Sahara Greeks Part II. Chapter V.

8 Mar

Atlas Cimera spent the rest of the day rehearsing and honing the approach he was going to take with the scientist who discovered Echolight. It appeared wise if he appealed to the man’s self-image as an inventive intellectual. Flattery could open doors and encourage him to reveal more than he intended. It was important to find out what the aims and ambitions of the fellow might be.

Niobe made the introductions and left the pair alone in her office at the rear of her antique shop.

Cimera spoke first, with an appeal to the ego of Hermes.

“I am unable to understand the method by which a pioneering mind conceives of what direction it will take in pursuit of something yet undiscovered. There are so many alternatives available that attract the attention of a courageous explorer such as you. Did your mind hold other solutions that had to be discarded before you created the original Echolight?”

“That is correct,” answered the chromatologist, staring at Atlas with surprise. “In fact, a number of ideas had to be thrown away before I could establish what was the right road to take.”

Atlas gave him a look of sympathy and understanding. “I can imagine that you were called a dreamer by your superiors at the Light Institute where you were employed.”

“I did not fit in there,” murmured the physicist. “The Director of the place fought me at every step, until I was forced to leave. There was no future for me out there at the desert research station. Defeat was inevitable had I stayed at my post.”

“You must have been full of promising ideas that had no opportunity to flower or flourish,” remarked Cimera. “That situation had to be severely frustrating for you.”

“That’s the truth,” said Hermes with a sigh. “I did not enjoy genuine freedom that a scientist needs in order to accomplish something important. The conflicts there never ended. The atmosphere was extremely hostile to me and my ideas. It became impossible for me to stay out there any longer.”

“But things are different for you here in Gamara,” ventured Atlas. “You have the Apollo movement supporting you and making practical use of the new spectrum in their public assemblies and ceremonies. Your circumstances are completely different here. New opportunities are available to you.”

Hermes said nothing for a brief time as he considered his position and where it was most likely to take him. But at last a response issued from him.

“I am so busy these days that there has been no chance for me to look ahead very far. But there are certain technical features of Echolight that will have to be worked on and developed further. As you know, science never rests or stops exploring the unknown. That is its destiny. But there will be the problem of obtaining the necessary material support. I mean the financing of what will be going on. There will be a need for a large sum of money.”

Atlas grinned knowingly. “That should not be difficult. Everyone in Gamara has heard of you. With your reputation, new ideas will not be hard to sell to potential investors. I can foresee great possibilities. In my own work, I have come to know many of the captains of the light and lamp industry. I think there would be a lot of interest in anything that you plan to work on in the future. In fact, I am willing to scout about for potential partners and introduce you to the most promising of them.”

Hermes felt a rush of confidence and excitement. “You would?” he asked the stranger.

“Certainly,” nodded the one posing as a reporter. “I can begin inquiries about it at once. Brief descriptions on cellulose paper of your thinking about future research would be a big help to me. Busy people have to see your ideas in written form to study and evaluate them.”

The interview went on only a little longer, then Atlas Cimera took his leave and left.

I have made a new friend, said Hermes to himself.

I now have some influence over their light scientist, smiled Atlas with confidence in the newly opened prospects ahead of him.


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