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The · Chronicle · of · Nicodemus


Being a record of the events in the lives of the Rats of NIMH

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1. Chain--Kanno Yoko
Something about this piece gives an air of ... inexorability. Much like scientific pregress and the possibility of its pulling everything along in its wake. It gave me opening-sequence type images of lab-stuff and credits. Woo.

2. Leeloo--Eric Serra
Again, this always gave me images of machines doing who knows what for who knows what purpose.

3.Prologue de Refrain--unknown (I couldn't read the album--it was all in Japanese)
It sounds horribly medical, dunnit? It's from an album called "refrain: the songs were inspired by EVANGELION", with the caps like that, yes.

4. Forbidden Gene--Unknown
Also from "refrain." I couldn't pass up a track with a title like that, and the music itself sounds properly mysterious.

(These tracks were selected mostly because they put across to me an air of mysterious *science!*)

5. Coma--Kanno Yoko
Again, the title's a dead giveaway, but beyond that, the music reminds me of bizarre hallucinations, which I'm almost certain the rats in question went through--a lot of strange things happened to their brains, after all.

6. KAKYOU--Unknown (again, album info all in Japanese)
More hallucination sequences.

7. The Speed of Pain--Marilyn Manson
They're coming out of the dreamlike hallucinations and into the scary stuff. Sourceless pain and nameless fears.

8. Seij minus a-Laick Arctica--Unknown (This was just ... something on my mp3 list... I can't remember where it's from.)
Again, more scary hallucinatory neural misfirings. I imagine sometimes life in that laboratory was nothing short of terrifying.

9. Whisper--Evanescence
They're coming out of it, now. Reaching a kind of stability. Realising they're afraid and moreso what they're afraid of.

10. Fear: The Mind Killer--Eon
The only thng we have to fear is fear itself.

11. Hitomi--Kanno Yoko
Not all of them survived, I'm thinking. Twenty rats and two mice excaped, but out of how many?

12. Classical Gas--Vanessa Mae
There's something about this, maybe it's the echo effect, that seems contemplative. They've escaped by now and wondering where to go, perhaps.

13. Signal To Noise--Peter Gabriel
Because this piece is just so damned relevant. Really. There isn't a situation you can't apply this one to.

14. Across the Universe--Aine Minogue
It's ... meditative. Makes me think a bit of Nicodemus, and also of the idea of their being between worlds. And it sounds kind of end-credity.
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In which the mun thinks about this FAR too much...

As anyone with a shred of realism will tell you, chemical increase of intelligence is still a far-fetched, science-fiction idea, right up there with X-genes and the development of psionic abilities from the absorption of drugs in uetero.

What follows is the wildest of speculations:

Standard Injections

From not-quite-exhaustive research regarding the action of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, it can be extrapolated that manipulation of such chemicals can result in vastly accellerated synaptogenesis.  Also, actual neurogenesis might not be unheard of.  The cerebrum of the typical specimen of R. Norvegicus is notably smooth when compared to that of, for example, a primate, affording ample room for the increased formation of gyri and thus, increased neuroconnectivity.

What the injections would have to consist of, then, is not the neurotransmitters or peptides themselves, rather, chemicals that stimulate increased endogenous production of said chemicals, finely tailored so that an overproduction of, for example, Substance P, doesn't completely disregulate pain sensations, or that a sudden influx of adrenaline doesn't explode their hearts.  I imagine a lot of test subjects died in monstrous ways before this final formula was devised.

The finished serum, apparently administered as a kind of chemotherapy over time, would nonetheless hold a lot in common with Clair's "Zombie Juice" neuroregenesis serum, with overstimulation of random cerebral areas a key side-effect.  Once the test subjects were physically recovered, then the cognitive testing and conditioning would ensue, ensuring an at least partial crystallisation of the newly formed pathways.

