Tube Alloys


This too shall pass.

The ceiling lights cast yellow pools of light, but did little to keep the space from feeling gloomy and deserted. Huge constructions of steel stood here and there in the vast hangar, silent and dark at this time of night.

The stillness was interrupted by the opening of a door at the far end. The storm outside echoed off the walls until a figure stepped through and closed the door again. Agent Beckton shook off his umbrella, but otherwise ignored the water that dripped from his coat onto the floor.

To his left, a man approaching middle age came down the stairs. Tweed jacket and shirt suggested professor; cigarette and drafting pencil whispered draftsman; holster and wand declared (with some finality) magician.


"Beckton. I thought I made my wishes clear to the Commandant last time we spoke."

"Things have changed, Newkirk. They know about your project, or enough that they can guess the rest."

"I don't -"

"It's not a matter of if anymore, Professor. It's when. Maybe even who."

"God help us."


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Comments (3 so far!)



Tube Alloys is the codename for the British nuclear weapons program that preceded the US-led Development of Substitute Materials - or, as many know it, the Manhattan Project.

Beckton and Newkirk are station names on the London Underground and New York Metro, respectively.

  • #3046 Posted 6 months ago
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Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Ah, your commentary sheds light on the suitably mysterious story. Between the two, Manhattan Project has the better name but perhaps I'm biased (I know I am actually). Although I probably wouldn't have guessed the subject as nuclear without your comment due to the wand and magician. So I'm thinking "modern" fantasy set in or just before the 1940's? The could be cool.

  • #3048 Posted 6 months ago
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ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

Military shines through in this piece. I somehow thought that it was a historical piece, but I don't know why.. The magician is the kind of twist I like. The motivation for egress is well executed, with the right amount of amping up to thrill. The names are a nice treat, but I wouldn't have guessed their history.

  • #3049 Posted 6 months ago
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