Hariette came up with a revolutionary idea, well it’s been thought of before, but no one has tried to actually engineer it.
A device that could store memories. It could allow the population to rewatch and relive their lives. Hariette saw it as a way to remember codes, protocols, and new projects in the defense department.
This could help those with neural diseases that affected memory.
There were more functions to the device she had in mind. It could change society.
She didn’t know who to pitch the idea to. She did a lot of engineering work before, but she wasn’t at the top of the field, and she never really made anything from scratch. Give her a blue print and she could make it, but she never could make the blue print herself.
She knew exactly who to talk to.
Her other half.
She was the Head of Defense in space. Then there was the Commander for the ground forces.
Aurora didn’t seem too excited about the idea if he was going to be honest with her.
“It won’t work.” Aurora told her, toying with the hologram. He got the idea of what Hariette wanted, but he wasn’t sure if it was worth it. “This crosses over into biomedical science and I don’t have that background.” he would’ve preferred something different.
He was tired of mechanical and aerospace science. He said environmental science was next, but he got stuck with his job. He can’t quit. He liked what Hariette came up with, but because he didn’t know much about biomechanics, he wouldn’t be that useful if they wanted the device to function.
“I think we can make it function without knowing about the body.” Hariette said, feeling like Aurora was about to make it more complicated than it needed to be. But to be honest, she didn’t know much about biomedical sciences either.
“The only way to do that is to use biosynthetic material so the body doesn’t reject the device. Again, not my area.” Aurora crossed his arms over his chest and looked at Hariette. “I’d probably set it on fire.”
“I did a lot of crap for you this year.” Hariette said as she put her hands down on the table. She was not happy to see that Aurora wasn’t trying hard to be a team player after everything she has been through.
His attitude seemed to change when Hariette reminded him how the year had gone.
“I am still on probation because of you. So we’re definitely doing this.” She made it clear it was his fault and he owes her. She wasn’t wrong.
She thought her idea would change society. What if people could save their memories and play them back to see? That could help so many different departments and cut down on resources. The only person she thought could handle it was saying no. She didn’t like that.
After everything she’s done for Aurora, she was owed. Now it was time for her to get what she wants.
“If you can get a doctor on board with the idea, then I’ll join you, but I won’t do this without someone who has a background in medicine.” Aurora thought it was a good idea in theory.
If anyone was going to make theoretical ideas work, it would be him. He’s done it multiple times.
But he saw every single complication with the idea without looking at a blue print. “Honestly, this might not work within the parameters that you think it will and-”
Hariette was already calling someone to help and she needed Aurora to stop complaining. She walked around the room as she waited for her call to get answered. Aurora needed a doctor, well she was going to give him someone better.
It was within an hour that a woman came into the room, and she did not look entertained. Not once has she had a problem with another department, but the second Aurora’s name came out of Hariette’s mouth, she knew it was going to be something absurd. Aurora did have that tendency and Hariette needed to cover herself.
“Really?” Aurora looked up at Hariette from his seat. “The Head of the Department of Health? We want this to be kept a secret.” he hissed at her.
“Well it better be a good one or I’m leaving.” the woman said as she took the empty seat. She saw the prototype but it was just a bunch of words and numbers to her.
Even if it was an official blue print she wouldn’t be able to understand.
“This is a bunch of words and numbers that I can’t understand, Hariette. Please, I’m not an engineer.” she sighed.
“Hariette wants to construct a device that allows us to keep our memories at our disposal.” Aurora said. “By the looks of it, it would need to touch nerves, and I told her I don’t have the background to do that.” he explained.
The woman didn’t need to hear more of the idea. “No.” She said.
“Why?” Hariette asked.
“The brain is an untouched area that we’ve stopped doing research on because of the casualties. We are not even going to think about synthesizing a device that could potentially rewire the function of someone’s brain.”
“Where does it say it would rewire brain function? The device is just an observer. Where’s the harm in that?” Hariette had to make it clear what the parameters were. “Recording memories could help with your department as well.” she hinted.
And she wasn’t wrong.
“Come on, Harlow. It’s just a development test. I’m sure we’ll figure out very quickly if it will work or not.” Hariette has never been this excited about one of her plans before.
This was the one she put effort into thinking. She even told Aurora that she would try to come up with a blue print on her own. That was a big deal since she barely ever does that.
