I went to lunch at a funky little Canadian-Chinese place. How come there aren't any Canadian-Chinese restaurants back home? Anyone know where I can find one in the San Francisco Bay Area?
But I digress. There was a meeting going on at the same restaurant. The Leap-Warriors. You know these guys? I hadn't heard of them but they were actually very friendly and informative. When I expressed curiosity, they happily told me all about it.
So you know about the upcoming leap second? We get an extra second this year. Properly, the clocks will go 58, 59, 60, and then 0 and it's the start of 2009.
Well, these Leap-Warriors are really worried about that second. They claim that in that one second, a random selection of 10% of human beings will turn into a variety of big dangerous monsters.
Cloaked things nine feet tall, all eyes and sharp metal blades. Roiling masses of twitching spines. Hungry howling dire wolves, their shoulders up with the skyscrapers. Terrible winged clouds of acidic bubbles. Anthromorphic mammoths and lethally dessicating four-dimensional megasponges.
For that one second, they say, those monsters will try to kill everyone nearby. Then when that leap second is over, the monsters will return to human form again, with no memory of that terrible one second of thorough destruction.
They showed me the mathematics to prove their conjecture, but it didn't make any sense to me at all.
Anyway, they are training for that moment to defend humanity. Not to destroy the monsters - that would be murder. Just to keep everyone safe. Some of them are exploring ways that maybe they can restrain themselves if they're among the dangerous 10%. Some are planning forts and things. Some are trying to find tricks to get the monsters to turn on each other in that one crucial second. Some are making armor, or nonlethal weaponry, or just quick-deployment foam walls. Everyone is very carefully honing their reflexes for that crucial moment.
And they shared their spring rolls. Thanks for the spring rolls, Leap-Warriors!