The Cult of the Device


agzaiM werdnA.


Frank Tesla

Most people have never heard of the Casimir Effect. Then again, most people have never heard of the Alternate Energy Group, and almost no one of the Paranormal Research Wing.

Frank Tesla, on the other hand, wasn't most people.

Frank was the son of a wealthy banker and had a comfortable childhood. He was quiet, intelligent, but otherwise unnoticeable. Then one day he discovered his third cousin, Nikola.

Nikola Tesla was one of America's true geniuses. Most people credit Marconi with the invention of radio communications, and Edison with the electricity flowing from their household sockets. In truth, Tesla came up with the idea for the radio transmitter years before Marconi (and there are even rumors that Marconi came up with his idea only after seeing Tesla's patent), and the current coming out of your sockets is Tesla's AC as opposed to Ediso's DC. Not to mention every electric motor in every appliance you own would not be around if not for Frank's third cousin.

Sadly, Nikola died poor, raising pigeons in his loft, his only honor being a unit of magnetic flow density named after him.

Frank read everything he could about his cousin. He learned of all his discoveries. He learned of his tragic life. He wanted to be an inventor like Nikola, only he would succeed where his cousin had failed. It was only a matter of time before he and the PRW collided.



Shortly after he received his doctorate in Physics, a representative from the PRW came to recruit him. They'd been watching him closely, taking special note of his doctoral thesis on transferring quantum energies from parallel realities...

Frank began work with the Ectoplasmic Converter Engine (a device that turns wraiths into a yet unclassifiable and unusable form of energy) almost as soon as he arrived.

He was careless, though, and was killed, ironically enough, by a jolt of AC current used to "kick-start" the ECE.

Needless to say, this side of the shroud, Frank was dejected. He was reaped by a Heretical cult who believed in feeding as many wraiths to Oblivion as possible, thinking this would satiate the Maw of the Void.

While his captors waited for a Nihil to open up, his Shadow taunted him about being an obscure failure, like his cousin, only Frank had yet to accomplished anything. He had no idea what was being planned for him, but his Shadow, for whatever reason, knew. It not only knew, it feared what was being planned. Maybe it just wanted to savor driving Frank mad, maybe it wouldn't give up without a fight, maybe it was just insane, but it slowly built up strength off of Frank's angst. Finally, it drove Frank to Catharsis, ripped Frank's arm off, and beat one of his guards into a harrowing with Frank's own chains.

The Heretics were impressed. Frank was inducted the next day. That was their first mistake.

The second was teaching him the gospels. The idea of Oblivion fascinated him. The way it was described, it sounded just like a black hole. A point in space, slowly absorbing everything around it, with so much force that not even light, or in this case, souls, could escape. Then he remembered something from his third year of college: the Casimir Effect.


 The Casimir Effect

The Casimir Effect occurs when you place two large metal plates together. There is a small attractive force between the plates, due to gravity and yet uncertain quantum principles. When you run an electric current through the plates, they repel each other.

This creates a bizarre sort of equilibrium, often producing more energy than was put into it. Also produced is a "negative force." In other words "anti-gravity."


He knew. He finally knew how to use the energy in an ECE.

Frank wasted no time in rising through the cult's ranks. Before long, Frank had several followers of his own, and his new Church of The Maw was quick to make one hell of a stygian steel plate out of those cultist who didn't side with "The Great Tesla."


The Testament of Frank Tesla

Frank has spent several years locating the last functional ECE and building the remaining components of his Device. The followers believe that when the day comes, they will all go into the ECE and power the Device. Then Frank will drop the Device into the Tempest where it will sink straight through the Labrynth and plunge directly into the Mouth of the Void, Oblivion itself. They then believe that the Device will act as a counter balance to Oblivion, weaken its "gravity," and change it from a black hole into just a large "neutron star." They then believe without Oblivion pulling down, the Shadowlands will merge with the Skinlands, Spectres will instantly be redeemed, and all Wraiths will be able to achieve transcendence because of the cultists' sacrifice.

What Frank has planned is entirely different. Frank has come to believe that by dropping the Device into Oblivion he can open up a wormhole into the past. He then hopes to travel back in time and prevent his own death, thus allowing him the opportunity to achieve personal success and vindication for his family name. He has no moral qualms with what he's doing, for as he sees it, if he never dies, none of these wraiths will ever sacrifice themselves, and no other wraiths will be sacrificed to build the device.

(This would also be a good time to point out that, due to the constant torment of his shadow while he was a Thrall, Frank has gone completely insane.)

What Frank seems to have forgotten is that in order for his plan to work, he needs another black hole to serve the other end of the wormhole. Whether his Shadow will remind him of this before or after he activates the device is left to be seen...

(Note from the author: If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, in here, you may want to check out The Quick and the Dead, as well as Mediums: Speakers with the Dead. And I swear, the CasimirEffect is a real thing. I couldn't make something that weird up :-)