While in a world long after his death, this young man would come to be known only as "The Apprentice," in the world before, his existence is the soul reason many of the stitchpunks inhabiting the Emptiness today continue to thrive.
Born to an impoverished family, Richter was a victim of circumstance. With a drunkard father and a mother who could care less, he turned to the library to avoid his tumultuous home life. It as here he discovered a love for science, and by sheer luck that he met a man whose name is lost to history, but in the future would be revered by the stitchpunks as the Scientist. They struck up a friendship of intellect, and thus, Josef Richter was removed from his family home to become apprentice to a man whose actions would change the course of history.
After the BRAIN project went horribly awry, he continued to work with the Scientist, remaining loyal to him only because his ideas - however unethical they may have seemed to some - sparked some interest in a young man whose early life had left an imprint that would never vanish from his psyche. After the first attempt at creating a golem (Experiment 0) failed, Richter began to suggest other methods to get the transfer to work. Appalled at the suggestions, the Scientist threw him out, and an angered young apprentice was left to his own devices.
In the months that passed, he used the technology he learned from the Scientist to place dozens of unsuspecting people in ragdoll bodies, beginning with Maria Phillips, who he payed to have kidnapped and tortured, and ending with Katherine Reede, whose late daughter had been his own fiancee. Many of his experiments were violent and cruel to those subjected to them, including a pregnant woman to see if a mother and the infant soul both would be transferred, a grieving mother to a wooden doll to see what kind of containers could be used, and in many cases, simple torture. Funded by local wealthy merchant Eli Martis, he found that he could also convince people to come to him of their own free will, many of them unknowing of the fate that awaited them.
It was shortly after the death of his fiancee, Clarissa Reede, and the creation of 196 that Josef Richter finally met his end. Three of the fingers of his left hand were sliced off by the terrified new stitchpunk moments before a gas bomb hit the building, killing any living organic resident inside.
He had no real relationship with his parents. His brief professional friendship with the Scientist ended rather abruptly with his suggestion that they should forcefully subdue civilians, who were doomed to die anyway at the onslaught of the machines, to take part in the experiments to create homunculi. He played himself off as a decent, upstanding young student of science to Katherine Reede and courted her youngest daughter, Clarissa. After Clarissa's death, he betrayed Katherine, placing her inside a stitchpunk body.
Most people in the town liked him well enough. On the outside, he seemed like a very gentle, friendly, well-spoken young man. None of them knew the monster that lurked within.
Detached. Coming from an abusive household, his personality developed into one best described as sociopathic. He knew the difference between right and wrong, b ut his own experiences caused him to view them as entirely arbitrary concepts, things that did not truly exist. As such, he chose to reject both, existing only in the solidarity that science and discovery, no matter the price, was the only true constant. Capable of acting like the most gentlemanly of youths, he won over many people who would have otherwise readily killed him for his crimes against what was left of humanity... crimes no one would ever discover, and dozens of stitchpunks are now forced to live with well after his death.
(Listed in order of creation.)
Alan Tudyk - Wash in Firefly
"The Secret Life of Dr. Calgori" - Abney Park
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Created by MamaCJ