Two of the most eccentric characters that you will meet in the Murdoch Industries laboratory are Wycliffe Dee Bacon and his protégé~Gopher Sparky Carter, now I'm not going to say a lot about these two, I will let them tell it in there own words.
All I will say is this, the old adage of "you cant make an omelet without breaking an egg" well, lets just say you can't create vaporisation without making a little dust or the odd shrunk alien, least said, soonest mended I say ;-(
Wycliffe Dee Bacon (AKA Graeme Thompson)
Many things are said about Wyckliffe Dee Bacon, but no one really knows how much of it is true. He was found dazed and injured after the mysterious Cavendish Laboratory explosion that atomized the senior Cavendish staff and Registrar’s office, and flattened the centre of Cambridge in August 1895. The prosthetic plate he wore for the rest of his life hid the horrific scars of the event. Bacon said he was a scholarship student from New Zealand who had, literally, just started that day at Cavendish.
In subsequent weeks, Bacon made odd comments, ascribed to the effects of his ordeal, referring to the Union Jack flying over “the Albion Empire” and citing “the Catholic/Primamaterian Christian dichotomy” to the University Chaplain. He was a brilliant student, reknown for his eccentric spelling and grammar (attributed to a Colonial education). Once he submitted a report that, while correct and remarkably prescient about discoveries made years later, referred to the “radiating alchemical decay” over 88 years of a theoretical metal with an atomic number of 94.
Austere in manner, Bacon was an amusing fabulist when drinking at student public houses. Famous for his amusing dead-pan fictions that reduced his fellow students to fits of laughter, such as when he acted visibly surprised that the United States of America was not part of the British Empire, or that Henry the Eight had six wives, not two. Or, with his assertions that the Battle of Agincourt was won by the massed ranks of Welsh musketeers, of English colonies in North America in 1365, and of the defeat, by propeller-driven British ironclads, of the paddle steamers of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Bacon also had a less pleasant side. He would embarrassingly correct his lecturers and condescend about new discoveries he claimed to have learned as a schoolboy in New Zealand, and could not hide his amusement at the latest scientific instruments in the rebuilt Cavendish laboratories.
However, these eccentricities and deficiencies are swept aside by his indisputable genius, such as the ingenious “electronickal” patents that made him independently wealthy, and the fact that he split the atom while still a student in 1896, which won him the Nobel Prize in 1900, that brought him to the attention of brilliant Serbian electrical theorist, Nikola Tesla, who hired him in 1899, and took him to America. It was an astonishingly prolific and inventive partnership. Tesla publicly acknowledged Bacon for inventing the so-called Tesla Anti-Gravity Coil that makes the anti-gravity vessels, now roaming the solar system, possible. Tragically, Bacon vanished in the atomic explosion that destroyed Tesla’s laboratory, and part of a mountain, near Colorado Springs in July 1921. Fortunately, Tesla was away on business.
All attempts to discover Bacon’s origins in New Zealand have met with a baffling lack of evidence. The academic registrar’s office could find no records of Wycliffe Bacon attending, let alone graduating from, the University of Canterbury. Researchers found no evidence of his birth, or school attendance. Local residents confirmed that no Bacon family had ever lived at Brightwater (later Spring Grove), Nelson, despite painstakingly hand-drawn maps by Bacon of the location of his family farm. That the Bacon family ever lived there was emphatically denied by the farmer whose family had lived there since the 1860s - Ernest Rutherford.
Sparky Carter (AKA Ethan Thompson)
Sparky Carter is the engaging eleven year old Cockney orphan, who used to live on the dark satanic streets of London, using only his chirpy pluck and sharp wits to survive. He was caught trying to pick Captain Rob’s pocket by one of Wycliffe Dee Bacon’s patented Anti-Pilfering Pocket Man-Traps. Fortunately, it had been damaged only minutes before in a vicious ambush by Saturnian Empire secret agents, so Sparky still possess his right hand.
The boundless compassion in Captain Rob’s heart, the fraught memory of his own childhood on the streets, and Sparky’s expert extortion of Rob’s possession of banned man-traps sewn permanently into his flight-suit pockets, meant that Rob kindheartedly took the youngster under his wing, with a stipend of a generous £5 pocket money per week, and as many boiled lollies that Sparky can stuff into his young cakehole.
Sparky’s official employment as the invaluable gopher of Captain Rob and his brilliant science-boffin, Wycliffe Dee Bacon, has presented many advantages and opportunities to the young scamp who is often sniggering in some place of concealment as Dee Bacon, baying for his blood, tears apart his laboratory trying to find Sparky and the purloined invention he intends to use to further his search for the “perfick h’ice cream”.
Often in the thick of the action, Sparky can be counted on in any scrap to play his part by suddenly appearing from nowhere and giving the hideous interplanetary fuzzywuzzy a vicious kick in the danglies, all the while chortling like an evil dwarf on steroids, then relieving their hideous, scaly, alien personages of any valuables or potentially hallucinogenic confectionery..
© Graeme Thompson, for Lightwave Gallery 2013