Flash Friday 04/09/2015: Hover Bother
Out of all the things they train you for as a teacher, Trevor was never warned about this.
Working at a University was like going back to his days as a teacher in kindergarten. It wasn’t unusual to find people sleeping at their desks, or getting angry at the tutor and storming out in a huff. He was used to that. You had to be used to that, even if it means threatening your students with a water gun behind the lectern. In kindergarten, that would be regarded as child cruelty; here, it’s student encouragement.
No use for it here, though. The 5pm class were always attentive. His cynicism stated it was because he was the final barrier before the students could head home; given the class maintained its size throughout the term, however, he felt these students might actually want to learn something. It made a nice change.
“So, next week, we’ll be covering…” Trevor clicked to the next slide. “Ah, yes. Electromagnetic levitation, formulae for calculating it, and its uses. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you all next week.”
Everyone rose to their feet, grabbing bags and hoisting them onto their shoulders. It was a typical scene for tired students at the end of a day of study. As Trevor looked over the crowd of bustling students, his eye caught something.
One of them — one of his better students — was still seated, with her arm in the air.
“Yes, Rosie?” Trevor said. “Any questions?”
“Oh, not at all,” Rosie said. “I just need everyone to stay for five more minutes.”
Despite the fact she did not speak any louder than anyone else, everyone froze and turned to look at her with glares of annoyance.
“What?” Trevor said. “You mean a question that involves the class, or–”
“No.” Rosie smiled. “Just need everyone to stay here for five minutes.”
Students began to exchange looks with one another. Some began to mutter.
“Rosie,” Trevor said, with a smile. “What kind of cruel prank are you playing? it’s the 5pm lecture, people want to head on home. Why on earth are you holding us up?”
“Because the Old God Hak’tun demands it. The twenty people in this designated sacrificial room I prepared earlier must be contained within the room until He Himself visits. Which will be at five o’clock exactly.”
Trevor frowned, and checked his watch. “But it’s five o’clock now.”
“Oh, is it? Hah.” Rosie twisted the dial on the side of her watch. “Sorry, I must have set the time incorrectly.”
She gave a sweet smile.
A large area in front of the lectern distorted, as if someone had grabbed hold of the fabric of reality and twisted it. Eventually it twisted around so much that it righted itself once again, but with the added addition of a giant floating rock-god hovering in the air.
“Mortals,” it said, in a slow earthy voice. It gazed down at the people with eyes of diamonds. “You will find that the doors exiting this sacrificial chamber have been sealed with the magic of the Old Ones.”
One student frowned and began to read the ingredients on his energy drink can.
“Escape is futile,” Hak’tun continued. “Do not feel fear. Your bodies will soon be melded into the flesh of Goldok, the Devourer, my Master. He will–do you mind?”
“Hm?” Trevor said. Hak’tun was looking over a craggy shoulder at Trevor. Trevor was holding a marker, the pen paused against the lecture room’s whiteboard. “It’s nothing, keep going.”
“Are you listening, though?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Trevor continued writing. “I’m listening.”
“Good, because this is the important bit. With your bodies melded into the flesh golem we have prepared for Goldok, you will become one with the Beings that transcend your pitiful existence. You should all be elated that you have the opportunity to use your fleeting mortal life as fuel for–”
“How heavy are you?”
Hak’tun raised a craggy eyebrow as he turned once again to Trevor. “What does it matter, what my weight is?”
Trevor tapped an empty space in a long equation written out on the board. “Because I’m trying to work out the force needed to keep you afloat. And you’re floating pretty high.”
“Very well, albeit I do not see what it proves. I am as heavy as guilt, as sorrow, and as shame. I am the burden of disgrace on your back when you fail. I am the baggage of emotion you carry when betrayed. I am the world’s despair, incarnate.”
Trevor whistled. “Yeah, that’s definitely far too heavy.”
“What do you mean?”
“What I’m saying is, it’s theoretically impossible for a being of your size and weight to be floating like that with ease. The amount of energy you’d need to burn to maintain such a height would be astounding.”
“But…” Hak’tun rubbed the back of his head. “I did the math, and it checked out. Hold on, let me exchange notes.”
Hak’tun put on a pair of glasses and drew out a sheet of calculations. He glanced between his own findings and the board, before saying, “Ah, I see. I performed the calculation assuming my weight was in kilograms, but I had converted it to megagrams earlier. So, that means, instead of being able to hover for around 17 hours, I can actually hover for approximately–”
Trevor finished off his own calculation on the board, tapping the answer. “Sixty seconds.”
“Sixty seconds?” Worry crossed Hak’tuns face. “Wait, how long have I been here?”
When the rocky body hit the floor, it felt as if five earthquakes decided to meet up. The body of the Old God split into chunks of rock, spilling across the floor until all that was left looked like an artistic rock garden.
“Rosie,” Trevor said, wafting dust and rubble away from himself. “Stay after everyone leaves. I think we need a teacher-student talk.”
Rosie gave a huff, folding her arms. To think she almost got a free pass out of exam season.