"Al, Al, Al, you dumb fuck," Milo groaned. "We had stuff to do yet, before we could do the controlled test. You're lucky you're only a goddam vegetable -- and I hope that's temporary, by the way, but I just don't know. The gizmo wasn't ready. The circuits were unbalanced enough that there were fifty-fifty odds of either nothing happening -- which would've been totally okay by me, old buddy -- or, alternately, pretty much incinerating the entire cocksucking, motherfucking, Siamese cuntlicking universe!

"You've been blathering about this thing like it's a fusion powered generator. Harnessing fusion to make power would be huge stuff, so you went with what made sense to you. But it ain't that kind of fucking generator, Al. It doesn't generate electricity, or heat, or anything lucrative like that. It generates fusion at what we will call a fractal level.

"Al, lemme explain the concept of 'fractal' to you, in terms that you might understand: a fractal object is a wildly irregular shape -- kinda like the universe. When you divide that big shape up, each smaller piece is, roughly, a kind of itty-bitty copy of the whole. For our purposes, in this universe, absolutely every individual atom is a clone or model of the whole.

So, what this means, Al, you dickwad, is that the generator, when not trimmed properly, has the potential to run across the entire time-space continuum and explode it. This happens by sort of mirroring little supernovas =in individual component electrons of each and every atom -- and then blow each and every one of of 'em up its own ass! That, Al, would be sorta, kinda, like instant super-entropy, with an infinite atomic-level paper shredder to wrap up all the debris at the end.

"'Explode' really doesn't describe what would've happend with this, Al. Everything would just flat out disappear. Like a light going out, so that all that's left is everlasting dark. No big bang, no fireworks, not even a 'ppphhttttt'. Just there one nanosecond, gone the next, like the entire freaking cosmos never happened. Everything!

"Al, is any of this getting through to you? We blew up a lousy lab because you jumped the gun. We could've just as easily killed ourselves. Or everybody on the planet. Or every planet in the solar system. Or every solar system in the galaxy. Or every FUCKING galaxy in the entire FUCKING universe!!

"This is of course, assuming that we would even count as dead, since nothing would exist anymore. How would that work?

"Anyway, nobody but us, and the guy who wrote up that folder full of stuff we fried back there in the lab, knows about this fractal thing yet. I imagine somebody'll figure it out again in, oh, ten-odd years, given a little genius-level thinking.

"I am telling you this, Al, because you need to understand that you nearly destroyed the sum total of creation. And I do not want you to dick with this stuff ever again. If you recover from this, Al, do the world favor and find a nice sane, safe branch of physics to teach to really dumb, bored undergrads. It'll be better for all of us.

"I like you, Alphonse, but you're a dumb shit. And the sad thing is that you're way smarter than a lot of the people that I'm guessing now want to get their hands on this thing at this very munute. Tipped off by our little explosion, y'know? So I need to take it, and me, out of the picture.

"I am going to take the gizmo and bug out to Canada with it. I know a place way up north in Ontario. I'm going to hide with it there. Don't come looking for me. Try not to let it drop so that anybody else comes looking for me. This kind of power would look very bad in the hands of the kinda guys that are parked outside my fucking apartment! I need never to be found again.

Milo rose wearily, hoisted the generator, and stepped through the door. As he closed it behind him, Alphonse finally drooled and sputtered something that sounded vaguely like, "Not famous... not rich? You fuck!"

A single tear of frustrated rage trickled down one cheek.