Brain Dead

As everyone knows, you can donate and transplant organs. Liver, lungs, heart. But not the brain. Scientists say that it's too dangerous and it could change the way the patient thinks.
Doctor Reese, a neurosurgeon at the Clinton Medical Facility, was fired for unknown reasons and disappeared along with his son and a comatose patient. Soon after, Jacob Tolson, boy genius with the highest IQ of any sixteen year old, goes missing; assumed kidnapped by Doctor Reese's son. Rumours go round about what the doctor was doing, some said he was doing experiments, torture, inhumane tests. They were sort of right. Scientists say brain transplants are impossible and a fatal procedure. What if they're wrong?

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1. Memory Lane

Jacob

I just woke up. I don't know where I am, it seems to be a hospital room which is strange because I have not been ill since I was eight years old. In fact, since I was eight I have been perfect; no spots, perfect looks, perfect hair, extremely high IQ. I'm not exactly 'popular' but I have the world record for having the highest IQ of any one my age - which will be seventeen next september. Looking down I can see various tubes coming out of me, which is slightly alarming. In films, the characters would rip these tubes out and try to look around however this isn't a television program and I am not stupid. I do not like the idea of walking around what looks like an empty hospital with a hole in my stomach where a feeding tube was ripped out. So instead, I listen. Sure enough I can hear multiple footsteps approaching my room. By the sound of it, the steps are from heavy work boots and the deep, slightly sharp alternate breathing suggests that they are two males. I close my eyes in order to pretend that I am unconcious as before and listen.

"He's still out."
"He can't be. My readings show that his brain activity is regular; he should have woken up about five minutes ago. Doesn't matter, take him to the ward and continue your observation until seven o'clock."
"Yes Dad."
"Callum?"
"Sorry. Yes Sir."

I am now being transported somewhere. I am assuming that the older man is a doctor and his son assists him in whatever he does. I would like to know why they are studying my brain patterns; it is a thing many scientists have wished to do as I am extraordinary however I have been put off limits by the government. They hid me away with security when somebody tried to kidnapp me last year. I guess this year they suceeded, only being kidnapped by a scientist sounds abit too much like a horror movie. The bed is wheeled around a corner then stops and jolts. I gasp and open my eyes, adjusting to the light.
"I knew you were awake." A voice sneers at me. I try to turn my head to get a look at who I assume is the son but a mask is put over my mouth and I drift back into the familiar friendly blackness.

Lauren

So I'm watching tv and scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook and I see this 'missing' poster. You know, the ones where someone you know or a pet or something is lost and people put up posters on the internet to spread the word. Well I saw one boy who looked like the spitting image of my younger brother Max except he looked about sixteen, maybe seventeen. So right now I'm sitting here staring at this photo wondering if it's just a photoshopped image place on the internet to get sympathy or attention but the more i look at it, the more I can see it's not Max. He's got sandy coloured hair like me and brown eyes with a small white spot on the iris like my mum. So I call mum cos she works with computers and stuff, she should be able to tell me if it's photoshopped or not.
"MUUUUUMM!" No reply, "MUUUUM A CHAIR COLLAPSED ON ME AND I BROKE MY LEG!" Still no reply. "MUM! EASTENDERS IS STARTING!" Mum comes rushing in and I give her a bemused look. The fact that EastEnders is more important than me slightly offends me. Before she can complain about me lying I pull her sleeve so she has to sit next to me. She's very light for someone who's had three children; she doesn't eat much and goes to the gym alot. She brushes her hair of her face and sighs.
"What do you want?"
"Look." I point to the screen.
"Aw that's a cute picture of Max"
"That's not Max. Look closer." She squints and strains her eyes at the screen. Her face goes really pale, and I mean like someone used a hoover to suck all the colour out of her face. She lookd like she was going to be sick; I was actually contemplating getting a bucket or something.
"Mum? You alright?" She snaps out of her dazed look and looks back at me quickly.
"Hm? Oh yeah, I'm fine. I was just, uh, shocked at what you can do with photoshop these days. I have to make a call then I'll call you for dinner, ok?" She pushes herself of the couch and stumbles into the kitchen. There's something weird going on. My mum is a really nice, chirpy person. She never gets upset over anything, ever. But just now...it sort of scared me. Which is my excuse to eavesdrop on her phone convo. Listening at the door is so overrated. I put my phone on record and walk into the hall as she is dialing. She looks up at me, stops dialing, smiles and I smile back. As I begin to walk upstairs to my room, she looks back down and dials the last few numbers. I drop my phone onto a step and carry on walking up the stairs and into my room. I play my music for ten minutes before peering down the staircase. She is just ending the call so I casually call down the stairs asking if the meal is ready, she replies that it will be done in about five minutes so I slide down the banister while she watches, jump off and make a pose. She smiles, claps, almost looks normal again. But she is much more pale than before and looks tired; I never really noticed the circles under her eyes. She gives me a half smile and brushes her fringe out of her face.
"Dinner's ready in five, ok?" And she walks slowly into the kitchen. I make sure she's gone and go half way up the stairs, picking up my phone and pressing the 'stop recording button'. This is spying at its best. MI7 would be lucky to have me. Once I reach my room I plug in my headphones incase Mum comes in and I don't hear her and I play the recording although I could only hear Mum's end of the conversation:

