Hollowed Memories, chapter 10, part 1

August 9, 2015

Chapter 10:  Up to the Present

Yarec’s eyes had been closed for a long time.  He was barely moving; there was just the slow rising and falling of his chest, and Mrissa thought that he might have fallen asleep.  He looked younger now than when she had known him before, and that made him seem strangely childlike—his boyish face peacefully serene.

But at this point in her his eyes opened, and he turned his head to look over at her.  “What happened after we got married?” he said, very softly.  “I don’t remember much of anything, and for once, I don’t think that’s the fault of a bad consciousness transfer.”

Mrissa looked away, then back at Yarec.  “People came looking for you, but I told them you were gone.”

“I think I remember,” Yarec said.  “I saw you talking to them.”

“Yeah, I convinced them that I had been hunting for you too,” Mrissa explained.  “They hadn’t gotten any usable pictures of me during the attack, so they didn’t recognize me.  They would have recognized you though, if they’d found you.”

“Thanks,” Yarec said softly.  She must have given a lot to protect him.

“Oh, yeah,” Mrissa said, “and I took your watch.  Sorry.”

“Took my watch?”

“I guess you didn’t notice,” she said with a little laugh.  “I had to go with them, and I think I just wanted a keepsake, something to help me remember.”  She paused, then said rather excitedly, “Actually, I’ve still got it.”  Mrissa got up off the bed and pushed open the sliding door of her wardrobe.  “Let me see,” she said, half whispering, as she started fumbling through her tidily folded stacks of clothes.  It did not take her long to find what she was looking for, resting pillowed upon a set of her chocolatey brown undergarments.

She pulled the watch out and showed it to Yarec.  It was beautiful.  The frame and wristband were elegantly crafted in glittering purple metal.  Yarec recognized the alloy instantly—a mixture of aluminum and gold—but he had no memory of ever having owned the watch.  Mrissa laid it gently in his hand, and he turned it over and over between his fingers, marveling at the rich color and the minute decoration.  The face was octagonal, surrounded by a fluted metal frame.  The band was constructed from small interlocking plates.  Yarec definitely had to admire the way it looked, but it did not seem like the type of item he would ever have owned.  It’s only functions were lighting up, telling time, and functioning as a magnetic compass.  With so many general-purpose information devices available, the only real reason to have such a simplistic piece of technology was as an eye-catching fashion accessory.

“Before I left, I called for help for you.”  Mrissa sat back down beside Yarec.  He snapped the watch around his left wrist and turned his full attention back to her.  “You’d showed me how to send out an emergency call from your home set,” she said.  “I turned it on to broadcast on two different channels the day before those guys got to our house.  A message must have reached somebody, and I guess they came and put you back together.  I didn’t find out for over a year though.  I figured you for dead, until your name popped up in connection with another job I was working on.  You’d helped break up a cell of infiltrators somewhere.”

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