You may remember Ollie Morrosin. He’s gone now. Kaput. Over the rainbow. Pushing up daisies. Well, that is not exactly accurate. To push up daisies you have to be put into the ground; Ollie Morrosin never made it that far. In fact, given the many realms of conjuration, I cannot say for certain exactly where he is or isn’t.
But, I am the only who begins to have a clue about it, having conjured with Ollie Morrosin in a vast and audacious conjuration to make ice-nine. You remember ice-nine. A minor conjurer by the name of Kurt Vonnegut first warned us about it. Kurt is that weird looking guy with frizzy hair and a snaggled beard who, back in the ninteen-fifties and -sixties, conjured up lot of stuff about aliens and oddball midwesterners who went crazy being normal. He greatest conjures were the end of World War II in a POW camp and the end of the world with ice-nine. It turns out only one of these things (the end of WWII) actually happened; but not for the lack of trying.
Ollie Morrosin tried. Although he did not intend to end the world, his decision to make ice-nine could be conjured to mean just that. But he figured he knew how to work with it. He said Kurt had miscalculated the controls necessary to work safely with ice-nine. Kurt was after all not an alchemist. He was a writer, one of those inferior and pathetically misguided conjurers.
Ollie Morrosin said ice-nine would not necessarily be the end of the world, but it might be an element to help conjure the prevention of WW III, so nobody would have to conjure the end of it in a POW camp. You see, Ollie Morrosin had come to the conclusion that ice-nine was a reagent needed to make gold. He figured he could make enough gold with just dirt and ice-nine to flood the market with ice-nine gold. This, he calculated, would make gold so cheap that the war mongers couldn’t use it to buy tanks and atomic bombs and children to fight WWW III with. I know it sounds crazy, but that was Ollie Morrosin.
He had a laboratory, with flasks, beakers, distilleries, crucibles, Bunsen burners, the whole kit and caboodle. But he wasn’t a scientist. Ollie Morrosin would not conjure that low. No, Ollie was a true conjurer, an artist, a fellow with ambitions to make gold out of dirt and ice-nine. He was an alchemist.
Don’t ask me the details, because I only know so much, and if I told you even that much, I’d be obligated to kill you. I could never be responsible for letting what I know about gold, ice-nine, dirt, and Bunsen burners loose in the world. Firstly I couldn’t do it because I am conjured by my oath to Ollie Morrosin when he conjured me for the job. Secondly, I couldn’t do it because I am a moral person who does not want to be responsible for conjuring Armageddon. So, strap me to an e-chair and flip the switch and conjure me into angeldom, but don’t ask me tell you about what I know about what Ollie Morrosin knew about ice-nine.
What I can tell you is that Ollie Morrosin came —-that close—- to ice-nine and gold. Unfortunately, even Ollie Morrosin did not have it completely right. After the catastrophe, I went back over the notes to see what went wrong. In looking over his scribbles, I saw the exact place where he put down a 0 where he should have put down a 1. That one little disconnect was the difference between making ice-nine and conjuring vanishment.
Which is exactly what Ollie Morrosin conjured. I was there the morning he grinned, flipped the switch, and said, “here goes nothin’. . .” Which is what he always said when he flipped a switch. And this time that is exactly what happened. He conjured himself into nothing.
Like I say, I don’t know it all. But I know where he was headed with his work on gold and ice-nine, and I know where he went wrong. And like I say, I am conjured never to divulge what I know.
But you never know. It is rather pleasant to have this secret. And with Ollie Morrosin not around (I think) to hold me to my oath— Well, just think about it. Change that 0 to a 1 and tinker around a bit, and voila . . . . Who knows?
Not that I will do that. I am, after all, an apprentice alchemist, a conjurer who’s been conjured. I have principles. But still. . . .