Fatal Technology

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Kaisaan, Aug 6, 2013.

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  1. Espionage Security Intelligence of America (ESIA) had many branches. Some of them more known to the public than others and still more that the general populace had no idea of. And then there was one that only those at the very top knew of, a branch of the organization that technically, legally, did not exist.

    It was formed on advanced, almost illegal technology. Certainly it was banned technology if nothing else. Its origins were rooted in mind control, and such things had been nearly perfected now in the age of humanity's triumph over both medicine and robotics. Programs had been tested, implemented, perfected over the course of nearly twenty-five years and for nearly fifteen years the secret program had been deemed a success.

    Adults had been used when it first began, but their minds had not accepted the microchips, had not accepted the drugs that changed their neural patterns, made them compliant and able to learn far more swiftly than any human without the technology could. Children, though, children had been perfect. The younger they were - though, the rule was that they couldn't go below six years - the better the microchips and programming worked, the better their minds molded to commands and learning what was planted inside their heads.

    They didn't put them to actual work until they were fifteen or sixteen, but by that point they were well immersed into the technology that kept them under control, made them anything that the government needed with just the typing up of a new program, a new personality, a new history, new memories and names, professions. They were brilliant at blending in simply because they believed everything they told others, everything they did. They didn't know any better.

    Not until they got back to their cells, to base and the microchips were removed for quality checks and tampering, upgrades. Then the 'agents' knew what they were, who they were and while some, a very few, actually accepted it and worked with their handlers and the higher-ups, most were a mess of broken memories and compliant to a fault, lethargic and nearly lifeless because of their circumstances.

    But then there were even fewer, a very rare percentage that fought; their handlers, techs, the microchip, the memories, the imprisonment. They fought to be free of it and it was those agents that got passed around to different handlers. No handler wanted an unruly agent and if that agent wasn't successful enough, they were terminated to avoid the hassle.

    Unfortunately, the current agent causing trouble had a 98% success rate when the technology planted in her DID work, so at the moment, ESIA was trying to find a suitable handler for her. All the older ones, the more experienced had turned down the offer or had tried and moved on.

    In some amount of desperation, the program was going to try, on a trial basis, a new handler, the top graduate in his 'class'.


    To look at "Raven", one would not think her unhappy at the moment. She was smiling, black hair coiffed to gentle-curled perfection, her black dress flawless on an elegant figure. Her silver jewelry gleamed in the lighting overhead and she spoke with the two men in suits and the woman in a lab coat around her as if they were her oldest friends.

    She knew she was waiting to meet her new 'partner' and she was slightly nervous, but hopeful as her hazel eyes scanned the foyer on the 26th floor of the skyscraper for a man she'd never met, had never seen a picture of.

    Still, she trusted her superiors to pick someone good for her.

    (( Her dress: http://myntra.myntassets.com/images...0a634650d3e1b1d26ed_images_1080_1440_mini.jpg ))
    #1 Kaisaan, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  2. This agency was hardly known to the world, and hardly known about even in its own country. The Espionage Security Intelligence of America (ESIA) had several branches, only few of which that were truly known about by the public. The majority of ESIA, however, didn't even exist. At least, not to most people. They used banned technology, the highest and most extensive of their modern time.

    For almost twenty-five years, the agency experimented with programs for humans, wanting to make them completely compliant to the government. They first tried it with adults but since their brains were already as wired and developed as they could be, they didn't follow the programs microchipped into them. So ESIA tried it with kids, taking the homeless ones up off the street and training them to be nearly completely lifeless drones, though some were grateful for their 'rescue' and tried as best they could.

    These children were trained to be agents and along with agents came their handlers, people in charge of overseeing their agents and making sure everything went according to plan. For fifteen years, the agency was deemed a success.

    Silas Yale had trained most of his life to be a handler. He graduated at the top of his class and was enrolled to look over an agent that fought the program, the system. All her handlers had given up on her and couldn't do their jobs, so the agency wanted to try something different and left it up to Handler Silas.

    He was arriving at the top of the 26th floor of a skyscraper, the elevator dinging to alert its riders that it was reaching the destination. As the sliding doors opened, the nicely black-suited man exited the fancy elevator shaft and set foot in the foyer of the floor. He looked as stoic and serious as ever, but once he reached his agent, the nurse, and the other two suited men, he offered a small smile.

