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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2199938
Brainwaves projected faster than light across the universes gets a peculiar response.
Prompt: It is discovered that telepaths are the only way to send faster than light messages across the universe

Word Count: 4,089

Dr. Smith stood at the side of the stage with tension in his gullet as he waited to be introduced by Dr. White, the top scientist of Harvard University’s astronomical department. A few minutes past and Smith was called on stage.

“Without further ado, I would like to introduce one of our top astronomical scientists, Dr. Stephen Smith.”

The audience applauded as Dr. Smith walked to the podium in front of the seated attendance. He put his speaking notes on the top of the podium then took a breath and began talking.

“Thank you all for coming. The topic of my lecture is sure to be quite controversial. So, I beg you to bear with me as I announce the subject of my discussion. I and my team of scientists have been working on a device that has successfully measured the processing speed of thoughts of neurons on a number of test subjects.”

Gasps went across the auditorium. Dr. Smith knew, like all in the room knew, that to measure the speed of thought is to measure the speed of the human brain- something that has been pondered since the birth of modern science but has never came to a complete conclusive product.

The lone scientist waited until the commotion ceased. He was aware the next correlating statement would be even more uneasy to conceive. “And through this discovery, I have created a means to generate and track a tachyon surge.”

Immediately, an angry, heavyset scientist stood up and yelled across the room. “Nothing can generate particle that is superluminal!”

Another likeminded scientist agreed with him. “He’s right! Nothing can go faster than light. Such a thing would mean time travel is possible!”

A tumult was arising. Dr. Smith raised his voice into the microphone on the podium. “Please! Allow me to explain!”

The outbursts died down as sarcastic comments were murmured across the audience.

“As I stated before I have calculated the speed of the human brain. Human thought is the only thing that is superluminal,” said Dr. Smith.

He paused momentarily. “With the aid of the device, I think I can project brainwaves across the universe faster than light.”

Another scientist spoke up. “If you are able to do as you say, do you have an ulterior motive?”

“Yes. I believe the inevitable future of man is telepathy. There is of course the prospect of alien worlds that have already achieved this. If that is true we may be able to communicate with them.”

All the scientists in the auditorium looked at each other quizzically and murmured statements that let Dr. Smith know they were curious. It relaxed him and he went on. “The device needs further calibration and I have a subject that will act as a projection anchor. I plan to execute the process in a week. I will record the experiment and report to the science board and of course I need Dr. White’s approval more essentially.”

Dr. Smith was surprised and pleased when Dr. White stood up from the front row with a smile. “You have my support Dr. Smith. I will do my best to persuade the board.”

Smith nodded with great relief and he felt as though he could skip for joy and struggled to hold it in. “Thank you Dr. White.” He stepped back from the podium and the audience applauded. The scientist was elated. With papers in hand, he left the stage.


The week went by slowly as Dr. Smith did the finishing touches on the machine. Four days after his presentation, the astronomical board granted his request. His excitement mounted until the day came; he was jittery with anticipation.

The machine was located in a large laboratory with computers, monitors, lights and wires. The device resembled an oversized MRI tube. It had three long cylindrical apparatuses jutting out from it. The experiment was to commence in thirty minutes.

“Are you ready Dr. Wizeman?” asked Smith.

“I’m a little nervous. If only a normal citizen could do the duty of being a guanine pig,” Wizeman replied. The volunteer was laying inside the pod with electrodes attached to his head.

Dr. Smith went to a computer panel and took a deep breath as his finger hovered over a button. “Here we go. Three…two…One!” Smith pressed the button and the machine began to hum loudly. Dr. Wizema’s body tended up and he closed his eyes tightly.

“Wizeman! What are you experiencing?”

The man in the tube jerked his head from side to side and convulsed.

Smith didn’t want to risk his colleague’s life and he was about to deactivate the device. Suddenly, Wizeman’s body and head relaxed. With his eyes still closed, he smiled slowly. “It’s amazing…so beautiful.”

“Can you hear me?”

“My mind…it’s traversing galaxies. My thoughts are being transmitted all across the universe.”

