Serotonin & the Dopamines

by wootbot

Happiness?

1st place in Derby #285: Tour Shirts For Fictional Rock Bands, with 409 votes!

Doctor Aleino wiped sweat from his salt-encrusted beard. How long had it been since he showered? Since he ate? He glanced as his phone, but it had long since died. Shrugging, he turned back to his computer monitor. How had the mice responded to the latest treatment? He glanced at the spreadsheet absently, expecting the same results --

-- Wait --

The treatment had…worked!? Dopamine and serotonin had been delivered. The blood-brain barrier had been overcome. The two hormones responsible for joy had been successfully transported to the appropriate brain regions. This was it: A true happiness serum!

Dr. Aleino imagined the headlines. "Humanity Freed From Anguish." "Hero Scientist Brings Happiness To All." In his glee he hardly noticed his hands shakily preparing a human-sized dose of the successful serum. Years of hard work, criticism from his fellow researchers, a life lost in the laboratory. It was finally all worth it. He cried aloud as the needle sunk into his thigh.

At first he felt nothing. Then, slowly, giddily, his mouth widened. His lips, chapped by hours of neglect, spread into a bleeding smile. He was happy! Truly, uncontrollably happy! The knowledge of the inner workings behind this happiness -- the receptors, hormones, and synapses -- did nothing to lessen his unbridled joy. Dr. Aleino laughed a long, satisfying laugh and wiped a tear from his eye.

But unlike a normal laugh, his joy in no way diminished afterwards. In fact, it grew. He laughed even harder now, filling the sterile laboratory with beaker-shaking mirth. He felt the blood spilling into his mouth from his cracked lips, but he didn't care! Saliva, frothed by his unending mirth, filled his mouth, his nose, his lungs…

He knocked over a cage full of lab mice and collapsed on the tile floor in stomach-splitting laughter. The guffaws were coming in fits now, through choked gasps for air. And then it was done. The mice, sniffing, curiously approached his body.