Hypatia Noether is Key 1: The Scientist.
I was assigned to the President's Special Task Force within five weeks of the initial rupture in west Africa. From the beginning they were scrambling to understand the phenomenon and formulate an effective response. The team included a number of the world's top experts in various sciences — at first the majority of the team specialized in medicine and epidemiology, but within fourteen days they were calling in people from increasingly far–flung fields of study. Cultural anthropology, psychology — you name it.
When I got the call, I was quite surprised. Why would a professor of theoretical physics be asked to consult on a problem that the media was continuing to classify as medical? Once I was given access to the data, however, I realized why my name must have come up. They were hoping to find the solution in my old equations...
I had very little time to work before our station in Nebraska was overwhelmed. If my hypothesis is correct, however, we are now in the terminal stages of a full–scale collision between two alternate planes of reality. Each of these planes is traditionally dominated by an Observer Principle which controls that reality in a number of ways. The speed of light, the gravitational constant, the value of pi — all of these things are unwritten laws which operate at the quantum level. In our universe, the Observer Principle was probably governed by Homo Sapiens — not any one human being, you understand, but our species as a whole. But in this other universe, the Observer is something quite different...
Where these two planes of reality touch one another, the two Observers come into conflict, and a battle of "wills" ensues as they struggle for dominance. And up to this point, I am sad to say, Homo Sapiens has been losing — and badly. Quite literally, the "rules" of our universe — even things as simple as the expected behavior of photons and electrons, much less the functioning of biological organisms and infectious agents — are being broken. Progressively our familiar "rules" are corrupted and then replaced by rules which are foreign — those which would normally govern another universe. For want of a better term, my colleagues and I dubbed this alternate dimension "the Dead World". It is the home of this hostile entity known as Fam La.
We suggested many possible responses to this hostile invasion — none of them were effective. But you, Mr. Riley, may be the one to save this world when all its armies and governments failed. I want to be here when you succeed. And to that end, I have been thinking about a simple machine that we might build for defense of this Fort...
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The Scientist is a highly skilled, highly intelligent woman. Her nimble analytical mind and mechanical aptitude give her the ability to deduce all trap designs, reduce build times and double the output of energy generators whenever she is stationed in the Fort.