The scientist smiled wide as he looked at his computer screen. At last, everything was perfect. All the details had been hammered out and the device was ready for testing. All he needed to do now was type up the specifications and send them off to the engineers to build it. With that done he looked at the clock, before signing out and heading home.
Several days later the scientist entered his office, with a notice that the device had been built to his exact specifications. All it needed now was a few test runs. Taking the device, the scientist made his way to the lab, and soon found one of the many interns who had little to do. Bringing them over to a secluded segment of the lab, the doctor attached the helmet-like device to his head along with a smaller similar looking segment to the intern's head.
Activating the device, the scientist watched as the intern formed a confused expression. "Perfect," he thought, "neural transference is already working". He instructed the intern to turn around, and once he wasn't looking at the scientist, he slapped himself across the face. The first thing he noticed, was there was no pain. Only a slight sensation of pressure.
The second thing he noticed, almost instantaneously as the first, was that the intern's head jerked to the left. The intern brought a hand to his face, rubbing it in confusion of the sudden pain. The scientist tested several other self-inflicting injuries, and each time the intern reacted to the pain the scientist was no longer feeling.
Satisfied with the first test, he removed the secondary device from the intern and sent him back to his station. Next was the long distance test. Heading down to the mail room, the scientist sent the secondary device off to a lab on the other side of the country. The next day, once it had arrived, he engaged in a call with the lab. Instructing one of the interns on how to put the device on, the scientist repeated his self injury tests.
Each time, the intern on the other side reported feeling the exact injury without the scientist warning beforehand. After several attempts, with several long distance interns, the scientist seemed very satisfied with his results. With the secondary portion sent back within another day, he went before the board to display the device.
He brought an intern along with him to properly show off the device's capabilities. At first many of the board members were shocked and even disturbed, but he soon saw their eyes light up with that familiar look of greed. He could practically see the dollar signs as they considered all the people that would pay out the ass to be rid of pain.
Orders came in for the device, first in hundreds then thousands. The scientist sat back and watched his new device thrive, unaware of the true end result he'd set into motion. The device filled store shelves, being sold under the name Pain Displacer. Hundreds bought them, though the only portion being sold was the main helmet. The secondary portions for the devices were distributed forcefully among death row inmates in prisons.
Nothing major happened at first, prisoners complaining about phantom pains and aches. Occasionally one would mention feeling a punch or a kick. As the weeks went by, things began to get serious. One inmate suddenly dropped to the floor, clutching his chest. Within moments he passed out, and was rushed to the medical wing. Doctors found no injury, other than his heart suddenly stopping.
Through tracking the ID numbers on his device, the company found the other half of that device was worn by a gang member who'd been shot in the chest. Some warned that these devices would be dangerous, but they were merely small dissenting voices overshadowed by the majority. A majority who were blinded by the profits.
Months passed, and more inmates began to collapse. Pain and agony pulsed throughout their bodies, slowly driving them mad. Some tried to remove their devices, but were stopped shortly by a guard. Enraged inmates attacked the guards, finding themselves unable to feel the pain of the batons. Many guards were brutally beaten to death before the riot was quelled.
News reports flared up of Pain Displacer owners feeling strange pains. They demanded answers, and the company did their best to hush it all up. Throwing money around and promising to fix the issue. They took the devices off the death row inmates, deciding instead to take them over to a mental institution. After all, thought the CEO, who'd really believe crazy people were having pains?
Devices were handed out to those particularly disturbed inmates who had to be locked in padded cells and straight jackets. Within days howls filled the halls of the institution, cries of pain and agony. Nobody noticed it at first, but occasionally the devices would spark, as though they were being overloaded. It all came to a head however, one October night.
A particularly rough wave of pain was being sent through the lines, when suddenly every patient with a device attached stopped dead in their tracks. They stood completely still, a blank expression on their faces, as each one of their devices suddenly shattered. They collapsed on the floor, resuming consciousness several hours later. While they got their rest, the news exploded.
Every person who'd bought a Pain Displacer had dropped dead that very same night. Each of them had suddenly cried out in pain, or screamed, before collapsing and writhing in agony for several minutes. Their bodies spasmed and twitched in odd angles, their bones and joints popped from the exertion, before they all died. The company was flooded with lawsuits, but they couldn't deal with them.
Every member of the company who had been in support of the device had perished that night. Some of sudden heart attacks, some of accidents. Some had committed hasty and messy suicide. The scientist who'd created the device was never found. Most of him, at least. Police went to search his residence when he failed to reply to phone calls, and found much of the walls in his bedroom coated in blood splatter and flecks of tissue.
The few members of the company that remained immediately shut down any and all production of the Pain Displacer, dismantling any of the product that remained. In time they paid off the multiple lawsuits, but they never fully recovered and dissolved within a decade. Some say schematics for the device still lay in a vault somewhere, waiting for some foolish mortal to tamper with what shouldn't exist.