Memorama - Another Short Story from Braznor!

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Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2005
[FONT=&quot]I hope you folks enjoy this story and comment on it. :hmm:

[FONT=&quot]Steven Alcott’s fondest memories weren’t anything to do with the way he toiled to build his multibillion venture capital empire. Rather they were entirely personal: the cinemas he had seen with his father, the amusement rides he had enjoyed in his childhood with his friends, in short all the things the inner child cherished within him, everything he wished he could relive again and go through. Money came to him easily, it was humanity he prized higher.

[FONT=&quot]There was so much to recollect, the thoughts of his adolescence, the memories he shared with the best friend he ever had, his deceased father, Raymond Alcott who taught him the best way to appreciate a movie in all the varied angles possible. His old man’s words still echoed through his graying mind:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]“Put yourself in his shoes, Steve. Do not just see him! Become him! Do not see the Good riding the horse, become him reining the saddle! Do not just see the Ugly shooting down his enemy, be one with him as he pulls the trigger! Be one with the Bad as he double crosses and kills his way through! Never forget them once the screen goes dark. Let them follow you home and be one in your mind forever!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Be one in your mind forever![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]And little Stevie took that advice to heart and never saw a movie the same way twice again. All of his free time would be spent in wondering about the giants of the silver screen. Their words flowed through his mind, their actions through his heart and he, in essence, became one with them in their trials and adventures . This was what he cherished the most, as much as the experience of going to the theatre with his father itself, the feel of the cramped seats and the aroma of buttered popcorn still bringing back to him the recollections of his wonderful childhood.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Now he was Steven Alcott, the Steven Alcott, the man who had made billions from financing the frontiers of technology and science. The man who had changed the landscape of human enterprise with his financial acumen, foresight and benevolent oversight. Yet his wealth had not changed the fundamental man within him, he always remained the little Stevie who squealed in delight at the silver screen as his father had once taught him.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]It was in the darkened alcove of his home theatre in the palace he called home when Steven Alcott got the phone call which would change the course of history. It was from Duttchen Bjorn, the chief technological architect of his company, the man he entrusted with evaluating the future technologies into which Alcott Venture Capital Associates would consider investing into.

[FONT=&quot]“Stevie, Dutch here, I got something which seems very promising. You will just fall in love with this…. I arranged a presentation for you first thing in the morning…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven Alcott replied back, his energy was boundless. “Listen Dutch, if its half as good as you say, I want to see this thing now and I mean it. I’m coming over to HQ right away and keep everything ready for me. Call Khosla too, I want him to be there with me as we go through this together…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch laughed from the other end. “Alright, you be here in an hour and I will get everyone to gather around the fire. Stevie, be prepared to be amazed, this is nothing like you seen before. Any of us ever seen ever before…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Stevie could sense the excitement in his technological officer’s voice. Duttchen Bjorn in his years at Alcott Venture Capital has seen every kind of technology, whether genuine or fake. The man had a good nose for golden eggs and if he had a reason to be excited about, it was sure to be a very good one.

[FONT=&quot]So Steven Alcott ordered his chauffeur to drive him to his company HQ almost in the middle of the night, the HQ being a dazzling steel and glass monolith in the heart of the city. The limousine raced down the streets of the metropolis bearing the CEO of Alcott VC and thus it all began this way.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] ************************[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The room held five people with Steve, Dutch Bjorn, Vijay Khosla seated around a triangular table and the inventor with his assistant demonstrating his contraption in the middle of them. The inventor, a middle aged man with unkempt hair and ghastly pale skin badly deprived of sunlight was saying.

[FONT=&quot]“…now you might overestimate the volume occupied by the equipment we use to accomplish the task we are just about to demonstrate. Not surprising, considering the complexity of the process. However let me assure you all we need is this…” He gestured towards his assistant.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The assistant in response to the signal from his senior pointed out to Stevie a curious configuration of small micro towers arranged across the length of the room coming to life in quiet stages of startup sequences. Initiation lights flashed on as the inventor continued to speak.

