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The Automaton Of Da Vinci
The Automaton Of Da Vinci

The Automaton Of Da Vinci

Franc68Lorient Montaner

'All knowledge which ends in words will die as quickly as it came to life, with the exception of the written word: which is its mechanical part'.—Leonardo Da Vinci

In the beginning man is taught that he is submissive to the omniscient creator, and beholden to the path of his creation, from the inception that man was begotten and predestined to the intrinsic world of the posterity. His mind is inherently efficient to produce extraordinary wonders of the earth that multifarious mortals fail to discern the illimitable dominion and capacity of the inquisitive brain that feeds our intellect. Cannot man be omnipotent to effectuate a correlative phenomenon conceived in the elemental pattern of his thoughts?

It is a mere thought of invention elaborated into ultimate perfection that is, the explicable reflection of quintessence that challenges the ethos and concepts of the centuries proceeded. Thus, if man's conceptual creativity manifests to the full extent of the faculty that prevails, then consciousness will emerge from his shadow.

That triumphant consciousness will facilitate the magnitude of that invention with efficacious emulation that will stimulate the central core that exists, beyond the ego of the human psyche. Hence, the plausible nature and sequential measure of that revelation will be found, amidst the status of the unpredictability of the world. The desirable quest to have considerable recognition and immortality had inspired great inventors previously, such as Hephaestus, Daedulus, Ktseibios, Al Jazari and Da Vinci.

Verily, I do not know with absolute certainty, when the insurmountable thoughts of my engaging creativity were converted subsequently, into a substantial formation of a congruous supposition or theory that had converged, from the enfolding nucleus of my mind. I had discovered an invisible reality that existed in the conscious realm of my mind that was dormant and absent before.

It was a reality that was predicated on the function of my analysis and comprehension. I was always fascinated with the topic of immortality and the exploration of the human mind that had allowed men to be venerated for their vital accomplishments.

I was extremely fortunate to have a proper education and upbringing by my family, but I did not become a doctor, a lawyer or a magistrate as my diligent parents had wanted. Instead, I became a clock maker and all that was mechanical was my passion and constant obsession. I became famous and was applauded for my brilliance and craftsmanship. It was to be within this world that a remarkable invention would change the course of my life forever. Of me, you should know my name is Karl Von Brauer of Vienna, Austria.

The year was 1858, when I had returned home from the Italian city of Milan on a business trip abroad. Whilst I was in Milan as I was strolling about the main thoroughfare of the city, I had seen in the front window of a shop at the corner a very distinct and interesting object displayed. It was a lone automaton that I saw plainly.

When I had approached the window, I stared at the automaton with a heightened fascination that intensified by the minute. Immediately, I headed inside to speak to the unknown shopkeeper and I had purchased the automaton at a reasonable price. I had noticed that the shopkeeper, a Mr Giovanni Martinelli was eager to sell the automaton and that he was not truly aware of the timeless contrivance he had in his possession.

After I had returned, I continued to ponder on the subject that was occupying my mind for years, the construction of a clock that could emit the echoic reverberation of music in consonance. Yes, chimes of transmission that would create a beautiful sound. It would be an impressive feat, because no recent inventor had relatively been able to fabricate with perfection, an apparatus that could perform this exceptional function.

For centuries, men had attempted to create marvellous machines that could benefit humanity, but many audacious inventors had failed to prove their theories effectively. The notion of altering the world through my contributions had animated me since my childhood. My persistent recollection had always compelled me towards the fascination of the advent of machinery, discovery and evolution. It was a pattern of excellence that had haunted me with provocation and had invoked my dauntless determination, with a fervent zeal.

Thence, after further contemplation, I was absolutely resolute to attempt the experiment that would be a conclusive vestige of my creative prowess and prove the basis of my theory on human intellect. I was convinced that I had the necessary intelligence and complete knowledge acquired to construct the object that would mostly inspire me afterwards, the automaton. This automaton, that I would cogitate was to be my momentous achievement that would arise from my nascent foresight and theory propounded, from the prerequisite of my pensive presuppositions and deliberation.

Therefore, upon one memorable day in my shop, I began to convey my theory on to the design of my drawings and engross the real conception that had emerged from that immeasurable conformation. After several weeks, I began to formulate the immutable principle of my theory construed to the defined illustration of my heightened observation that I had considered an indispensable attribute of mine. If I had discovered the method to expound that hypothesis that sequentially preponderated, the properties of that ratiocinative process that I could expose to the doubters in expostulation, I would be deemed an extraordinary genius of sublimity.

Henceforth, my diligence was exerted by the toils I had laboured daily in the mathematical calculations, from my mental faculties exposed in imposition. Unknown to me at that precise moment, the automaton that I had envisaged with the utmost perfection and satisfaction was obtainable, through an old and worn medieval automaton.

