The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 07 - Compile

Jacob opened his eyes and found himself standing in the same white room that he had been in the day before. The only difference was that this time he knew he should be there.

Jacob looked around the room and quickly located the door with Micah's name on it.

"Ok, how do I do this," thought Jacob. "When I went into Jesse's mind I just thought about doing it and I did."

Jacob closed his eyes and thought about opening Micah's door and going inside. Suddenly Jacob felt himself moving through the room and when he opened his eyes he was looking through an open door leading into a dark tunnel.

Jacob walked through the door and looked around. The hallway he was standing in was dark with a soft glow coming from the purple doors that lined it. Each door had a label on it.

"This looks almost exactly like Jesse's mind," thought Jacob. "Ok, let's see. Jesse told me to visit every room and tell myself to remember what I see."

Jacob took another look down the hallway, "There has got to be hundreds of doors in here. How the heck am I supposed to visit all of them, that could take hours!"

"Jesse never told me how to do this in such a short time so it must be something that he thinks I can figure out myself," thought Jacob. "If I got in here by thinking about it I wonder what else I can do by mere thought."

Jacob sat down for a moment and thought about it, "God this is making my head hurt. Ok, assuming that I can do anything how can I make it so I can visit every room. Let's see if I can open all of the doors first."

Jacob closed his eyes and imagined all of the doors in the hallway opening up. When he opened his eyes again he saw that the doors had opened.

"Well that was easy," Jacob told himself, "Now all I have to do is visit them all. Wait, I have an idea! I'll try and become something not contained and restricted by a container of any kind. That must be why Jesse becomes smoke!"

He closed his eyes again and imagined that he was the wind. Whirring, rushing, soaring through cities and dancing across fields. Tickling noses and cooling hot summer days; never sleeping, never resting, always moving. Jacob imagined himself being able to fill all of the rooms at once yet never really filling them at all.

Suddenly Jacob felt something rush through him. He felt cold, afraid; he felt shy, unsure of himself. He felt alone.

Jacob was confused for a moment but quickly realized that it wasn't him that was feeling all of those things, it was Micah. Jacob could see Micah from Micah's point of view. Micah, the shy boy he thought he knew was so much more complex now. Jacob could feel what Micah felt every time he woke up; every time he ate, used the toilet, played a game. Jacob could feel what Micah felt towards every boy they lived with and every adult they dealt with.

And for a brief moment, Jacob felt that he was Micah. In the short time it took him to visit every room in Micah's mind Jacob lived Micah's life, feared what Micah feared, and felt the pain that Micah had felt.

And then it was over, Jacob found himself sitting right back where he started. It took him a moment to realize what had happened.

"Wow," said Jacob, "that was…"

Jacob could barely understand what he had done. Micah was a different person now. He knew everything about him.

He got up off of the ground and walked back out of the door he came in through. Jacob stopped for a second before he went back through his own door.

"Micah is just as important as anyone else. He has feelings and deserves to be treated with respect."

Jacob reached out and took hold of the handle of his door, "I think I finally understand Micah."

Jacob opened his eyes to see Dr. Taylor smiling down at him.

"That was wonderful Jake!" said Dr. Taylor. "You did great!"

Jacob looked around to find everyone smiling; Jesse, Zachary, Micah, and even the lab assistants. Minus of course Dr. Guise.

"He did well enough," said Dr. Guise. "Dr. Taylor, take the boys back to their rooms. I want to talk to Jacob alone."

Dr. Taylor nodded his head and motioned for the assistants to un-strap the boys. Once they were free he ushered them out of the room.

"Well, Jacob," started Dr. Guise. "What did you think?"

"About what sir," said Jacob.

"Do you think that it's something you can do again?" asked Dr. Guise.

"No, no I don't," said Jacob.

Dr. Guise looked confused, "You know that's not the answer I want."

"I know that sir but I'm just telling you the truth," said Jacob. "I don't want to be someone else and I don't want to know anyone that well."

"I'm sorry to hear you say that Jacob," said Dr. Guise, "because you're going to do it again. You are going to have to do just that for the rest of your life."

"And if I say no," said Jacob.

"You know what happens when you say no to me," sneered Dr. Guise, "besides, you won't have a say in the matter. You're just a tool and tools have no feelings to worry about."

Jacob didn't know why Dr. Guise was saying all of this. Normally Dr. Guise didn't explain anything. Why was Dr. Guise doing this now?

"And," Dr. Guise said breaking Jacob's train of thought, "if you don't do what I want you to do willingly, I'll kill your little brother."

"There's no need to threaten Zachary, leave him out of this," said Jacob.

"Just think of it as Russian Roulette, every time you tell me no I add one more bullet to the chamber," said Dr. Guise, "Don't screw up and don't fight me, if you do I'll kill him."

"I swear, if you touch one hair on his head you'll wish you were never born!" shouted Jacob.

"Too late for that boy, I've wished that for years," replied Dr. Guise. "And don't make threats you can't actually see through to their fulfillment."

