Cerebra Laboratories is a secret underground complex, established in 1906 it employs thirty employees. It rests in a small town called New Salem MA, and it hides in plain sight on the surface by a private security building.
The time is 9:00 am. The date is January 03rd in the year 2021. Arriving at the front entrance are five men, smartly dressed in military attire. They approach the reception desk.
“My name is General Winchester, we are here to see Dr Celexa.” Said one of the military men, with an air of authority.
The receptionist, with an inquisitive glower reached for five ID lanyards.
“It’s MATRON Celexa, she’s expecting you,” the receptionist said, then she read out the names on each lanyard as she handed them out.
“General Winchester, Major Shaw, Captain Beck, First Lieutenant Nappini and Second Lieutenant Del Fino.”
The receptionist then announced on the PA system. “Matron Celexa to reception please!”
Two minutes of waiting seemed like an eternity to General Winchester, it reminded him of his youth. General Winchester grew up in a town called Burlington, the youngest of five brothers and six sisters, he would always have to wait for the things that he wanted or needed. Patience was something General Winchester did not have. As they waited, General Winchester handed out envelopes to each of his men.
“Call her again,” General Winchester demanded, in a brusque manner.
“Yes sir,” the receptionist replied.
At that moment Matron Celexa arrived, just as General Winchester’s face was turning purple.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, my name is Matron Celexa, if you’d like to follow me please.”
Matron Celexa led the five officers through a series of corridors which led to a state of the art lab, which they entered and gathered by a large Stasis chamber.
The scientists in the lab stopped for a brief moment to see what was going on, then returned to their work. Some of the scientists were working on centrifuges and microscopes, others worked on diluter dispensers and viscometers.
“So Matron, what have you got for us?” General Winchester asked.
“Well, let me begin by explaining what it is we do here at Cerebra labs.”
General Winchester was close-minded at this point, he just wanted to get to the important part.
“We have almost Thirty staff, they include Audiologists and Anaesthesiologists, also Dermatologists and Immunologists, I will of course introduce you to our team of Neurologists and Neurosurgeons that are involved in the work that your military is interested in,” Matron Celexa explained.
“I was informed by a reliable source, of your experiments with magnets, exactly what do magnets have to do with medicine,” Major Shaw asked.
“I will get to that sir, please allow me to tell you what we have achieved here at Cerebra Labs, if you would like to follow me Gentlemen,” Matron Celexa replied.
The group moved away from the large Stasis chamber and into a secure meeting room. As each person sat at the table, Matron Celexa took her place in front of a white board, which was covered with mathematical formulas and other scribblings.
“Gentlemen!” Matron Celexa said, rather loudly. “Cerebra Laboratories are on the verge of creating cures for cancer.”
Matron Celexa paused for a brief moment, expecting gasps of amazement, which never came. “By analysing the mutated genome of a tumour, our Doctors can pinpoint whether a cancer is sensitive to chemotherapy or does not respond at all. The cancer growth is controlled by a protein, after years of experimentation, our Doctors have developed a new drug called Bruton-6 that blocks the protein, thus preventing growth.”
Matron Celexa could tell that her guests were not at all interested in what she was saying, but she carried on regardless.
“We are also developing a cure for seizures. We’ve developed ways of implanting electrical and magnetic sensors in the brain. This system includes electrical sensors implanted in the brain that can spot the first tremors of an oncoming seizure. Then it sends electrical pulses that counteract the brain’s own haywire signals, thus stopping the seizures in it’s tracks.”
At this point General Winchester could bear it no longer. “Yes Matron, I’m sure that you’re proud of your achievements, but can we please move on to Project Dead Gravity!” he ranted.
“As a matter of fact, I was just getting to that,” Matron Celexa replied.
Matron Celexa pulled down a white screen which hung from the ceiling, she then walked to the back of the room to a projector which rested on a small table.
Matron Celexa switched off all the lights in the room, then switched on the projector. She then slid the first slide into the projector, which had a picture of a human brain and the words. “PROJECT DEAD GRAVITY” and “5-HBT.”
