Izzy kept looking sideways at Kevin, stealing glances at him. She still couldn’t believe what her own mind had remembered. Kevin was on their side. At first she questioned her memory, with altered memories still floating around she wasn’t completely sure she could trust her own mind. It wasn’t until she thought about it more and realized that none of the memories concerning her and Brian were altered. Her mind only felt conflicted when she thought of those memories. All of her other memories felt real. She used this to judge what was real and what wasn’t. Everything she remembered about Brian and her life with him was real; it was what she had been forced to forget, but why?
Why couldn’t she remember anything about why this had been done to her? Kevin said it was all in her mind she just had to force herself to remember but it felt that those memories had been erased. Could they do that? She felt for sure that if they could alter her memories they could definitely erase them.
Her eyes moved from watching the road in the front to looking out the passenger window. Her eyes searched for the railroad tracks. She groaned with frustration when her strained eyes couldn’t make out the tracks. She glanced back at the dashboard and looked at how fast Kevin was pushing the car. He was driving well over the speed limit. She hoped they wouldn’t run into any cops or worse the men in suits that were chasing her.
She looked back out the window and tried to hide her apprehension. She wasn’t scared for herself, she was afraid for the two who were still on the train. What if not all the men in suits got off, what if they’d been captured? She couldn’t take the quiet anymore; she needed to talk to distract her from the thoughts running through her mind.
“I want to know more. How are you involved in this? I wouldn’t think someone from our past would be able to have access to one of us so easily. How did you get to be so close to Brian?” Her new questions made him wary of him again. They wouldn’t just let someone who knew them in a past life so close.
“I was supposed to go under the same treatment as you.” Izzy continued to wait for more of an answer but it was all he gave. The tires on the pavement were the only sound in the car. After a few minutes, Izzy figured he wasn’t going to add to his statement so she pushed for more answers.
“Tell me what happened. Maybe something you say will spark a memory for me.”
Kevin continued to sit in silence for a bit longer as if he was deciding what to tell Izzy. Izzy had almost given him up on giving her any information and had turned to look out the window when he started to talk.
“You came to me a little more than a year ago. You had recently uncovered some information that you felt would put you and Brian in danger. You asked for my help and I was, unfortunately, unable to help you in time but I thought I could get Brian to safety but he refused to leave without you. When I told him that I might not be able to help get him out a second time he brushed me off. He wouldn’t leave without you. I knew that you’d be pissed if Brian was in danger because he tried to be gallant, so I tried to force him to come with me. He fought us but we managed to almost get to our safe house but the cleaners found us.” He shrugged his shoulders, his face showing him how sorry he was that he wasn’t able to get Brian to safety. “I failed helping you, I’m sorry.”
Izzy didn’t know what to say. Should she be upset with him that he couldn’t help them, should she feel anger that they’d been caught when they were supposed to be taking Brian to safety? She sat silent unsure how she should respond to Kevin’s apology. Her eyes were starting to get heavy as she watched the road speed by and her stomach was starting to grow hunger pains. Kevin must have felt the same way or heard her stomach.
“We are almost at the next city; we can stop for food there. I’ll need some coffee to keep driving but you are more than welcome to sleep.”
She hesitated to close her eyes. What if he’d been turned? He had mentioned that he was supposed to have gone under the same treatment as her, why hadn’t he?
“Why hadn’t I what?” Kevin asked. She must have spoken the last words out loud.
Izzy put her hand on the door handle for a quick exit if his answer to her question was not what anything she wanted to hear. “You said you were supposed to get your memories wiped, why didn’t you?”
Kevin sighed. “I had an inside man inside the facility that was used for the procedure. “
Izzy looked at him as he spoke. He looked embarrassed to admit that it was his choice to have his mind intact. There was only enough of the placebo serum for one, Kevin had made the decision to have himself injected with it. He felt that he could have done more if he had his memories. He talked about the pain he felt as they fused his mind with the memories that were supposed to supersede his own memories. He regretted his decision during the entire procedure; he realized he should have let Izzy be injected with the placebo.
