It was too early in the morning when the somewhat expected phone call came. That it was early in the morning really did not matter though, anytime would have been too early for him. What he had just been told immediately weighed heavily on his mind. He was the one that made the choice, but was it really a choice at all? That question ran over and over, through his mind like a mouse on a wheel. The quest he had begun years ago had finally ended, in a rain of fiery hell. Thousands of people died that day. Partly because of him, and he knew that. Was there even a chance for him to have said no? Would the U.S. Government have allowed it? Memories began to cloud his mind.
It all began a few years ago, in 1943 when he was chosen as one of them. He would be a part elite few who would win the war for the Allies, and save the lives of thousands of Americans. It sounded so powerful, so righteous, in fact to him it sounded perfect. He would be America's hero. Regardless of whether or not he would be known, after all, the project was deemed Top Secret, he would still know. That was all he believed he needed. He was wrong.
He dwindled in his memories. It started like the soft but noticeable sound of white noise on the radio, but soon grew into voices. He began constantly hearing the dreadful and horrible screams as if he was there, seeing the great white light. He pictured himself as a god, a horrible Osiris that sat on top of Mount Fuji, claiming the lives of thousands and thousands, trying to drag them with him to Hades. What had he done on his path to greatness? How could something he felt so right about in the beginning feel so wrong now? His mind had traveled what seemed like thousands of miles, until he found himself back at the root of this thought train, the call.
He knew all along that it was coming, and that it would be big, but it was bigger than his mind would allow him to imagine. As the general spoke the words, a part of his spirit left him. The bomb had been dropped at precisely 8:15 A.M., so he said at least. For the first time, J. Robert Oppenheimer wished he had never been such a successful physicist. He wished that he had studied math, or perhaps even literature. Anything except for theoretical physics would not have put him in the position to one day sit on this wretchedly guilty throne of thorns that he now sat on.
It seemed like time stood still in his mind until he came back out of his train of thought and heard the stern voice of the obviously militant mannered General. The General spoke words such as "pride" and "courage", yet all that J. Robert felt was pain, sorrow, and guilt. It was if a ton of bricks had fell from the sky and landed dead on top of him. Dead, all those people dead.. Killed by some quantum machine that he had built, touched. He pictured it in his mind. He was drowning in a pool of their blood. Would he ever feel normal again? The last words he heard were "Mr. Oppenheimer, you have done a great deed, you have saved many American soldiers. Because of you and your team we will win the war. Our descendants will forever owe their lives to you. This is your time. Your are the man of the Century." Then he was gone, as fast as he had come. The click of the phone hanging up had never sounded so gloomy to him. Even hearing those words, those usually uplifting words could not stop that feeling. Nothing could stop it.
That was the day the call came for him, the call that would forever remind him. Remind him that J. Robert Oppenhiemer was one of those men, the men that for the rest of their lives would have to live with the knowledge that they had invented the worlds most deadly weapon. The Atom Bomb had arrived, and all too soon.