Biography Of The Evil Dr. Flaxon

In the early spring of 1959, amidst the buzzing bees and chirping birds in a beautiful little corner of suburbia known as Van Nuys, California, a monster was conceived. Actually, a baby was conceived, a baby who would one day strike fear into the hearts of many. His parents, Blanda May Wittergaffen and Herman Laars Flaxon, were young and in love and innocently enjoying an activity known to young lovers in springtime everywhere and everywhen, blind to the suffering that would ultimately result from their passion.

In the ensuing months, when Blanda's growing belly began signalling her condition to the outside world, a hurried marriage was arranged, to avoid the social embarassment of unwed birth. On July 23rd, 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Laars Flaxon emerged from a small chapel into the Angelean heat and into the turbulent waters of matrimony.

As the Southland celebrated the start of the new decade in the Bachinalian frenzy known as New Years Eve, Blanda May Flaxon's contractions neccesitated a hurried trip to the local hospital. After nine grueling hours of hard labor, the ordeal was done, and at dawn on January first, 1960, Douglas Norbert Flaxon was pulled from the warmth of the womb and entered the cold exterior world. Off in the distance, a cock crowed five times. The obstetrician, young and nervous, fumbled with the slimy lttle being in his arms and lost his grip. The baby, rather than receiving the customary slap on the bottom, instead got a knock on the head as an inducement to cry and take the first breaths of life.

The first year of family life was rough in the Flaxon household. Herman had been studying electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, but the economic neccesities brought on by having two mouths to feed forced him to forego his education and get a job. Hired on as an electrician at a new sewage processing facility, he soon found himself driving a truck and cleaning cesspools to make ends meet. Arriving home after a long workday, Herman often found Blanda unreceptive to his affections due to his overpowering aroma, and preferring instead to lavish her attentions on young Douglas. It was during this period that Herman began to develop a deep-seated resentment toward the child, a resentment of which he was ashamed and tried to hide, not always successfully, during the ensuing years of fatherhood.

Blanda May, meanwhile, concentrated on raising her boy to the best of her ability. Blanda herself was no dummy. She'd developed a keen understanding of plane geometry during her school years which manifested itself in her talent with Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The air above Douglas' bassinet was filled with colorful mobiles, with paper dragons, pteradactyls, basilisks, and gargoyles, each lovingly folded with great detail by his adoring mother. She also spent a lot of time reading to him, from engineering and mathematics textbooks which had fallen into disuse since Herman quit school. Strangely enough, the infant seemed fascinated by her recital of Ohm's Law and texts on vacuum tube construction, and would often stop crying only when she began to read from the logrithmic tables. By the end of his first year, she had begun to make up little songs about RC circuits that did more to soothe him when he was upset than a bottle of warm milk.

Time passed, and soon little Douglas was in grammar school. During the mid-60's there was a glut of truck drivers in the LA area, resulting in forced pay cuts for Herman Flaxon. With money so tight, the Flaxon family was getting most of its clothing from Salvation Army stores, so Douglas was wearing clothing that no one else wanted, to which he became accustomed and eventually became a source of pride as a defense against embarrassment. He was a thin, homely child, probably due to his preference for his mother's electronics songs over food during his infancy. He never did get used to eating much, and was known by various nicknames bestowed upon him by his classmates, names like "Skinny" and "Coat Hanger" and "Bean Pole". Douglas, an introverted and strangely distant child, never responded to the taunting from the other children much. He was studious in subjects that didn't lend themselves to group activity, and avoided sports and competitive endeavors like spelling bees. His predilection for math gave him something to do during recess breaks when other children were playing kickball and hopscotch.

Douglas' teachers noticed his strengths early on, and most tried to encourage him in his intellectual pursuits, even while they felt unsure about his emotional development. When the Stanford-Binet intelligence tests were given, the child scored well above 160, resulting in his placement in the Gifted Student program, which offered special classes and outings to the exceptional few. This special treatment added to his unpopularity among his classmates, and by the eighth grade, daily "cannings" (being forced into trash cans by aggressive schoolmates) became routine. Douglas typically responded to these incidents by not responding; he would extract himself, brush himself off, and go on his way. His behaviour later in life would serve as an indication of just how deeply he buried his anger as a child.

