151 – Settle

“That’s not how I remember it.”

“Of course. This memory was edited from your timeline.”

“But shouldn’t I… uh… NOT remember it then?”

“I’m sorry, you are right. I should have said it was supposed to be edited.”

“So it wasn’t deleted?”

“Not… exactly. There was a glitch, you see? So the memory was only partially deleted.”

“Is that why I remember it differently? Because I’m sure it didn’t happen the way it says here.”


“Ok. What’s going on here? Why won’t anyone just give me a straight answer instead of simply whacking around the bush while looking embarrassed?”

“The truth is… the glitch didn’t only affect you. Several clusters of data were randomly deleted from various clients.”


“You must understand. We couldn’t just let everyone know. People trust us to erase their bad memories and archive the good ones. We have built a reputation as the best past editors in the market. Our client base comprises more than…”

“Will you cut the sales-pitch crap and just tell me what the hell happened?”

“These glitches are rare but not unexpected, that’s why we always keep backups. When something like this happens we restore everything and simply run the procedure again.”


“The operator on duty that night was a new trainee. The glitch happened while his supervisor was out for a moment.”

“This doesn’t sound good.”

“He was very young and this was his first day on the job, so when the glitch alarm sounded he thought he had done something wrong and panicked.”

“What. Did. He. Do?”

“He tried to stop the process mid-run instead of simply letting it end before restoring the backup.”

“And that means?”

“Since the process was not fully run the checksum got corrupted. That means that the backup data did not match and would not upload. So he… forced it.”

“What do you mean he forced it!?”

“He disabled the safety check and ran the backup restore. He thought your minds would be wiped out otherwise.”

“And wouldn’t they?”

“Oh, no! This is a fail-safe system, we have lots of safety checks and restore procedures that guarantee the worst that could happen is that all your memories would return to their pre-edit status.”


“You would still remember your bad memories and your good memories would turn back into regular memories with no enhanced recollection.”

“Unless somebody screws up real bad, that is.”

“Yes, I’m afraid the system was not prepared for someone voluntarily trying to manipulate it outside its normal operational parameters.”

“And in plain English that means?”

“We never thought anyone would be stupid enough to mess with it.”

“So now my memories are fucked?”

“Yes and no. You see, when the system couldn’t find a valid checksum the AI tried to reconstruct the data in the best way it could. Basically, it mixed and matched according to what its algorithms told it.”


“Yes, I’m afraid your memories and those of the other clients got mixed amongst each other.”

“Wait, if that was all I’d simply recall other people’s memories as if they were my own. But I DO know many of the things I remember DID happen to me, just… differently.”

“As I told you, the AI tried to reconstruct the data. It didn’t simply swap memories between different minds. It… um… re-mixed them in some creative ways.”

“Oh my god! I think I’m gonna be sick. So I can no longer know what details of my life are real and which ones are a ‘creative re-writing’ by some robot?! How do you plan to fix it?”

“We can’t. When the restore process was forced the whole database was corrupted and became unreadable. There is no way to access the original data, let alone restore it.”

“WHAT?! I’m calling my lawyer right now.”

“Please sir. We are taking full responsibility for this. Just consider our offer. We are trying to avoid a scandal and that’s why legal has approved such an unusually generous compensation.”

“Are you crazy? You guys basically re-wrote my whole past and now you pretend me to simply keep my mouth shut by offering me money?”

“At least take a look at our offer. You haven’t even read it so you don’t know what we are offering.”

“I don’t care how much money you are offering I’m not simply…”



“Sir, are you alright?”

“Are… are this numbers correct? You sure you didn’t make a mistake with the decimals or something?”

“I assure you that figure is totally accurate.”

“Where did you say I needed to sign?”

• • •

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