    "Hello," he greeted, announcing himself. "You must be Raven." He extended his hand for her to shake. For such a beautiful creature, she was made out to seem so troublesome. Hm. Cliches.
  3. Raven looked her new partner over from head to toe, smiling in a slightly approving manner. At the moment, though, her programming said this was a platonic relationship so that is how she looked at the man before her, recognizing that he was handsome, that his features were strong and reaction-worthy, but not feeling it. She took his hand with a polite smile and shook it firmly, but gently as a lady should.

    "And you must be Haven. I've been looking forward to meeting you."

    NO! Leave me alone!

    There was a flicker in Raven's hazel eyes and there was the slightest jerk as she pulled her hand away a little too fast before that same flicker occurred again and she was calm once more. The scientist, standing to Raven's left, spoke then, having caught the glitch on her sensors. "As you can see, this is Raven. She is twenty-four, has been with us for eighteen years, nine of those of which she's been an active agent. Her success rate is high enough that we would like to see if perhaps her malfunction can be repaired or overcome. She's going to require a great deal of intensive psychological evaluations, memory-cleaning and re-chipping to see if she can still be of proper use."

    One of the men, a superior who helped to run this program, spoke then with a chuckle. "What Dr. Morgan is saying is that you're not going to be getting a great deal of downtime if you take on Raven as your first agent."

    As they spoke, the agent in question didn't react at all, seemingly just fine with all of them acting like she wasn't even present.
  4. Silas nodded and his small smile remained until he also caught the flicker in her eye. Ah, so the real person inside Raven was fighting at this very moment? Very interesting. He turned to the female scientist as she began speaking, explaining that Raven was an active agent and had a high enough success rate that her malfunction could be repaired or overcome. That was mainly what the handler would be doing for now; while also overseeing her, Silas would also be trying to... well... basically kill what was left of the real 'Raven'.

    He bowed his head respectfully before turning to the superior who spoke. "That is fine with me. Maybe it will enhance my skills better than a regular agent would," he responded as he glanced to Raven again. She was simply just standing there, acting like she was completely fine with what they were saying. "I will try my best, so thank you for the opportunity." As he was serious, he was also polite, respectful, and had the right amount of manners unless under certain circumstances.
  5. "She'll certainly be a challenge. She's gone through eight handler already. If you can get her working again, you'll be promoted guaranteed, my boy!" The rounder of the two men and the older - called Robert, the founder of ESIA - clapped Silas on the shoulder and the other man - Allen, the director of ESIA - smiled a bit. "We wish you luck. Dr. Morgan will show you around and explain your duties at this time."

    With that the two men left and Dr. Morgan gave Silas a slightly nervous look, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose before looking at her clipboard and then Raven. "Well, if you'll follow me..." She started to walk and Raven followed, docile enough, showing absolutely no curiosity or interest in anything around her. She was in a program that didn't require much more than the most rudimentary emotional responses and simple compliance.

    Dr. Morgan started pointing out various rooms as they went down the gray hallways, away from the foyer and into the actual heart of the facility. "That is the programming room. You won't be seeing that for a while. Um, that's the sensory deprivation chamber, that's the lab, microchip repair unit..." the list went on until they got away from the cold gray walls and came instead to a place that looked like nothing less than a great sunken living room. Agents and handlers alike lounged, ate, talked here. A large fish pond was over by windows reaching from floor to ceiling and Japanese-like stone pathways and potted flowers decorated the place. Further on and into another large room appeared to be a cafe of sorts, a cafeteria. Everyone appeared calm, everything in order, all the agents compliant under their programming, much like Raven was now.

    The scientists let them linger there for a few minutes before moving on down another hallway. "These are the handler's quarters. Your room is number 12. You have a fridge, microwave, iron, hair-dryer, shower, bath, bed, dresser, table, chairs, TV, DVD player, and couch. The housekeeping will give you fresh towels and sheets as you need them and you have only to ask for anything else you might require. Your things have already been delivered there."

    Dr. Morgan stopped then and smiled that nervous smile again. "Would you like to see where Raven is kept or shall I leave you now?"
  6. Silas, or rather 'Haven', nodded at this information. It wasn't exactly new news to him, as he had read over the basics of her file on his way to the agency. But he would definitely work hard to succeed with this agent, wanting that promotion almost more than anything else. He offered Robert and Allen both a genuine smile. "Thank you again, Sir," he said to both of them before they walked away.

