Instance
rating: +13+x


This is a story that I recalled last night. I don’t think I was meant to remember it, but I do. I think that this makes me lucky because I did not forget. I am afraid of forgetting.

I think that it was last week or last month. That isn’t clear, time isn’t clear and it is running out.

There was an object, a pair of glasses. It wasn’t too dangerous. We classified it as safe because it was just a set of glasses. If someone wore them, it would alter their behavior. The glasses changed colors and the wearer would exhibit a pattern of behaviors consistent with the color.

Red was anger.

Grey was anxiety.

Blue was sadness.

Green was joy.

Purple wasn’t like the other colors.

Purple made Researcher Joey sad; it made Dr. Tristan happy… Neither remembered the changes.

It was odd.

Every other color was remembered. People had control of their actions, and they remembered how they felt.

Joey and Dr. Tristan didn’t remember anything. Joey cried while Tristan was in an almost manic-like state. Neither could recall the source of their resulting exhaustion.

It didn’t make sense, but the scientists were content to put the glasses back into a box without going further. Purple was labeled as an unstable instance, varying on the person. They did this because they could not interview the subjects. They were unresponsive during testing.

I didn’t trust the results.

I know, things here aren’t supposed to make sense. An anomaly doesn’t make sense, that’s why it’s anomalous.

The thought didn't stop my curiosity.

I called Joey into my office sometime last week. An idea struck, and I needed his help. He was happy to assist because he too felt that something could be wrong.

Joey said that if I could get access to the glasses, we could run a test. I would wear the glasses in a controlled environment, and Joey would leave a paper with prompts on it in the testing room. We would extend the test to see if my behavior under the effects of the glasses stabilized. If I stabilized, I would answer the prompts as best I could.

He said we could videotape it. We thought it was best we did so.

He would still watch the test live.

It wasn’t a secret, but we had approval granted almost immediately. Scary immediately.

They made sure I had nothing I could hurt myself with. All I had were the glasses, a set of scrubs to wear, and the prompts.

Said prompts weren’t very complicated.

"Who are you?"

"How do you feel?"

"Can you tell us where you are?"

We did not expect much from the test.

Joey confirmed that the camera was recording properly, and we confirmed the time. We would record for half an hour. That was barring any incident, of course. If something were to happen, we would stop the test.

With Joey’s approval, we began. I donned the glasses.

There was the worry that they wouldn’t produce the desired effect. If they turned any other color, we would not proceed.

They turned purple.

I had expected to forget, perhaps to blackout. I didn't. Nothing seemed to have changed.

I waited.

Nothing seemed to be happening, and time was flying.

I began with the prompts. At first, this was easy.

"I am Researcher Issac Talbot."

"Nothing seems to have changed. I am bored, but that is it."

It was then that things hit a roadblock. The final question simply escaped me.

I sat there and thought it over. I didn’t actually know where I was.

The longer I sat there, the more I realized that I didn’t know. I knew my name, and I knew how I felt. I couldn’t remember anything else.

I remember now. I didn’t then.

Due to this… I sat there in silence. I couldn’t answer the questions, and it left me paralyzed. I knew there were things that I didn’t know, I just didn’t know what they were.

It felt like an infinite loop.

First, I’d go over my name and how I felt. It was after this that I glossed over the unknown.

I didn’t know where I was.

I didn’t know how I came to be there.

Honestly? I didn't know why I was there either.

I didn’t remember that wearing glasses was foreign to me. I never thought to take them off, because I didn’t remember that they were the vector for my memory loss. I could see just fine. I was aware of what glasses were, and I was aware that I could see with that pair. It was weird, remembering only my name and that glasses could help you see.

There was some panic after that. I couldn’t remember anything beyond those simple facts, and it scared me. I almost began to cry; I was isolated and alone in the cell.

15 minutes had passed.

That had been where we stopped Joey and Dr. Tristan’s tests… Yet, we kept going. We had to keep going; we needed to know what was going on.

I don’t know how I became aware of that fact- that small tidbit of time and motive. It was clear, and it helped resolve my panic. I had a purpose, and that purpose was enough to tell me things would improve.

I kept thinking of what I knew.

I was Issac Talbot. I was testing the effect of an anomaly. I was going to be ok because Joey was running the test. I knew I could trust Joey.

