I am running.

They are coming after me, all of them. I see them chasing me down the street. Saying hateful things that are I can’t understand. Suddenly one of them corners me. I try to run back but run into another one of them. Their faces are contorted and ugly with hate written across their eyes. My hands are sweating as they yell at me. I feel something inside me, a pain like nothing else. A pain I feel when I think about how I can’t be with Veronica. I feel as if a warm hand is pushing tears from behind my eyes. My heart is pumping loud as my temples thump, making my head spin and ache.

I manage to break away from their hateful grasp. I break into a run but tripped before I can start. One of them punches me in the face. My body turns and hits the concrete. The pain in my chest seems to spread. My arms are aching, as the muscles tense. I warm pressure builds from my neck to my face. My body urges me to get up but I fight it, staying down to avoid their wrath. Suddenly one of them picks me up and dunks my head in the nearby large fountain.

Water. Submerged in water. A fear I have had since I was three. I begin flailing, opening my eyes and seeing the murky blue. My body seems to tense. My mind races on the injustice. The pain in my chest, the pumping of my heart, the thumping of my temples, the aching of my limbs match in unison as I fight the attacker off and emerge from the water. My head soaked. I see them coming towards me with hate in their eyes. I am on my knee’s watching them as I feel my pain seem to boil over, and I cry out in rage.

Matt looked down at his notebook. The dream was recurring, happening three, sometimes four times a week. He put the notebook on his nightstand and rubbed his eyes. A PhD in Psychology and he didn’t know how he could deal with this issue. The people in the dream were his friends. Chad, Veronica, Jason, Robert and Lisa. Chasing him and trying to hurt him. He shook his head. Irrational fears in his dreams.

The phone rang breaking his concentration. It was Rick, his lab partner for the research project he was doing. Rick was an intern student on a scholarship program. Nice kid with a lot of problems. Seems he had accidentally gotten his girlfriend pregnant and now she wanted nothing to do with him one week, and then saying he wasn’t involved enough with her and the baby the next. Matt smiled, if nothing else he could sponge Rick for money with psychological exams.

“Ok Matt, the lab is ready and we need to give a presentation to the board Friday, and we don’t…” Rick was yammering on, worried we wouldn’t get everything done.

“Take it easy Rick,” Matt smiled “The radiation unit came in yesterday and today we will be able to finish the injection, ingestion process. We will be more then ready to test and present for the board.”

“Ok Matt, just hurry over here, being around all this stuff makes me nervous.”

“That’s because you think you will break something and then beg me to pay for it. I’ll be right over.” Matt hung up and got dressed. It was going to be a fun day. With Rick, Matt was able to relax, probably because he didn’t know or wasn’t involved in the drama of his life. The fact that he was also doing science and figuring out how to help people, well that was a fringe benefit.

Driving down the city in his Geo, Matt let the music blare. A calming influence from the nightmare he had written in his journal. Pulling into the parking structure he showed his I.D card to the security guard and walked into the Genetics wing of the department. Opening the door he saw Rick under the microscope. Matt smiled and snuck up behind him.

“What are you doing?” Matt said deeply. Rick nearly skyrocketed to the roof, banged his head on an open cupboard door and fell to the ground. Matt smiled and helped him up.

“What the hell was that Matt?” Rick said anger in his eyes which turned into a sort of smile. Matt patted him on the shoulder and went over to get his paperwork.

“Well it seems the radiation surgery unit is ready. Why don’t you go up to the Radiation Area and prep it for me. I am going to see about making the serum.”

“Hey Matt, how does your little serum thing work anyway, you haven’t told anyone the details,” Rick said while walking over to Matt.

“Well Rick that’s best left to when I explain it to the board on Friday. What I am trying to do as you know is eliminate the negative emotional reactions in humans. Without that we wouldn’t have hate, fear, and such. While still retaining happiness and even sadness.” Matt smiled as he began fiddling with a formula equation on the nearby white board.

“Whatever you say Matt, and hey if when the unit is ready I’ll buzz you.” Rick said going towards the door.

“Thanks Rick, I’ll be there with wild horses and such.”

“What?”

“Nothing, old expression.”

“Speaking of old, how goes your friend situation.” Rick asked holding the door closed.