[FONT=&quot]“Let me assure you to accomplish the task we have set our goals on, this is all we need. I have already briefed Mr. Bjorn here of the estimated costs of construction in both pilot and scaled quantities of production…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch turned towards Khosla and asked. “You ran the numbers?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla replied to both men, Stevie and Dutch. “I did and they add up very nicely…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Stevie sucking on a cigar exclaimed to the inventor. “Well, go on then….”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor continued as he pointed towards the biggest tower. “What you see here, gentlemen, is the heart of the device, the neural transcriber. This device is key to the goal we accomplish. What it does is adds an additional layer of information to the stimulation being etched into our synapses. All of you of course, know that when new memories are formed, new proteins are made locally at synapses, i.e. the connection between the nerve cells, thus reinforcing the memory formed in our brains.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The assistant began a projector presenting to them slides of how the fundamental process of memory works within human beings. Stevie lost interest in the slideshow very quickly, he would rather let the inventor continue with his demonstration.

[FONT=&quot]The inventor continued. “What the neural transcriber does is generate a field which lets the synapses encode the memories within our brains using a different configuration of proteins, chemical bonds different than how it happens naturally. The chemical bonds can take place only in the presence of the field generated by the transcriber. In essence what we done is introducing encryption into our minds itself, an irreversible, unbreakable encryption unbreakable by any means, except…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor patted the neural transcriber. “…this tower, every neural transcriber encodes memories to its own encryption key. No transcriber can decode the information transcribed by another transcriber. For retrieving back the memories, the subject has to expose himself to the field generated by the very same tower which encoded his memories earlier. Gentleman, so what we have here is a fool proof cryptography machine at the neural level itself. Now for a small demonstration of the machine and its potential…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch leaned towards Steven. “This is the amazing part, Steve!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor continued. “So far, the field generator of this transcriber hasn’t been activated yet. Now we shall initiate it and then begin a small test of our memories to see the effects of the machine upon our minds. As soon as the field has been initialized, my assistant will hand to us an object which we shall do our best to identify and memorize into our brains.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor gestured and said. “Now!” In response to this command, the assistant entered a series of commands into the transcriber which emitted beeps and a light on its panel switched to red. None of men felt anything different within them.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor said. “It’s now activated, now we can begin our test.”

[FONT=&quot]The assistant held up the test object in his hands, a blood red apple for all to see. The inventor gestured towards it. “See this! This is all you have to memorize! Go ahead and try it.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch leaned over to Steve again. “This is the second time I gone through this! This is the second time I’m seeing the same damned thing. But I couldn’t recall it all the while in between…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven was trying his best to concentrate on memorizing the object.

[FONT=&quot]Apple – Fruit – Edible, Apple - Red – Color, Apple – Round - Shape, Apple – Origin – Plant…

[FONT=&quot]And so on his mind went transcribing the information into his memory.

[FONT=&quot]The inventor spoke again. Enough? Now we’ll remove the object from your view and deactivate the transcriber, lets see how well your minds fared!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch leaned back into his chair while the assistant withdrew the object and entered commands into the transcriber again. The red light on the transcriber’s panel switched back to green and the inventor exclaimed. “There, the field is off! Now you can try recalling back your memories!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch didn’t even try while Steven said. “It was a…it was a…” The billionaire hesitated a moment while a smile formed across the inventor’s face.

[FONT=&quot]Steven tried his best to recall:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Spherical! Colored! From a Plant![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Or was it?

