Let There Be Light
(Excerpts from The London Inquisitor, 1896)
DOZENS DEAD, HUNDREDS INJURED AFTER ELECTRICITY DEMONSTRATION
At long last, American entrepreneur Alexander Grayson executed a public demonstration of his miraculous electromagnetic resonator device, which promises to provide free, wireless electricity to all of London.
The demonstration was postponed after a previous attempt only a fortnight ago reportedly poisoned the surrounding neighborhood, causing children and elderly residents to become ill. Mr. Grayson insists that the poisoning was the result of sabotage, most likely by his rivals at the United Imperial Lubricant Company, although Scotland Yard has yet to find any evidence to support the claims.
This weekend's demonstration, the second such attempt for Mr. Grayson, was to be his magnum opus, the result of years - possibly even decades - of research and construction that would revolutionize the world as we know it and put his oil industry rivals out of business entirely. What began as a day of triumph and victory ended as one of the most tragic and destructive days in London's recent history.
At approximately 6:22 in the evening, moments after Grayson fired up his resonator to shed miraculous, wireless light on the entire district, the machine suffered a catastrophic malfunction. Grayson and his engineering team went to great lengths to evacuate the area as quickly as possible, and indeed the brave men spared many lives by doing so.
However, only five minutes after the machine was activated, a mechanical malfunction led to the largest manmade explosion in British history, centered directly in the heart of downtown London. The damage was catastrophic. At least a dozen people were killed in the explosion, and, while the numbers are still being tallied, estimates predict the number of injured persons to be in the hundreds, possibly even into the thousands.
Miraculously (and despite being in the belly of the beast itself during the explosion), Mr. Grayson managed to escape relatively unscathed, save for a few bumps and bruises. He is currently exiled in Carfax Manor and refusing to speak to the press, other than to briefly announce that he suspects foul play and sabotage to be the cause of the malfunction.
As London continues to recover from the horrific tragedy, hundreds remain missing. Most notably, Mr. Browning, a prominent member of British high society, has not been seen since the day of the explosion, despite the fact that Mr. Browning was not on site when the accident occurred. Miss Lady Jayne Wetherby is also unaccounted for, and she was last scene hailing a carriage toward the demonstration, only moments before the explosion. Also missing is Mr. Grayson's right-hand man, Mr. Renfield, who was last seen returning to Carfax Manor on the day of the demonstration.