The year Douglas entered high school his family moved to another suburban enclave called "Northridge" by most of the locals, and referred to as "Hell" by the increasingly-disturbed boy. It was a new district and he knew nobody. There was a lot of pressure on Douglas to be "cool", but he had no point of reference - he didn't have any conception of "cool". He was, in Valley Vernacular, what was commonly known as a "geek", and so he spent a lot of time by himself. High school was even more brutal on Douglas than his previous school experiences; the effects of teen hormones soon began to take their toll on his self-esteem, both from within and without. Schoolboys, ever intent upon increasing their status in the young domesticated primate pack hierarchy, would dare each other to inflict emotional damage on young Mr. Flaxon, often in the presence of desireable young females of the species. In the presence of such females, Douglas felt extremely awkward. He had a tendency to stutter, look at the ground, kick objects in close proximity, even mutter such monosyllabic profundities as "shucks", "shoot", "gosh", and "uhhh..." The increasingly sophisticated and upwardly-mobile girls had little sympathy for such a specimen, and laughter was most often the result of such encounters. In such circumstances, Douglas was rarely amused, and invariably put all his mirth on indefinate hold.

His home life was not much better. He always wished for more money to come into the Flaxon household, dreaming of the day he might be able to own his own computer. His parents attempted to answer his prayers one Christmas with the latest in home computer systems, a Timex Sinclair. Douglas was overjoyed at first, then quickly disappointed with the user interface. The tiny, multi- purpose keys and the limited BASIC command structure offered little to a boy who desperately sought an escape from everyday reality. His first attempts at programming produced extremely dry, if not slightly perverse, text-based adventure games, in which the participant was eventually always suddenly killed by some unseen force which leaped out of a dark corner to bestow an agonizingly painful death. Even among his few egghead friends, the games were not popular.

Things took a turn for the worse one day when Douglas was in the middle of programming his first 3-D adventure game written in Sinclair Basic, using the family TV as a monitor. The Sewage Hauler's Union decided that day they were staging an early walk-out, so Herman came home early from work, intent on having a double shot of Yukon Jack to ease his troubled mind. Douglas was in the kitchen, in the process of preparing his favorite beverage for long programming sessions, a Pork Smoothie, when his father came in from the carport laden with an attitude. Crossing the family room floor on his way to the wet bar, Herman Laars Flaxon planted a firm Union boot upon the Timex computer containing his son's hard-won and not-yet- backed-up-to-cassette-tape program. Douglas watched in slow-motion horror as the small plastic chassis first stress-cracked and then shattered completely under the weight of his father. Tiny nine-volt sparks flew as the only computer Douglas had ever owned was reduced to a small pile of medium-density-integrated rubbish, along with his efforts at breaking free from the frustration of real-life existence.

Herman swore for the rest of his life that the incident was accidental, but Douglas never forgave him, twisting the incident in his mind into an expression of his father's deep-seated resentment of his intellectual superiority. He vowed to himself that day that his future efforts would be carried out in secrecy, protected from outsiders who wished to quash his successes in escaping from a coldly-perceived reality.

The poor white-trash legacy of the Flaxon family was a cluttered, junk-filled garage, a condition of which young Douglas took advantage when creating his only private space in the house. He industriously hollowed out an area in the midst of the junk heap, piling objects strategically to provide maximum overhead support as well as minimum outside visibility. He plumbed the heap with water lines and an outlet for sewage, as well as running a protected electrical circuit to the main breaker. He imported a small refrigerator bought at a local flea market, and stocked it with food and beverages systematically pilfered from the family's kitchen stock. He decorated the walls of his laboratory/fortress with cut-out pages from "Soldier Of Fortune" magazine and Charlie's Angels posters. Pieces of the junk which comprised the walls of the structure slowly became utilized in Flaxon's experiments, creating a somewhat organic ambiance in the lab.

Neighborhood pets began disappearing, and soon afterward Flaxon refitted his structure with sound-absorptive materials on the inner walls. The teenage Flaxon rarely slept in his bedroom, preferring to stay close to his experiments in his private Xanadu. His parents suspected that he had constructed a "fort" in the garage, but their interest in Douglas became increasingly tepid as the moodiness of his teen years began to dominate all household verbal exchanges, and so they never pried into what they came to think of as his "special place". They carried on as cheerfully as possible, and became accustomed to his random comings and goings, reluctant to make an issue of his absences as long as he kept his grades up to a passing level. Knowing this was the price of his freedom, Douglas conspicuously avoided disappointing them with low marks. He graduated from Granada Hills High School in 1978, and tried to put the pain of peer interaction behind him.

Knowing that his hobby would require financial input, he took a job washing dishes in a local seafood restaurant four nights a week, and after many grueling months had enough savings to invest in a new computer. He switched to the Commodore line, purchasing a PET. Continued hard work at the restaurant brought in enough money over the next two years to add to his collection a Jupiter Ace, a TRS-80, a Vic 20, and an Altair. It was during this time that Douglas enrolled in a correspondence course in electronics and computer science, still hoping that one day he might have a respectable career that would enable him to snare a piece of that elusive American Dream which had always been denied him. Even with all of the pain and isolation he had experienced daily in his encounters with his peers, in the back of his mind, he still yearned for the comforts of a traditional lifestyle: a wife and kids, a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, a two-car garage... He wasn't sure why he wanted these things, but the desire was there, nevertheless, and so he worked at increasing his knowledge and skills toward that goal.

