The container of rats

A scientist developed a drug that would make one disease-free, mentally enlightened, and eventually immortal. The drug would work when transferred genetically from one generation to another over a long period. It was time to do clinical trials on rats.

For the experiment, she selected a big room-sized transparent container and put in it only two rats. The rats, with their dosage of the drug serum continued to do what rats do. Eat and fornicate. The scientist left the room and decided to see the impact of the drug without any external contact. Every day the two rats will eat (food was provided perpetually in an automated setting), run around the glass room and discover more and more about it.

Within a few months, the container was full of a hundred rats who would run around, eat and be a tad healthier than their ancestors. By the second year, there were 2000 rats. The experiment went on for almost 20 years. Yes, the scientist aged, but the rats had too many generations and lineages to count. Observing the room-sized container remotely through technologies like CCTV and motion sensors that rats didn’t even know existed, the scientist decided that the impact of the evolution serum though visible, was yet to take its course.

Over time, the rats explored all the corners of the container. Some of them even tried climbing one or more of its walls. There came to be other species like ants or bees in the container. But rats being the biggest, kept their population at bay and even wiped out one or two species from the container entirely.

One fine day, after 22 years, when the scientist arrived at the container for a routine inspection, she found out that one part of the container was broken and two to three rats were outside. Worried that the subjects might become contaminated and therefore adulterate the experiment, she forced them in and then repaired the container. Over years, the container kept getting more and more populated, till one day when two new-born rats showed noticeable evolution. They were sitting quietly in a corner with their eyes closed and were not participating in or were troubled by all the other rats and their state of perpetual frenzy. They ate enough to survive and did not reproduce like the rest of the lot.

After six months, the containers overall population reduced drastically and only rats similar to these two occupied its floor. The scientist than performed some tests on a few of those rats and concluded that this experiment was successful and the serum of evolution and longevity will work. Now it was time to conclude the experiment. She opened the gas valve that was connected to the container. The valve gassed all the evolved rats and within 24 hours, the population of the container was decimated to zero.

Here’s what happened:

  1. The rats thought they are the smartest creatures in the container. And they were. Even getting better because of the serum experiment. But all this was true only inside of a small container.
  2. They decided it was their responsibility to explore the world outside the container.
  3. The two rats who saw the scientist, came back declaring they were contacted by extra-container species.
  4. The first two smart rats grew smarter and concluded there was no point trying to leave the container physically. It’s only possible by upping their mental powers.
  5. While the evolved rats thought they’ve reached the peak of their existence, the scientist looked at it as the exact moment to wipe them off.
  6. The empty container was cleaned and kept aside for a different scientist who wanted to test a drug that would curb population explosion by genetically modifying a part of the population every generation.
  7. The new scientist had already applied at the institute for the container and a fresh pair of rats and got the approval. Surprisingly, the institute provided all the resources the scientists asked.
  8. That’s because all these scientists were a part of a grand experiment on “impact of mental enlightenment on artificial colonies”, being conducted by a species they were not aware of.

We are the rats.