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Professor Schmaltzenberger's Equation - Chapters 13 and 14 - Conclusion

Posted by StarMountainKid , 08 December 2012 · 457 views

  Chapter 13

As soon as the new Time Machine toy was on the market, Dr. Reinhold bought one. He carefully disassembled it and worked out its operation. It was simple in function, but the time field the mechanism generated was beyond his scientific expertise.

He did understand that the power supply was the key to the strength of the time field. All that was necessary was to increase the power to the generating circuits. The duration limiting circuits were easily modified, as well.

That night, putting on his overalls he had purchased that morning, along with the wig and false mustache, Dr. Reinhold left his home and drove to the alley behind the Freemont Building. Parking his car in an inconspicuous spot, he walked to a rear entrance, toolbox in hand. Before he entered the building, he looked up. Yes, the lights were on, on the top floor which were Mr. Freemont’s offices.

Opening the service entrance, Dr. Reinhold met a security guard. “I’m here to look at an electrical fault on floor forty.” The guard looked at a clipboard and said, “I don’t see a requisition or notification of it. Are you sure you’re in the right building?”

“Yes, the Freemont Building. I have the request right here.” Dr. Reinhold produced an appropriate looking piece of paper. The guard looked it over. “Well, I guess it’s alright. The service elevators are down that corridor.” Dr. Reinhold thanked him and walked steadily to an elevator. When the doors closed he pushed the button marked “40”. All was well so far.

On the ride up, Dr. Reinhold tingled with anticipation. Mr. Freemont had an unexspected surprise in store for him, Dr. Reinhold thought cunningly.

Suddenly the elevator stopped and the doors opened. Before Dr. Reinhold was a dimly lit hallway. Picking up the toolbox, he walked quietly to a sliding door, evidently separating the maintenance area from the offices. As he approached the door it silently slid open, and Dr. Reinhold passed through.

He knew from his previous visits which office was Mr. Freemont’s. He found it quickly. He stood before the door to the waiting room for an instant, cherishing the moment. He pushed the waiting room door open and entered. Mr. Freemont’s secretary’s desk was unoccupied. Mr. Freemont always worked late by himself, not wanting to be disturbed by mere employees.

Dr. Reinhold now stood before the door of Mr. Freemont’s office, a sly smile on his face. He knew exactly what he was going to do, and the outcome of his deed. It was delicious to contemplate.

He put his hand on the doorknob, turned it quietly and the door opened. Mr. Freemont sat at his grand desk, engrossed in some fraudulent business deal, no doubt. Dr. Reinhold walked silently to the front of the desk and stood there, gazing at his quarry. He cleared his throat and Mr. Freemont looked up.

“What are you doing here?!” Mr. Freemont demanded. “I haven’t called for a maintenance person! You must have the wrong office. I’m busy, go away.” Mr. Freemont returned his gaze at the papers lying on his desk.

“Excuse me, sir, but it’s been reported there’s an electrical fault in this office. I’ll have to check it out.”

“Nonsense!” Mr. Freemont bellowed, looking up again. “There’s nothing wrong with the electricity in my office, now get out!”

“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to look around, sir,” Dr. Reinhold insisted rather meekly. “It’s the code, you know. All reports must be looked into.”

Mr. Freemont waved his hands in agitation. “Well, if you must, but be quick about it. I’m a busy man.”

Dr. Reinhold walked to the side of the desk and set his toolbox on the floor. He opened it and withdrew the modified Time Machine toy. He held it close, as if it were a precious possession. Then he held it out for all to see. “This is what is at fault, Mr. Freemont, and I am here to rectify the situation!” Dr. Reinhold threw the toy machine on Mr. Freemont’s desk before him. Startled, Mr. Freemont drew back in his chair.  

“What is all this!” Mr. Freemont yelled. “Get this thing off my desk! How dare you!” At this moment Dr. Reinhold tore off his wig and false mustache. Mr. Freemont looked up at Dr. Reinhold in astonishment. “You! How did you get in here?!  I’ll call security and have you arrested! You fool!”

Mr. Freemont began to rise from his chair, but Dr. Reinhold swiftly pulled a revolver from his overall pocket and aimed it at Mr. Freemont’s head. Mr. Freemont slowly settled back down in his chair with a mixture of rage and fear on his face.

