"So you might have heard about us on the news before, we are relatively well known" said Doctor Sweeney as he led us out of the elevator and down a hallway.
"Hmm... I don't recall hearing it before." I turned back to look at my friends, "Any of you guys here about this place?"
They all shook their heads.
The doctor furrowed his eyebrows in, I don't know what, disappointment, disbelief, or concentration... one of the three. He led us into a room where there some charts, a t.v. screen, and a computer. He walked over to the computer, tapped a few keys, and then motioned to Forrest.
"Ok. You. Come here."
Forrest did as he was told. Sarina's father had him sit down in a chair, facing the t.v. screen. He was strapped in, a few wires attached to him, and a cap of sorts was placed on his head.
"Ok. I'm going to run you through a standard set of questions that we use to test insanity. You are also hooked up to a lie detector to ensure that you tell the truth. Are you ready to begin?"
Forrest nodded. The doctor went to hit a key, when his face brightened and he said,
"Oh! I remember! Did you hear about the "zombie" man in Florida?"
Forrest grinned, "Yes! Wasn't that crazy?"
The doctor's face suddenly grew very serious, "Well, he was a resident here.... anyways... let's proceed."
Silence. Forrest was starting to look a little nervous.
"You mean that guy was actually an inmate here? Did he escape?"
A nod from the doctor, "Yes. He wasn't here long. Actually the only thing we did with him was run him through this test. Although the allegations were dropped, some investigating officials said that the pattern and method to this test could have actually interfered with the man's thinking and caused him to become even more insane."
Forrest grew a little white, "No way... I mean... you aren't serious are you? They said in the article that it was ba-"
"Bath salts? Please. It's more likely that an episode of Baggage will cause insanity than some bath salts."
"Um. Do you mind if I sit this demonstration out?"
"Oh come on son! Man up! The chances that you'll go insane are only about 33%. You'll be fine."
Forrest tensed up as the Doctor made a few keystrokes, and then abruptly Sarina's father broke out laughing. Again.
"Oh goodness! Calm down Forrest. I'm only kidding! Ah, but the look on your face was priceless!"
Forrest just stared at the man for a moment, then he began to chuckle half-heartedly.
"Oh cheer up. Here we go!"
Questions began to flash on screen. Forrest answered them all truthfully, and I must admit that some of the questions seemed... unconventional but, well I wasn't the one with the degree in mental health.
At the end of the test Forrest was released and his results were displayed on the screen.
"Questions answered with an insane answer: 17%"
"Questions answered with a sane answer: 86%"
There was a graph, and a detailed paragraph about Forrest general mental health, and we all read in silence until Forrest said,
"Um, Doctor? The percentages don't add up to 100. Is that normal?"
The doctor stared at Forrest for a moment, then smiled.
"You are one of 23 people who have noticed that since we've began running this test. You sir are certifiably sane. And observant."
The next demonstrations included excersizes that the residents were instructed to perform. We were shown some of the medicines, we met some of the other Doctors, we even toured a bit of the lab where they researched and stuff. Then we were led down a the final corridor, past a "Limited Clearance" sign, and though a set of double doors to the final demonstration.
A big machine filled up about a quarter of the room. Circuits and screens were scattered around, and another pair of doors led into a room with a project and green walls.
"For this last demonstration I will need seven volunteers. Oh look!" he said after a quick count, "There are seven of you! How convenient! Right this way please."
"This machine is part of a new treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder victims. It is a virtual reality simulator. Other research has shown certain beta cells to be the causes of the recurring memories that PTSD victims face. If we can block these beta cells, we stop the memory from coming back as harshly. This machine analyzes the brain, discovers where the beta cells are most clustered, and is able to calculate the victims fears and experiences and recreate them. When the medicine is fully developed we will be able to test its affects by putting volunteers through simulations of their experiences and see how they react. If they handle the situations with progressive calm, then the medicine will have done its duty."
"However, while the medicine is not done, the Simulator is. So for those who would like, we can hook you up, and you can see how you fare against your wildest fears."