|Followers of Einstein|
|Group type:||Religious Cult|
|Headquarters:||Princeton, New Jersey|
|Founded by:||William Price|
|Enemies:||Better Society, Inc., Brotherhood of Steel, Highland|
The Followers of Einstein are a religious cult centered in Princeton, New Jersey. The Followers believe that energy can unlock the next evolution of homo sapien, even beyond ghoulification.
Born in the ruins of Trenton, William Price was identified as different from a young age. He had conversations with himself, had a propensity for burning things, seemed to enjoy hurting insects and small animals, and engaged in other bizarre behaviors. They clearly disturbed his parents, as they abandoned the boy at an orphanage. The men and women running the orphanage tried to help, but a mysterious fire burned the place down before they could.
Alone, Price became a young vagabond. He became involved in the world of chems, many dealers and addicts finding it comical that they were giving or experimenting with a boy barely older than ten. Following dealers and addicts around over the years, Price eventually wound up in the ruins of Princeton University. While many avoided the community, claiming it was haunted, Price did not care. Whacked out on chems half the time and not fully sane when he wasn’t, the adolescent boy took to exploring the ruins. Among his discoveries was finding an entrance to a library with a running electronic database.
The database had very little on it that had survived corruption, but among them was a dissertation by a Pre-War geneticist on evolution. The scientist, a former Nazi brought to the U.S. during Operation Paperclip believed that the genes of homo sapien had locked within them sufficient power to evolve into a “superman” if unlocked. Though he had not been able to do so, experimenting with radiation and microwaves, he still believed that humanity could forcibly be evolved into an übermensch-type ‘master race’.
For whatever reason, the hypothesis of the former Nazi doctor were adopted by William Price. Changed, he began recruiting among the morass of society he normally cavorted with. In 2189, Price convinced his first recruit, and the Followers of Einstein were born. Over the last century, the group has conducted numerous experiments on willing and unwilling subjects in an attempt to unlock the ‘master race’ that the Pre-War doctor postulated was contained within the genes of normal human beings.
Some of that work has already paid dividends. Exposing himself to radiation and plasma energy, William Price is still alive and running the organization, almost 100 years after founding it in his youth.
When Russell Price first established his group, he preyed on the underbelly of society, those most easily swayable, to fill the ranks of the Followers of Einstein. Not fully there himself, he brought psychopaths, sociopaths, addicts, those lost in despair, and other similar types into the fold. Over the years, as the group has grown, the group has cut down on recruiting from the outside. Women who either joined the group or were kidnapped for the express purpose of having children have given birth to kids raised in the community and indoctrinated in Price’s doctrine.
Activities & InterestsThe Followers of Einstein are obsessed with technology. In particular, they hone in on electronic, nuclear, and plasma powered technology. One of the core tenets of the group is that energy can unlock the latent potential within the human DNA sequence to evolve beyond homo sapien, beyond even ghouls. Using jury-rigged machines salvaged from the labs at Princeton, they conduct experiments on subjects to see how the human body reacts to being exposed to different substances.
The Followers have been known to kidnap individuals for their experiments. While many have encountered groups of the yellow-clad cultists and lived, they almost never pass up the opportunity to kidnap ghouls and Pineys. The group sees ghouls as more than human but still not evolved as the mythic state they strike to unlock and Pineys as less than human, somehow devolved after the events of the Great War. As such, the two groups intrigue them.
Better Society, Inc was born from a schism within the Followers of Einstein, and were it not for the fact the splinter group has powerful patrons and protectors in Atlantic City, the Followers would have likely already wiped them out in a holy war. The zealots from Princeton periodically send members out to harass and attack BSI trade caravans and traveling engineers, but are unable to do much more to prevent them from proliferating their wares across the Wasteland.
Like the splinter organization, the Followers of Einstein have earned the ire of the Brotherhood of Steel. Though no known Brotherhood chapters are known to exist in the region, the governing ideology of the BoS- collecting and removing harmful technology from the hands of non-members- would make them naturally at odds with the Followers of Einstein.
The Followers of Einstein have a particular obsession with the AT&T Labs Research Facility, located in the far southwestern reaches of the Kingdom of Highland. The facility contains some kind of technology that the Followers want. Though Highland does not use the facility for anything in particular, the kingdom must protect its territorial sovereignty and defends the building from periodic assaults led by the religious zealots.