To be thrust or plunged forward or downward. To do something unexpected, to plunge into something. To descend or dip suddenly.

Also, Plunge is the name of one of my favorite jazz bands. They have an album, Falling with Grace, out on Accurate Records. They are currently a three-piece, with Mark McGrain on trombone, Kirk Joseph on tuba, and Bob Moses on drums. They are heavy on the bottom end.

“Okay, Jack, give it to me.”
Buildings speed past the tinted windows at a dizzying pace, great brooding sentinels covered in flashing lights and shifting holograms. The view out the window was the only indication that the hover car was moving; the sensation of momentum felt in the pit of the stomach went unnoticed in the small antigrav car as it shot through the cheap neighborhoods of the city autonomously. Jack’s rough voice began the briefing over the small speaker in the dashboard.

“Your target is a scientist, Gavin Watkins.” A small figure popped up on the holographic suite. “He’s forty-six, no military training, but he’s employed a cadre of guards, veterans armed with the latest market-grade tech.” I study the face. The target has gaunt, angular cheekbones, the kind of pale skin that never sees the light of day, and greasy, graying hair. Shouldn’t be too hard to tell from the average brawny security guards.

“The Union’s current estimate is twenty-odd guards, including at least two VIGIL-class security bots.” I whistle. Those couldn’t have come cheap. Designed by Global Armaments, the VIGIL-class is considered the finest security bot money can buy, standing at two meters and over five hundred kilos of armor and anti-personnel weaponry. The hologram switches to schematics of Watkins’s home, a blue matrix of lines with red sections at potential entrances.

“The Union doesn’t care about ancillary fatalities, so long as the job gets done. There is a time window, though. They’ve told me that they plan to raid West Point’s prime research facility tonight, hoping to sabotage Ursa’s war effort. Watkins is their chief researcher. If he walks away, the attack will be pointless. You have--” A small voice interrupts, the hover car’s automated nav computer giving a report.

“Three minutes until destination,” the cheerful voice coming from the tiny speaker at odds with the atmosphere in the car, all matte-black surfaces and glowing blue readout panels. I tap a button on the dash, the weapons locker in the car unlocking.

“You have until 2200 tonight for him to be dead. The Union is planning their assault at 2230. They apparently want a comfortable time frame. If the target isn’t down by 22, they won’t send forces, plain and simple.”

I reach into the locker, grabbing a small pistol. Plasma guns. Sure, they’re a bit expensive and the shots are bright, but other than the sound flesh makes when it’s flash-fried, whisper silent. Even better, plasma weapons pack a punch, practically boil armor, and don’t require much barrel length, like gauss rifles or old-fashioned chemical propellants.

“These guards probably have anti-ECM and motion detectors active, so you probably won’t go silent for too long. You should probably swap your suit’s ECM and stealth suites for the assault variant. Going against VIGILs, you should probably pack some EMP grenades, too.” I grab various weapons and harness them, hands moving quickly from years of practice. Tapping a button on my helmet, I both feel and hear the click of a computer chip in the neural slot of my combat suit ejecting. Containing everything from active camouflage to radar jammers, the V063 stealth chip gives the suit excellent covert capabilities. I palm the chip and deposit it with the rest of my collection. For this operation, I’ll need something heavier. I grab an olive-green chip and slam it home.

“One minute until destination,” chirps the little voice on the dash. I ponder for a moment. They aren’t going to just let me stroll in the front door and take an elevator.

“Computer, change course. Pass directly over the destination at two thousand meters above sea level. Ready the SIV and release directly over the destination. After drop, head to hanger four.”

The computer confirmed with a pleasant ding. In the car, a thin metal sheath enveloped the cockpit, forming an airtight seal. The Stealth Insertion Vehicle, or drop pod, offered a nearly undetectable method of entry. When the car passes over the building, the pod will fall unnoticed, the car continuing on, following the rest of the traffic.

“SIV prepared for launch, fifteen seconds.”

“Ten seconds… Five seconds… 3…2…1… launch.”

As the drop pod plunged, the darkened visor of my helmet sealed.
Time to go to work.

What might London look like a thousand years from now?

Michael Pinsky explored that question with a simple public art installation, Plunge, which appeared in London in the early months of 2012.

Pinsky wrapped three iconic London monuments, the Duke of York column by St James's Park, the Paternoster Square column near St Paul's Cathedral, and the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar near Covent Garden, with a simple band of blue LED lights at a height of 28 meters.

The Guardian suggested that these blue rings "could be mistaken for those ultraviolet fly zappers popular in kebab shops."

The lights, which had no accompanying signage or expalanation, marked a waterline one thousand years in the future, when sea level rises will have put much of the city underwater. (There is no scientific data to determine the height of the Thames in the year 3012, so the 28 meter mark was chosen by artistic license).

The glowing halos were meant to have Londoners and visitors to the city see the monuments in a new light (literally), and elicit a vision of a possible future, one where anthropogenic global warming leaves London a ghost town of towers and monuments emerging from the water.

Photos of Plunge can be seen here and here.

Plunge was commissioned by Artsadmin and LIFT.

Plunge (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plunged (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Plunging (?).] [OE. ploungen, OF. plongier, F. plonger, fr. (assumed) LL. plumbicare, fr. L. plumbum lead. See Plumb.]


To thrust into water, or into any substance that is penetrable; to immerse; to cause to penetrate or enter quickly and forcibly; to thrust; as, to plunge the body into water; to plunge a dagger into the breast. Also used figuratively; as, to plunge a nation into war.

"To plunge the boy in pleasing sleep."


Bound and plunged him into a cell. Tennyson.

We shall be plunged into perpetual errors. I. Watts.


To baptize by immersion.


To entangle; to embarrass; to overcome.


Plunged and graveled with three lines of Seneca. Sir T. Browne.


© Webster 1913.

Plunge, v. i.


To thrust or cast one's self into water or other fluid; to submerge one's self; to dive, or to rush in; as, he plunged into the river. Also used figuratively; as, to plunge into debt.

Forced to plunge naked in the raging sea. Dryden.

To plunge into guilt of a murther. Tillotson.


To pitch or throw one's self headlong or violently forward, as a horse does.

Some wild colt, which . . . flings and plunges. Bp. Hall.


To bet heavily and with seeming recklessness on a race, or other contest; in an extended sense, to risk large sums in hazardous speculations.


Plunging fire Gun., firing directed upon an enemy from an elevated position.


© Webster 1913.

Plunge, n.


The act of thrusting into or submerging; a dive, leap, rush, or pitch into, or as into, water; as, to take the water with a plunge.


Hence, a desperate hazard or act; a state of being submerged or overwhelmed with difficulties.


She was brought to that plunge, to conceal her husband's murder or accuse her son. Sir P. Sidney.

And with thou not reach out a friendly arm, To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows? Addison.


The act of pitching or throwing one's self headlong or violently forward, like an unruly horse.


Heavy and reckless betting in horse racing; hazardous speculation.


Plunge bath, an immersion by plunging; also, a large bath in which the bather can wholly immerse himself. -- Plunge, ∨ plunging, battery Elec., a voltaic battery so arranged that the plates can be plunged into, or withdrawn from, the exciting liquid at pleasure.


© Webster 1913.

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