The connectome (attempt at a section)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
I have never written any kind of fiction or anything of the sort before, and this is just a quick attempt to see how it goes. I have a kind of idea for a book about an experiment conducted by some sort of Government agency to completely map the brain chemistry of a person, with a small device implanted in their brain to read their brain chemistry. The point behind this experiment is to allow them to accurately predict the decision the subject will make in any given situation, and to try and manipulate the thought process of the subject by controlling factors of their life and creating events that change the subjects ideas and opinions. The main character, Adam, is the subject of this experiment and as the story progresses, he comes to learn of this, which drives him somewhat insane as they seem to be able to predict his every move.
This is a hastily written draft of a scene which will appear in the end of the book, to evaluate whether or not I've actually got what it takes to write a book and see what people think of my writing and the idea. All feedback welcome, thanks for reading.

Submitted: January 05, 2015

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Submitted: January 05, 2015



He stopped sweating, his hands ceased their trembling and the moisture returned to his mouth. He was not nervous. He was not afraid. This was his choice, his path, and no one was going to take it from him – not this time. He realised that this was his fear all along; the choice, or lack thereof. He chose not to be afraid, as he would choose to end the professor’s life, and he would stand by that choice as all that was left to him. He wouldn’t be their play thing, their mindless robot, not any more. He would be a man, and a man makes his own decisions. He’d take the pathetic, scared professor’s life and with it, their ability to predict his actions. He’d be a free man once more, even if only for a second before he was shot himself. A minute of freedom was worth more than a lifetime of slavery to him now.

He slowly staggered towards the cowering professor, his left leg bleeding heavily as it struggled to support his wait. He was going to enjoy the bliss of this moment, taste his freedom, and bask in the glory of true free will before this was over. Every step he took, the professor flinched, holding his head in his hands and tucking his body into his knees, as if it would stop the bullet from shattering his skull. He knew that it was over. He knew that nothing would stop his death; not begging or pleading. His life was hanging in the balance, and Adam was the judge. Nothing he did now would change his decision. He had robbed this artificial man of his right to decide all his life and he would pay for his crimes. For every time he had been presented with the illusion of choice, every fork in the road that lead to the same place. He had taken everything from Adam, and he knew it. All the consequences of his actions and the achievements of his choices had been robbed of him and now, he’d do whatever the professor didn’t want from him. He’d ruin the professor’s experiment at the last hurdle – it was the only revenge he could possibly take on the man that had taken everything from him.

As Adam finally came within a foot of the professor, he lifted the pistol in one hand and directed it at his face. The professor didn’t even have it in him to make eye contact, as he cowered under his hands. “Any guess on what I’m going to do now, professor”? he asked in an almost proud tone. “Go ahead” he whimpered in response, “prove me right. End this the only way you know how”. “No! No no no no no! This is what I choose to do, this is my decision, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your bullshit little experiment!”.  The professor flinched at his shouting. “Tell me you want to live” he instructed, his hands shaking with excitement at the prospect of freedom. “Say the words, and beg me to put the gun down” he smirked. The professor stopped shaking. He lifted one hand to his face and gingerly removed his broken glasses, as he turned and looked Adam in the eye with cowardice in his face. “ I have a family, children that need me. I didn’t do this to hurt you. You were never meant to know, we’d just deem the experiment a success and you would walk away to live a free man. Our ability to predict your choices doesn’t mean you don’t have freedom” he croaked, beads of sweat joining the trails of tears falling from his eyes. “You can still walk away from this and live happily. I’ll remove the conntectome and never contact you again. I’ll give you a life you can’t refuse, money, women, a family, a good job and a home, anything”. Adam grinned with satisfaction “that, was fantastic. I don’t think anything has ever pleased me quite as much as listening to you beg for your life. But here is your mistake: I can refuse. And I am. I’m not a normal man, I’ll never really make a decision. You’ve got it all written out haven’t you? Except for one little, vital detail. Given the choice of killing you or walking away, what would I do? Accept your orders? Bargain with you? Go insane and shoot myself? No. I’d rather gouge your eyes out with my bare hands than let you live another day. Let’s get this over with”.

He lifted the gun to his chest and cocked it with his other hand, before extending it back out towards the crying professor’s face. He knew it was over. He knew no matter what he said, the decision had been made. He placed his finger on the trigger, and felt the ecstasy of freedom pour flood his veins as he pulled back his thumb. “Goodbye professor” he remarked quietly, almost whispering. He pulled on the trigger, and the sound of gunfire bounced off the walls of the chamber and deafened him. The bullet crashed through the professor’s head instantly, and his blood painted the wall behind. The professor collapsed in a heap on the floor, blood gushing from his head. Adam let his arm fall to his side as he admired his decision, and dropped the gun on the floor. He was free. No one could tell him what he was going to do, and after he burnt the entire building to the floor, no copy of his mind would be left. Even in death, he would be free. Unpredictable. A Man, not a machine.

He felt a sudden shock in the side of his neck, under his ear. He lifted his hand and grabbed it, falling to his knees and crying out in pain. It felt electric, blinding and deafening him all at once. As he rolled on to his back, he felt the ability to move leave his body – he was paralysed. He could hear shouting voices, loud clapping and heavy footsteps crashing around him. As his vision and hearing gradually returned, he was staring upwards to see the upper platforms of the room suddenly lit up, full of men and women in suits and lab coats shaking hands and embracing one another. He moved his eyes to his right, and saw the professor’s blood running into his fingertips.

As he looked around him, he saw men with masks and black body armour surrounding him, each pointing an assault rifle at him. They we’re slowly approaching his body. He shifted his eyes back up to the upper platforms, where the clapping had ceased, and all eyes were now focused on one of the women, wearing a dark brown expensive looking suit. She looked at him with a face of pity mixed with pride, and lifted her wrist watch towards her face, pressing a button on the side. “The time is two seventeen AM, on the thirteenth of November 2014. Phase 1 of experiment 6 Delta has officially finished under the connectome project. The experiment appears to be a complete success, the first of its kind to reach a 100% perfect mapping of the propensity of choice of the subject’s decision making process and demonstrate an ability to influence this process”. Adam felt as though his head was sinking through the ground as his view of the woman speaking became blocked by the men surrounding him. He shut his eyes as his heart sunk and his head filled with dread, his fear returning to his body at her words. “No”, “please no”, he thought as his eyelids became too heavy to keep open, his heart pounding. The last thing he saw was the barrel of one of the rifles, as he fell into unconsciousness.

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