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Freewrite... that went back in time!

Here is a step back in time from the last free write I did.

The phone rang in Isaac Kensen’s offensively cluttered office. That was an indication of bad news, because the only people who called him were people who wanted answers. Today, everyone wanted answers. It wasn’t enough that Isaac’s current situation on the laboratory floor had turned into a twenty-four hour job, board members, CEOs and investors wanted meeting and discussion groups among other hogwash. The phone was not going to stop ringing since they took away Isaac’s voicemail, because he never checked it.

Sitting his small stool, with wheels, Isaac sat completely engulfed in thought while the phone rang loudly. Cassandra was ‘waking up’ on schedule. She had higher brain function working properly and there were signs of auditory reflexes ahead of the current timetable. All was well going into this moment, but the next step was crucial. The next week or so would depend on her status upon consciousness. So much of his career at Dynamics Inc would ride on that moment tonight… Tonight, in front of all those people who wanted answers.

The door to Isaac’s office flung open and a tech from the lab floor pushed his way in the office. He had a clipboard in one hand and the look of excitement on his face. For those who didn’t have their ass on the line with these projects the air sparked with anticipation. “Doctor Kensen, they are calling stations in the Womb.”

The Womb was the room where all the ‘awakenings’ happened in the facility. It was designed to be the most comfortable place possible, while keeping everything medically sterile, static free and wired with the most advanced safety systems that Dynamics could offer. Conical in shape, it allowed for ten patients at a time to be placed in Ready Chambers, capsules that aided the waking process, which arced along the back wall to the west.
Along the east wall of the Womb was a long mirrored glass fixture. It mostly worked as a divider between witnesses of the awakenings and the lab floor. For special occasions the mirrored divider could be recessed to allow direct contact between witnesses and those on the floor. That usually only happened for the rare lecture or class that would be held there. For the most part only the higher ups in the company would fill that area to witness the patients first moments of clarity.

Isaac slowly blinked. He was ready for this moment, but the jitters had his stomach churning like a ship lost at sea in a storm. “The time has come for those stricken with the silence of years to be given the chance to speak again.” Those words were uttered when the Ready Chambers were created by Jahnovin Olivich. He was the pioneering doctor to follow up the work done by a group of rouge scientists, who called themselves Brain Hackers, fifty years ago.

Work in the field of the mind had almost come to a grinding halt with the tragedy that was revealed when those few corrupt scientists proclaimed their masterpiece work; a fully functioning synthetic brain capable of all the functions of a human’s. This outraged the populous, not because of the product of their work, but because of the inhuman means those scientists took to achieve their creation. They purchased the lives of elderly, sick, dieing and critically injured. A shakedown of the medical and elderly care facilities revealed corruption with close ties to the Brain Hackers. A dark cloud formed over the work of legitimate scientists working at universities and private labs. Yet, Jahnovin brought light to the darkness that covered his field of study and return consciousness to those considered vegetables.
“Let’s see the second most beautiful event to happen in a hospital besides actual birth.” Doctor Kensen nodded adding the last bit.

Standing up from his stool Isaac dragged his feet along the floor, folding and scuffling years worth of notes, letters, documents and memos. Passing by his paltry excuse for a desk, he plucked his lab coat off the lonely coat rack. The rack had only the pleasure of holding his lab coat since he was basically the only person to ever inhabit the office at any time. That, combined with the fact that he never left the building meant he didn’t need a coat.

As Isaac passed the technician waiting for him at his door, the man smiled widely, “Are you excited for Cassandra to wake up?”

“I’m three quarters terrified and one quarter eager.” He answered dryly while nervously itching at his scruffy chin.

The two men walked down the medical facility’s drab hallway. The place lacked the frills of the seemingly more modern look of the hospitals in the city, but looks were only skin deep. The Dynamics Inc facility had more technology built into it than could be seen. Only a handful of workers knew the extent of the security systems, and Isaac was not one of them. He only knew to treat every moment like someone was watching him.

Their trip took them to a bay of four elevators. The technician quickly tapped the down button and eagerly awaited the arrival of the lift. The young man was obviously agitated by the lack of talking, but he was holding his tongue for now at least.

