Filbert Camus, Ph.D.

A child prodigy, he entered MIT at age 14. At age 19 he graduated with the following degrees:

His thesis work was at the hairy edge of recognized science. It got fuzzier as he got older. His Quantum Physics thesis was beyond the understanding of most of his review board.

He had a reputation for oddness that stood out even at MIT. He spent most of his time in the labs or the library. His few diversions included the MIT Pistol & Rifle teams, the Tech Model Railroad Club, and the Sci-Fi library on Campus.

While only a fair shot, the Pistol and Rifle teams (which are among the top rated college teams in the country) kept him on because of his technical skills. He was constantly tinkering with the weapons, calibrating the sights, reboring the barrels, custom fitting the grips to an individual shooter, that sort of thing.

He wasn't always so welcome at the Model Railroad club. The traditionalists in the group did not approve of his modifying the equipment. They tolerated him because of his miniature work, which stood out even at MIT. He would build remarkably complete models for the scenery. For example, an old time railroad station house would have a functional wood stove inside. One of his prime examples was scale model, fully functional steam locomotive, complete with whistle.

Filbert's favorite spot was the Sci-Fi library. Lacking a normal childhood, he skipped over children's stories and went straight to home-built stereo manuals. These books were his first real introduction to speculative fiction. He devoured it all. His favorites were the Pulps and Golden Era Sci-Fi. He went through all 181 Doc Savage books during a sleepless weekend. He memorized the Lensman series and all of H. Beam Piper's Future History books.

While putting together his Computer Science thesis, which read like blend of Hofstadter and Robert Blake, a visiting professor from Munich recognized his magickal potential and started Filbert toward his future with the Sons of Ether. His magical training brought a focus to his already brilliant mind. The summer after the oral defense of his Chemistry thesis (and his acceptance into the physics Ph.D. program), he and his mentor, Frau Doktor Greta Von Kronesberg, traveled to Paris for his formal induction into the Sons of Ether.

After completing his Physics orals, which consisted mostly of bluffing by review board members who couldn't understand the math that explained his core work, he left MIT. He left behind graduate lab assistants who could not decide if he was more brilliant than crazy. Several did their Ph.D. work on trying to explain the ramifications of Dr. Camus' three thesis papers. It was at this point that he became quite insistent about people not using his first name. He really prefers Dr. Camus, or 'Doc' (after his literary hero, Doc Savage) to his friends.

Filbert's parents had provided him with a comfortable trust fund that he supplemented with occasional consultant work that frankly left him bored and unchallenged.

He purchased a pair of adjoining large and comfortable brownstones in Boston. After knocking out a few walls, adding some doors and completely rewiring the house (electrical, plumbing, heating, communications, and a few others) he had a laboratory and home fit for a Mage following the traditions of the Sons of Ether.

The basements of the combined buildings have been turned into a single large room. This is site of his main laboratory. He maintains a larger lab at an old farm he purchased Northwest of Worcester for those experiments where you just need the space. In one corner of the basement is his massively parallel computer setup. It consists of racks of various computers. You can see among the wires connecting all the systems. Some of the visible ones include a TSR-80, several Amiga systems, IBM personal computers ranging from the 8088 PC to latest model, and various MACs. Attached to wall are rows of HP RPN calculators, the faces removed and all wired together. All of these are connected to a monitorless SUN workstation, which has two cables, each the size of a large man's thigh, snaking over to a wraparound workstation. There are at least a half dozen monitors of various sizes, four keyboards, a litter of mice, trackballs, joysticks, keypads, and electronic pen pads cluttering the desktop. Scattered about the lab are tables full of chemical and electrical equipment. This includes: what appears to be a medical examination table (complete with stirrups), a forge, and a small, but well stocked metal & wood shop. In another corner, there is a small automotive repair center. This includes equipment to pull out and work on large block motors. The lift is stituated under a sliding door in the ceiling. Situated against the wall in the automotive repair center (the largest open space) is a reinforced backdrop and several mounting brackets for targets. In this soundproofed basement, Doc can practice with his pistols at combat ranges in the middle of Boston.

