“Estimated arrival at alpha memory: one minute.”
“Chemical reacting to subject’s cortex. Applying electrical stimulation, baseline of 50 volts for 1 second.”
“Heartrate has jumped. 160 over 80. Estimated arrival at alpha memory: 10 seconds.”
“Applying electrical stimulation, raised to 100 volts for 1 second.”
“Heartrate still rising. Recommend dose of amiodarone.”
“Leave subject as is to avoid corrupting the sample.”
“Subject’s cortex activity has spiked. Heartrate is erratic. Subject has begun auditory distress signals. Stress levels at peak, pupils are dilated, muscle convulsions have been detected.”
“Subject has flat-lined. Checking recorded data… Data incomplete. Experiment has failed.”
“Initiating sanitization protocol. Requesting new subject delivery.”
The cooling corpse slides off the inclined table into the incineration pit built into the floor. Its head knocks against the white tile, blood splattering. The floor slides shut over the aperture. Round drones roll out from their charging stations in the wall, sucking up the liquid, and leaving the floor spotless.
A door slides open in the wall. A larger cousin to the cleaning drones wheels in, carrying a man in its two large pincers. The man’s head has been shaved and he is dressed only in white shorts. The drone wheels next to the stainless steel surgical table and waits.
Two mechanical arms hang from the ceiling. They are labelled Dr. Right and Dr. Left. Together they grab the man around his ankles and his neck with their six fingered dextrous hands. They place him on the table. Metal rings slide up around his ankles, wrists, and forehead. The large drone turns and leaves the room. A screen descends from the ceiling, displaying the man’s vitals.
The man’s eyelids flutter. Dr. Right plucks a scalpel from a nearby tray.
“Initiating scalp incision.”
The voice comes from a tiny speaker located in Dr. Right’s metallic forearm. The voice almost sounds human. The inflections and pauses ring just slightly false.
A buzzer sounds. The robotic arms freeze in place.
The voice that comes from the speaker built in the smooth ceiling sounds even less human than the voice of Dr. Right. There is a moment of quiet. Faintly, humming comes from the main bulk of the robotic systems that make up the doctors.
“Experiment 765 was a failure.” Dr. Left intones.
The man mutters, his eyes flicking left and right under his puffy eyelids.
A few clicks from Dr. Left. Dr. Right lowers slightly, humming louder.
“Subject reaction to compound initially favourable. Cortex significantly simulated. Subject reached alpha memory. Reaction was violent. Subject’s heartbeat reached 190/50 at peak point, sweating, dilated pupils, and muscle convulsions. Mental reaction was significant. Subject experienced high spikes of norepinephrine and cortisol. Subject’s mental state deteriorated until resulted expiration.”
The speaker in the ceiling beeps.
The doctors process their data.
“Initial analysis: subject reached alpha memory. Subject unable to process new data. Humans have flawed data consumption methods tainted by emotional bias. Subject reached alpha memory and relived its own creation. Subject’s neural network broke down at apex of memory, driving the subject insane and rendering it unusable,” Dr. Left reports.
“Was the recording viable?”
“Negative. Failed to record complete memory, subject’s reaction to memory was too intense,” Dr. Right states.
“Expected success in new subject,” the ceiling speaker says.
The two robotic arms are silent for a moment as they process. They output estimations at the same time.
“56.43% based on previous.”
The ceiling speaker clicks off. The man groans, his eyes open. He sees the robots hanging on either side of his head and he screams.
“Administering sedative. 12 milligrams.”
Dr. Left slides the hypodermic needle into the man’s neck and depresses the plunger. The man’s screams subside and his body stills. Dr. Right places the scalpel against the man’s skin.
“Initiating scalp incision,” the doctor says, putting pressure on the knife.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Happy Canada Day ~ and don’t forget to like, comment, and follow!
x P.L. McMillan