When the lift arrived the young technician bolted into the rather large lift, eager to get back to the Womb. His arm slapped up against the side of the sliding door to hold them open for Isaac, who casually followed. As he passed the groove for the sliding doors the tech quickly released his rigid arm from the side of the opening and tapped the close door button.

Almost as casual as Isaac entered the elevator the doors shut and a robot woman’s voice crackled from the small speaker above the control panel. “Swipe access card please.” Each level of the building was only accessible to those with the proper ID cards. These cards were the lifelines of those who worked for Dynamics Inc. Each card had a computer chip that stored information on them, had biofeedback reactions, scanned fingerprints to see who was holding it, occasionally tracked itself via satellite and so on. Isaac nonchalantly slapped his card across the soft panel for swiping cards. The speaker dinged and the robot voice returned, “Access to Dynamics Facility 4B granted, Doctor Isaac Kensen.”

The lift breezed quickly down thirty floors stopping at the commons area of the laboratory that Isaac worked in. It was obvious something big was happening as soon as the sliding door cracked open. Technicians were buzzing around madly. Lab coats were dirty. People were panicking… more than usual.

Before they even stepped foot into the common area Davis, the doctor working with Colin, another patient, stepped out of the bustling crowd and stopped Isaac, “You look grim.” He said with his usual sly grin.

“Shut up.” Isaac retorted walking past Davis, joining the thronging crowd on their way to the Womb.

“Its crazy Isaac, you should have been down here earlier.” Davis continued as he tried to shove his way through the mass of technicians in the hall. “Cody nearly woke up on his own before the Ready Chamber was fully running.” Davis was more of a gnat than another doctor. He buzzed around others trying to get their attention, but only succeeded in getting in their way. The only difference was he didn’t have unconditional love for zap lights. “Some of the investors went nuts over that. I told them to wait for Doctor Kensen to arrive since you have the most experience with these awakenings than the rest of us.”

“I wouldn’t call it experience… I’d call it misfortune.”
Davis guffawed, “Misfortune?” Luckily, for Davis, the awakenings he had witnessed before he started taking part in them were quiet, safe and successful. Isaac on the other hand had seen far too many failures in his time. “We are ushering the breath of life into these patients. What would they be without what we do?” Isaac ignored him.

They had reached the Womb’s doors. They were large and smooth. At the moment they were wide open to allow those who needed to be in the main area to walk right in. Guards stood watch along the last spans to their destination. They held their yellow taser rifles ready. Sadly, Isaac had seen them use the rifles before and it wasn’t pretty. Instead of the rifles shooting a connected wire to pass a current through, they shot a bullet that split into two small shards that are designed to partially penetrate the skin and send a high voltage shock from one shard to the other. Their effectiveness is unsurpassed, but the downfall is that they are known to penetrate into the body of the target, destroying internal organs and causing heart failure.

Once in the Womb Davis slapped Isaac on the back and gave him a hasty, “Well, good luck anyway.” Before bounding off to the Ready Chamber on the far left of the room that Colin was already prepared for the awakening. Next to Colin was Cody’s chamber, then Christopher’s, Carol’s and finally Cassandra’s chamber.

Taking his time, Isaac walked over to Cassandra’s Ready Chamber. He glanced up to the mirrored glass where the grouchy and expectant witnesses waited for their investments to pay off. At least one of them behind the glass was cursing his name, Isaac could feel it prickling up his spine. Not that it mattered in the end if all goes well.

The Ready Chamber’s instrument panel hummed. Cassandra’ vital signs all looked perfect. The glass that covered her face was clear, which was important for the video camera that hung over it. Each chamber had its own video feed that was recorded and viewed. From past file footage, Isaac knew of at least four camera setups for each chamber. They were being watched very closely.

Moments after Isaac arrived, the large smooth doors shut. Inside were only a handful of techs and two doctors at each chamber. Elsie was the second doctor hat Cassandra’s chamber. She work in silence at all times. Isaac liked that about her; she wasn’t disruptive and allowed him to take care of large scale problems while she dealt with the smaller things. Together they set the chamber for its final preparations.


Joe Black

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