In the First Time Machine post, I discussed the questions of how to build a time machine, that is what materials would one use, and how would it work?
Later in ‘El Anachronopete’ we find out the answers to these enquries. Don Sindulfo, the inventor, gives a presentation, and he expects his audience to ask him precisely these questions, so he is prepared. Though, I will relate to you the given answers, I admit that it all remains mysterious.
The power to the machine comes from electricity, using conductors. Later on, during the travels, we find out that the electricity comes from batteries. Don Sindulfo explains that it is like something from a work of Jules Verne. He says since people are familiar with this that he won’t go into trivial details of ‘regulators, compensators, thermometers, barometers, precision timepieces, high powered binoculars, containers of potash used in Reiset and Regnaut’s device to produce breathable air.’ This description was mildly disappointing to me, as I had rather hoped for the details. It also left me curious as to what the device used to produce breathable air was. I’ve made a note to discover more about the Reiset and Regnaut device. As well as this, I realised Gaspar must have read the works of Jules Verne, and was probably inspired by him.
Don Sindulfo goes on to explain that time moves in the opposite direction to the Earth’s rotation. Therefore his time machine must go in the same direction as the Earth rotates, in order to go backwards in time. Only, the time machine is going much faster than the Earth rotates. It will be going 175, 200 times faster than this. The machine will be in orbit, and it will be disrupting the atmosphere, which for some reason Gaspar’s hero thinks is synonymous with time. He alludes to being in a vacuum, and points out that items do not degrade when what he calls the atmosphere is taken away. In his example, peppers do not spoil in a sealed container with the atmosphere taken out.
Don Sindulfo explains that it is the atmosphere that spoils by laying down layers of mold. Spoils by his reckoning here means ageing, I think. The next leap is to say that the Earth has layers of mold, of some kind, gaseous matter in concentric circles. I think that the atmosphere is time, and is also gaseous matter around the Earth, and part of it is laid down over time. Get it? No, I don’t quite either.
What the time machine will do is dig through these layers, using four pneumatic devices. As these devices dislodge the atmosphere, the machine will sail through the resulting vacuum.
An additional contraption on the time machine will stop the travellers in the machine from ageing backwards, that is growing younger as they travel. It delivers a series of electric shocks to each person, before they start travelling, which renders that person inalterable by time.
Picture of the time machine, El Anachronopete, showing the pneumatic devices at each corner of the machine, sticking up like dragon heads, or Loch Ness Monsters.