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Dr. Krebnitz's Moment of Glory

by Jan Ackerson  
9/25/2006 / Short Stories

Dr. Zoltan Krebnitz peered over his spectacles at the white-coated scientists gathered in his lab. He willed his racing heart to slow. In moments, his years of dedication and toil would finally pay off, and the world would at last recognize his genius. A flush colored his cheeks.

With a triumphant gleam in his eyes, Krebnitz launched into his presentation.

Ladies and gentlemen, since time immemorial, certain questions have disturbed the sleep of nearly every human. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? For centuries, we have searched for answers, but philosophy and religion have provided only superstition and empty platitudes. The answer, my esteemed colleagues, is in science.

With a flourish, Krebnitz lifted a cloth from a nearby table, revealing a small instrument which resembled a fountain pen.

This is the PENthe Purpose Evaluation Nodule. Inside this PEN are thousands of microscopic nanites, programmed to enter painlessly into a subjects brain. Once inside, the nanites examine every axon and dendrite, every actual and potential neural connection. When finished, they send a signal back to the PEN, which displays the resultthe subjects true purposethrough a wireless signal onto any computer monitor.

A few scientists stepped in for a closer look at the device. One started to ask a question, but Krebnitz stopped him.

Please, allow me to demonstrate. All questions will be answered shortly.

Krebnitz picked up a small, transparent box. Within this box is a single mosquito. Havent we all wondered why mosquitoes are here? Observe!

The scientist inserted the PEN into a valve in the container. A hiss could be heard. Seconds later, a nearby monitor flashed the words:


A few scientists laughed.

Krebnitz made his way to a series of small cages. Let us move on to a more interesting specimen, shall we? He took a lop-eared rabbit from its cage, and pressed the PEN to its neck. One of the scientists gasped. Dont worrythe PEN is absolutely painless.

After a few suspenseful moments, the monitor displayed four words:


Everyone grinned; a few scientists nodded and took notes. Krebnitz chuckled; he knew that result would amuse the assemblage. Passing over several cages, he opened the last one and allowed a small gray cat to leap into his arms. Are you ready, my little Igor? The cat purred loudly, and once again the PEN hissed. The monitor blinked almost immediately.


Krebnitz placed the cat back into its cage and faced his audience, nearly dancing with excitement. His moment of glory was at hand.

So, there we have it. Surely you can have no doubt as to the validity of this device, after such a convincing demonstration! Now, as the inventor of the PEN, I will use it for the first time on a human subjectmyself. Soon, you will all see the purpose of my life. Imagine, if you will, the possibilities for the world. People everywhere, living fully realized livesno more unsatisfying jobs or fruitless relationships! One use of the PEN, and we all will be able to discover our own meaningful, purposeful, productivity!

With that, Dr. Krebnitz pressed the PEN to his skin.

All eyes were drawn to the monitor. The cursor blinked for an agonizing minute.

Dont worry at the delay, my friends! Krebnitz held out his hands in a reassuring gesture. The human brain is a very complex organism!

Finally, the display lit up:


There was a collective intake of breath from the gathered scientists. Krebnitz paled.

Im so sorrythere must be a mistakelet me try again. Would any of you be a willing subject? I assure you, there can be no harm.

A scientist stepped out of the group and gestured for Krebnitz to apply the PEN. Again, every head turned toward the computer.


Krebnitzs hands were trembling now. Cant bemust recalibrateyears of research He dropped the PEN onto the table and hurried out of the laboratory, muttering.

The scientists watched as the door closed behind Krebnitz, then turned to look at the PEN. One of them picked it up, examined it, shook it a bit, then pressed it into his neck. Another took it from his hand, and soon each of them had taken a turn. Again and again, the PEN hissed. Again and again, the monitor blinked.


Jan is a Christian who has traveled through sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Check out Jan's website at
Copywrite Jan Ackerson--2006

Article Source: WRITERS

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