The Ray Sphere is a device developed by the mentalist organization, the First Sons and funded by DARPA. The development for the most part was overseen by Dr. Sebastian Wolfe and the First Sons' leader, Kessler. The device was capable of unlocking the powers of those with the Conduit gene and responsible for the Blast in New Marais and Empire City.
DevelopmentComing back in time from a future where the Beast had destroyed the world, Cole MacGrath took on the alias of Kessler and seized control of the First Sons. Controlling all their assets, Kessler accelerated the development of the Ray Sphere, making it a leading project in the faction.
Dr. Sebastian Wolfe worked on the Ray Sphere and helped design a prototype. The prototype was then tested out in New Marais by Wolfe. After several successful tests, the partially-working Ray Sphere was delivered to Empire City where it was further developed. It appears that there were several failed attempts in Ray Sphere development. The Blast Cores are stated to be expended Ray Sphere cores that were modified in an attempt to recycle them into new cores.
The Ray Sphere was first tested on animals, as some rats and chimpanzees had the Conduit gene. Some test subjects gained the ability to fly, while others obtained small muscle tissue regeneration and reduced blood flow to the feet and legs. After decades of work, Kessler soon collaborated with DARPA, which funded it, while the First Sons developed it, acting as a joint effort. Soon Kessler moved on to human subjects. David Warner, who had the Conduit gene, was hired, though later became a prisoner of the Ray Sphere experiments.Used as a way of discovering the effects it has on humans, David was exposed to it thirty times and gained new powers each time during the human phase of calibration. A flaw in the Ray Sphere was that test subjects, like David, needed neuroelectricity to survive, however this was later removed. With the Ray Sphere fully functional, Kessler was able to put his true plan from the beginning into action: have his younger self gain powers through the Ray Sphere and shape him into the world savior he himself failed to become.
Empire City Blast
- “It was like a bomb. Five, six city blocks reduced to rubble, corpses everywhere. But there was this kid right in the center of the crater. He had survived.”
- — John White on the Blast.
Several powerful Conduits who were caught in the Blast had their powers unlocked, who later used their power to take control of Empire City. As Kessler planned, Cole also gained his power from the Blast, being one of the more powerful as he gained more powers and was stronger as he was at the center of the Blast. (Known Conduits activated: Cole MacGrath, Sasha, Alden Tate, several Reapers, Dust Men and First Sons members.)
New Marais BlastPartner of Kessler and leader of the First Sons in New Marais, Joseph Bertrand III, who had the Conduit gene believed he was meant for higher purpose and had a Ray Sphere set up in the rural areas of New Marais. As Bertrand activated it, the Ray Sphere Blast destroyed a large portion of the rural areas and unlocked Bertrand's powers and another, a woman named Nix. (Known Conduits activated: Joseph Bertrand III, Nix.)
The Ray Sphere left Empire City in a Quarantine. In one of his dead drops, John reported that he once was in possession of the Ray Sphere, but it was stolen by the Dust Men. He tracked it down to Alden's Tower using UAV spy drones. After informing Cole of this, Cole and Zeke Dunbar stole the Ray Sphere off Alden Tate and the Dust Men. Zeke, who believed the Ray Sphere would give him powers, attempted to activate it. However, nothing happened. Kessler, who was present at the time, claimed he could fix it, hence Zeke joined Kessler with the Ray Sphere and betrayed Cole.
- “Nothing went according to plan, but at least the Ray Sphere is out of the picture.”
- — Cole after the Ray Sphere is reduced to ashes.
In an alternate timeline, Cole attempted to activate the Ray Sphere to gain more powers. The Ray Sphere cracked opened and exploded, "killing" John and destroying the pier, as well as making Cole stronger in the process.
- “For all we know, the Ray Sphere could be the catalyst that creates the Beast.”
- — John speculating that the Ray Sphere may by the catalyst for the Beast.
The Ray Sphere was responsible for the Plague, as Ray Field energy, the energy source of the Ray Sphere is what caused it. The Plague began almost immediately after the Empire City Blast and spread across America. It had no affect on Conduits however, though normal humans died within days or weeks. Eventually it was cured by the activation of the Ray Field Inhibitor.
Effects and appearance
- “First glimpse of a device Kessler calls the “Ray Sphere”. It’s about the size of a basketball and appears to be structured from two halves that are connected via an array of electrical cables and silicon boards. An unknown object occupies its center. At first glance, it looks like a bomb of some type.”
- — John White on the Ray Sphere and what is looks like.
The Ray Sphere was small spherical device, said to be at least the size of a basketball. The two halves were connected by an array of electrical cables and silicon boards. The Ray Sphere emitted a blue glow and several lights around the silicon boards. At the top of the sphere was a small dent with a light in the center. The Ray Sphere could be set on a timer, as Kessler did for the Empire City Blast. The technology for the Ray Sphere was extremely advanced, taking the First Sons decades to fully develop.
The Ray Sphere could cause devastating explosions, destroying 5 or 6 blocks in the Empire City Blast. The Ray Sphere drains nuero-electric energy from non-Conduit and then transfers that energy into the nearest Conduit. Once enough energy has accumulated within the Conduit, their latent superhuman abilities are activated. The Ray Sphere was said to be pulsing by John White, as if something were inside trying to escape. Several times the Ray Sphere has failed to work correctly such as when Zeke Dunbar attempted to activate it. At one point the Ray Sphere cracked open and revealed a vortex of powerful energy that pulls in anyone nearby and tears them apart. In several animal tests by Kessler the Ray Sphere induced small muscle regeneration and reduced blood flow to the legs and feet. The device is also shown to be extremely durable, as it was completely undamaged by it's own explosions, and was only ever shown to be damaged by Cole's Lightning Storm power.
- If Cole decided to use the Ray Sphere a second time, only a pier was destroyed but his powers doubled. It could be explained that his powers doubled via the deaths of John and the First Sons guarding the Ray Sphere. It could also be that more life energy was required to trigger his initial powers, and less was needed in order to accelerate them.
- As John rips the Ray Sphere away from Cole (If Cole decides to use it to increase his powers) and the pier is destroyed, the Ray Sphere gives Cole a third of what he had from the first activation (four Battery Cores compared to the twelve Battery Cores Cole starts with).
- It is stated in the final cutscene that Kessler "accelerated" the Ray Sphere's development upon traveling back in time, implying that the original Ray Sphere is from Kessler's timeline and that Kessler had taken the designs. Or he simply ordered the First Sons (after gaining control of said group) to devote more/all time to the already existing project, as he possibly never acquired the designs due to him being more concerned about his family's safety.
- Moya, via cellphone, states, in a panic, that the Ray Sphere isn't just a weapon of "mass destruction," but a weapon of "ultimate destruction."
- It was revealed during the comics series by DC Comics that the Ray Sphere was developed in a joint effort between DARPA and the First Sons, with one group funding the project and the other developing the product.
- The Ray Sphere could be considered a two-phase weapon of Ultimate destruction like Moya said: Phase 1-It detonates, killing thousands of people initially, draining them of neuroelectric energy or vaporizing them. The energy released from the device is enough to cause thermal and concussive damage to a wide area. Phase 2-The energy from the blast is concentrated into the nearest Conduit(s) who becomes a living Weapon of Mass Destruction. In addition to activating the potentially destructive powers of Conduits in the area of the blast, massive amounts of Ray Field Radiation is released, causing widespread sickness.
- The four extra battery cores earned by activating the Ray Sphere at the pier cannot be obtained via blast shards.
- The Ray Sphere appears on the Alden's Tower stage in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, where it supplies energy for the characters' Super Meters, in a similar manner to how it gives powers to Conduits.