Martha was home, in her home, washing her hands
Rossin's hands, still red
"Those won't go away?"
He raised his hands
Clean of all blood
'Not if you think they should not, I am but thought: remember, think them clean and they will be.'
She could still see faint bits of red
Martha continued scrubbing her hands
It was a long while before she spoke again
'Well, look at that.'
Rossin sighed, and waved his hand to the door
"What if the police come?"
'If the police come busting in, all you have to do is say a few magic words and they go away.
Simple as that.
They are not prepared for, equipped, or in any way capable of dealing with what you can potentially do.
Not that you can actually do that yet, but you can let me take over and I can speak for you.'
"Speak for me?"
'Through you, whatever.'
She continued her scrubbing
"Okay, that sounds like a cult induction speech, what do I have to do, give you all my property?"
It was a few seconds later and he continued
'Hardy har har, no - but I know the world you are getting into. Hold on, let me get an update.'
_placeholder for all data for foreshadowing purposes,
meant to be a long list of dramatic-ironic statements __}
"And that was what?"
'Information, particularly about the leaders of the awoken, basic affairs really.'
"When you say current?"
'Current from the perspective of one Felix Danabrus.
A year out from his last visit to the academy in New York.
His was the closest, most are in a meeting in Romania.'
Martha stopped scrubbing
He walked up to the kitchen when she closed the faucet
'Some thoughts originated there, need to be kept in line every few years...
Bad things happen otherwise.'
'You must got to learn quickly, they already know about you.
I took care of some things otherwise Felix was going to come kill you.'
"But I was going to kill myself, I mean that thing was going to make me?
So why send Felix?"
Awoke=>(Aware of linked-cognitive processing,
Able to transmit and receive data along the link)
"So linked-mind information processing… like psychics?"
'Think like mind melding on star trek, but at any range.'
"So we're wireless?"
'More or less, yes.'
Martha was growing worried
"I didn't learn that in science class, pretty sure we don't have wifi in our heads."
'Was he talking about a chip...
Did the government put a chip in her brain?
No, that was a ridiculous thought though, right?'
'Not wifi, linked mind-information processing.
A functional quantum information transfer method.
Requiring only special thinking to formulate the proper chemical reactions in the brain to make it work.'
"I think that's literally insane."
'Well, I mean, you can not argue with results.'
"Right, you're a figment of my imagination."
Martha sat at the table.
'The imagination of my author, and well, a part of you does leak in too.
Nothing is generally water tight like that...'
"Am I going to get those memories back?"
Martha sat in silence for a time as she watched Rossin shift back and forth.
She wondered where he was physically in her brain.
A discrete location,or a disruption of particular patterns of neurons that fire across the brain.
She wondered if she cared.
He was here.
And offering her what?.
Power, in exchange for bringing down a corrupt society.
Well, the author saw it as corrupt, but was it really?
She would have to see
But the idea of namshubs still worried her.
If her brain could be so easily programmed to see Rossin, it could be arbitrarily programmed to see anything
The possibilities rolled out in her head.
Impossible before now nightmare scenarios played out in her mind - each one worse than before.
And yet - she also thought of the possibilities to fix everything, to remake the world whole.
To stop pollution, and all the terrors that could be fixed if you didn't have to worry about free will
'If you do, that thing will come back and get you.
I will not be able to stop it.
You will not be able to fight it off...
Not right now anyway...
Maybe in a couple of months after you study what it could have been...
Carefully, would you then maybe have a chance of unraveling it.
I only know what my author wrote in.
Apparently there were revisions after I was written...
But if in a couple months you face it down, the memories should come back...
They, well: they will not be good memories: buried deep for a reason.'
I think I need to know everything..."
'Good that you are willing.
And if Felix comes and sees you are not amazingly skilled he will probably just disobey and erase you...'
"Well, that's great, thanks for telling me so early /s.
When's he going to be here?"
'He should be here in a day or two...'
"Welp, if he wipes my memories..."
'I die, and you go to prison.'
"Can't convince him to fix that before he wipes my mind?"
'I mean, you can try, but I am not going to incentivize you to do that, that would erase me as well...'
'Welp, he preserves himself. One for the biology is it alive test, only a few more to go...'
"So teach me."
'Do you have a housemate?'
"I thought you were in my head, don't you know?"