“Send me the blue print when you’re done. I’ll tell you if it’s possible or not.” Harlow said as she got up. "And with notes. I don’t know what all of this means.” she stared at it but not a lot of it made sense to her.
Hariette was happy. Finally a project she would enjoy. And she thought it would do a lot of good for the system.
So it took weeks of nonstop working and planning and constructing. The three of them barely slept to make the device functional. And they were good about keeping it a secret. As much as it would be good for society, what they were coming up with was not legal. So it was weeks of sneaking around, finding ways to get material without making people suspicious, making sure no one knew.
They had finished but couldn’t test it on a human subject. They ran multiple tests and simulations but the Computer is not a human body.
“Think it will work with us?” Hariette asked.
The three of them were standing around a table, a small spider-like device, the size of a pen tip, set on a sterile platform. They had made more, but this one was being scanned.
“It functions at eighty-seven percent.” Aurora wanted to be careful. “It took a lot of changes just to make that seven percent jump.” he wanted them to know anything could happen.
“We made it so it adapts to a human body. It’s not in a human body yet.” Harlow thought eighty-seven percent was pretty good for something that’s not in it’s right environment.
They were quiet for a long moment.
“So...” Hariette started slowly as she looked at them. “Who’s going to...?”
Who’s going to get it implanted first?
Harlow spoke up. “I’m just a doctor, I’m not part of test trials.” She immediately didn’t want to go through with it.
“I’ll do it.” Aurora wasn’t too thrilled to have something put in his neck. But he offered to go first. He came up with most of the blue print. He might have followed Hariette’s direction but he did most of the work.
He might as well help Hariette bring her vision to life because she did do a lot of favors for him.
“If you do it, then I’ll do it.” Hariette said. It was her idea. She might as well take part in it.
They stared at each other for a moment again, the silence dragging on. They were surprised that it was actually happening, that they were really doing this. They needed test subjects but didn’t want to get others involved.
Aurora and Hariette were test subjects.
“Okay then.” Harlow said, putting her hands together. “Give me a couple days to get things together.”
It was decided then.
In just a couple days, Harlow had to prepare for a surgery she would do in secret. She couldn’t have any of her colleagues with her because she didn’t want to explain what she was doing. It was important to keep this a secret.
The surgery lasted much longer than Harlow had thought. Just placing the implant wasn’t enough. It took a lot of work and skill just to place it in the right spot. She had to be careful. Already it was dangerous enough to have the device placed on the spinal cord, and she was using the robot herself. No team of specialists. No help.
And she had two surgeries to do.
So she was incredibly happy she didn’t kill the department heads.
Hariette and Aurora were fine afterwards.
Aurora had modified their tablets so they would be able to link to the small implants. If they wanted to watch what they just saw, they could.
They could watch whatever memory they wanted. They could pick certain times in the day, anytime at all, and view it.
For the first day, there were no malfunctions.
No issues, no changes, no glitches.
Aurora continued with work like nothing had changed, like he didn’t just have surgery a week ago. He didn’t go on medical leave, he figured it would just be a day or two so he went right back to work.
He wanted to try the implant out a few times.
He stopped in a quiet hallway and pressed on a black ring he had on his finger. Bright blue rings flashes in Aurora’s eyes. He was looking at the passed few days, a rush of events flooding his mind.
He stopped at four days ago.
He remembered Sirus coming up to him. It had been a week since they’ve seen each other at that time. He had watched Sirus walk over to him, a smile on his face. Aurora pretends to be indifferent, like he doesn’t care where Sirus is or what he does, that he doesn’t like that smug grin on Sirus’ face because he knows what he’s thinking. But now that Aurora could remember seeing him, he felt different.
It was odd.
Aurora never knows how he feels, particularly about Sirus, well he will never admit it to himself. But in this moment while he stared blankly ahead -what it would look like to others- he felt this magnified sense of not wanting to be lonely.
He never worries about Sirus coming back.
Sirus always does come back.
Aurora could feel his heart skip a beat. He looked up and saw Sirus face, just like he remembered. At the time, Aurora had gotten upset that Sirus didn’t care who was around them and tried to put his arm around his waist. It was annoying that he had to tell Sirus not to do this in front of others.
Now that Aurora was alone, he couldn’t help but want to feel that. He told himself that he didn’t care about things like this but it’s been so many years. He just didn’t like that people knew. That people would tease him about it. It was better when they were alone.
