The hike back to the road where Nina had left her car was a long and difficult one, perhaps more so than when she'd first walked down the same dirt path. She felt the presence of the memory card Alice had left like a heavy weight she had to carry. Thoughts of what the card could contain—of what questions it might answer—played incessantly through her mind.
Throughout the whole walk, Nina paid no mind to either the rain or the cold. She walked with a single minded purpose, doing her best to navigate through the underbrush, the fallen leaves having grown slippery due to the rain and mud. Nina still stumbled as she walked, nearly falling what must have been a half dozen times.
Finally, just as Nina was starting to fear she'd gotten lost, the dark asphalt of the road became visible. A glint of light upon silver told her that her car was just ahead as well. She let out a relieved sigh as she emerged from the woods, looking worse for wear but whole and lacking the hopelessness she'd fallen into on the way to the cabin.
The warmth of the car was a welcome sensation, wrapping around Nina the instant she stepped inside. She took a moment to just sit there, leaning back against her seat and letting out a long exhale, eyes closed and attempting to rid herself from some of the tenseness that had gripped her upon finding the card.
It's what I've been looking for, she told herself.
And yet, she found her hand hovering over the card. Unable, or perhaps, unwilling to see what it hid inside.
Just get it over with, she thought. Get it over with and go home. Go back to your old life.
Nina nearly laughed at the thought. She was all too aware of how unlikely it was that she would ever be able to go back to who she had once been. Things had changed—she had changed—and there was no going back. Not anymore.
Finally, she pulled out her laptop, something she was immensely glad to have grabbed before leaving. The memory card was like new, and Nina wasn't surprised when she was easily able to open it and see the files it held.
There were several files, each labeled and most likely perfectly organized. Nina didn't get a chance to look through them before her attention was taken by a single file.
The cursor hovered over the file for as long as Nina's gaze remained fixed upon it. There it was, what Nina had been looking for all along. Proof that it wasn't all in her mind—that she wasn't going insane.
Alice had been there. Had left something there. More importantly, she'd led Nina there, and now Nina just hoped the answer as to why that had been the case—why it had to be her—was contained in the small card Alice had hidden in the cabin. That thought was enough to make Nina open the file with a simple click.
She was surprised when there was a video there, she felt her heartbeat quicken at the thought of facing Alice again. Of seeing those green eyes staring back at her. Nina hesitated for only a second before deciding to view the video.
The screen was black for a moment, the sounds of slight rustling audible before the image of a very familiar face appeared. Alice, green eyes and alive, sat in front of the camera. She looked different, with her hair tied back and wearing casual clothing, though the same tired look was found in her eyes. Dark circles marred the skin beneath her eyes and the paleness in her face could not be healthy. She looked, Nina thought, sickly. Given the stress she must have been under at the time, Nina wasn't surprised.
It was still a striking thing to see.
"My name is Alice Cassill, I am a Neuroscientist working for the South East Institute of Neurology, otherwise known as SEIN. Currently, I am working on a project regarding implanting fabricated memories into patients. This research is meant to help those with traumas recover through the removal or replacement of negative memories."
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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...