'Where is he now?'
'Has he spilled any brain fluid from the eye sockets?"
'He has not yet been placed on the neural cell divider'
'We were instructed to wait upon your arrival'
The two men faced one another. Equal in stature and authority.
Both were ghastly in their features. Sunken eyes that contained the
weary load of a harrowing existence. Intelligent though ravaged eyes that penetrated into the deepest recesses of the psyches of those quarantined in room 35.
Berdensharder walked past Halden.
Will you induce the full cerebral breakdown? said Halden
'I have not yet decided'
'Let me see him first.
Room 35 was secured and access permitted to Berdensharder.
He walked in and breathed the formaldehyde humidity.
His nasal passages recoiled in revulsion at the pungent sting of miserable brain fluid filters in suspension.
Facing him was the sample. A young man with a look of terror in his eyes.
He had been placed in a cranial clamp and was rigid in an upright steel frame. Electrodes hung like tentacles from a deformed squid.
Clouds of medicated bacteria floated in a transparent tube connected to the frame. The tubes had not yet been put in place.
'Your name?' said Berdensharder
'The young man was clamped by the wrists and ankles; naked and ashamed of his fear. His forehead was scarred and an incision led into his prefrontal cortex.
'Radsler Duriyima' came the reply
The voice was broken and clung to a false hope of salvation.
He had awoken in room 35 and had no knowledge of his previous weeks or months. His brain struggled to function.
'Your name! Berdensharder screamed is Gunther Strausse!
Tears flowed freely down Duriyima's face.
'No. My name is Radsler Duriyima'
This was the only lucid thought in his mind. He was sure of it. His life depended on this name.
Instinct was heightened as he said it again.
Berdensharder switched on the cranium synaptic fluid uptake. He set it for distillation level four. This was normal and a precautionary first step in the cerebral breakdown initiation.
Duriyima's body convulsed and a screen in the room displayed his thought process and an image appeared on a screen.
The synaptic responder projected the dulled translucent pictures of a face in a mirror. It was Duriyima's and he was shaving in an apartment. A grainy distorted vision interspersed with the sounds of a woman screaming. A gun blasted and then grey dull plastered walls rushing by. More screams. More walls. Blood splashed. Then black.
Suddenly Duriyima's eyes opened and Berdensharder sprayed a saline solution on the eyeballs which kept the eyelids from closing.
He took a surgical precision scalpel handed to him by Halden.
Slowly he slit the eyeball and removed a trace of fluid. Inserting a tube into the eye, his hand was a precision instrument and he gently placed it deeper into the back passage of Duriyima's eye.
Duriyima wanted to scream but was prohibited by a mouth gag soaked in a medicated solution.
His body shook the entire time in rapid convulsions. Only his head remained unmoved.
Tears flowed freely the entire time and the tear duct of the severed eye was gradually made redundant by Berdensharder.
Stepping back from his helpless sample Berdensharder looked upon the apparatus. He removed the gag.
'Now Mr Gunther Strausse!
'Duriyima wanted to respond but only an animal like sound emitted from his throat.
A scream so horrific it would unnerve the servants of Satan
Halden looked at Berdensharder.
'Well, are you going to induce the full cerebral breakdown?'
'No. We will first get this sample to state his name.
'When Gunther Strausse is ready to state his name then I shall do so'
Duriyima looked at the pair of them. What was going on?
Where was he? What did they want? His mind couldn't function.
The door of room 35 was closed and he was alone
One thought began to emerge. His name he now felt was Gunther Strausse.
He could not be sure. His thoughts ebbed into insanity.
Berdensharder would induce the full cerebral overload the following day.
Duriyima succumbed to massive shock, severe trauma, and paranoia.
He remained plugged into the filtration system for two hours in a semi conscious state. His brain ebbed with seismic brain wave cycles that sheared the integral subconscious of his existence.
One name repeatedly came to his mind, 'Gunther Strausse'
He tried to make sense of all that had happened as the fragility of his sanity took its toll. The face of Berdensharder took on a form in his thoughts. He felt nauseous and violently ill. His eye ached with an unbearable pain; his vision horribly strained and blurred.
