Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Sentience Sentence by Ian Jaymes

Release date: April 28, 2015
Subgenre: Science fiction, alien invasion

About The Sentience Sentence:

What if your housemate was trying to take over the world?

Chris Kelton decides to stick it out one last summer in his college town after graduating, and takes on a housemate for few months to help with the rent. Why? He's not sure. His new boarder, faculty at the university, wasn't what Chris was looking for, but he takes him in anyway. Before Chris knows it, he's helping with research, neglecting his cat, making big lifestyle changes and ignoring his friends. Even though he knows his summer guest is strange, Chris doesn't seem to mind the mystery. Yet true intentions can only stay hidden for so long, and Chris soon discovers that his guest has is not who he says he is. Has Chris inadvertently hastened the end of the world as he knows it? What will Chris do next? What can he do?

The Sentience Sentence is approximately 13,500 words in length. This story has no violence, one swear word (not counting 'crap' or 'damn'), and no sex, although there are sexual themes



Against my better judgment, I decided to brush my teeth to get the beer off my breath and tidied the place up as best I could. At exactly five, as far as I could tell from my phone, the doorbell rang. I got up from the couch, where I was killing time watching some mindless reality show. I turned the TV off and went to the door.
“Ah, hello Chris, good to see you again. You look much better than this morning,” Dr. Nishiyama said.
“Yeah, I worked late the night before so it was a bit early for me.” I lied.
“Well, mind if I come in?”
“Not at all.” I turned aside to let the short man enter.
“Oh I see much of the clutter is gone—good, good.” The doctor again scanned the main room.
“So, will you have any furniture?” I asked.
“Not at the moment, no. Well, yes.” He moved to his new bedroom and poked his head in. “I’ve just a few personal belongings and the experimental equipment I will need for the tests here.”
“Experimental equipment? Here? What equipment?” He hadn’t mentioned this. I had a vision of bubbling beakers full of colored liquids and electrical sparks flying off twisted antennae. I was pretty sure my lease agreement wasn’t going to allow that.
“Oh, you know just my computer, some notebooks and recording devices.” He paused, and looked at me with a raised eyebrow. “So, yes, I guess I haven’t told you about my research here in the department?”
“No.” I stared at him, waiting for him to proceed. His eyes quickly darted back to the room, a bit uncertain but then they moved back to meet mine with a surprising focus. “I am an anthropologist, interested in the behavioral responses of the human species to certain stimuli, primarily with respect to entrained behavioral paths wired into the human brain.”
“Um, okay...? That’s a mouthful.”
“Yes. So, having that out of the way, I will be—”
“Wait, that’s not exactly ‘out of the way’,” I said. “What do you mean, experiments? Why can’t you do them at the university?”
He softened his stare. “Oh now, Chris. It’s nothing so serious. It’s, what is the word? I always forget. Oh yes! Instinct. Yes, that’s it. I just study how instinct functions via aural stimulation.”
“Aural?” I had a feeling I should know that word.
“Sound. Yes, you know, sound. But I mean questions. I ask subjects questions, and record their responses.”
“That’s it?”
“That is it Chris. I’m trying to understand how modern life has co-opted evolved behavioral strategies. I don’t want to do it at the university because the setting—the laboratory setting—is too formal, it makes subjects nervous and will alter the output. No, no, a fellow student’s apartment is the much more natural environment.”
I slowly found myself nodding in agreement, though I still was unsure of the entire thing.
Dr. Nishyama smiled. “Good, good. Oh, well and say—I will need an assistant.”



About Ian Jaymes:

Born and raised in the scenic Pacific Northwest, Ian Jaymes has been writing fiction of some sort or another since the fourth grade. Finally, he decided to dust off old notebooks, floppies and cuneiform tablets, and is now publishing some of his shorter works. He also has begun to finish up several longer pieces that have languished on paper, but have stayed vibrant inside his head for years.

With a background in biology, Ian is a research scientist in sunny California, where he currently tries to make bacteria do things they don't want to do. He lives with his loving wife, a squid, and two wonderful children.


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