"I see that my little statement last time got everyone's attention. Let's get into it.
"Every thaumatic working, whether it's carried out using eye of newt or a desktop computer, has four components: the Source, the Shaper, the Target, and the Sink. You might think of them as the components of a firearm: the Source is the propellant that drives the entire process. The Shaper is the barrel and firing chamber that directs the force of the explosion. The Target is the bullet that is driven down the barrel, the effect you're trying to perform. And finally, the Sink consists of the recoil compensation mechanisms.
"There is, of course, a fifth component that isn't an actual part of the working: the Practitioner. That would be you, the finger that pulls the trigger.
"I see I'm starting to lose some of your attentions, so please direct your attention here.
"I knew that would get your attention.
"What you are looking at is not only an orgy, but the source of a thaumatic worki— yes, she does have impressive breasts, and—"
"Do I have your attention again? Thank you.
"As I was saying, what you are looking at is the source of a thaumaturgical working. Remember what I said before about Pitch of aspect radiation: Sharp is creative, while Flat is destructive. And there are few acts more creative than the act of reproduction… or more destructive than the act of murder.
"… I'll give you another moment.
"All right, let's continue.
"The examples I've just shown you are extreme, but they are also clear examples of two different very extreme kinds of thaumaturgical Sources. In each case, the practitioner was attempting to "pitch" their energy source hard towards Sharp or Flat. What kind of working do you think they were trying to perform?
"… actually, no. In both cases, the practitioner was attempting to perform the same working: namely, the creation of a Constructed Intelligence… or the summoning of a demon, as was said in the older days. In both cases, the end purpose of the ritual pitched strongly towards Sharp, or creation. The difference came in just how patient the practitioner was in setting up their Source.
"Remember what I said about Backlash? When a working is performed, the excess energy bounces off the fabric of reality and rebounds… at an opposite Pitch and Hue. Hue is generally easy for the practitioner to shape right out of the source… what is harder to shape is Pitch. The latter working began with a Source that was Pitched strongly Flat: destructive. The energy was then channeled into a simple working at a low Hue: the circle of light that you see appearing around the practitioner's feet. The remaining energy Backlashed at an opposite Pitch: Strongly Sharp and opposite Hue: High Ebony, heavily creative and heavily blatant. The energy was then recaptured and worked into the final spell. Thaumatologists call this a Speckmann Rebound.
"Allow me to show you an example from an actual PHYSICS Division operation. A Strike Team, equipped with Current Gen technology is raiding the home of a rogue thaumaturge. Teams Alpha through Delta provide perimeter security, while Echo Team acts as the assault element. Echo Team's point man enters the working area and discovers the following scene: Two persons engaged in sexual intercourse, one of them the Type Blue. Across the room from them, a Class 9 ectomorphic entity is taking shape. Meanwhile, the walls are starting to light on fire. You are Echo Team's point man. What do you do?
"Terminate the Type Blue? That is one option… but the working is already in progress. There is a lot of free Aspect Radiation being generated. If you terminate the controlling agent… well, unless you're a Type Blue yourself, you're going to end up on the wrong side of a high amount of wild EVE. Not a good place to be.
"Terminate the ectomorph? I did mention it was a Class 9, wasn't it? And the team had Gen +0 Technology? Not a winning proposition there.
"What the Echo Team agent did instead was terminate the Type Blue's sexual partner. The agent recognized that the working's Source was the same Pitch as the Target… namely, both Sharp, or creative. He then shifted the energy of the Source powerfully towards Flat… towards destruction. The end result disrupted the still-forming ectomorph and caused the working to fail. It also had the side effect of creating a mist that quenched the flames caused by the backlash. On the other hand, it resulted in most of the team having to be treated for steam burns.
"Yes, sir, you had a question?
<pause. audience laughs.>
"… I actually don't find that question particularly funny. Actually, the gentleman had a good point. If the source had been a human sacrifice instead, one method to disrupt the working could have been to introduce a strongly Sharp pitched energy into the working: and yes, I suppose that making love inside the Source area would have worked. On the other hand, I doubt that any man… or woman, for that matter… could be heroic enough to maintain arousal in the presence of a rapidly forming hostile Class 9 ectomorph… or skilled enough to complete in time to disrupt the working. In that case, a better response would be to disrupt the initial working that is being used to shift the Pitch of the spell: the Speckmann's Rebound. Destroy the heat sinks or light sources that are being energized to create the backlash.
"Alternatively, you could push the original practitioner into the target area and terminate him there, introducing a surge of Flat Aspect Radiation into the circuit after the Rebound. I know at least one team that dealt with a nasty working in that manner. It has the disadvantage of leaving no one to question afterwards.
"In practice, of course, most modern thaumaturges prefer to use less dramatic Sources for their workings, mostly because the majority of the workings we perform don't require that dramatic of a Pitch, but also because we've learned techniques to alter the pitch of a working more precisely: they're less efficient than Speckmann's Rebound, but far more controllable. The most common Source thaumaturges use these days, in fact, is a simple drop of blood: blood is fairly neutrally pitched, and can actually provide quite a bit of EVE if properly Sourced. At higher energy levels, there is the Everhart Resonator. The conversion rate from electricity to Aspect Radiation is inefficient, and still requires a thaumaturge as catalyst, but it's still the most convenient way to generate high levels of EVE.
"As an example: a simple apportation working, like the one that transported your squad here, would require thirty human sacrifices… or an hour-long orgy with over one hundred participants. I suppose that would be more entertaining to watch than an Everhart Resonator slowly spinning up for a few minutes… but not exactly the thing one can order up at a moment's notice.
"We will take one final break for dinner, and when we return, I'll wrap up my lecture, and answer any remaining questions you may have."