“Who is watching and what are they looking for?” Alan Sunpool asked himself continuously. He was beginning to believe he was paranoid. He asked his Supervisor at Neural Networks, Inc. Alan received a blank stare as an answer. He asked Constance, his wife, and was dismissed with a smirk. He asked his father who remained in a stupor reading the Financial News (electronic edition). Alan was convinced that someone (or something) was watching his every move. Could it be corporate spies. Alan was working on a device that would alter the brain by making it more receptive to outside suggestions — as a way to improve human capacity and capability. The device could benefit the lives of millions, especially people with neurological damage and other disabilities, but it could also be misused. The device had the capacity to control behavior and turn an individual into a flesh-and-blood robot.
I saw Alan change. I was his best friend, perhaps his only friend. One morning Alan was an intelligent, committed scientist working on an invention that could change the world — next day he was a disheveled, frightened animal lurking in the shadows trying to hide. His eyes were red from lack of sleep. His hands twitched fitfully. Every little sound set him off, cringing, looking for cover. That wasn’t the worst of it. He changed again. I saw my friend turn into something menacing, no longer human. He became mechanical. His movements were precise and determined. He no longer spoke — he just stood stock still and stared like a demon.
Alan was convinced that someone was watching him. They wanted the device. He often noticed the same stranger glaring at him whenever he glanced at a reflection on a window. No one wanted to talk about it. Alan was stranded on an island of “zombie watchmen.” He had no choice — he was forced to watch the watchmen. He was forced to take them out before they got to him. After the murders Alan felt better, but soon he could feel more eyes penetrating his skull. The more he was watched, the more he needed to kill. The cycle kept repeating.
They told me Alan was crazy, but I knew it was a lie. I saw Alan change. He never killed anyone. It was all set up to make him look guilty for crimes other people committed. Perhaps it was the corporation behind the attacks. Corporate ghouls wanted to protect certain dubious patents from corporate espionage. I warned Alan. He wouldn’t believe me — said he had it all under control; then he attacked me! Even though I defended him, he attacked me. I had no choice — I had to kill Alan Sunpool to protect myself. I keep seeing Alan. He is watching me. The nurse keeps calling me Alan — why is she confused? The nurse looks like my wife, Constance. She never liked me. I saw her put something in my food. I may have to kill Constance. I’ve been ordered to kill Constance.
The doctors at the facility deemed the experiment a great success. They had turned Alan Sunpool into a super soldier who was easily manipulated. Alan’s device made it all possible. Alan was the perfect guinea pig because he had been asking far too many questions. Now Neural Networks could sell the devise to the highest bidders and make a killing.