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Chapter 11: "Souls"
Dr. Groph continued to arrange the front panel of the pyramid device in a variety of positions. His theory was it functioned similar to a radio signal, which must be tuned to a certain frequency. If it truly was a gateway to another dimension, it must be calibrated somehow. Dr. Schuster stood at the wayside.
“Perhaps it must be powered, Dr. Groph?”
“Nonsense, Dr. Schuster. The MPD was able to teleport Dr. Richtofen when he had no such power supply.”
“Teleporting to a Himalayan jungle is much different from teleporting to another dimension. For it to function as a gateway, perhaps it needs something more?”
Dr. Groph took in the question for a moment more. He touched the symbols on the face once again, and finally the center circle. The centerpiece went from a convex shape to concave, as if ready for something to be attached.
“We may be on to something.”
Dr. Groph strode to one of the upstairs labs and removed a sample of Element 115 with protective gloves. Slowly he placed the rock into the convex face plate and it began to spark and sputter. Nothing for a moment, then in one of the four corners of the pyramid a large, seemingly glass, tube rose from the ground.
Groph removed a recording device from his jacket pocket and started the log.
“Log 1075. Dr. Schuster and I have spent countless hours with the pyramid device in an attempt to understand how it functions. We have made little progress...until now. Today we uncovered what looks to be some kind of tank with a glass like front. The glass itself seems- ”
A rat scurried from beneath the stairs towards the tube, frightening the two scientists. Dr. Schuster brought his leg up and attempted to stomp the rat to death.
"I've got you now, rat!"
"Kill it, Schuster!"
Its bones were crushed under Schuster's foot and after its final squeal, a red light emanated from its body and moved towards the tube. A small portion of the tube now had a fluorescent green fluid inside. Dr. Schuster was stunned.
"Did you see that?"
"Look! The capacitor is illuminated, the tank is filling-"
"The machine. It seems to be activated! What did you do?"
"I think we just discovered what powers this machine. We must inform Dr. Richtofen."
The two scientists activated the long-range radio to Eagle's Nest.
“Eagle's Nest. This is Griffin Station. Dr. Richtofen?”
“Yes, Groph, what have you found?”
“Dr. Schuster and I have tinkered with the pyramid to discover its functions, and caused a strange tube to rise from the ground. We killed a rat and it seemed to partially fill up the tube with some sort of green liquid. We believe the MPD may be powered by souls, or more practically speaking, life energy ejected at the moment of death.”
“Excellent Dr. Groph. You must try and fully power the device.”
“Dr. Richtofen, only so many pests may have followed us through our travels to Griffin Station, surely. Where are we to find more...uh...fuel?”
“The Verruckt facility. Wittenau Sanatorium. We have men on the inside who can transport patients to your location for filling the tube.”
Dr. Schuster was taken aback.
“Dr. Richtofen, surely we could send some testing animals from Der Riese for the job, ja?”
“Wrong, Dr. Schuster. Dr. Maxis has now stolen our initial research on the teleporter and is creating his own version for testing. He will be using these test animals and he keeps a close eye on the inventory. Besides, human souls would surely fill the tube faster than pesky rodents. The shipment will be there within the week.”
Dr. Schuster was sick. His soul heavy. Dr. Groph was similarly disgusted, but respectful of his colleague's orders.
Three days later, and thirty asylum patients stood at gunpoint near the MPD awaiting their fate. One crazed patient ran towards the pyramid and was shot in the spine. His soul entered the tank.
Dr. Edward Richtofen called in to Griffin Station with Dr. Groph on standby.
"Griffin station. This is Eagle’s Nest. Status update. Over."
"Hello, Doctor. We have the shipment, and are carrying out your orders."
In a single-file line the patients were walked to the tube and shot in the head, and the soul left their body into the device.
“It is grim work, Doctor.”
“All in the name of science, Dr. Groph. Continue until the tanks are full."
Another patient shot dead.
“May God have mercy on us all.”