10%, and 100%. Just two arbitrary numbers, as meaningful as one’s life on our planet of seven billion equally built carbon-based lifeforms. As advanced as we civilized apes have evolved, there are still fields of our universe far beyond our reach, so far and unreachable that we spend billions and trillions on research to come up with a funny name and make up concepts so frustratingly obvious that a third-grader could conjecture them in exchange for a lollipop. As much as we humans are limited by our science and technology, we are limited by ourselves, our brains, our neurological structure. We have access to about 10% of our brains, but what would the other 90% feel like? Perhaps, the power to blank out all pain (heartbreak, too!), have reaction speed in nanoseconds, control objects and people with our thoughts alone, and memorize textbooks by simply flipping through them. Scratch that—memorize every database known to man on the internet by looking through the source code of google for a minute or two?

In our imaginary future, a new type of drug is created — and you, my dear, become the first human lab rat — or the lucky human given priority access to the rest of your brain. But of course, no one knows what kind of monster this tiny pill of white powder would create, or rather, what it’d do to your fragile human body.

Twenty-five percent cerebral capacity.

Immediately starting to foam from the mouth, you break into a seizure as adrenaline fills your blood. All your muscles start contracting uncontrollably, your broken nose momentarily distracting you from the shattering of your kneecap. But it’s almost as if you don’t feel your body being torn into pieces. What was a bloody mess a second ago is now no different from a healthy limb—strange. As your body acclimatizes to this sudden boost in consciousness, you start to notice things around you. The slightest of details that you only now realize have slipped your mind. You detect different radio waves, ultraviolet rays floating around you, and sound waves travelling through the air. You can’t seem to figure out what all the light rays do yet, but you discover that you can suddenly tune into others’ conversations. Ew. As you accidentally bend the metal stop sign in your hand, you start to get a sense of your own metabolism and all the energy you have built up inside you—but why are you so hungry?

You begin to learn things at an expeditious pace: taekwondo from watching the kids in the judo across the road… Hot dog flipping from the balding man in the food truck. You start speaking to others in their mother tongue, impressing the old Chinese lady trying to sell you ginseng root around the corner.

“I knew I should’ve taken French next semester,” you sigh, wincing at the 62 on your midterm report.

Your curiosity is taking you deeper and deeper inside your brain, a decision that you’re still ignorant to the consequences of.

Fifty percent cerebral capacity.

You see everything, or rather, you can see through everything. A simple phone call with any human being on this planet allows you to perceive their surroundings, understand the inner workings of their brain, and manipulate them to your own desire. Looking at a computer program will enable you to see its source code, and while you struggled to try to print ‘Hello World’ in Python a couple of days ago in class, you see through your Bing tab to the trillions of hyperlinks and databases hidden underneath.

You, the same human who forgot your multiplication tables in math class, now retain the knowledge of the entire world wide web. From how to prepare a pufferfish to the family tree of Vladimir Putin, you’ve essentially become a walking encyclopedia. Fascinating, isn’t it?

But wait, it isn’t all fun and games from here. As you start to exploit your brain to its fullest potential, your mortal flesh is becoming more and more of a constraint to the expanding brain inside your head. Your nose runs scarlet red and you watch in horror as your hair falls out, strand by strand. With the increased speed of metabolism, the rate at which your cells are dividing is growing exponentially, consuming more and more energy. Your body is no longer capable of nurturing the cells in your body; as they multiply and consume more and more energy, you have no choice but to continue taking more pills.

Seventy-five percent cerebral capacity.

You gain total control of the traits of your body. The pigment of your skin, hair colour, eyes, and even facial complexities.

The energy waves around you begin to make sense, like letters on a crossword puzzle. You can control the slightest of signals, making the traffic light go green, emitting x-rays, texting without pulling out your phone, and best of all, telekinesis. You can control individual atoms with your thoughts, interacting with different particles in your surroundings. The pedestrians around you watch in horror as you begin making their things fly into oblivion. Fun, isn’t it?

You know you’re running out of time. Down to your last pill, you are running out of sustenance.

One hundred percent cerebral capacity.

As the last pill is popped into your mouth, you finally uncover the final piece of the puzzle, lying deepest within the brain. Its energy, or rather, a more complex understanding of it. You gain access to all forms of energy, those that surround you, those that are distant, and those from other galaxies.

But you are unsure of what this means and you’re running out of time. Withering into oblivion. To the rest of the planet, you’ve evaporated, “dead” in human terms. But in truth, you’ve become something much bigger, transcending your Homosapien body. You’ve become omnipotent, connected to the world through wavelengths of your own, able to control the world in whichever form you wish.

Begging the question: are you even alive anymore?

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay.com