(Note: though this is largely fiction, it illustrates how the combination of being drugged with something with effects similar to mefloquine in combination with some other things, social engineering that destroys the semblance of one’s life, and synthetic telepathy can be used in combination as I’ve said they are. Therefore I’m posting it here. Also, apologies for borrowing some of the style–and likely mangling it. Grab inspiration where I can. It’s what we mimics do best).
END OF THE ROPE
“Most times you can’t hear ’em talk. Other times you can.”
Imagine you are broken.
It wasn’t always so. Not long ago you were on top of things. You were making advances. You had something to contribute. Your were on your way to making a name for yourself. You were somebody.
You can’t quite recall when it all changed. When you woke up somewhere else. When you woke up one morning and found yourself in Hell.
You vaguely recall starting to stare at phone numbers. License plates. Graffiti. Somewhere along the line, those things came to hold more meaning than the now nearly incomprehensible texts you have pored over for years. Even though you are an expert in your field, even though you should know better, it just feels right, and you know you can’t fight feelings, not forever. So you indulge them.
You bounce between laughing hysterically at what Jung referred to as synchronicity, strange coincidences that now pervade your entire life… Sometimes it’s as if the people on TV are talking directly to you. Random strangers involved themselves in whatever you are doing. You can’t hear yourself think sometimes, while something deep down in the recesses of your mind keeps telling you, if they’d just shut up for ten minutes, you could catch your breath. You could solve this problem. You could figure out why your life was turned upside down and you could start to correct it.
…to thoughts of death and destruction.
And the noise! The noise coming from the upstairs apartment is preventing you from sleeping, from coming up with those bursts of inspiration you did in undergrad, while getting your masters.
People you once depended on, though you didn’t realize how much until they stopped talking to you, stopped calling, emailing, texting, stopped inviting you to lunch, the movies, parties, sporting events…they provided some refuge…some semblance of normalcy.
But when you were trying to talk reason to them, explain that despite whatever is happening to you, you are still you, that you still care about them, they don’t seem to hear what you’re saying. One phone call is especially frustrating because of some fat cow walking by when your are on your cell in the park, slurping a fast-food shake and mocking what you say. You have your first murderous thought.
You accept that your friends have abandoned you. You try not to hate them. It’s especially difficult when you recall all of the times you were there for them. You recall when they were there for you and wonder what flipped them from “true” to “fair weather” over night.
Of course. This is a waking nightmare. This can’t be reality. Life isn’t like this. This is not how the world works. Ask anyone. You are a pariah here.
You have your first disappointing review of your work. You wonder what went wrong. It seemed to make sense at the time, but your mentor, supportive, nurturing, encouraging in the past, is suddenly cold. He looks at you as if you are an insect or a frog laid open and pinned to a wax surface.
This must be Hell.
Your ex lies to you repeatedly. You try to connect, try to at least maintain a friendly closing, avoid burning the bridge. Maybe one day things will go back to normal. But her every subtext, her every nonverbal action, just screams, “I hate you. I wish you were dead.” You wonder how that is possible. The thought occurs to you, this could be some government program, some cryptic conspiracy designed to…what? Destroy you? For what purpose? You aren’t that important, that voice inside your head says. You aren’t yet somebody…like your dad. Impossible, no motive.
And you recall the legal definition of torture…requires being in custody. What happens when everywhere is your prison? Requires permanent damage. What happens if the damage is temporary but unbearable in the present? Requires intent. What if those doing it don’t know why they are doing it? It’s crazy.
No, this must be Hell.
You wake up one morning and put your hand to your head. Your hair feels odd…different. You go look in the mirror and your skin is pale. Your hair is standing straight up. The pallor of your skin makes your lips seem red…like a clown’s. You laugh.
You give the library one last go. Somehow, you are going to turn that one thing around. You are going to get that PhD. You are going to make your dad proud. He always had faith in you.
No, he didn’t.
That voice again from somewhere in the back intruding on the front.
He only cared about how you reflected on him.
You start to argue with what you think is part of yourself. It’s then that you see him. Some man who reminds you of your dad. He’s right there in the library. You are relieved that at least he isn’t looking your way. He can’t see you in this state.
Then he does look at you. You freeze. You cannot bear one more…not like this.
The man looks blankly at you for a moment. He frowns. He turns slowly and walks away.
You suddenly know that the voice was right.
It reminds you of other things, it’s not you that’s the problem. It’s other people. You surpassed your mentor. It was jealousy that you saw, not disappointment. He couldn’t understand what your wrote and he was jealous of your ability.
That’s what is wrong! Thats what’s wrong with everyone. They are just too dumb, too ignorant. For chrissakes, the ancient Egyptians studied nerves and humanity still doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand what it is. What do you have to do to break through the morass?
Teach them a lesson.
“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
You hear the voice and then the recording with Michael Caine’s voice. Suddenly, a young, beautiful undergrad is standing near you. Unlike the man who looked like your dad, she is not frowning at you. She is smiling. It is the first person who smiled at you with any genuine in weeks at least. The front of her t-shirt has Heath Ledger’s made up face on it. She sort of winks, you think, and turns. The words on her back sink into your brain and the letters burn themselves into your eyelids:
WHY SO SERIOUS?
You suddenly know what to do. You’ll be famous. You’ll teach the world a lesson. You’ll share the pain, direct it back outwards. You’ll teach Hell and its inhabitants what happens when they hurt a real man. All of that with one act. You are a genius.