The Thief of Souls

“Apparatus for the Transfer of Brain Electricity,” the old man repeated with an impatient snarl.  “All the brain is, young man, is soft-tissue electrical machine, if you will, part hard-drive, part transmitter.  The electricity it generates constitutes the mind, the thought of a man, his soul.   What if you could find a way to transfer that electricity from a dying brain to another hard-ware?  Some mechanical housing, for instance.  Or better yet, to another brain.”

Addington asked me to get him pen and paper so that he could draw me the apparatus.   I pulled out the small notepad I always carried in my jacket pocket, a pen, and handed them to the professor.  In the next few minutes, he drew something and handed the pad, and pen, back to me.

“There’s the electric impulse generator,”  he said, pointing to the squat machine he had drawn on the pad that looked something like the mysterious humming device I had seen in the room in the basement of the Rostow mansion.  “It attaches to the brain activator.”  Addington was pointing to the odd, metal head gear, with wires running to the generator.

“Finally,”  he went on, pointing to a small box, a container of some kind,  “there is the brain energy storage unit.”

There it was, the solution to the mystery.  In the years following his departure from the university and into hermitage, Desmond Rostow had perfected an actual Apparatus for the Transfer of Brain Electricity.   As he and Mrs. Rostow grew older, and faced the prospect of death, they decided to use that device to gain immortality.  But first they had to find suitable, young, strong and attractive bodies from whose brains would be extracted the electricity, or souls of the owners, and replaced by their own.   Paul Lane had been the body selected for the transfer of Desmond Rostow’s brain electricity, or soul, and the blonde girl’s brain was to house Mrs. Rostow’s mind.  Thus, it had not been the blonde girl who had struck me on the head with the curious looking head gear, but Mrs. Rostow.

“I hear Rostow’s gone and died,”  said Addington.

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