The man ruffled through the pages of the progress report before him with a sigh. They were getting somewhere, sure, but they weren’t doing it quickly enough. How long could this keep up before the funding was cut? His investors had sunk millions, billions of dollars into this project. How much more would it take?
One of the pages came into focus. A summary of the past several tests, it seemed.
Subject Thirty: No repair whatsoever. Unidentified cause.
Subject Thirty-One: Repairs mostly successful but incomplete. Unable to continue.
Subject Thirty-Two: Subject rejected completed repairs.
Subject Thirty-Three: Uncontrolled growth far beyond intended scope of repairs. Unidentified cause.
Subject Thirty-Four: Repairs completed and accepted. Synchronization of mind unsuccessful.
Subject Thirty-Five: Repairs completed and accepted. Mind synchronized momentarily and desynchronized again. Further efforts unsuccessful.
Subject Thirty-Six: Repairs completed and accepted. Synchronization of mind unsuccessful.
Subject Thirty-Seven: Repairs completed and accepted. Synchronization of mind unsuccessful.
Unsuccessful, unsuccessful, unsuccessful. Always unsuccessful. Perhaps what they were trying to do was impossible, then. Perhaps Subject Thirty-Five’s synchronization was simply an anomaly, just a glitch in the computers that never really happened. Perhaps no one really ever could–
A sharp rap on the door interrupted his thoughts. He called the visitor in. One of the scientists. One with little authority, sent as a courier.
“Sir, we’re beginning testing on Subject Thirty-Eight. Would you like to–”
“No,” he interrupted. He sighed. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be…” He shook his head. “Just go on without me.”
The scientist nodded and was gone.
The man sat in silence for a few moments before his curiosity overtook his discouragement. With a tap of the spacebar he brought his computer to life and a few clicks later was remotely observing the laboratory three floors below.
Subject Thirty-Eight lay unmoving on a table at the center of the room. A tangled mass of tubes and cords seemed to cover every inch of his skin, each connected to one of two dozen machines of various purposes. An ugly, gaping red hole adorned the man’s chest. Dead.
Researchers swarmed the room, checking and re-checking each machine, each dial, each screen and interface for any possible errors. So it continued for a several minutes until suddenly, slightly to the man’s surprise, the movement halted completely. One of the head researches had spoken: the time for preparation was finished. He strode to a computer in the corner of the room and typed a command. All eyes were fixed intently on Subject Thirty-Eight’s lifeless form.
The man pressed a button on his computer and a window appeared displaying the contents of the screen in the laboratory. Not much of interest; just a flashing string of commands flying across the screen far too quickly for the eye to follow. The man’s eyes flitted back to the image of Subject Thirty-Eight.
A remarkable transformation was underway. As he watched, the exposed organs within Subject Thirty-Eight’s chest began to repair themselves, knitted back together by some unseen hand. His muscles and skin then did the same, inch by inch reforming and closing the wound. His complexion began to change, color returning to his pallid face as artificial life coursed through his veins.
And then nothing. He sighed. This was where the others had stopped, too, ever since Thirty-Four. He pressed the Alt key and aimed his finger for F4. But for the briefest of moments, he hesitated, his eyes dropping back to Subject Thirty-Eight.
A fist clenched.
And then a pair of eyes snapped open, darting around the room. Arms reached back, pushing what should have been a corpse into a seated position.
Subject Thirty-Eight was alive.
Edited by Baltarc, Apr 08 2013 - 07:44 PM.