Turns out, NASA’s master password is pretty easy to guess: AmericaInSpace1961. We’d been using it to hack the Hubble space telescope and run searches on all galaxies in the universe for the ultimate skate park.
We found a planet located in a metal rich segment of the Sculptor Dwarf galaxy with smooth, calcified, totally skateable surfaces and a crust shot through with thousands of deep canyons. It was also 290,000 light-years away from the cops and the new faces that had been progressively infiltrating our neighborhood. Our two main criteria satisfied (skating to be had + far away), all we needed was a way to get to Skate Park Planet.
When we were younger we’d learned that wormholes take the space-time continuum and bend it back against itself, connecting points that would ordinarily be separated by un-travelable distances. We decided to hack NASA again and see if they’d done any research into the matter that might be helpful. We found out pretty quickly that the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, a supposedly massive project that spanned several decades and used cutting edge theories and experiments to figure out how to travel at hyper-speed was a decoy, but it had a secret offshoot: the For Realzies Wormhole Project. The NASA dudes probably spoke of it in hushed tones as F.R.W.P. at their NASA cocktail parties.
After downloading a .pdf of the F.R.W.P.’s final report which included step-by-step blueprint instructions for a wormhole generator, we set to work collecting everything we needed, which turned out to be a couple cathode ray tubes hooked up to some modified circuit boards whose jumper wires and conductors had been soldered together and connected to a 9V battery, a switch crank connected to a circuit breaker, and five hula-hoops covered in a thin layer of peanut butter.
We still had to do a lot of calculations so the wormhole would take us to the exact point in space where Skate Park Planet awaited, taking into account that it had moved pretty far from its position where Hubble had picked up the light its star had given off 290,000 years ago. Taking breaks to skate around, we calculated, drew up graphs and mapped out schemata. Then something happened that forced us to put the voyage to Skate Park Planet on hold.
A couple suits strolling down the sidewalk had sparked urgency in our neighborhood. One of them was actually smoking a cigar. The five of us were out skating and talking about Skate Park Planet when it happened.
The suits walked right up to a home whose family had been there for thirty years. The family was struggling to finish paying the last bit of their mortgage to a bank that had bought up their loan from another bank. The suits looked back and forth between the family’s home and their space phones. Something had to be done about this shit.
People in our neighborhood talked amongst themselves and started holding community meetings. There were new faces at the meetings. The new faces used phrases like “neighborhood revitalization” and “inclusionary zoning”. A couple of us painted a hand holding an evil eye at the end of our street to ward off neighborhood revitalization and inclusionary zoning.
A few weeks later, a real estate developer opened what the new faces called a “gastro-pub” a few blocks away. The new faces talked about brunch and craft beers and how much they loved the way this part of town, our part of town, was “changing so much for the better.” Cop cars became even more of a regular occurrence, harassing people for being outside. Someone launched a brick through the large window of the gastro-pub. The owner responded with more cops. Pretty likely he was paying them off. Something had to be done about this shit.
Well, we did have a wormhole generator. We convened an emergency meeting and decided to make a wormhole and throw the infiltrators straight into it. Problem was, calculations for this type of thing take weeks and we didn’t have time to re-calculate a new place to aim it. The ultimate skate park would have to be sacrificed for the neighborhood.
We barely had time to make anti-wormhole pulse wave disseminators out of small but powerful magnets found in a dumpster outside Penn’s physics department. We soaked the magnets overnight in the sulfuric acid of a car battery and then carefully wrapped them in bubblegum-flavored dental floss, following to the letter the blueprint instructions found on Addendum 5B of the final report, entitled Necessary Equipment For Opening Up Wormhole.
Anti-wormhole pulse wave disseminators, or A.W.P.W.D.’s, are necessary cause you might not want to just jump straight into a wormhole when you create it. You might want to throw someone else into it first, either as a test subject or otherwise. The NASA dudes, being human supremacist a-holes, had of course tried throwing a monkey into the wormhole. In our case, we were going to throw cops into the wormhole. We superglued Velcro to the A.W.P.W.D.’s as well as to our shoes and boards so they could be easily attached and removed and would anchor us to this side of the Real.
