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The Pale Rider

The Pale Rider is the only icon to which a unique human name can be assigned. Jonathan McKinley studied medicine and chemistry at the University of Edinburgh until the beginning of the First World War. As a son of a wealthy family, his suave demeanor was only matched by an arrogance and narcissism, that became increasingly frightening even to his close friends. Determined, ambitious, uncompromising, educated, indefatigable – during his career McKinley became the perfect blueprint of modern capitalism. This is still his aim for the human individual. He tries to shape them exactly according to this special model when entering an academic career. After the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Royal Army and rose up the hierarchy faster than average around research into new means of warfare. This is where is trail gets lost. It is believed that he quickly switched into the secret research departments of the British Army to conduct research on the new class of chemical warfare agents, which were a promising new weapons option at the time. McKinley was willing to make ever greater sacrifices for new research results, whether moral or capacity. It also marked the beginning of Jonathan McKinley's increasing change of character. His narcissism broke through, coupled with a manic-morbid streak, which always produced new and even more deadly results, but for what price? Former colleagues speak of a complete alienation and isolation of their former research partner. Some of them even suspect that McKinley became a victim of his own inventions. International experts are certain that McKinley is still alive. His experiments give him an unnaturally long life, even if it is precisely what he despises. One day, in the backrooms of this world, he pacts with despots and tyrants, exports his deadly inventions to the war zones of this world, and whispers to opinion formers and gullible media that vaccinations against diseases already considered eradicated or coming from his own laboratories are not necessary or even dangerous. On the one hand, he stages himself as a pharmaceutical savior; on the other hand, he creates the foundation for his medical business model, the epidemic itself. That's what earned him his nickname, the fourth bringer of the apocalypse, "The Pale Rider." But at night, when McKinley retreats to his labs, something else happens to him. His body contorts, his joints jump, and his skin stretches until his face is nothing but the human distortion of decay. Eyelidless eyes, a lipless mouth, and two gaping holes where the nose should be stare into the Bunsen burner-lit darkness while skilled hands take substances from a centrifuge....

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