[The following is a note to myself. Really.]
The telegram says this:
Telluric ectoplasm projector discovered STOP Located in San Francisco STOP Controls still mysterious STOP Daring agents needed STOP Come at once STOP
The Zatarin Agency is located in the basement of a townhouse in San Francisco’s Noe Valley. Above it is the Zatarin Floral Service, and above that is Paul Zatarin’s residence. Mr. Zatarin is a moral man and a first generation immigrant who is immensely proud of his adopted country. As such, when he discovered the telluric ectoplasm projector in the basement, he immediately wired Max Mercer for advice.
Mercer visited San Francisco in person, with Dr. Primoris at his side. Unusually, the pair was unable to make much headway on the device: they were able to turn it on and test its functioning, but control was completely beyond them and the underlying principles remained somewhat of a mystery. Still, it was fairly clear what the thing did.
In short, the telluric ectoplasm projector creates exact replicas of its users and sends them where they are most needed. The window of operation is fairly narrow; a group of people can all arrange to arrive at the same place, but they can’t control where they go and if someone else comes along fifteen minutes later it’s more than likely that they’ll wind up in another location altogether.
Mercer and Zatarin talked over the possibilities, long into the night. Once Mercer was assured that Zatarin had the best interests of the world at heart, he made his recommendation. Simply put, he proposed that Zatarin recruit daring men and women who would be willing to use the telluric ectoplasm projector to fight evil and crime wherever it might take them. And Mercer, as it happened, knew a few likely candidates…
Which brings us back to the telegram. You just got it. There’s a request for assistance therein.
Off to California — and from a basement in San Francisco, the world awaits!
“In short, the telluric ectoplasm projector creates exact replicas of its users and sends them where they are most needed.”
I misread that as “where they are not needed,” the first time through. I made it all the way to the end before it occurred to me that maybe I had misunderstood something.
(I know you’re waiting for someone to ask this…)
*ahem* And what, sir, happens to these duplicates when their work is done?
Oh, they vanish into the ectoplasmic ether from which they arise. No worries.
No worries? Confound it man, you speak of creating sentient life ex nihilo, sentient life in the image of the greatest and brightest souls among us, and it causes you no worries that these brave ectoplasmanauts are snuffed out in mere hours? We speak of men, whether of flesh, ectoplasm, or green cheese! This is an outrage! I will have no part of this infernal technology of yours!
Bah! (Says Dr. Primoris.) You might as soon claim that doffing one’s hat deprives it of life; these ectoplasmanauts are akin to garments, items of clothing, that one puts on and takes off at one’s ease. By refusing to don your ectoplasmic translation suit, however, you refuse to aid those in need — a consequence rarely derived from the failure to don a tuxedo.
wtf really is this some kind of joke?
something simply fictional? someone tell me
email me something