It’s too light for nuclear fission and too heavy for nuclear fusion.

StoryKettle » QUAINT » Liz

Copyright © 2020, Michael M Wayman

part two

“What yer doing tonight, Liz?” I phoned.

“Oh, I just got invited to that new expensive-looking restaurant in town.”

Yes, it was expensive. Yes, the food was good.

“OK, OK, the dinner was great. Thank you! But tell me what you want, it’s something metallic, isn’t it?”

“Yes and no.” I kissed her on the end of her nose. We took a taxi to my place.

I showed her the wonder bolts and what they could do – the car bulb was still lit. I started to explain what I had done. Liz slipped behind me, she grabbed me around the neck and pushed her face into the back of my head. Liz is not a small person.

“Um, interesting. However it’s a bit cold down here in the cellar and I need a drink and some more.”

The next morning I explained what I could about the bolts. I used my voltmeter. Liz wore my anorak. The voltage was propor­tional to the length and the current to the width. The bolts were solid steel, you could pick them up with a magnet, there was no hidden battery inside them.

I tried all types of bolt, I tried cut up pieces of threaded steel rod, I tried cut up pieces of unthreaded steel rod, I applied my secret method to some of them. These and only these made electricity.

Having a head or being threaded made no difference. Heating a bolt till it was red-hot destroyed the effect. Brass, plastic and stainless steel bolts (all non-magnetic) were useless. I did not explain my secret method to Liz.

“Um, interesting – iron is not very interesting to us metallurgists, unless you’re into steel. It’s very common, it’s almost a third of this planet. It’s chemically active. It’s too heavy for nuclear fission and too light for nuclear fusion.”

“You can make batteries out of iron and nickel, but they don’t look like bolts. If your bolts are made of 100% metal why don’t they short out and deliver no electricity?”

“Stop! That’s it, Liz. I can’t explain that. I can’t explain…”

“You mean: why don’t I take some sample bolts with me and test them out in the lab where I work, don’t you?”

“You’re wonderful, Liz.”