And now to see if I can transition from my most intensive Caesar the Troll post yet to Dr. Nic's dialogues and banter... this is gonna be a fun transition, I can tell. And by "fun" I mean very difficult. But as Aubrey Hansen herself would remind us, "Impossible" merely spells "I'm Possible."
"It will be too late then, Nic."
"If it is, that will be too bad. As for
now, I do not consider that chance worthy of preparation." He lay on his
side, his brown locks covering his ears and, in tandem with his
mustache, hiding his face.
Smyrna whispered, almost as much to himself as to Dr. Nic, "Hopefully you will reconsider your odds."
A few minutes passed, and Dr. Smyrna was nearly asleep when he heard Nic's reply, "The minimum bet would be too much."
The next morning they made the first breakthrough. Nic and Smyrna devised a combination of radioactive elements that would naturally decay into more acids, augmented by the radioactive particles they released. The moment of rejoicing was deliberately shortened as all three committed themselves to the next step, making the acid water borne.
Nic and Ephesus worked with a fury on the concept with Ephesus' computer models. The fury of their work often spilled out verbally as Nic demanded new combination, new arrangement, new model, and new pressure systems faster than Ephesus could evaluate each attempt.
Dr. Smyrna sat silently by, scribbling away with new decay chains trying to devise a series of bases that could interact with the radioactive and high-energy environment of the acid. Nic fluttered between each work station, and when he became too upset, would wander off the explosives room and work on more of his explosions. When he tired of mixing magnesium with whatever the lab had on hand and seeing what happened when you hit it with a blow torch, he decided to go back to something more technical.
Nic meandered back to their apartment, and for hours disappeared behind the door. Sometimes the door would open and shut immediately, sometimes bang back and forth on itself. Always Nic's frustrated grumbling meandered out to the two scientists, who, driven by fear, worked with more intensity than they had ever in their careers.
At the end of the day, the acid still refused to ride on water molecules. Unwilling to have appeared to have accomplished nothing, Nic called the representative's office. After angrily forcing his way through secretary after secretary and a few interns, he got the representative's office.
"What do you want, Q?"
Nic smiled cruelly as he put on his false humility, "Dear sir, I wanted to make you aware of a breakthrough. We have conquered the first of the stages of the development of our gas-borne chemical weapon."
"First out of how many?"
Nic counted quickly, "Four or five."
"Hmm, at one a day you might just out pace your removal paperwork, and if you are lucky I won't have had time to decide just what I should do to you and your associates various sisters. But of course, I might have a breakthrough myself..." his chuckling could be heard over the quiet line.
Nic was silent for a moment, then muttered, "Aww shut up." And flicked off the communication line.