The sound of a gunshot deafened his ears. His forehead was an explosion of activity and excruciating pain. Tears flowed from one of his eyes and this confused him. He sobbed and in a gibberish howl begged for deliverance.
He had this stomach churning sense he was in Hell and the torments he had endured were God's retribution.
He found his voice then.
'Sweet Jesus!' he screamed
'Not this! Not this!
'Son of God! Forgive! Forgive!
He begged till his bowels emptied and the stench of anonymity
reeked from his flesh.
Duriyima was very much still a part of the living; in a ghoulish grotesque quarter of a savage place reserved for aggressive science.
His screams and outbursts of terror had triggered an audio camera.
Berdensharder looked at the desperate features of Duriyima.
'No! Gunther Strausse' he said to himself.
'There is no God here'. 'Not for you nor any of us'
'God, Gunther Strausse, you will find has never heard of you'
'For you, only I control your emotions'
'I determine your quality of life'
'Yes! You will find out that betrayal is rewarded with surrealism!'
'I am your God!, Gunther Strausse'
Reaching his hand to a calibrated dial he adjusted the volume of the sound chamber to it's maximum decibel rating.
Duriyima's screams were relayed back to him and his ears bled with the intensity of the sound.
His mind collapsed in the wall of sound as his heart pulsed in rapid sickening beat patterns and it overtook the sound of his own screams.
'Yes!', Gunther Strausse, scream! It will help you to realise it is all you have left.
Duriyima's body convulsed like a lightning rod for terror.
His brain burst with demented anguish and he collapsed into a nauseating nightmare.
Even in this state, Berdensharder followed him and the labyrinth
of Duriyima's mind became a battle ground for sanity.
Berdensharder's hand reached for the distillation filter system.
He employed the backwash switch and watched as the fluid of Duriyima's brain was circulated into the three micron carbon elements.
Halden looked on and met Berdensharder's eyes.
'It will be of no use' he said
'His mind can not cope with insurgent cells'
'He will never state he is Gunther Strausse'
A third figure looked on as Duriyima's face erupted in an explosion of hideous expressions.
'We shall see' said Gunther Strausse
'We shall see'
Room 35 crashed into an uncanny silence for three minutes'
Then a cacophany of sound hit Duriyims's ears
'Gunther Strausse' it wailed
'You are Gunther Strausse'
The cells in Duriyima's brain formed new synaptic networks forging in clusters around his prefrontal cortex.
Brain fluid started weeping from his sockets.
It was beginning to happen. His memories were being replaced.
His mind reborn. It was excruciating and still the wall of sound echoed and resounded in room 35
Duriyima's eyes stared into an abyss of madness.
His tethered hands could not reach out to touch the face of sanity.
Deep inside his pysche he knew his ordeal was just beginning.
You took note of the cry for salvation?' Halden said to Berdensharder
'Of course, it is natural in the sample. The Amygdala reflex'
'He still retains a sense of deliverance. His amygdala is primitive and
primed for a search; a Saviour who will redeem him'
'There is no scapegoat here he will find. No burning bush.
No Good News from Christ'
'Still it is a sign of deep resistance' replied Halden
'It is a trivial issue and will be resolved'
'We will remove this superstition and replace it.
'He will question his sense of identity'
'He will becomre as Gunther Strausse and he will witness his own transformation.'
'Has the synopial fluid vat been prepared?
'I will inject his neo-cortex with an anti-aneurism sedation'
'He will beg for death soon but it will be denied'
'Nor shall he fully recover from the full cerebral breakdown'
'We are taking it to level six distillation tonight'
'Has the cryogenic vat been prepared for the body'
Duriyima will soon pray to be Gunther Strausse but prayer will abandon his faculties'
'He will endure and witness the five hour transcendence of terror'
Halden and Berdenschrader looked at one another knowingly.
'Has there been any further visuals from the synaptic cells of Duriyima'
'Yes, a woman's face made a lucid and highly resonated image on the cerebral scanner last night'
'Only high resolution visuals are deemed important due to the high emotional energy associated with them'
' She has been identified?