Oddly enough it was a mere coincidence that had aroused my irresistible curiosity. It had occurred exactly, when I was studying the new designs I produced. I had heard of Da Vinci's mechanical knight of 1495. The automaton could stand, sit, raise its visor, and its arms were operated by a series of pulleys and cables. I also was cognisant to the automaton of a Frenchman that drew pictures and wrote verses, much like this exact automaton.

I attempted to identify the corrigible miscalculations I had erroneously surmised before, and there was an element in my theory that was not demonstrated or confirmed accurately. As I had steadily stared at the automaton, an impulsive desire to observe the interior mechanical components of the contrivance had afforded me the opportunity to reveal the basic function of that operation. The once insoluble and ungoverned elements of intuition had been altered then, by the intricate and indeterminate consequences untamed.

I had noticed when I slowly detached the hollow wooden pieces of the corporeal invention, the automaton served as a perceptible device. I know this blatant admission I disclose of its perception may appear impractical in nature, but what I had perceived and discovered afterwards was unnatural in description. I was unaware of the automaton's unique capacity to scribble words, in a methodical formation to denote its distinctive ability.

Then, there was an impending mystery, with the mechanical instrument that had seemed impervious to my objectivity. The automaton began to write, and what was written would startle me in a sudden obfuscation. The following words were deciphered and apparently transparent, 'I am the soul of Leonardo Da Vinci'.

My initial impression was of a mere coincidental occurrence and a repetitive action, but this anomaly was not intended to be from a variety of aesthetic beauty or a derivation with any related equivalency. Thus, it was the reason I had decided to examine the automaton carefully and understand its original disposition. There appeared to be nothing unusual of the components of the interior of the automaton from what I imagined, and I had interpreted the writing function of the mechanism to be no more than an eventual affirmation of science at degrees of gradual exploration before.

As for the recent discovery that had required a profound circumspection, I pondered its mere plausibility. I had found peculiar the fact that each and every time the automaton wrote, it repeated the same thing over and over the name of Leonardo Da Vinci, the medieval polymath.

When I had finally opened the automaton to observe it, I would be amazed even more with what was discovered. The automaton had a heart and it beat. The heart was diminutive, and like a human heart it had beaten naturally. The motions of the hand were produced by a series of cams located in the shaft in the base of the automaton. The automaton had an installed memory attached.

When I had removed the heart from the automaton, the heart ceased to beat, causing the automaton to no longer write as well. This abnormality was astonishing and a contradiction of scientific comprehension. What I was to define was of an antiquated invention that had possessed an intricacy that was at variance illusive and conspicuous.

Once I had installed the heart in the automaton, the heart began to beat anew. It was an inscrutable contemplation of a paradoxical reality that perhaps had no equivalency. I had proceeded to render my thoughts to the activity of investigation and adaptation.

Thereafter, I had started to analyse the meticulous procedure. I made the automaton repeat the familiar motion of writing and as before, it wrote the same thing that the soul of Leonardo Da Vinci was inside of it. When I had wondered the absurd significance of that actuality, I was intrigued to unravel that spellbinding enigma. I knew the essential information about the skeletal models of several polyhedrons of Leonardo Da Vinci and his accomplished paintings, but it was his life as a genius of medieval history and technological ingenuity that I most revered.

He was born in Florence and was a prodigious man of the Renaissance Era. I was unaware of the fact that the automaton that he had created was made in Italy, but how did the automaton survive and reach the shop of a clock maker in Milan? Surely, this action of writing was emulated, through a mechanism that had permitted the automaton to write. This was a logical assumption or conclusion, but something in me had compelled me to go further. I put a new sheet of paper and had dared casually the automaton to write an answer to my question, and it did. My question was, how does a clock function?

The reply written was, 'By the components assembled'. I then wrote, what was its function? Its written response was, 'To measure and demonstrate time, within an accurate calculation'. I was still perplexed as to the nature of its capacity and limitation, but I would quickly discover that its limits were illimitable and undetermined. I had dared to question the impossible. How was it feasible that the soul of Leonardo Da Vinci was transported to the wrought physicality of a simple automaton that was designed of primarily wooden material?

This was a question that had lingered in my conscience and percipience afterwards, but the automaton would not overtly answer this question. How did Da Vinci perfect and shape a living heart for the automaton? This was madness to fathom, and had surpassed the paragon to any earthly consideration that was compatible to science.

In spite of this impossibility, I was to bear witness to this relative phenomenon. For the nonce, I had dismissed the capability of the automaton and concentrated on perfecting my envisioned clock. Day and night, I strove for the proficiency of this attainment, and my ineptitude had led me to intervals of ponderance and failure. If I was to fabricate a clock that would have chimes attached to it, then I had to elaborate my conjectures into concrete substance.

