The War on Probity was then in full cry, so when my adopted country put out the call for thermodynamicists and poisoners with degree, I placed my name in immediate contention. On completing basic training at the Waldorf I was assigned to indole alkaloid research under Plover and Haycook, developers of the bottled water reactor.

My progress in the subject was swift, not to say alarming. The board of trustees declared that they had never before seen such an avid experimentalist. I was transferred to the ultra-secret "possum works" deep beneath the extinct Gamera volcano outside Berkeley, where my mind eventually expanded to an extent only I could imagine.