[FONT=&quot]He had to think fast! Already the clues were dissolving from his memory![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]He stammered. “A ball! A blue wooden ball! ”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The reaction on the inventor’s face gave him all the evidence he was wrong. Steven racked his brain again. But this time it was impossible, the mnemonics had long faded from his mind leaving only a hole where experience should have been.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]He said. “I see what you are saying. Now I like to remember it back again.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor assured him. “Oh, don’t worry, you will!” As if on a cue, the helper switched on the transcriber again and the memories within Steven suddenly fell into place as if they were pieces of a self solving jigsaw puzzle.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Color – Red, Shape – Round, Edible – Fruit, Origin – Plant![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]An apple! Christ! A simple fucking apple! How could he have forgotten that![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The billionaire said grimly. “You proven your point. Now switch that damn thing off. I want to all of us to remember what we speak next!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The transcriber powered down and the inventor said. “We can speak now.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven had questions. “What if the transcriber is damaged or destroyed? Would the memories it encode be lost forever?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor smiled. “Not quite, as I said, every tower has its own unique key, we will hold a central repository of all the keys. Giving us the power to lock and unlock memories on our command...”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch butted in. “Imagine the potential, Steve! Imagine what the military would pay us to install these things in their secret facilities to safeguard their secrets. Imagine what other companies would pay to protect confidential data from being leaked by their own employees. This will change things forever!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven said irritated. “I can see that, Dutch!” He turned towards the inventor. “Aren’t there any health effects of this thing?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor shook his head. “As far as the device is concerned, the effects are localized to only the neurons and that too, in the most natural way possible. The encrypted proteins which the transcriber uses to encode the memories into our brains aren’t all that different from their natural counterparts. I tested this thing on rats, chimps, myself and let me guarantee it to you its one hundred percent safe…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven asked him. “How much do you want for this…thing?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor said. “Now you are talking, Mr. Alcott. No doubt, you recognize its potential…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven replied coldly. “I see it for what it is…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor replied. “A billion upfront and royalty, of course! The percentage share will be negotiated by my lawyers…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven at this point did something he never done in his life before. He made a financial decision without consulting Khosla, his accounting officer. He made a counter offer to the inventor. “I’ll give you three billion if you transfer all rights to this machine to me and sign a confidentiality clause agreeing never to disclose the existence of this thing to anyone…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor screwed up his face. “Three billion? That’s very generous of you. But I don’t understand the confidentiality clause. Surely you intend to market this incredible device someday…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven upped his offer. “Five billion then! Upfront in cash right now. That will compensate you for any quantum of royalty you earn in the future! All you have to do is take it, sign the clause, transfer the tech and walk away!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] The inventor smiled. “Tempting offer, Mr. Alcott. I’ll have to discuss it with my law…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven upped the offer again. “Seven billion then! Take it and walk away. In your place I will!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The inventor shook his head in amazement. “Alright you got me, Mr. Alcott. It’s yours to do as you please. Send the clause to my lawyers and we can have the signing over while you transfer the money to my offshore account.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven nodded. “Seven billion then and you will swear never to breathe a word about this device to anyone ever, not the media, not the science journals, nobody! Remember, the money is not for your genius, its for your silence.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The trio watched the inventor and assistant pack up and leave. Khosla hurried over to Steven. “Seven large ones, Steve! I don’t know you are going to explain this to the directors in the next board…”