“Probably about as well as your pregnancy situation.” Matt smiled looking up. Rick smiled back.

“That bad huh?” Rick smiled exiting the room. Matt went back to work on the formula for his serum. He had developed the theory after reading about how psychologists worked with geneticists to cure mentally ill patients in psych ward. Matt’s theory was the possible eradication of the negative emotions curing everyone from the misery the emotions usually generated.

Matt walked closer to the microscope and examined the human DNA base pairs. Looking down he saw the paper about the Human Genome Project had come in. Smiling, he picked it reminding himself to chide Rick for not telling him. Why was it so much easier to talk to Rick, but not his friends he had known for years? Shaking his head he put the paper down and walked back to the white board.

Matt had written down the basic steps to his theory. He had genetically re-tooled human hormones to work for him. His own private email service to the human body. The way hormones worked was as messengers, which Matt kept as their basic function. The thing he had changed was what message they delivered. He injected the person with two serums. One for the brain, the other for the adrenal glands. Both knew where to go, and what their mission was. To tell the particular gland to secrete the hormones, this would set off the radiation unit. His hormones acted as almost a magnifying glass with the sun, making it possible for the radiation unit to cauterize the particular area that was producing the negative hormones.

So humans could be free of the beasts within. If he treatment worked, Matt thought, it would be the end of misery. He smiled hoping that everything was in order upstairs. The phone rang and with a grin Matt leapt to answer it. It was Rick and the radiation unit was ready. Matt hung up and collected his samples of his special hormones and took the elevator upstairs.

“Ok let’s inject these bad boys into the mouse over here. Set up the cage inside the radiation area. I am going to maneuver the gamma knife so that we won’t have any mistakes.” Rick leapt to action as Matt looked at the controls of the radiation unit. The gamma knife was usually used as a sort of cure for brain tumors. It was able to focus the radiation on the exact point of cancerous cells. Matt hoped the same effect could be duplicated on his hormones. They were keyed to isolate the area that promoted the negative hormones in the first place.

“All set Matt.,” Rick said giving a thumbs up.

“Ok inject the ‘Matt Hormones’ into the mouse.” Matt said maneuvering the radiation unit closer to the cage.

“Hey how come it’s named after you, oh right you invented it all alone, right?” Rick said while doing both injections. No matter where the hormone was injected it knew where to go. The computer screen showed the mouse and then the overlay showed the mouse’s neural patterns. The radiation unit was keyed to when the adrenal glad and the brain emotional response area. When either becomes active the radiation unit pinpoints the area and irradiates it, leaving only the hormonal activator destroyed and everything else healthy.

“Ok Matt now injections in.” Rick stepped into the control room with Matt and watched the computer relays. Matt pushed a button on the control stud. A musical tone sprung out. The mouse began to twitch in fear. His emotional responses had been keyed with electric shocks. The mouse was cowering in fear. The neural pathways showed the beginning of hormonal response. The radiation unit hummed with life as a beam of invisible light hit the center of the brain that was activating the hormones, while the other beam hit the adrenal area.

The mouse at first afraid suddenly moved to its food and began eating. Matt pushed the button for music again and the mouse didn’t respond. The experiment had worked. Matt closed his eyes and let out a sigh of relief. Rick cried out in joy. They had just discovered how to cure the human psyche of negative emotion.

“Ok so what now Matt?” Rick asked while taking Matt to his car.

“Well we run tests on the mouse, see if there are any negative effects. Do some psychological tests to stimulate aggression and fear. Then if all if ok we present our case on Friday to the board of directors.” Matt smiled as Rick patted him on the back.

“**** you are some kinda genius aren’t you?” Rick said.

“No, I had a lot of help,” Matt smiled. Shaking Rick’s hand. “If you ever need anything, I’m here for you bud.”

“Good because I need some food. Taco Bell?” Rick asked smiling.

“Sure, sounds like a plan. Oh let me guess, I’m paying.” Matt smiled as Rick just shook his head and got in the car. Matt looked up at the sky and smiled. It had worked.

“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.” – Henry Kissinger (1923 – ), Wilson Library Bulletin, March 1979[/i]

The Monster Within Us All – Chapter 2

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