Day 199 – Where Are Their Minds?

Word count: 763

The fridge buzzed, the kettle whizzed, the electricity shot through the circuitry and the neon light glowed like uranium. Piles of discarded sheets of copper, gold and solder were stuffed in corners; protruding from behind the sofa were sticks of ferrite rods and twisted wires, resistor batches and electrolytic capacitors. From somewhere near the desk, the soldering iron smouldered with a distasteful smell of burning hair. Accompanying the iron, were stripboard pieces, half finished PCBs, drills and crocodile clips; power sockets and cables; screwdrivers and pliers. Colin clapped his hands and smiled proudly to himself; he had done a great job of cleaning up his attic room.

Colin still lived with his parents, but had the free roam of the attic. He was allowed to sleep whenever he liked and do whatever he wanted. But there were certain noise and energy consumption restrictions that Colin had to adhere to and after a few thousand-pound bills from the utility company and a sharp look from his dad, Colin was finally persuaded to ramp down the number of experiments he was doing.

Locally, he was famous for it. He had entered several science fairs and had won loads of medals and trophies for his achievements. Always being gifted at maths, engineering and science, Colin excelled at school but never quite made it through university, finding it too stifling and without much creational freedom. After two years, he had dropped out to recommence living in his parent’s converted attic and only acquainting himself with daylight on forced occasions, such as to collect his supplies from the delivery man at the doorway.

His experiments had mainly involved growing weird crystals, doing strange visual conceptions with electricity and inventing some strange articles of science that would not be of any use to anyone. However, for a number of months now he had made a conscious effort to change this and any second now his achievements might be realised.

Downstairs the doorbell rang. But instead of allowing his mum to get it, this time he ventured down himself, straightening his bow tie in the mirror en route. He opened the door and presented a strong hand to the gentleman on the other side. The man looked him up and down and accepted the offer of a handshake.

“Mr Turnball?” The man asked.
“Colin, please, Mr Redvue.”

Colin invited him in and they climbed the stairs up to the attic.

“I’m so glad that your company is interested in my work. I have arranged a live demonstration for your benefit, so you can see how it really works. Would you like any tea or coffee?” He pulled down the stairs to the attic for Mr Redvue.

“No thank you,” Mr Redvue looked a bit alarmed by being led to the attic.

“Biscuits?”

“No.”

“Well, here it is. My home.”

Mr Redvue looked around while Colin grinned at his accomplishment.

“Who are they in the corner?” Mr Redvue pointed.

“Why that’s the experiment you have come to see.”

“Are they real, why are they wearing helmets?”

Indeed the people lying slumped in the corner were wearing helmets. They were wearing old bicycle helmets to be precise. Electrical wires extended from their helmets to an array of computer inputs, with a screen displaying each wire that it was monitoring.

Mr Redvue approached the people and examined them.

“Are they dead?”
“No, of course not. That’s the experiment. I’ve transferred their brains to a flash drive.”

Mr Redvue’s irises lit up like fireworks.

“Oh, my…”

“They are quite alright, well they don’t really know what is happening as they don’t have a conscious right now as I can’t copy but only cut their data on to flash. It’s quite annoying, but I aim to improve the process by production stage.”

“So I can do whatever I like with those flash drives now?”

Mr Redvue had evidentially spotted the two flash drives sticking out of the side of the computer tower.

“Why yes – you can put them in your pocket, take them to another country, upload them to the internet. Absolutely anything. By the way, what is it that your company does again?”

“Government contracts. Who are these people?”

Mr Redvue approached the bodies and bent down to view their faces.

“Oh they’re just my parents. They didn’t strictly sign up for this experiment, but I thought as I’m their son they would want to be part of something this big.”

“Thirteen million to have the technology.”

“Thirteen million?” Colin grew faint and stared at his parents’ still bodies for security, “Alright then.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 23, 2012.

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