    Dr. Morgan was the female scientist and she looked slightly nervous. Silas didn't know if it was because he seemed intimidating, but he followed her regardless along with Raven. The Handler looked around at each of the various rooms, subconsciously remembering each of them as they made their way into the heart of the facility. There was a programming room, a sensory deprivation chamber (how horrible did that sound?), a lab, and several other rooms that Silas would surely be seeing more of in the future. The gray walls of the more scientific rooms ended, though, and they came to a living room type of area. There was a large fish pond by the windows and the whole room was entirely themed like a Japanese home. It was actually a bit homey and comforting. At least for Silas.

    None of this showed on his face, however, since he was naturally a stoic being. They moved down the hallways and into the handler's quarters, Silas being informed that his room number was 12. He had the basic necessities of a regular apartment along with his own items that had already been delivered, but the housekeeping would be cleaning his room. It was more like a hotel than anything.

    The scientist and handler turned to each other. "I would like to see where she is kept, actually." He asked, looking at Dr. Morgan with his light brown eyes that never really bore emotion.
  7. Dr. Morgan was a nervous woman by nature, but males made her doubly so and Haven scared her a little if she was honest. There was something about him, about the lack of emotion in his eyes, the hard aura that surrounded him that she was unsure about. She quickly nodded to his choice and they were off again, moving back toward Japanese living room and the gray part of the of the facility, this time taking a different hallway where the walls turned white, nearly blindingly so and they started to pass many doors, all of them steel-enforced with bared and glassed square windows on the door to look into the room.

    "All the rooms here are sound-proof and are monitored 24/7." the woman informed him as she stopped before door 12 and slid a key-card into the slot provided, the light blinking green. She pushed the door open and Raven, without any prompting, walked in and immediately sat on the bed that was bolted to the wall and the floor. Nothing about her moved but her eyes, flickering from Haven and back to Dr. Morgan again. There were restraints on each corner of the bed and the room itself was big enough to fit about six people comfortably. There was a prison-style toilet in the corner of the room, but other than that and the bed, there was nothing here. Everything was white, bare and only the camera in every corner, blinking red, broke up the dullness of everything.

    "As you can see, the agents do not require much while they are unchipped. Most do not do anything but sleep and those that are destructive hav little to use."

    The scientist shifted, nervous again and she looked between Silas and Raven. "Do...would you like to go back to your room or...do you want to be here when she's unchipped?" Said procedure was actually due in about ten minutes.
  8. Even though it was just a job and Silas intended to keep it that way, he couldn't really believe the way the agents were kept. The majority of them had their true personalities practically murdered and the rest were drugged to keep them from acting out. That's why they didn't do anything. He wasn't a fool; lots of research gave him particular knowledge of ESIA, but he usually kept it on a down low.

    He looked inside Raven's room, taking note of the way she sat at the bed with only her eyes moving between the two superiors. The room was very large, enough to fit six people, but it was bare, white, and very unbearably so. He didn't know how anybody could actually live this way, but then again... the agents weren't really human. He looked to the scientist again. "I'd like to meet her unchipped."
  9. Dr. Morgan nodded, but she seemed immensely relieved when they were joined by more people and she was allowed to leave. Handlers knew about this process in theory, but they never saw it actually done and so this would be Silas' first encounter with a de-chipping. Three scientists wheeled in a small tray with cleaning wipes, two needles filled with yellow and clear liquids and a special case for the chip itself. There was also a tube of something and a small surgical knife.

    Raven was made to undress down to her bra and underwear before putting on a black pair of yoga pants and a gray tanktop. She didn't seem bothered by any of this and laid down on the bed when directed, holding out her left arm. Her inner wrist was cleaned well before the surgical knife was used to cut into what looked like her skin, as one would open a letter and the skin peeled back without even a hint of blood. It was fake and underneath was the slot where the chip was placed. A scientists pulled it out carefully, putting it in the case while another swabbed at Raven's right arm, injecting the drugs into her bloodstream. The skin on her left wrist was pulled back down and sealed back together with whatever was in the tube before it was cleaned again and she was left alone.

    One scientist told Silas to merely press the alarm on his wrist-band if she got out of control. And then left.

    It was quiet for a long few minutes before Raven finally moved, rolling to her side with a groan, shudders wracked her frame as the drugs worked their way through her system and after a moment she looked up, hazel eyes snapping to meet light brown ones. Hers were dilated, wild in a way but holding intelligence, defiance...but fear, too, as she scooted back on the bed and into the wall, voice shaking.

