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Albert Harebrayne
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Albert Harebrayne
'No scientist can find the truth without first finding self-belief...' Those were the words of a certain scientist I hold in the very highest esteem!

Albert Harebrayne was a British scientist and a friend of Barok van Zieks. He was accused of murdering Odie Asman during an experiment.

Student of science[]

Albert Harebrayne was an aspiring scientist with lofty ideas right from his youth. In his college years, he enrolled in London University, studying science. During this time, he befriended student of law Barok van Zieks. After graduating, he moved to Germany for a decade in study. There, Harebrayne developed a hypothesis of "super-high-voltage instantaneous kinesis", positing that matter could be molecularly disassembled and beamed through the air across tremendous distances, subsequently to be reassembled completely intact. Harebrayne was utterly convinced his hypothesis would revolutionize transportation and the world as it was known. In truth, his hypothesis was heavily flawed, to the point of downright impossibility.

The naïve Harebrayne returned to London, seeking out an investor to fund a large-scale physical demonstration in time for the upcoming Great Exhibition. Lacking money himself, Harebrayne hoped to receive a research grant from the English government through the demonstration so he could continue his work. Eventually, Harebrayne was approached by businessman Odie Asman, who offered to farm out the work to notorious engineer Enoch Drebber. Grateful, Harebrayne agreed, and construction on an instantaneous kinesis machine began. Despite designing the machines on paper, and his ideas ostensibly being the backbone of the project, Harebrayne had little involvement in the actual construction of the two pods that would facilitate his fantastic ideas.

A disastrous demonstration[]

Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul

Unveiling his invention.

A year later, on the day of the Great Exhibition, the device was unveiled to the public. Asman, as a living test subject, was to be directly transported from the high experimentation stage directly to the Crystal Tower, the centerpiece of the Great Exhibition. On the stage, Albert Harebrayne gave an impassioned speech on the transportation of the twentieth century. The excited scientist flipped the switch, and the machine sprang to life. Steam billowed from the machine and electric sparks shot out as Harebrayne celebrated his apparent success, but the machine began to malfunction. Harebrayne was helpless to stop his machine from exploding, with Asman still inside. When the smoke cleared, Odie Asman was reported dead, his body found inside of the Crystal Tower, just as Harebrayne predicted.

Despite insisting the explosion was an accident, Harebrayne was arrested on charges of murder, with his old friend Barok van Zieks, now a cold, ruthless prosecutor, leading the case. For his defense, Harebrayne hired a fledgling legal team of Ryunosuke Naruhodo and Susato Mikotoba as his representation. For fear of both having his hypothesis made public and his scientific integrity compromised, Harebrayne refused to allow any investigation of his invention under the Special Dispensation for Scientific Equipment Act, which protected the rights of scientific equipment under the scientists behind them.

In court, van Zieks accused Harebrayne of using his machine as a cover to murder Asman, thereby becoming the sole recipient of the research grant. Even while on trial, the scientist refused to sully the reputation of his hypothesis, even incriminating himself further by countering Naruhodo's arguments, and outright confessing at a critical juncture. Ultimately, Naruhodo was able to convince Harebrayne to cooperate, but in the process Harebrayne was forced to confront several undesirable likelihoods: Asman was only using him to obtain the grant money from the government, Enoch Drebber had reformatted his machine into a death trap, and, most crushingly, the hypothesis he'd tried so hard to protect was scientifically impossible. Despairing, Harebrayne allowed his invention to be investigated by Scotland Yard, and provided information that would lead to Drebber's capture.

Ultimately, Naruhodo was able to uncover the truth of the case and identify Asman's true killer, earning a humbled Harebrayne a complete acquittal. He would have little time to celebrate, however, as van Zieks had preemptively arranged for him an immediate return to Germany, in an attempt to prevent his friend from falling victim to the Reaper of the Bailey. Before he left, he thanked Naruhodo and Mikotoba for their services.

Several months later, after the truth behind the Reaper of the Bailey was laid bare, van Zieks personally invited Harebrayne back to London to show him around. Unfortunately for the scientist, he chose to room at a hotel he had no means of paying for.

Personality[]

Mugshot.

Albert Harebrayne
'No scientist should strive to protect himself more than he strives to protect the truth...' More words of the same great scientist, you know!
Ryunosuke Naruhodo
...Words that are causing me a lot of trouble. Who is this scientist?
Albert Harebrayne
I'm afraid I couldn't tell you, Mr Naruhodo. But, but as soon as I remember the magnificent genius's name, you'll be the first to know!

Albert Harebrayne was quite cheerful, ambitious, and eccentric. A devoted man of science, Harebrayne took great pride in his field and devoted himself entirely to his work. Despite this, Harebrayne also harbored shades of insecurity, which were most apparent whenever his hypotheses were called into doubt. He could also be rather naive at times, as shown by his misplaced trust in people like Asman and Drebber.

He did possess a sense of morality, and considered that he should be punished for having failed his experiment and caused the death of a man, however, he proves to be smart and bold by defending himself, claiming that the death of Asman was merely an accident, and not a murder. Albert was also rather paranoic and protective with his inventions, as he did not want anybody to investigate his teleport, as he feared people would steal his ideas.

Name[]

  • "Benjamin" is possibly derived from Benjamin Franklin, a United States founding father and scientist.
  • "Dobinbough" is a pun on Do binbō (ド貧乏) which means "incredibly poor".
  • "Albert" is possibly derived from Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist.
  • "Harebrayne" is a pun on "harebrained", which means "with no more sense than a hare", or to have little sense. His first and last name together work as a pun on the phrase “a bit harebrained”. Also, judging by his appearance (especially his large brain-looking hair), his name could probably be a pun on "hair" and "brain".

Development[]

  • Harebrayne's name tag for the Great Exhibition is a tricolour of black, white, and red, which were the colors of the German Empire's flag.
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