My efforts to fine-tune the electroshock machine have been less than successful. Breaking down the more bothersome elements of a subject's personality, such as willpower, while leaving cognition and creativity unharmed has proven unrealistic.
Instead, my machine leaves the subject babbling like a child which is the opposite of what I need from Sokolov.
Sokolov is more resistant to the notion of collaborating than anticipated. He's a stubborn old goat, which could be his undoing unless I'm careful with the electroshock machine. My goal is to render Sokolov pliable, but still capable of assisting me in designing a new version of the Clockwork Soldier.
At the moment, each Clockwork costs a fortune, but I'm certain my old teacher and I can find a way to reduce the costs.
So the high and mighty Anton Sokolov won't deign to aid me in my efforts to make a new version of the Clockwork Soldier. Fine, I have another solution. My electroshock machine, long a side project of little practical use, will be just the thing.
If I can find the right calibration, I should be able to damage those parts of Sokolov's mind related to independence and free will, leaving intact his vast knowledge and hopefully an even more important quality the old man possesses, though it pains me to admit, his legendary creativity.
I tire of dealing with my old teacher. I'm confident that I don't need him to simplify the design of the Clockwork Soldier, but without Sokolov it could take years to reduce the cost of each Clockwork; to design a version that can be built with cheaper, more readily available materials, and assembled by Duke Abele's half-witted factory workers. The Duke will get his Clockwork Army, I'll make sure of that. The question is when.
I'll keep experimenting with the electroshock machine, trying to get it just right. And if Sokolov can't be made to help me, I'll continue using the machine on him anyway as entertainment.