    "S-stay away f-from me."
  10. Silas watched Dr. Morgan leave once more scientists appeared and then his light brown eyes scanned over all the instruments used for unchipping Raven and every other agent out there. There was a tray wheeled in with a surgical knife, a tube holding something, cleaning wipes, two syringes filled with yellow and clear liquids, and a case he assumed was used to hold the chip. Raven undressed to her underwear before slipping on black yoga pants and a grey shirt. Both her and Silas didn't seem to be phased by the undressing, and soon the woman was laying down on the bed with her left wrist held out. The scientists got to work quickly, sanitizing her skin before cutting the fake flesh and pulling the chip out carefully. Drugs were injected into the female's right arm simultaneously, and then her left arm was sealed back together with whatever was in the tube. It was cleaned again, and then Raven and Silas were left alone.

    Though, they weren't really left alone. They were being watched by four cameras, after all.

    The drugs worked quickly in the woman's system and she groaned, shuddering before her eyes opened and caught her new handler's. He was about ten feet away from the bed and he stayed where he was.

    "What's your name?" he asked, wondering if Raven was actually her true name or if it was just the program's name.
  11. She watched him carefully, curling more tightly when he spoke, but the question actually caught her off guard and continuously dilated hazel eyes looked out from black hair as she processed that. And then grimaced, gritting her teeth as she brought her hands up to her head, a spasm rolling through her body as her mind fought the drugs and she gasped, clearly in pain even as she won the small battle and her body relaxed again, trembling, but she managed to focus again on Silas.

    After a long minute, she spoke, spat at him more like it.


    Her name was Misha and she...she...didn't want... Misha gave a soft, gasping sob as the pain spiked through her head again, the medication in her system trying to keep in her in a fog. She didn't want to be, though! She wanted out, she didn't want to back into the dark, to be pushed away again, to be smothered and feel like she was suffocating. She curled further, one hand gripping the blanket under her in a white-knuckled grip, trying desperately to stay.
  12. It seemed his question had caught her off guard. People here didn't really give a damn about the agents, did they? As long as they could be controlled completely and did their jobs well, nobody could care less.

    Silas waited for the woman to process the question, but suddenly she was gripping at her head, gasping, obviously in a lot of pain before she seemed to win the small battle with the drugs. She answered him, more like spat, but he didn't take offense to it.

    Misha was her name.

    She gasped again before Silas could say anything further. The gasp was more like a sob this time, though, and she curled further into herself as she clenched tightly onto the blanket. Misha was a strong one. Definitely a strong one.

    "The drugs pain you that much if you fight them?" he asked, more to himself than anything. He was quite curious, but his voice was deep and monotonous, expression nor eyes betraying any emotion. "My codename is Haven. I'll tell you my real name when you're in a better state. I'm your new handler, thought I'd introduce myself to the real you." He headed for the door then, pausing when he hand reached the doorknob. "Is this the only time you're Misha?" he looked back to her.
  13. Haven? She hadn't known that, didn't really know anything in this state. All she knew was that she had fragmented memories of so many different things. None of them made sense and information came and went. A new handler. Please, no... She didn't want to hurt anymore! Misha seemed to press back further into the wall at that information and when he questioned her again, she flinched, giving an audible whimper.

    Emotions and reactions were uninhibited in this state while at the same time they were actively suppressed - or trying to be in Misha's case - and it was clear she was scared of Silas, even more-so knowing he was a handler and it was a long minute before she answered his question, watching him again, studying him, feeling the need to shiver at the blank look on his face, in his eyes. She didn't like him. She didn't like anyone in this place, but she didn't want him near her. He was cold and hard, uncaring and she wanted to be as far away from him as possible. She just wanted to go home.

    Misha didn't know where home was, though. Her mind was so messed up that she couldn't even stay in one state of mind, going between the young woman that she was and then a child, defiant and then scared. There was no rhyme or reason to it.

    She looked at him with soulful, lost hazel eyes and smiled a little, as if she were the wiser of the two, but looking incredibly childlike. "I am never Misha. Never got the chance. I am a shadow, an echo." She curled again, mumbling more words that would never make sense to his ears and maybe they were not really words to be made sense of anyway as her eyes had started to glaze over.
  14. It was very clear she was afraid of Silas. Probably because he was her new handler, but he was sure that his cold and stoney aura was doing any good for him. He wasn't here to hurt her, though. He was only here to help, at least as much as he could. But how much was that?

