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By the second week of April, Salsbury completed the subliminal program.

Kingman was brought back to the Greenwich house on the fifteenth of that month—ostensibly to participate in additional sociological research for Futurex. Although he wasn’t aware of it, he was fed the subliminal primer, the drug, on April 15. Salsbury put him under close medical observation and ran tests on him for three days, but he could find no indications of a temporary toxic state, permanent tissue damage, a change in blood chemistry, noticeable psychological damage, or any other deleterious side-effects attributable to the drug.

At the end of those three days, on April 19, still in excellent health, Kingman took part in what he thought was an experiment in visual perception. He was shown two feature-length motion pictures in one afternoon, and at the conclusion of each film he was required to answer a hundred questions that dealt with what he had just seen. His answers were unimportant, and they were filed only because Salsbury habitually filed every scrap of paper in his laboratory. The experiment actually had only one purpose: while Kingman was watching the films, he was also unwittingly absorbing three hours of subliminal programming that was meant to change five of his attitudes.

The events of the following day, April 20, proved the effectiveness of Salsbury’s drug and subliminal programs. At breakfast, Kingman tried to eat a chocolate doughnut, dropped it after one bite, quickly excused himself from the table, went to the nearest bathroom, and threw up. At lunch he ate four portions of broccoli in butter sauce with his pork chops. That afternoon, when Dawson took him on a tour of the estate, Kingman spent fifteen minutes playing with several of the guard dogs in the kennel. After dinner, when Ogden and Dawson

began to discuss the continuing efforts to integrate the public schools in the North, Kingman came on like a life-long liberal, an ardent advocate of equal rights. And finally, unaware of the two videotape cameras that monitored his bedroom in the sealed wing, he had said his prayers before going to sleep.

Standing now beside the corpse, smiling beatifically, Dawson said to Klinger, “You should have seen it, Ernst! It was terribly inspiring. Ogden took an atheist, a soul condemned to burn in Hell, and converted him into a faithful disciple of Jesus. And all on one day!”

Salsbury was uneasy. He shifted on the stool. Ignoring Dawson, staring at the middle of the general’s forehead, he said, “Kingman left the estate on April twenty-first. I set to work immediately to design the ultimate series of subliminals, the one we three have discussed a hundred times, the program that would give me total and permanent control of the subject’s mind through the use of a code phrase. I finished it on the fifth of June. We brought Kingman back here on the eighth, two days ago.”

“He wasn’t suspicious?” Klinger asked. “Or upset about all of this travel he was asked to do?”

“To the contrary,” Dawson said. “He was pleased that I was using him for such a special project, even if he didn’t fully understand what it was. He saw it as a sign of my faith in him. And he thought that, if he made himself available for Ogden’s work, he would be promoted much sooner than he might have been otherwise. His behavior wasn’t peculiar. I’ve seen it in every ambitious young executive and management trainee I’ve ever known.”

Tired of standing, the general went to the nearest computer console, swiveled the command chair away from the keyboard, and sat down. He was almost entirely in the shadows. Green light from a display screen washed across his right shoulder and that side of his brutal face. He looked like a troll. “Okay. You finished the program on the fifth. Kingman came up here again on the eighth. You fed him the primer—”

“No,” Salsbury said. “Once the drug has been administered

to a subject, there’s no need to give him a booster dose, not even years later. When Kingman arrived, I began at once with the subliminal program. I ran two films for him during the evening. That night, the night before last, he had a very bad dream. He woke up, sweating, chilled, shaking, dazed, and nauseated. He had trouble getting his breath. He vomited beside the bed.”

“Fever?” Klinger asked.

“Do you think he had a delayed reaction to the drug—a month and a half delayed?”

“Maybe,” Salsbury said. But he obviously didn’t think that was the case. He got off the stool, went to his desk in a dark corner of the room, and came back with a computer print-out. “This is a record of Kingman’s sleep patterns between one o’clock and three o’clock this morning. That’s the crucial period.” He handed it to Dawson. “Yesterday, I showed Kingman two more films. That completed the program. Last night—he died in bed.”

The general joined Dawson and Salsbury in the oval of light at the autopsy table and began to read the two-yard-long sheet of computer paper.




RECORDED: 6/10/76




0100 00 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 01 00 EEG-—STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 02 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 03 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 04 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

Klinger said, “You had Kingman hooked up to a lot of machines while he slept?”

“Nearly every night he was here, right from the beginning,” Salsbury said. “The first few times there really wasn’t any reason for it. But by the time it was necessary for me to keep a close watch on him, he was accustomed to the machines and had learned to sleep tangled up with all those wires.”

Indicating the print-out, the general said, “I’m not quite sure what I’m reading here.”

“Likewise,” Dawson said.

Salsbury suppressed a smile. Months ago he had decided that his best defense against these two sharks was his highly specialized education. He never missed an opportunity to display it for them—and to impress them with the fact that, if they should dispose of him, neither of them could carry on his research and development or deal with an unexpected scientific crisis after the research and development was finished.

Pointing to the first several lines of the print-out, he said, “The fourth stage of sleep is the deepest. It tends to occur early in the night. Kingman went to bed at midnight and fell asleep at twenty minutes of one. As you can see here, he achieved the fourth level twenty-two minutes later.”

