The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 13 - You Must Understand

Jacob watched Jesse and his little brother leave the room and then sat back and closed his eyes. Jacob quickly brought himself to the file room that he had first met Cobie in.

"Cobie?" said Jacob.

"Yes sir…" said Cobie as he walked out from behind a file cabinet as a lion cub.

"I want to look through some of the files," said Jacob.

"Which files sir?"

"The ones you got from that man that was dressed in black the other day," replied Jacob.

Cobie frowned, "Sir we didn't get anything from him, he was wearing a special kind of neuro-inhibitor that works to block anyone from reading his mind."

"Like the reverse of what they had on Jesse last night?" said Jacob.

"Yes sir"

"Fine, then I want to look at Dr. Guise's files," said Jacob.

"Very good sir, I've loaded the files of Dr. Paul Guise into my buffer. Exactly what are you looking for?" said Cobie.

"I want to know what exactly is going on and what he plans to do with my friends," said Jacob.

"I'm sorry sir but the first part of your question is classified, I can't answer that," said Cobie.

"Cobie, please remind me who's mind we are sitting in," said Jacob calmly.

"Your mind sir."

"Good," said Jacob. Jacob concentrated for a second and suddenly they were no longer sitting in the middle of the file room but sitting on a rock surrounded by lava. Cobie let out a small cry and then hid his head under his paws.

"Cobie, I want to know what's going on and you're going to tell me," shouted Jacob.

"I can't do it sir, I'm not allowed!"

"You're plugged into my head, not that councils, you'll either work with me or things could get ugly," said Jacob. "I don't care what they don't allow you to tell me, what you know could help me and my friends."

Suddenly the rock that Cobie was sitting on started to break apart. Cobie screamed and quickly hurried over to Jacob's feet to hide.

"Cobie, answer the question!" shouted Jacob.

"Please don't hurt me sir, please!!!" pleaded Cobie.

"Dr. Guise wants to kill everyone that matters most to me, everyone that I hold dear. You're either going to help me save them and stop listening to what you've been programmed to do or I'm going to force my mind to dump your program," said Jacob.

"That's not possible," said Cobie. "You can't dump me."

"Are you sure about that?" asked Jacob.

The rock on which Jacob stood began to rumble, "Ok, I'll do whatever you want me to just please don't kill me!" said Cobie.

Suddenly the room changed again and both of them were back in the file room. Cobie lifted his head and looked around and then slowly got up.

"Now, if you would be so kind as to answer my question Cobie," Jacob said calmly.

"I…I'll try my best sir but some of the blocks that they put up I can't get around," said Cobie.

"Answer what you can," said Jacob.

"Dr. Guise plans on shooting your friends sir, lining them up back to back and then using one bullet to kill two at a time just to prove that they're not even worth their own bullet. But he doesn't plan on doing it until you…you're…," Cobie struggled to get out what he was saying. "Until you're…too busy to notice."

"Too busy to notice?" said Jacob.

"I can't just come out and say it sir, I can't get past that block, it ties directly to what this project is set up for and I'm not allowed to answer those questions," replied Cobie.

"When is all of this going to happen?" asked Jacob.

"I don't know when sir, but very soon," said Cobie. "They don't want you learning too much about what I can help you do, but they need you to have me installed in order for the whole thing to work; otherwise it would be too much for you to handle and it would kill you."

"It sounds like whatever I'm supposed to be doing will be on a large scale," said Jacob.

Cobie didn't say anything but nodded his head yes.

"Cobie, how can I save my friends," whispered Jacob. "I don't care if I don't get out but we have to get them out. That's not against what you've been programmed to do is it?"

Cobie tilted his head for a second and then replied, "It's not against my programming anymore, sir. Does that mean I've got work to do sir? To find them a way out?"

Suddenly Jesse came back into the room causing Jacob to come out of his half-asleep state but as he sat up he whispered "Yes…"

"Well I got him back to his room safely," smiled Jesse as he sat down on Jacob's bed and snuggled up to Jacob.

"Good, what are ya smiling about," asked Jacob.

Jesse grinned, "Your brother likes me and I like him just as much."

"So how much damage did you do?" said Jacob.

"Not really that much, I think our door is the worst of it," said Jesse. "Oh Jake, me and Zach think that they are making you into some kinda tool. Zach started asking me about them being able to control us while we are unconscious and I think that that's part of what Cobie might be for, so that they can control you."

"I actually had a thought on that," said Jacob. "So me and Cobie went at it while you were gone."

"Oh, who won?" said Jesse.

"I did," said Jacob, "and he's helping me the best that he can now, but one thing I know now is that they are going to be using me on a large scale, or at least a larger scale than what we are used to."

"What is Cobie helping you do?" asked Jesse.

"Save them," replied Jacob. "I can't just sit back and let them kill my friends."

"But Jake, if we run then they'll come after us, they'll catch us," said Jesse.

"I'm sure Kollin will do his best to prevent that," said Jacob.

Jesse looked at Jacob oddly, "Why Kollin? Unless…Jacob, you have to come with us if we do get out of here!"

"Let's not worry about it right now, I'm really tired," Jacob said through a yawn.

Jacob moved himself around and then lay down on his bed. Seeing the worried look on Jesse's face he pulled him down next to him.

"Stay with me for a little?" Jacob asked Jesse. Jesse smiled and then settled in as close as he could.

