The sound of waves hitting the pier had made her fall asleep. She had napped on his legs for a while. The sun was glazing up the small waves on the water. Runners were passing by, the sound of their sneakers hitting the ground rhythmically. She smelled the sea air and a slight stench of fish from the stores nearby. The water was deep blue.
“You missed all the boats, my girl. Did you have a nice nap?”
She looked up into the blacked-out face of her father.
They sat on the bench for a bit longer, watching the last few boats coming to the pier before sunset. She started to feel chilly and he put his warm coat around her. His blacked-out face would have smiled if it were visible.
It was Sam’s first memory, her first digital memory. A false memory with no truth in it. It felt real, but there was no distinction between real and fake memories anymore. They were simple to implant and children quickly believed them, especially when they were made to dream of them every night. She looked up her parents once she was old enough and allowed to. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother had a history of addiction to synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs became widely available shortly after implants had taken off. They were the worst of both worlds, addiction through your body and implant. Even if you were clean on one, you could still be addicted on the other. People ended up in spirals of never-ending addiction until they would pull the trigger, or a trigger would get pulled on them. Neither the government nor the distributors liked the outcome, so the next generations of drugs were safer and cheaper. Why make your customers kill themself after a few months when you can keep them addicted their whole life?
Taken and raised by the government, Sam had gotten her first implant when she was three. Fake memories of her family included. She was a lab rat for the government and was supposed to turn into an upstanding citizen, paying her debts and taxes. On all official documents and records, she was only a number like everyone else; a number bound to her DNA.
She managed to access the government’s data on her but was never able to overwrite or change it. She did the next best thing and bought hundreds of identities from the dark web. Her custom implants would mimic biometrics and swap between the identities as she pleased. Her eye implants would swap color and shape of her retina, the skin of her fingers would change their pattern, and the small places in which blood was taken for verification was directly cultivated under her skin. It was extremely convenient for all the illegal work she was doing. She would swap identities after every job and get some new ones whenever she needed them.
“Wake up Sam. Wake up.”
The memory repeated itself.
Was she dreaming? Why was she stuck in here? This memory would only show up when her implants were turned off. She tried to remember the last things that had happened.
She was with him. They were doing some kind of job. A routine job. It spiraled out of control. Slowly the memories of the past few days came back.