TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 4, Episode 1

TheNeverPages - Series 4, Episode 1

Tesla’s Final Entry

All is lost. Lying in a wilderness after fleeing my laboratory, fleeing Pripyat and fleeing Master G_. I am exhausted and broken, covered in soil, sand, blood and dust. Trudged a safe distance north of this Zone of Alienation. Possibly 30km safe. Behind me is a vaporous cloud of toxic gasses, burning hues of green and purple. It was more than just a Test Fire of the LHC. It seemed like a Primary Stage Fire.

You see, when I built my electrical light map, all those years ago, I could not turn it on in one go. I had power it up in stages - tripping switches in a complex sequence. I fear that yesterday’s disaster was simply Stage One; a small wave forewarning of the maelstrom to come, perhaps.

The vapour will subside, I am sure of it, but I cannot bring myself to return to Pripyat just yet. What will there be left to return to anyway? What can my science prove now? What can I possibly contribute now, other than to finish this, the last entry in this journal? This is how the Time of Times came about. This is what happened after Master G_ bravely ventured into himself. Read now, whoever finds this journal, read now and understand.

I was awoken by the whirring of the Dream Projector’s start up charge. As I lay on my side, curled up on the floor, I knew instantly what was going on and what Master G_ was attempting. I jumped to my feet, but it was already far too late. Brave, foolish Master G_ had twisted the needles and jammed them into his own eyes. Why didn’t he wait for me? Why didn’t he ask my advice? I do not know. I will never know. He displayed impetuous arrogance. Youth! Foolish youth!

I could have thought of a safe way to project into his mind in order to seek the unseekable, instead what he did was to throw himself into a loop-flux; an ever-changing chain that eats itself and regenerates itself: an Ouroboros! When I saw the needle coming out of one eye and bending over and into the other I yelled at him and I tried to pull the horse-shoe needle from his eyes, but it was impossible. There was a force in retrograde acting upon it, as if being held from within his skull. I pulled with all my might. Useless.

And so, I turned my attention to the harness around his arm and tried to loosen the buckle. As soon as I attempted this, his free arm shot over his body and grabbed my wrist, as if possessed, or somehow automated! His touch was as cold as the frozen dead. He twisted my wrist and I screamed in pain. He squeezed harder and then effortlessly flung me across the lab. What strength.

I gave up trying to free him after that and instead began to study the journal as it recorded his journey. I scanned for clues, hoping to find inspiration within, in order to concoct a method to bring him out of there but there was nothing. I had no theory, I had no time. My mind was exploding and expanding in every direction at once. I could not form a single, rational chain of thought. I could not follow a single idea to conclusion. Every thought was a cosmos. My focus had scattered and it was then that I realised that my lover too had deserted me. I looked around to find her, but she had gone. Floated out of the laboratory and into Pripyat. The cold panic set in at that moment. I knew where she had gone, and I knew what was coming next.

It started with a very faint buzz in the air. I could barely register it, but Paisley was barking ferociously, scrabbling around on his side, scrabbling around in circles, trying to get away, his barks and yelps painful and tragic. I scooped him up in my arms and ran the kilometre tunnel to the exit hatch, unbolted it and threw the poor beast out. It was not an action born from hatred because I had an unshakable conviction that what was coming would destroy everything inside the laboratory and that Paisley was safer outside. He skidded and tumbled in the dirt as he landed. He got to his feet and tried to dart back inside but I closed the door just in time and I ran back to the heart of the laboratory where Master G_’s body lay.

By now the buzz had become an all-encompassing howl. The plaster-lined walls started to crack and my equipment began to spark and emit an ominous glow. The charge in the room intensified and then the instruments and tools on my work benches began to rise slowly into the air and hover, six inches above the work surface.

In the chair, Master G_ remained as calm as the dead. Even the hairs on his arms rose slowly and gently, swaying like reeds in the breeze. The plaster cracked further and chunks began breaking free and falling to the floor, the wire mesh beneath twisting and buckling. Horror took as I looked up to the ceiling. The plastered dome had already begun to splinter and crack, debris falling down and smashing into the instruments. Then larger chunks fell. I tried to dive for cover, but an apple-sized chunk struck my crown, blood gushed instantly. I fell down feeling giddy and dazed with my vision blurring in a pulsating fashion. More chunks fell and soon a hole appeared. Through my faltering vision I could see the great cyclone outside bearing right down upon us. It was so close! Like an anteater peering into a colony. Great brown swirls and green currents abounded, all twisting and howling. The electrical charges began spiking down from the monster outside and descending into the lab like charged tendrils. I looked over at Master G_ still calm and oblivious to the chaos. I laughed aloud. The LHC had fired at the worst possible moment, when Master G_ was under. In a world where time means nothing, it had chosen a very apt moment to strike. I laughed at the obvious predictability of chaos. My laugh grew manic as more chunks, electrified now, fell from the ceiling. My papers and documents ignited. A life’s work, an eternity of questions, reduced to ash before my eyes. The laughter was twisted and delirious then, as quickly as the mania came, it passed and I regained composure. A moment of clarity hit me. This journal! It could not turn to ash! It could not ignite. I rallied and dove upon Master G_- shielding his battered and bruised nakedness from the LHC’s wrath. Debris smashed into my back as I tried to unhook the journal with one hand and, with the other arm, shielded Master G_’s face. With a scream and a final yank, I pulled the journal free and fell backwards onto the floor just as a fork of green serpentine-like electrical current descended through the hole in the ceiling. It moved in a controlled way, awfully, almost supernaturally slowly. It weaved down to the chair and lingered above Master G_’s head for a few seconds as if contemplating the corpse-like NeverAdventurer. Then it gently licked downwards, touching his lips in a curious, almost desirous way.

There was a sudden burst of purple light and with it came a tremendous blast wave that threw me back against the broken wall, leaving my eyes stinging and burning. The flash burnt itself out and in an instant the storm had ceased. The instruments, twisted and deformed, fell back onto the benches. The cyclone dissipated and the rumble and howling died down. I stood up and looked at the chair.

My eyes focused just in time to see the last recognisable shape of a human, Master G_, on the chair, blackened and stinking of sulphur.

I motioned to touch his body, but as I did, the pulped mass melted through the chair, leaving a black graphite-like powder stain over the chair. The horse-shoe needle, buckled and half-melted, rested on the seat. Master G_ is now a puddle on the floor. Physically, he is no more. I cannot speak about what realm his mind occupies. Stage One Firing of the LHC is complete…Stage Two to come. I was clutching this journal when I left my laboratory for the last time. 

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