Prologue

Initializing test number #1

Subject: #375

Description: Grey mouse with dark black spots on right shoulder and left hip.

Age: 2 months, 3 weeks

Name: Jonathan Brisby

……..

Test description: Test for motor skills, reading skills, and attentiveness.

Date: June 3rd, 1979.

……..

“Greetings my dear child,” a gentle and comforting voice said.

The subject opened his eyes and looked around. His vision was hazy and blurred. Numbers were fuzzing around in his head. He was weak, but able to understand the voice’s words. He stepped forward, but fell down on his stomach. He was chained up. He was in an enclosed grey structure lightened up by what seemed to be heavenly light.

He brought himself up and tried to speak, but no words were coming out.

“Don’t fret my child, for you are my son and my creation. I will not lead you astray. You must listen to my voice, for it will guide you through your long and hopefully fruitful journey. You must have no shortage of questions, but I can only say that the answers you seek may either frighten or enlighten you…”

“For now I will introduce myself. My name is Tarnelous, the creator. In front of you is a machine of sorts. Answer the questions on the screen so that your journey may begin…”

In front of the subject spawned a computer out of the ground. The sound of it rising made the subject gasp for a bit. It booted up, and the monitor flashed text on the screen.

“Greetings,” a feminine voice that came out of the speakers of the monitor said. “My name is Anna, the AI system here to assist you today.”

Jonathan started forward to the computer, his eyes stung for a second while he came closer to the bright screen.

“First, I will need you to answer a few questions. To start out with, what is your name?”

Four options appeared on screen:

William Brisby

Hermann Schultz

Debra Barnaby

Jonathan Brisby

……

The subject picked the fourth option on the list.

“Very good, excellent,” Anna said. “Now what is your species?”

Again four options appeared on screen:

Human

Garden Gnome

Mouse

Alien

The subject picked the third option.

….

“I see. Correct. They say the smallest and most timid amongst us will end up prospering the most.”

Now a word is going to appear on screen and I want you to pick the closest word or phrase that comes to your mind when you think of that word.

Animal:

“Fierce”

“Insane”

“Lower Creature”

“Friend”

Jonathan picked the fourth option.

….

Friend:

“Foe”

“Help”

“Support”

“Rat”

Jonathan hesitated on this question before picking the third option.

….

Love:

“Anna”

“Father”

“Wife”

“No reply”

Jonathan again hesitated on this question before picking the second option, father.

….

Death:

“End”

“Life”

“Eternal”

“Salvation”

Jonathan picked the second option, life.

….

Escape:

“Futile”

“Freedom”

“Vacation”

“Stay”

Jonathan picked the second option, freedom.

….

“That’s enough for now,” Anna said. “How old do you think you are, Jonathan? Again, answer by picking what you think is the correct choice on screen.”

29

4 years, three months, and 15 days

No reply

2 months, 3 weeks

Jonathan picked the third option.

….

“I see,” Anna said. “They say that the man who doesn’t understand himself will not understand the world around him. Now I will ask why you selected ‘no reply’ to the last question. Pick from the choices below…”

I don’t know the answer.

I did know the answer, but I’m not telling you.

Fuck you and your goddamn bullshit. What the fuck is this and where the fuck am I?

No reply

Jonathan smiled before picking the third option.

….

“I like it,” Anna said. “Unfortunately, that’s the incorrect answer.”

Jonathan started feeling a shocking sensation in his skull before falling on the ground. He composed himself and before he could get up, the once gentle and calming voice now forced him back down in surprise.

“Know one thing my child, it’s that those who seek the fast and easy will find themselves in a world of pain. The answers you seek require you to be patient, fruitful, and persevered. Take life slow, nice and easy, and you shall be rewarded.”

“For now, rest my child. May your dreams….fly.”


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The Tarnelous Effect - A Sequel to Debra Experiments