Dr. Derp recalled the first time he had seen the brain, it was at his own little clinic, the Placebo Effect. On his own time, Dr. Derp had been treating seemingly untreatable mental illnesses. He gained quite some fame as the miracle doctor, although none of his patients left happier than when they entered due to the weight taken out of their pockets. On a cloudy afternoon, a gloomy couple entered the clinic carrying their unconscious son. Dr. Derp can hear the voices of minds, and he understood the parents’ intentions immediately, but the child’s mind was impossible to decipher.

The couple lived in a foreign country, they were not wealthy, but they gave birth to a healthy son. Their average and peaceful lifestyle ended when their son started showing strange symptoms at the age of eight. At first it was blanking out for a second during a conversation, then that second became minutes, hours and days. Four years later, the slumber became seemingly permanent. The couple had visited several hospitals, but were met with either refusal or expensive therapies with no effects. Soon after, they heard of a miracle doctor in Velocity and traveled overseas to seek help from an artificer, Dr. Derp.

Dr. Derp was afraid that the case falls outside of his profession, but he could not resist the opportunity to study a mind that even he, the artificer of mind, could not understand. Dr. Derp told the couple that he would attempt treatment, but cannot guarantee their son’s survival. The parents were reluctant at first, but eventually agreed when Dr. Derp offered large sum of compensation in the case of failure, and signed the contract that would then reap their son away. Dr. Derp was excited at this opportunity. Would he get to name a new disease? Could this be caused by a new bioweapon created by a scheming nation? The possibilities were endless, and he could not wait to find out.

For the next few weeks, Dr. Derp locked himself away in his laboratory. He tried numerous strategies to provoke a reaction for the child’s brain, which only insisted on continuing its strange chant, as if it was speaking in a different language. Dr. Derp decided on taking a closer look at the child’s brain, so he brought him to an operation room. At a single command, numerous robotic appendages extended from the ceiling and began removing the brain. The child’s skull had already been cut open multiple times in previous visits to hospitals, and was an easy extraction. The cold mechanical arms dumped the child’s body in a cryogenic vault, and gently stored the brain in a liquid preservation tank, which Dr. Derp took away for a closer study.

At first, Dr. Derp truly wanted to save the child. Separated from its body, the brain screamed clearer than ever. Dr. Derp began making out a pattern in brain’s frenzied voice, and then he saw it, the vision. He saw a tree, a massive tree, rooted in the center of a boundless lake. The tree had no leaves, instead, each branch grew into more branches. The closer Dr. Derp looked, the more branches that grew. “Is this infinity?” Dr. Derp unconsciously asked himself. Soon, he felt himself pulled away from view, across the shores of the boundless lake, and back into his laboratory. He suddenly felt exhausted, but he saw great something from within those branches. He saw a hint of the future.

Two days later, the child, whose name was Atlas, was announced dead. The world sneered at Dr. Derp’s first failed treatment.

 

Passerines