going to rupture on impact… and that was that.

Hiro Tokoyama took over the lead role at Jones Dynamics and managed to reverse engineer what Jones had done, ending up with the JOkR within a year. As the H6 was already Hiro’s pet project, he continued leading the work and it went on to become the Vector Thrust Drive; together these two systems pushed mankind deeper and further into space than it ever thought it would go.

© 2018 G.Thomas/Play Forest


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