“We’ve tested the new memory replacement technology and it works!” The researcher said to his associate. “Now adults can come into our clinic and sit down at the operating table. This device (he pointed to a machine at the foot of the operating table) can be attached to the patient’s brain and send in artificial but happy memories of a childhood previously viewed as traumatic by the patient. With the help of a government grant the first one hundred patients are free. We will be a charitable lab, well at least for the first one hundred. But even after that we shouldn’t need to charge much for the procedure, it’s relatively simple, the instrument has already been paid for.” Said the researcher.
A woman woke up on an operating table and looked around. Behind her was a strange, tall instrument with lots of wires and tubes coming off of it. She looked around the room and didn’t see anyone else.
“Where am I?” She said as she stumbled to her feet. She left the room, then the building. No one came to tell her why she was there, or what happened to her.
A few days later she received a letter in the mail instructing her to return to the facility for a follow up appointment. “Memory replacement department?” She asked herself as she read the letter. “That’s where I must have gone earlier this week.” The woman recalled the procedure and her treatment. “I do remember volunteering for it but I didn’t realize it would leave me with amnesia and a constant feeling of longing and bewilderment about my past.” The procedure replaced her traumatic childhood memories with generic, happy memories. The only problem was the generic memories seemed too fake. They were memories like riding a bike for the first time with her parents, but her parents faces were blurred out. In fact, every interaction with her parents had their faces blurred out. “What good are happy memories when they aren’t yours?” There was one bonus, however, her post traumatic stress disorder was gone. She was no longer depressed too. She went back to the facility later that day. She waited in the room on the operating table which she laid down on earlier that week. In came a man in a white coat and glasses.
“Before you say anything, I want my memories back, even the bad ones. They make me feel like myself. I can deal with them now, I’ve had therapy and am prescribed wonderful little pills to help me with my symptoms.” She pleaded to the researcher.
“I’m sorry miss, but it’s not that simple. When you signed the contract you gave us permission to replace your old memories. Everything horrible from your childhood would be replaced with good, wholesome memories. You agreed to this. There is no way to get those memories back. They are gone forever.” Said the researcher.
“You must find a way to give them back. My life feels like one big simulation now. I can’t go on with these generic memories. They don’t feel like reality. Please find a way to give them back. I have the power to deal with them now.” She helplessly pleaded.
“Hmm, maybe we could reverse the procedure. We’ll do our best to return the memories to you. You will have your life back.” Said the researcher.