The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 10 - Falling Down

Jesse slowly opened his eyes as he started to wake up. As soon as his eyes were open he knew he was back in his own room. He tried to search the room with his mind. Immediately Jesse felt a sharp pain in his forehead which quickly sent his very sensitive nervous system into spasms.

"Do you try and scan the room with your mind every time you wake up?" asked someone from the other side of the room.

As soon as his system had calmed down and the pain had subsided Jesse looked across the room to find Dr. Taylor sitting on a new bed that sat where Jacob's box had been.

"I don't recommend that you try using your telepathy or your telekinetic powers," said Dr. Taylor. "There is a neuro-inhibitor strapped to your forehead blocking both skills."

Jesse tried to bring his hands to his head and found that his hands had been strapped down. He looked back over at Dr. Taylor and tried to stare a hole through him. Finally, Jesse said something.

"You betrayed me," said Jesse softly.

"I suppose you could see it as that Jesse," said Dr. Taylor. "I see it as trying to protect your well-being."

"My well-being! What about Jacob's?" Jesse all but shouted.

"I'm not allowed to interfere with the experiments that go on here Jesse," said Dr. Taylor. "You know that I care about Jacob just as much as I do you, if not more."

"Yeah, sure you do," said Jesse sarcastically.

"Jesse you must realize that if I had not taken you down then the guards would have," said Dr. Taylor. "I didn't want to see them hurt you."

"No, the only thing I realize is that I had forgotten that you are a part of this system," said Jesse. "Part of this screwed up system and that I was a fool to trust you in the first place."

"I don't see how you could have forgotten that Jesse," said Dr. Taylor. "But you have to see that I am right here. They would have shot you for that Jesse."

"I don't care, it would have been worth it to rip that bastard apart," said Jesse. "They were hurting possibly even killing one of the only friends that I have and I couldn't let them do that."

"What do you think Jacob would say to that?" asked Dr. Taylor.

"What he would say would most likely be along the lines like I shouldn't put myself in harm's way, or that I shouldn't risk my life for his," said Jesse. "But I also know that he would have done the same thing if one of his friends was in pain and he could do something to try and stop it."

Dr. Taylor sighed, "I don't think you know him well enough to say that. I don't think Jacob would risk his life for some foolish attempt at nothing."

"Foolish attempt at nothing, huh? I think you underestimate how Jacob feels about all of the boys Dr. Taylor. I think that your opinion is half-baked and void of facts," said Jesse.

"What you did Jesse was foolish!" said Dr. Taylor. "It didn't help anyone."

"No, maybe not but at least I tried to keep my promise to Julian," said Jesse. "And at least I can say I tried."

Dr. Taylor frowned, "Jesse, what would you have had me do? Was I supposed to stand by and watch you both die?"

"You really think that you saved me don't you?" said Jesse. "Did you ever think that Jacob dying may have killed me as well? He was in my mind before Dr. Taylor; I have a connection to Jacob that could be dangerous to me and him."

"Jacob was in no risk of dying, Jesse," said Dr. Taylor, "just getting hurt."

"In my mind Doc, that's almost the same thing," said Jesse. "You know what any kind of pain does to me."

"Yes, Jesse, I do. At least that connection with Jacob is most likely gone now," said Dr. Taylor.

Jesse gave him a confused look, "What do you mean?"

"They installed a Computer-assisted Organizational Backup Interface Emitter into the back of his head," Dr. Taylor explained. "It's designed to do many things but one of them is to limit and or break all other telepathic bonds with his mind."

Jesse sighed, "That figures, I suppose you can't have him getting too strong of a connection with me. Anything else I should expect?"

"I don't know if I should tell you," said Dr. Taylor. "After all you don't trust me."

"Oh good grief, I'll get over it Doc," said Jesse. "Just tell me what else I should expect from Jacob now. He's not hurt, is he? I swear if he is hurt I'll kill that no good son of a bitch that tries to pass as a doctor!"

"Now where did you learn language like that?" smiled Dr. Taylor.

"From some lieutenant that I know," Jesse said while trying to look innocent.

"As accurate a description of Dr. Guise that that is, it sounds like I need to give Lt. Gemini a little talk," said Dr. Taylor.

"You're stalling Doc, just tell me about Jacob already!" shouted Jesse.

"Oh alright," said Dr. Taylor. "Do you remember the talk we had about Jacob possibly getting hurt from that experiment?"

"Yes, you said that he could get physically hurt as well as mentally," replied Jesse.

"Well, we did a little damage to his nervous system," said Dr. Taylor. "And we may have permanently crippled him."

"What do you mean a little damage? Something like him not being able to walk?" said Jesse.