As she spoke, Matron Celexa’s voice became more serious than before. “Gentlemen, our scientists have produced a red pharmaceutical in tablet form, we call it 5-HBT.”
“What exactly is 5-HBT?” General Winchester asked.
“I was just getting to that sir,” replied Matron Celexa, while shaking her head at the interruption.
“5-HBT,” she continued, “Is a natural compound that our bodies produce from the amino acid called Tryptophan. 5-HBT is converted in the brain, in to Serotonin which acts as a brain chemical messenger. We found out in early test stages, that when we gave mice 5-HBT, they were able to move bits of food around the cage.”
“That’s not unusual,” General Winchester said.
“The mice were separated from the food by a one inch wall of acrylic,” Matron Celexa replied.
“Are you talking about Telekinesis,” Captain Beck asked.
“Yes and no, the movement was only slight, so we tried to increase the dosage of 5-HBT, it didn’t work. So we figured out a way of combining another method with what we had. That’s when we thought of magnets.”
“Where does your 5-HBT come from?” Major Shaw asked.
“We extract it from the seeds of a tree called Griffonius and not from synthetic versions, it is then mixed with a Super-paramagnetic compound. Early experiments showed liquid 5-HBT to be highly attracted to magnets. Each tablet therefore provides 100mg of pure 5-HBT.” Matron Celexa was expecting some kind of interruption but was surprised when none came, so she carried on.
“What do we know about gravity?” Matron Celexa asked, rhetorically. “And imagine if we could see it.”
Matron Celexa slipped another slide into the projector which had a picture of three objects on it.
The objects were, a jeep, a military tank and a soldier. At either end of each object were parallel lines which were pointing in a vertical direction.
“Our 5-HBT increases the brains capacity by Thirty percent, this allowed our test subjects to actually see the lines of gravity which surround everyday objects, but only when they concentrated on an object,” Matron Celexa said, proudly.
“How do you know they saw lines of gravity?” Captain Beck asked.
“Our five test subjects all saw the same thing With three to four seconds of concentration, they could see the gravity surrounding any object. Which led to the conclusion we already knew, that gravity runs in one direction. So we asked ourselves what if we could manipulate the direction of gravity.”
“Do you mean, telekinesis again?” Major Shaw asked.
“Yes and no, but we call it diamagnetic levitation,” Matron Celexa replied.
“Diamagnetic levitation?” inquired Winchester inquired.
Matron Celexa gave a signal to someone who was in a project booth in another room. This time it was a film of a frog which seemed to be floating in thin air. “Why should a frog levitate in a magnetic field?” Matron Celexa asked.
Nobody replied, they were like children listening to a fairytale.
Matron Celexa continued. “The trick is to get the magnetic field right. You can’t use any magnet to levitate a frog. Because frogs like everything around us and inside us, are made up of millions and billions of atoms. Each of these atoms contains electrons that whiz around a central nucleus, but when atoms are in a magnetic field the electrons shift their orbits slightly. These shifts give the atoms their own magnetic field, so when a frog is put in a very strong magnetic field it is essentially made up of lots of tiny magnets. There’s nothing special about frogs. All materials such as blueberries, water and even silver are ‘diamagnetic’ to some extent, but some are more convenient to levitate than others. Frogs are very convenient not only because they have a high water content, which is good for diamagnetic material, but also because they fit easily inside one of our tubed shaped ‘Bitter Electromagnet’.”
“What is a ’Bitter Electromagnet?” Captain Beck asked.
“‘Bitter Electromagnets’ use a very large electric current to create an extremely strong magnetic field which magnetises the frog in such a way that it’s magnetisation is in the opposite direction to the applied field.”
“English Matron, English !” General Winchester retorted.
“This means that the magnetised frog is pushed up from a region of high field into a lower field and levitates,” Matron Celexa, replied rather hurriedly.
