This squat two story building, with rectangular windows, gives white washed its meaning. The inside is even more seamless, one would say the floor has white tiles but if one would look closer one would see there are not any divisions, it is a solid sheet. The walls and ceiling appear to be in the same design motif; White! the designer must have proclaimed with a flowing hand that encompassed everything. It is so white in fact, it is somehow its own illumination, the hallways are constantly lit. Even though the rooms do in fact have switches the lighting is the same, it just glows white from the ceilings. The doors, white as well and they hiss with every opening as if they were sealed. The entire building is a feat of engineering, especially its ability to practically disappear from a persons memory the moment they have looked away. Laboratory 0 is its name, a government commissioned building for human experimentation. The all white theme was not just for show, although it certainly put one on, it was designed for minimal environmental impact, on its subjects. It also as an added bonus gave very little stimuli to the white coat toting scientists. It was closed down after the war but the first floor has recently been reopened for some highly experimental intelligence serum testing. The serum is supposed to increase ones mental capacity, the testing is to determine what exactly it effects.
Rats! and no not the exclamation of some minor failure, but lab rats pure as snow with minds as blank as that undriven substance. Sociologists have made a decent living calling man and even the greater creatures products of their societies. As such was the experiment to take some lab rats and deprive them of all interaction, save this magic serum and observe just simply observe, oh and eventually do some sort of experiment because one can only infer so much from staring at a rat.
The experiment took place in a room, which one does not matter for they all looked identical, including the one this rat was nursed in. Now that was an experiment in it of itself, nursing a rat intravenously from birth, some man spent a year of his life getting that to work just right. What a shining achievement; now there is a reason to pursue a higher education. So in this tale there are two rooms. In room one there is a cage with three tubes running into it, these three tubes lead to a very expensive and aesthetic machine which is suspended in the air and out of view of its immobile charge. The machine has a splendid interactive monitor that has been used once, it was designed to run on its own, hell it was even programmed to turn itself on. The engineer who made this device really should have gone to Hollywood, this thing looks like it belongs on the cover of sci-fi movie poster. Pure white with its light blue lights, and seamless design it looks like a series of connected squat cylinders like rings, but one can not tell how they are connected. No one would ever guess its sole purpose is to feed and control the bodily functions of one small rodent at a time; and the rodent will never be aware of its silent mother. Now the other room looks a bit more involved, there is a large maze in its center, around it several tables whose contents include a computer, a small fridge and quite a few needles, as well as several clipboards and pens on another table.
While the rat is reared the scientists develop his new home, a wonderful maze that they will never teach him, the little guy is going to figure it all out himself. It is all white with an opaque plastic placed upon its top so the little critter can not see to well out of it, but our scientist can see in just fine, oh the marvels of modern science. When the rat is ready his caregiver will give him something to help him sleep and alert the scientists it is time to bring him to his new home.
The first day of the experiment goes on like a procession, it looks like a ridiculous religious rite. They carry in their sleeping babe single file, the man who carries him feeling extra special, while the rest convince themselves of their own importance. The rat is placed in the square at the start of the maze, well actually he is raised up so that the sun can gleam off of him and then is gently placed into the maze, in all honesty it was rather beautiful. He is then watched with silence for a time, he wakes, eats his food, drinks a little and returns to his slumber. Collective nods pass through the group and the syringe marked one is prepared with vile one. One removes the mazes cover and reaches in to the little guy and softly coos to him still sleeping “It is time to begin.” He squirms a little when the needle goes in but fear makes him immobile, and he sleeps soon after. The needle and vile are incinerated, leave nothing for the enemy whomever it may be.
A flash of light, a flash of life, as one of the scientist proclaims with a flip of the switch “GOOD MORNING!” This one does it every morning, it seems less strange with a little background; you see the scientists live in this place as well among its white walls in its many rooms. This one in particular used to raise his family with this clarion call but he has all but forgotten about them exchanging his life for his work. They live here because they have been told this experiment is top secret and of the utmost importance. They have been told they did not loose their old jobs due to incompetence but because of the Government’s influence. They needed these scientists free of work and appearing undesirable, unsuspicious to spies trying to find out the government’s latest secrets. After all an intelligence serum which could replace a need for an upbringing could produce super agents for the Government, perfectly malleable men. So here they stay for the sake of taking care of their families, to help their country. What choice did they have on paper they looked liked buffoons, their careers ruined. But then scientists have all but forgotten about their families, this place does more than doing little impact on ones mind. This place is a mind eraser.
