Grantville gazette V

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Insane, thought Gysbert Schotten, Matthias Wagener has been driven insane.

How else to explain this enigmatic package on his desk and the fact that it had been delivered by special courier?

For weeks he had been receiving letters and manuscripts from the praeceptor. His enthusiasm for the "new science" had been contagious. But this . . . 

Gysbert shook his head. He had done what he could to prepare a room for experimentation. But the documents he had received indicated that he would have to take extensive precautions to keep the cultures from being contaminated, and how was that going to be possible? He had no autoclaves, although perhaps a regular oven might work. Dry heat instead of steam. He had no microscopes, no thermometers, nothing.

"Father, should we begin?"

Gysbert looked at his assistant, Wolfram Muysgin. Wolf was a good boy. Eager, enthusiastic. Good instincts for many things. But now those instincts would have to be retrained for an environment very different from what they had assumed. No more "humors" or blood that was "too hot" or "too cold." Oh no. Disease caused by small animals called "bacteria." Or even smaller ones called "viruses." And a constant . . . what was the word? Ah yes, a constant "evolutionary" war fought between bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungi. An ongoing, ever-present need to keep things as sterile as possible. What was the phrase the praeceptor had stressed so emphatically? Ah, yes. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."


Gysbert shook himself. "We'll start in a minute, Wolf. But first, I think we need to pray to God for success. If He has truly sent Grantville here from the future for benevolent reasons, perhaps He will bless our work if we ask him. Let us pray."

Together Father Gysbert and Wolf Muysgin bowed their heads and prayed.

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