'Even now she is being prepared for Room 35'
'Good, good. This will please Gunther Strausse'
'Now, let us immerse Duriyima into his new reality'
Halden and Berdensharder dressed into the rubber robes and secured the brain aprons in place.
Entering Room 35 they looked at the sample. He was under a deep induced coma. Berdensharder took a scalpel to his forehead.
A vacuum switch was enabled and a surgical cutting tool prepared to remove Duriyima's brain for temporary relocation.
Halden and Berdensharder looked at the clock on the clean-room walls. They had a five hour window to take Duriyima into a purged state of cerebral surveillance.
Haldun rolled his sleeve up as Berdensharder prepared injection 19 and prepared to administer the dose.
'You have no need to worry Halden'
'It is routine now at this stage especially for you'
'This will be your seventh full cerebral surveillance of a sample'
'I have brought you back every time'
'You are safe with me. Your brain, your body will be unscathed'
'I hear a citation of merit will soon be yours'
'Gunther Strausse will award it to you personally'
'You are a loyal servant Halden, I will see you in five hours'
Halden looked at Berdensharder. Each man had suffered in their own way since 'the shutdown' took place.
Only their intelligence and guile had ensured their survival.
'Yes, Berdensharder, I know it. You will bring me back.
Then Halden passed into an induced coma.
The rig was in place and Berdensharder lifted Haldens skull like a door on a hinge. The titantium bolts were embedded deep into his skull. Delicately and with great precision twenty five electrodes were inserted into Haldens brain.
Berdensharder switched the spinal column reverse chamber.
A two way valve tripped the automatic pulmonary Gemini blood cell network. Haldens body remained in live peaceful repose.
The clock ticked in time with his heart and his brain was placed into the electrolytic vat.
In the same way and with the same urgency and diligence the brain of Radsler Duriyima was placed along side Haldens.
Level six distillation was in progress. Berdensharder now set about
the procedure which would take Duriyima to the verge of a mental breakdown.
In room 35 a young woman aged twenty four stared back at her tormentor.
Her hands and feet were restrained in an upright frame.
A cranial brace secured and held her head rigid.
On the screen facing her was an image of Berdensharder
Hannah Prestovsky's mind was confused. She had no recollection of the last hours or days. Her mind struggled to function.
Only her name surfaced to her mind. The only lucid thought she had. Her name was Hannah Prestovsky. She knew her life depended on this name.
'My name', she stuttered, 'is Hannah Prestovsky'
'No! Your name is Gunther Strausse!
Tears flowed down her face. She was naked and ashamed of her fear.
'No, she said. My name is Hannah Prestovsky!"
She sobbed and emptied her bowls as the stench of terror rose from her body.
'I am a diplomat!' she cried
'I demand immunity! In the name of God who are you?'
'Silence settled broken finally by the image on the screen.
The voice of Berdensharder boomed from the speaker.
' No, you are no longer represented by any government authority'
'God is no longer here to deliver you into his protection'
' Now, your name?'
Hannah Prestovsky screamed till her lungs exploded with exhaustion.
In an area of this room sealed from her screams, the brain of Radsler Duriyima was about to undergo full cerebral surveillance.
Duriyima's brain lay pulsating in the neural vat. The electrodes in his brain were connected to those in the brain of Halden.
Berdensharder was engaged in the system flowpath direction.
When he tripped the one -way valves it was essential Halden's brain fluid flowed into Duriyima's.
In this 'full wash surveillance' Halden's consciousness would merge with Duriyima's. If the process was successful then those thoughts held in the synaptic network of Duriyima's would be an open book to Halden. His brain would retain all that was contained within Duriyima's. It was unprecedented technology and had not yet failed.
Each time on relocation of Halden's brain, he was able to give a full account of the life of the sample. It was as if he was the sample.
Every fear, every concern or hope was disclosed to Halden.
No one else in the facility was capable of undergoing a surveillance of this nature. Others had tried it but in all cases both the sample and the invasive consciousness died within minutes.
Halden and Berdensharder were the only team to ever secure consistent trials to unheard of 'five hour' deep cerebral surveillance
and succeed in securing the neural data of the sample. Their method became known as the 'five hour transcendence of terror'.