The first floor is the main living area. A walk through would find the following rooms. A large and well-equipped kitchen, complete with a wood fired brick oven. A large two car garage (A careful examination will reveal the lift door on left-hand side of the garage floor). A comfortable sitting room that contains several leather easy chairs, and a huge leather couch. A large oak roll top desk conceals an old looking picture tube and what appears to be a manual typewriter keyboard. It is actually high-powered workstation build by Dr. Camus. It is connected to the computer in the basement lab. The walls are lined with bookcases. They include a wide range of standard scientific references, and hardcover copies of his favorites from the MIT Sci-Fi library. There is, of course, a large globe standing on one corner. The globe is also a compact planetarium projector. Mounted in the bookshelf next to it are several different abaci. They range from an antique Roman abacus to a modern, art deco model.

The second floor is a continuation of the living area. The master bedroom has an adjoining master bath. The bath borders on the edge of having been being designed by a Cult of Ecstasy Mage. The master bedroom also has concealed doors, which lead to the sitting room below, and the research library above. It also has a locked cabinet in which Doc stores some of his firearms. There are several guestrooms, each with it's own full, but less opulent, bath. A billiards room and a small exercise room round out the floor.

The third and top floor contains a sunroom and adjoining greenhouse. It also contains the Doctor's private research library and small observatory.

Dressed for action: When the game is afoot, Doc Camus likes to dress the part. He wears a pair of black cotton pants or if in the field, black BDU pants. His footwear is practical. Either black Nike sneakers or dull black combat boots with Kevlar™ reinforced soles and toes. His white cotton shirt covers a white mesh T-shirt. His jacket is a tan safari style affair with lots of pockets, both inside and out. The jacket also has a number of D-Rings and cloth loops for attachments. If it's just too bloody hot for the jacket (as Boston quite often is during July and August) the jacket is replaced by a modified photographer's vest. He also has a black leather knapsack that he rarely leaves the house without. Items that can be found in his knapsack and jacket (or vest) pockets include:

Foci: Dr. Camus keeps an abacus in a case on his belt. The looks much like a HP programmable calculator case. He has no need for a calculator though. He has a photographic memory and can perform complex calculus in his head while translating a Physics research paper into German. The abacus is his focus for Correspondence magick. He has them scattered around the house, his few non-Mage friends consider it just another eccentric habit. He also keeps at least one more in the leather knapsack that accompanies him practically everywhere.

His Scientific meter is a bit of a departure for a Mage of his Tradition. It resembles a 'Tricorder' from the popular television show, 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. It rarely leaves his person. He has a several leather pouches for it. These include belt pouches, shoulder holster type pouches, and even cowboy boots he has modified to hold it hidden above his ankle. In addition to being his focus for Forces magick, it is also a remote control for various electrical devices in his home, including the TV, stereo, microwave, and lights. He has a larger model, which resembles the Tricorder from the original Star Trek series. He keeps one of those in his knapsack. A number of both types are scattered in his lab and observatory. One of the smaller ones is kept locked in the rolltop desk in the sitting room.

The Farm: Northwest of Worcester is an old farm that Doc Camus purchased. In addition to the privacy and space it affords for some of his experiments, owning a residence in this town makes it possible for Doc to obtain an Any Legal Purpose concealed pistol permit for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The basement of the farmhouse has been converted into larger, but less well equipped, version of his main lab. It has a tunnel connecting it to the hidden basement build beneath the barn. The barn has been converted into a hanger for several light autogyros Doc has build (but barely knows how to fly). It also contains a deflated blimp and it's gondola. The engines are mounted in the gondola. The swivel-mounted props are mounted on retractable shafts that give the small craft more agility than Doc's limited skill can make use of. The craft can carry six adults in a pinch.

Weapons: Doc considers himself a man of action. His is proficient with firearms, but is no means a crack shot. He enjoys shooting and has the money to spend on collecting.
His collection of handguns include:

His collection of long arms include:

Doc made several of the weapons in his basement lab (M-16, BAR, Sten SMG). The plastic parts for the M-16 where purchased for cash at gun shows out of state. The wooden parts of the BAR he made himself. He also hand loads most of his own ammunition, including silver cored rounds, pyrotechnic rounds, and thin walled bullets loaded with a fast acting knock out drug. Doc rarely carries a gun, but likes to have them just in case he does need them.


Character © Copyright 2002 Mark Urbin
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