July 23, 1997

It was a scrambled dream about being a telepath in the service of a highly paranoid secret service. It's something like Lois McMaster Bujold's universe view, but first-hand. I was one of the telepaths that was being trained to not only to interrogations but then do a mental slip knot and cut my own memories of the interrogation from my own head. Or to have one of my telepathy instructors do it for me.

I'd then be fast-penta'ed and interrogated myself, without any self-defenses as to what I'd spill, about what I remembered. The only way to satisfy my masters was to forget, utterly. To have the memory and the time erased from my life.

If I failed the fast-penta interrogation they'd then do a chemical brain wipe of the time, the medtechs able to pull the associations out of my brain, even if the memories themselves were left in there, i.e. access was cut eventhough the data imprint was still left in the synaptic strengths of the nerves. The only way to get back through that was to make a list of things to remember, before hand, and if I could look at the list after and remember any one of those items, the association made by making the list was enough to drag up the others. But that meant even a moment alone to make a list, which didn't happen very often.

It was an odd existance, where, once again, patchy memories was the norm, and there were big black holes of knowledge about my own experiences that were just there, and I'd fall into 'em and get out of 'em and shrug. In one interrogation, the interrogator in charge had a list of things that he'd remind me of before the interrogation and they were always a new surprise. What was hardest was always coming to them new, never remembering what to expect and, therefore, never really being able to defend myself against the utter terror and defenselessness and utter bravery of the victim and the mad, objectifying, ripping arrogance of the interrogator.

It always hurt and I was always glad to get the memories erased until I read the thoughts of a resistance fighter who's eyes blazed at me and he wanted me to remember so that they couldn't use me for this again.

That's when things got frightening and confusing, because I started to fight the knots, deliberately step into the black holes and try to tear them open. Time got all patchy as my instructors and the chief interrigator and the medtechs started to try and erase my personality as well in big patches. But I'd done that before. <wry grin> It's it odd when real life gets mixed into a dream? For a moment, I just was, in my head, completely disconnected from all the experiences that had made me me, but I still was. And my need, my desire, my focus was to have it all back.

And I started untying.

Bursts of pain, of screaming, of kisses and crying, of dark chambers and darker thoughts, of destroyed lifes and murdered loves, of touches I'd forgotten, of burning punishments before they'd thought to just tie it all into the dark... It was a fight just to keep them all in my head, to try and organize was impossible. And it was all inside.

Outside, I'd learned how to act just as they wanted me to act. Inside, I tied and untied and found the chaotic mind whirl that would make my telepathic instructor's eyes wince all the time, wheither or not my powers were turned on with the drug I needed. I horded them, associated them, nerve deep, with the pain of the interrogations, so that whenever I thought them, a blast of pain would make the watcher just turn away. Gradually, I started using my powers to free the others. Tying them and then untying them when they wanted to be untied. Giving them the defenses I'd come up with, learning with them, sharing with them. Some of us died defending our new ability into the darkness. But others of us started to truly be together. I fell in love with a lovely woman with dark hair and eyes like mirrors and a mind so lithe she always took my breath away.

Have you ever made love to someone who's thoughts and emotions and feelings you could share, utterly?

We were planning on how to get out, to break things down when I woke to the sound of David rummaging about with the toilet downstairs to drain it and unhook it to take it off and out to the garage.

I think we would have made it.

© 1997 Liralen Li

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