Alset Alokin

A montage of scenes depicting events of Tesla’s life, overlayed with the following narration. Dialogue is passive or absent. Creative liberty is taken to eschew historicity yet still remains true to pith. An odd, disembodied character study, au fond.

Nikola Tesla.

Renowned and renounced inventor.

Whose work succeeds and spurns him in all his efforts to keep such private.

Awaiting his return home was a desk, scarcely bestrewn.

As kempt as the hairs upon his head and chin.

A clever means to divert attention from the fatal curiosity of fearful outsiders.

The standard template of sapience could not fathom new discoveries at once.

As in the practice of Medicine, knowledge was a behest administered in gradual, sparing dosage.

If even a man working in his vocation were to witness his latest project in its premature state, there would be consequence of which no pardon is ushered.

Science was no stranger to morality, despite its hypocrisy of unethical experimentation.

In spite of reasons ranging from envy to avarice, one’s career in the discipline was often subject to a vigilant omnipresence, giving the unknowing target a sense of occasional dread.

As if displaced to the gallows, tying the wraith of a noose about the neck, as painstakingly slow yet swift as the progression of age.

Patiently waiting until the pressure has tightened enough to alarm the target to their inevitable fate of comeuppance.

Days were long.

Hours, punishing.

Many nights seemed supernatural to his perpetuating state of insomnia.

Throughout the twilight hours, he felt his biology becoming anxious for metamorphosis.

Yet, nothing as cliché as ‘a spark of knowledge’.

Rather, a phantom touch.

A capable hunch.

A stroke of luck.

As any humble sage would decry pride to say.

A fellow inventor, 16 years his junior, would perish a year after his own date with death.

William Heath Robinson.

Grandfather of Convenience.

Architect of elaborate devices designed to effect simple tasks.

Simple machines designed in elaborate fashion.

Of course, he was not to divine such knowledge.

Nevertheless, it was the able-bodied hunch of which allowed these connections to occur by foresight.

Uniquely human, yet always a stone’s throw away from God.

The stone, skipping several ambitious steps across the tense water, until sinking in rout.

Coronary thrombosis.

Death by the scientific definition of a broken heart.

Alone and immiserated.

His works, unshared amongst trustworthy hands, as none were to shew.

A satisfying irony it would be if Edison had received a taste of his own medicine, seated in the refractory bastardisation of his own creation.

A chair designed to deliver currents of electricity through the victim’s body until hubris is sufficiently purged.

‘Twas not a matter of petty theft that tangled wires and disrupted circuits.

Rather, incompatible approaches to “genius”.

Edison was, foremost, a businessman.

As such, his thought process was fairly habituated to economics.

Determining worth by prospective capital value.

Tesla, expressly unassuming, vastly preferred not to have his inventions displayed as circus spectacles.

A kismet proven difficult to achieve as the nature of electric energy was but an advanced incarnation of humans’ first encounter with fire.

An element of which was untamed by the skilled and unskilled alike.

“Smile, Tesla. Perhaps then, this product of yours will actually sell.”

Sell.

The word was an orison.

To sell out and barter oneself.

A newborn cannot be taught to read or write when their language is preliterate.

Henceforth, there was no ‘partnership’.

Edison would extend Tesla’s infancy until seeing fit to abort him.

Thereby, the Tesla coil was simply a means to an end of generating lucrative charge.

Yet another puppet in the tycoon’s ledger.

Pulling the strings taut with discordant frissons.

The same desire for monetary conquest and critical acclaim was virtually a dormant whim of primitive souvenir.

Tesla cared neither for the interest nor disadvantage of others.

Unwittingly identified as the machines of his guidance and direction.

Normally, a man’s retreat to isolation in the pursuit of professional dedication would be considered admirable and commonplace.

However, when the man in question was inclined to perpetuate his asocial sentence purely by reason of personal preference, suddenly he is branded with a marker of strangeness which was so often subject to pillory.

The stigma that he and fellow recluses carried would forever be marred upon flesh as beastly marks to a society who instead rewards a conforming nature to pale imitations of power. Its subtle influence was hidden even in the courted woman of whom the inventor was not grandfathered from expected inclusion.

A logical fallacy it was to believe a married man more capable of producing better works in his profession.

A spouse, even whilst respecting and attuned, was yet a stubborn trickle of grease obstructing the mechanics of cognition.

The correlation between physical presence and distraction could not be helped.

It is often the reason why the imagined is so effortlessly proclaimed to affection compared to its tangible reflection.

Still and all, the only accepted retreat to ivory towers was from the writer, technical or creative, whose pronouncement of clinical insanity accompanies the conscious indiscretion of pursuing fiction over reality.

Theory over praxis.

Punctuating the everlasting importance of the unseen in relation to that which has already been observed.

A true scientist was only a title’s difference from the writer.

Both expressing the highest forms of insight yet presiding where insight was exempt from common currency.

Therefore, it is written.

Tesla would die penniless and punished.

The cost of understanding, and sincerity thereof.

Too priceless to allocate.

That, therein, was the unexpected connection established between Tesla and Robinson.

Ordinarily, the egregore of a correspondence that is animadverted.

A scientist and an artist.

A creator in reality versus a creator in fiction.

Neither having been introduced to the other within their converging lifetimes.

Yet, nevertheless, conjoined in the peculiar study of souls and their speculated resonance.

Robinson was an artist with an engineer’s pneuma, devising schematics through comic medium.

Contraptions, illuminating the pursuit of convenience as an expressly human defect.

Seeking alternative methods to replace the functions of human anatomy with autonomous objects.

An inherent malfunction of critical thinking.

Each panel consisting of an intricate series of complex geometry effected to perform a task that would otherwise be easily conducted by the equally meticulous operations of organic engineering.

It is a wonder how humans are mirrored to these simple machines yet still desirous or necessitating additional assistance for even the most mundane examples of expended energy.

Where general purpose was concerned, electricity was little more than an advanced phase of evolution for fire.

While its energy remains unpredictable even after familiarity, it was yet complementary as a fourth state of matter and thus able to be contained.

Modern humans gaze upon errant photons in the same reckless manner as flames awing primordial ancestors.

The initial shock is intentional.

A stern, concerned behest to not repeat the mistake.

As a countermeasure, the secret enemy of curiosity is a shadow set ahead, its outline dark yet defenceless in deflecting the less forgiving lash to follow.

The alliance had been doomed to fail from conception.

Businessmen, in spite of appeals to the future, were contrived in their focus.

Effectively, if not conveniently, products of the present.

Kaleidoscopic impressions of expendable ornaments from the assembly line.

Ipso facto, the invention of electricity was cheapened by Edison.

What a fool’s errand to offer such a dangerous element to a lot whose knowledge was yet limited to simple machines.

In a burning domicile, the crude instinct to save material possessions, to hyphenate the past and present, to dismiss the future as fiction.

Inertia to entropy.

Virtue to vice.

Acuity to folly.

To wit, a shattered lightbulb.

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