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Extended Memory
Extended Memory

Extended Memory


Once upon a time on Earth, in a not too distant future.

One. Alicia worked in a large company dealing with statistics, product sales, intermediaries, contract conclusion and others. The work was carried out exclusively in front of the computer and sometimes “catch” 12 hours a day. She didn’t like what she was doing, but somehow she had to make a living.

The payment was made in universal cards - personalized cards that could be used anywhere (in shops, hairdresser, cinema, transport, pharmacy, etc.), the expenses being made depending on the number of units with which the card was loaded.

She had no personal life, no family, no children.

She would come home, eat, watch tv for half an hour, and then go to bed.

But the most interesting thing was that — like everyone else — her brain was functioning on the basis of an attached memory. It could have various values (a day, a month, 6 months, a year, a decade, etc.), values that split between past and future equally. Thus, if you had, say, a month-long memory, it meant that you remember the last 15 days of your life and that you can “work” under normal conditions for another 15 days.

The memories were also loaded at work, depending on the performance. Of course, high-capacity memories were the most coveted, but also the most difficult to obtain. For example, a decade-long memory had only the company’s director and a few other executives.

When, for various reasons (dismissal and impossibility of employment elsewhere, incurable illness, etc.) a person could no longer recharge his memory, he remained with all his memories erased. A kind of Alzheimer’s of the future.

Of course, it was not known what would happen to the company’s CEO after 5 years, but if things went well, they could usually get another decade of memory. Other employees who knew important data about the company usually received low-capacity memories, so deleting potentially dangerous data was done automatically.

And things were going that way all the time.

Two. Alicia did not know for sure whether she was a cyborg or a human. She could not verify it, because her skin was impenetrable, and at the doctor she did not know whether it had ever been or not—the memory was too distant and not contained in his current memory for a year. There were various legends circulating, whether humans had been genetically mutated to their present form, whether cyborgs had exterminated humans and taken control of the planet, and that all the inhabitants were humanoid robots, but no one knew the truth.

Alicia was endowed with sexuality, but she could not say if she had the gift of procreation. She usually masturbated in front of a screen she had at home, which she projected erotic films, and 3 months ago she remembered having sex with an employee on the 11 floor, without continuing to have a relationship with him. She had no other memories.

There was a drug in great fashion, the drug of Infinity, which if you took it you would forget absolutely everything, and for periods of between one and five hours you felt that you were pulsing, that you were merging with the universe, you had hallucinations with cosmic themes.

Alicia hadn’t taken him by now – at least by his memories. Basically, she didn’t want to take drugs, and anyway she would have consumed too many units on the universal card to buy it.

So she was content to drink a hypnotic liquor, an absinthe-like drink, to get excited at movies and to seek out, from time to time, a real partner.

That day she felt an endless fatigue, and went to the staff office to make a vacation request. Each employee was entitled to 15 days of leave per year. Not much, but they could be used.

The clerk looked her in the eye and asked, “are you Alicia K.?”

“Yes,” she replied, not looking at her. “Is there a problem?”

“Well,” said the other in an indifferent tone. “It says you don’t have the right to leave.”

“Where? In my contract?”

“Yes, in your contract. Black on white.”

“All employees are entitled to leave,” said Alicia, exasperated.

“If you wish, you can make a written complaint to the company’s director. See what you are responding to.”

“No, thank you. I’m tired of so much bureaucracy,” Alicia said, and she hurried out of the room.

The girl stopped at the first bar and drank two hypnotic liquors, one after the other. She felt the need to get dizzy, to float, to know nothing.

She remembered an old dream. She wanted to be an actress, to play roles, to play for the audience. There were a few digital cinemas in which, on weekends, different films were played. Alicia loved romance, drama, and thrillers, and she wanted, after studying others' performances for a long time, to become an actress, even though she had not studied in this regard.

If she ever got out of the damn trust, she would become an actress, she said to himself, and sipped a sip of the sweet-bitter liquor.

