Gray Scale

745am. In a five-foot cubicle stark white walls bounced light back and forth from one wall to another, broken only by the small desk exactly in the center of the room.  

A small gray desk with a flat gray monitor and a narrow gray chair filled with a small gray man. Well, rather, a small man dressed all in gray with gray glasses and gray hair.  

And if one were to venture especially close it would be apparent to the viewer that the man had small gray eyes as well.  

This man sat hunched over a keyboard, a click or a clack every few seconds followed by a loud whirring that echoed from one corner to the next. Those small gray eyes narrowed at the haze of blue on the screen, its reflection turning the skin on his face gray. 

1230pm. Somewhere metal scraped against metal. The clacking and whirring end abruptly as the man slams his feet to the ground, almost toppling the desk chair. From the smooth wall a small opening appears and a screen slides out. Images pour across the screen, and then the sound of voices fill the room.  

Entranced the man stands still, hands clasped on either side of the screen. The voices stop, and though the man clasps the screen tightly it slides back into the wall. 

Slowly the man shuffles back to the desk. Particular attention should be paid to the ginger way he lowers himself to the seat.  

215pm. The clacking has been slow. Whirring sounds only occurring in fifteen-minute increments. Dangerously close to unacceptable. The man’s face darts from the screen to the wall. At first with eagerness, then with trepidation. 

345pm. The room is silent. The man has pulled the small chair from the desk and sits neatly in front of the wall. His tiny eyes are darting from side to side, otherwise he sits completely still. It should be noted here that the screen has not been produced in over three hours.  

430pm. The man has thrown the chair at the desk, knocking the monitor to the floor He angrily paces in front of the wall. 

515pm. The wall retracts and the screen again slides out. The man stills in front of it, entranced again by the image before him. Sound plays and he presses his face to the screen.  

Slowly, gas fills the room from the ceiling. It takes only ten minutes for the test subject to go limp. Another ten for his eyes to still. Another ten for the gas to dissipate.  

645pm. Final notes. Test subject 745BC surpassed expectations. Hominid species show a strong survival instinct when presented with images of familial bonds. Sound associated with images increases the attachment. Subject survived rigorous testing for 1,378 cycles.  

End Report.