Infundibulum of Power

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    Gazing upon us like an implaccible eye, the clock struck midnight. I stared at the professor across the desk. Her head bobbed ceaselessly above the legions of figures and diagrams. She appeared to shunt my presence from memory. I pulled my attention away from her and reattempted to conduct an operation on my graphing calculator. For the fifth time, I failed.

    "Dr. Aspera, may I please go now?"

    She glanced at me without moving her head and checked the clock before leaving. "If you must." She dismissed me with her silence. With an audible shudder I stood and inched toward the door. Narrowly avoiding a winding stack of meticuluously studied books, I left her in her phrontistery. Back at my dorm room, my senses were assaulted by the walking pile of offal that slept in the bed next to mine.

    "Dude! What’s wrong with you?"

    I grunted. "I worked for ten consecutive hours with Dr. Aspera."

    "Oh yeah, she’s really hot… By the way, have you invented that superdonductor conduit thing yet?"

    "No! No! No! Superconductors are only the power source. We’re working on a project that can supply an infinite amount of energy."

    "You mean, like a fuel?"

    "Not exactly… You see, this device uses superconductors, positronic fields and a few other forces to create a biapartite rift in the timespace continuum which will cause energy to naturally concentrate at the focus, effectively counterveiling against the second law of thermodynamics. A massive capacitor collects and relays the energy, and voila!"

    "Oh!" He said dully. "One question?"

    "What is it this time?"

    "How will changing fact that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion produce all that power?"

    I rolled my eyes. "I’ll explain it when you’re sober. Now please let me get some sleep!"

    "Whatever, dude." He lumbered to the door and shut it behind him leaving a caustic stench of plantlife in his wake. Dennis could be so asinine. He thinks Dr. Aspera is attractive…

    I stopped to ponder the idea. The twenty-five year old intellectual was perpetually hunched over her research, constantly jockeying for tenure. Most of the time I only saw her drooping hair and her constantly moving hands: that coruscating platinum blonde nimbus and those soft elegant hands, long fingers wrapped tenaciously around that pencil. Heh…. I blinked weirdly and turned off the light.

    Four hours later, my alarm clock buzzed into my ear. The swimming images seemed to inply that no one was in the room. "Weed Rat?" I called my roomate’s nickname. No one replied. I grumbled, got ready, and returned to her office.

    When I entered, a dean was haranguing Dr. Aspera about something. He looked at me once and departed, my eyes must have been nightmarishly bloodshot again. I planted myself in my seat and resumed the labor. I paused, however, when I noted a sniffling sound nearby. The young doctor’s sedulous hands trembled slightly, and tears dripped on the paper as she worked.

    "What’s wrong?" I finally asked, fingering the back of my neck. The tear production rate accelerated.

    I took a breath… "Doctor?"

    Five more minutes of silence followed. "Uhmmm… Stephanie. Is something bothering you?"

    She reacted to the sound of her first name. I though she was going to castigate me, but the reaction was an unexpected one. "Eric… When I received my doctorate, I thought I would be respected, but… facilty members… are treated like chum around here…"

    My face twisted. "Doctor, once this is complete, you will probably win the Nobel Prize. Why was he so upset?"

    Her brow furrowed. "He mandated… that all professors must teach."

    "Is that so?" I replied after a couple silent minutes. Then I delved into the enigmatic scientific constructs entirely.

    It was seventeen minutes past three when something of importance occured. I realized this, because Stephanie raised her head, and looked at me with tearing eyes. "We did it!"


    She managed to smile. "We’ve configured a working model."

    I stood and scratched the back of my neck, "Actually my role was more auxilliary. It was you who…" I never finished that sentence, because Dr. Aspera’s embrace interrupted my airflow.

    Clutching her perfunctorily, I remembered Weed Rat’s words again. She had the body of a dogged academic: mildly atrophied from hours of sedentary lucubration and a diet predicated upon convenience, hair formless and splitting, and skin flaking from lack of oil. Why was she making me so aroused?

    The young woman released my after some time and grinned. "We’ll begin construction in three hours."

    "Why then?" I asked groggily.

    "I need a long, steamy bath, this lab coat is so constricting after hours of wear. Meet me outside the engineering center later!"

    I left swiftly. I limped back to my dorm room, not entirely able to conceal the reason for my awkward gait.



    I cannot wait for the improubable chaos that will result upon activation of the Potential Lockng Occilating Thruster device. 😀


    Axel, I’m all for a diverse vocabulary, but you’ve really got me wondering. "phrontistery"? I had to look that one up. Google doesn’t offer to define it for me, but it does direct me to a resource for obscure words. Do you keep that site open while you’re writing?

    If all this is part of your vocabulary, I won’t argue with it — I don’t want you to dumb down your writing for us less learned folks. If, on the other hand, if you’re going out of your way to insert obscure words, I suggest that you exercise more moderation. Yes, the practice definately lends a distinct character to your writing, but consider what happens to the flow of the work when the reader stumbles over an unfamiliar word.

    In any case, I’m very much looking forward to seeing where that violation of the laws of thermodynamics goes.



    n : an establishment for study and learning (sometimes including modern universities)


    As a linguist and a literatur, I absolutely love this phrontistery site 🙂 Thank you for introducing me to this resource. My lexical tendencies are second nature, but I still opt to avoid boring my readers.

    As for the universe distorter, it will be unveiled- now!


    A week after Stephanie’s epiphany we placed the final tweaks on the energy redistributor. I would never forget those days, her eyes dialated with zeal, arms pumping as she handled the riveter. I almost wished that the device would never be complete, but here it stood before us.

    "Beautiful!" I remarked, looking at the sixty foot spiral-like structure.