Three. Alicia had to resume her work. Again, many hours a day in front of the screen, many tables, many emails, a lot of work and routine...

Sometimes she felt like she couldn’t, she wanted to lie down and sleep there, in the middle of the institution.

But instead, she would open a new box with energizer and start working further.

Hours went by, and when she got out of there it was late evening. When she got home, she had no time but to eat something and take a shower.

There was a misfortune that week.

One of his colleagues, Emma, had a heart attack due to overwork. She fell from her chair, was caught in convulsions, and then remained motionless on the floor.

Two doctors were called, but they couldn’t do anything. Emma died shortly after the attack.

They took her out of the institution to be taken to the morgue.

The next day, the director gave a small speech in memory of Emma, who “loved her work so much that she gave her life for her.” The other employees had not the power neither to cry (in the face of such a tragedy) nor to laugh (in the face of the enormous debt of the director).

After a few humiliating days of suffering in silence, she had to resume her work, under the same conditions as before.

At the end of the month, they would receive more units on the universal card, with which they would be able to buy clothes, perfumes, DVDs and mobile phones. And bottles with hypnotic liquors or doses of the drug of Infinity.

The following weekend, Alicia put the fun aside. She was very affected by Emma’s loss.

She decided to visit a home of the unremembered.

After passing by a benevolent guard and stroking the dog at the gate, she entered. What she saw there would not soon forget, he marked it forever.

Dozens of beings walking as teleguidance, with slow and equal steps, to beds or toilets. They were guided, if necessary, by some nurses, so as not to fall or get lost when they went out the aisles of the home.

Those people had eyes fixed, almost empty, and could not express any emotion. No love, no hatred, no sympathy, no aversion, no fear, not even anger. Absolutely nothing, because they were incapable of doing so.

They didn’t know who they were, they didn’t even remember what happened a few seconds ago.

They looked like walking dolls or people who had been brainwashed after an experiment by a scelched doctor.

Alicia tried to talk to an old patient, but he passed by as if he had never seen her.

Later, shaken by this experience, she realized she had nothing to do there and headed out.

When she got home, she made a tea with a medium-intensity sleeping pill and soon after she went to bed.

He wanted to forget that there was still a “tomorrow.”

Four. But who was she, in fact? Alicia?

What had happened in her past, the one she did not remember, the one before the 6 months contained in her present memory?

And why did the clerk tell her so strongly that she was not entitled to leave?

What if her memory expires (which was going to happen in a few months) without knowing it? What if it is announced that it has not rendered yield and cannot be given additional memory? What will she do, will she also get to the House of the unremembered? What if she were like Emma?

She stopped at the bar again.

And, realizing that her fate was already sealed, if she would continue this way without changing anything, while sipping the liquor, she made a decision.

A difficult decision to make, but that will allow her to find out the truth, fill her card with many units and eventually quit her job to become an actress. To give people, on weekends, a little freedom. Or at least an illusion of it.

To become herself again.

Because a few months ago, the company’s director suggested that if she agreed to become his mistress, he would give her a decade-long memory, just like his own, and load his own universal card with long-lasting drives.

At first she didn’t want to compromise, but at this point the deal seemed more reasonable. Between a certain death or an end at the House of the Remembrance and a few hours in which to prostitute, but which would open up countless other possibilities, it seemed better to choose the second option.

So one evening she went up to his office, pretending that she had to hand him an important document, and told him that she accepted.

The next day, she bought expensive toilets and perfumes with pheromones, trimmed himself and became elegant, preparing for the “big meeting”.

It is a very important part of the project, with the possibility to change things soon.

And that individual, otherwise unscrupulous, kept his word: He gave her the memory of a decade and loaded his value card with thousands of units.

Five. Alicia felt, for the first time in a long time, deeply moved. Her hands trembled when she placed under her head the decade-old memory card.

She was very curious and felt somewhat fearful in the face of revealing her own identity.

But she had to take it all. Otherwise she will die buried in that company, she will miss her existence.

She took a deep breath into his chest and prepared for the impact with something stronger, perhaps, than the drug of Infinity.

