In an unprecedented move, NASA scientists today announced the ultimate success of their attempts at alchemy and the transmutation of base metals into gold.
“Our profound powers have been distilled through generations into a chemistry of the subtlest kind,” project head Dr. Jim Green announced through a wreath of smoke and potent vapors, enfragranced with the most mysterious and ancient of spices from as far as the kingdom of Prester John. “Behold; I hold within my two hands the Panacea, which is the Goddess of Medicine’s answer to all mortal ills and ailments, a wondrous unguent with marvellous properties, the like of which have never been seen since the Balm of Gilead was lost to the armies of Gog and Magog.”
“Look you here,” cried Dr. Rosa Spencer, drawing the eyes of all in the room to her supple frame, whose hair was fragrant with cedar and cinnamon. “Moses, Isis, Cleopatra, Democritus, and Ostanes, witness me! I have combined my native powers with the choicest sciences, and I have produced the philosopher’s stone, through which all metals, no matter how base, are transmuted to silver and gold! Such riches as not even Solomon knew, and which an independent body of international experts that typically reviews such cases have verified!”
Results from the clinical trials were published Friday in Britain’s New Journal of Chemistry, amid great acclaim and universal rejoicing throughout the lands of all Christian men and free.
Lead scientist Jābir ibn Hayyān, a Saracen from a land of mangos and dragons, announced, “Children of Caduceus, attend me! I have harnessed Azoth! That sweet oil, the universal solvent, the secretion of the gods, that dissolves all materials save that of the container which holds it! Mercury’s animating spirit, that essential agent, without which transmutation is impossible – liquid lightning has been given to me! The universal life force is mine! This marks a turning point in the history of research and development, and my name shall be marked down as a king of science in the annals of learned men. Truly has it been said, Fire and Azoth are sufficient. This day, I have taught Death to forget my name!”
Truly have these doctors purified the soul as well as gold this day, and the government’s continued funding of the occultic sciences has been well-justified in the eyes of all the gods. The Elector of Saxony will be pleased and rise from his sickbed; surely before the year is out we will be communicating with angels and archangels and the flaming cherubim of Ezekiel’s visions. All hail science!
There was briefly a time for questions from the floor, during which reporters asked:
When the Philosophers speak of gold and silver, from which they extract their matter, are we to suppose that they refer to the vulgar gold and silver?
To which the men of science replied By no means; vulgar silver and gold are dead, while those of the Philosophers are full of life.
Science is ended! Go forth to love and serve the science!
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.