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A radio to God...or maybe a tape deck of the damned...
Now, I know a lot of us chuckle when someone talks about 'science', secure in the knowledge that we're clued in and that science is just succor for the wimps not willing to slash themselves up to feel real power. But there are those scientists that straddle the deep gap between the scientific colossus and the occult underground. One such set of scientists study something called EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)
EVP is where someone records a voice that did not or could not have come from anyone in the recoding area. This often happens in 'spooky' areas like graveyards and old prisons but isn't exclusive to them. EVP also encompasses the wierd blobs of light and strange images found in photos. Researchers have left an open mike on in these areas and picked up messages from what some folks would call spirits...and what other folks might call the audio version of seeing faces in clouds. A few even got together with a deceased engineer and made a two-way communication device called a Spiricom. Examples can be found at:
Now, those of us with the mojo have been whistling up demons and spirits for years. However, someone took the Spiricom research to heart in the occult underground and made their own version of the damn thing. My guess was it was a mechanomancer that wanted to talk to the other side and didn't want to owe any favors to any boozehounds or body bags. I've only seen one of these things in action, but that doesn't mean more don't exist....
The Specter-scope (Significant)
The device is about the size of a toaster and is always cold to the touch. It's housed in one of thse big honking tape players from the 70's. There are two major differences. The tape slot has been sealed shut and filled with a variety of small things. If you shake the player, you can see dirt, a wedding ring, a couple teeth, and other bits and pieces rattling around inside. The other difference is a bit more unsettling. Flipping the player over and removing the battery cover finds four fingers wedged into the battery area where four AA batteries should be. The fingers have all been removed at the second knuckle and look to be index fingers. If the device is activated with the cover open, the fingers twitch at the first knuckle. Anyone seeing this should make an Unnautral-5 check.
Powering the device requires spending a charge. A minor charge fizzles out after 24 hours. A significant charge can last up to 5 months. When the record and play buttons are pressed simultaneously, the device emits a harsh sound that's a cross between a modem carrier tone, an Emergency Broadcast System tone, and gravel being shaken in a tin cup. Anyone can use the device by making a Soul roll. If the roll is successful, a nearby spirit is able to communicate a number of words equal to the sum of the digits. A failed roll may still contact a spirit (GM's choice), but the message may be completely useless to the person using the device. The device can contact a specific spirit. To be used in this capacity, however, it requires someone with psychic ability, a school of magic, or an appropriate Avatar channel to make a successful skill roll. Of course, talking with the dead should also trigger an Unnatural check depending on the importance of the information. (3 for making contact with a spirit, 5 for the information recieved leading to a discovery or breakthrough, 7 for the operator being told intimate details of a loved one's life or death and having the spirit use the pet name only the loved one used)
Successful matched rolls mean the spirit contacted will stick around for the duration of the scene and hold a conversation with the living. A matched failure opens up the operator to the possibility of possession as per the normal rules. A critical success means the operator has opened up a channel directly to the Clergy itself, wheras a critical failure should give the GM shivers of delight for screwing with someone that's screwing with demons. Alternately, it could attract the attention of the Clergy in a negative light.
Author's note: The sites in the writeup are legit sites as far as I can tell, though the aaevp site might just be a clever shill for an upcoming Michael Keaton flim about the subject. There are several samples of EVP on these sites, but I also urge caution when exploring. At the very least, it could cause a sleepless night or two...
Hey yeah EVP has been around for a while. See the problem with radio signals and recordings is that they tend to be altered by stray electromagnetic waves and such. This is not a problem unless you happen to live in a place with lots of stray electromagnetic stuff, but unfortunatly most of the country is so polluted with such that EVP is easily passed off as being caused by it. I dunno if EVP is real but it seems kinda silly that ghosts would require electronics to talk to the living.
vagina = fun! | profile | Nov 11, 04 | 11:30 pm
Modern pop culture has a big thing about ghosts and electronics. Most recently this is a Japanese thing (see The Ring and The Grudge, preferably the Japanese versions), but even as far back as '79 (The Fog) the coming of malicious spirits is accompanied by crazed car alarms, telephones, and whatnot.