Confluence With Beller
On Monday after lunch, Percival journeyed to Charles Beller's home. He wanted to find out what more Beller had discovered about the suit, and also to ask him if he should take the suit to the Great Exhibition in London. When Percival arrives, he is taken to the same room by the servant, and when Beller comes up to meet him, they both descend to the room where the suit is being kept once again.
''So...what else have you discovered?'' Percival asked excitedly.
''Oh, many things! Many, many things!'' Charles gushed. Percival's eyes lit up at the sound of this, and waited for Charles to demonstrate.
''Show me,'' Percival ordered him, barely able to suppress his anticipation. Charles smiled at him, then went over to the suit. He turned over the right hand, and pressed into the centre of the palm. The suit came alive, and it opened up fully, as if it were a coffin being uncovered. Percival's mouth was ajar as he observed from the foot of the table on which the suit was resting on.
''Amazing!'' he gasped. Charles smiled at him.
''That is not all. I also found that the suit can be operated manually or remotely. It can be controlled by someone inside it or outside it. Marvellous, isn't it?'' Charles revealed.
''Yes, it truly is,'' Percival said, trying to come to terms with the unbelievable sight that met his eyes.
''So...'' Charles began to say. Percival showed a fleeting expression of confusion.
''So...what?'' he prompted.
''Would you like to try it on?'' Charles asked him. Percival's eyes widened once more.
''Try it on? I-I-I don't think...is it safe? I'm not sure, I might break it,'' Percival struggled. Charles laughed and came over to him.
''It will be fine, dear boy. I have the other device that controls it remotely to ensure nothing disastrous occurs,'' Charles replied to Percival, showing him a small, long white rectangular object with some words on it. Percival still looked apprehensive, and stared at the suit.
''...All right. I'll do it,'' he agreed. He took off his coat and shoes, then breathed a deep sigh. He climbed into the suit, sliding his feet and legs in first, then, after lying down on his back, he inserted his fingers into the hands and resting his head inside the helmet. It was a novel experience for Percival; he was feeling tense excitement as well as dread as to what was going to happen when he had to operate the suit.
'I hope everything goes all right. It would be a shame if something bad happened,' he worried.
''Just lay perfectly still. I'm going to close the suit. Once I do, try and come off the table and stand up,'' Charles directed. Percival breathed out once more, and closed his eyes as Charles touched the palm again. The suit made mechanical noises while it covered Percival. The light in the room began to disappear when the darkened visor slowly enveloped his face.
'Here I go,' Percival resolved before he moved his hands up and wiggled his fingers.
''Hah,'' he gasped when he saw his darkened visor light up inside, and it began to display information based on what he was seeing.
''Oh, Charles! You must see inside! It's absolutely wonderful! It's telling me what everything is around me!'' Percival gushed, his eyes darting around as he tried to read all the information that was on the screen. Percival gradually sat up, and swung his legs around the table.
''This is truly amazing!'' Percival praised. Charles smiled as he folded his arms. Percival looked down, with the inside of his visor calculating the degrees at which he was sitting at, and how far his feet were from the floor.
''Calculations! Magnificent!'' he marvelled. He took hold of the table, then slowly put his feet on the floor to stand up. He looked up and around him, then began to walk. He took one step; then two steps; then three steps. He stopped and turned to Beller, and the visor began to give statistical information about Beller's weight, height, eye colour and natural hair colour.
''My goodness! You were naturally blonde-haired, Charles?'' Percival responded. Charles' face told of confusion and shock.
''Did...the suit tell you that information?'' Charles asked Percival, stepping closer towards him.
''Yes, it did. How does my voice sound on the outside?'' Percival asked.
''It's unbelievably clear. It sounds louder as well,'' Charles answered.
''This is remarkable!'' Percival said as he laughed.
''I wonder who built this,'' Charles wondered aloud. ''This piece of equipment...it is far more advanced than what they have in London. I wonder where it came from,'' he further said, observing Percival moving about in the suit.
''Imagine what else this suit could do! Imagine if it could fly!'' Percival exclaimed, putting his hands up in the air.
''Flight system initiated,'' a female voice announced from within the suit. Percival and Charles became startled.
''Where did that voice come fr-'' Percival began to say before the suit began to slowly lift off the ground.
''Eeerhhhhyahh!'' Percival screamed.
''Oh my...'' Charles gasped while his mouth dropped, watching Percival rise higher and higher off the floor. Heat blasted out from the feet of the suit, propelling him further into the air, but Percival was not sure of what was going on. He fidgeted in the suit whilst he floated in the air.
''Help, Charles, help! Can you stop it?!'' Percival pleaded to Charles. Charles grabbed hold of the remote device from his workstation and pressed on a button that had the word 'STOP' written on it.
''Flight system offline,'' the female voice spoke again. The feet of the suit almost immediately stopped the launch sequence, and it slowly descended down to the floor. Percival's breathing was rapid when he landed, and Charles ran over to him to get him out of the suit. Percival stumbled out on to Charles, who held him up around his waist.
''Are you all right, dear boy?'' Charles asked, concerned. Percival's breathing was becoming more subdued.
''Yes...yes, I'm fine. It just caught me by surprise, that's all,'' Percival said in between breaths.
''Who was it...that spoke?'' Charles queried out of curiosity. Percival looked back at the suit, open and free of control.
''I think it was...a part of the system. Something inside the suit,'' Percival replied.
''...Amazing...'' Charles whispered, gazing at the suit. Percival watched him as he went to touch it.
''So...now that we have determined that it can indeed fly, can I take it to the Great Exhibition?'' Percival asked, standing up straight. Charles turned to look at him, and sighed.
''Only after I have conducted a through examination of its functions, and deemed you able to handle it properly,'' Charles responded. Percival smiled to himself.
''I'll come back to practice so that I can control it better. Thank you, Charles,'' Percival said, coming up to him and shaking his hand.
''No problem, Percival. I shall see you another day,'' Charles replied. Percival put back on his shoes and coat.
''Yes, you will,'' Percival said. Charles went back to his workstation as Percival walked up to the suit.
''And I cannot wait to see you again,'' he murmured to the suit. He then left Charles alone, and journeyed back home.