You are currently viewing THE DISTURBANCES – The Erupting Vial

THE DISTURBANCES – The Erupting Vial

  • Post author:
  • Post category:STORY


The Erupting Vial


Professor Yashushi Okayama never liked unsolicited e-mails. Particularly from those who were looking for post-doctoral positions. So when Quintain offered his synthetic skills and know-how on the subject on a trial basis, the old man could not resist his offer. With great trepidation, Quintain had opened the e-mail.

“Thank you for your interest in our research, Dr. Quintain.

As for your sabbatical stay in Japan, do you want to work in my laboratory, or do you want to stay in Japan and conduct some research in my laboratory? I mean, does your institute cover the travel fee between Ireland and Japan and your daily life cost during your sabbatical? And how long will your sabbatical be?

I can find a room to stay in a faculty house (or dormitory) on my university campus with a reasonable fee, and you can join our project, but I cannot cover the stipend as a researcher or a research associate.

As for your chemistry, what happened to your compound five, mentioned in your research summary that you have synthesized?

And do you have any particular project that you want to carry out in my laboratory, or just want to join our already ongoing project?

Currently, we are interested in fluorescence control in novel materials for upconversion, together with some other “seed” projects”

The recommendation is given by Quintain’s Ph.D. mentor, Professor Jonathan Feirerra however did the trick. Quintain had got the quasi-postdoctoral position after months of patient waiting. The renowned material chemist had condescended by giving him an offer to work for six months which he called a sabbatical to stay. He further promised to extend the sabbatical if the project looked promising from his perspective.

The Material Chemistry lab was an envy of the other chemists who worked in Ripps Research Institute. Professor Yashushi Okayama was a front-runner for the Nobel Prize in the field of upconversion with more than nine hundred research papers and numerous reviews. He was a prolific writer but a recluse scientist who was a workaholic by all means. His father Ebino Okayama was a farmer who had come to the city to give his children a better life. He had worked twelve hours in a factory that produced LED televisions. He was sedentary and loved to listen to music when he was home. Jasmine Okayama had always wanted to live her life to the fullest. It was her dream to live in a big city and to explore the opportunities it had to offer. She worked in a library and had a penchant for books. She had engineered a scientific temper in Yashushi’s mind by her rational and questioning attitude. Yashushi was conditioned to become a topper right from his childhood.

Quintain had expressed his desire to work on a seed project and so he was assigned to Assistant Professor Hotiro Nogomishi on ytterbium-based up-conversion materials. The lab was a spanking new, futuristic design that boasted about state-of-the-art facilities. Hotiro Nogomishi was a no-nonsense guy with a certain overhanging seriousness about him. Like his boss, he was married to his job. Quintain’s ingratiating smile had little effect on him. Hotiro never bothered to smile back. He had few friends and worked most of the time or stayed brooding over his work when he was not working. Quintain found Hotiro with an unapproachable air about him. Discussions with Hotiro often lead to some kind of argument so Quintain started reporting directly to Professor Okayama. Hotiro did not like it at all. Professor Okayama knew that Hotiro had communication problems. He understood Quintain’s discomfort so he did not object to the circumvention. This caused the bad blood and Hotiro detested the sight of Quintain. Though Hotiro did not create hurdles in Quintain’s research there was a brewing mistrust between them. They spoke little and avoided conversation with each other unless it was damn necessary.

The only respite that Quintain got from Hotiro was an Indian post-doc for the labmate. Maneka was an Indian girl with jet, black hair, and an eye-catching curvaceous body. She hailed from Mumbai and had joined a year ago on some previous seed project which had caught the fancy of Professor Okayama. Her CV spoke more about her impressive academically proficient record and less about her socializing skills. Making friends was her second nature. She was popular wherever she went. After her Ph.D. from IIT Bombay she had got numerous offers for post-doc and had opted for Professor Okayama’s lab because she knew she was made for it. She was smart, intelligent, and attractive. She was so irresistible that even Assistant Professor Hotiro Nogomishi had fallen prey to her charms.

Quintain’s research had already landed on rough seas. Before his joining, Professor Okayama had fired an Egyptian post-doc fellow by the name Ibrahim. He had worked on the same project for six months and ultimately given up.

“One fine day he did not turn up” said Maneka.

“I had never seen anyone like him who worked like a zealot. He was sincere and very hardworking. Hotiro told me that he was almost there, you know.”

