Those who were there say that they saw the Chronic Argonaut, sitting in the toneless electric glare, on a peculiar erection and that he seemed to be smiling at them, half pityingly and half scornfully, as it is said martyrs are wont to smile. Parts were of nickel, parts of ivory and ebony; parts had certainly been filed or sawn out of rock crystal. There was white metal in it that blazed in the noontide sun like incandescent magnesium, ebony bars that drank in the light, twisted crystalline bars and white parts that gleamed like polished ivory. Yet withal it seemed unreal. The thing was not square as a machine ought to be, but all awry: it was twisted and seemed falling over, hanging in two directions, as those queer crystals called triclinic hang; it seemed like a machine that had been crushed or warped; it was suggestive and not confirmatory, like the machine of a disordered dream.
“It defies accepted opinions to mortal combat. Opinions of all sorts, Scientific Theories, Laws, Articles of Belief, or, to come to elements, Logical Premises, Ideas, or whatever you like to call them--all are, from the infinite nature of things, so many diagrammatic caricatures of the ineffable--caricatures altogether to be avoided save where they are necessary in the shaping of results…… we find ourselves no longer limited by hopeless restriction to a certain beat of time--to our own generation. Locomotion along lines of duration--chronic navigation comes within the range.”
(Extract from: "The Chronic Argonauts". H. G. Wells, 1888)