20 minutes had passed.

I read the prompts again and tried to answer.

"I am Issac Talbot."

"I am scared. There are things that I don’t know."

I read over the last question, and could not answer it. I had to read it over again to realize what it said in its entirety. It asked if I could answer the question.

I could not.

"I cannot answer this question. I do not know where I am."

Even after this, the test did not stop. It was not complete. It had only been 20 minutes, and we had agreed on 30.

I wondered why I could remember my name, my purpose, and that I wore glasses. I wondered why I remembered nothing else. That loop of unknowns kept circling just above me, lingering.

It was almost as scary as the sudden footsteps behind me.

I whipped around. I knew I was alone. I knew there should not have been anyone else in that room.

Someone was looking down at me.

He didn’t look friendly, but I knew somehow that he wasn't hostile. He had a card hanging from his neck with a photo and a name- but I couldn’t make out the name.

I still can’t remember it, but that part did not matter then and it doesn’t matter now.

I asked him who he was, and I could not understand his name. I spoke it as if I had known him my whole life. I still can, but I cannot describe it or properly recall it.

He looked to me with cold eyes, a hard stare which focused on the glasses and not me. He shook his head and mused aloud about how they would soon be deleted.

The glasses were just a silly object.

He spoke his distaste with simple terms and a neutral tone. He was not angry, nor was he hostile. It felt like he was simply an instructor displaying distaste in a methodical and educational manner.

I asked him where I was.

He said I was at Site-73.

I thanked him and looked back to the prompts. It didn’t seem weird at the time for him to be there. As soon as I saw his eyes, I felt like he belonged there. He wasn’t threatening. He was helpful.

I answered the prompts once again, only to be corrected by him.

He told me that I was a researcher, and should designate myself as such. I thanked him. He gave no further response.

When 30 minutes had finally passed; Joey entered the testing room. I waved to the man who had helped me, only to get a funny look from my colleague. When I took off the glasses, it all came flooding back.

It was like waking up from a dream. The memories all felt temporary and weightless.

The man was gone as soon as the glasses were removed. He nodded farewell before he vanished.

I remembered him when he was gone.

I missed him as soon as he was gone.

I remembered a planned meeting sometime next month. I wasn’t sure where it came from.

I told Joey what happened. Immediately, he decided that what I’d seen was a projection produced by the object. A new instance. He said I was to be monitored for 24 hours. This was ok, it was standard procedure.

I went to sleep under surveillance in containment and woke up in my dormitory room.

It was like the night before never happened, everything from before was lost in a foggy haze.

I knew it wasn't a dream, because I could not forget those eyes. I could not forget the man that stood there and so casually spoke of erasing the object from the world.

I knew what was going on.

Reality Bender.

I went to containment to ask about the incident, but there was no record of it. They looked to me as if I was making things up. It wasn’t right, they should have put me back under surveillance. They forgot as soon as I stepped away. Every time I stepped away, they forgot.

I went to see Joey. His office was inhabited by someone named Dr. Saio. The office was locked, and the lights were off. No other office in the building had Joey’s name on it.

You know… come to think of it, I don’t remember Joey’s name. I’m sure of his first name, but I can’t remember his last name.

Dr. Tristan was there. He was in his office, but he didn't remember what happened. Like the others, he forgot as soon as I left.

I’m not sure why I have remembered this just now.

Every detail is vivid in my head. Every moment of fear and relief is fresh in my mind as if I had just lived the moment.

I am scared.

I was scared.

The fear seemed to ease away. I quickly looked to the clock.

I remembered I had a place to be.

Going through my routine seemed to slowly calm me. It was weird. It felt like I was slowly sinking into something warm.

I’m not sure why I recalled this tale. I don’t know why remembering made me happy.

I know my footsteps are slow and heavy as I walk. I know that I am very calm, and that calm keeps me from thinking much about this meeting.

Time is running out, so I try to walk faster.

I can’t. I don’t have the energy.

Dr. Saio had his lights on, so I assumed he was in. We had been planning this meeting for a month or so. He should be in. I know he is in.

The door swung open, and slowly shut itself behind me.

I sat down and remembered a very peculiar set of cold eyes. I remembered a stern but level voice, and a certain polite demeanor.

The man nodded to me, and time finally ran out.

Saio. His name was Morrow Saio.

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