Once Jacob was asleep though, Jesse decided to talk to Cobie.

"Cobie, what is Jacob planning on doing?" thought Jesse.

"Not you too," said Cobie. "I was never intended to do what I've been asked to do today."

"Jacob said that you were going to help us," said Jesse.

"I found out just how much all of you mean to him while you were gone," Cobie said sadly.

"What does Jacob plan on doing?" Jesse asked again.

"I'm not at liberty to say," said Cobie. "I'm sure he'll tell you when he knows for sure."

"So he has no plan," sighed Jesse.

"You seem surprised," said Cobie. "Why would Jacob know what to do? He doesn't know any more than you do, in fact, you know more about what goes on here then he does."

"I don't believe that," said Jesse.

"Sure you do, you just hope that someone else will have to come up with the ideas," replied Cobie. "Plus the only ones you care about are Zachary and Jacob, you don't know the others well enough to want to save them. If Jacob comes up with the solution that just happens to save them too then you'll be more than willing to help. But then the only reason you would care would be because Jacob and Zachary care about them."

"Shut up, that's not true," said Jesse.

"What's wrong Jesse, did I figure you out?" teased Cobie. "You're just like your father, only caring about what concerns you. The others actually care about more than themselves but you're just like Dr…"

"Shut up!" Jesse shouted in his head. "I'm nothing like that bastard! He cares nothing for anyone but himself and his work. I care about Jacob and I care about Zachary, I have a soul! Just because I share that bastard's genetic material doesn't mean I am him!"

"I don't know, from the little I've learned; the saying ‘like father like son' applies pretty well no matter what," said Cobie.

"I will never believe that," said Jesse. "That's like saying that if you were to clone me then my clone would turn out just like me even if he lived a completely different life."

"It seems that you humans like to think that you're special and that there will never be anyone like you ever again," said Cobie. "But just the information I have access to in the compounds database gives me enough info for me to determine that humans are very easy to figure out and to see what kind of pattern they follow."

"I'm not human," said Jesse. "I am special and there will never be anyone like me again."

"You may be a subspecies of human but you are still human and I still know exactly how you view the world," said Cobie. "Although I'll give you credit for the few friends that you have picked, both of them are ‘good' people. But even they have their limits and still fall under something I can categorize."

"And you don't? You've got a lot of attitude for a computer" said Jesse sarcastically.

"I just don't like you," said Cobie.

"Well I don't trust you so I guess we both feel about the same way," replied Jesse.

"I suppose we're stuck with each other though, you are a friend of Jacob's and I'm his task manager," said Cobie.

Sighing, Jesse decided that he had had enough for the day and snuggled closer to Jacob; soon he fell asleep.


"This council meeting has been called to review the reports submitted by both Dr. Guise and Dr. Taylor. Both doctors are present at the council's request. Dr. Guise believes that we are ready to make the final step but Dr. Taylor is again petitioning for project termination. Dr. Taylor, please explain to us why you have again brought this request before us."

"Thank you," said Dr. Taylor. "I wish for the council to imagine for a moment that this project was to succeed, what kind of world would you be creating? You'll be taking away everything that we use to define ourselves, you'll be taking away the diversity that this world is made up of and be replacing it with a twisted dull illusion."

"But think about what it will be getting rid of!" interrupted Dr. Guise. "Think about it, Jim! No more crime, no more abuse, no murder, no hunger! The perfect world!"

"But at what cost Paul!" replied Dr. Taylor. "We are messing with our own genetic structure to create something with which to control the world and take away choice and free will!"

"Oh don't be so dramatic, this project is not taking away either one of those. It will be bettering humanity as a whole and uniting the world in a way that no one ever thought possible," shouted Dr. Guise.

"But the world didn't ask for this. If you were to ask anyone outside of this room if this is something that they would want I bet they would say no," said Dr. Taylor. "Not to mention you are abusing these children and in some sense torturing them to get what you want while claiming that they are not even human. I was afraid to even tell them exactly how you killed Kevin; I lied to them telling them that you just gave him an injection."

"Horse!" shouted Dr. Guise. "Do not call these creations by the names you and the other doctors have given them, they have animal names because that's exactly what they are! You and the others have gotten too attached to these subjects!"

"That's because they are our children and we know it! You're so blinded by your goal that you don't realize that harvesting a child that's still alive for organs is wrong or that drilling into the back of a child's skull to implant a device and crippling him is inhuman, or that killing all of the ‘extras' just because you see no need for them anymore is cruel and just as bad as those murders that you want to stop by seeing this project through."

"This project is my life's work and is worth killing a few lab rats over," said Dr. Guise.

"If these children are animals then why didn't you give Jesse an animal name?" inquired Dr. Taylor.

"I didn't see him being worth a name in the first place," said Dr. Guise.

"Bull shit! You are the one that gave him the name Jesse and he is the only child other than Jacob that you don't plan on killing," said Dr. Taylor.

"That's because he's our backup…" Dr. Guise started to explain.

"This goal is worth a few losses Dr. Taylor and they are losses that we are willing to accept. As to how Dr. Guise treats the subjects, that is his business just as long as we get the results we are looking for. We are not funding this project so that we can get set back by how these children are treated and make their lives better. They are going through all of this to better this world and we are behind Dr. Guise because he is behind us. Your request for project termination is again rejected, if you bring this to us again you will be dismissed. The council will hear no more on the subject, this council meeting is adjourned."