"Yes, exactly that," responded Dr. Taylor. "We damaged the nerves that go to his legs. Now before you go and blow your top, there may be a chance that the nerves could heal."

"What like a 0.236% chance?" sneered Jesse.

"Him not being able to walk won't affect your friendship will it?" asked Dr. Taylor.

"No!" shouted Jesse. "What it will affect is my wrath towards all of you so called scientists! How could you hurt the sweetest, kindest person on the face of this planet? What did he ever do to you?"

"First I think that your opinion about Jacob is a bit skewed," said Dr. Taylor. "Second you know that whatever he does has no effect on what we subject him to."

"But I don't understand, why do you do any of this?" cried Jesse. "Why are we here, why?"

"You know I can't answer that question Jesse, the Council would not want that. I think you're too young to understand anyway," said Dr. Taylor. "You just have to trust me when I tell you that what you and the others go through will, in some way, benefit humanity as a whole."

"What do I care for the rest of humanity?" said Jesse. "I don't care what happens to everyone else I just care about Jacob and the others that I know. Humanity has never helped me why should I care for helping humanity?"

"Jesse, you and the others suffer so that other people, other children can live safe happy lives," said Dr. Taylor. "This will all work out, Jesse, you just have to trust us on that."

"Yeah, and who told you that?" asked Jesse. "This Council that I know nothing about?"

"Mock me all you want Jesse but I am here because I want to be," said Dr. Taylor. "I am also here because the Council doesn't completely trust Dr. Guise to work slowly with all of you. They don't want to cause too much pain in getting the results that they want."

"Sounds to me like you've bought all the lies they've sold you Doc," said Jesse.

"You just don't understand Jesse," said Dr. Taylor. "We're not all out to get you."

"Whatever you say Dr. Taylor," sighed Jesse. "When are you going to let me up?"

"I'm not," replied Dr. Taylor. "Jacob can do that when he gets here. I don't want you coming after me because you're angry."

"Gee Doc, whatever gave you that idea?" said Jesse sarcastically. "I promise I won't attack you Dr. Taylor."

"You just have to wait for Jacob," said Dr. Taylor. "You don't mind having to help him tonight do you?"

"What do you mean?" asked Jesse.

"He might need help getting to the toilet," said Dr. Taylor. "And getting into bed."

"Of course I don't mind you…" Jesse started to say but then thought better of it. " No Dr. Taylor, I don't mind helping Jacob."

"Good," said Dr. Taylor. "The Council has decided that Jacob should sleep on a bed from now on so that he might heal better. Do make sure he understands why Jesse."

Just then the door opened and Jacob was rolled in by two lab assistants.

Jacob immediately noticed that Jesse was strapped down to his bed and that Dr. Taylor was sitting on a bed that wasn't there earlier.

"Who are they…" said Cobie in the back of Jacob's mind.

"Never mind that now Cobie, you can look it up later," thought Jacob. "I want to find out why Jesse has been strapped down."

"Yes sir," said Cobie, "I am ready when you are."

But before Jacob could do anything Dr. Taylor spoke, "Welcome back Jacob, how do you feel."

Jacob looked back at Dr. Taylor, "I don't know Dr. Taylor, how should I feel? For the most part, I feel numb. Is that how I should feel?"

"That sounds about right Jake," said Dr. Taylor. "Most of your senses are still messed up, I'd say give it a day or so and you should be fine."

"Were you being sarcastic Sir?" Cobie said to Jacob. "If so, sir, I think he missed it."

Jacob ignored Cobie for the moment and replied, "Ok then, if you say so Dr. Taylor."

"The Council also wants you to sleep on a bed from now on Jacob," said Dr. Taylor. "They want you to heal correctly, there's still a chance that you could walk again."

Jacob focused on Dr. Taylor for a minute, "Cobie, help me download him."

He suddenly felt a rush of information fill his mind for the second time that day.

"Too much, Cobie," thought Jacob. "That stings."

"Sorry sir," Cobie replied, "I'm adjusting the intake stream now."

"Let me know as soon as you have all of his information filed, I want you to tell me if he's lying," Jacob thought as he looked back over at Dr. Taylor.

"Yes sir," replied Cobie.

"Dr. Taylor," said Jacob. "Why is Jesse strapped down?"

"It's for his protection and mine," said Dr. Taylor. "He can tell you about it later. You can let him up once I leave."

Dr. Taylor motioned for the Lab assistants to leave the room and then got up to leave as well.

"I hope both of you sleep well tonight, I promise that you won't be taken from your beds tonight," said Dr. Taylor as he reached the door.

"Jump off a cliff Doc," said Jesse. "And take humanity with you."

Jacob looked oddly at Jesse but then turned to look at Dr. Taylor, "Good night Dr. Taylor."