His early work was dedicated toward alternative interface devices for household pets, but within a year the domestic animal population had dwindled to a few indoor cats and the neighbors had grown tired of replacing their missing kitties and pooches. Even strays seemed to avoid the area. Flaxon found it necessary to resort to making regular visits to the local animal shelter, where his face became known to the employees. For a time, he was nicknamed "The Rescuer", but eventually the shelter workers became suspicious, entertaining the possibility that Flaxon was keeping an alligator at home, and he was denied access to his research materials. His animal research days were over.

Flaxon had by then collected enough data on sensory stimuli to begin experimenting upon himself. His first prototypes were similar in conception and function to the light/sound relaxation/meditation systems popular today, but, perhaps as a result of his impoverished childhood, Flaxon seemed to embrace the "more is always better" philosophy and generally equipped his devices with transducers capable of delivering intensities several orders of magnitude higher than regarded necessary by conservative mainstream researchers. The result of this radical self-experimentation was a gradual retreat from consensus reality into a world of his own creation, a world based upon a foundation of deprivation, misanthropy and clunky home-brewed science.

Somehow, Flaxon managed to retain enough of a grasp on reality during this period to complete the final module of his correspondence course, earning him the school's highest honor, a Doctorate in Electronics. Although Flaxon was immensely pleased with his new title, he was concerned that it didn't convey the nature of his true field of expertise, and he fought for three months to get the document changed. Deeply committed to the idea that humans are animals, too, he made sure his final Doctorate certificate would now read, "Doctor of Alternative Animal Interfaces", a title he retains to this day, and reflected in the initials that follow his name in all Serious documentation: A.A.I.

Herman and Blanda May, realizing their son had just completed a major course of study, endeavored to celebrate this rite of passage with a little "Graduation Party", but couldn't locate a single school chum of Douglas' to invite, so they settled on a nice dinner at a fancy hotel, where they gave him a gold pocket watch, inscribed with "Congratulations, Doctor Flaxon" on the inside cover. It still remains one of his most treasured posessions.

Flaxon's life was turned upside-down when his parents were killed in an train wreck near Santa Barbara, California, shortly after his graduation. The dual loss, combined with the realization that he would never have another chance to reconcile his differences with his father, left him more brooding and moody than ever. The only consolation available to him came from the realization of his sudden wealth. Between the award won in a class-action suit against the rail company and the double- payment from his parents' life insurance policies, Flaxon suddenly found himself in charge of a small fortune. At long last, he faced freedom from the curse of financial mediocrity that had beset him as long as he remembered, and he began charting a course for his ship of gold.

He had long dreamed of a state-of-the-art laboratory, located in a remote region, where he would be able to carry out his work without distractions, a place where no Jehova's Witnesses would come knocking on the door, and if they did, no one would ever come to look for them. It was while going through the family papers after the funeral that Flaxon found an innocuous-looking document that made it appear as though he was now the owner of a piece of desert land. After a bit of research, however, he had ascertained that this property, although substantial, was situated within the Nevada Nuclear Test Site area, just outside of the town of Mercury, Nevada. Knowing that this was now U.S. Government property, he dismissed the find as irrelevant. During a meeting with the family's lawyer a few weeks later, Flaxon made a passing comment on the document. The lawyer became interested, and offered to pursue the case to see if there wasn't some way to force the government to make good on their oversight.

After several weeks of poring over California Inheritance and Nevada Real Estate law texts, the lawyer located a loophole which allowed Flaxon to reclaim his family's land, and a massive development effort was begun. The agreement specified that the property would be returned to the Flaxon estate "as is", which suited Flaxon fine. His crews took advantage of abandoned mine shafts the and ruins of 19th-century frontier buildings to create entrances to what soon became a vast underground complex of interconnected passages, caverns, and steel-reinforced living and working spaces. While he spared no expense in ensuring the facility was adequately equipped with electrical power and water, he was also able to cut costs by implementing ingenious designs allowing maximum exploitation of available resources. One by one, he won followers from the ranks of his work crews (many of whom are still with him today), based on their admiration for his vision. For the first time in his life, he had respect and power.

When the construction was completed and Flaxon Alternative Interface Technologies was ready to open its doors for the first time, Dr. Flaxon threw a gala celebration, inviting the entire work crew, his lawyer, and his cousin and only childhood compatriot, Doug Faxon.

This biography is still in process - stay tuned!