At last, his experiment was gathering momentum: a heart –made with a wool cladding and a steel core– began to beat feebly. The lungs, for which he’d used sea sponges, would contract and expand shaping up a primitive vital impulse. Several challenges remained, though: how to implement limbs and sensory organs, to name a few. The king’s orders were clear: “grant me an army of tireless soldiers showing no fear for the battle and you’ll become the greatest alchemist in the known world”.
However, the paramount question was no other than the brain. At the dead of night, as he went through William Blake’s poems, he could not help feeling hammer, chain, furnace and anvil.
Did he really want to instil free will in his creation? He was running out of time and the possibilities of a merciless failure grew by the minute, as ominous clouds gathering in the horizon. Yet, he thought of the horror and destruction within war and convinced himself he desired no other outcome.
Picture taken from Pinterest: «Matilda the Automaton» by Franklin Vanseizenberg Craft – Steampunk Ages
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