Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

As I slowly regained consciousness, I became aware that my universe was a black, soundless void. Then the thought “where am I?” popped into my mind. I couldn’t remember my name, or what I looked like, but surprisingly, I had knowledge of many fundamental concepts. For example, I knew that I existed, that there was light and darkness, and that I had a vocabulary and a language to think in. But I couldn’t remember much beyond that. This not-knowing things was very unsettling I started concentrating on individual words and what they meant. Sometimes words made sense immediately. I understood conceptually the difference between hot or cold, hungry or full, frightened or safe. But I didn’t understand up or down, left or right, me or us. As time passed…wow…time. I didn’t know what time was until I realized that it was passing. Anyway, as it passed, I became aware of more sensory information. I started hearing things. I knew subconsciously that the sounds I heard were voices, and that they were probably from…I don’t know…“people” just like me, whatever “people” were. I tried to make sounds too, but I don’t think I was successful. I realized that I was very, very tired. I needed to stop thinking for a while. I’d try again later. I drifted off…


I’m aware again. This time it is much better. More of my memory had come back. My consciousness was becoming inundated with resurfacing information. For example, I knew that I was human, that I had a job, and that I had been injured. It is still a little fuzzy, but I am pretty certain that I am an engineer on a starship. I seem to remember that I was transporting to the surface of a Class-M planet when there was an unexpected energy surge during the dematerialization cycle. There must have been a minor quantum variation in my transporter pattern. When I rematerialized, the molecular reconstruction of my brain must have been affected. Apparently, I lost some of the neural/synaptic connections to my long term memories. Although they were slowly reestablishing themselves on their own, I knew a way to speed the process up. I opened my eyes for the first time and saw the face of a beautiful woman. Her expression was a mixture of concern and apprehension. I presumed she was a nurse or a doctor. I grabbed her arm and tried to sit up. “I understand what happened,” I said. “You can restore my memory by accessing the primary pattern buffers in the transporter database. If you recalibrate the phase inducers you can reinitialize my quantum balance by…”

When I first started talking, she had smiled. However, now, as I explained what she needed to do to help me, her expression contorted into frustration and then anger. What a strange reaction, I thought. She ripped her arm free of my grip, then used it to slam me back down. “Shut up, you idiot. You’re not Geordi La Forge. You’re an incompetent husband who never unplugs an appliance when you work on it. It’s lucky you didn’t kill yourself this time. You scared me half to death. Honestly, I will never understand what made you think you could fix the drier in the first place. My mother was right…bla, bla, bla…”

“Ahhhhh,” I thought as reality flooded into the cognitive lobes of my brain. “I see that I’m married, and that my real life sucks.”

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