We also made pro-wormhole pulse wave disseminators by turning the magnets around. P.W.P.W.D.’s push anything between them and a wormhole into the wormhole.
The wormhole generator is wheeled out and aimed above the street corner and we pull the switch crank. Our device hums for a few minutes, starts vibrating and then the entire street, the row homes on our block, our bodies, even the air feels like it’s bending ever so slightly. The peanut butter starts melting off the hula-hoops but that’s no big deal cause it’s only needed as a catalyst. Then a dark patch materializes, grows bigger ‘til it looks like a cloud that’s gathered above the street.
We’re tempted to test it out, do some skating, then come back for the neighborhood intruders, but just as we’re debating who should go through first, a cop car pulls up and shines a light at us. Most of the light disappears straight into the wormhole. The cop car rolls its window down and we hear a voice, “Whatcha kids up to so late?”
I skate up onto the wormhole with A.W.P.W.D.’s activated, let myself sink into the edge of the darkness and extend two middle fingers from up above.
“Come closer and find out, you cop fuck.”
Thing about giant abysses appearing above street corners is they scare the pants off of cops and normos. The cop car drives off. I jump back out and we skate around laughing and high-fiving.
Keeping the wormhole open, we wait for the backup that will inevitably arrive. An hour or so later, the cops have closed off the streets a few blocks away in every direction, and they approach cautiously in linear formations. We’re not afraid cause we have wormhole tactics. All they’ve got are badges and guns.
The cops are so busy gazing up at the wormhole they don’t notice us skating around the back of them and activating our P.W.P.W.D.’s.
“Y-y-y-you feel that?” One of them stutters to the next before feeling the weight of his body dissipate. Cop is lifted up, starts yelling, ‘W-w-w-what the fuuuuuck…?” and hovers for a moment in the air before making straight for the cloud above the street and disappears, headed for Skate Park Planet.
They look back and notice us, aim their guns and start shooting but thanks to the P.W.P.W.D.’s, the wormhole siphons away their bullets in mid-air. Cops start getting sucked into the wormhole like ants into a vacuum cleaner hose.
They arrive in droves, feeling confident in their usual safety in numbers, but it’s pretty easy to circle around them and push them into the abyss. Our streets are narrow and very few of them escape. After forty or so cops have been dispatched into the wormhole, the ones blocking off the streets jump in their cop cars and drive off.
We flip the crank switch and paint a message next to the evil eye: “Fuck with us and we open up the wormhole.”
So at this point we had about a precinct worth of cops at Skate Park Planet to deal with. We started doing more research about the planet and its solar system to figure out how to get rid of them. One idea was to locate the supermassive black hole located at the rotational center of the Sculptor Dwarf galaxy and use our P.W.P.W.D.’s to give the cops a wormhole ride into it so we could have the planet to ourselves.
In the interest of less time and energy spent on calculations, we decided to take a more practical course of action. If there were any regions of Skate Park Planet with extreme weather conditions, we could send the cops there. Our investigations soon revealed that temperatures on the entire planet range from 500 to 600 degrees Celsius. There are also Hydrogen Peroxide thunderstorms that hammer its surfaces day in and day out.
So we didn’t need to worry about what to do with the cops. No skating would be had in the canyons of Skate Park Planet though, which we were pretty bummed about.
The good news was that back in our neighborhood, the new faces were freaked the fuck out by everything they were hearing about dark clouds and disappearing cops and they moved back to wherever they came from.
The F.B.I. was brought in and they developed their own A.W.P.W.D.’s. We expected this though and were waiting for them with A.W.P.W.D. disruptors.
Fifty or so F.B.I. agents into the wormhole later, the neighborhood is still safe. We also located a new Skate Park Planet similar in terrain to the first one. There, temperatures are about what they are in a hot Philly July and it never rains. All that’s needed are a few more calculations and we’ll be ready to take our first trip.
Daniel Richter has a sense of humor we really appreciate. Photo by him as well. This story originally appeared in season one episode one (not our pilot episode, mind you) of Metropolarity: Journal for Speculative Vision & Critical Liberation Technologies