Every day is the same the lights flash the one roars his tidings, and then they focus on the subject. He is becoming curious and observant of his surroundings, it looks like it is working; he is learning with no direct influence. He even recognizes the coo as the coming of the injection, a debate was raised if this was some form of unwarranted interaction. It was decided however that to stop it now if anything would be worse. So they just stand around and observe the little guy in his little box linked up unbeknownst to him to a maze. They scratch away on their clipboards and discuss the little guy.
“Do you think the board is pleased with our results?” asks the one.
“Most likely, that is why they want to move to the next level,” responds another.
And so with a push from the ambiguous board the experiment leaves it stages of tedium. A little background on the board, the scientist have never met or talked to them at all, it is all done via electronic mail or e-mail as the kids say. Every night each one writes a report to the board and this has been the first response back. Their reports are ridiculous, and incredibly specific, one is responsible for discussing what the rat looks at, another what he seems to smell, another how he feels about his food.
Now it is time to test the rats progress and prepare him for the maze. Childish flash cards are shown to the little critter, in fact they actually have words on the other side but for the purposes of this experiment they are irrelevant. The subject shows recognition of the familiar image of food as well as awareness of it being different via its other senses. He investigates every other foreign picture but when it repeats he leaves the image alone. The experiment concludes with, the “beast” a childish picture of some furry bipedal horned and clawed monster. But before the little guy can take a look they electrocute him, he lies still in fear they remove it, leave him alone and prepare for the next day.
And so it begins so it may end. The plastic is removed entirely letting all the light shine in, and the intensity of the light is turned up. Slowly one of the rats four walls one sixth of his whole world is being slid out he is confused and scared. As this recently determined to be door completes its slide, the sirens began to shriek, the poor little rat is at his wits end. He does not move and for this he is electrocuted, a sharp sting from behind. He runs, he pauses at the first obstacle a false wall and is shocked again. He pushes through the wall spins about him on its axis just above his head, he pushes on. He reaches the first fork until now there have been turns but only one option. He choses wrong and reaches a dead end, for this another shock is given, immediately he doubles back and takes the proper side of the fork, with no hesitation that he is heading backwards. He is right, now another fork and the image of the beast is by the right side. He freezes and receives a shock, left he flees but it is a dead end, another shock, he is scared to go back, another shock. He runs back past the beast, no penalty, and reaches the end a big circle. He investigates a way to continue and finds none but he is not shocked, he stops moving he has passed with flying colors. But wait he is not moving he has died, did the strain kill him, was the current put through him to strong?
“What do we do?” moans the one who cooed to the little guy so often. Some take on a panicked look in the eye.
“File our reports and wait” says another lifeless in tone. They all nod.
Up above the lights are still bright, with their erie even glow. To glance at the ceiling from below hurts the eyes, but to look at the floor from the second story affords a man a plain view of all that takes place below. Two such men are doing this right now, they have been doing it all along.
“Well that went splendidly” says the one with a smile.
“Indeed” nods the other.
“We nearly have total control of these scientists.”
“In time we will.”
“Some of the brightest minds taken from their lives and brought here, nearly brainwashed”
“Specialization leads to slavery.”
“Exactly even with complex science if they only know one piece of the puzzle they are our pawns.”
“As long as we remove societies influences.”
“Of course. The irony is that we made them experiment on that rat’s development without societal influences with our self developing intelligence serum, genius!”
“The serum only makes one hypersensitive, even more apt to be influence by ones surroundings; the scientists were the rat’s society. He noticed them through the opaque roof of his home.”
“It certainly works very well, to well what good would there be in a more aware human being.”
“What should we make them do next?”
“It hardly matters, we just need to separate them more, more specialization less in common.”
“Until they become zombies to their tasks!”
“Zombies indeed, this is just a test run, by the time we are done with these guys they will be useless. And we will know the perfect methods for making a man into a drone.”
“Yes. next time, we will specialize now scientists towards highly intelligent tasks, like highly intelligent machines, sentient but only in their given field.”
“The perfect worker.”
“Hey I bet when we get this process down we could even make rats perfect little workers.”
“No chance. The scientists will soon be totally trapped but that rat was free he chose death. One can hardly function without society first, after we must wipe away all that is unnecessary and rebuild them it, is easier and faster this way. But rats are too smart. The human being is the ultimate survivor its actually a problem, they will always continue towards ridiculous goals: space, weapons of mass destruction, even immortality. Simpler creatures are smarter creatures, they have a much easier time being happy, they are content with their purposes, with simply living. I think we can make our little puppets happier then they have ever been doing next to nothing. But that rat, all rats, all animals have something that we as a species lack, that makes them useless to us, they can recognize futility.”