“I think you won’t call anyone, Mr. Freemont,” Dr. Reinhold said casually. I think you’ll do exactly as I say.”

Mr. Freemont, regaining some composure, relaxed a little and said, “Now, now, Dr. Reinhold, we can work something out without that,” pointing to the gun. “What do you want, cash? I can get as much as you require in minutes.  Say, one hundred thousand? More?”

“It’s not money I want, Mr. Freemont. It’s you I want,” Dr. Reinhold said calmly.  “We’re going on a little journey together, just you and I.  No, you won’t need a bag; we’ll depart just as we are. And we won’t require a return ticket. This will be a one-way trip for both of us. You see, I must leave for legal reasons, the police are still sniffing around Otto’s death, and then there’s the Professor. And you must come with me because, well, I just hate travelling alone.” Dr. Reinhold added with a cunning smile.

“I’m not going anywhere, Dr. Reinhold, especially not with you!” Mr. Freemont shouted, but there was now more alarm in his voice than bluster.

“Oh yes you are, Mr. Freemont,” Dr. Reinhold said with determination. “We’re going away together for a very long time. Forever, in fact. And our mutual destination? Several thousand years in the past, I think, where I can torment you there as you have tormented me here!”

Mr. Freemont was now almost in panic, beginning to understand Dr. Reinhold’s intent.  He stood up from his chair and shouted, “What are you talking about?! Are you insane?! I’m offering you a fortune, and you’re talking nonsense! Enough of this!”

“Not nonsense, Mr. Freemont, and not insanity! This is the fruition of your greed and betrayal!” Dr Reinhold pointed to the device on Mr. Freemont’s desk. “Look at what your avarice has produced! This…this, your new toy, this is your reckoning! This is your vehicle to the destination you deserve!”

With that, Dr. Reinhold thrust a finger over a large, red button on the device, held it hovering above it for a moment, then pushed it passionately. The room suddenly whirled violently and dissolved with dizzying speed. The two men felt themselves dissolved as well, their bodies liquefied and propelled into a sickening cataclysm of annihilation.  

From the point of view of an outside observer, the two men’s bodies wavered, then disappeared. But for themselves, they were mercilessly hurled cruelly into an ever blackening abyss that spiraled down, down into what seemed a terrifying oblivion.

Neither was ever seen again. Not by any living person of our time, in any event.

Chapter 14

Professor Schmaltzenberger returned unhappily to his home, desolate and fearful of the future.  Alone and betrayed, he thought he would just have to live with the likely result. In the quiet months that followed, the Professor had not one moment of comfort, imagining the imminent catastrophic result of his time equation let loose on an unsuspecting world.

A few more months passed, and one morning, reading his morning newspaper as usual, its headline glared up at him: “Time Machine Toy Responsible for Lost Children!” it shouted. He read further eagerly. Children all over the world had been disappearing, their frantic families at a loss as to their whereabouts. Official inquiries had begun, and the common denominator had been discovered: The Toy Time Machine!

The toy had at last been banned in all countries, and all remaining examples confiscated by the various governments. An investigation was underway as to how such a dangerous device could have entered the market in the first place.

The Freemont Toy Corporation was being held responsible, but its founder, Mr. Freemont himself, was no where to be found.

Professor Schmaltzenberger read on with growing satisfaction and hope. At last his time equation would do no more harm! The horrid situation would soon be concluded. But what of his equation and the mechanism it had produced? Would Mr. Freemont be located and face litigation or even indictment? Now that the toy was recognized for what it was, what then?

Many questions ran furiously through the Professor’s mind. Then the thought came to him, was he responsible for this debacle? Would he be held accountable to the authorities? After all, it was his equation that was the cause of this whole catastrophe. Would the investigation turn to him? Would he be arrested and put on trial?

All that day the Professor paced his rooms, sick with worry. That night he wandered out into his garden under the stars. The peacefulness of the solumn night soothed him, and at last he felt some peace in his soul. Surely it was not his fault, his equation had been stolen from him; he had never intended it to be made public, least of all be made into a children’s toy!