“What happened?” asked Quintain.

“I don’t have the foggiest idea about what had happened. Hotiro does not tell me much”

“Yeah” he agreed.

“He comes from a different world” he mused referring about Hotiro.

“I think he is a nice guy. He stays reserved that’s all” said Maneka, smiling.

I think he’s weird, he thought. Quintain did not like talking about unpleasant people so he cut short his first conversation with Maneka and got back to his work. He wondered why the Egyptian had left without any notice. Probably the pressure, he thought while he set about doing his reactions.

He liked the project which was a challenge in its own light. With Ibrahim’s failed attempts and Professor Okayama’s perennial interest, the research was something worth achieving. He slogged his guts out to synthesize the wonder material which the Professor called the next big thing in the field of upconversion.

“Someday in the distant future Quintain” reflected the Professor with his optimistic eyes, “This thing may be used for time travel. If I ever live that day I think that would be all that I ask”

“Time travel?” asked Quintain, incredulously.

“Yes, it’s possible if we have the technology to use light to pass through these wonder materials which convert low energy light to some high energetic radiation. It’s called Disturbance Phenomenon because it disturbs the time and space dimension. We can definitely use the idea”

“Do you really think it’s possible for humans to travel through time, Professor?” queried Quintain.

“Theoretically, for humans, time travel is not possible. In the distant future if somebody makes a time travel machine then he has to work with androids as guinea pigs first. Once the device is perfected humans can travel too.”

Quintain was still not convinced. He found the idea brilliantly preposterous.

“How can up conversion materials distort the space time dimension?”

“This is the study you will undertake once you synthesize it” said the Professor, rising from his chair. 

The synthesis of the next-big-thing material became a great ordeal for Quintain. After four months of trial and error, he was back to square one. He had not moved an inch forward in his reaction scheme and despair gradually crept inside him. The knowledge of Ibrahim’s failure and his own failed attempts started to have effects on him. His enthusiasm began waning and slowly he lost interest in his research. He spent less time in the lab and more exploring mother nature.

One fine morning he was called into the Professor’s office. It was a neat room with an austere design. Professor was typing a document when Quintain entered. He was a straight-forward person who did not beat around the bush.

The Erupting Vial


Professor Yashushi Okayama never liked unsolicited e-mails. Particularly from those who were looking for post-doctoral positions. So when Quintain offered his synthetic skills and know-how on the subject on a trial basis, the old man could not resist his offer. With great trepidation, Quintain had opened the e-mail.

“Thank you for your interest in our research, Dr. Quintain.

As for your sabbatical stay in Japan, do you want to work in my laboratory, or do you want to stay in Japan and conduct some research in my laboratory? I mean, does your institute cover the travel fee between Ireland and Japan and your daily life cost during your sabbatical? And how long will your sabbatical be?

I can find a room to stay in a faculty house (or dormitory) on my university campus with a reasonable fee, and you can join our project, but I cannot cover the stipend as a researcher or a research associate.

As for your chemistry, what happened to your compound five, mentioned in your research summary that you have synthesized?

And do you have any particular project that you want to carry out in my laboratory, or just want to join our already ongoing project?

Currently, we are interested in fluorescence control in novel materials for upconversion, together with some other “seed” projects”

The recommendation is given by Quintain’s Ph.D. mentor, Professor Jonathan Feirerra however did the trick. Quintain had got the quasi-postdoctoral position after months of patient waiting. The renowned material chemist had condescended by giving him an offer to work for six months which he called a sabbatical to stay. He further promised to extend the sabbatical if the project looked promising from his perspective.

The Material Chemistry lab was an envy of the other chemists who worked in Ripps Research Institute. Professor Yashushi Okayama was a front-runner for the Nobel Prize in the field of upconversion with more than nine hundred research papers and numerous reviews. He was a prolific writer but a recluse scientist who was a workaholic by all means. His father Ebino Okayama was a farmer who had come to the city to give his children a better life. He had worked twelve hours in a factory that produced LED televisions. He was sedentary and loved to listen to music when he was home. Jasmine Okayama had always wanted to live her life to the fullest. It was her dream to live in a big city and to explore the opportunities it had to offer. She worked in a library and had a penchant for books. She had engineered a scientific temper in Yashushi’s mind by her rational and questioning attitude. Yashushi was conditioned to become a topper right from his childhood.