Aurora had to remind himself that this wasn’t real, that he was just remembering what he saw a few days before.
He stopped the image and the rings in his eyes stopped glowing.
His heart felt like it was racing. Maybe it was the adrenaline. He hadn’t used the implant once, and he had to admit it wasn’t like anything he’s used before.
But he also had this sense of longing that made him want to talk to Sirus. That was odd, too. If Aurora was bored he’d find something to do, but right now wasn’t the case. He actively went to a secluded room just so he could speak to Sirus alone, and he hoped that Sirus was alone as well. It wouldn’t be fun having Sirus flirt while there were others with him.
“Checking up on me?” Sirus asked him.
They hadn’t spoken in the week since he was gone. It’s not like Aurora had the patience to deal with him if he was being obnoxious.
Aurora was curled up in one of the chairs, the room only lit by the sunlight coming from the glass window on the side. He held his tablet close, just so he would be able to see Sirus better. It was like he wanted to keep it a secret that they were talking, but he was the only one in the room. “More or less.” He answered quietly.
He wanted to explain how he felt. It was better getting the chance to see Sirus at least once.
“I...miss you.” He hoped that Sirus wouldn’t make fun of him saying that.
“Put my task on hold and I can change that real quick.” Sirus was eager. He’d come back, just long enough to settle that feeling Aurora had, then it would be right back to work.
Aurora almost considered it, but to use his powers just because he was feeling a little lonely would be abuse. He knew better. “I’ll be here when you get back.” he said and he leaned his head on to his hand, just watching Sirus.
He had a habit of doing that sometimes, nothing has changed. Sirus watched him, too. He wasn’t particularly curious about why Aurora suddenly told him that he missed him. If he wasn’t busy right now, things would be different.
Sirus definitely had a few words to say to Aurora but he held them back. It would be much sweeter when they finally got together.
Just a few more days.
Aurora hadn’t realized things were changing.
The implant was adapting to neural changes. What was only supposed to be a device that spectated started to be more involved.
And that’s not supposed to happen.
Hariette was adjusting quite well with the implant. She could see and remember a lot and it helped with her work. She thought about telling Harlow that they should make more, but she decided to wait a little longer. It’s only been a few weeks, they have to make sure that the implant can be functional for a long period of time. They don’t know how long it could last for.
Hariette wanted to speak with Aurora, but she caught him in the midst of watching his memories. His expression was blank, his eyes fixated on something. And then, he had this expression of confusion.
What did he see?
The image stopped.
He seemed tormented. Hariette waited. She didn’t know what Aurora tried to look at, but it didn’t make him very happy. It took him a second to realize where he was.
Then he looked at Hariette.
“Are you okay?” Hariette wasn’t sure what happened and she didn’t want to ask but he looked worried.
“Yeah, I just...” he didn’t know what to say. His gaze shifted somewhere else, trying to figure out what just happened. “Um, what’s going on?”
“We were trying to decide about what to do with the Mother Ships in space. Europe wants to keep theirs, but we could use a lot of those resources.” Hariette said.
“They could all blow up for all I care.” Aurora didn’t want to be a part of that discussion. Whatever had to do with space, he wanted to stay out of it. It wasn’t his side of the department anyway.
“I need you to persuade Europe to take theirs down.”
Aurora narrowed his eyes at the comment, he was sure it wasn’t his department to persuade anyone to do anything. “Yeah, like I’m going to get involved with Britain, France, and Germany again.” he wasn’t too thrilled. “What does Russia want?”
“They are desperately trying to protect themselves from you.” Hariette smirked at her comment. She has had issues with getting those resources since everyone is afraid Aurora might start another war.
It wasn’t fun last time.
“I can talk to the Asian nations. They like me better.” Aurora sighed quietly and took a seat.
He had a headache and his heart was racing. Hariette hadn’t noticed that Aurora was having a panic attack. He did hide it well enough, though if she stayed any longer she might find out. Aurora hoped to himself that she would leave. He was feeling hot and lightheaded, he wanted a moment to himself.
Hariette said she would figure out a way to get Europe to agree, and then she left.
Aurora had a hard time breathing. It’s been a while since he’s had a panic attack. It was set off by what he saw a few minutes ago. The implant showed him an old memory from years ago.
It wasn’t programmed to do that.