Chapter IV

Deletion of the Mind

Des Moines, Iowa lacked some of the hustle and bustle that it usually experiences on a Monday.  I was on my way to work when I experienced this blinding headache.  As usual, I had arrived on time to my job as a computer programmer at Path-e-Technologies.  But today was different.  I couldn’t quite figure it out, but for some reason I had forgotten what I was working on.  This wasn’t the kind of forgetfulness that you get when you enter a room and forget what you were there for and then as soon as you leave the room you remember why you were there.  This was a complete and total memory lapse.

As I stared at the screen of code trying to remember what I was working on, my boss, Spike Mane, came up behind me and reminded me that we had a meeting in 15 minutes.  Baffled at my memory loss, I went to the bathroom and splashed myself with water a few times to make sure it wasn’t a dream.  Unfortunately for me, it was real.  Glancing at my watch I made my way down the rows of cubicles to the conference room.

At the meeting, it was pretty obvious that my mind was on other things.  The presentation was on the marketing of our new software aimed at people without money or computers, not that I paid any attention to it.  About three quarters of the way through the meeting, I got another blinding migraine headache.  Twenty minutes later I awoke on the floor with everyone huddled around me and was informed that I had passed out.  In my current condition, they were leery on letting me leave, but I convinced them that I would be better off at home.

As soon as I was on the road, the thought hit me that I wasn’t sure where “home” was.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.  Despite this fact, I thought that maybe a nice, relaxing drive would help clear my head.  I drove out into the surrounding rural country for a few hours when I came upon what appeared to be an unusually long aircraft hangar.  My curiosity got the best of me and I was compelled to take a look.

At first it seemed to be locked, but on closer inspection of the door, the lock appeared to have been tampered with.  With a slight push of my hand, the door swung freely open.  Initially the hangar seemed to be entirely dark; and then, as I took a few steps inward, I noticed hundreds of thousands of little green lights neatly arranged on either side of the hangar.  Feeling a slight wind, I took another few steps inside the hangar and the light from the outside suddenly disappeared with a loud clang.  It seemed that the door had blown shut.

As soon as I had turned around to head back, a light further down the hangar turned on with a loud click and a buzz.  Making a 180 degree turn, I noticed the figure of a man clad in white.  “This . . .” said the man in white while gesturing to the entirety of the hangar with his palms upward, “. . . is the warehouse of memories.”  As he finished his statement, the rest of the lights turned on, one by one, spreading out from the original source revealing what appeared to be stacks upon stacks of computers.

The mystery man continued, “Each one of these computers contains the memories of every person on the planet.  This entire warehouse extends plenty of miles underground to house all the necessary computers.  Long term memory is stored on the hard drive and short term memory is stored in the RAM.  Every once in a while computers get viruses, this is the explanation for Alzheimer’s disease and why you get those blinding headaches.  It seems that your computer has contracted a virus that has been deleting your memory slowly at first, but more recently it has been taking out whole chunks of your memory, which causes your migraines.  Unfortunately for you, the damage cannot be repaired.  Also, as I have been speaking, you have forgotten almost everything in your knowledge.”  I glanced over to my left and noticed a computer with a familiar name on it.  I couldn’t remember for the life of me whose name it was.  It was just then that the green light on the computer flickered and went out.  It was then that everything went black.

The strange man in white walked by the dead body on the floor and shook his head.  He said to no one in particular, “I guess he couldn’t remember how to breathe,” turned off the lights and headed off toward his next destination, wherever it may be.

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