I must admit, it was pretty cute at first: standing there, the fresh coat of glossy metallic paint
glistening in the half-light of the hangar. They're always cute when they're young. I could see my reflection in its claws
—they could rend concrete
—but it was more than that.
That damnable device had my eyes. Maybe it did, anyway. I was younger then, and photographs, they lie. I was possessed, back in those days: I could probably say anything with glowing eyes had my eyes. Haunting and green.
I suppose I had the best of intentions when I started. At first I just wanted to build a mechanical man to help Myrna and myself around the lab. Micro-mechanics was never my strong point (you could have asked Feldmier, poor soul), so I had to make him slightly oversized. Well, 'round about half-way through the blueprint phase, Karl just went off with that balderdash about the validity of my electro-gyroscopic communication array, and it just pushed me so.
Still, I admit I may have gone a bit overboard, upping the scale of my design several times, which I suppose I justified at the time as "making things more 'real'" to Myrna. She knew how much I hate micro-mechanics. Is it so wrong to want to see what I'm working with? Is it really?!
Now see, there, now I'm starting up again. That's what did us in, I think. Short tempered hair-triggers like yours truly.
So, where was I? Oh, yes.
Well, one thing led to another and soon I was telling Myrna that we would be using our little toy to make sure that all the Karl Feldmiers of the world knew theirs. She was hesitant at first, but my plan was lucid enough, and she was my assistant. Besides, I told her she could be dutchess of the Indian sub-continent when I was done. She liked curry, I think.
Well, I finished the damned thing and it was about to go demonstrate to Karl where he could stick his so-called "gyro-electron" communication array when I discovered that article he penned for that quarter's Genius of the Age expounding on the ramifications of my research into the effects of magnetism on the unstable elements. Well I couldn't dust the old fruit after that.
Then suddenly everybody was at War with everybody else almost overnight. I hear they've blamed it on just about every man and woman of science in Europe, although my money was on somebody in the Powder Keg. I tried to protect my homestead, and the locals are generally more supportive if you help them once in a while, so I tried to protect them a little bit too, but I guess I should have spent more time on those hydraulic pistons in the central processing unit.
Myrna noticed first. She tried to turn it off, poor girl. I guess some of it must have worked correctly, given how Feldmier ended up. Goddammit, I should never have built that giant killer robot.
I'm a pariah. Thank God for these people. I once thought they didn't know who I was, but now I get the impression they simply care more about tending to the elderly than quick justice. I put up with their weird little cult, and they let me live out the rest of my days in relative peace and quiet. Eating three meals a day doesn't hurt much either.
So, there you have it. But, surely you didn't come all this way just to ask an old man silly questions?