Jacob stared at Dr. Guise for a moment and then thought to himself, "Don't be so sure I can't."

"I think we're done here don't you?" said Dr. Guise. "Dr. Bender will take you back to your room."

Dr. Guise motioned to Dr. Bender inside of the control room, "Jane, would you take Jacob back to Jesse's room for me."

"Of course sir," replied Dr. Bender.

* * *

Julian sat next to Isaac trying to help him with his strategy as they played chess against Kollin.

"Checkmate," said Kollin as he knocked over Isaac's King.

Isaac looked at Julian, "Julian, we lost again."

"I know, I know! I'm not really helping any," said Julian as he slumped in his chair.

"It's not Julian's fault, I'm just so damn good no one can beat me!" said Kollin as he set up the board again.

"Sure you are," said Isaac sarcastically.

Five minutes later Micah and Zachary came back and rushed over to join them.

"Well, how was it?" asked Julian.

"It was great!" said Zachary. "I made a new friend!"

"With who, Jesse?" asked Julian.

"Yeah," said Zachary.

"Personally I think he's crazy," said Micah. "That was the most uncomfortable experiment I have ever had to sit through."

"Did Jesse mess with your head?" Kollin asked as he made his next move.

"No, they had Jacob do it," replied Micah. "And to be honest I'm glad he did it. That Jesse kid gives me the creeps!"

"It's your move Isaac," said Kollin.

Zachary looked over the chess board for a moment and then moved a piece before Isaac could, "Checkmate."

"Yes! We won one! What do you say to that chess master?" shouted Isaac.

"Well anyone would lose against Zach, his IQ is higher than you can count," said Kollin as he again reset the board.

"So you like Jesse?" Julian asked Zachary.

"Yeah, he just don't know to be a kid," said Zachary, "and he's really cute!"

"You're hopeless," said Julian.

"Are you doing any better Julian?" asked Micah.

"The two of us together have lost the last 32 games against Bjorn and you're asking if he's ok?" said Isaac.

"I'm ok Micah, thanks for asking," said Julian.

Micah smiled, "Good! Now, what's this about losing 32 games! I'll admit Bjorn's good but he's not that good."

"Hey!" protested Kollin.

"I'm gonna go bug Samuel," smiled Zachary, "Julian, you don't have to let him win all the time."

Jacob got back to Jesse's room just as Dr. Taylor and Jesse got there.

"I would have thought you guys would have already gotten here," said Jacob.

"We dropped off the other boys first," said Dr. Taylor. "How was your talk with Dr. Never Happy?"

"You know, the usual," sighed Jacob, "he was just being his bitchy self."

Jesse gave Jacob a look that told him that Jesse knew he wasn't telling them everything but Jesse didn't say anything.

"Ok boys, I have to get going," said Dr. Taylor, "Gemini said to tell you he would be around to take you to get a shower tonight before your late night lab."

Jesse smiled, "Ok Doc, I guess we'll see you then."

"I think just a little bit of Zachary rubbed off on you," said Dr. Taylor as he rushed the boys into Jesse's room, "I think it's a good thing! See you guys tonight."

After Dr. Taylor was gone Jesse turned to Jacob, "Ok, he's gone. Now, what did Dr. Guise say to you that you didn't tell Dr. Taylor?"

"He threatened to hurt Zachary," Jacob said barely above a whisper.

Jesse sighed, "That figures. Well if he knows what's good for him he won't touch him."

Jacob looked at Jesse like he had a second head.

"Oh come on Jake, even if you can't hurt Dr. Guise I can," said Jesse. "Besides what's the point of being telekinetic if you can't throw something about once in a while."

"But why would you stand up for Zach?" asked Jacob.

"Because he's important to you," said Jesse, "That and I think your brother likes me."

Jacob smiled, "You read his entire memory and you ‘think' he likes you?"

"I'll tell ya what, your brother's mind is something else," giggled Jesse, "It's a good thing you didn't have to read his mind."

"Well, what do you think of him?" asked Jacob.

"I like him, he's really damn smart," said Jesse. "But he'd rather be a kid as long as he can. He also likes to cuddle."

"Yeah, he does," laughed Jacob. "You don't know how much…oh wait you do!"

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up but I think I've got another friend now," said Jesse.

"If he made you think he likes you then chances are you do have another friend," yawned Jacob.

"Tired?" asked Jesse.

"Very," answered Jacob, "Do you think we have time to take a nap?"

"Yeah, I like that idea," said Jesse. "And yes, we have plenty of time."

Jacob nodded his head and then crawled into his box.

"Can I join you in there?" Jesse asked.

"Sure," said Jacob as he got comfortable.

Jesse grabbed his blanket and squeezed in next to Jacob.

"Thanks for being my friend Jacob," whispered Jesse as he laid his head on Jacob's chest, "You know Zachary is lucky to have you for a brother."

Jacob put his arm around Jesse and the two of them drifted into a peaceful sleep.