Alice Cassill—a name that swam in Nina's mind from the moment she'd seen the picture that accompanied it. Her green eyes were brought to the forefront of Nina's mind every time the name occurred to her. It was the impassive gaze of a dead woman—the thought alone sent a chill down Nina's spine.
She'd been shocked at first, barely registering whatever it was that the newscaster was talking about. By the time Nina was able to focus, it was too late. The reporter moved on to a different story and Nina was left wanting for answers. For a while, she sat there, staring in shock at the screen without truly seeing the images playing across it. Her mind was whirring with all sort of thoughts, some more morbid than others. None of them were reassuring.
Once Nina managed to calm herself, one thing was clear—she needed answers.
". . .Is rumored to be the top pick for the new Commissioner of the FDA. . . ."
Despite the myriad of feelings still swirling inside of her, she knew she needed to find out more about the woman named Alice. Nina sat there, gathering herself. By the time she stood from the couch, she had convinced herself that it was all just another story. One more article she needed to research. The thought served to calm her for only as long as she didn't think about it too deeply.
After that, Nina merely followed her instincts as a journalist. She sat at her desk, the news having ended long ago and a new show playing on the television, with the voices streaming over to her as only a faint series of murmurs that were largely ignored. Dinner time had come and gone with Nina hardly feeling even the smallest pang of hunger. The exhaustion she'd felt from the painfully early start of her day was momentarily forgotten. It was swept away by Nina's thirst for answers.
Alice was not a difficult woman to find information on. She was a prominent researcher, despite her young age. The woman was a scientist, specializing in neuroscience. Nina was only mildly surprised to learn that Alice worked at the research center where Nina had sought treatment. After all, the place was the largest of its kind in the area and renowned for having some of the best specialists in their respective fields.
What came as a shock was the knowledge that Alice had also been working on neural prosthetics before her death. More specifically, she'd been working on hippocampal implants.
Nina felt her mouth go dry as she read over the information, her eyes staring at the words displayed on the overly bright screen. Something inside her, some instinct she had developed after years of working as an investigative journalist, told her that was it—that was a key detail in the mess that her life had become after the accident. It was something that was necessary if she wanted to understand what was going on with her mind.
Still, that didn't explain why it was Alice that occupied the mirror in her dreams. Nina sat back in her chair, once more feeling the exhaustion of the day after what seemed like hours of managing to ignore it. Her back ached nearly as much as her head, a dull throbbing building up and making her close her eyes in an attempt to quell the pain as it slowly increased.
Against her will, her mind slowly wandered away from thoughts of Alice, drifting off with Nina hardly noticing.
And then, she was standing in the hall once more. The polished hardwood floors and cream colored walls looked the same as always, the lighting warm and soft—almost inviting. As always, Nina moved calmly down the hall, the sound of her steps sharp, nearly too loud in the sparsely furnished space. A melody, different from the past ones, rang in the air. It was the sound of strings accompanied by piano notes that set a steady tempo. There was the scent of wet earth and damp wood, vivid enough that Nina could nearly picture it.
Just ahead of her, the familiar frame hung on the wall. Despite her calm movements, there was a spark of panic in Nina's mind at the thought that she might just see a face that didn't belong to her. The sense of wrongness returned as it always did, something that didn't belong to that memory, Nina knew.
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The Persistence of Memory | ✔Science Fiction
In a near future where neuroprosthetics have evolved, Nina--a young journalist--receives a hippoccampal implant after losing the ability to create long term memories. All seems well until memories that don't seem to be her own begin to surface. Now...