She continued. “When the test subjects saw this they all said that the gravity lines were visible. So we asked ourselves how we could make the Earth, one big ‘Bitter Electromagnet’. We knew that magnetic North and South would not be enough.”
Matron Celexa had the film of the floating frog stopped, then changed projector slides. The projector showed a picture of what looked like a giant grain silo, and on it arrows pointed to areas such as, ‘Liquid Helium Space’ and ‘Compensation Coil’ and ‘Liquid Nitrogen Space’ and finally ‘Centre Field’.
“What the hell is that?” Captain Beck asked, as he pointed to the slide picture.
“Gentlemen,” Matron Celexa replied. “I am proud to introduce to you one of our greatest achievements. ‘The superconducting magnetic coil’ capable of generating two hundred Teslas.”
“Oh yes, I remember the meeting that I attended to determine a location for two of those things,” General Winchester said.
“That’s right,” Matron Celexa said. “We have already installed one in the Marshall islands and one in Bermuda however they’re not yet fully operational.”
“So Matron,” General Winchester said. “This gives us our ‘Bitter Electromagnet’. So how do we control the frogs?”
Matron Celexa changed the projector slide again.
It read. ’MAGNETIC IMPLANT/TUNGUSKA.
“Gentlemen,” Matron Celexa said. “In 1908 a Meteorite exploded above Tunguska in Siberia. We know it didn’t impact on the surface because no crater was found. Our scientists wasted no time to investigate the surface area and they eventually found something.”
A brief pause ensued...
“Well don’t keep us waiting Matron, what did they find?” General Winchester asked.
“We found a fragment of an unknown metal, about the size of a tennis ball and highly magnetised. It measures fifty Teslas and it is extremely malleable. We named it Neo-Cobalt. It lay in our vaults for a hundred years,” Matron Celexa replied.
“How in the hell did your scientists smuggle that out of Siberia?” General Winchester asked, pointing to the projector screen.
“For some reason nobody investigated Tunguska for almost twenty years after the incident, so it was easy,” Matron Celexa replied.
“How is this Neo-Cobalt related to ‘Project Dead Gravity’ ?” Major Shaw asked.
“As I’ve mentioned before, we have developed ways of implanting electrical and magnetic sensors in the brain. We built a transceiver using the Neo-Cobalt from Tunguska and then we implanted it on to the ‘Primary Motor Cortex’ of one of our test subjects. We are planning to implant all five test subjects,” Matron Celexa replied.
“And what will this implant do?” General Winchester asked.
“We have a working theory that once we have established a world wide ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ field using our two superconductors, the chosen test subject with the Neo-Cobalt implant and with a safe dosage of 5-HBT, will be able to perform Diamagnetic Levitation on almost any object of their choosing,” proudly Matron Celexa replied.
Captain Beck looked rather bemused. “Hold on a minute. Once the superconductors are fully operational, won’t everything start to levitate like the frog in the experiment?” he asked.
Matron Celexa replied with a giggle. “No, although the two superconductors will be fully operational they will be on standby. Only the test subject with the Neo-Cobalt implant and 5-HBT dosage will be able to control the ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ field.”
There was a brief silence, so Matron Celexa took the opportunity to leave the room.
“Now gentlemen as I promised you earlier I will return with two of our best Neuroscientists, so that you may ask any questions you wish,” she said leaving rather hurriedly.
General Winchester turned to his colleagues and addressed them in an ominous manner saying...“Imagine what we could do with an army of levitating soldiers. No force on Earth would dare oppose us.”
“General Winchester, I was wondering, the top secret envelopes you gave us earlier, what do they contain?” Captain Beck asked.
“Each envelope contains the location of two, back up superconducting magnetic coils. In the event of the first two coils in Marshall Islands and Bermuda being shut down, the two back up coils will start up automatically,” General Winchester explained.
Matron Celexa took a deep breath and entered another room, where waiting for her were two Neuroscientists. Surgeon-General, Dr Abigail West and her young assistant Dr Kip Weldon.
