In a few illustrations for my fifth Retropolis Registry of Patents story I need to show a large number of devices in the vault where the Registry stores models and prototypes for patented inventions. So I’ve been working on a collection of these devices. You can see three of them here.
There’s no better place to begin than with the Asynchronous Bombastitron (above). This is pretty clearly an amended design, since in a prototype you wouldn’t see the warning notices.
Also, we should note that the Asynchronous Bombastitron features the hand-driven wheel preferred by skilled operators. In this it differs from the Synchronous Bombastitron – a favorite of amateurs and beginners – because it’s only with a hand-turned wheel that the experienced operator can exercise a nuanced, subtle control over the subject’s rotation.
The stepper motor of the Synchronous Bombastitron does make the device’s operation much simpler. But – as in most things – familiarity with the task leads one to try for those small, portentous flourishes that are only possible with the asynchronous version of the machine.
To the right we see the Melodious Subsonic Plasmatron, a machine whose function is entirely obvious from its name. We needn’t explain it here.
The third of these devices is so peculiar that I’m still trying to figure out what it does. You can’t discount the possibilty that it doesn’t do anything (except to be interesting) but if that’s the case I don’t see why it was necessary to patent it. It seems to act on a large scale, but that’s about all I can be sure of.
This is far more information than you’ll find when Ben Bowman in the Vault of Terror begins, in November, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. By the time we encounter these machines there will be too much going on for any kind of explanation beyond “Let’s hope they don’t power up the Bombastitron.”
But it’s an election year. That hope’s certain to be smashed flatter than Subsonic Plasma.