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by Lewis Roberts
Somewhere in his early thirties, he realized that he was going to die sometime. This distressed him a great deal, and he started to look for ways to prevent this. He researched anagathics, but they were unavailable on Luhtala, due to its low tech level. This grew into an obsession with him. One day he realized that if he could find the location of the human soul, he could remove his and put it away for safe keeping, allowing him to live forever. First he had to find the soul. He figured he would find it somewhere in the human body. He began to kidnap individuals and bring them back to his laboratory in his mansion. Here he performed vivisections on the still living victims. These vivisections would normally last for days. His first murder occurred in 1182.
At first he would only kidnap one or two victims a year, but as the years went by he started to require more patients. Strauss became more and more frantic as he could find no evidence of the soul; at the end of his killing spree he was kidnapping several people a month. He also became careless and this allowed the Luhtalan Enforcers to track him down in late 1199. All told, he had killed 79 people on his mad quest, though the Enforcers were only able link 23 murders to him. His victims ranged from children to the elderly; he made no distinction between men and women.
At his trial he was sentenced to the National Institute for the Mentally Disturbed until he could be cured of his illness. He was at the NIMD for several years, and the faculty made no progress in curing him. In fact the doctor grew angrier with humanity. He was being kept away from the only thing that would save him from dying and humanity deserved to suffer for this. In 1202 the doctors thought that maybe he could be cured by a new experimental treatment on Spires. The Crystal Springs Center had recently shown great strides in curing the mentally ill, with a unique blend of meditation, herbal therapy and what the practitioners at the Center call mystical intervention.
While being transported to Spires aboard the Space Witch, the ship was attacked by a Vampire. The Vampire blasted the transport and sent aboard several robots to kill the crew and to capture a few playthings. Strauss was one of those captured. The Vampire then left the system. During the jump it started to get familiar with its new toys. While "playing" with Strauss, the doctor was able to make a connection with the Vampire. The Vampire realized that Strauss was different than the other humans it had captured. Strauss was able to convince it that he was able to come up with new and novel ways to "play" with humans, and he showed the ship what he meant with one of the Space Witch's surviving crew members (who did not survive for very long). The Vampire and the Doctor agreed to a partnership of equals.
He also convinced the Vampire that they needed other humans for fodder. The doctor convinced the Vampire, who he calls, "Lord Ship", that they could find useful humans in the Starhelm Prison in the Kruyter system. The Vampire attacked the prison and captured several hundred prisoners. These would be used as playthings or tools, whichever suited the Doctor or the Vampire.
Strauss is current search for immortality involves the human soul, but after 20 years of searching he is growing concerned that he may be wrong. In the future he will probably turn to other methods. Perhaps he will investigate if the human conscious can be put into an electronic machine. This will involve many experiments with human guinea pigs. Maybe he will start to investigate anagathics, which will have to be tried out on "patients". Then there is the old stand by of organ transport, where the doctor will not lack for "volunteers".
The Doctor is experimenting on humans, but if he ran across a Hiver, Schalli or other alien, he would be curious to see if they had a soul. He wouldn't think this would help him find immortality, but it would be interesting.
Throw Range: 20
Unarmed Combat Damage: 1
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