Mum:
Hello? Could you put me through to Clinton Medical Facility?
Comatose ward please, thank you.
Hello, could you please tell me the current condition of Peter Richardson?
What do you mean he’s missing? Comatose patients don't just get up and leave, somebody must have...
Can you put me through to Doctor Harlon?
What the hell is going on?
Why didn't you notify me?!
He's my son, of course I need to know!
Well what are you doing to find him?
How can the police do anything? They couldn't even track down David Reese! You know what, go to hell.

There's a long pause where I came in and then stopped the recording. Our last name is Anderson so who the hell is Peter Richardson? My supposed half brother? What?? I don't know whether to confront mum or not; she seems pretty worked up. I don't wanna upset her but I'm sorry, I have the right to know what is going on. If this guy is even slightly related to me, that makes it my business. So now what?
"Dinner's ready!" Mum calls me and guiltily I drag myself down the stairs. I'm fuming, but I'll keep my mouth shut. For now.

Mrs Julie Anderson

When I was nineteen, I had a son. The doctors told me that he had brain damage and would never function properly. I got used to wheeling him around, taking care of him. He was my son and I loved him; I didn’t care that he couldn’t understand me. Then when he was five, he collapsed and fell into a coma. He was taken to the Clinton Medical facility and put under the watchful eye of Mark Harlon and David Reese, two neurologists. They studied his brain functions and told me that the probability of him waking up from the coma was unlikely and even if he did, he wouldn’t be able to walk, talk or move; he’d be a vegetable. Doctor Harlon wanted to pull him off life support but Doctor Reese said there was hope and he was working on a cure. Well he didn’t exactly say cure. I don’t know the details but his lab was broken into and corpses were found on tables, having been cut into as if doing an autopsy. These were his so called ‘experiments’. He was fired and they tried to arrest him but he escaped and hasn’t been heard of since. Doctor Harlon still looked after my son but when he was nine, Kelli was born and I asked Mark to keep all information about Peter confidential; I didn’t want Kelli to grow up always worrying, depressed. I wanted her to do well in school and live her life. When Peter was thirteen I had two boys, Jamie and Max. Max looked so much like Peter it triggered emotional favouritism meaning I’m not as close to Jamie because he’s jealous. I made sure none of them knew about Peter.
I feel like a bad mother. Surely it’s understandable why I did it? I knew if I was going to tell anyone, it would be Kelli. She’s so mature for her age; I’m so proud of her. She has to find out sooner or later. I was going to tell her but when she was older or once he had passed away. But then I saw that poster which she stumbled onto, which in itself is a miracle. How dare the hospital advertise a wanted poster! That breaks every single condition in the privacy and confidentiality contract I signed. So, naturally I called the hospital to find out what was going on and they assumed kidnapping. Of course they called the police. A lot of good they are. They couldn’t catch David Reese, not even his son has been found. They are most likely together. It’s a shame really. I liked David; what he did may have been illegal but he was just trying to help Peter. That’s it. David is the one who took Peter. He must have been! Who else would have a reason to? He must want him to continue his experiments. It makes me want to vomit; my poor Peter. I know that he’ll be ok though. David may be a fugitive doctor who performed experiments on corpses but he was kind to me and took care of Peter; he would never do anything to hurt him, all he wants to do is help. I don’t like his son though - Callum. He’s a nasty piece of work. I’m thirty five now and I feel like I’m still a kid, but this boy, he grew up way too fast. He’s only eighteen but he is the most arrogant, negative, vile person I know. He likes to control every single situation, thinking he knows best all the time, although I can only begin to assume what going into hiding for the past few years has done to him. In a way I feel sorry for him. I have to find him though, Peter that is. I would rather know that he is safe in the hospital than in a laboratory being experimented on. I’m going to have to tell Kelli though; I need her help. I just don’t know how to tell her.