'I exist in your head, but I am not you, I only know what I know.'
"No, I don't have a housemate."
'Your neighbor then, we will put them right back when we are done.
We just need a subject.'
"What are you going to do with him?"
'I am going to show you the scope of what you can do...
He will be good.'
That of a father knowing their child was about to discover christmas
He walked up to the front door, Martha followed.
Then He paused
"Which is what exactly?"
'Let me take over, I can run through a few examples.
And you will be along for the ride - grab the qualia of this experience.'
And it was there in her head, knowledge of a switch.
Not a literal one, but once flipped would swap her consciousness with Rossin's.
Martha paused, almost ready to flip that switch
'Right, let me just...'
She really was considering
"When will I get...
'No, not without a way to assuredly come back.'
Rossin paused, thinking
"How can I take my body back."
And just like that the switch moved.
Instead of the vague idea, it was a solid pin attached to her consciousness.
A stabbing point she noticed just behind her right eye.
It started to fade, but she remained aware of it.
It was pinned to her consciousness, how could she not be.
But at least this way she wouldn't be trapped in
'This should do: but there is no way I can make this particularly comfortable...
You will be fine.'
She flipped it, and felt a ripping sensation.
It stretched from down her forehead to her navel.
An unzipping sensation as her consciousness rolled in upon itself into a wheel.
Martha felt herself rolling through random electrical signals in her brain to where Rossin had just been.
He was making a similar journey himself
With the feeling of a great stretch, she unfurled into a human shape again.
A room, her front hallway where she had just been standing- lay before her in a shaky ghostly image.
There was a cone of clear vision emanating from the entity at the center.
The center being herself: Rossin in her body
Everything was distorted outside the cone of clear vision, wavy and disintegrating into darkness.
The process was like gushing waves of blackness flowing over the shape of all things remembered.
Slowly smothering them with time
Even the clear vision was distorted.
Bowled in and fuzzy at the edges - no lines - seen or unseen were truly straight.
And perspectives did not converge
She walked into the ghostly image and Rossin turned her body to see where her consciousness had entered
'It will get less painful, and it connects in...'
'You can see me?'
She flipped the switch back
Immediately feeling that ripping sensation.
She wondered exactly how this was working in her brain, or if this was real
She looked down at her own hands.
There was something off
She stretched again
Her pinky had been numb, but now it was fine
She shook her hand awake
"Aye, you are not physically where you are, just...
Imagining yourself into existence from your own imagination which you put yourself into just now."
"That's going to happen every time I do that?"
She opened the door, and walked over to her neighbor's house
The one she liked less.
The one that had been pedantically complaining about trees blocking her view to the street.
The one that even paid people to come on to her property and cut down those
Martha knocked on the door and flipped the switch
After the ripping sensation subsided and Martha was again looking at Rossin in her body
The door opened and Rossin spoke without words
'That will not be often, now to your neighbor?'
And proceeded to walk inside.
Martha as an ethereal entity followed
'What was that?'
Her neighbor was directly behind Rossin, without any expression, without anything
Martha walked around her neighbor
"So, everyone has hooks.
We, I mean, those in power, the awoken, put them there.
A set of simple commands that almost all humans have.
Run, jump, fetch and the like."
'How did they implant them?'
"Television, and the internet, certain memes, implant individual hooks.
Follow, run, chase, protect, kill, nurture, spoil...
There's the whole gambit - pretty much any verb you can think of."
Rossin sat down in the chair in the corner of the room
'So I can make anyone do anything?'
He said from her body
"More: you can make anyone, be anyone or anything.
You can change what they believe to be true, including about themselves.
You can change how they react to anything, you can change what they love...
What they fear...
And the only limit, in the end, is your own creativity."
"And that's just the beginning...
Let's just start there for now, this is...
Rossin waited in the chair
"As in you'll get bored by this quickly...
This is a ground floor.
Just what you can do in this world..."
Well, two that we have access to.
But the second world is infinite...
The second one, isn't physical...
It's almost like the internet...
So it's not just awoken whose brains are linked.
Everyone's brain is on a network.
Always has been.
There has been a global subconscious network since life has been even remotely conscious.
Each human runs a little bit of it in the background when they sleep...
And most animals...
Or when they're awake sometimes too - but it's a persistent network.
The awoken are aware of it, and can visit and control it."