The Experiment

Originally published on October 26th, 2012 by Dimitri Bouniol. #FNADNST

I had just finished a long day of school.

I was walking back from the lab I was studying at, completely unsatisfied with the results of the experiment.

You see, we were trying to make an exact copy of my neural signature, that is to say my personality, memories, experiences.

But the experiment ended in failure.

Once the brain scan ended, all I was left with was a minor headache.

So my team and I just decided to call it a day, and I headed home.

I took the same usual trail, walking beneath the familiar trees as the setting sun turned the sky a nostalgic color.

And I thought about how the research we were doing could change everything.

We had built very powerful computers capable of emulating a brain perfectly.

First we tried with small creatures, such as insects, and had to figure out how to get information in and out of the neural network, but we did it.

Then we tried with mice, who required a much bigger computer, and succeeded once again.

And after showing our results, we were able to get a large enough grant from the school's connections to upgrade our hardware so it could encompass the sentience of a human brain.

Being a third year university student working at the lab, I had volunteered to get the first scan.

I wasn't too sure how it all worked as I was just there to do the grunt work, like hooking up all the computer parts, but it seemed cool enough to have a clone of yourself.

So I was pretty sad when the scan ended up being a failure.

Rather than a failure, I should say nothing happened at all, and since it left me with a headache, I didn't want to probe too far as to why not.

Finally arriving at home, I grabbed a bite to eat and hit the hay.

The morning came quite quickly, and my alarm that went off every day at 7 am went off, and so I woke up as usual.

I was too tired to really get ready, so like always I just went to school, bed-head and all, and sat in my usual seat for the early morning math class.

But half paying attention, I noticed that the teacher seems to be going over last week's material again.

I guess some people simply didn't get it.

Once class was over, I went to the next one, and duct fell asleep in a back corner, unconcerned since the class was packed with easily more than 200 students.

I was woken up by my friend, as usual.

She was going on and on about a new anime called SAO or something or another, as she would always do, so I just steered towards the cafeteria to get something to eat.

After getting the usual, I remembered the morning's math lecture and asked her: "Why was the professor going over the same material again? Is another test coming up or something?"

"The same material?" she responded.

"Yeah, about surreal numbers and their birthdays. Didn't we go over that just last week?"

"I guess we did!" she responded in a rather forgetful manner.

I'm guessing she just skipped again, which is quite a common occurrence.

Finishing lunch, not feeling full nor hungry, we headed to our next class, this time a discussion for the same math class.

We normally just asked questions in these, and I had brought my homework with me hoping to get some of the usual answers "filled in".

Taking my seat, the teaching assistant asked, as usual, if the class had any questions.

However, no matter what questions I asked, he was unable to answer them.

Of course, he was able to answer questions others asked, which were the ones that I had already answered, exactly as the teaching assistant had in fact.

But only my questions were left unanswered.

Thinking it may be because of material further in the book, i flipped through, but the pages seemed too blurry to read.

I didn't even need glasses, and I was able to read my own handwriting completely fine, but the printed text was completely illegible.

As I was getting more and more angry at the situation, I tries to calm down.

Chances were that this was just a cruel prank.

So I packed my stuff and just left the building.

I little flustered, I marched off directly towards the lab.

I normally went to another class in between, but I didn't feel like doing there.

At this point, all I wanted to do was get back into the components room and try mindlessly put computer parts together.

Maybe I wasn't thinking right, but as I was walking in this unfamiliar direction, I may have gotten a bit lost.

I've gone in this direction before, but it must have been a few months since the last time.

However, I'm sure it didn't look like this.

In fact, my entire surroundings were getting blurrier and blurrier.

Panicking, I started running, but the world around me just faded into nothingness.

The moment I closed my eyes, the entire world was black.

I was utterly lost, disconnected.

This must be a bad dream

After all, theres no way this is possible, to be floating in this black void.

Soon, I could no longer feel the weight of the bag I was holding, nor see my own body.

Everything was disappearing.

I was disappearing...

The timer on the control panel read "17:21 min".

That was how long the emulation had lasted for before the monitoring software had caught a fatal error and initiated system shutdown.

The group of individuals standing around the monitor all had wide grins on their faces.

But one of them, the leader of the lab who sat in the middle of the pack, had the largest grin of all.

And he said but one thing: "The experiment was a success!"


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