This piece was written for the Six Sentence challenge with the prompt word of ‘gear’.
Albert A. Stone did not want to be just another cog in the wheel of life, meshing with others to make some soulless machine rotate endlessly, although he could imagine deriving some perverse pleasure, for a short time at least, in being part of a reverse gear.
So he set himself the task of achieving what the laws of thermodynamics (and the entire scientific cheer squad for the immutability of such laws) said was impossible, namely creating a perpetual motion machine i.e. a machine once started that would function forever without any additional energy being supplied.
Sitting in front of his computer he read everything that Lord Google could tell him about perpetual motion, it’s supposed impossibility, all the experiments and theories that had failed and the ultimate indignity of the Patents Office refusing to even accept an application for any invention based on the purported existence of perpetual motion.
And then, as he checked the latest social media posts, he realised that the answer was staring back at him from the screen; the archetypal perpetual motion machine was the conspiracy theory that never died, like the cars that could run on water that had been spiked by Big Oil, the vaccines that the secret One World Government were using to control the world, the ‘evidence’ that 9/11 was stage managed by sinister sources within Government, the ‘Moon landing’ filmed in a Hollywood studio, and aliens living in seemingly human host bodies.
To prove his theory, he decided to construct his own perpetual motion machine experiment by inventing a Big Lie and monitoring its progress through popular culture and social media, to prove once and for all that perpetual motion not only existed but instances of it would never die.
After an exhaustive process, Albert hit on the idea that every electronic chip in computers, phones, TV sets, cars, credit cards, passports, domestic pet IDs etc is, in fact, a tiny two-way transmitter that matches the updatable chip secretly inserted into you in the maternity ward and which monitors your every thought and action, so that you can be automatically re-educated into thinking exactly what (insert whatever version of Big Brother is current at the time) wants you to think, and he launched his experiment with excitement and anticipation of vindication.