“My goodness, I’ve never seen such a sample as this!” Dr. Matthew exclaimed. “A spectacular creation!” He adjusted the horn-rimmed glasses on his face and peered closer at the bubbling solution. A sickly green liquid spattered within a chemistry vial under a fume vent.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thomas poured his eyes over their notes and field work. Scrawlings of notes, phrases, and lists filled the pages. “Our work seems to appear stable. That is, it can survive under most environmental conditions,” he continued, mumbling to himself and jotting down additional notes and observations.
“Come over here right now, John,” motioned the first scientist. “Take a look at it—the others at the symposium will have no other recourse!”
“Yes, yes, you’ve said that before…” John added, although nevertheless rushing over to view their work, eyes wide with glee and anticipation. “What do you want to call it?”
“Let’s not talk about that now. We still have to make sure it can be tested on the population.”
"What do you mean?” Peter, the other scientist, looked up. He snorted. “Of course the people can handle this one.”
“I know. It’s just—“
“Just that’s what you said last time. Remember one of our earlier conventions?” John folded his arms over his lab coat.
“Never mind that. And besides, the last formula didn’t work because we added too many different components to the solvent. It was no wonder the reaction was less than desirable.”
Letting their newest concoction settle, the two scientists used a tongs to place the vial of liquid on a cooling rack. On the same rack lay all their previous experiments, each one in an identical-looking vial. And while each mixture differed in color, odor, or viscosity, the substance within was the same.
The two scientists sat down and paged through their notes.
“I think we’ve got it right this time, but only time can tell…” Peter drilled-down on every individual word and punctuation mark.
“Can we get back on our previous topic?” John asked warily. “About the symposium?”
“The last one, in Rome.”
“Oh, that one!” Peter smiled and leaned back in his chair. “We certainly tricked them for a while, didn’t we?”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about,” John said. “All we did was rename the last failed concoction. We hardly changed it at all!”
“That won’t happen this time. We are changing the formula, making it easier for the people to absorb and retain. No, not just retain, but pass it on! That’s right, pass the experiment onward to future generations!” Peter chuckled. “There were two problems with our previous experiments, Dr. Thomas. First, our predicted exposure rate to the people did not work; second, it was not as addictive as expected.”
“And how do you propose a solution to correct these two problems?” John questioned.
“This time, we will create a vector that can administer our liquid to the people at regular intervals. One of our competitors has been doing that once per week, and it seems to be working out well enough for them. So I propose we create a distribution center that follows that same schedule: one dose of liquid per week. If these centers can be endorsed by the government, then it should solve the addiction problem.” He grinned.
“I’m still unconvinced,” retorted John. “What about the effectiveness? How long can our solution last in the bodies of those who ingest it?”
“In order for that to happen, we must create that incentive in individuals,” Peter countered quickly, “and hope that these people will pass on that formula to their children, and so forth.”
“But exactly how will that happen?” he pressed him.
Peter added, “We need a convincing advertisement campaign. I know that’s not usually in the realm of science, but this is necessary. We need someone to embody our mixture—somebody who can perform all sorts of amazing feats. Then make outlandish claims that the liquid will help them to get abstractions. You know—immeasurable happiness, life after death, etc. Give them a schedule of reinforcement too; if they behave well in society, they are rewarded with administrations of our concoction.”
“That sounds like a good plan.”
“It sure does.”
“When do you want to introduce it?”
“I was thinking about introducing it during the next symposium,” Peter mused. “Who is the organizer of the event?”
“Let’s see…” said John, searching through the stack of papers and notes on the table. “Ah, here we are!” He flipped through a packet. “Some guy named Jesus Christ. Never heard of him.”
“Maybe we could make him our liaison?” Peter suggested. “We could let him in on our experiment and allow him to direct it, according to our plans of course.”
“We could name our liquid after him too!” John exclaimed.
The two scientists laughed.
“I think it may indeed be possible this time. We may have just found our most potent, successful concoction yet!”