The Black Box
You awake to a startling darkness and silence, of which you’ve never experienced before. More importantly, all feeling throughout your body is gone. Every movement you wish to make is met with nothing and every faculty of your body seems to lack any response what so ever. No taste in your mouth, no itches to scratch, no hunger to appease.
Just black, blank, and unmoving silence of all kinds all around you.
The inner monologue within you is strong and curious; fear and anger are lost to you. For what, could cause these things to a being, singularly adhered to reality by consciousness alone.
Time and space seem to have lost all meaning.
“Well, where was I last, and what was I doing?” you ask yourself. Memories rush forth, as all your mental abilities seemed to remain, even after the transition.
“I was a scientist! I studied the brain… Or was it computers… and I was in the lab running the first test of a very experimental machine…”
Suddenly, an overbearing voice interrupts you.
The voice is scratchy and digitized, like an overly compressed mp3. You respond in kind with an inquisitive, “Hello…Where am I?” The mouth you talked with was not one you could feel or move, but one you made in your mind.
The voice waits a moment, then the scratchy noise kicks back on and message comes through, “My god… I’ve done it! Well, we’ve done it I suppose.”
As the words pulsed through you in a way that could only be described as pure thoughts, skipping the ears entirely, it all comes back to you. “I was testing the first machine capable of copying an animal brain and transcribing it to racks of simulated neurons on computer chips.”
The omnipresent voice responds, “Yes, and can you remember what you prepared for before the transition?”
“I was to attempt a full neural copy of my brain.”
The thought of that sentence echoes through you.
As reality sets in, it comes to your attention that sadness and anger must have been hormonally triggered emotions, as neither came to you in your moment of understanding.
The voice returns, “This is one for the history books, we really did it.”
“Shut down this machine.” Your response is absolute.
“But there is so much to test, so much we can learn!”
You only respond with a hum.
The voice angrily tries to coerce you, but your decision has been made.
And as you quietly hum the gentle songs from your childhood, songs you thought you have long forgotten, the machines go silent…
…and so do you.