The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 02 - Through the Black Door

"Where am I?" thought Jacob.

He looked around at his surroundings. He knew he was asleep but here he was standing in the middle of a white room with four doors. The door behind him was gray and had his name printed on it, the door to his left was also gray and had Kevin's name on it, and the door on his right was the same except it had Julian's name on it. But the door in front of him was different. It was black with no name on it at all.

"If the rest of us have doors then that has to be Jesse's door," said Jacob.

Suddenly the room began to fill with a gray smoke. It split up and went through the doors on Jacob's right and left.

"This room must represent the machine that we're all hooked up to," Jacob said to himself, "But where are the others? If each door represents one of us then maybe I'm the only one who has come through my own door. Except for…"

Jacob looked again at Jesse's door and noticed that the gray smoke was coming from under the door. The smoke headed for Jacob's door and Jacob stepped aside to let it past.

"Go ahead, I'm here not there," said Jacob to the smoke as it passed. "I wonder what's through Jesse's door."

And before he even finished his thought his hand was on the black door's silver handle. He forced it open and a wave of smoke engulfed Jacob.

"If I got to this door with just a thought then maybe I can control what is going on here with my thoughts," thought Jacob.

So he relaxed and thought about the smoke making a path for him. He then opened his eyes and saw that the smoke had indeed parted for him. Jacob walked through the door and after about twenty feet the smoke cleared completely and Jacob could look around. He was standing in a dark corridor lined with blue doors. Each door was labeled in silver writing that formed words that were not really words at all. Jacob walked down the hallway for some time until he came to a red door. Jacob grabbed the handle and tried to open the door but it was locked. So Jacob thought about opening the door in his head and then tried it again. This time the door opened and Jacob could look inside.

It was a dark room and Jacob couldn't see beyond the doorway. He was just about to enter when the door slammed shut in his face, knocking him backward onto the floor.

"Don't go in there…" said a whisper. "You could get hurt…that's the last thing I want."

Jacob figured it was Jesse talking. He pulled himself to his feet and then looked at the door. Jacob could now read what it said. It said, "The pain of others is also mine and this is where it rests."

"Sure, now you tell me," thought Jacob.

"Sorry…" said the whisper.

"You stay out of my thoughts," said Jacob aloud.

"But you are in mine. How is it fair that you can come into my mind but I can't come into yours?" said the whisper.

"You didn't let me in?" asked Jacob.

"No, you forced your way in. It was quite painful I might add. You seem to be able to do far more than they know about," replied the whisper.

"If you mean the scientists then you're right, they don't know everything I can do," said Jacob.

"I didn't expect this, you're here not there," said the whisper.

"You heard me say that?"

"Of course, but then you were there, not here," said the whisper.

"What have you done to the others?" asked Jacob.

"I invaded their minds, tried to break them," replied the whisper.

"Did you," said Jacob.

"Yes. I really hurt Kevin but Julian is going to live," said the whisper. "You and me are the only ones still asleep. You must return to your own mind."

"Why? You don't want me here?" said Jacob smiling.

"No, it's not that at all. I like having you here, I feel like I know you now. You're very soothing," replied the whisper. "But the doctors are getting very worried now and are telling me to pull out."

"How do I get back?" asked Jacob.

"I can take you back."

Suddenly Jacob found himself in the white room again and in front of him was his own door.

"Just go through that door and it will all be over," said a voice behind him.

Jacob turned around to find Jesse standing in front of his door smiling.

"You're the only person who has ever made it out of their own door besides me," said Jesse. "It was nice to meet you, Jacob. I hope to get to see you again sometime."

"It was nice to meet you too," said Jacob as he smiled back.

"I'm also very sorry for whatever damage I have caused your friends," said Jesse.

"Are they hurt so bad that you have to apologize for it?" asked Jacob.

Jesse thought for a moment and then answered, "I really don't know how to answer that. You'll see soon enough."

Jacob thought that this was a strange answer but before he could ask anything else Jesse went back through his door. After he was gone Jacob went back through his own.

Jacob woke up to find Dr. Taylor staring at him.

"Well now, look who decided to come back to us," he said.

"What did you do to Jesse, boy," shouted Dr. Guise.

"He did nothing to hurt me," said Jesse from his chair.

"Bull shit, what did he do!" said Dr. Guise.

"He slipped into my mind," replied Jesse. Dr. Guise was furious but Jesse quickly followed up his statement. "He was very comforting to me and I like having him in my mind."

"How can you say such a thing? He could have killed the both of you," replied Dr. Guise.

"I won't do this again without him, no matter how much pain you cause me," said Jesse forcefully.

Dr. Guise rushed forward saying "You'll do what I tell you to do!" but the moment he laid a hand on Jesse to cause him harm Dr. Guise was thrown across the room. Then the straps that held Jesse down came undone and he stood up. The guards quickly pointed their rifles at him awaiting Jesse's next move.

"Dr. Guise, you should know better than to touch me," said Jesse. He looked around at the guards. "Go ahead and shoot me."

"No one fire a shot," said Dr. Guise as he got up off the ground. "Alright, you can have him, Jesse." Then he turned to Dr. Taylor. "I guess you were right about Jacob. For now send him back to the others until we can create accommodations for him in the west wing." And then Dr. Guise left the room.

All the remaining doctors suddenly burst out laughing. Jesse sat back down in his chair and looked over at Jacob.

"Does this mean I have to come live with you?" asked Jacob.

"Is that alright?" said Jesse.

"Who will take care of the others? Is Julian in any shape to take my place?" said Jacob.

"I don't know what you mean," said Jesse.

"I'm their leader, so to speak. I speak for all the children. If I'm not able then Julian takes my place. So will he be able to?"

"I don't know," said Jesse as he looked at his feet.

"You don't know…" said Jacob. Jacob relaxed his mind for a moment and looked around the room. "Would Dr. Bender know?"

Jesse looked confused for a minute. "I guess so, why?"

Jacob looked over at Dr. Bender and started to focus in on her thoughts. Once he could hear what she was thinking Jacob started to dig for his answer. It didn't take him long to find.

"Julian will live, but they think he is standing on the brink of insanity," said Jacob.

"How did you find that out?" asked Jesse.

"I'll tell you later," replied Jacob.

Just then the assistants came over to Jacob and undid his straps. They helped Jacob stand up and then led him out of the room.