The serum's apparently drastic effects on not only the neurotransmitters and peptides of the subjects' brains but apparently also a partial resequencing of their DNA (producing a viable mutation), and its documented effects on the cellular decay of said subjects (again, possibly a product of the genetic resequencing, eliminating or at the very least decreasing the potency of genetic factors responsible for cellular decay), cannot be beleived to be lacking in long-term side-effects, as well as a few unforseen comorbid (for lack of a better term) manifestations:

The Case of Brutus

While the species R. Norvegicus is not without its variations in morphology re: physical size, it is documented that the character referred to as Brutus was a rat of prodigious size, possibly rivalling that of R. Norvegicus' cousin, the African/Gambian Giant Pouched Rat, which can reach a weight of up to seven pounds.  This can, in probability, be attributed to an increase in pituitary output, as the marked increase in neurogenesis/synaptogenesis, is not unlike that seen in a mammal's embryonic/infantile stage.  Giantism isn't without its systemic shortcomings, most notably early death due to congestive heart failure.

The Case of Nicodemus

In which woolly science reaches dizzying heights of implausibility.

It can only be supposed that, unlike the other escapees, Nicodemus was not a part of the test group that held the majority of the characters, but rather of a different group, of which he is possibly the only survivor.  This can most plausibly account for the marked difference betwen him and the others, as none of the others present even a hint of psionic abilities.

Most likely, in addition to the drug treatments the others had recieved, this group received an additional round of treatments, ones responsible for an apparent hyperactivity of cerebral regions either dormant in the original brain of R. Norvegicus or created during the drug-induced synaptogenesis/neurogenesis.  It's a long-held theory that the potential for psionics lies in the unused portions of the brain, one which has never, to my knowledge, been concretely refuted.  This can easily account for the documented instances of telekinesis, clairvoyance, possible low-grade telepathy, and possible precognition.

The ocular bioluminescence is, however, not easily explained, except as some exaggerated from of retinal reflectivity, after the fashion of a tapetum lucidum.  One can only speculate how difficult it is to sleep when confronted with the problem of one's own bioluminescence, especially one attained so unnaturally.

The metabolic strain of such hyperstimulation can account for the character's apparent impossibly advanced age, and the genetic resequencing can theoretically account for his survival in such a state.
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There is a presence in the cellar.

I can hear it, muted murmurings, faraway and strange but never ceasing, never falling silent.  It is angry.  Betrayed.  It hungers, though for what I daren't speculate.  The humans have contained it, but for how long?

Perhaps it is best that we leave this place as soon as we can, now that we have, at last, decided on a destination.  The very unpredictable nature of this ironically named "Sanctuary" is what makes it the most dangerous.  It is not a place for small beings.  We shall make our way to the homeworld of the human, Derek Bliss, and we shall see what comes of it.  The future is fogged, here.  Perhaps that is for the best, as well.

~N

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Day 3

It looks as though this place we found is called "the Nexus," a place where realities meet?  Heinlein was mentioned.  There might be other books explaining this, too.  There are a lot of humans here, but so far nothing like we escaped from.  Maybe not all humans are that bad, but it remains to be seen to what extent.  We've gotten no less suspicious, it seems.

Things to remember--Monsters in refrigerators, Things with a capital "T", and the concept of something called the "El oh el."  LOL?  Look up what those initials could stand for.  Nobody seems to know what causes it, but they don't regard it as particularly dangerous--more like annoying.

Discussion continues on whether to take the human Derek up on his offer of space near his home.  I'm leery of the cat, even if she does seem to have nothing but affection for Nicodemus.  Instinct, I suppose.  How much instinct can you safely lose before it gets dangerous?  I don't know.  We're divided on everything from the cat to humans to where to go to who to trust.  We'll have to agree on something, and soon.  The "Sanctuary" flooded and even though we weren't affected, who knows what'll happen next time?

-J
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It has scarcely been a month since our escape from the terrible cruelty of NIMH.  A month since we were trapped in cages.  We have travelled far and, I fear, have become lost.

I fear we may have left what we used to think of as our world entirely.  This place is strange, distant and alien--but will it be safe?

That remains to be seen.

~N

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