An essay by Dr. Ogden “Professor Omicron” O’Hare, as provided by Matt Largo
Art by Luke Spooner
Fellow members of the scientific community,
I realize even by drawing that association, I will surely raise more than a few eyebrows. Perhaps some of you have already stopped reading. Perhaps some of you stopped at my name. It is an understandable impulse. I hope, however, for those of you that remain, my own not-inconsiderable accomplishments, as well as respect for the advancement of scientific inquiry and human progress, will suffice to hold your attention past any old and lingering prejudices.
The scientific community has made numerous attempts to reverse-engineer the many items of alien origin that have fallen to Earth since the first beings revealed themselves back in 1938. All have failed. There is something ineffable about this technology, about beings from outer space, perhaps no better exemplified by the Sunbird himself. Immortal. Indestructible. Able to fly of his own power. Able to harness terrible destructive energies. I was there when he first arrived. I worked as a junior researcher at Alamogordo. I saw the ship crash to Earth, first hand. I saw what we would later all witness on television: his incredible and dangerous power.
So began one of the longest and bloodiest rivalries in American history. I do not seek here to redeem myself or to apologize for my own actions. I seek instead to explain myself. For you see, far from the blood-soaked antagonism of jealousy and prejudice the media would have you believe, my motives were always those of scientific inquiry. Every incident that I precipitated was done with the express intent of gauging the alien’s power and its origins. Think of it: an average person burns 150 calories running a mile. Perhaps 200 for a half-hour of vigorous exercise. Compare then these humble numbers with what the alien displays: countering a fleet of heat-seeking missiles (guilty) trained on the city, the busload of kidnapped school children (also me) lifted to safety, the joules produced to melt an army of killer robots (mine again). All of these feats done with frequent and insouciant disregard for the laws of gravity and inertia. He was, quite simply, the most powerful being on the planet.
It may surprise you to know I personally applaud the good that the Sunbird has done for the world at large. I am not so blinded by my own prejudices and my own hubris that I should fail to see the unambiguous good in acts such as earthquake relief, the dismantling of terrorist networks, and the de-escalation of nuclear brinksmanship. But when we hand our affairs, our future, to the care of an unaccountable alien, are we truly better off? I submit to you that the reins of human destiny must be retaken by human beings. It is this belief for which I have fought my entire life.
I return you then to the question of where the Sunbird gets his incredible power, and to another question you must surely be asking yourselves following the Siege of Los Angeles: where is he?
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.
Professor Ogden O’Hare graduated with a PhD in Applied Physics from MIT in 1952. Prior to this he worked as a researcher at the Edwards Air Force Base facility in Groom Lake, New Mexico. He is perhaps best known for his decadeslong feud with the undocumented alien vigilante Sunbird. His numerous conditions to the field of scientific inquiry include the discoveries of Omicron radiation and its effects on human tissue, the Lost Kingdom of Lemuria, the Antelucan Oculus, and the invention of Gargantuo, considered the world’s first artificial intelligence, and certainly the tallest.
Matt Largo studied literature at Arizona State University. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and three cats. He blogs occasionally at strontiumlullaby.blogspot.com, and can be found in person by whispering his name three times in front of a mirror in the dark. On second thought, no. Don’t do that.
Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.
“Sol Invictus” is © 2015 Matt Largo
Art accompanying story is © 2015 Luke Spooner