“So I could experience the pain?”
“You did, you just don’t remember because they altered that memory too.” Kevin sighed again. “You should have had the placebo. You had the information we needed, you had the skills to keep yourself safe and get to the rebellion. You could have stopped this months ago. I was selfish wanting to keep my own memories. If you’d been kept aware you could have helped to end it and I would have been brought back to my normal self.”
Again, izzy wasn’t sure how she should respond to Kevin. Should she be upset? She didn’t know so she sat silent thinking about what he had said. Kevin said rebellion, finally, a clue. She focused on that word and tried to think about why she would be involved with a rebellion. He unknowingly answered her next question. She had been wondering what had made her important enough to be able to solicit help from him.
“What did I know?” She asked quickly as she saw the city approaching. They would be stopping soon for gas and food. She would need to also use that time to find out anything about the train’s movements. If there had been more suits on the train, maybe they had stopped sooner to let them off. She felt like she was grasping at straws with that idea, but it was worth investigating.
“Some things really are better if you discover them on your own.” Kevin spoke bringing her out of planning and back into the moment. She found herself accepting this answer but still had more questions she hoped he would answer.
“Tell me more about your role. What were you supposed to be doing in the group with Brian?”
“I became a role similar to a warden in a prison. Brian was involved in a trial rehabilitation program.”
Izzy laughed at this. “Where can I sign up for a rehabilitation program that makes me rich and famous?”
Kevin turned to her and smiled adding a soft chuckle before he started to talk again. “Our people had more of a use for them than just that. What could be better to infiltrate the population than with a group of attractive males that sang about love and asked such pertinent questions such as ‘Am I Sexual?’ My main job was to watch the members for any signs that their past lives were coming out. Anything that would show the program wasn’t working.”
“Did you know about Howie? That he was part of the this group, the nine that were placed in our lives to watch us?”
Kevin shook his head. “I was told they were all criminals, I had to act with what my new memories were supposed to be. I was not supposed to be aware that I’d been specifically placed there to keep an eye on Brian and as far as I knew, the other three were criminals. I had no idea that they actually had people who were aware that they were to keep an eye on Brian to keep his memories from returning.”
Kevin turned the car off the highway and pulled into a gas station. He turned to look at her and continued speaking. Izzy hoped that nobody would think it strange they were simply sitting next to a gas pump not getting gas.
“The main focus of the group was to broadcast messages through the songs and our actions.”
“Like the television?” Izzy asked putting together some of the pieces.
“Yes, like the television. Except sending messages through the air waves and then through a screen diluted the subliminal messages resulting. The music worked better but it still didn’t bring the effects they hoped for. They’ve been working on something for awhile now, something that people would use constantly to renew the subliminal mind control.” Kevin paused after speaking those words. He was looking at her expectantly. There was something about what he said that he was trying to emphasize. She thought about what he said and a fog over her head lifted.
“The phone,” Izzy murmured the phone that she’d been attempting to procure for her company, the phone that was supposed to be the hottest new thing. That would allow persons to carry their phone around and access their computers, play games, talk and text and browse the web. Mark himself had predicted that people wouldn’t be able to put it down. They would be glued to it, it would become their lives. It had to be it. If it was always with them, if they were always using it, the phone would help control the human race. It was like the phone was the trigger. Once she remembered what the phone would be able to do the cloud that was her life before lifted and she remembered.
“Yes, the phone.” Kevin’s voice was calm and even. She turned to him and his eyes held her own. She could see that he was still wondering if this was one thing coming through or if she remembered more. She smiled at him and moved to open her door.
“I remember everything.” She emphasized.
Kevin smiled broadly and pulled out a small rod. A full capsule, Izzy smiled remembering. Her hunger forgotten she smiled as the gas tank filled after he injected the rod into the steering column. “Drive, fast.” She commanded feeling more herself than she had in quiet a long time.