“What’s the importance of that?” Dawson asked.

“The fourth level is more like a coma than any other stage of sleep,” Salsbury said. “The electroencephalogram shows irregular large waves of just a few cycles per second. There is no bodily movement on the part of the sleeper. It’s in stage four, with the outer mind virtually comatose and with all sensory input shut down tight, that the inner mind becomes the only truly operative part of the mind. Remember, unlike the conscious mind, it never sleeps. But because there isn’t any sensory input, the subconscious can’t do anything during stage four sleep except play with itself. Now, Kingman’s subconscious had something unique to play with.”

The general said, “The key-lock program you implanted in him yesterday and the day before.”

“That’s right,” Salsbury said. “And look here, farther down the print-out.”

0100 08 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 09 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 10 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 11 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

“All night long,” Salsbury said, “we rise and fall and rise and fall through the stages of sleep. Almost without exception, we descend into deep sleep in Steps and ascend from it in steps as well, spending some time at each level along the way. In this case, however, Kingman soared straight up from deep sleep to light sleep—as if a noise in the bedroom had startled him.”

“Was there a noise?” Dawson asked.

“What’s this REM?” Klinger asked.

Salsbury said, “That means rapid eye movement is taking place under the eyelids—which is a highly reliable indication that Kingman was dreaming in stage one.”

“Dreaming?” Dawson asked. “About what?”

“There’s no way of telling.”

The general scratched the shadow of a beard that shaded his blunt chin even when he was freshly shaved. “But you think that the dream was caused by his subconscious playing around with the key-lock implant.”


“And that the dream might have been about the subliminals.”

“Yes. I can’t come up with an explanation that makes more sense. Something about the key-lock program so shocked his subconscious that he was propelled straight up into a dream.”

“A nightmare?”

“At this point, just a dream. But over the next two hours his sleep patterns became increasingly unusual, erratic.”

0100 12 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 13 00 EEG——ALPHA WAVES

0100 14 00 EEG——ALPHA WAVES

“The alpha waves mean Kingman was awake here for two minutes,” Salsbury said. “Not wide awake. His eyes were probably still closed. He was hovering on the edge of the first level of sleep.”

“The dream woke him,” Klinger said.


0100 15 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 16 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP

0100 17 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP

0100 18 00 EEG-—STAGE 2 SLEEP

0100 19 00 EEG——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0100 20 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 21 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 22 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 23 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 24 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 25 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 26 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 27 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 28 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 29 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 30 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

“The first time he entered deep sleep,” Salsbury said, “he stayed there for eight minutes. This time it lasted only six minutes. That’s the start of an interesting pattern.”

0100 31 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 32 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 33 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 34 00 EEG——ALPHA WAVES

0100 35 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 36 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 37 00 EEG——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0100 38 00 EEC——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0100 39 00 EEC——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0100 40 00 EEC—-STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 41 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 42 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 43 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 44 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 45 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 46 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 47 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0100 48 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 49 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 50 00 EEC——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0100 51 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

“He was only in deep sleep three minutes that time,” Klinger said. “The cycle is accelerating, at least on the down side.”

Dawson said, “But why? Ernst apparently understands, but I’m not sure I do.”

“Something’s happening in his subconscious mind during deep sleep,” Salsbury said. “Something so unsettling that it causes him to leap up into stage one sleep and dream. That subconscious experience, whatever it may be, is getting ever more intense—or, if it isn’t getting mere intense, then his ability to withstand it is dwindling. Perhaps both. On each occasion, he’s able to tolerate it for a shorter period of time than he did before.”

“You mean he’s in pain in stage four?” Dawson asked.

“Pain is a condition of the flesh,” Salsbury said. “It’s not the right word for this situation.”

“What is the right word.”

“Anxiety, perhaps. Or fear.”

0100 52 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 53 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 54 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 55 00 EEC——ALPHA WAVES

0100 56 00EEC——ALPHA WAVES

0100 57 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 58 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0100 59 00 EEC——STAGE 2 SLEEP/REM

0200 00 00 EEG——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0200 01 00 EEC——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0200 02 00 EEC——STAGE 2 SLEEP

0200 03 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 04 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 05 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 06 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 07 00 EEG——STAGE 4 SLEEP

0200 08 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

“One minute that time,” Klinger said.

“By now he’s extremely agitated,” Salsbury said, speaking of the dead man as if he were still alive. “The pattern becomes increasingly unusual and erratic. At two twenty he gets back to the third level. Look what happens to him after that:”

0200 20 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 21 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 22 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 23 00 EEC——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 24 00 EEG——STAGE 3 SLEEP

0200 25 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

Klinger was as fascinated by the print-out of Brian Kingman’s disintegration as he possibly could have been by the sight of the real event. “He didn’t even reach the fourth level that time before he popped up to stage one again.”

“He’s having an acute subconscious anxiety attack,” Salsbury said.

Dawson said, “Is there such a thing?”

“There is now. His mind is wildly turbulent at this point— yet in such a way that it doesn’t wake him up altogether. And it gets worse.”

0200 26 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0200 27 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0200 28 00 EEC——ALPHA WAVES

0200 29 00 EEG——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0200 30 00 EEG——ALPHA WAVES

0200 31 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM

0200 32 00 EEC——STAGE 1 SLEEP/REM