“Excellent. So good, so far. Now we wait for a mirror affect.”

“What?” asked Wizeman.

“It is in case any intelligent life with FTL abilities, gives a return transmission.”

Dr. Wizeman still looked to be in a state of euphoria.

So both of them waited in silence for any answer. An hour later, something happened.

“I sense an entity. I think it’s of telepathic extraterrestrial origin.”

“Can you comprehend anything?”

Wizeman clenched his eyes. “I get the sense that they’re asking something.” The man paused. “They want us to tell them where our planet is in the universe. “

“Strange. Why would they ask that? Do you have any images from the telepathic source?”

“Yes! It’s their home world. It’s beyond words.”

“Describe it for me.”

“There are sky scrapers that literally reach the clouds. And each one is made of precious stones that glow. The sky has clouds and an atmosphere that glitters like gold dust.”

“What do the aliens look like?”

“They look like us! Just like us!”

“You said they wanted to know where our planet is located. Why?”

“They won’t say. Wait! I’m being told that in exchange for the location, they will transmit their scientific knowledge.”

Smith thought to himself. Could this be a trick? Could these creatures be hostile or friendly? But their technology must entail unprecedented feats. Perhaps these aliens had a cure for cancer? Or maybe they lived in a perfectly operating world and had cures for all ails for Humans on Earth. Such a thing would be worth the risk. Maybe I could ask them pointblank. He thought.

“Dr. Wizeman, ask what their society is like. Do they have wars, poverty and disease like on our world?”

“Let me ask,” said Wizeman. A mere minute passed and he had his answer. “They say their planet is a utopia. They have overcome such flaws millennia ago.”

“Amazing! This could alter the earth’s existence forever!” Dr. Smith rubbed his hands together and grinned like a child about to open a present. “Ask them if they have physical faster-than-life transportation?”

“They do! And If I reveal to them our planet’s place they would be willing to come to Earth!”

Dr. Smith hesitated and sighed deeply. “Very well. Let us hope they are not deceiving us.”

“Wait a minute! Something is wrong! I can feel the telepathic transference weaken.”

“If you still can talk, ask what is happening.”

“I think they’re trying to…I am sensing something, something they are trying to hide.”

“Then they are lying to us! I’m disconnecting the machine.” Smith said as he rushed towards the device.

“No don’t. I’m getting a message saying not to sever the telepathic connection. If we do we will not be able to reestablish contact.”

“So are we just supposed to wait?”

“Yes. We have no choice.”


“Hold on they’re still speaking.” Wizeman was silent for a few moments. “Amazing,” he uttered.

Smith raised his voice. “What is happening!”

“They claim have the ability to transfer one of their consciousnesses into my mind.”

Dr. Smith’s head pounded with a mix of adrenalin and the sting of fear. He had to think quickly. Either he would stop the process right there or agree with the aliens’ wishes and risk the life of his colleague. It was now or never. He bit his nails and ran his palm down his face in a hot sweat. Then he took a deep breath. “Permit the transaction if you are willing,” Smith said with a dry mouth.

Dr. Wizeman spoke with a trembling voice. “Let’s do it!” The scientist’s body began to convulse. Then, as abruptly as it started his body was still.

Smith thought he was dead. It must have been too much strain on the human mind. His friend had lost his life to Smith’s giddy compulsion. He fell to his knees. He covered his face with his hands.

A few minutes later, he heard a voice. “Hello Stephan.”

It was a very gentle and soft male voice. Smith jumped to his feet and rushed to the device. Wizeman’s eyelids opened to reveal serene emerald green eyes.

“Who are you?” Smith asked.

“I am called Jaden. I have come from a hundred-thousand light years from your planet.”

“What have you done with my friend?” Smith said flatly.

“He is still here. His mind contains the consciousness of both me and Dr. Wizeman. We know all the thoughts of each other. ”

“My friend said you were blocking something from him. What are you hiding?”

The essence called Jaden paused. “Our planet is on the verge of destruction. A war a thousand years old has plunged my planet into turmoil. My subterranean outpost was attacked during our communication.”

“What do you want from us?”

