Short Story - The Grind of the Monday Morning

While you guys wait for the next updates related to The Grand Block Odyssey, I thought I would share a short-story exploring the back story of the same Universe. Enjoy!

The Grind of the Monday Morning

The grind of the Monday morning. Take off the jacket. Take off the dirty boots. Put on the clean shoes. Wear the smock. Put the hair net. Put the face mask.

I’m a scientist. At least that’s what I tell the people I know. I didn’t really study to become a scientist. I’ve just always been obsessed with procedures and rational thinking. I was recruited to work for this company. I’m not sure how they found me, but I received a letter one morning. I never receive mail and I almost threw it away. It was a bit weird at first, but I was happy in the end. The pay is nice.

Where was I? Put the hair net. Put the face mask on. Empty the pockets.

“Mindful Corp. works on secret projects to help the human improve at an exponential rate. If you’re systematic, can follow instructions and have effective written communication, come work with us.” That’s what the job description mentioned. The company doesn’t have a website, but I know they exist for more than 20 years. I did my research; I’m a scientist.

Close the cellphone. Put the cellphone in the locker. Close the locker. Lock the locker. Pull on the lock. Make sure it’s locked.

The job description wasn’t too interesting, but I was in a rough spot. The company I worked for closed, something about cashflow issues. I don’t know much about business but I was told this happens at lot. My parents moved away. They said something about wanting to start over again. They never quite liked that I didn’t want to pick up the family business. I guess they abandoned me. I needed a change. The job is boring, but like I said. The pay is nice.

Scan the keycard. Open the door. Nod at the guard. Walk to the office. Stay silent.

The company is obsessed by its security. We seem to be working on sensitive research, probably funded by the government of some sort. Everything is silent in the hallway. They make sure the schedule of the other researchers doesn’t overlap. You never cross someone in the hallway and they do it on purpose. Only the required lights on the path to my office are open. Everything else is pitch dark. The door lock after I step into my office. I’ll need to ask permission if I need to use the bathroom. But I don’t question it. The pay is nice.

Pull back the chair. Start the computer. Sit down. Move the chair forward. Enter my password.

We do experiments. We try to improve how the human brains work. At least that’s what they’re promising I’m contributing to. I gather data, do analysis and enter new values in the software. I control the blood sugar, the amount of white blood cells or specify which medication to mix. The software validates my parameters and if the data is good, they’ll let me go in the experiment room. It’s a separate room filled with human test subjects. Each test subjects receive the data I’ve entered and the tests are run.

Save the changes. Stand up. Put the chair back. Wait for the door to unlock.
I must leave my office to get to the experimentation room. It’s a different room down the hallway. When I enter new test data, I’m added to a queue. I must wait for my turn. Like I said, you can never cross someone in the hallway. The security is at its maximum and only the way to that room will be lit up. If I try to go anywhere else, they’ll gun me down. At least that’s what the training video said The wait can be long and it can get boring… The pay is nice.

The door unlocks. Open the door. Walk to the experimentation room. Stay silent. The other door unlocks. I enter the room.

The experimentation room is off-putting. Every time I step in, I take a deep breath and relax for a second. My body panics as if it wasn’t understanding what my senses are catching. The whole building is silent, but there’s something about this room. It’s as if the room was in a vacuum. It feels even more silent, uncomfortably silent. The light is dim, yet it feels like the light is not reflecting naturally. I can see the clean white plastic walls reflecting the light. The wall is always so clean, as if they clean it between every visit. There’s a table and a chair in the middle.

Taking a step forward. The sound is muffled. I can’t hear my footsteps. I put down my notepad. There is no sound.

I am here to validate my experiments. The room has these big windows, thick glass windows. They are far away, but the glass magnifies what is on the other side. On the other side, there are 4 stasis pods. The test subjects are in there. I remember my training. Hypothesis, experiment, analyse data and validate hypothesis. Each test subject is different. I need to check that the values I entered doesn’t negatively impact any of the test subjects.

Test subject 1: Increased reaction speed. Test subject 2: Stable. Test subject 3: Stable. Test subject 4: Dead.

I fail the test on my notebook. Whatever I did wasn’t optimal because it caused one of the patient to die. Normally the experiments I run are small adjustments of standard values. They shouldn’t kill patients, but it happens. Every new error is helping us to learn. The software will save those values and make sure we can’t use them again in the future. It’s fine, they’ll replace the pod 4 with a new test subject right away.

The pay is nice.

This short-story was an exercise I gave myself to improve my writing. It is relevant and important to The Grand Block Odyssey, because it helps structure and create the backstory of the whole game.

Let me know if you want more of this. Register to the newsletter to get more update related to this project.

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