TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 5, Episode 2

TheNeverPages - Series 5, Episode 2

Angeline Entry.

Nikola is no more. His body remains, but his mind has gone, wrenched from him and channelled into Brekker's Large Hadron Collider. I feel that I am complicit in his destruction. I feel that we all are – every worker, every scientist and every lover.

We stood on that ridge and watched as Brekker took from him all that matters. We watched and we did nothing. I see Nikola every day now, and I feel nothing but wrenching guilt and pity for that broken man.

It seems the Stage Firing that involved the Borealis and the glass dome has taken his mind. It was an awesome and glorious lobotomy. Brekker now uses Nikola’s intellectual might to power the LHC and the reactors are working at two thousand percent increase. His plan to fold all realities into one is nearing completion.

We all work hard, we are energised and enthused and yet, I see Nikola and pity him. Brekker has him working a menial job in the reactor. I see him every day pulling the same two levers up and down, up and down, up and down for twelve hours at a time. His eyes are blank, fogged over – he is lost. His head lilts to the side. In the morning, he drools out of the right side of his mouth, in the evening, the left side. At midday he drools from both corners. Slowly side to side his head rocks as he pulls his levers. He is the saddest metronome I have ever seen.

However, I have a job to do, and I perform my responsibilities professionally and in a way in which to make Brekker proud but it is increasingly hard to walk past Nikola on the gantry where his terminal is. I pick up my pace and look to the floor as passing him is one of the worst moments I have ever encountered and I have to go through it over and over (the gantry leads from my observation deck and into the reactor proper). I have read over Nikola’s entries in his journal and he notes that death is the same throughout the Multiverse and that only the details change. Walking past him and feeling the guilt time after time proves his theory. I am in a perpetual cycle of shame. And he is there, a constant yet oblivious reminder of our crime.

After his shift, he is released into the town. He drags his feet and walks like a Sleepwalker. Nobody pays any attention to him. It’s as if they cannot see him. Nobody talks of his gift to us, of his past genius, or of what we have taken from him. If they avoided him, or looked away, I could cope. I could understand that. But they utterly ignore him which is worse. He doesn’t exist. He has no position in the Multiverse anymore. I cannot bring myself to even guess what sort of internal landscape he is wandering through. I just pray that it is no worse than the one he physically occupies.

As my shift in the reactor observatory ends, I slip away and catch up with Nikola. I take him to our hotel. Bathe him. Feed him. I try to sleep with him and hold him tight. He is cold and stiff. In the morning, I always seek to love him. He cannot become aroused as his circulation is as lost as the gaze in his dead, shark eyes. I still love him, I still yearn for him, I still lust for him…but he is beyond useless now.  Every morning, I shower him and dress him and then I clean myself. In those minutes of solitude in the shower I weep and curse and pour anguish over myself, raging against what we have done to him. I feel better afterwards. I leave my pain in the shower and this sense of duty to care for him returns. Every day, after this ritual, I step out of the shower to find Nikola gone. Every day I look out of the window to see him trudging off towards the LHC gateway, his gait sloped and his path winding as if he is a walking drunk. Back to his terminal. As if somehow connected. Somehow calling him. He has been given a name tag for his white overall. He is known as ‘Sacha,’ a nondescript entity amongst the workers of Pripyat, but I know he is Nikola Tesla, I know what he has done. I know how his mind was taken. I remember his greatness.

I am writing this now in the remains of his laboratory. The moonlight is shining through the hole in the roof. Everything here is destroyed. Twisted, melted and not how I remember it, though I now recall the times spent here without a clear definition of time and space as if I had been dreaming, or indeed only half awake. But still, I do remember that I used to help my lover work here.

There are two piles of sand next to the operation-chair. They seem curiously real compared to the buckled and bent furniture and fittings that still remain. There has been no trail of sand leading to, or from the piles. They look like they have just sprung up. As if they have grown through the concrete floor, like puddles signifying a leaking pipe under-floor.

Curious.

I have decided to leave the journal here along with the map and periscope. This laboratory is the grave of Nikola’s intellect, so I feel that his tools should rest here too. I no longer have my love, I have his shell but I will continue to care for him. But I leave the last parts of him here, to rest.

To rest.

I placed the periscope on one pile of sand and slowly and solemnly, it sunk into it, like a coffin being lowered into its final resting place. After I have finished this entry, I will consign this journal to the depths of the sand-grave.

Once Brekker has fired the LHC and all the realities in the Multiverse are one, I shall leave. Once my duty has been seen through to completion, I intend to walk out into the desert, alone. I will walk forward and never look back. A solitary death awaits me. I deserve to die alone and sad, somewhere in uncharted and indifferent territory. 


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