After several attempts of building that contrivance I failed miserably and was beginning to resign myself to my restless anxiety that had incremented unwittingly. Where could I find that missing element that was so fundamental to my model of thought that had eluded my sapience? The source and access to that information would be very imperative to establish the clear indication of my precise intent and effectiveness.

I had contemplated many times before the absolute nature of the automaton and the complexity of its origin. I had as well not foreseen its unimaginable capability to conduct thoroughly calculations with such accurate efficiency. The phenomenal memory that it had possessed was embedded, with a tremendous province that was enviable. I had never seen anything of this nature before.

Even though my acumen was proficient, it had paled in comparison to the brilliance of the automaton. I could not afford to rest my laurels on the fact that I had acquired knowledge and sagacity. Therefore, I had sought other information through endless books, but this dependency on the automaton of Da Vinci was inevitable and compulsive.

The clock maker was resolute in designing with precision, a mechanical apparatus always. He had relied on his tools and aptitude to design clocks. I had understood that premise quite well and was enlightened by the intrepid nature of that logic.

I still needed to find the incomparable manner to effectuate this and the amalgamation that would permit me the result that I was seeking. There was this absorbent fixation with each passing thought and had consumed my days and nights. What if the automaton was truly a praeternatural aberration of a natural cause constructed? If that incomprehensible nature was to be proven as a fact, then it would imply an unthinkable but available option for me. It would be an option that I could not dismiss so candidly, as insane or ludicrous. The urgent question that had stirred a heavy maelstrom in my consternation would be, if I could base my logic on the illogical principle of that foundation?

I had forsaken my ethic for the belief of the supernatural. No one in Europe had built a successful gigantic clock of this magnitude and I was going to be the first. My intention was to build at first the clock, and then a replica of Da Vinci's automaton, even better. I thought of a giant tower clock, but I had decided to make a clock that would stand tall and be seen by all.

I had been told by Herr Stein, a Jewish clock maker that the rotation of a tower clock was regulated by the escapement and the swinging pendulum. The gravity of the weight of the clock's structure was to dictate its foundation and the recording of the chimes on a medium.

Hence, I had asked the automaton how I could achieve the incredible feat of building my clock. Then, the automaton began to write the method and the design of the clock, I was to construct on sheets of paper I had placed under its hand. When it had finished, I took the papers and immediately started to read the material. What was written was the following. "A large gold metallic rotating wheel would bear the mechanical inscription that would transmit the sounds of chimes of music, along with a mechanism of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder to pluck the lamellae of a steel comb that had served as the vehicle to that purpose".

This artifice was then expounded, and at last I had understood the essential concept of the creation of my clock. I had studied before the rousing oscillations transmitted of the strings of a guitar, and there had existed contrivances for the reproduction of instrumental sounds of music boxes in modern society that I was aware of.

Thereafter, I initiated the project, when I had arranged the sequence of the design planned to splendid perfection. All that was required was the verve of my passion and obdurate assiduity. The brilliant clock was then built and finalised within a week miraculously.

I was told as an infant that everything had a cause and effect, and the singularity of the expression on my face was genuine contentment. The energy that had radiated from the golden clock was irresistible. I had obtained my goal, but that goal would be surpassed by an even greater achievement.

Within a month the clock went from standing in the hall, unto the façades of monuments, gardens, and architectural ensembles. My shop was then bigger and within the Stubenviertel of Innere Stadt of Vienna. The Graben Street was nearby, and growth had created the new boulevard called the Ringstrasse. Business was prosperous and my dreams were pleasant, until my elevated aspirations would result portentous and precarious.

One day, as I was working on the design for the automaton, I was to create, the Da Vinci automaton that had assisted me in my inventions that I had gained and profited made a simple request then. Its request was that the refined automaton would have its heart and somatic form forever, culminating in the passage of its soul.

It was an arbitrary decision and equation that would retain a fine accolade. The startling request of the Da Vinci automaton had baffled me somewhat, because this request was not mentioned before. I did not want to commit to this request, or did I want to deny this request at all.

It was simply a case of indifference in my part. I knew this was obtainable to conclude, and there was no physical deterrence to prevent me from achieving this act of grandeur. The only thing that was troubling me was my reluctance to comply.

In the comfort of my home, I had conceived the possibility of performing this unprecedented action, and the actual consequence if this action was taken on the automaton's behalf. I thought that no one else knew of the existence and powers of the automaton. Who would know of this reality if I had never mentioned it to a living soul before?

Therefore, I was inclined to accept his demand and attempt to preserve the essence of the heart of the Da Vinci automaton in my new automaton. I thought of the magnificent work of Da Vinci, and the unknown purpose for constructing this object, if he clearly had built this contrivance. I had realised that I had owed the world to the automaton of Da Vinci, but could this truly be accomplished in the end?