[FONT=&quot]Steven answered. “The money is coming out of my own pocket. I don’t intend to use the company funds to procure this...this…” He found it hard to say the word and instead exclaimed towards the transcriber “…thing!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] Dutch asked him. “You are financing this yourself?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven smirked as he walked over to the plate glass wall overlooking the metropolis. “Finance this thing? Not exactly, gentlemen! I intend to destroy this monstrosity and bury the secret forever!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch exclaimed in shock. “You surely can’t mean that, Steve! I don’t understand…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven still looking outwards the glass wall said grimly. “All my life I held a belief in the sanctity of the humanity within us, the sacredness of our soul and what are memories? But the very essence of intellect within us. We are what of our experience makes of us, gentlemen and this thing…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]He turned and pointed towards the silent transcriber with vehemence in his voice. “…that infernal thing! It will enslave us with the very thing which makes us human: our intellect, our powers of recollection and ultimately our minds itself. No, gentlemen. I will do everything in my power as long as I live to prevent it from happening. Maybe some other man will come to harness its fiendish power to make a buck in the market. But so long I’m around that shall never happen. I swear on it!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch pleaded with him. “Goddammit, Steve, think for a moment what you are doing. If its not you, then it would be someone else walking over us…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven explained. “That’s why the confidentially clause. That inventor will have his mouth taped shut for the rest of his life. I will make sure of that and one more thing…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch drooped his shoulders and asked/ “Yes?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven said. “We are flying to Capitol hill tonight. I will make sure a law gets passed making it illegal to tamper with human minds in whatsoever way possible. That ought to solve this problem for good!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Duttchen Bjorn gave in. Nothing could make Steven change his mind once it was made up. Dutch knew his boss only too well. Steven continued. “..and you Khosla, I want to get the agreement signed and the money transferred by tomorrow. The sooner we are done with this, the better I will feel.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla nodded and left, Dutch followed leaving Steve all alone to ruminate over the situation. A bolt of lightning flashes across the northern sky followed by the distant rumbling of thunder. All in all, it was a perfect setting for the darkness descending upon them all.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] **********************************[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]“You called Bill ahead?” asked Steven towards Dutch as they sat facing each other in the limousine on its way towards the airport. Bill Cohen was the secretary for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If any man could push through a legislation banning the tampering of human minds, it was him.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch said unhappily. “Yes, he said he would get us a direct appointment with the President as you requested. The million dollars our company put in his election fund sure went a long way..”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven nodded. “It’s time the bastards gave something back for these people. Make no mistake, Dutch. I’m going to run this thing through the congress and win if I have to spend every cent I have over it, the company be damned.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Dutch exhaled and wiped the frost accumulated on the inside of the car window to take a glance outside. It was raining badly making visibility poor all-around. They were on their way to Steven’s private hanger in the city’s airport. Neither man knew they weren’t fated to make it there in one piece. Neither man knew that even as they conversed with each other, a mammoth eighteen wheeler truck would be spinning out of control just in close proximity to their limousine, crushing its frame with its massive momentum and mass.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]So even as Steven Alcott and Duttchen Bjorn made preparations for their flight ahead to Washington DC, unaware of the fate ahead of them, the truck smashed into their car on the side Dutch was seated. The impact transferred substantial force to relatively smaller vehicle, causing it to be crushed, flip around and go turtle, killing almost every occupant within. Ambulances and rescue teams rushed to the site, but then it was almost too late.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] ***********************[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Steven, my son! You betrayed me! You betrayed us all![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Father! I don’t understand…[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]You will, son! Very soon, you will.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The voice of his dead father was still ringing in his mind when Steve found himself awakening in a room he didn’t recognize. His return to consciousness provoked a cacophony of excited reactions from the medical staff attending to previously comatose form.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A miracle![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I didn’t reasonably expect people could wake up after so long in coma![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]You were saved, Mr. Steven Alcott! Thank the Lord![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven asked the resident doctor. “How long have I been in here?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The doctor answered. “Seven years! Mr. Alcott We were just about to pull the plug on you when you woke up.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven tried to recollect his earlier memories. “Dutch and my chauffeur, what happened to them?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The doctor replied. “I’m afraid they didn’t make it, Mr. Alcott. You are the sole survivor. You are an incredibly lucky individual.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The doctor’s words stayed in his mind as Steven drifted back to medicated sleep again. The next time he awoke, he found an entire mass of people waiting to meet him in his room, the constituent of the board of directors of his company headed by Khosla, now the CEO of Alcott VC.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Vijay Khosla said. “Welcome back, Steve! We are waiting for you. The company is waiting for you!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven waited for the others to leave before he pulled Khosla closer and spoke to him tensely. “Khosla, remember that night? Remember that abomination of an invention? What happened to it?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla avoided the question. “Perhaps now is not the time to discuss business, Steve. You should first get back on your legs and then we can discuss whatever you want…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven insisted strongly. “Dammit, Khosla! I want the answers and I want them now. Tell me what happened!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla said in a low voice. “In that case, Steve, I’m sorry to say things didn’t turn out the way you planned…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven tried to reach and grasp Khosla by his collars, but failed. He could only shout in a stunted anger. “What do you mean? What the devil do you mean?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla admitted grimly. “You were right, Steve, You were so right! That device was an abomination in so many different ways. But you have to come outside to see why…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven began tearing away the IV tubes and wires attached to his torso, he exclaimed in despair. “I’m coming, Khosla. Take me outside now. Take me outside right now!”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] ******************************[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] It was in another limousine Steven found himself riding for the first time in seven years. Khosla sat opposite of him and explained. “After the night of the accident, I was left high and dry without the authorization to pay the seven billion to that inventor. Not knowing what to do, I was forced to approach the board the directors over this matter…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla paused as he poured Steve and himself a drink from the freezer. It was only then Steven began to notice the crowds on the streets, the concurrence of their actions, the melancholy of their mood. Some of them carried placards, some of them banners, but what was evident was this: all of them were angry and had a bone to pick. Steven wished he could read what was written on the signboards carried around by the protestors.

