I wish I could say I went into the next month with excitement. All of the stories I heard and the looks of concern from people that knew about Dr. Eldon filled me with dread. When would I finally be shown the darker, shameful side of this man. The side that I seemingly needed to be wary of. As the first month wore on, I began to enjoy the job. Maybe it’s because I did not have any expectation of what was acceptable science or what were respectable avenues to study but Dr. Rooks blind stumbling into new thoughts and theories was inspiring. On one occasion I helped him draw lines on a board with a stick made of gunpowder, paraffin, salts and another substance that he would not reveal. The stuff burned like a slow fuse covering a yard in about 10 seconds. He seemed pleased with the results. The residue had minimal smoke and the flames were low and blue and only lasted another 10-15 seconds.
He endlessly tinkered with objects. Constructing boxes full of gears and springs others with wires and electronics. He had to be a modern day renaissance man. From what I could tell he had functional knowledge of history, geology, anthropology, archeology and seemed to have mastered or could be considered an expert in Chemistry, biology, engineering, folk lore and world religions. He was always excited and challenging me to put my hands into the work. To dive in and let the truth that presented itself to guide me to the next step. Not always following what the textbooks would tell me.
On one occasion one of his more eccentric experiments seemingly failed. He had spent weeks gathering supplies constructing tools and noting the process. Any other person would have a strong sense of disappointment. He looked at me and pulled down his dark goggles. His eyes were grave and he had a bit of sadness on his face “ Ahanu I have said many a thing in our time together and I know that you have come to look up to me. When I tell you to follow the truth that means even if it leads you to realize that I myself might be wrong. However, if that is the case help me see. “ He smiled, “I bet that would be a spirited discussion between me and you. You’re so reserved but I know that your grandfather would be proud of you in that moment.”
This disturbed me a bit, “Dr. Rook when have you ever spoken with my grandfather!”
Dr. Rook eyes widened, “ Ah yes that is still something we are dealing with, You told me about him here and there I have just gathered a clear picture of him in our dealings.”