This Side of Enlightenment

Essay by aschen1992 December 2008

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*Just a creative writing piece. This is based off an assignment we did in Chemistry class that required us to use certain pieces of data to analyze and identify substances. Just to clarify and further your understanding of this piece: Dalak, mentioned later in the story, is my Chemistry teacher. Enjoy*Thick smoke wafted up from the pile of metal, warped by the heat of fire and the impact as it crashed to the ground, the only remainder of Mole Airlines Flight 1023. It lay, still steaming in the cold, grey air of morning, circled by a small crater, a memento of the force of the crash. Two silhouettes appeared, framed by the swirling mist, and two men emerged from the fog. The first, a big bulky man with a distinctive mustache, carried a magnifying glass, twirling it idly, holding it more for show than for necessity. The second, a scrawny young man with a splattering of freckles and large, horn-rimmed glasses that threatened to overwhelm his slender face, clutched a clipboard to his chest, eyes flickering around nervously.

The mysterious pair came to a stop before the wreckage of the airplane, surveying the damage. The bulky man adjusted his nametag upon which the sole word "INSPECTOR" was printed in bold letters, and if he had another name, no one knew it. The young man, on the other hand, had no tag and was referred to simply as the Assistant.

Suddenly, the Inspector spoke, breaking the uneasy silence.

"Assistant, tell me the results of the analysis of the substance found on the site of the crash."The Assistant flipped competently though the pages of the clipboard, fingers coming to a rest on the proper page, slender finger pointing at some indistinguishable scribble.

"Trinitrotoluence, sir.""Ah… TNT. Does that surprise you?""Not really, sir. The damage would not have been this severe had the plane only suffered a crash. There must have been something else. The TNT would explain an explosion that could have happened before the crash, causing the plane to lose its ability to remain airborne." Stopping, the Assistant raised an eyebrow and looked at the Inspector. "But there is something that intrigues me.""Oh?" the inspector replied, a twinkle in his eyes.

"Apparently, there were also copious amounts of TNT in the luggage of one Norm Einstein. Rather incriminating, don't you think, sir?""So you think Norm Einstein is responsible for the explosion?""It fits the puzzle. After all, before his death, Norm Einstein was the leader of the Mighty Order of Lavoisier Enthusiasts.""I've told you before, don't say the whole name in public. Use MOLE instead.""Sorry, sir. But this kind of stunt would suit his eccentric personality. He would do something like this, for science.""So you think he's the culprit?""Directly or indirectly, it has to be him. This was either a well planned terrorist act or an ingenious frame-up.""Very perceptive, Assistant.""Thank you, sir."The two men stood silently, each contemplating the crash and the mysterious events surrounding it. Silence seeped in again, broken only by the sounds of the Assistant flipping through his clipboard. After several minutes, the Assistant spoke, breaking the reverie that had fallen over the two men.

"Curious and curious-er. It seems there is more to Norm Einstein than we first thought."A concerned frown creased the Inspector's forehead and his large mustache twitched in surprise, like an animal disturbed from its rest.

"Do tell.""It would seem that Norm Einstein played two roles in this mystery - the villain… and the victim.""The victim? How so?""Is that anxiety I hear in your voice, sir? Perhaps you've finally met your match. No matter. The man is dead; he can do you no harm. Rather, it seems someone put in extra effort to make sure he was dead. According to the tests, there were large amounts of strychnine in his blood. Rat poisoning. That doesn't happen by accident.""So you think it was murder?""Does the name Curie Drugs mean anything to you?"Relief flooded the Inspector's features and he allowed himself a hearty chuckle.

"Good ol' Curie. Wouldn't expect any less from her," the Inspector murmured. Then louder so the Assistant could hear, "What does your data say about Curie Drugs?""My charts show strychnine in her briefcase. Not exactly normal for a sales representative," the Assistant replied.

"So you think Curie Drugs murdered Norm Einstein?""Norm Einstein had his share of enemies.""He had more than he deserved. He was a noble man; he had great ideals. I'm almost sorry to see him go. Almost… What about the rest of the passengers?""Harmless civilians. Looks like they were just unlucky people who picked the wrong plane.""Pity. Well, we should be going, Assistant. We mustn't be late. Come.""Yes, sir."The two men disappeared into the mist, going as silently as they had come. They left no trace of their presence.


The room was dark, the only light provided by flickering candles keeping the darkness at bay. Grand and austere, the long abandoned room had become the meeting place of MOLE several centuries ago, overseeing the work of decades of enlightened minds. Twelve peculiar people sat around the table, waiting, as the candlelight danced shadows across their faces. The seat at the head of the table stood empty. Finally, the imposing oak doors swung open and two men emerged from the heavily shadowed corridor outside. The first man approached the table and sank into the empty chair with a sigh that ruffled the tips of his impressive mustache, peering at the others grouped around the table through an ornate magnifying glass. The second man took his customary place behind the first, horn-rimmed glasses reflecting the candlelight, clipboard in hand.

"Well?" a small man with unruly hair demanded. He sat near the end of the table, perched on a thick book so that he would appear as impressive in stature as his eccentric comrades.

The Inspector smiled warmly and responded quietly, "It has been done."An audible sigh of relief rang throughout the room. Some of the members even began applauding.

"Norm Einstein completed his mission. Unfortunately, we lost a good man. But he died to uphold a just cause," continued the Inspector. "Without anything to hold MOLE back, our plans will finally reach fruition. We have amassed many followers since the days of MOLE's establishment. The newest batch of novitiates are ready to join our cause. We will spread the beauty of enlightenment as far as intelligence can carry it. For science!""For science!" echoed the others.


It was night and the park was empty other than the Inspector and the Assistant. They sat side by side on a bench, watching the abandoned swing set sway forlornly in the soft breeze. This time, the Assistant was the one to break the silence.

"You were the mastermind behind Norm's death, weren't you?""Indeed. A weak leader like Norm would only have held us back. You were very insightful this morning. I'm surprised that you managed to figure out my plan so quickly with only your wits and some compound analysis.""Oh, the power of science.""You are wise to believe so. I knew I made a good choice when I made you my assistant. Someday, you will continue my legacy.""So who is Curie Drugs?""An old friend… so old, I'd forgotten her long ago.""Why did she poison Norm?""Probably for revenge. It's said that she was once a great beauty who was also gifted with incredible intelligence. But she fell for Norm and when he dumped her, she let herself go. A pity really.""Is that all? I was expecting something more… intriguing.""There is nothing more intriguing than a woman's mind, young Assistant. But no one understands the full complexities of the female mind like Brian Dalak. He's always talking about getting the chicks. We are lucky to have him on our side.""Speaking of Dalak, has he left for his mission yet?""Not yet. He is still preparing.""I think you've kept me in enough suspense. At least tell me what his mission is. You owe me this much.""Dalak has one of the most important missions of us all.""I'm listening.""It will be his job to go out into the world, to influence the minds of children, to enlighten them while their malleable mind will bend easily to the will of MOLE.""To teach the prepubescent? That's a bit anti-climatic.""Not at all! To shape the minds of the future! To mold them to science! Don't you see? The ranks of MOLE will be increased by a thousand fold. The day of enlightenment is fast approaching. Will you be on our side when it does?""Of course. For science.""For science."