Callum

He’s pathetic, just lying there. A snobbish little prat who thinks he’s the best thing that happened to the world since rainbows. He’s arrogant and cocky...like me. I know everyone hates me. Even my father despises me, he tolerates me but I just get in his way. But this boy, Jacob Giles, he’s the type of person you meet and instantly want to punch in the face. I mean seriously, it was a weekend when I kidnapped him, a weekend and he was wearing a suit! A suit for crying out loud! Who wears a suit at the weekend when all you plan to do is watch tv and do homework like a nerd. I don’t care about how high his IQ is. I don’t care that he has a wealthy family. I just can’t wait for him to wake up properly. First thing I’m gonna do is smack him one. He deserves it. He went to my school – he doesn’t remember me of course – I was in the year above but he’d been moved up a year and he was the most snobbish person ever. He wouldn’t even talk to me in case my ‘dumbness’ rubbed off on him, like I was carrying some sort of disease. I told my dad about him; about his amazing brain and how he boasts about the world record he got for being smart. Who gets an award for being smart?! He does. My dad never listens to me unless what I’m saying benefits him so I really don’t know why I bother. And then Dad went and kidnapped him, I mean, what the hell was he thinking? I am ashamed to say that chloroform was used but just when I was starting to feel sorry for him – knowing what Dad was going to do to him – he woke up and didn’t even recognise me. So yeah, I don’t care what happens to him now. For all I care he can go die in a hole.

David Reese

I am not a psychopath. I am a scientist. What I have discovered can save millions of lives. It’s like discovering the cure to cancer. They said it was impossible and too dangerous and one hundred percent fatal but if I can pull this off, I know they’ll be begging me to come back to work to the hospital. I might even receive a Nobel Prize. I’m not doing this completely for myself. My sister was comatose from the age of twenty seven up until the day she passed away so when I was put in charge of looking after Peter Richardson, I felt an obligation. And when they fired me, well I can safely say that it did not stop me. It wasn’t kidnap; technically he is still my patient. I am going to perform the operation in three days when I have finished taking readings from both patients. For now I am putting my son in charge of Jacob, the genius boy. His intelligence astounds me, his mind works in ways even I cannot explain. But I have the problem of a son. I don’t pretend that I like him because he is an inconvenience. He was an accident and bringing him up alone set me back in my profession however this discovery was going to be my comeback, I was going to regain all that I had lost. And then somebody reported that they had seen Callum in my lab after hours. It was investigated and my experiments were found; it was him being careless that ruined everything I have been working on.

I have been in hiding for over ten years. It’s enough to drive you insane however I take comfort in knowing that it was all worth it. After decades of work, I think I have discovered a way or transplanting the brain. I will be creating an artificial brain that will be implanted into the skull of Jacob and Peter once I have safely removed both of their own brains. I will then swap them; placing Jacob’s brain into Peter’s head and Peter’s brain into Jacob’s head. It is an extremely difficult and complicated procedure however I believe it is possible. It was Peter’s brain that was damaged so a new one will mean he can communicate and live his life with his family. Jacob, despite his intelligence will never amount to anything. Surely this is best for everyone? The money I receive for my discovery – if it works – will go towards furthering my experiments. No one will be able to touch me and I’ll be able to work in peace.

Peter Richardson

Darkness, all I can see is the dark. They think I can’t hear them, understand them. But I can. I may be in a vegetative state but my mum taught me words. Even though I can talk, I can understand. I think I am sixteen now, it has been so long, I’m not sure. Have you ever wondered if when you die, you’ll still be conscious of everything? Well being in a coma is sort of like that. I have been aware of everything that was happening around me while I have been unconscious, I could hear my mother talk to me about how one day I’d wake up and everything would be normal. She would visit me every single day and talk to me but then one day she started telling me about my little sister being born and how she couldn’t visit me anymore. I couldn’t talk back to her; tell her that she was the only thing other than the life support that was keeping me alive.  So she stopped visiting. The doctors looked after me but recently something doesn’t seem right. I am lying here hooked up to something. The voices I hear talk about an operation. This could mean that I will wake up soon, right? I recognise one of the voices as one of the doctors who took care of me back at the hospital but the other voice is unfamiliar. Despite the doctor being here, I don’t feel safe. Everything seems wrong, dangerous. I can feel the atmosphere growing colder. My mind is being looked at, read like a book. I want to rip out the wires and run away but I can’t. I can’t move, or speak or do anything. I am brain dead. I can only think thoughts; I shouldn’t even be able to do that. But I can. And it’s a good thing too because it gets really lonely lying here alone by myself with nobody else to talk to. But it will be over soon. I can feel it. Something is coming...in three days from now.

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