Day 3 word count: 1,263

November 4, 2006 § Leave a comment

“No, miss, it’s common to experience some disorientation. You don’t feel sick, do you?”

“Not really.” I was getting irritated though. This guy was one of the most unhelpful people I’d ever met. What was it he said he did? Recruitment? It didn’t surprise me. Human resources personnel had a habit of being incompetent. “Look, I just want to know what I’m doing here, where here is, and when I can go home.” I thought for a moment. “I’d also like to know where my house is. What did you do, erase my memory?” Drops of sweat glistened on his brow, and he tugged at his tie nervously. I was making him uncomfortable. Good.

“Why don’t you come and sit down…”

“No, I’m sock of sitting. What is going on here?” He cleared his throat nervously, and began a speech which sounded rehearsed.

“On behalf of XTI, we would like to welcome you as a new employee. In your new employee packet, you will find your badge and signed contracts detailing your position in our facility.” He looked at me expectantly, then seemed to realize I was empty handed, reached into his briefcase and withdrew a manila envelope. “Included you will find a signed consent form for the removal of select past memories, to make your transition easier.”

I had consented to have memories removed? I didn’t remember that. I tore open the packet and withdrew the ID. It was a terrible picture, but that didn’t surprise me. My name was printed, just the first name, along with the initials XTI. Next came an employee handbook, and several official looking documents that had my signature on them. I heard a soft cough, which reminded me that the man was still standing next to me.

“I will escort you to where you’ll be working. You may ask questions on the way.” Hadn’t I been doing this all along? “For security purposes, some of your questions may be unanswerable at this time.” Wasn’t that convenient? I had a hard time believing I would voluntarily sign up for this kind of thing, but my signatures were right in front of me, black on white.

“Okay, what is my job?” He should be able to answer that. We began moving towards the black door at the end of the hall. Suddenly it didn’t seem like a way out, but a portal to something darker. I wasn’t afraid, but I didn’t like secrecy, or security, as they would likely call it. As we pushed through the door, the hallway looked more normal and less blinding. And there were people. They didn’t look at us or speak to us, but they moved quickly across the hall from room to room in white lab coats with notebooks and clipboards piled high in their arms.

He came to a stop outside a door. I wondered how he knew it was the right one, since none of the doors seemed to be marked in any way except for the station at the side where one inserted their ID to unlock it. In a smooth motion, he swiped his and entered a code on the keypad below. There was a click and a rush of air hit both of us as the door opened. The quiet hum of machines greeted our entry, but no people were here. I recognized the noise, though. I was familiar with it.

“This is where you’ll be working,” he told me with a flourish. The room was small, but full of machines for testing. Did I really know how to use all those? “Your assistant is not in at the moment, but he’ll show you around and help you acclimate.” He seemed nervous and uncomfortable in this room. He kept tugging on his tie and collar. He was making me nervous just watching him.

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