Life Extender Machine
A Life Extender Machine or Life Extension Machine (LEM) is a device that, when connected to someone, can extend their life indefinitely. It was first introduced in the comic Loose Canon, where two such devices of similar design were introduced that subsequently kept the two rivals Blutarch and Redmond Mann alive until their murders seven decades later. These two Life Extender Machines as well as a number of later models are fixtures of the Team Fortress 2 Storyline. These devices provide a means for the brothers’ conflict to span well over a century of U.S. history; from the earliest settlement of the West and the Lincoln Presidency to the Cold War and the Space Race. Additionally, these Life Extender Machines depend on access to the contentious metal Australium; not only for the intelligence enhancement needed to invent the machines, but to power them as well.
The original two Life Extender Machines were completed in 1894 by Radigan Conagher, the current BLU Engineer's grandfather, after being exposed to intelligence-enhancing Australium. The first machine was built for Blutarch Mann at his request, while the second was built for Redmond Mann at the request of a woman resembling both Elizabeth and the Administrator. It was this woman who gave Australium to Conagher. If Blutarch’s and Redmond’s machines were actually fueled by Australium, they show no indication of such dependence; neither do these two brothers show any knowledge of the metal. Radigan Conagher’s notes indicate he also built a third Life Extender Machine for reasons unknown at some later date, though it wasn't revealed for whom this one was created. In about 1960, the BLU Engineer was summoned by his employer Blutarch, who explained that the machine was broken and didn't work correctly. Blutarch provided Engineer with his grandfather's blueprints to repair the machine, but claimed ownership of any other technology found in Conagher’s notes.
Additional improved models
Subsequently, Blutarch, Redmond, and other characters have been shown using various newer, smaller, portable, and advanced Life Extender Machines.
While each of the 1894 models was a large device with many dials, lights and mechanical components, later Life Extender Machines of diminishing size and increasingly advanced designs have been portrayed or implied:
- The actual recipient, design, size, or year of construction of Radigan Conagher’s third machine has not been explicitly revealed.
- At the time of their murders, two mobile life extender machines were seen with Redmond and Blutarch Mann, attached by pumps to wheelchairs and moderated by multiple Engineers, obviously different from those originally built in 1894 or even the one recently disclosed to Dell Conagher; the red one is revealed to resemble a heavily modified, small 1950s farm tractor with only small portions of the blue one being seen that suggest that it is roughly similar in size and design to the other.
- While committing those murders, a much more advanced life extender machine is shown embedded in the spine of Gray Mann. This is the first model visibly shown to run on Australium.
- The two models Dell Conagher calls Mark Four and Mark Five are small enough to fit under the sleeve on a slender woman’s forearm.
As of the most recent published media, the true recipient of the third Radigan Conager LEM, its year of manufacture, and its degree of development have not been clearly revealed. Neither has there been a complete accounting of the true identities of the makers and wearers of all of the later models; especially since the full history of Emily, Elizabeth, and/or the Administrator has not been shown.
Redmond Mann and his Life Extender Machine, found in Mann Manor.
- The date of each machine's completion is recorded on the blueprints; Blutarch Mann's Life-Extender Machine was built on July 17th 1894, and Redmond's machine was created on August 3rd of the same year. The date on the blueprint for the third machine is April 14th of an unknown year, the year as well as the recipient being obscured.