Sunday, February 17, 2013

30. Professor Massimo Ibex

30. Professor Massimo Ibex

The once the venerable reputation of The College of Lone Mountain has recently been overshadowed by a grim notoriety ~ particularly regarding the cover-up of the shockingly high number of deaths and disappearances on and around campus over the years.  The conspiracy of silence which involved many faculty members and other campus authorities, finally came to an end the same night that a fire destroyed part of the most famous building on campus, the clock tower.

The clock tower itself has an interesting history.  The basic structure of the tower, which stands 307 feet (93.6 m), actually existed on that spot long before the campus was built.  Legend has it that it was erected hundreds of years earlier by persons unknown - who had vanished long before it was discovered by settlers.  For years, the more superstitious among the early settlers - believing it to be a place of witchcraft or evil -  tried to have it knocked down, but the structure withstood those attempts.  After the Civil War, Lone Mountain College was established and built around the structure, which was then converted into the famous campus landmark when a clock was installed, and people forgot all about its ancient origins.

After the fire, there were stories that one of the members of the Science Faculty, Professor Massimo Ibex, had what appeared to be a rather curious, unorthodox laboratory on the tower's highest floor.  Documents describing what authorities found there after the fire were ordered sealed until a thorough investigation could be completed, but have since been lost.

Although Professor Ibex was listed as a member of the Science Faculty for nearly a century, no one can quite remember ever seeing him.  It is believed that he was allowed to live and work on campus, doing some kind of research and experiments involving human glandular fluids and their relation to aging.

Since his disappearance the night of the fire, many rumors and urban legends have emerged.  One researcher claimed to have traced the origins of Ibex's work back several hundred years and thousands of miles away to a sinister, nameless alchemist who had conducted experiments involving halting or even reversing the aging process and who wrote about the transference of the human life force - from one body to another.  

Needless to say, these sorts of tall tales - inevitably involving black magic, mad scientists, blood sacrifice, forbidden experiments, deranged faculty members and serial killings - have somewhat lessened the once distinguished reputation of Lone Mountain College.  Conspiracy buffs wonder if the entire Science Faculty, including student favorite Ms. Moss, may have participated in some sort of ritualistic mass murder.  It has even been noted that "Massimo" is an anagram for "I am Moss", although what that could mean, if anything, is anyone's guess.  Luckily, most people ignore such silliness.

And now, with news that the clock tower has finally been restored, campus officials are hoping to once again attract a fresh crop of students and restore the school's former reputation as an ideal location for education and enlightenment - and not as some ghastly place haunted by the ghosts of slaughtered innocents and an ancient, deathless evil.