    He waited patiently for Misha to answer. Their eyes met and her hazel eyes were lost and yet soulful. She smiled, like she knew all the answers in the world, but she looked so... so childlike. Why was that?

    She told him she was never Misha because she never got the chance to be. She was just a 'shadow' and an 'echo'. Somehow, that made incredible sense to Silas and for a moment, he might have looked concerned. But Misha had curled again and her eyes glazed over. The drugs had overpowered her, and now she was just like any other agent.

    Eyes gliding over the woman's drugged figure once more, Silas looked towards the cameras and nodded, giving them the signal to let him out. The door made a muffled, opening sound and the new handler pulled it open before stepping outside and making his way back through the gray walls and to the handler's quarters without needing to ask for help. Once there, he made his way to his room and sat at the table, brown eyes glazing over with thought as he pondered over Misha. That led to how he could handle her, especially during missions. It was extremely dangerous if Misha fought against her program and ended up ruining the mission. She could die that way. And very well Silas, too.

    Not exactly caring to make 'friends' yet, Silas stood from the chair and went to his couch instead, eyes scanning over all the DVDs he brought before putting on in. He didn't have anything else to do, did he?
  15. It was early in the morning - very early - when a knock came to Silas' door. It was an intern telling the new handler that he was needed to help subdue his agent. When Silas was ready, the intern led him down the halls and not to Misha's room, but the microchip unit. Agents were taken there in the morning to be inserted again, but protocol said that handlers had to be present when agents were reinserted. Misha had been without a permanent agent for long enough that most scientists ignored that protocol with her, but Dr. Morgan, while she was not very intimidating around handlers and superiors, could be a terror around her own kind and she'd insisted that proper orders be followed when she'd come in and seen Misha out of control.

    Of course, no trust had been established between the agent and the handler, but they'd start working on that today and in the days to come. Trust, even semi-programmed trust was essential before the pair could go out on missions and now was just a good a time as any to start introducing Silas to the agent he'd accepted on a trial bases. In two weeks, he could decide whether he wanted to transfer to another agent or not.

    In the meantime, the scene he would come upon would be a room full of equipment and a large chair in the middle of the room with straps - currently unoccupied - surgical carts knocked over, vials shattered on the ground and about four scientists trying to subdue the writhing, seething black-haired woman in their midst. The problem was that because Misha fought the drugs, they wore off faster, but it was hard to tell when they were gone completely and when the scientists still had time to keep her mostly compliant. She was now nearly medication free and often, when that happened, she was disoriented, confused, scared, but things her mind had learned while programmed sometimes flared too so while most of her attempts to get away were futile, sometimes an actual, skilled blow landed.

    It was enough to keep her out of the chair and struggling like mad.

    Dr. Morgan met Silas at the door as the intern skirted around them both to go help. "If you can get her calm, that would help. If not, you have the training to subdue her. No serious injuries, please."
    #15 Kaisaan, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  16. The next morning, practically at dawn, Silas heard a knock on his door. He was a light sleeper in circumstances like these and was easily awoken. He opened the door within a few seconds and found an intern standing at his doorway, explaining that Silas was needed to help subdue his agent, Misha. Silas quickly got ready in a more casual suit before following the intern out. He guessed they would have gone to her room again, but instead they went to the microchip unit. There, he learned that agents were taken in the morning to have their chips inserted again.

    The scene before the new handler was... a mess, to put it simply. Vials were shattered, surgical carts were knocked over, and Misha was a writhing, seething woman that no scientist could get a real hold of. The intern left to go help as Dr. Morgan met them at the door, telling Silas to try and get his agent under control. He could basically do anything to her as long as he didn't seriously injure her. He nodded to the female scientist before looking towards the black-haired woman. Light brown eyes scanned her and he realized that, more than she seemed furious, she was absolutely frightened. He wondered if the scientists picked up on that or if they only took such behaviors as defiance.

    Silas became Haven in that moment. He took this situation as one trying to rescue Misha from getting killed or taken captive. He walked towards the group of scientists, keeping his eyes on Misha in hopes of trying to catch her hazel eyes.

