The Operant Unconscious Project

Chapter 05 - Sleep and Insanity

As Lt. Gemini escorted the boys back to their room Jesse was literally jumping for joy.

"What are you so hyper about?" asked Jacob.

"You were able to break my link! I knew we had the same abilities, I just knew it," squealed the excited eight-year-old!

"Well, I don't think that we have the same abilities; I can't throw people across a room," said Jacob.

"Oh, that doesn't matter! Besides, you don't really know if you can do you," asked Jesse?

"I've never given it a try before," said Jacob.

Just then they arrived back at Jesse's room. Gemini quickly rushed them inside and then closed the door.

"What, no goodnight kiss Gemini?!" Jesse shouted at the closed door.

The only reply was the sound of the locking system engaging on the door.

Jesse looked over at Jacob and smiled, "I'm sooooo happy that you broke my link!"

"Yeah, well I'm not that happy about it," said Jacob, "Nothing good will come of this if it makes Dr. Guise happy."

Jesse thought for a moment, "I suppose you could be right. But if it makes you more valuable to him then he is less likely to hurt you."

"That may apply to Dr. Taylor but not to Dr. Guise. The only thing that keeps you safe if he is around is not making him angry," said Jacob.

"Whatever. Let's not worry about Dr. Kill Happy right now. He won't do any more to us tonight," said Jesse as he crawled into his bed.

"Sure he won't," thought Jacob.

"I can still hear you," said Jesse. "Really Jake, I just want you to relax right now. It will do us no good worrying about tomorrow."

"Alright, I'll try to relax," replied Jacob as he got into his metal box. "I was told that you want to, what did Dr. Taylor say, share my dreams?"

"Something like that; I don't sleep all that well and my nightmares often result in something getting hurled across the room; you know, the nightstand, the bed, me."

"So exactly what do you want me to do," Jacob asked.

"All you need to do is relax, go to sleep, and dream," replied Jesse. "I just have to focus on you and fill my head with what you are dreaming instead of what I might be dreaming. The only difference to you will be that the dream will probably make more sense, I might be in it, and you will remember all of it when you wake up."

"So that's it?" asked Jacob.

"Yep, just relax," said Jesse.

Jacob took a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind. As soon as his mind was clear he was out like a light. Jesse sighed, got comfortable, and peered into Jacob's thoughts. Soon he too fell asleep.

Jacob was dreaming of playing a game with Julian, a dream he had often, but this time Jesse sat watching the game. The game didn't make much sense but it looked like chess. As usual, Julian was losing but having fun doing it. He was making jokes and laughing and he was happy; completely content with the world just as he and Jacob had been for years. Except now Jesse sat there watching the game smiling.

Suddenly Julian stopped laughing and looked at Jacob. He looked confused for a moment and then looked at Jesse.

"You!" Julian's voice echoed, "Why do you haunt my mind? Can't you leave me alone?!"

"What? Why would my dream say such a thing?" thought Jacob.

Jesse suddenly started laughing, "Jacob, it seems your friend Julian has found his way into your dream through my mind."

Then something occurred to Jacob; if Jesse can feel the pain of those his mind invades then it might be possible that Jesse is linked to them until they die.

"That's right Jake, I am linked to him," Jesse said answering Jacob's thoughts.

"So this dream is real?" asked Julian.

"As real as it can be while still being a dream," said Jesse.

Julian turned back to Jacob, "Jacob, I think that they killed Kevin. He hasn't come back yet. And after you left a lot of the other boys got really scared. Some of them are starting to think that you might be dead too."

"You don't think that I killed Kevin?" asked Jesse.

Julian looked at Jesse and tilted his head to one side, "No, he was still alive when they took him from the lab. Besides, even though you're not my favorite person in the world I don't think you're a monster."

"Thank you, Julian," said Jesse, "That means a lot to me."

"Sure, whatever you say," Julian said.

"Well, Dr. Taylor said that they did kill Kevin," said Jacob.

"But why?" asked Julian.

"Because I put him into a vegetative state; I did everything but kill him," said Jesse rather dejectedly.

"Kevin was pretty much brain dead, according to Dr. Taylor, and so…" explained Jacob.

"He was no more use to them," said Julian. "Oh, Ari! What if they decide they have no more use for me! They know I'm not mentally stable!"

"You're not that far gone Julian, you may recover," said Jesse.

"Yeah, sure I will," said Julian sarcastically, "and Dr. Guise is a nice guy."

"How are you doing Julian," asked Jacob.

"I don't know, Kollin is making sure that someone is always with me. Most of the time it's Zachary," said Julian.

"Julian, it's only been one day," said Jacob.

"Well, when you have nothing to do it seems like a long time. I haven't been able to keep my mind on just one thing all day so I just sat there," said Julian.

Suddenly everything began to lose its color and fade.

