"So this is a trance..." Alice queried, starring intently at the bewitched reader. The reader, a middle-aged man clothed by in a thick red nightgown and a plush pair of matching slippers, reclined against the red leather chair that he sat in, ignorant the bustling scientists around him. Alice had taken note of the man's loose posture and lack of animation. The man rarely took the time to blink his eye's, and twice, Alice could have sworn that the man had ceased breathing for seconds at a time. The man remained blissfully unaware of the wires that had stretched from his limbs and head, across the room to a large set of apparatus. Suddenly, he turned the page.
The scientist beside Alice simply nodded, before pointing to a viewscreen mounted against the wall. "The subject's breathing and heart rate had remained in a stasis for quite some time now, according to our studies... As you can see, however, his mental activity is off of the charts."
Now Alice nodded in agreement. "I've seen them in trances before, but never this deep. And his brain activity... it's absolutely haywire. You are aware that human's are normally limited to the use of only ten-percent of their minds. This man's brain activity is more animate at this moment than our's will ever be in our entire lives!"
"Don't be so sure, you may just find the perfect story for you one day..." the scientist mussed
Alice payed the man little attention, as her gaze was set firmly upon the patient. "How long has he been under?" she asked.
The man starred at directly her, relaying a sense of awe. "It's been three days since he last looked away from that book."
Alice's eye's widened in disbelief.
"Yes Alice, three days! We've been supplying the man with nutrition via tubes, so that he doesn't need to eat. As for the water-"
"But that's not what concerns me..." Alice interrupted. "How could one book entrance a man for such a duration of time?"
The scientist grinned, urging her to follow him down the corridor. "Well you are aware of how the better that a story imitates real-life, as well vivid details, and advanced literature are major factors in a stories potential, correct? Well this department has been employing some of the worlds greatest literary geniuses to write long, lucid stories here; stories that are never intended to hit the shelves, and are unanimously considered to be as boring as hell..."
"Okay. So now that you've figured all of this out, how do you plan to utilize it." Alice queried, in an amused tone.
"We haven't decided, yet. Once perfected, however, we can use this method of hypnosis to the nations benefit. Hypnotize... no brainwash, our enemies. Make them delusional. 'Trap them in their own minds.
"And this has happened before?" Alice asked.
The scientist shrugged. "We'll we've lost a few subjects. One's willing to test the technology enough to risk their sanity. Non have died..."
Alice curiously raised one eyebrow. The scientist lowered his head.
"They've either awoken with purged memories, or they've went into comas of indefinite measure. None of these subjects have ever seen the light of day since."
"So why did you insist that I take this tour, and how do I fit into all of this?"
The man replaced his solemn expression with a more anxious one. "Well you had managed to discover this strange phenomena on your own; a secret so well kept that other countries have no idea of it's existence... If it wasn't for us, you would have published a book on your findings for the world to see. A rather stupid idea, but..."
Alice lightly punched him on the shoulder. The scientist's grin stretching from ear-to-ear at this point.
"The president himself want's to recruit you for a rather dangerous mission. A venture directly into the mind of the enemy."
Alice was astounded by the fact that scientists could simply brief her, sedate her, and link her brain to a classified terrorist in order to retrieve enemy information via unspecified methods in which they had left her to find on her own as the scientist. What surprised her even more greatly was the fact that they were willing to accomplish all of this in a twenty minute time-period. This fact hadn't worried her as much, however, as she was aware that time itself wasn't necessarily a factor, as the unconscious victim's perception of time was. That meant that she had at least 96 hours to find his character and to extract the necessary information. Well, Alice and the team of two young war veterans also assigned for the job.
Alice listened to the sound of bombs detonate in the distance. The smell of smoke and burnt rubber occupied the air around her. Alice quickly busted the glass window that waited directly before her. Without pause, she inserted one leg and rolled through onto a steel grated balcony. "Some mind." she thought, as two other venturers trailed behind her gasping and coughing feverously.
"It's obvious that this isn't your average citizen's story." Alice announced so that the others could hear over the gunfire below. The two men behind her wore beige camouflage and thick, metal clad wherever feasible. Both were supplied with black stuffed backpacks, water, grenades, and an M4 carbine strapped to their backs. She was a scientist. Even so, she found herself in a similar catsuit counterpart.
"Of course it isn't!" one of the men bellowed through the commotion. "The more compatible the story with the reader, the longer that they'll be entranced!"
Alice squinted as a large bomber passed them over, enveloping them in shadow. "And what is this man's criminal record, exactly?"
The other soldier loaded his gun, and turned to her with an unamused expression. "Well first off, he's about every type of 'ist that you can fathom. He's an ultra-nationalist, communist, and a terrorist. The only way that he could get any worse would be for him to become a Nazi."
The other marine tapped him on the back, urging him towards a mushroom cloud looming in the distance.
"Looks like the story is reaching an important point. Now let's get out of here unless we want to die and place ourselves into a week coma, and wake up having failed the mission."
Alice grabbed the man by the shoulder and whipped him around. "Coma! I wasn't briefed on this!"
"Listen sweetie. We're in this guy's mind right now. We die, our existence as scenery is deemed useless, and our very existence is tossed to the farthest outskirts of this guy's mind until he exits the trance, or the story ends. We're useless lives in this story."
The other marine turned around and chimed into the conversation, stating "Well, we can always try again-"
"No we can't! He won't have any perception of time in the dumps of him mind! This is why you should've alerted me earlier! If we die, we're stuck in here for eternity!" Alice interrupted furiously.
The marine sighed. "We'll we didn't want to frighten you. Especially with such a minor aspect."
The other soldier shoved him aside. "Guys! We'll unless you like the idea of being damned to nowhere, I suggest that we get to safety! Nuclear fallout will likely affect this area in a matter of hours!"
Alice peered over the balcony, watching a soldiers hurriedly unpacked into military trucks. Alice turned to the side of the balcony and leapt onto the rusted fire escape ladder. Swiftly sliding to the bottom, Alice released her grip and fell two feet until her boots thud against the light, beige soil, displacing it upon impact, and heaving small clouds from the surface.
It wasn't until Alice had approached the motorized deployment vehicles, and peered underneath the drawn tent-like curtain, draped over the aft of the vehicle, that she had realized that her fictitious comrades were Russian. The insignia on the nearest serviceman's beret suggested the Russian Naval Infantry, to be more specific. Alice immediately prepared her vocals, in case verbal communications were necessary. Even that, she considered, wouldn't help her if they expected her to speak Russian.
One marine's eye's cautiously examined her. It was apparent what he was wondering. Based on her knowledge of the Russian military, she could assume that female officers were rare. Perhaps he was so confused as to how an unfamiliar soldier had suddenly appeared in his unit. Maybe even a mixture of both.
Luckily, the marine's gaze veered elsewhere, as the apparent squad leader had emerged from the cockpit.