Medieval

Machines

“It is said that he, like this Italian Galileo, is in collusion with the Devil himself, and that deep in the Abby he has a fortified room where he conducts is dark dealings under cover of night.” “And has anyone a means of entrance to this ancient Abby Marcus? Has anyone seen this exchange taking place? Or is this more rumors, more of the same suspicious pointing of religious fingers, that we, members of the scientific community have tried so hard to separate from the dealings of the State?” “It is said, Your Grace, that at these times, strange hissing noises can me be heard coming from this chamber
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accompanied by mutterings as if the Doctor were speaking to himself or another who never answers.” Doctor Gasparin knew the world wasn’t ready for this thing and it tortured his soul. He felt like a person out of time, an anachronism. Were it not for his correspondence with Galileo Galilei, he would have no place in the world to turn with his ideas. Perhaps the loneliest person alive! He knew that the men of his day were deluded by a false and over exaggerated faith that was both antiquated and fundamentally naieve. And yet he was one individual against the universe. No one would listen or believe. Worse, he would be questioned about certain basic aspects with regards to the functioning of his device, and therein lay the greatest part of his dilemma. Worse still, he could be examined, incriminated, condemned and burned at the stake as a witch and heretic. It were not so much for his instrument, the telescope, that Galileo was persecuted, but for
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his theories and discoveries which resulted from it’s development. The court could see, plainly and with their own eyes, the practical applications of such a device, though they failed to see the greater, more profound ramifications of what it would reveal. None of this was true for Gasparin. His machine could not even be comprehended. Although it’s theoretical function had long been the very foundation of his scientific thinking, it’s development sprang entirely from the conversations he and Galileo had had regarding improvements and developments to his new fangled instrument. September, the Year of our Lord, 1610 My dearest Gasparin, ...I can only conclude, and you are the only man able to follow this line of thinking, that by aiming and controlling light alone, may I penetrate deeper into the heavens and more accurately guide my eyes toward their greater mysteries. I know not how to accomplish this end, but have faith, my good friend, that you must be close to some such reckoning in your physical
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research... For now & for ever, Galileo Galilei And so, after many such letters and much quizzical thinking, Gasparin decided to embark upon his work: the task. He would construct a machine that served the purposes Galileo had so often referred to, based upon the principles he had been observing for half a lifetime, and upon theories which had evolved from these calculations. Materials were tantamount. First, several obstacles would have to be surmounted.

Then one night in the chambers of Lady Lucile...:

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“My rubies! My rubies have been stolen. They are gone! My rubies!” Her shrieks and cries brought armed persons to her chambers but no evidence was discovered there. Ironically, these stones had been gifts of the clergyman Marcus. He regularly and covertly rewarded Lucile and others for their cooperation in uncovering information about plots that might serve to undermine the interests of the church. After all, This was the Inquisition and the climate in Spain was volatile, at times ever so much out of proportion. Consequently, the greatest possible efforts would be redoubled in an attempt to recover the stolen jewels. But for the time being, no one had the slightest clue. Meanwhile a fool, Flavio, in the employ of the church, sneaked about late in the evening spying. He would hang in the corridors, listen
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at the entrance and follow the Doctor as he came and went. He watched the comings and goings of Doctor Gasparin. He reported to Marcus the strange hissing noises and a dozen other happenings of suspicious nature that went on there. Toward the end of June, 1611, Flavio witnessed several times, a mysterious red glow emanating from the sealed chambers. Shooting out and flickering through the top, bottom and sides of the door jams. The esoteric and clandestine work of Doctor Gasparin was in full swing. But under no circumstances could anyone know, could anyone discover. Anyone. About the pact. The pact with Lucifer himself. For power. Not power over other individuals and circumstances as lesser souls are apt to desire, but power. Raw and ultimate power. He threw his black hat into the circle and deliberately pronounced the timeless incantations and conjurations. It was true, all about there was an overwhelming stench of sulfur and camphor, of flesh and sweat, of fire and coals.
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Outside, cracks of lightening and the rumble of thunder. Torrential rain beat mercilessly upon the ceiling and walls of the great old Abby. Strangely, for Flavio in the outer hall, all seemed still but for an eerie scratching and clawing at the inner walls as if wild animals were loose and trying to escape. At the first coming on of the vision there were, surrounding him, the beating of wings in a fury of turmoil. These tall, choleric bodies had a filthy countenance, of color brown, swarthy, or red, having horns like harts and griffin’s claws and bellowing like bulls. Their motion was like fire blazing. Others bore a great, full and phlegmatic stature of a color like black but more metallic. Like an obscure cloud and having a swollen countenance, with eyes red and full of water surrounded in steam. With teeth like a wild boar and a motion like an exceeding great tempest at sea. Gasparin quaked and cowered in mortal fear before these fabulous apparitions. And then the visions ceased. He never had to say a word, indeed, this monster knew his mind
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and knew his heart. If it was power the Doctor needed, he now must needs know what to do with it. By August the machine was near completion.

..And so were Marcus’s plans for seizure and arrest coming to fruition. He had assembled a compliment of guards through his diplomatic channels, and in the name of the Church was enroute to the old Abby to take Doctor Gasparin before a board of inquiry. Quite by chance, these two events coincided. Gasparin was at last ready to initiate his completed machine and test it for the first time. Under his breath he uttered the inexplicable words. The conjuration that brought forth the very breath of hell which lit the boilers to produce the extraordinary power required to fire a beam from his, the first, ruby laser.

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All of the peculiar clanking and sizzling could be heard from the hall... and then, the red beam began to intensify becoming more and more bright and focused. It shown toward the massive wooden doors and again the assemblage in the hall saw the mysterious red light flashing through the door frames and through the cracks. Marcus ordered the door broken down and the soldiers rammed it. It crashed open to the sound of screams and hollering. The brilliant light shown directly into the eyes of Marcus, instantly blinding him. The guard took Doctor Gasparin by force into custody. He face the board of inquiry and was forthwith condemned to death for heresy. He faced many months of imprisonment whilst the authorities determined the fate of his infernal machine. During these months the Devil never visited him, nor did the Lord console him. Neither helped him. His soul had already been bought and paid for. Worse still, the world would have to wait another three and a half centuries for the next laser been to be constructed. This
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time with legitimate, worldly power. The natural power of electricity. Gasparin’s machine was whisked away to a remote monastery and buried in the catacombs there. This is a mater of monastic record though the awkward lamp has never been discovered. “It is said that he, like this Italian Galileo, was in collusion with the Devil himself. What think you now of these odious transgressions, My Lord. My Lord Scientist?” “There will always be differneces in opinion, my dear Marcus. Is this not the suchness God has required of each and every one? And in contemplation: Is not religion science? Is not science religion?” Like OEdipus, Gasparin’s eyes were gouged out by the executioner. This was specifically requested by Marcus, now living in total blindness. Total darkness. Then they bound him to the stake along side two other witches who met their fiery end that morning. This was the trilogy. It was a cold, crisp December morning, Christ Mass Eve, that the executioner lit the kindling beneath the pyres.

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