I had no clear choice in the matter, since I was risking my wealthy status in society. I had acquiesced after further deliberation, and the imminent construction of this incredible automaton would commence anon. I had to seek a justification, and an uncontrollable greed and immoderation had exceeded that provident nature.

Gradually, my time was expended in countless hours, within the proficiency that I had accumulated with the automaton of Da Vinci. I was ever mindful of the control it had wielded and influence it possessed. When the great automaton was complete, it stood tall and impressive.

It had constituted as a mechanical wonder and art of futurity. The definition of the outward structure was exceptional and unique in the symmetry of its design. As for its inner components, they were of a superlative pattern of excellence. This masterpiece perfected was a manifestation of man's substantial capacity to extend ideas to its natural stage of fulfilment.

Amidst the unfolding story there is a moral to every tale. The thought of immortality was not only sought by the automaton of Da Vinci, but I had sought this treasure too. It is a perpetual inclination too indelible to the urge that binds us with the frequent thoughts of promulgation that obsess us and is not facile to curtail with behaviour.

The automaton had wanted a human heart, instead of the heart that Da Vinci placed. It was a haunting and terrifying disclosure that I could not rationally consider. My options were scarce and I was forced to deceive in a duplicitous manner the automaton. I had convinced the contrivance I would seek another human heart at once, for this sole purpose.

Fortunately, this was enough to persuade the automaton and placate his desire. I had planned on revealing the automaton to the world that was mine to conquer, but a heavy sense of intense culpability began to swiftly overwhelm me. I had lost myself in the thickness of the madness of my noteworthy accomplishments and success that I had forsaken my soul.

In the next morning I did the unthinkable, I had boldly attempted to remove the heart of the Da Vinci automaton. This would imply his immediate death and my needed salvation. The entire night, I had pondered in my head whilst in my room, the horrendous notion of having to murder someone or locate another beating heart that was alive.

This repugnant rumination would occupy my mind, within an unsteady preoccupation that was disquieting and tense. Its harrowing conclusion appeared ineluctable and dauntless. I had to devise a specific machination that would beguile the automaton completely into believing that the heart was actually the heart that he had preferred, but this was to be a very onerous endeavour to undertake. He was indeed, a formidable and worthy adversary to not dismiss so lightly.

Was he discerning my concealed plot, as my fate at that moment I had cogitated? Was he that perceptive and Machiavellian to recognise my treachery? This I had wondered and wondered, until I could not think no more. I had finally come to the realisation that this was the only effectual method to accomplish this daring plan of mine.

When the morning came, I woke up early with a sense of confidence, but that durable confidence would last only for a brief period. I took a deep breath, before I had left the house to go to the store. As I crossed the busy street and reached the store, I had opened the front door and entered.

Afterwards, I passed the corridor and stood behind the automaton. I had sensed an eerie presence of fear and evil nigh. Slowly, I crept towards it and had tried to grab it, but as I did, it quickly turned around to face me. The automaton had begun to perceive an unsettling nature in my comportment and guise.

Although the automaton did not speak a word, its perception was impeccable and remarkable. I knew that I had to change my mien, or it would interpret my reaction to be cursory and hostile. I had shown the automaton the heart that I had sworn to find, and it was enough to dissuade the ordeal. I held it in my hand tightly, as the cold and stiff heart was prepared to be placed, into the new and sophisticated automaton I had created.

I began the procedure of the removal of the beating heart of the old, medieval Da Vinci automaton. When I extracted the heart, the automaton had ceased to function completely. I had realised that in my hand I could have easily crushed the heart, instead, I preserved it for the moment, as it beat and beat then continuously.

Once this was achieved, I had proceeded to place in the Da Vinci automaton, a new heart, and it began to beat and beat. The beating heart would stop beating completely, and abating the immortality of the Da Vinci automaton. In the end the madness of the influence of the automaton had been terminated. What the automaton did not know was the fact that the heart placed was a heart that had belonged to a very infirm merchant, who had recently passed away due to a sickening disease in a local hospital. The contaminated heart was too much to bear.

Subsequently, I had burnt the Da Vinci automaton, and as for the heart, I destroyed it. The automaton I had created, I would store in the cellar, locked behind a coffin. I would never truly know with certainty nor prove the automaton to be the soul of Leonardo Da Vinci. I could not prove that it was built by him, but I had felt it was.

Then as I began to leave the cellar, I felt wearisome and had collapsed. When I awoke, I heard the ineffable beating of a heart, and it was mine. I had realised that my heart was inside the automaton I had stored away. No, it cannot be—I was trapped forever in that mechanical contrivance. The dreadful Da Vinci automaton had taken possession of my soul!

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About The Author
Lorient Montaner
About This Story
20 Jan, 2018
Read Time
20 mins
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