The birth of man's greatest invention.
|A Brave New Tape
Daylight strobed in brief inside Dr. Ackhart’s laboratory, as lightening angled across the night sky. Dr. Ackhart heaved his talons into the air before the manor’s great window and exulted in his genius. With the next round of thunder he laughed maniacally, savagely, for he knew nothing could match the glory this night would bestow. One of his seven gnomes approached.
“Shall we bring forth the duck, master?”
Dr. Ackhart issued a stern glance over his raised arm at the tiny creature and it backed away.
“I didn’t endeavor to disturb your moment of glory, sir, but we should start soon, sir, my brothers are getting tired, master sir.”
“Give me five more minutes, Mingalor.”
“Truly sir, I would love to, sir, but my brothers grow sleepy, and well, sir, we really should get on with the experiment before the power goes out – sir.”
Dr. Ackhart’s expression momentarily turned to frustration. He rubbed his temple.
“Bring forth the duck, Mingalor.”
“Indeed, master sir.”
“Leave it in the cage, Mingalor! Do you want it to escape? Shall all our efforts be for naught?”
“No, most certainly not, master sir.”
“Do your brothers have the masking tape, Mingalor?”
“Galdor! Ronhor! Do you have the masking tape? They do, sir.”
“Begin the experiment then!”
“Sure thing, master sir.”
Mingalor motioned for his brothers to man their stations.
“Meldor, trigger the apparatus!” called the doctor.
Wheels began to turn and gears began to turn. A dark mechanical limb reached across the room and into the duck cage. It plucked a single feather.
“Feldor, arouse the syrum! Canthor, the catalyst!”
A gnome in gloves and goggles waddled over to a vat full of neon green liquid and emptied into it a vial. A turbine began to rumble and the liquid bubbled and churned in kind.
Excellent, thought Dr. Ackhart, greatness would soon be his.
The mechanical claw motored the feather over the vat. The claw opened, and the feather fell.
“Bangalor, uncover the sieve! Faldor, drain the extract! Galdor, Ronhor, ready the masking tape!”
The feather dissolved quickly in the green liquid, which soon changed to a sticky, gray paste. The mucilage slithered through a filter and siphoned through a transparent tube, leaving bits of excess feather behind. The tube pumped the thick liquid across the room and emptied it into a funnel, under which Galdor and Ronhor stood with masking tape. They ran the tape across the funnel opening, coating the tape with the paste.
“Keep feeding the tape past! Quicker, don’t let the paste bunch up! Yes! YES! The thickness…the durability…it’s marvelous!” the doctor thundered.
Mingalor trundled over to his master.
“What shall you call this brave new tape, master sir?”
Dr. Eckhart rubbed his temple and thought.