Come and enjoy a little fantasy. Do you believe that fictional characters could exist outside the covers of a novel? If not, meet Alexander Wainwright who wants to take you time-travelling.
This is the first time I’ve actually tried to find a person in CyberSpace. Truthfully, I really have no idea how I manage these journeys. To date, I’ve just accepted whomever came my way—and it’s been fascinating to meet such luminaries as Chekhov and Beethoven.
My assignment? Find scientist Nikola Tesla. I looked for photographs of him so I can at least recognize him. This evening I’ve been reading about this man, who laid the ground work for Wi-Fi in the first part of the twentieth century. When I felt my eyes getting droopy, I put my feet up on the ottoman. The last thing I noticed was the clock at 10:30 pm.
When my eyes opened, I was sitting in what appeared to be the lobby of a hotel. By the furnishings and decoration [art-deco] I judged it was sometime in the 1940’s. I concluded it was late evening as I watched the last of the diners exit the dining room.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tall, thin and rather frail looking gentleman approaching.
He was rubbing his stomach as if he were in some distress. But then he started to buckle at the knees. He reached out to steady himself and succeeded in knocking the lamp beside me to the floor. I sprang to my feet and grasped his shoulders in an attempt to keep him upright.
“Thank sir. So very kind of you,” he muttered. “I’m not usually so clumsy.”
I looked about the lobby for the bell boy, but he was not in sight. “Are you staying at the hotel?” I asked him.
With a sickened smile he nodded but began to sink again.
“Please. You’re not well. Let me help you to your room.”
He only nodded again and grasped my arm. At a turtle pace, we crossed the lobby and pressed the elevator button. “What floor?” I asked.
His skin colour was becoming whiter by the moment. At last we were at the eighth floor. I grasped him under his arm and I am sure we looked like a drunk couple weaving down the hallway. He tried to bid me goodnight at the door, but I was so concerned about him that I came in with him. He must have wondered if I were a thief ready to pilfer his wallet. But he was too ill for much thought.
“I want to call a doctor for you sir. You seem very ill.”
He shook his head and lay down on the covers.
“What is your name?” I asked.
By now, his voice was very weak. But I heard him say quite distinctly. “Nickolas Tesla. I’m late, so terribly late. I missed my appointment with the President, FDR.”
My most vibrant emotion was relief. All I had done was concentrate on his name, his photograph and read a bit about him. I had fallen asleep at home and when I wakened, here I was in New York with the man himself.
Tesla tried to sit up on the bed. He croaked, “My enemies have been so successful in representing me as a poet and a visionary that they have been able to dismiss the significance of my work. Thomas Edison was the very worst. He refused to pay me.”
As he spoke, his face grew a dark red. I wanted only to soothe him. “But Nikolas, the world today is well aware of your contributions…The scientific community has…” I wished I’d had more time to read of the man’s accomplishments.
He waved his hands as if desperate to silence me and speak. “But if I don’t meet with the President, all will be lost. My enemies will claim I am mad because I have visions.”
Instantly, I recalled Tesla had experienced a vivid vision like a 3-D holographic picture of a rotating magnetic field in motion. He could reach out and touch it. He saw how the field—a magnetic whirlwind—was produced by alternating currents out of step with each other. Had he been able to proceed with this concept, the world would be a much different place today. We would not be so utterly dependent upon fossil fuels because energy would be obtained as easily as dipping into the well of space.
Before me sat a man who had experienced much frustration and disappointment in his life because of his work and his genius. Immediately I felt for him. Anyone who has not experienced the power and reality of visions, will never understand them. They will say it is a sign of madness to see what no one else can see. But I know that they are very real. How? Because I have experienced a few in my lifetime. A person who creates can only hope and pray that he will be visited by the muse in this fashion. But he is wise not to speak of them. As Tesla was saying now—they will think you mad.
I asked, “What were you going to tell the President?”
He grasped my hands and held them to his chest. “We could have a small device—something pocket-size—to capture as much energy as we need.”
Now I was alarmed. The man doubled over in pain and then he lay gasping on the bed. I would call for a doctor. I took my cell phone from my pocket an entered 911. Damn! How stupid! Of course there was no Wi-Fi signal in 1943. I called for help on the phone on the night table.
But Tesla’s eyes flew open. He blinked hard at the cell phone in my hand. He sat up on the bed and reached out for it.
“What is this?” he asked in a softly quavering voice.
Only then did I remember that Tesla was considered the father of Wi-Fi.
“How does it work? What does it do?”
I am not a man with much understanding of technology. How to explain the workings of a cell phone to the person who created the means for it to operate it? I did my best. As I spoke, the light grew in his eyes and excitement rose in his voice.
I said, “Mr. Tesla, be assured that your work is not lost.”
He looked at me in wonder. “Who are you? Where are you from? Are you a vision?”
I smiled and shook my head. “Sir…it is called a cell phone. In 2016 almost everyone on the planet will have one. No electrical cords needed.”
Nodding with deep satisfaction, Tesla sank back on the pillows. Tears flowed down his cheeks as his smile grew. Moments later, the paramedics banged on the door and I let them in.
The great inventor was eighty seven years old when he died later that day. I have no idea if life continues after death somewhere else, but with this man, his life continues right here and now affecting everyone’s daily life. Not only can you communicate with ease and obtain almost any information you might wish through the internet, but now you can access it as you travel throughout your day with your mobile wireless in hand. It was deeply gratifying to know that I brought Tesla a vision of a future in which his creations were put to such great use. And of course, it enabled me to take these mysterious time-travelling trips in CyberSpace.
His death certificate stated that he had died of a heart attack. However, I’ve heard a few rumours that he might have been poisoned. Of course, I have no way of knowing the truth but I can say that he was in considerable digestive distress that evening so long ago in 1945 at the New Yorker Hotel.
If you feel comfortable with Alex on these trips, you may want to follow him through The Trilogy of Remembrance comprised of The Drawing Lesson, Also, please leave a comment below. Alex and I are always delighted to hear from you. The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing]. Alex is a landscape painter and visionary artist who saw Tesla as a kindred spirit. Alex is in constant search for the muse and I do believe that in that search he finds his humanity.
Also, please leave a comment below. Alex and I are always delighted to hear from you.
You will find all the novels of that Trilogy on the carousel below.
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]