“General Winchester’s ready to see you now, and Billy’s with him,” Matron Celexa said.
“Well I’m afraid your General will have to wait !” Dr West replied, sharply.
“Who’s Billy?” Dr Weldon asked.
“William Beck, Abigail’s ex husband. What’s the hold up?” Matron Celexa asked.
“He’s back,” Dr West replied, pointing at the CCTV monitor.
“Who?” Matron Celexa asked.
“Brant Payne, with his group of D.A.K.I.S. League degenerates,” Dr West replied.
“What’s the D.A.K.I.S. League and who’s Brant Payne?” Dr Weldon asked.
“Never you mind! Abigail let someone else deal with Mr Payne,” Matron Celexa said.
“Wait, Celexa we have to tell Kip,” Dr West begged.
“OK tell him, but hurry up though, because General Winchester is not a patient man,” Matron Celexa said.
“Brant Payne is a former employee here at Cerebra Labs. He was fired for causing a Lab accident, which is ironic because the accident led to an important discovery. It all began one night, Brant Payne was asked to retrieve a dead rat from out of a small ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ tube about the size of a large refuse container.
He was also asked to store a beaker of liquid 5-HBT. So rather than climb into the ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ tube and take the rat out, Brant in his wisdom decides to switch on the ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ tube; he thought he could levitate the rat out of the well. Brant tripped and spilt some liquid 5-HBT that he held; over the dead rat, then he ran off to look for a cloth to clean up his mess. When Brant returned to the ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ tube, to his horror he discovered that the rat had returned to life, flailing it’s legs and tail.
So Brant was fired and we decided to experiment on what had caused a recently deceased rat to return to life, but we were ordered to stop and forget about the incident, so we never knew what caused the rat to return to life. We did discover one thing though. When we removed the rat from out of the ‘Bitter Electromagnetic’ tube the rat had returned to it’s natural state of death. And that’s the story,” Dr West explained.
“And it doesn’t leave this room, if the General was to hear about this we would loose millions of Dollars in funding,” Matron Celexa firmly stated.
“What became of Brant Payne,” Dr Weldon asked.
“He tried in vain to file a lawsuit against Cerebra Labs, but he was unsuccessful,” Dr West said.
“What does D.A.K.I.S. Stand for?” Dr Weldon asked.
“ERM... Defending animals Killed In Science, I think. Brant and his four followers come here to rant and rave outside the front of the building. The media and the public just ignore him, I mean why would someone rant about animal cruelty outside of a private security building,” Dr West said.
Matron Celexa and the two Neuroscientists returned to the meeting room where General Winchester was waiting.
“Matron, what the hell took you so long?” General Winchester asked, fiercely.
“I’m very sorry sir, let me introduce you to our two Neuroscientists. Dr West and Dr Weldon.”
Before Matron Celexa could say anything else, General Winchester had already began his questions.
“I want a full progress report on the 5-HBT and the implants, were there any side effects?” General Winchester asked.
“Only one trial showed side effects,” Dr West replied.
“Yes, but all the other trials were perfect and showed no side effects,” Matron Celexa responded.
“In the trial that went wrong, what were the side effects?” General Winchester asked.
“Migraine and temporary blurred vision plus there were signs of aggression,” Dr West replied.
“As it was only one trial that showed side effects, I think it’s nothing to be concerned about,” General Winchester said.
General Winchester paused and asked one final question.
“When can you start testing on my men? I have ten recruits ready for the implant.”
“In two weeks,” Dr West replied.
“Very well, by then the two superconductors will be up and running. I look forward to hearing from you all in two weeks,” General Winchester said.
Celexa let out a deep sigh of relief, as General Winchester was finally leaving.
As they were being escorted out of the building, Dr West stepped forward to ask General Winchester a question.
“General Winchester, sir I was wondering if I could ask you something.”
“What do you need Dr West?” General Winchester replied.
“A small gathering of protesters are out front, I was wandering if you and your men could usher them away?” Dr West asked.
