"Blinded By Science": After having activated a machine that, in effect, causes earthquakes, Michael Holt begins to realize that someone is controlling his actions. He had attempted to murder a senator with his machine, and now his Conscientia Institute is coming do
- Just call me a concerned citizen who doesn't like having his brain hijacked.
Appearing in "Blinded By Science"
- Donald Leeson (First appearance)
- Dr. Phillip Lyong
- Senator Gonzales
Synopsis for "Blinded By Science"
After having activated a machine that, in effect, causes earthquakes, Michael Holt begins to realize that someone is controlling his actions. He had attempted to murder a senator with his machine, and now his Conscientia Institute is coming down around them.
Desperately, Michael's assistant Aleeka tries to evacuate the building before an extinction level earthquake hits with them at the epicentre. Meanwhile, she orders Karen Starr to try to talk Michael out of whatever is making him do this. Karen complies, but can't help but note the undertone of jealousy in Aleeka's words.
Fortunately, Michael manages to use his T-Spheres to perform a synaptic reboot of his own brain, essentially overriding the outside control over his mind. He drags Karen down to the device's processing room to flood the room with Bose-Einstein condensates, creating a density inversion which will essentially capture the ultrasonic waves being created by the device permanently; in effect, a sonic black hole.
Ripping a pipe from the wall, Michael flash-freezes the condensates with the liquid nitrogen inside - the only way the experiment will work. Containing the event horizon of the sonic black hole in a force-field, Michael manages to counter the earthquake.
Outside the Institute, Senator Gonzales understands that Michael was not in control of his actions, and announces that he won't be pressing charges. However, Michael is aware that it wasn't just him who fell under someone else's control. Thousands of Californians exhibited signs of sociopathic mania last night, and only he recovered.
Somewhere off the Californian coast, a man with blue skin notes that his last experiment was a success. He feeds on the minds of those he controls, and with each one he controls, he becomes closer to the 'all-mind', which will lead creation to a new intellectual god to worship; him.
The next morning, board members at Holt Industries press Michael to name a successor for leadership of the country should something happen to him. Defensively, Michael announces that the company needs him in order to function, and as such, he has no intentions of going anywhere. Aleeka tries to temper his mood, pleading for him to soften his position. She mentions that he has been in denial about the possibility of his death since his wife Paula died. She reminds him that the future needs to be protected and nurtured, and she wants to assure that they both have one. Michael questions her use of the word "we," fully aware that she holds romantic feelings for him. Crestfallen, Aleeka leaves him alone.
In the back of a limo, Holt Industries board member Donald meets with a man who was once Michael Holt's roommate at M.I.T. Donald hopes to gain control of the company, and then hand it over to the other man's company, the Circle Revolution. For this, he will be rewarded. What Donald wants is Aleeka, and of course, his conspirator cannot deliver, but he does promise that power is an aphrodisiac.
In the T-Sanctuary, Michael has Nola, his AI interface perform medical diagnostics on him while he speaks with Karen via holograms. Doing a scan on his cerebral patterns, Michael discovers that he and the other man who died as a result of his mind control were affected by a sudden spike in intelligence. Fortunately, Michael was able to prevent his brain from overloading. Frustrated by the distance, Karen decides to go back to New York. Before she leaves, she warns that he is not a superhero. While she remains unaware that he certainly is, he responds that he is simply a concerned citizen who feels the need to deal with this technological attack.
Leaping through the Ninth Dimension, Michael traverses the rift in order to get from the Sanctuary to downtown Los Angeles. Unheard by him, a being within the dimensional rift tries in vain to warn him of a coming danger.
Mister Terrific exits into the middle of an LA Mall, having determined that the mind-controller is using low-level radiation to deliver cognitive neurocycling initiators. He has traced an increase in airborne particulates to this location. Just as the high-pitched noise which activates the initiators sounds, Mister Terrific creates a dampening field with his T-Spheres, protecting the innocents nearby from the fatal spike in intelligence.
Angrily, the blue-skinned man appears, and reactivates the noise. He introduces himself as Brainstorm, and announces that the mind games are just beginning. Loudly, Brainstorm declares that Mister Terrific is a law-breaking vigilante, and manipulates the bystanders into attacking him. Soon, Michael finds himself surrounded by mind-controlled innocents, calling for his head.
- This book was first published on October 12, 2011.
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