"Good night Jacob," replied Dr. Taylor and then he left the room, closing the door behind him.

"I don't know if he was lying or not sir," Cobie said to Jacob.

"What do you mean?" said Jacob.

"Who are you talking to?" Jesse suddenly asked.

Jacob looked over at Jesse, "Shhhh, give me a moment."

"He was telling you the truth when he said that you could recover but the chance of you making a full recovery or ever being able to walk again is a very small chance sir," answered Cobie.

"How small a chance?" asked Jacob?

"A two percent chance sir," said Cobie.

"Thanks Cobie," sighed Jacob. "That's kind of what I thought it would be."

"Who's Cobie and what's what you thought it would be?" said Jesse from his bed.

Jacob slowly rolled himself over to Jesse's bed, "Cobie is the device that they put into the back of my head. He's supposed to help me file and store information that I collect. He also helps me collect it faster."

"Oh, can I talk to him?" said Jesse.

"I really don't know," said Jacob. "Give it a try."

"I can't," said Jesse. "Not until you take this damn device off my forehead."

"What is…?" Jacob started to ask.

"It's a neuro-inhibitor sir," Cobie quickly answered. "It's designed to keep him from using his skills."

"Thanks Cobie," said Jacob.

"What did he just tell you?" asked Jesse.

"Just what the thing was on your forehead," Jacob stated as he reached over and pulled the device off of Jesse's forehead.

As soon as he had removed the device Jesse undid his straps himself.

"Thanks Jake," smiled Jesse. "Do you think I could meet this Cobie now?"

Jacob suddenly felt very tired, "Maybe once I'm asleep you can try, I'm very tired Jesse."

"Ok Jake," Jesse said cheerfully, "Do you need to use the bathroom first?"

"It would be a good idea sir," Jacob heard Cobie say. "You might not have really good control for about a day."

"I heard that," Jesse said excitedly, "Was that Cobie?"

"Yeah, that was him," said Jacob. "I suppose he's right, I should try."

Jesse got up and carefully helped Jacob into the bathroom. Soon he was tucking Jacob into his new bed.

"Do you think you're going to be able to sleep on this Jake?" Jesse asked.

But Jesse got no reply; Jacob was out like a light.

"He's very tired," Jesse heard a voice say.

"Are you Cobie?" said Jesse.

"Yes, I am," replied Cobie. "He's very tired, he had a long day and you know he didn't get much sleep the night before. Well, at least it wasn't restful sleep."

"The night before?" said Jesse somewhat confused.

"You both took a nap before the experiment where they installed me, but after that, Jacob was out for the rest of the night and the next day," said Cobie.

Jesse was shocked, "We've been out for a day?"

"If you were asleep the whole time then yes, a whole day," replied Cobie.

"Wow, did anything important happen?" said Jesse.

"Seems like all you do is ask questions," said Cobie.

"I don't normally ask this much," laughed Jesse.

"I can show you what you missed if you like Jesse," said Cobie. "I recorded everything that has happened since I was activated. But you have to be asleep to see it because you're not Jacob."

"I don't get it, do you mean that you can't transfer the information while I'm awake or that you don't think it's safe," said Jesse.

"Both," said Cobie, "It's not safe and I can't do it; it's against my programming."

"Ok, but how can I trust you?" asked Jesse.

"I don't expect you to trust me, I'm here to help Jacob not you. I'm here to guide him and support him, I'm here to be his friend not yours," said Cobie. "So you can trust me because you trust Jacob or you can not trust me. That's your choice Jesse and your choice alone."

"That's not very reassuring," said Jesse.

"You're right, I suppose it's not but the choice is yours none the less," said Cobie. "You are the human here, not me; you can make whatever choice you want."

"That's not true," said Jesse. "If I had a choice I wouldn't be here in this dump."

"You misunderstand me Jesse," said Cobie. "I said you can make the choice, I didn't say that you control what happens to you. There's a difference; Jacob chose to trust me right off the bat but whether he trusts me or not I am still here embedded into his head. Do you at least get some of what I'm trying to say?"

"I think so," said Jesse. "Did they program you with this knowledge?"

"No, I got all of this from the last few hours of going through what is stored in Jacob's mind," replied Cobie.

Jesse thought for a moment as he got into his own bed.

"I suppose that if Jacob trusts you then I have no reason not to," Jesse finally said. "Just be careful in what you tell me while I'm asleep."

"I know what pain does to you now Jesse," said Cobie. "Jacob scanned Dr. Taylor before he left the room."

"Good," said Jesse as he laid down, "then please don't hurt me."

"I'll try not to," said Cobie. "Maybe we can find Jacob while you sleep."

"I'd like to find Zachary while I sleep," said Jesse as he drifted off. "I know him now."