“Sure no problem, we’ll take care of it,” General Winchester replied, confidently.
General Winchester and his men began to disperse the protesters. Without warning Brant Payne punched Lieutenant Nappini and a tussle ensued. Lieutenant Del Fino pulled them apart. As Brant Payne began to run away, he turned and shouted. “I’m coming back and I will make you pay for what you’ve done to me !!”
Later that day, Brant Payne and his protesters gathered for a meeting.
“I have a plan. I’ve been informed that in two weeks most of the staff will be at a party to celebrate the switching on of two superconductors, which means they’ll only be a few staff on site. I’m going to enter Cerebra Labs and I’m going to make them pay for their indiscretions,” Brant said furiously.
“How are you going to do that?” Joshua asked.
“I have an inside man who will give me the new entry code. He has informed me that my entry card has not yet been cancelled,” Brant explained.
“What exactly are you going to do, once you’re inside?” Joshua asked.
“Cause havoc,” Brant replied. “And I need your help.”
Joshua turned to the other protesters and then to Brant and said. “Look Brant, we’ve all decided that this is gone too far. We’re disbanding, you’re on your own.”
“Good, what do I care you’re all useless anyway!!” Brant screamed, savagely.
Two weeks had passed and it was time for Matron Celexa to make the phone call she was dreading.
It was time to tell General Winchester that one of her test subjects was ready for field trials.
“Good morning General Winchester, I’m pleased to tell you that one of our test subjects is ready for field trials at your military base,” Matron Celexa said.
“That’s good news. The two superconductors are up and running, they’re switched on standby.
They are emitting a world wide electromagnetic field strength of fifty Teslas, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. Can we confirm that the test subject will be able to increase the field strength to two hundred Teslas,” General Winchester said.
“Yes that’s correct. Our test subject is sleeping in stasis chamber at the moment, we will wake him in ten hours,” Matron Celexa said, reluctantly.
“Who have you chosen, what’s his name and background?” General Winchester asked.
“His name is Enzo Bridges. We literally picked him up from the streets, you see he was living rough. He was more than happy to be a willing test subject, although I think he was more interested in the one hundred dollars that we offered him,” Matron Celexa replied.
“That’s good, well I look forward to seeing you and Enzo here at the field trials. Bye Matron,” General Winchester replied.
That night Brant Payne arrived at the rear gate of the Cerebra Labs facility. His informant had given Brant the new entry code and had told him that only one security guard was on duty plus five members of staff. With this information, Brant climbed over the fence and headed for a warehouse door. Once inside Brant headed for one place only. When Brant arrived at the Lab where his accident occurred, he used the code that his informant gave him and swiped his card. The door opened but it triggered an alarm.
Brant knew he had minutes to do what he needed to do. Brant headed for a part of the ceiling where a vent cover was. Then he grabbed a chair and hoisted himself up to the ceiling and removed the vent cover, as he reached in the ceiling space he smiled and said to himself. “It’s still here.”
Brant Payne stepped down off the chair that he stood on, he was holding the beaker of 5-HBT, the same one he had on the night of his accident.
Just then the security guard and a member of staff arrived. They entered the room where Brant was holding the beaker of 5-HBT.
“Hand over the beaker son!” the security guard ordered.
“I will not!” Brant replied.
The security guard turned to the member of staff. “What shall I do Dr Mower?” he asked her.
“If he doesn’t hand over that beaker, shoot him!” Dr Mower ordered.
“Yes Ma’am!” the security guard replied.
“Put down that beaker!!” Dr Mower shouted.
Just then Brant decided drastic measures were needed, he drank the whole beaker of liquid 5-HBT and ran towards the door.
The security guard pointed his revolver at Brant and fired six rounds killing him instantly.
There was a brief pause in the room.
With tears rolling down her face, Dr Mower turned to the security guard and said. “This stays between you and me, I can’t have this incident on my record. Take the body and bury it in the forest, do you understand!”
“Yes,” the security guard replied.