“Let’s start by testing your sensitivity to light,” Ian said.
I was willing to comply but it seemed a rather odd test to conduct—in order to measure the nature of my existence we were about to test one of the ways in which I could die. Granted, it is an easy test to perform—increase the light level to the point which I could no longer bear it, then take down those measurements. Then it would be conceivable that we could take a tissue sample from me, or perhaps a hair or blood sample in order to cross that threshold. Still, I wish we could start with my strengths which marked me different from a normal, mortal human. why not test my metabolism, as my diet is what people consider my defining feature, at least that which they fear? I expressed my concerns to Ian. He said that the reason it came to mind was because of his experience with nearly frying me to death with his headlights.
“Why did that almost kill you,” he said, “while you can walk freely in my apartment with the overhead lights on?”
I had to think about this for a moment. “I suppose,” I said, “that I do feel something with these lights on. It’s rather like when you take a hot shower. You want the water just hot enough that you can feel it, but you know that if you raise the heat enough you would burn your skin.”
He considered this, then nodded. “I would still like to measure this. I have the equipment all set up. Are you willing?”
What could I say? if it was anybody else I might have declined as I really did not want to do it. But for him, I would take myself to the brink of demise. If my near-destruction aided him, I had to follow through with it.
“Very well,” I said. “What do you wish me to do?”
“Just sit in this chair here.” He motioned to a chair in a neighboring room. There was nothing else in the room but a lamp aiming towards the chair. had he prepared this apparatus while I slept, I wondered, or had he kept it in waiting should this opportunity presented itself before he even met me?
He closed the doors as I sat down. then he turned off the lights. We were in total darkness; he had even managed to block the light from the next room from coming from under the door. He turned on the lamp. I felt a difference, but not from earlier.
“This is about the same level as the room we just came from. I’m going to gradually increase the strength to see how you can bear it. If you want me to stop, or just need a break, just let me know. If I see any injury to you, I will also turn it back unless you say otherwise. Ready?”