Gazing up at the stars, Professor Schmaltzenberger wished with all his spirit for all this to have never happened, or at least for some escape from its potential consequences. Gazing upward, he noticed a peculiar star moving slowly across the sky. It dimmed a little, then grew brighter. It grew brighter still, and seemed to be growing in luminance as if drawing nearer. Surely it was not a police helicopter coming to arrest him!  

The Professor stole to some nearby bushes to observe the strange glowing object, now hovering at treetop level. It could not be a helicopter, the Professor decided. It had no turning blades above it and it made no sound but a slight humming noise. Soon the gleaming orb settled easily to the ground not one hundred feet from him.

Professor Schmaltzenberger crouched in his hiding place in amazement and trepidation. Could this be a new type military vehicle come to kidnap him? The Professor had lately considered the government would most likely be interested in this new time technology. Perhaps he would be captured and brought to some secret government enclave, forced to work on new weapons derived from his time equation.

But then the humming sound stopped, and a door-like aperture opened in one side of the device. Two figures appeared on the threshold, then stepped out onto the dewy grass. They seemed to be looking around in a curious fashion. The Professor could not stay his curiosity. If he were to be taken away to face his responsibility it would be better to surrender now and be done with it.

Walking out of the foliage, he tentatively approached the two men. “I am Professor Schmaltzenberger,” he proclaimed aloud, but in a rather timid voice. “I put up no objections. If you have come for me, I surrender willfully.”

The two figures turned their attention to the Professor. With the brightness of the flying object behind them, the Professor could not make out their form clearly.. He cautiously moved closer. With astonishment, the Professor now saw the two figures more plainly. They looked strangely disfigured. Surely, they must be wearing masks or helmets or some kind of protective clothing.

“Pardon me,” one of the figures spoke in a soft, fluid voice, “could you possibly tell us the location of Trimathelon? We’ve gotten ourselves lost somehow you see, and we need information. We think it’s in this direction.” The figure speaking pointed up into the eastern sky. “Yet, then again it could be in this quadrant.” The figure then pointed up into the opposite direction. Lowering its arm it said, “It’s stupid, we know, to be lost as we are, but after all, it is a big galaxy isn’t it?”

Professor Schmaltzenberger could not believe what he was hearing, of course. It was inconceivable that unknown creatures traveling between the distant stars could just land in his back yard and ask for directions! Then the Professor’s scientific curiosity got the better of him, and he said, “Well, I don’t know, really. I don’t think I can help you.”

The two figures looked at each other, then looked back at the Professor. “You don’t know anything of the stars, then?” one of them asked rather dejectedly.

“Well, yes, I’m a scientist,” the Professor replied, ‘but not an astronomer Still, I do know the night sky. I’m a theoretical physicist.”

“Why, that’s wonderful,” the figure exclaimed, perking up a bit. “We could use some help in our navigation, as you can see, and perhaps a distinguished professional such as yourself could aid us. We’ve drifted out of our own neighborhood, you understand. Perhaps you would be so kind as to take a look at our star charts and give us some advice?”

The Professor felt he could at least not deny these poor lost creatures the benefit of his scientific knowledge, fruitless as his effort may be.  “Well,” he said at last, “I suppose I could take a look. By the way, where did you say you were from?”

With this, Professor Schmaltzenberger cautiously joined the two figures and entered their shiny vehicle. His advice as to their predicament was not very helpful in the end, as his knowledge of the locations of the various populated star systems of the galaxy was inadequate to the alien’s purpose.

The Professor never returned to his garden, or to face any possible repercussions due to his involvement in the toy time machine affair. Instead, he spent a good long time roaming aimlessly among the stars with his two kindly companions, ever lost as to their intended destination.

The Professor eventually settled down on Quadropoleous, joining that famous scientific institute located there, and lived a happy and fulfilling life studying the latest scientific theories, and even contributing some of his own. He never did disclose his time equation, though. He thought it better for that phase of his theoretical work to be kept a secret. Even in Galactic society, he discovered, there were many Mr. Freemonts, though none of them even remotely resembled the human Mr. Freemont he had come to know so well.

Dec 09 2012 10:14 AM
glad you included zarkor & zerak. really cool
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