Berdensharder looked at Halden. His admiration for his associate was deep and he envied him his courage. He was ruthless of course but he had an air of dignity about him. Berdensharder thought too that Halden would escape one day. If that ever happened he shuddered to think of the repercussions.
All these thoughts were fleeting and the flashing instruments alerted him to his first function. He would light up the prefrontal cortex of Duriyima first.
He looked at the calibration settings on the visual imaging screen.
Then he stared at the live body of Duriyima. The body was an empty vessel although every spinal output was connected to the remote brain of Duriyima. Audio and visual scanners would enable Duriyima to witness his own detachment.
This was the reason for anti-aneurysm injections into the new-cortex of the sample. It always freaked them out.
The worst was the brains response to it's isolation from the body.
The 'language to vocal' response was recorded and displayed to a digital readout. The voice was an algorithm. The screams became white noise.
When the sample recovered from the shock it was then the voice became an artificial sound emanating from the instrumentation panel.
Before Halden could immerse into Duriyima an interrogation was initiated.
Berdensharder turned on the system to awaken Duriyima.
Slowly Duriyima responded. His body responded in simultaneous response to his brain.
He could see the set up on the screen. It dawned on him that he had become an abomination.
Then he went into a full mental breakdown that created a white noise explosion that lasted for ten hideous minute.
'Yes! Scream. It is all you have left. Shortly your mind will open its gates to Halden'.
'Gunther Strausse will be planted in your brain'
'You will soon need your Saviour'
Duriyima knew it then. He must be in Hell. It could not be real.
None of this could be happening.
He didn't know what to do so he screamed.
The scream of the demented.
A smile traced the face of Berdensharder.
Berdensharder waited till the white noise finally stabilised.
He knew the sample was in deep pyschological trauma.
This was a natural part of the procedure.
Duriyima's brain waves alternated between gamma and alpha rhythms.
A voice suddenly emanated from the speaker. It was monotone and the pitch was low. The sample was ready to communicate.
'Am I in purgatory?'
Berdensharder did not respond. He reached forward and opened an anthrax aerosol.
Reaching into the vat he opened a microscopic funnel into Duriyima's occipital lobe. He squeezed the aerosol which contained enough anthrax to poison a minuscule area of the brain. It went black immediately and the whole brain seemed to shrink in a futile sense of survival.
The white noise monitor went into a frenzy of sound.
It lasted for fifteen minutes. Duriyima was in agony.
When the noise subsided the brain was lifted from the vat.
Berdensharder removed the black tissue for sample analysis.
He watched the screen as he cauterised the area.
Duriyima's body was writhing in intensified terror.
He knew the whole procedure was witnessed by Duriyima as though he were a third party.
The body was in convulsions; at times seemed as though it might break free of it's restraints.
'No, Gunther Strausse, you are going nowhere'
'Now let us listen to some classical music shall we?'
A beautiful piano concerto filled the air and the vibrations settled into the brain vat. Berdensharder looked at Halden's face as a smile broke out on his features.
This pleased him to see his associate receive some pleasure.
The music always worked. The brain always responded.
He looked then to Duriyima's face. It was contorted in a ghoulish grimace. Even so, the brain wave activity settled to level fifteen.
The body slumped now and the eyes were catatonic.
Berdensharder needed to leave the sample undisturbed for fifteen minutes. If it went into cerbral flatline then he would administer sedative eighty four. This always brought the sample back from the corridors of death.
From experience he expected the sample's next words would be 'my name is Gunther Strausse'
This had to be the way. The brain needed to survive. This was the name it must give. It must give it in no uncertain terms.
It feared the anthrax. The unknown. It feared the interference of nature. It must be placed back in its body. It must co-operate.
It must state 'my name is Gunther Strausse'
Berdensharder was patient. Thirty minutes passed and once again the white noise subsided.
The brain was in active mode once again. The samples vital statistics were stable.
The music was discontinued.
'Now, Gunther Strausse, what is your name?'
The sound monitor responded in a hesitant slow manner.
