Forge Netting 6: Fragmentation

How long had it been? How long since time had broken down into a day by day parade of fragmentation? How would he know that? How could he possibly know that?

His whole day was spent wandering through crowds of living ghosts who would stand and stare empty eyed at things they knew they should recognise and didn’t.

What had been a lifestyle choice had at first become an addiction – a toppling stack of cards that each read denial. What had been an addiction, so the scientists said, had bound itself onto the common cold virus and had mutated into an airborne disease. Outbreaks slowly pushed outwards to become an epidemic, to become a pandemic.

Of course some had a natural resistance, and some had vaccination, but there was a whole sector of society not able to avail themselves of these things and their memories went the way of all else – into entropy and oblivion.

He sat there with a pen and pad trying to perform an exercise designed to help him remember, but he couldn’t recall how to do the exercise itself, so the memories weren’t going to come.

Automatons loaded up with more of the drug moved through the crowds injecting people – Curse Nurses they called them; those who tended to the sick by making them sicker.
The Image Recovery Men were now called Rebuild – tasked with finding key individuals who had once had important memories, and making sure that they got taken to the Calendar Centres or Diary Bunkers.

He knew someone was looking for him – he thought that they’d come close, but that he had somehow managed to avoid capture. Was that a good thing? He heard the process of enforced remembering was painful and he had always been averse to remembering, so that sounded believable. This life he was living though – it did not seem to be ideal by any stretch of the imagination. He was luckier than some in that he could have trains of thought – some people just sat there; little more than vegetables.

His friend, whose name he couldn’t quite place, came and sat down next to him.

‘They’re making a move on us, so they say. Round-up squads are on twenty four hour drives now – they have targets to capture all of us within the month.’

‘Where are we going to go?’

‘Further underground – only way. We stay out of sight long enough and they will surely forget about us.’

‘Yeah,’ he said feeling the blankness creep in once more.