    "Move," he directed the scientists and intern. His tone was hard and deep, enough to get their attention. By now he was standing in front of the group, waiting for them to do as he ordered.
  17. Everyone seemed to freeze at the tone, everyone but Misha who wrenched herself away from the hands that had gotten holds on her, executing a flawless nerve-pinch to one of the tighter holds on her wrist and the intern yelped, letting her go immediately. She scrambled back then, hitting the wall at the back of the room and while the group moved back from her, one scientist closing the door securely and locking it, they left her to her new handler.

    Hazel eyes looked around with a combination of frantic desperation and yet calculated intelligence, said states of mind fluctuated rapidly, interweaving and then parting entirely. Her mind was a shattered mess. Eighteen years had done a number on her and such damage would never be completely repaired even if with some very intense work it could be slowly made better, more stable.

    ESIA wasn't looking to do that, though. They just wanted to put a band-aid over everything, repair her enough so she'd work again and call it good. Misha wasn't making that easy for them, though, and when her hazel eyes finally found no escape and settled on Silas, it was clear she wasn't going to simply cooperate with him either. Her fists curled, body shaking with a combination of fear, defiance and the drug leaving her system.

    "Let me go." Despite the fact that she was terrified, her voice didn't shake this time and if she'd been in a better position to be making demands, her tone would have made anyone pause, hissed and dangerous, like a caged mountain cat.
  18. Everybody moved back from Misha after the intern had gotten a flawlessly executed nerve pinch and Silas only took two more steps forward, standing in front and a step to the side from Misha, about five or six feet away from her as she scrambled back to the wall. She looked broken - no, not broken. Completely shattered. Like pick-up-the-pieces-very-carefully-or-else-you'll-get-cut shattered.

    The fighting agent had been in ESIA for eighteen years, and of course that would only take a toll on someone's mind. What Silas didn't understand was the fact that they completely re-programmed people. Couldn't they leave agents' personalities there but just reroute them a bit so they had all the skills they would need? If the agency would just treat them like people, trust and relationships would be gained and there wouldn't be a need for so much fighting agents. And if the few fighting agents didn't want to be here, then who cares? Just let them go. There were always tons of homeless children on the streets (though Silas also didn't like the fact that they just picked up children and forced them to be agents, not giving them the love and compassion children should get from parents).

    But, no. Silas cared, but he didn't care enough. He couldn't care enough. Otherwise he wouldn't be able to do this job that he spent almost his whole life training for.

    Misha's voice rang in his ears. Even though she looked terrified and her body trembled, her voice didn't shake at all and it was strong. He looked her simply.

    "Do you remember who I am?"
  19. For a moment, Misha paused and her head titled, not hostile, but curious as if she were truly trying to place him. She looked for all the world like a child listening to a story or trying to remember a lesson she'd been taught from years ago. She was trying to sort through the memories she had, but they were scattered, tumultuous and they didn't follow any kind of order. Just when she thought she'd come across something real, it would fade away like mist and more images would replace it, none of them concrete, having no anchor. She remembered so much and yet nothing at all.

    But.... He was Haven. Haven was her....handler.

    Hazel eyes hardened as that sank in, memories, more concrete ones running through her head and Misha pressed back further into the wall, that same fear from the night before in her gaze. And warning, there was clear threat there too, like she'd be happy to snap his fingers off if he so much as tried to touch her.

    "Yeah. You're the b****** who's going to let them screw with me some more."

    It was reasons like this that ESIA would defend itself and say that reprogramming completely was needed. In other agencies, there was betrayal, side-switching, rogue agents, lies, deceit. In ESIA, none of that was possible. The agents who rebelled were taken care of and the agency was never betrayed. The majority of the agents were compliant and the system worked well. It was only a few cases like Misha where things got....complicated.
  20. His emotionless eyes scanned her face as she recalled her memories. Those too, though, were surely just as shattered as Misha was. With almost constant programming and drugs, how could anybody keep up with so many memories that weren't exactly theirs in the first place?

    But soon her eyes had hardened and she tried pressing further into the wall. She seemed to recall this suited man, but there was also a type of warning in her eyes. Silas listened to her answer.

    Well. It was true enough.

    "Basically," he concurred simply. And then he paused again, analyzing this woman in front of him. After a few seconds, he met her eyes again. "Why are you so frightened?" Of course, he wouldn't want to be in her situation either. But he wasn't going to hurt her. Had the scientists and other handlers hurt her?
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