Archer IV power grid fails after teenager attempts to replicate replicator

Archer IV power grid fails after teenager attempts to replicate replicator

PHLOXOPOLIS, ARCHER IV — Nearly 300,000 people on Archer IV’s sparsely populated southern continent lost power last week when a teenager modified a class 4 industrial replicator to replicate a slightly smaller replicator.

The resulting systems overload snaked its way through the municipal infrastructure and caused nearly every computer terminal within an eighteen-kilometer radius to go dark almost instantaneously. The blackout disrupted transportation and essential services throughout the Greater Hoshitown micropolitan area for a night and day before repair crews could restore power to the city and its outlying suburbs.

“Boy howdy, it was scary,” said artisan potter Cal Franda, whose shop was one of many businesses impacted by the blackout. “I had a whole bunch of pieces in the kiln when the entire city went dark. Everything came out horribly underfired. It was such a mess.”

Local police initially had difficulty identifying the culprit due to lack of access to the planetary law enforcement computer network. It wasn’t until the following day that they could begin a proper investigation.

“The security recorders captured a suspicious person loitering around the industrial replicator facility on Enexowun Street,” said police constable Amelia McThrift. “This was our person of interest, but we couldn’t track their movements because of the blackout. We didn’t get a solid lead until an anonymous tipster called us two days later and led us to our man.”

Police apprehended Jasper Myles, 19, outside Lirpa’s At Dawn, a Vulcan breakfast and brunch franchise where he works as a seating host. According to court documents filed at Hoshitown Magistrate’s Court that day, Myles is charged with first-degree criminal mischief and interference with the delivery of public services. If convicted, he faces up to eleven years in prison.

According to his associates, Myles, a 2398 graduate of Hoshitown High School, had been planning to conduct an experiment into what he termed “perpetual replication.”

“We all told him, ‘Jas, buddy, everybody knows you can’t replicate a replicator,’” said friend and co-worker Rubi Lacxe. “But he didn’t listen. He wanted to solve the problem of matter-energy entropy and prevent the heat death of the universe, or something.”

After a ten-minute arraignment on Thursday, Myles was released on bail. Until the trial has concluded, he is prohibited from going within one hundred meters of a replicator, a restriction which the attorney unsuccessfully challenged.

“How am I going to eat?” Myles said upon exiting the courtroom.

About Nash Blaxland

Nash Blaxland is a human journalist with a career spanning over 20 years. A graduate of the University of Tasmania and the University of Alpha Centauri, Blaxland is a fifth-generation journalist and has been a correspondent for the Federation News Service since 2392, based from both Earth and StarBase 118.