Friday, March 17, 2017

Microstory 540: Telepathic Students Cheating on Tests

A conspiracy was uncovered two days ago by the SDS. A few weeks ago, teachers started noticing an inexplicable rise in high scores from several of their students. Instead of being but a fluke, the number only grew from there. Eventually it seemed like the entire school was scoring higher than they ever had before. No amount of teacher competence could account for this. They were, however, unable to find any proof of what was happening, or really that anything was helping at all. None of the students was talking. Believing there to be a possibility that this was the result of some phenomenal technological advancement, the school administration contacted the Secret Detectives of Science. An elite team, infamous for having broken many unusual cases in the past, arrived at the school, and rather quickly discovered the truth. These students were not passing notes, nor were they wearing bionics, or even just taking illegal memory-enhancement drugs. They were communicating with each other...telepathically.

More specifically, the students were communicating with a single individual named Rufus Durante. Rufus is an eleven-year-old homeschooled boy who lives on the edge of Bellevue. An exceptional student, his parents did not feel like any school could provide him with the care he needed to excel. His family has known him to invent a great many things during his free time, some of which may be found in your home. What they didn’t know was what his latest creation was. He recently developed a natural form of telepathic communication. Customers first have their brainwaves analyzed by a scanner. They are then strapped into a brainwave therapy machine, which conditions their neural patterns to accept a level of telepathy without further technological aid. Once this noninvasive procedure is complete, they are semi-permanently connected to the network. This allows them to contact each other remotely, as if making a simple phone call. Each call is routed first through Durante, like an operator from the late seventeenth century. It should be noted that Durante underwent a more invasive procedure. In order to maintain his status as telepathic operator, he needed to implant a special governing device in his wrist. It has yet to be removed.
New customers were required to go through a training program so as to not give the secret away. Without this, each time they connected to the network, they would not be able to concentrate on anything else, producing suspicion from those around them. With enough practice, this process can be seamless, with no one around a telepath having any idea that anything is happening. As of now, Rufus Durante has been taken into custody, as have his parents for negligence. It is unclear what will become of the family. Research of this magnitude is heavily regulated, and cannot be done without some level of oversight. The fact that it involves a medical procedure makes the situation more severe, but the fact that it was created by a child makes it complicated. Durante was able to keep track of his customer base in his head, so very few of them have been found. The SDS is currently working on other ways of determining which students participated, but it unlikely that they will face criminal charges. They will, however, likely suffer from punishment by the school administration.

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