He felt like he'd been woken from a deep sleep, his mind still groggy and his body stiff, unmoving. He tried to recall what he had done the last night, the last few days, to end up in this sutation, but he couldn't remember. His thoughts were caught up as if in a fog, moving around his brain slowly, feeling their way around. He tried to open his eyes, but hey refused to respond to his thoughts. It struck him that he might be in a dream, that his body was stil lasleep but his mind was somehow conscious. And as that thought seemed to gain a foothold in his mind, the fog again seemed to get thicker, darker, until what little consciousness he had drifted away, leaving behind a dull numbness.
The numbness slowly gave way to a dull pain, then a sharp, prickly sort of sensation as he perceived what seemed to be a bright light, though he realized that his eyes were still shut. It was as if the light bypassed his eyes entirely and projected directly onto some point in his head. He tried to move, to make some noise, shout for help, but he couldn't hear anything. And then the light went out.
He sensed a throbbing somewhere in his head, and slowly he discerned that it was as if he was hearing a sound, or a series of sounds. And as he became more conscious of it, he realized that there was a pattern, a tune to it. He could almost recognize the song. And as the recollection of the song slowly started coming back to him, it also brought with it memories. The music stopped, then started off again, a different tune this time, loud, raucous, building up to a frenzy. He recognized the song, could even piece together some of the lyrics, and found himself anticipating the shout at the end of it with a sense of buried anger. And as it came, it brought with it memories of who he was, of what he'd done.
Watching the scans, the RA immediately sensed he was onto something out of the ordinary. He'd been doing cryonic reanimation research, or thawing-out psychos as they called it in the cafeteria as a wry nod to the typical test subjects, for a year now, and this was beginning to look like the real deal.
"Well?", his supervisor asked.
"The scans show some activity around the amygdala and the insula, it's a bit like when we did those scans for the god project. It's like our test subject here's experienced some kind of epiphany, but it seems to have made him angry. Like, real mad. Though I'll need to analyze the scans in more detail to see what exactly happened."
"OK. I guess I'd be cheesed off too if I woke up 10 years later and found that my brain had been cut out and frozen. What set it off?"
"So I was running through the standard sensory stimulation tests, only this time I thought I'd try more appropriate cultural references to see if they rang a bell, so to speak. The profile they gave us said he was born in the first half of the 20th century, so I figured I'd try playing him video and music from around the time he'd have grown up."
"Interesting", and then, looking at the heads-up display, "so the subject seems to dislike the, umm, Beatles, huh?"
"Well the real jump in activity seems to have been kicked off with just one track, actually."
"Yeah? Which one?"
"Something called 'Helter Skelter'".
I'm strangely embarrassed to have written this, but also quite tickled by the idea.
Thought it up while sitting through yet another power cut (thanks, BESCOM). It was inspired in part by this NYT article. Incidentally, I remember a Roald Dahl story that was somewhat similar, of a prof whose brain gets preserved along with one eye, and his wife takes him home. Anyone remember the name of that story?