Quintain had expressed his desire to work on a seed project and so he was assigned to Assistant Professor Hotiro Nogomishi on ytterbium-based up-conversion materials. The lab was a spanking new, futuristic design that boasted about state-of-the-art facilities. Hotiro Nogomishi was a no-nonsense guy with a certain overhanging seriousness about him. Like his boss, he was married to his job. Quintain’s ingratiating smile had little effect on him. Hotiro never bothered to smile back. He had few friends and worked most of the time or stayed brooding over his work when he was not working. Quintain found Hotiro with an unapproachable air about him. Discussions with Hotiro often lead to some kind of argument so Quintain started reporting directly to Professor Okayama. Hotiro did not like it at all. Professor Okayama knew that Hotiro had communication problems. He understood Quintain’s discomfort so he did not object to the circumvention. This caused the bad blood and Hotiro detested the sight of Quintain. Though Hotiro did not create hurdles in Quintain’s research there was a brewing mistrust between them. They spoke little and avoided conversation with each other unless it was damn necessary.

The only respite that Quintain got from Hotiro was an Indian post-doc for the labmate. Maneka was an Indian girl with jet, black hair, and an eye-catching curvaceous body. She hailed from Mumbai and had joined a year ago on some previous seed project which had caught the fancy of Professor Okayama. Her CV spoke more about her impressive academically proficient record and less about her socializing skills. Making friends was her second nature. She was popular wherever she went. After her Ph.D. from IIT Bombay she had got numerous offers for post-doc and had opted for Professor Okayama’s lab because she knew she was made for it. She was smart, intelligent, and attractive. She was so irresistible that even Assistant Professor Hotiro Nogomishi had fallen prey to her charms.

Quintain’s research had already landed on rough seas. Before his joining, Professor Okayama had fired an Egyptian post-doc fellow by the name Ibrahim. He had worked on the same project for six months and ultimately given up.

“One fine day he did not turn up” said Maneka.

“I had never seen anyone like him who worked like a zealot. He was sincere and very hardworking. Hotiro told me that he was almost there, you know.”

“What happened?” asked Quintain.

“I don’t have the foggiest idea about what had happened. Hotiro does not tell me much”

“Yeah” he agreed.

“He comes from a different world” he mused referring about Hotiro.

“I think he is a nice guy. He stays reserved that’s all” said Maneka, smiling.

I think he’s weird, he thought. Quintain did not like talking about unpleasant people so he cut short his first conversation with Maneka and got back to his work. He wondered why the Egyptian had left without any notice. Probably the pressure, he thought while he set about doing his reactions.

He liked the project which was a challenge in its own light. With Ibrahim’s failed attempts and Professor Okayama’s perennial interest, the research was something worth achieving. He slogged his guts out to synthesize the wonder material which the Professor called the next big thing in the field of upconversion.

“Someday in the distant future Quintain” reflected the Professor with his optimistic eyes, “This thing may be used for time travel. If I ever live that day I think that would be all that I ask”

“Time travel?” asked Quintain, incredulously.

“Yes, it’s possible if we have the technology to use light to pass through these wonder materials which convert low energy light to some high energetic radiation. It’s called Disturbance Phenomenon because it disturbs the time and space dimension. We can definitely use the idea”

“Do you really think it’s possible for humans to travel through time, Professor?” queried Quintain.

“Theoretically, for humans, time travel is not possible. In the distant future if somebody makes a time travel machine then he has to work with androids as guinea pigs first. Once the device is perfected humans can travel too.”

Quintain was still not convinced. He found the idea brilliantly preposterous.

“How can up conversion materials distort the space time dimension?”

“This is the study you will undertake once you synthesize it” said the Professor, rising from his chair. 

The synthesis of the next-big-thing material became a great ordeal for Quintain. After four months of trial and error, he was back to square one. He had not moved an inch forward in his reaction scheme and despair gradually crept inside him. The knowledge of Ibrahim’s failure and his own failed attempts started to have effects on him. His enthusiasm began waning and slowly he lost interest in his research. He spent less time in the lab and more exploring mother nature.

One fine morning he was called into the Professor’s office. It was a neat room with an austere design. Professor was typing a document when Quintain entered. He was a straight-forward person who did not beat around the bush.