“There are about three-hundred of my kind that are present with me. They only know of this telepathic link that has commenced.”

“Are you all out of danger from the attack on your dwelling place below ground?”

“Yes. We have disposed of the few that broke through.”

“That is good. Now what do you want from us humans?”

“We desire to transfer our minds to Earth.”

Dr. Smith was about to object to the absurd notion of acquiring three-hundred subjects to act as avatars for the aliens when Jaden spoke. “We will not require human minds. I can tell you how to sustain our minds into a computerized mechanism. I can construct the machine in only four days.”

Smith’s mind jumped to another mode and he blurted out what had just risen in his mind. “What kind of technology and medicine do you possess?”

Jaden’s green eyes sparkled and he smiled. “I can promise to cure all ales and to advance your computer capabilities a hundred fold. Moreover, we will teach you how to use telepathy naturally.”

“Then waste no time in construction this device you speak of. But first, I want to speak to Dr. Wizeman.”

In a blink of his eyes, their normal blue returned. Wizeman smiled and sat up. “You have no idea of the knowledge I have! It’s surreal!”

“You should have Jaden build the device ASAP. It’s all very fascinating but I’ll feel a lot easier when there is only one consciousness in that noggin of yours.”

“Okay.” Wizeman shut his eyes and then those splendid green eyes appeared. “I will mentally manipulate this body to forego sleep and food in order to expedite the process.” Jaden swung the feet he was using onto the ground. “I’ll begin at once.” With that, the mental occupant went to work.

The first things Jaden needed were satellite components and some x-ray parts. But Dr. Smith desired to keep the whole ordeal a secret. So how was he to acquire the electronics necessary that belonged to the institute and ultimately the government?

The only thing he could think of was an obvious one; he would simply claim he needed them for the device to work. The first thing Smith would do was to approach Dr. White in his office the next day.

Smith fell asleep late that night with an apprehensive mind. He would be part of the most significant occurrence in human history! If Jaden was truthful, how would he make the announcement to his peers and the public? How would everything fold out? One thing he was sure of is that he would be lauded as a hero for saving the world itself. But of course Dr. Wizeman would get the praise as well.

Then he stopped short in his mind. He should be focusing on the grander aspect-a disease free world and unparalleled knowledge. But one thing bothered him. With all of this intelligence and such, why was there war still occurring on the alien planet?

Smith shut out all of these things and forced himself to sleep.

Dr. Smith got up at 8:30. After he got ready for the day, he burst out the door and grabbed a cup of coffee and a bagel at a café on his drive to work. He rushed into the Harvard entrance door and passed by the desk clerk, Bob.

“You alright Dr. Smith? You look like you’re about to burst,” said Bob.

Smith didn’t realize his emotions were showing through his expression. “I’m about to make a major breakthrough in my work.”

“It must be some breakthrough.”

“See yah bob.” Smith made his way to the elevator and up to the third floor. He exited and sprinted to Dr. White’s office door and knocked.


At his superior’s word, the giddy scientist went in and sat in a leather chair on the other side of White’s desk and started bluntly. “Dr. I need a few more components for my machine.”

“What exactly do you require?”

Smith swallowed and straitened his back. “First remember that this project could make first contact with extraterrestrial life – something more significant that anything ever conceived by man.”

“Just tell me what you need Stephan,” Dr. White said with a smile.

Dr. Smith was disarmed by the cordial reaction. “I need some satellite parts and top of the line x-ray equipment.”

“I’ll do my best to convince the board to make the request. Will that be it?”

Smith jumped to his feet like an excited toddler with a beaming face he could feel. Then he composed himself. “Yes, doctor. Thank you.”

Dr. White nodded and Smith left.

It took a mere month for the needed things to arrive. Jaden worked tirelessly for over eight hours a day until at last the fourth day came.

“It is finished,” said Jaden.

The completed product was astounding. The circuitry alone was baffling to Smith and his desire to know just a little of how it operated was way over his head. “What happens next?” asked Smith.

“It needs to warm up.”

“When will my friend get his body back?”

“Once all the consciousness have been successfully been transferred, I will likewise depart from this mind and inhabit the device.”

