Stefan Wennarowsd was also starting at Darlinghurst University. He was a science student, who had done exceptionally well in the Higher School Certificate, but had not confined his studies and experiments to his school work. At the end of each school year, there had been around eight weeks of holidays before the next school year started. (At least that’s how it was in the 1980s in Australia, before the four term years were brought in to line school terms up with university semesters and line school holidays up around public holidays. In 1986, the Australian schooling systems still ran by three term years, with holidays in May, September and December-January).
On this occasion, Stefan had finished his final Higher School Certificate examination in mid November 1985, which left him from then until February 1986 before he even had to enrol in University: around three months. He had used this time to put in a lot of extra work on his own pet project, which, although very different from Duncan Fennister’s, was in fact an equally unprecedented scientific breakthrough. Yet Stefan had achieved most of it as a boy in the 1980s, while Duncan’s time machine had been developed during the 2000s.
Stefan’s invention was a pair of chemical formulae incorporated into tablets, which were designed to cause either reduction or growth in a person’s physical size. Once he had access to the university laboratories, with more chemicals and his knowledge growing with tertiary education all the time, he hoped to perfect the tablets, which so far had not succeeded in making him smaller or larger.
And classes were starting soon …
Stefan was having a challenging time during chemistry classes. He was managing to both keep up with his university chemistry class experiments, and make use of the laboratory chemicals to try adding other elements to his unperfected shrinking and growth tablets. Every Friday, his last lesson for the day was chemistry, which enabled him to wait for everyone else to leave and then make yet another fruitless test of his tablets.
To compound the drain on his train of thought, his chemistry teacher was a beautiful 38 year woman named Mrs Robertson. He struggled with the way he found her so attractive, and continued to discipline his mind not to entertain any adulterous thoughts about her. One day he hoped to be married himself, and he wanted his marriage to last forever, without being undermined by the interference of a third party. He knew that nothing good could come out of allowing himself to lust after Mrs Robertson. What he didn’t know was that she was one of two middle aged ladies at the university who had formed a close friendship … as widows.
So he put all his efforts into learning enough to guarantee himself a pass with distinction in chemistry, and also to coming up with the correct combination of chemicals to reduce size.
He was sure that chemicals known to cause decay or break-up should be the right path to follow for the shrinking tablet. Conversely, those which provided energy or strength might well be the ones to use in the growth tablet.