But the extended memory she had so coveted did not bring her release.

In less than half an hour, Alicia remembered her past. She found out with astonishment that she was a cyborg, not a human, although she was endowed with feelings. Moreover, at the trust she was working on, four years ago, there had been a revolt against the leadership, during which she herself, Alicia K., had killed the then director of the company by repeatedly hitting him in the head with a bulky metallic press-papier.

But the revolt was suppressed and was called by the new director (the one whose mistress had become now) to be offered a fair: she will either go to prison or sign a lifetime commitment with the company, 10-12 hours a day, without the right to leave, until she dies or until she can buy another memory.

She obviously chose the second option.

Now, however, this seemed to her the most disastrous of all, because even though she had escaped from prison, she now took away a valuable asset, perhaps the most precious: Freedom.

In just a few seconds, Alicia realized that she would never come out of the company’s walls again, except to the morgue or the home, she would continue to spend her universal card units on clothes, perfumes, DVDs and accessories. she will watch the same erotic movies over the weekend or meet with the company’s director, she will actually lead the same life that destroyed her, but above all, she will bury her most precious dream: she will not be able to become an actress.

Because even though she had – she hoped – some talent, she needed many hours for further acting studies, more hours for filming, and more for touring cities, meeting critics, and audiences.

Hours you could not get unless you quit work. That was impossible in her case, because the commitment was for life.

Defeated, Alicia briefly broke and collapsed to the floor.

Epilogue. When she finally got up from below she made a new decision, as important as the first one: The past she had so much wanted to know, now she wanted to forget it again.

But not before one last performance: She would live the most intense moments possible, after which she would change his extended memory for a very small one, maybe even a day, because she did not want to return to work.

So she started by going to the bar she usually frequented.

After two glasses of hypnotic liquor, she felt a little dizzy and hung the first guy who got in his way.

They went to her apartment and had sex for hours. Caught in the thrill of pleasure, Alicia looked at the ceiling, trembled with all her body, and tried to imagine that it would never end. “Still,” she murmured in the ear of the unknown.

Then, after he left, Alicia made her last number.

She entered a state of semi-hypnosis.

She felt something strange, like a heat in her whole body, then it seemed to her that she was merging with the whole universe, that there were at the same time thousands of Alices who unite and cry in unison their fears, desires and ecstasy to heaven, that she was flying to an infinity thats he had expected and desired at every moment, that she was floating over the Earth like an eagle over the Grand Canyon, that she had nothing to wait for, because in addition to this unique, ecstatic, almost mystical experience, she no longer exists, there can be nothing else, that neither the company nor its director were ever real, that she frees herself in an ancestral cry, in a cosmic orgasm, in an indescribable float, that she has everything to give and everything to receive, that it does not matter whether she is a cyborg or a human being, as long as this experience is allowed to her, as long as she can love, as long as she can summon the Creator with a swan song, to ask him, sighing: “Why? Why?"

In five hours, Alicia lived her entire life. And it was great.

The next day, however, she went down the street and initialed the strangest possible pact: She stopped the first passer-by, a 21-year-old student of Letters, who had a month ’s memory, and proposed, without asking anything else, to exchange memories.

He, hearing of a decade of memory, almost soaked his legs, asked twice if she was sure, “Yes, I’m absolutely sure,” Alicia replied, who wished him success in life and studies, and everything he wanted. Then they made the exchange and split up, taking it in different directions.

The student was still looking at her, not believing her. “You saved my life! You saved my life!”, he cried.

“You too!” came the reply.

After about 15 days, a new patient was brought to the Home of the left-without-memory.

Her name was Alicia K. and she had lived her whole life in a few hours.

The nurses took good care of her, overcoming the impediments caused by her lost gaze, which periodically slipped into the void.

But she managed to save her story on a memory stick that came to me. I have done nothing but to render it exactly, convinced that it deserves to be known by all those who have remained on the planet.

Author Notes: Foto: Freepik

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11 Sep, 2023
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