For the main hub of the story, see here: Project Human Adaptation
Project Human Adaptation - Roar of the Heavens
First Test: Entry 2
After Subject #1’s ordeal, I was prepared to have to coax another subject into continuing. But I misjudged some of them. Subject #7 seemed excited after seeing the results of the prior test. His young mind was likely expecting something “cool” to stem from this. He clearly hadn’t noticed how much Subject #1 had hated it.
With the amplifier attached, the next fear-inducing scene came into being. We were in a room. Not the same room we were just in, mind you. This one looked to be someone’s home; possibly his own. Everything looked normal enough, and no one else was in the room with us. A loud crash shook the walls, causing a startled cry from the subject. Looking out the window, a storm could be seen.
Another crash, louder than the first. The subject covered his ears and tried to remain calm. A bright flash of light lit the room, followed by another crack that resonated a few moments longer. Before it could finish, he was on the ground, hunkered down with his arms over his head in an attempt to lessen the noise. It didn’t work.
The crashing continued for a few more minutes, with even the other subjects jumping at the sound. I never expected the projector to work so well. It was actually replicating Subject #7’s perceptions outward for all of us to experience. I figured it would just be plain imagery; like a monster that we could all visualize with him. This was adding an extra level to the experience. It was brilliant. We were not only seeing what the subject saw, but how they saw it. So, the widening platform gap from the previous test was the same. Only two tests in, and there was already a pattern. I had to see this one to the end.
Subject #2 was trying to speak to Subject #7, but her voice was drowned out by the thunder. In the brief moments between bursts, I managed to draw his attention to the newly stacked boxes at the other end of the room. He only got a glimpse of them before cowering back down. He wasn’t going to move.
But the light on the amplifier was flashing. The noise had progressively gotten louder with each crash. Even the lightning strikes were brighter. Without moving, he was still reaching his limit and…
He was crying.
Gone was his excitement. Gone was his brave face. He was terrified. Subject #2 pleaded with me to end the test. I couldn’t; not when we were so close. I’ve been studying fear for years. I know all the various ways in which people react to fear. But that still doesn’t make watching a child cry any easier.
A final boom shook the room and the boy screamed. It was loud, even after all that thunder. Within moments, the surroundings had dissolved back into the original room. The boxes were… gone. Fragments of them lay scattered around, as if they had exploded. The lights were flickering and sputtering too.
Once more, a new figure stood in the subject’s place. This time it was a form that seemed almost formless. Electricity bounced around in midair as if contained within an invisible body. I had thought my ears were ringing from the storm, but it was coming from this being; a continuous low rumbling.
The form faded and left the subject curled up on the floor. Subject #2 and #8 ran over to him and removed the amplifier. I told the group to take a break for a bit. They looked like they all could use it. But all the while, my mind was racing.
There was so much I was learning, but still so much I wanted to know.