Sunday, July 10, 2005

Exactly right

[. . .]

"She's going to kill us," one of the men said.

"She'll be pissed; that's for sure," another agreed.

"She'll understand," her husband said.

The three men were bent over the engine compartment of an old car. A nineteen eighty-eight GT Mustang to be exact, the highly modified five liter engine and T-5 standard transmission sat on a dolly in the corner of the room. Their tenure under the hood of the muscle car was finished. It would probably find a home in another hot rod Ford, maybe someone might even have the testicles to drop it in a Camaro, but its time in this car was over.

The new powerplant that was being installed by the three men was as far removed from the old Five-Oh as the plankton was from the whale. The only resemblance between the two drive trains was that the new one had something that looked like an exhaust pipe. There was no transmission bolted to it either; there would be no need for that. The finned, vented disc brake rotors and four-piston calipers were also sitting in boxes near the old engine. Where the rotors and calipers had lived now resided four small, extremely powerful electric motors and stator assemblies. Zero-gauge wires came from each motor to distribution relays that were operated by an onboard computer that also monitored the powerplant and driver inputs.

"What's the old man going to say," one of the men asked. "After all, he did build the thing. We could have used one of the company's vehicles."

"He told me to do whatever it took to get this operational," the other replied. "Besides, unveiling this in a Suburban or a Crown Victoria doesn't have the same effect as doing it with a jet black GT Mustang."

"I hope you know what you're doing, Ethan," one of the men warned. "Your father-in-law built the car for your wife. I don't relish the thought of having both of them angry at me."

"Leave Kim and the Colonel to me," Dr. Ethan McHenry soothed.

"Do you think we can have this ready for a test tomorrow?"

"Shouldn't be a problem," Hermann Wood, Chief Engineer for NoahCorp replied. Gerald Rienzi, Director of Research and Develop-ment nodded in assent.

"Good." McHenry gave them a smile. "I'll get everything squared away. Can you close up here?"

"Yeah, take off, Ethan," Wood gave him a wave. "We'll finish up."

"Ok, catch you in the morning."

Ethan McHenry left the R&D facility, nodding to the two guards on duty at the entrance of the bay. The existence of the new engine was known to very few. Not even the guards knew what went on behind the big door. He, Wood, Rienzi, a handful of technicians and engineers and, of course, Ethan's father-in-law, were privy to the secrets contained in R&D.

McHenry thought about the Mustang as he boarded the tram that would take him to the administration building, over a mile away. His father-in-law did build the car, but he would understand, Ethan was right about that. His wife would get over it too, although he really should have asked her if he could have the thing. Had it been any other car, Kim wouldn't have batted an eye when he told her what he'd done, but it was her Mustang.

And she wouldn't have cared if it were any other Mustang, but her father had built it and that was the rub. Kim Song Johnson McHenry, supermodel, TV personality, CEO of NoahCorp, his wife, had a love for her father that bordered on the spiritual. They had a bond that was unbreakable; to her, he walked on water, and Ethan thought that was a good thing, most of the time. Yes, Kim would give him hell, but he would deal with it and she would get over it, just like her father, for she loved Ethan also and she knew that he was doing what was best, for her, for NoahCorp, and for Humanity.

[. . .]