Two scientists discover a way to keep a brain alive after death and choose as their first subject, a 100-year-old great-grandmother. They think she’ll be the typical sweet old lady, but she has other plans and soon learns a few tricks.
Dr. Frank Wilson and Dr. Richard Siemens positioned themselves in front of a glass tank filled with light green liquid, their hands in the pockets of their white lab coats. Siemens, pretending to be interested in the contents of the tank, instead studied his reflection. He was quite proud of his tan face, dark blue eyes and dimpled chin, and prouder still of his hard body.
* * * *
Wilson, pretending to be interested in the object in front of him, instead stole glances of Siemens, shuddering at the thought of his lover’s masculinity. He wished he could be as virile as Siemens, but reminded himself, he was the intellectual force behind their project. They continued to stare into the tank, Siemens moving wisps of hair from his face and Wilson fighting the longing building in his body. After a few minutes, they returned their focus to the work at hand.
Siemens and Wilson scrutinized a brain floating in the liquid and the two eyes connected to it by a tangle of muscles intertwined with nerves. To keep them from floating around aimlessly, the eyes were contained within small glass boxes attached to the inside of tank. Shiny, needle thin steel probes emanated from various parts of the brain, probes that were attached to electronic equipment that was in turn attached to wires that led to a computer system. Red fluid pulsed through clear plastic conduits connected to the carotid arteries leading to the brain.
Dr. Wilson and Dr. Siemens checked and rechecked the electrodes, examined readouts on the computer screen, and paced back and forth in front of the tank, the armpits of their lab coats slowly becoming drenched with sweat.
“Well, Frank, shall we wake her up now?” Dr. Siemens asked.
“No reason to wait, Richard,” Dr. Wilson replied. “I’ll control the electronics. Cross your fingers.”
Dr. Wilson sat at the computer and tapped in some commands. While he examined the readouts on the LCD screen, Dr. Siemens bent from the waist and stared into the tank.
A robotic feminine voice crackled from a speaker next to the tank. “Where am I?”
Wilson and Siemens covered their mouths, jumped in the air and gave each other high fives.
“Who are you?” the voice asked.
“Now, now, Mrs. Wall,” Wilson said. “This is going to take some explaining. You’re in a lab, or, more precisely, your brain—your mind—is in a lab. You see, Mrs. Wall, the physical you died about a month ago, but we have been able to preserve the mental you.”
“What—what are you talking about?” the voice asked.
Dr. Siemens walked in front of the tank, his back straight and his chest out, very proud of himself. “We—Dr. Wilson and I, Dr. Siemens—we have preserved your brain and all of your senses. You were one hundred and two, Mrs. Wall. Your body failed, but your mind will live forever. You can hear, talk, smell—”
“Who gave you the right to do this?” Mrs. Wall’s robotic voice rose in volume a tad, but nonetheless, remained flat and unemotional.
“Why, you did, Mrs. Wall,” Dr. Wilson explained. “You did that when you donated your body to medical science.”
“This is not what I had in mind,” Mrs. Wall said. It was clear from the volume of her voice that she was trying to shout, but shouting for her was impossible, at least temporarily.
“But,” Dr. Siemens said. “What is the problem? We can let you experience your favorite food, your favorite smell, we can even let you experience sex?”
“Yes,” Dr. Siemens said. “Frank. Would you please give Mrs. Wall a short sexual experience?”
“Delighted to.” Dr. Wilson tapped a few keys, leaned back and smiled. “Well?”