A fun little tale: Subatomic level, subatomic world, where atoms are ship-sized compared to their occupants and inter-galactic battles cause nuclear reactions. This novel blends quantum mechanics with science fiction. The protagonist is Professor Nadir. His sidekick is Chirpy the electron. See below for more.
My name is Professor Nadir, and I have the misfortune of flying a hydrogen craft. A hydrogen atom, that is. It is a difficult experience. Of the 113 types of atoms in existence, hydrogen is the loneliest atom of the bunch. Most elemental atoms have a troop of electrons, protons, and neutrons. But a hydrogen atom? I’m stuck with one proton and one electron. I am the PROTON. Needless to say, Chirpy is my only ELECTRON. It was just the two of us, and an electron doesn’t qualify as good company. Gets right lonely here.
As usual, Chirpy was misbehaved when I started the experiment. I’d spent 600 years trying to catch the little bugger, chasing him left and right – comparable to chasing a featherless chicken through a land as big as thirty football fields – and it was a busy affair. They say electrons aren’t intelligent, but I’m not so sure: Chirpy must have known what I was up to. He ran all he could, buzzing about in curly-cues, switching locations 50 times a second, making for a fuzzy orbital, and making for a very difficult electron to catch. Eventually I snapped out a long arm, doing my best to bop him witless, and – holding the tiny electron in my hand – pricked him with a needle and drew up just enough energy to start my new project.
“Come on, little guy, it’s okay.”
Chirpy watched me, a look of disbelief about his person, purring like mad. Meant he was upset.
“Okay, you can go now.”
The electron bolted away, only to pause outside the cockpit and watch me from a safe distance.
He wanted affection. He wanted to forgive me.
A kind electron, my Chirpy.