''Newton says, "Perpetual motion is impossible." Einstein says, "The speed of light is impassable." A Promethean says, "Challenge accepted."''

A serialized novel by Colin O'Boyle. The first five episodes can be found here: [[http://www.amazon.com/author/colinoboyle]]

The story follows the life of Jack Baling, an engineering professor whose life takes a drastic turn down a strange lane when one of his students brings in a working perpetual motion machine. Studying this impossible device pushes Jack beyond the boundary between genius and insanity. He emerges from the other side with a death ray (cobbled together with parts from the microwave and his wife's hair dryer), and goes on a rampage, stopping only when he encounters another mad scientist.

Because there are people out there that share his abilities, and even more frightening than the mad scientists are what they dream of. For them, nothing is ever ''truly'' impossible.


!Examples of:

* ArtMajorBiology: A type of insect that lives in paralyzing gel, a St. Bernard-sized praying mantis/shrimp-creature that walks on land and serves as the living machine for a hyperintelligent cuttlefish named “Gwendolyn,” and that’s just from the first two episodes.
* ArtificialLimbs: The character Jack mentally dubs “Bladerunner” is described as having blade-like prosthetic legs. Probably something similar to Oscar Pistorius’s. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Pistorius]]
* AxCrazy: When Jack gets his hands on a DisintegratorRay capable of converting tables [[spoiler:or people]] into a pile of dust, it doesn’t work out well.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Peter Sharpe of the Prometheus Corporation describes the Prometheans as shepherds and humanity as sheep. Two guesses on how much value he assigns to the lives of people who aren’t “enlightened.”
* DeathRay: Jack’s first invention as a mad scientist. Extra points for being housed in his wife’s hair dryer, so not only can it convert a kitchen island into dust with a red beam of light, it does so while being pearlescent pink with stylized purple flowers.
* DeflectorShields: A personal one is used at the end of the first episode to defend against Jack’s death ray. It’s “about the size of a fold-up highway map and the color of Windex.”
* DisintegratorRay: After Jack accidentally shoots his kitchen island, it shivers, takes on an ashy appearance--as though it were merely a newspaper image lit on fire--and then collapses into a pile of dust.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: One of the strangest creatures in the novel so far is a hyperintelligent cuttlefish named "Gwendolyn."
* ForScience: Jack justifies his study of the perpetual motion machine [[spoiler:and his eventual murder of Nico]] on the basis that figuring out how it works will mean infinite renewable energy and the solution to a host of the world’s problems.
* FrickinLaserBeams: When Jack fires his death ray, he can actually see a red beam of light emit from the end of the weapon, and he has time to see it travel from the barrel to his target.
* GadgeteerGenius: Jack is able to build a disintegrator gun out of parts from his microwave, flatscreen TV, laser pointer, refrigerator, and his wife’s hair dryer that plugs into any standard wall socket.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Jack’s study of his student’s perpetual motion machine caused him to go insane.
* HypnoRay: Not so much a ray as it is an audible tone, Jack is on the receiving end of one of these at the beginning of Episode 2.
* {{Hologram}}: The central atrium of the Prometheus Corporation’s HQ has an enormous hologram of Prometheus as its centerpiece.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: After Jack goes crazy trying to unlock the secrets of his student's perpetual motion machine, he ends up building a death ray. Violence ensues.
* JustThinkOfThePotential: Even though it causes [[spoiler: the deaths of two people]] Jack still can’t help but see the potential applications of his disintegrator gun.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: Apparently perpetual motion is one of these things.
* MadDoctor: More of a Mad Research Psychiatrist than anything, but [[spoiler: Lydia]] would technically count as one of these.
* MadScientist: While he understands the theoretical aspects of science, Jack enjoys far more the application of it, classifying himself first and foremost as an engineer.
* MadScientistLaboratory: Jack has a rather mundane version of one of these in a shed in his backyard, but in the second episode he encounters some really sophisticated ones in the Prometheus Corporation’s HQ, some of which even have Jacob’s ladders and bubbling beakers..
* MindControlDevice: [[spoiler: Lydia]] uses one of these on Jack at the beginning of the second episode. It causes extreme feelings of disassociation in whoever hears it, temporarily submerging the afflicted individual’s conscious thoughts.
* MixAndMatchCritters: Although Jack’s initial impression of the insect/shrimp creature at the end of the second episode implies that it’s the combination of several different animals, it’s actually just a modified mantis shrimp [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp ]]. Although, their name makes it clear that they do resemble a combination of those two animals.
* NoConservationOfEnergy: Jack wonders about this one, both as it applies to the perpetual motion machine created by his student and his own disintegrator ray. Using the latter in quick succession does end up blowing a fuse, but the amount of energy involved in powering the thing in the first place is staggering. He shouldn’t be able to get that much juice at once in the first place.
* PerpetualMotionMachine: The main focus of the first episode is what happens to an engineering professor when he encounters a working perpetual motion machine. Specifically, an overbalanced wheel [[http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/machines/machines.htm]].
* PureEnergy: It isn’t mentioned specifically, but it seems like Jack’s disintegrator ray shoots beams made of this.
* RayGun: Jack’s first creation as a mad scientist results in one of these.
* ScaleOfScientificSins: Attempting to use his student’s perpetual motion machine to [[spoiler: re-integrate his wife after she shoots herself with his death ray]] results in Jack’s committing sins number two and four.
* ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder: [[spoiler: Lydia]] calls it Hypercognitive Dementia. It’s characterized as the ability to create devices that “regular” science would classify as impossible. However, there are downsides as well, including a marked reduction in empathy, an inability to see how one’s actions affect others, and a belief that the sufferer’s struggles are the only ones that matter.
* TheSparkOfGenius: In the second episode, the reader learns that what Jack and those like him do can never be replicated by regular scientists, and often not even by other mad scientists.
* {{Tagline}}: Brilliance. Madness. Ray Guns.
* TriggerHappy: The result of arming an ax-crazy mad scientist with a disintegrator gun.