    "Isn’t it. Still, we should test it." Dr. Aspera hovered over the control panel, meticulously manipulating knobs and switches. "Eric, take one of those graphite rods over there and place it on the omphalos."

    I complied, fitting a dark gray cylinder into an impression which would serve as a port for the superconductors. "Stand back!" the doctor commanded. I walked away from the machine until I stood far behind the border of a red circle. I lowered my visor, equipped my earplugs, and looked upward. "Ready!"

    Dr. Aspera flipped a switch, and static electricity began to accumulate around the top of the spiral, like a meniscus of a flask full of water, then the energy traveled downward around the coils of the spiral, which were lined with cyclotronic electromagnetic fields. These coils, I remembered had a modulating effect, like the loops of a transformer or the control rods in a nuclear reactor. When the stream of energy reached the bottom, sphereoids of electrons dribbled onto the graphite rod, and the space around it appeared to blur slightly. There was a small explosion, and the graphite rod dissappeared. Dr. Aspera turned off the machine, causing the electrons to dissipate with a sharp crackling sound. She stood up, and smiled at me. I could see her words, although my earplugs were still mollifying the ambient sounds. "Success!"

    This was the beginning of a less exciting battery of trials. The doctor insisted that every invention be tested 100 times, and if it succeeded exactly as expected more then 95 times, she deemed it worthy of submission. Two hundred ninety nine trials latter, we asseverated the efficacy of the spiral, the graphite foci, the conductors and the capacitor-relay system. As I filled the last page with field data Stephanie stood up and gestured for me to remove my earplugs. I did so, feeling the ozone tinctured air rushing into them. "We should leave. The ozone is beginning to build up." She warned.

    We deactivated all the electronics and secured the lab. Before leaving, Dr. Aspera flipped a switch outside the laboratory, turning on some focused UV lamps for the flora inside. "We’ve made tremendous progress today!" she smiled tersely.

    "Maybe so, yet I’m worried about the ozone. How long will it take to revert to breathable oxygen?"

    The doctor made some indifferent gesture. "With the starshields in there, I doubt it will take more than a week. I’ll cultivate some more to place before the next big day." I suspected that I heard her squeal with glee.

    "Hmmm. Starshields…" I muttered, remembering the plants that lined the physics department. The starshield, also known as Helianthus celestis was an exotic mutant plant which had been recently developed by NASA. It had multiple metabolic pathways, which caused it to be able to process ozone as well as carbon dioxide. In addition to normal sunlight, it could also absorb levels of radiation which pose a threat to human life, and electricity. The species was originally developed to help astronauts cultivate uninhabitable planets, yet they required a stable gravimetric environment and a precise mixture of nutrients to survive, making them unusable for space flight. Still, they were quite popular, and nuclear facilities often featured sprawling gardens of the unworldly plants.

    "Would you mind coming to my office for a moment?" Dr. Aspera asked. I complied somewhat nervously. She instructed me to sign a series of papers pertaining to my participation in the experiments and one other document. My eyes widened as I realized what I was holding.

    "You’re signing… my papers?" I gasped.

    The doctor nodded, staring down at a list of abstract equations. "Yes, you’ve done wonderfully, and I know that I’ve subjected you to extensive hours, and you’ve certainly earned it."

    "Thank you…" I muttered, and I started to leave. I stopped upon feeling the warmth of her fingers on my arm.

    "Wait, I request that you indulge me in one small favor."

    "Specify, please" I glanced at her. She seemed to almost blush as she spoke.

    "I have to teach a class tomorrow. Could you… listen to my first lesson and tell me what you think?"

    "Certainly." I sat down and waited.

    "Okay.." She began. Her lesson was inept, as was expected for a teaching tyro, but she presented the ideas very clearly. She smiled again when I told her so. It was far into the night, so I went back to my dorm room, and went to sleep.

    A few days later, I found Dennis in the postgraduate mailroom. "You’re up early,Weed Rat." I smirked.

    "You look like you finally got some sleep, Pencil Head." He retorted. I reached into my mailbox and extricated something most unexpected. It was a red and pink starshield, with a card attached. I read it aloud.

    "Dear Dr. Redgar,

    To commemorate your success, here is an especially rare breed of starshield, may it protect you in the future.

    -Dr. Stephanie Aspera"

    "Whoa! Check out that plant! She must really like you!" Dennis was astonished by the colorful dinner plate blossom.

    "Well, it is rather intricate isn’t it?" I looked at the red and pink design, remembering that the doctor cultivated the vivid blossoms as a hobby.

    "Dude, don’t you see what it looks like?" Dennis waved his arms emphatically.

    I shrugged and squinted. "A mollusk? a heart?… Whatever, Dennis…I don’t have time for this game. I have to put this thing next to an alarm clock and give a presentation today." I left my incredulous roommate behind as I prepared for the rigors of the day.


    Very nice work, dear Axel.

    I’s cannot wait to read more.


    The Pimp NeonBlack


    I think there is inconvertible evidents that the author is none other than the Prescient, George W. Bush.

    Please continuum your fine works!


    Awesome idea about plants that process hazardous environs as well as energy emissions.

    Reminds me of ‘Day Of The Triffids’ for some weird reason 😈

    Keep it up my good Axel3.14


    Have you ever wondered what websites presidents surf? 🙂

    Anyway, the unusual plants will play a very important part of the plot, which will continue sometime next week after soon as I get my horrid homework done.


    Hmmm…. them’s big words.

    I’m very curious and interested on what the plant angle’s going to be on this story, but I’m also curious on another thing: the effluent display of one’s extensive multisyllablic vocabulary in narratives involving the heavily augmented female.

    (And whut’s up with that thar gobbledygook in these big girl stories, too?)

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