[FONT=&quot]He turned towards Khosla who was wetting his throat with the drink glass in hand. He urged him to continue. “And then?”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla swallowed and continued. “Like us, the directors recognized the potential of this device and the power it could bring us. But unlike you, they didn’t care for its aftereffects. It hit the market as soon as it was commercialized.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven had a sudden sense of nausea rising up within him the moment Khosla disclosed this to him. He shivered a little and said. “Go on…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Khosla shrugged. “It was one gigantic success as we envisioned. First the military wanted it, then the corporations wanting to control their trade secrets, but what we didn’t expect was how widespread the use for this device would be. Very soon, everyone wanted one. From the cinema theatre to the amusement park. You see, Steve! Anyone who was in the business of selling experience also wanted to be controlling it and we at Alcott VC helped them do just that…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven stared at Khosla grimly as the CEO poured himself another desperately needed drink. Khosla added. “I’m so sorry, Steven. I know it was something you hated and everything turned out just the way you didn’t want it to be…”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Steven turned away from the man and looked outside the window. He could see the protest growing stronger, a ferocious demonstration in support of cause he was only beginning to realize. As if by instinct, Steven opened the car door, stepped outside in to snow and joined the crowd.

[FONT=&quot]He began to read the banners carried around by the protestors:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Our minds are ours alone![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Stop the invasion of our souls![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Leave our memories alone![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A lost memory is a stolen part of our soul![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Ban all Alcott towers![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Alcott towers! Jesus Christ! They had even named the abomination after him! Would he be spared nothing? Thus thought Steven Alcott bitterly at the cruel twist of fate life had rendered to him.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]He slumped on his knees into the snowladen ground and wondered whether the crowd would tear him apart if they come to know about his true identity. He toyed with that thought for some more time imagining what a relief it would have been if he too had been killed that night in that accident, just like Dutch and his chauffeur. At the very least, he wouldn’t have awoken to face this nightmare.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]His father’s words from his comatose hallucination echoed through his mind again.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Steven, my son! You betrayed me! You betrayed us all![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Father! I don’t understand…[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]You will, son! Very soon, you will.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]So even as Steven Alcott raked the snow with his bare hands in frustration, he came to realize a few things, first of all that fate does not always play fair, next, you are never dealt the cards you wish you were and lastly the genie that has been let loose can never be bottled again. [/FONT]
Last edited:


Golden Member
Oct 22, 2006
Very good,

It was little tough for me to get into at first, with the movies thing. However, once I did it was incredible.

Someone watched a lot of outer limits once upon a time I think. Seems like something right out of it.

Great job.
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