The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 06 - Mouse

"Good morning boys," said Dr, Taylor. "I hope you slept well, you've both got a long day ahead of you."

Jesse sighed as he lifted his head off of Jacob's chest, "Oh come on Dr. Taylor, I was having a good morning. Why did you have to go and ruin it?"

"Sorry Jesse, but you know we go through this every morning," said Dr. Taylor.

"Yeah, I know," said Jesse as he got out of Jacob's box. "Today is going to be different though."

"I hope you mean different in a good way, the last time you said that one of my men spent a week in the hospital wing," said Gemini.

"Yes mother, I did," giggled Jesse. "How is poor Ensign Cooper?"

"He's doing better," answered Gemini.

"Anyway, this morning I'm not going to put up a fight," said Jesse.

"Wow, someone pinch me," replied Gemini. "Jesse not put up a fight."

"I didn't put up a fight last night either," protested Jesse.

"As wonderful as it is that you have decided not to fight this morning Jesse we still have to shackle your arms and legs," said Dr. Taylor.

"Why? He said he'd cooperate," said Jacob.

"I'm short handed this morning; most of my men went with Dr. Guise to get the two other children he needs this morning," said Gemini.

"Two children; how many men does it take to get two children?" asked Jesse.

"One of them does more damage than you do Jesse," said Dr. Taylor.

Jesse looked over at Jacob, "Who could do more damage than me?"

Jacob smiled, "I bet Dr. Taylor is talking about Zachary."

"Right you are Jake," laughed Dr. Taylor, "Shall we get going then?"

"Ok, chain me up mom," Jesse said to Lt. Gemini.

"In case you haven't noticed, Jesse, I'm a guy," said Gemini as he carefully bound Jesse's hands and legs.

"Whatever you say…mom," Jesse answered.

Jacob turned to Dr. Taylor, "What am I suppose to do this morning? I'm not doing the same thing I did yesterday am I?"

"No Jake, today you get to learn to do what Jesse does," said Dr. Taylor. "You'll be practicing on one of the other boys."

"You're not going to make me practice on Zachary are you?!" shouted Jacob.

"No, you will be working with Micah," said Dr. Taylor. "Gemini, are you ready?"

"Yes sir; let's go," replied Gemini.

Gemini and Dr. Taylor ushered the boys into the hall where two armed men were waiting for them.

"Do we get to shower first?" asked Jacob as they walked.

"There's no time, right now we're already late," said Dr. Taylor.

"I'll make sure you guys get to shower after you're done," said Gemini as they reached the lab door.

"Thanks, Gemini! That's the nicest thing you've ever offered," said Jesse.

As they walked into the room Jacob noticed that no one was there yet, well except for Dr. Bender.

"I thought you said we were late?" said Jacob.

Dr. Taylor looked around, "I did; I wonder what's keeping Dr. Guise?"

Assistants came out of the control room and began strapping Jacob and Jesse in their chairs.

Just then Dr. Guise came storming into the room looking somewhat upset and closely followed by four armed men and Micah and Zachary.

"Having a bad morning Paul," Dr. Taylor said to Dr. Guise.

Dr. Guise gave Dr. Taylor a look that could melt through metal, "Yes, Jim, I am. That little boy you call an angel took out six of my men and knocked the wind out of me!"

"I told you to let me go get him," said Dr. Taylor.

"Assistants prep these boys now!" shouted Dr. Guise as he stormed back out of the room. "I need some coffee, be ready when I get back!"

"Wow," said Jesse, "he beat my record; I've only ever taken out four."

Zachary giggled as they strapped him in, "Thanks, I worked hard to take out six. Getting Dr. Grumpy was just a bonus."

"You should have seen it Jacob, he was great," said Micah.

"Mornin' Jake," smiled Zachary, "How ya doin'?"

"I've been better," said Jacob, "Zachary, you know you shouldn't do that. Dr. Guise gets angry very easily; I don't want to see you get hurt."

"Ya worry too much Ja Ja," said Zachary, "besides I'm toooo important for them to hurt me."

"No I worry just the right amount," replied Jacob, "please don't mess with Dr. Guise Zach."

"Ok Ja," said Zachary.

"He still beat my record," said Jesse.

Jacob stared at Jesse, "Don't encourage him."

"Are you the boy that took Jules' noodle?" Zachary asked Jesse.

"Yeah, I guess I am," laughed Jesse.

"Do you think you could give it back to him, he's been acting really funny since you took it," Zachary said very seriously.

"I wish I could Zachary, but I don't know how," said Jesse.

"What's with this ‘Zachary' stuff, call me Zach," said Zachary, "Besides, ya can't be that much older than me. How old are ya?"

"I'm eight," said Jesse.

"So you're just a year older, why are ya actin' like you're Jake's age," said Zachary.

"Hey, I'm not that old," protested Jacob.

Zachary stuck his tongue out at Jacob, "You're older than me!"

"I don't know how I'm supposed to act," said Jesse softly.

Zachary smiled, "I'll have ta fix that."