“There is something that puzzles me; once you all have been put into this…cocoon of sorts, will you just sit there and live in a mechanical prison forever?” asked Smith.

Jaden was silent for a few moments before speaking. “That is a good question. I don’t know. I was focused on the primary goal of getting to Earth. But we will arrive at a suitable state that will fit us. First we will attend to the issue of remaking your planet into a better place,” said Jaden with a smile.

Smith could imagine nothing else than making android minds and bodies to accommodate all the alien entities. Or, perhaps the extraterrestrial that was talking to him had deceptive intentions to inhabit human minds, however possible. But at the moment the thought of introducing the whole situation to the public and his colleagues was now taking priority.

Smith wasted no time and marched right for Dr. White’s office. Smith barged in the door without knocking and looked White straight in his eyes. “I’ve done it Dr. White! The mirror affect has happened. We’ve made contact with alien life with my device!”

White stood with a jolt. “What! You have! When?”

“Sit down and I’ll explain everything.”

Both men sat and Dr. Smith expounded all the occurrences from the beginning. Thirty minutes later Dr. White’s mouth was agape and his eyes were wide with wonder. “Good heavens. This could indeed change the world. When will this alien entity share their knowledge?”

“Right now I suppose. I didn’t ask.”

“Well let’s get to it! Lead the way!”

Both men rose abruptly and Smith darted out the door with White following after. When they made it to the laboratory entrance, they barged in and found Jaden siting on a chair with a smile.

Dr. White neared cautiously to the inhabited body of Dr. Wizeman.

“It is finished warming up. I was hoping you would be here to see the transference process, both of you,” said Jaden.

Smith’s heart was beating with excitement. “We’re ready,” said Smith.

Jaden went to the device where there was a large switch. Then something peculiar occurred; it was a change in Jaden’s expression. His eyes raised and hung his head then looked at the two humans. “Please forgive me.”

Smith shook his head and swallowed deeply. “Excuse me?”

“I ask for forgiveness for what I’m about to do.”

Smith’s stomach sank at what this meant. “What do you mean? I thought you were…”

Jaden cut him off. “I’ve only told you half of the truth. There really has been a war on my planet. But there are no others besides me.”

“What’s the problem? If you’re the sole survivor of you war you already have a body.”

Then the alien entity spoke as he smiled maliciously and coyly. “I’m not satisfied to just exist. I want to rule this world. This device will amplify my telepathy a thousand fold. With its aid, I will control all human minds.”

“But there is something that baffles me,” said Dr. White. “A society with telepathy would surely have surpassed violence and war and disease. How could you be so hostile?”

“Our war was waged against outer planetary aliens from a nearby planet. When they invaded, we were at their mercy. I stayed alive by hiding in a very remote cave on an abandoned island.”

“If you do what you’re about to do then you are better that the beings who attacked your planet!” yelled Smith.

“Even so, it is my right. I am mentally, spiritually, and technologically superior to your race!” Jaden returned. “Enough! Your time has come to an end.”

With a press of the button, the machine hummed to life. The two humans fell to their knees, clutching their heads. A stinging pulse was surging through their heads. It was though they were losing their minds.

Just as he felt his mental control slipping away, Smith did something he hadn’t done in decades; he began to pray. Immediately he began to regain control, slowly at first.

Jaden stumbled backwards like he had been struck in the head. “What…are you…doing!” he cried.

Lord God, help us! Smith thought. He glanced at his colleague who was coming to as well. Then Jaden fell flat on his back, foaming at the mouth. “Get out of this mind insects!” Then his body convulsed.

Smith repeated the same words out loud this time. “Oh, Lord, help us!”

“What entity is this? It’s so powerful! How do you simple beings have access to such mental strength!”

“I think the rest of us are safe. But we have to free Dr. Wizeman,” said Smith.

“But how?” replied White.

Dr. Smith frowned in thought. Then a thought came to him. “We have to expel the alien mind through prayer.”

“Are you serious! That’s absurd!”

“Look how my prayer did to him! Do you have a better idea?”

