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A neuroscientist working for a prominent biotech corporation gives his wife a bionic implant to cure her dangerous epileptic condition. But when it goes horribly wrong, he must race against time to reverse the damage before it becomes fatal... unaware that every move he's making is no accident.
Duncan Calver, late 40s, known as DC, is the neuro-scientist brains behind “Genesis” - the must-have device for the rich and powerful that connects their brain to communications networks. He’s testing Gen-V, a smaller, sleeker model.
Belinda Calver, late 40s, his wife, has a phobia of DC’s test rats, and an advancing problem with epilepsy triggered by trivial family arguments.
In an epilepsy incident, DC’s young daughter, Chloe, 6, is nearly drowned. Phineas Klein, late 40’s, family friend and the entrepreneur behind Genesis’ success, offers Belinda the first human Gen-V, to control her epilepsy. Tommy Calver, 26, DC’s step-son, a budding neuro-scientist, is dead against the implant, but Belinda decides to go ahead.
A shadowy figure in an equipment-filled den, Controller seems able to listen in to any of DC’s conversations and tap into anything happening in DC’s lab.
Belinda wakes from the implant, and is hammered by hideous, jarring sounds and hallucinations of DC and Tommy as rat-monsters. Only Chloe can calm her. DC, Tommy and Klein can’t figure out what’s gone wrong.
Klein reveals Gen-V has new manufacturers, making DC livid. DC decides to remove the implant, a dangerous experimental procedure. Tommy’s recruited to help pioneer it – but it’s a failure – experimental rats simply die.
DC programs a firmware off switch into Gen-V. A whispering voice in Belinda’s head suggests suicide to escape her nightmare. For reasons no-one understands, rats die when their Gen-V is turned off.
Belinda’s hallucinations get more extreme, with Controller always silently watching. DC programs a chip-by-chip re-boot for Gen-V. It works but is traumatic – and does nothing for Belinda’s hallucinations.
DC gets the brainwave to turn off Gen-V’s incoming communications. Klein is not happy. It works! DC and Belinda are reunited, but during the night, communications turn back on and Belinda is again terrorized.
Klein suggests they target the fear centres of the brain, and DC is now desperate enough to attempt it. Meanwhile, Belinda learns she has some control over communications status. She wins an apparent battle with Controller and communications are off – only to turn on at night while she sleeps; with insidious messages threatening Chloe.
DC and Tommy compete to make Gen-V communicate with the fear control centres. DC wins, and both Tommy and Controller are in awe when DC’s programming can dial up and down the fear response. But when applied to Belinda, Tommy realizes all they’ve done is quelled the outward responses - all the emotional responses are still there.
Belinda’s whispering voice suggests targeting the Anterior Cinglulate. DC flatly refuses.
Belinda starts to become violent toward Chloe, forcing DC to work on the Anterior Cingulate. He and Tommy succeed just as Belinda starts attacking Chloe. Trapped by events, DC decides to upload the change to Belinda.
In a tense sequence, Belinda attacks Chloe and DC tries to stop her as the changes upload. Belinda severs one of DC’s arteries and he starts to bleed out. At the very last moment, the upload completes, Tommy “dials” Belinda down, Controller turns off all the den equipment - and Belinda’s hallucinations all disappear.
Tommy controls DC’s bleeding. All returns to normal.
Klein enters Controller’s den … and is Controller. We see Klein manufactured the rat-monster hallucinations, he tampered the experimental rats to die and he has all the firmware hacks developed during the crisis.
Late at night, DC worries over the dangerousness of the hacks they created. Tommy assures him all the hacks are erased.
In voice over, as Klein prepares to flog Gen-V to the military, DC and Tommy note how dangerous their hacks were - and DC thanks God they no longer exist.