'My name is Gunther Strausse'
'Did you not tell me your name was Radsler Duriyima?' Berdensharder replied
'My name is Gunther Strausse'
Berdensharder was in full control and raised the terror level.
'No! Your name is Radsler Duriyima!'
'You have never heard of Gunther Strausse'
The White noise from the sound monitor went catastrophic.
Duriyima's brain screamed in agony. Had it not been for the anti-aneurysm injected previously it would have phyically exploded.
The body went into convulsions.
'Who are you?' screamed Duriyima
'Who are you?!'
Berdensharder smiled and replied 'It is who you will be that is the question'
'It is who you shall be!'
It was time now to open the non-return valve and allow Halden to enter the consciousness of Duriyima.
The White noise on the screen indicated that Duriyima was on the verge of the full cerebral breakdown'
'Soon it will be over' said Berdersharder and reached to turn on the valve. Halden would now perform the full wash surveillance.
It was always a beautiful experience. Halden felt as if he were reborn and the world was an unexplored discovery. Here in the neural ocean of Duriyima's synaptic network of young cells he immersed himself deep in the private psyche of another human.
He searched the entire brain map of Duriyima and came to know that neural landscape as though it were his own.
Duriyima resisted of course and became aware of the invasion.
His screams were a peak of White noise on the visual audio scanner.
Berdensharder watched carefully. Halden would soon know every thought and experience that Duriyima ever possessed.
He cared not for the fate of Duriyima once they were finished with the sample. All that mattered was the complete subjugation of a private mind. The private would become public. This forced confession would become the norm. It was exhilarating to be a part of the destruction of the individual. Halden had shown remarkable courage and took great personal risk to achieve this break through in mind control. He had shown it was possible to inhabit another's brain. Once this was done it was a step away from world *******.
Those who control the mind control the future. The secrets of enemy States would be unlocked. One had only to capture the intelligentsia and key figures in an administration. Their minds would be ransacked. Berdensharder turned suddenly as footsteps unexpectedly approached.
It was Dr. Xuaguang Lee from sector 84.
Behind him was a young woman holding a syringe to his throat.
'What the hell is going on!' screamed Berdensharder
'Hannah Prestovsky was sick to the pit of her stomach at the sight she beheld.
'You are going to release Radsler Duriyima' she said venomously
Dr. Lee looked on with rising terror in his eyes.
'She is holding a lethal dose of injection 19!' he screamed
'Do you think I give a **** about him?!' said Berdersharder
Shoving Dr. Lee away from her she ran to the neural vat.
Holding the syringe above the brain of Halden she lunged it into his brain stem.
'You fool!' Berdensharder screamed
'The body of Halden went into cardiac arrest.
Halden was now locked into the consciousness of Duriyima.
There was no way back for him. He could now only survive if Duriyima survived.
Seeing her chance at the shock she had given to Berdensharder she siezed the anthrax spray and a chemical solution from the neural vat.
'I swear to God if you don't bring Duriyima back then he will die my way!'
Berdensharder's mind raced. He had to save Duriyima if he was to save Halden. He knew Duriyima and Halden were one now.
Could he do it? What would the result be? Gunther Strausse would ****** him if he did not bring them back.
'Step away from from the neural vat! he shouted
'If you have any thought for Radsler Duriyima then let me work!'
Dr. XuGuang made to run for the door and was shot instantly by Berdensharder.
Hannah screamed as the blood sprayed her face.
'No ! Berdensharder' she screamed
'You will give me that gun or it all ends here!
'She gestured to the neural vat and prepared to dose it with a chemical mix.
Berdensharder looked at her and knew she would do it.
He passed her the gun.
'Now! Let me work!' 'Every minute is vital!'
Hannah Prestovsky was sickened by this filthy abbatoir.
'Where the hell are we ? She thought
Berdensharder turned the one way valve and shut down the pulmonary system for Halden. He needed to work fast and get Duriyima's brain back into its body.
A surge of excitement ran through his veins.
Would Halden be able to communicate from his new mind.
Could Halden dominate Duriyima's brain.
'Step back from the neural vat! Please!
Hannah held the gun and watched the horrible spectacle before her.