White was in a hot sweat as he looked at the trembling body then at Smith. He ran his palm down his face. “Okay, go for it.”

Smith knelt down beside Wizeman’s trembling and place a on his forehead. Smith closed his eyes and focused, gathering every bit of faith he could. “I command you Jaden in name of God to leave this body!” he exclaimed.

The foreign entity cried out. “No! I…refuse!”

Smith spoke with even more adamancy and force. “Come out of him!”

“Stop or I will kill this body!” cried Jaden.

“Stop, he could hurt him Stephen!”

“No! Something tells me it is just a ploy. We have to keep on going.”

Smith persisted in his attempt to cast out the alien entity. But it continued to resist as it cursed and shook the body of Wizeman.

“Dr. White, help me!”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Pray with me!”

“You know I’m an Atheist!”

“I don’t care, just do it!”

Dr. White began breathing shallowly through his mouth and his face was drained of color. He knelt on the other side of the body. “What do I say?” he asked.

“Just tell it to leave like I did...and use God’s name.”

White was sweating profusely on his face. He shook his head then ran his palm down his face and took a deep breath. “Okay.” The baffled scientist waited a few more moments. “In God’s name I adjure you to come out of him!”

“Grrrr! Get out of my mind, both of you! Ahhh!”

Wizeman’s body was thrashed about for three minutes then Jaden gave out a loud, ear piecing shriek. Next, the convulsing stopped and his eyes closed.

“Is he dead?” asked White softly.

Dr. Smith felt his pulse and then hanged his head. “He’s gone.”

“I thought you said he couldn’t hurt him.”

Smith covered his face, feeling ashamed.

“Stephen, look!”

The dejected scientist uncovered his face and found Wizeman’s eyes open. He struggled to keep them open as though he had just come out of a dream. “What happened?” he said.

“That alien consciousness took over your body,” Dr. Smith said with a light smile and a sigh of relief.

“That much I know. It was like I was a prisoner in my own mind. How was I freed?”

Smith smiled coyly. “Let’s just say the good Lord had a hand in things.”

Dr. White tilted his head and shook his finger. “I always thought God, angels, reincarnation and all that stuff, was a projected mental construct of the human imagination and will. But I’m not so sure now.”

“Does that mean you’re a theist now?” asked Dr. Smith.

White stood and put his hands on his hips. “Hmm…Perhaps. I’ll look into it.”

“Let’s get you to your feet,” Smith said to Wizeman. Both scientists took an arm and put them over their shoulders and hoisted him up.

“What do we do with the device?” asked Wizeman.

“We will study it. There’s no telling what we could learn from it,” White put forth.

“Is that wise?” asked Wizeman.

“He’s right. There could be a failsafe or back up protocol. There’s no way to know for sure,” said Smith to Dr. White.

The head scientist put a fist to his chin that frowned, scrutinizing the situation. “Good point. We should destroy it completely.”

“I suggest using C4 to blow it up,” said Dr. Smith. “Just dismantling it could cause such bad reactions.”

“Of course.” Dr. White then smiled and took a deep breath then exhaled slowly. “I’m glad that’s over. Sorry how your experiment ended up. In retrospect, it was indeed a magnificent feat nevertheless.” The man frowned and bit his lip. “Going back to the God…thing, do you really think we witnessed supernatural spiritual phenomenon?”

Smith paused. “Whatever happened, it saved Dr. Wizeman’s life.”

Dr. White narrowed his eyes. “It could have been a number of things in actuality.”

“True but I’ve always stuck to the idea that the simplest answer is the right one. I intend to get to the bottom of this dilemma. It looks like I’ll be doing some research with my spare time.”

“What about the praying part?” asked White.

“I may do some of that as well,” said Dr. Smith with a grin. “I also think it would be best if we keep this to us three.”

“Agreed. It could scare people or incite them to ridicule us as crazy which would demean the whole university.”

“Could we get out of here?” Dr. Wizeman interjected. “This machine makes me uncomfortable.”

“Good idea. What do you say we all get some coffee?” asked White.

The other two scientists nodded and left the building for the nearest Starbucks. The ordeal was officially shelved and forgotten.

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