I languished in my study, surrounded by moldering classics and molding cheeses. I set myself in this voluntary exile because I found the world of man too crowded, to intellectually dim. Too dense in every sense.
I chuckled to myself and took a long sip from the stemware the hung sloppily in my hand. I stared at the claret, watching the red stain lackadaisically flow down the transparent, globular surface. To be that wine, flowing into nothing but yourself.
One solitary bit of cork floated on the Tyrian sea. It seemed to follow no pattern in its movement. I recalled Robert Brown’s treatise on pollen on the surface of water taking a “random walk”. Brown hypothesized that the chaotic motion was caused by atoms in the water buffeting the tiny granules. Perhaps the same was true of the cork. Summer was almost at an end and I needed a new treatise if I was to stay at Oxford. The carefree cork may have been my saving grace.
Why would atoms crash against one another? The atoms should have steadily descended to a blissful entropy from the moment the glass settled. Unless some part of the atom were moving. A Newtonian law.
I thought of that genius; Isaac, who had graced the halls of my treasured alma mater. Isaac, who made more contributions in one year than I would in a lifetime. Gravity…
Eureka! Gravity! The moon orbited the earth – the planets the sun – because of gravity. And the solar system was but a large atom! If those particles could be made to crash with force, it would impart significant heat to the liquid. Perhaps enough heat to create steam for warmth and electric power.
I set to work forcing materials together with a detonation of nitroglycerine. Metals and organic materials seemed to do nothing save for exploding at an irritatingly loud intensity. Then I tested a sample of uraninite from Germany. The blast was beautiful; instead of a quick, disappointing end, the fire continued to build, to excite the air. I felt I watched reality bulge. And then, with an orgasmic outflow of energy, it released.
I floated weightless over the wreckage of my lab. Beams smoldered, a shadow clung to the single brick wall of my study, cast by no object. I floated away, feeling like the claret on the slope of my glass. I ended up in a warm, womblike place and I was not alone.
The woman, azure in color, raised her arms with palms pressed together. I could see a second – perhaps third – set of arms at her side.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“We are but a spark. The spark of your nitroglycerin. The spark of insight as you drank your wine.”
“That is not an answer,” I used my tried and true admonishing professor tone.
“We have been waiting millennia,” she moved to encompass me in her legion embrace. “You shall join us, and we shall find another to galvanize. We are Vishnu, Destroyer of Worlds.”