Harrison & Sylvia, Part Seven

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Part Seven
“Go,” Jacob commanded. “And find the solution before my patience is at an end.”

“Yes, Jacob,” Harrison said with an inclination of his head. He studied Jacob’s back before he took an unsteady step away from the king. Harrison turned and swiftly walked out of the king’s hall. The moment he left the room, Harrison leaned against the wall. Harrison glanced back to the chamber and buried his head into his hands and mumbled a cry of outrage. Dropping his hands, Harrison hurried from the manner, but as he walked out, he caught sight of a spider scuttling along its web in one of the estate’s trees.

He stared at the intricate design in awe as the web caught a fly. The stands of the web impacted fluctuated, but it held fast. As the spider began to cocoon his prey, Harrison tapped his chin. A moment later, he snapped his fingers and hurried to his carriage, “Get me back to the villa as rapidly as possible.”

“Yes, sir,” the driver said as Harrison closed the door.

The trip home passed quickly, and Harrison searched for Gabriel. When he found the steward, Harrison asked, “Gabriel, can you procure me a supply of silk?”

“Yes, Master Harrison,” Gabriel said. “Would you prefer cloth or strands, sir?”

Harrison stalked towards his lab, answering, “Get a supply of both.” After another step, he spun around and added, “Get a loom and a seamstress as well.”

“Yes, sir,” Gabriel answered.

When he entered the hallway to his laboratory, he caught sight of someone disappearing down the other end of the hall. Harrison started to say something, but he shook his head and entered his laboratory. When he walked inside, he screamed, “What happened in here!”

He rushed to his workbench and examined the broken beakers and vials. He screamed at the mess before he lowered his gaze to the large wooden bowl beneath the broken glass. At the bottom of the bowl submerged in the remnants of the solutions from the broken beakers found a gooey blob of grey.

Reaching into the bowl, he lifted the blob, and it slowly slipped through his fingers. He allowed it to plop into the container and stared at the strange object. He carefully removed the blob of goo from its bath and placed it upon his workbench. He dried his hands off with a towel and pulled a stool over. Sitting down, he began studying the material and noted some oddities. He tore a piece from the blob and idly began shaping it as if it were wet clay. With a snort, he threw the small piece back into the bowl.

He stood up and paced along the length of the workbench and stopped in front of the goo. The anger at the loss of his solutions flared, and he punched the material as hard as he could and winced. He lifted his hand and gingerly poked at the material. His eyes went wide, and he poked at the goo, and it fell away from his finger as easily as it had before. The frustration mounted, and he struck the material once more. And just as before the material hardened and he winced at the jolt of pain running up his arm. He let his hand rest upon the hardened goo, and a moment after the impact, his fist began sinking into the gooey substance.

Realization dawned in Harrison’s mind as his eyes returned once more to the broken glass. He studied the beakers and grabbed his papers and rifled through them. Once he realized he could reproduce this marvelous accident, he took samples of the material and started searching for ways to use the goo to craft Jacob’s protection.

Later that day, Gabriel entered the laboratory leading several servants. They deposited the silk and loom he acquired and left. Harrison immediately started began trying to liquefy the strange material. It required multiple attempts, but he managed to melt a small sample once a bit of alcohol was added to the cauldron. He cut a small strip of silk and stuffed it into the cauldron, letting the cloth soak up the liquid.

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