Harvey Paxson was a grad student at Shore City University with his eyes on the prize – a research grant and a place on the faculty. In the summer of 1968 he became a research assistant to Dr. Barton Merryweather, a brilliant man regarded as something of a kook by other professors at the university, but highly favored by several donors due to his research into life extension and metaphysics. Paxson had no particular interest in the research – didn’t believe in it in fact – but he needed the money and wanted the contacts. If Merryweather’s research made wealthy donors happy, Paxson was only too happy to be involved.
And so it happened, as summer turned to fall, that Paxson found himself sitting in a chair in the laboratory with a metal box affixed to his chest by a dozen electrodes in an experiment, Dr. Merryweather explained in his rambling stutter, to “separate, enhance and reintegrate your essential self” – whatever that meant. Paxson was placed under a mild hypnotic trance and told to focus on himself (not that he needed a hypnotic trance to do that) and the box was activated and then everything went black.
When Paxson awoke, it was to a scene of horror. He was still sitting in the chair and the box was still affixed to his chest, but the laboratory was a shambles and Dr. Merryweather was dead, looking as though he had been torn apart by a jungle cat. In his usual reaction of self-preservation, Paxson attempted to tear the box, electrodes and all, from his chest and flee, but the box would not be removed, and the wires now appeared to have sunk into his very flesh. He could flee, though, and did so, seeking the shelter of his apartment on Toth St in College Town. He re-emerged the next day to plead his case to the dean, doing his best to hide the box, and although cleared of the murder and destruction, found himself on academic probation for fleeing the scene and not notifying the authorities.
Paxson again returned to his apartment, bitter and in a rage, and almost as soon as he closed the door, he passed out. He woke a few hours later to the sound of sirens and, a few hours later, discovered that the dean had been similarly mauled by a jungle cat. Being quite intelligent, Paxson had no problem putting one and one together. The box, in some manner, had worked. It had separated Paxson’s essential self – aggressive, self-centered, power-hungry – but had also unleashed it into the real world.
A series of crimes followed, as Paxson got the hang of unleashing his “inner self”. He made an attempt to conquer the underworld of Shore City, taking the name Shrodinger, but ultimately found himself defeated an imprisoned in Iron Island by the Golden Gladiators.
Image taken from HERE.