"So what is it that we're doing?" asked Micah.

"I'm not supposed to tell you," said Jesse.

"They are going to have us invade your minds," said Jacob.

"Jacob, you're not supposed to say anything!" shouted Jesse.

"I don't give a damn, I don't want them to end up like Kevin," said Jacob, "Do you?"

Jesse thought for a moment, "No, no I don't."

"Then tell them what you're going to do," said Jacob.

"They want me and Jacob to invade your minds and make a copy of your memory," said Jesse. "I don't know what good it does but they seem to think it's important."

"So ya didn't just take Jules' noodle ya broke him," said Zachary, "Ya gonna break me too?"

"I don't want to," replied Jesse, "If you relax then you should be fine, don't fight."

Zachary smiled, "I can do that!"

"So who is doing who?" asked Micah.

"I'm invading your mind, Micah," said Jacob.

"Good, that makes me feel a little better about this," said Micah.

Just then Dr. Guise came back into the room, "Let's get started! Assistants give them the injection."

Four assistants came over and injected each boy with the same yellowish liquid Jacob had seen them use the morning before.

"You promise not to hurt me?" Zachary asked Jesse.

"Yes Zach I promise," replied Jesse.

"Goooood," yawned Zachary.

A moment later Zachary dropped off to sleep; quickly followed by Micah.

"Just you and me again Jake," said Jesse.

"What do I do?" asked Jacob.

"Just visit every corner of their mind and tell yourself to remember what you see," said Jesse, "It's that easy."

"Jesse?" said Jacob.

"Yeah Jake," said Jesse.

"Don't hurt him," said Jacob. "Zachary is just as important to me as Julian is."

"Do you feel that way about all the boys?" asked Jesse.

"No, just Julian and Zachary; you'll find out why," replied Jacob.

And with that Jacob dropped off to sleep.

Jesse watched his new best friend for a moment until he felt tired and closed his eyes.

"I wonder why Zachary is so important to Jake," thought Jesse as he drifted into his other world.

Jesse found himself where he usually did when he did this experiment, right in front of his door. The side that was in his mind; not the side that was in that machine. Jesse closed his eyes and thought about being smoke and drifting out of his door.

When Jesse opened his eyes again he was gliding along the floor toward Zachary's door. Once he reached the door he slipped right under it and pulled himself back together on the other side. Jesse was ready to search Zachary's hallways but what Jesse found surprised him.

Jesse was shocked to find himself not in a long hallway but standing in a large blue room. There in the middle of the room sat Zachary.

"Hiya Jesse, whatcha up to?" asked Zachary.

"I, uh, wha…," Jesse was confused. "What is this place?"

"I thought you said you've done this before?" Zachary said while smiling.

"I have but normally everyone's mind is made up of one long hallway lined with doors," said Jesse. "Why is your mind different? I don't understand."

Zachary laughed, "I'm much different than anyone you've ever done this to before. My mind is set up different, I'll let you take a look just don't break your promise."

"But why is your mind setup different? I don't get it," replied a very confused Jesse.

"I'm empathic; I have the ability to pretty much screw with your emotions. I can transfer my own emotions and feelings to another person or I can just make others feel what I want them to feel," said Zachary.

"And you tell me I sound too old for my age?" said Jesse.

"It's not important how I act in here," giggled Zachary, "anyway have a look around, my mind is split into five hallways. Feeling and emotions, memories, language and vocabulary, logic, and finally fear. Have fun, I'll just wait here."

Suddenly five different openings appeared around the room and the once square room became round.

Jesse turned himself back into smoke and drifted in all five directions at once.

"You best be careful taking all five at once," said Zachary as Jesse glided past him.

Jesse filled all five hallways and once he did he wished he would have listened. The feelings and emotions hallway made him feel everything at once while logic, language, and vocabulary gave him the illusion that Zachary was an adult, not a seven-year-old kid. Fear wasn't too bad but memories threw him for a loop.

Jesse quickly pulled himself together and curled into a ball in the main room.

"I tried to tell you not to do them all at once," sighed Zachary. "Are you ok?"

Jesse slowly uncurled and stared at Zachary, "Wow."

Zachary laughed, "Wow, huh. I guess that sums me up!"

Jesse sat up and just tried to process all of the information that he just took in. About a minute later he looked back at Zachary.

"Are you ok now," asked Zachary.

Jesse nodded his head, "You're a lot smarter than you let on."

"That's me! A genetically engineered boy genius!" said Zachary.

Jesse sat there for another moment and then his eyes got as big as saucers, "YOU'RE JACOB'S BROTHER!!!"

"I figured you'd get to that," giggled Zachary.

Suddenly Jesse heard Dr. Taylor's voice telling him to pull out.

"I have to go now," said Jesse.

"That figures, I finally get to talk to someone who knows me completely and they have to leave," said Zachary.

"Well, you're stuck in my mind now so you might see me again," said Jesse as he headed for the door.

"I hope so, you're kinda cute," giggled Zachary.

Jesse smiled to himself as he walked out Zachary's door and headed back to his own.