"One of us is beginning to wake up," said Jesse.

"No! Jacob, you can't leave me! Please don't leave me!" screamed Julian.

"Julian, calm down," said Jesse.

"Jules, you have to keep yourself together. You know I'm not really leaving you, I'll always be right here," said Jacob as he placed his hand on Julian's chest.

Tears began to roll down Julian's cheeks, "I love you Jacob, I always have and I always will."

Jacob smiled, "I love you too Julian."

Then the dream faded completely.

Almost as soon as Jacob opened his eyes Jesse hopped out of his bed and squeezed into Jacob's box with him.

"Good Morning Jake," Jesse said cheerfully.

"Morning jumpy," said Jacob, "That was the strangest night I've ever had."

"Jumpy? You're weird. Anyway, it was a very restful night for me," said Jesse.

"Good, I'm glad you got some rest. If those bags under your eyes got any bigger you could have stored a week's worth of clothing in them," replied Jacob.

"Why did Julian call you Ari?" asked Jesse as he snuggled up next to Jacob.

"It's Hebrew, it means Lion. It's something that the other boys call me to signify that I'm their leader," answered Jacob as he put his arm around Jesse.

Jesse jumped when Jacob touched him and for a brief moment Jesse shuddered but then he wrapped his arms around Jacob and snuggled closer.

"You ok," asked Jacob.

"Yeah, not many people touch me though. It kind of surprised me that's all, but you feel warm and happy and safe."

"Safe? I think you're crazy," laughed Jacob.

"Whatever, so you're their leader?" said Jesse.

"Not that we really needed one, yeah I was; everyone else would come to me if they had a problem."

"Who is the leader now?" asked Jesse.

"Well, normally Julian would be but he is in no state to help anyone so I left Kollin in charge," said Jacob.

"Kollin; which animal does he have?"

"The bear, which probably means they'll call him Bjorn," said Jacob.

Jesse tried to get even closer and then sighed, "You are sooooo soothing, I can feel everything you are feeling."

"So exactly what do you feel from me," said Jacob.

"I feel compassion, I feel love, and I can feel just how relaxed you are. Just don't relax any more than you are right now or you might pee yourself," giggled Jesse.

"Ok smartass."

Jesse rested his head on Jacob's chest, "Thank you, no one has ever held me before."

* * *

Just then the door opened and Lt. Gemini came in with Dr. Taylor.

Julian woke up as normal by being dragged from his box and placed on its top. It took him a moment to remember where he was but his confusion soon passed.

"Morning Julian," said the boy next to him.

Julian looked over at the green-eyed boy and stared at him for a moment.

"Morning to you too Micah," said Julian.

Micah grinned, "Did you sleep well? You looked confused for a second there."

"I was," replied Julian.

Suddenly a small brown haired boy jumped up onto Julian's box and into his lap.

Julian looked down at the boy and into his deep blue eyes, "Good morning Zachary."

The little seven-year-old smiled and replied "Mornin' Jules, how'd ya sleep."

"I slept ok I guess," said Julian.

"You're lying to me, you were mumbling in your sleep all night," said Zachary, "Sounded like you were talking to Ari."

"I was," replied Julian as he ran his fingers through Zachary's hair.

"How's he doing?" asked Zachary.

"Zachary, he was just dreaming," said Micah.

"No he wasn't, were ya Jules," said Zachary.

"I, I don't really know Zach," answered Julian.

Zachary smiled, "You're lying to me again Jules."

Julian again looked into Zachary's eyes.

"You look and act so much like Jacob when he was your age," said Julian.

"Tell me something I don't know Jules, you told me that yesterday," giggled Zachary.

"Hey, Zach can I ask you a question," said Micah?

"Sure Mi, ask away," replied Zachary.

"How do you always know when someone is lying?"

"It's the eyes, you have to watch their eyes," said Zachary.

"Jacob taught him that," said Julian, "Jake used to use that on me all the time."

"So," Zachary said as he cuddled closer to Julian, "How is Jake doing?"

Julian sighed, "If the dream I had was real then I think he's doing well. He's with that boy."

"Is that the boy that took your noodle?" asked Zachary.

"Yeah," laughed Julian.

"I should talk to him and ask him to give it back to you; you're no good without it," said Zachary.

Just then Dr. Guise came into the room with his armed escort.

"Good morning children! If I call your animal please line up in front of me," said Dr. Guise. "I need mouse and falcon, just those two please."

"That means me and Zach," said Micah as he got down from his box, "Come on mouse boy."

"I gotta go Jules," Zachary said as he got off of Julian's lap.

"Good luck," Julian whispered to Zachary, "And come back to me Zach."

"I will," said Zachary, "Hang out with Isaac until I get back."

Julian then watched as Micah and Zachary left with Dr. Guise.