When Professor Hughes accidentally vaporised the University of Birmingham School of Materials Science, and couldn't be found afterwards, his students thought the only consequence would be the cancellation of his notoriously hard end-of-year exams. However, for Eradani, it was just the start of a fantastic (and seemingly preposterous) science fiction caper that she didn't really want to be a part of.
Professor Hughes stood on top of the School of Metallurgy and Materials Science and gazed up at the starry heavens. It was a perfect night. The moon was full, the winds were still and the night sky was clear.
A long time he’d been waiting for this night.
A very, very long time indeed.
His disciples gathered around him. Fellow Whirlpool pulled his cowl as far over his head as it would go and let the sleeves of his robes fall down over his hands to keep the cold out. He stood absolutely still, absolutely silent. A large silver pentagram sprawled in front of him, the shastic scriptures around its edge glinting in the moonlight. His fellow Fellows, with their identical black robes, were all but invisible in the gloom of the night.
They watched the Professor step respectfully into the centre of the pentagram and wait. He let the moment wash over him; he felt the calm of the surroundings; he felt the tension amongst his followers; he felt the restlessness in the other dimensions. Finally, when the moment was over, he raised his head and took two deep breaths.
Prepared, he was.
He held his hands aloft and uttered an ancient homily to the powers of darkness.
As he spoke, a gentle wind whipped up, scattering particles of dust and small bits of paper across the roof of the building. The all black minions of the Professor looked around, apprehensive. A primal chill penetrated their robes.
‘It’s cold,’ whispered Fellow Whirlpool.
Fellow Milky Way stared at him. ‘Well it is winter,’ he pointed out. ‘And you’re wearing what’s basically a dress.’
‘I know, but it’s… extra cold. If you get me.’
‘Whirly, I will never get you.’
Fellow M42 glared at them. ‘Shush, you two! He demanded silence!’
The Fellows of the House of the Galaxies in Perpetui resumed their respectful silence as their leader stood silhouetted against the vastness of the Universe. The beautiful swirling structures of space enveloped the Professor’s form like the habit of a celestial priest. He continued his speech; strange ancient syllables echoing around the rooftop arena; words of provenance and heritage and power. And with these words the weather began to change - hazy clouds drawing a faint veil across the glory of the starry night.