Watermark

The answers I received last night have only served to open the floodgates. I taped everything and will do my best to transcribe it as it happened here. All I can do is start from the beginning…

I met Pierre on the second floor of Watermark. His reaction was not what I expected to see, granted we had not seen each other in some time, but the way he looked at me I can really only describe as a conflicted look of awe and horror. The first few minutes were filled with him taking sips of water and repeating, “You look remarkable!” every now and then replaced with, “It’s unbelievable!” Eventually he carried on with, “Forgive me, may I?” as he looked over my hair, flipped my hands over to study them, and inundated me with questions.

It wasn’t until after the server had come and gone with our orders that Pierre opened up. “Stacy, I was there…” He choked up, his eyes watered as he tried to keep his voice as low as possible I had no idea what was happening, so I asked him frankly where. “Stacy, I was there when you died.”

Any attempt to give a detailed account of what happened next would be impossible, from the moment these words left his lips my head started spinning. I remember standing up from the table, running down the stairs and into the street where I collapsed into darkness.

I woke up on my couch at home, I don’t know how long I was out for. (After reviewing the tape, there is an hour span of background noises: footsteps, car doors, and Pierre instructing his driver to my house) Across the room in the armchair, Pierre was petting Lovelace. “Such intuitive animals aren’t they? Isaac said the dog stayed upset when Stacy died and never warmed up to you. Isaac was remarkable at his research, recreating the brain, extracting and recreating memories is a meticulous job. He could have made this dog love you but for some reason chose to keep its memories intact, perhaps to give himself some kind of hold on reality. We’re all sick. Death is a disease. One I intend to cure.”

Pierre reached for something on the other arm of the chair. “Isaac’s copy of Frankenstein by Bram Stoker. You have so much in common. Do you recall the terror the monster felt when Dr. Frankenstein abandoned him?” He thumbed the pages and stopped for a moment then read, “Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful than thyself; my height is superior to thine, my joints more supple. But I will not be tempted to set myself in opposition to thee. I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.”

“It’s just like Isaac to abandon his monster. You’re a prototype, an amazing prototype I must admit. Early in our research we discovered we could extract Alzheimer patient’s memories, perform surgery on the brain to cure the disorder, and replant the memories so there was no loss after the surgery. This lead to the idea of extracting memories and turning them on, so to speak, in a controlled computer simulation. Your husband simply stumbled into creating artificial intelligence. The tragedy of it all struck when he scanned your brain trying to isolate the brain matter to extract for Alzheimer treatment and saw the cancer.”

“After Isaac stumbled on AI, I knew the implications of the breakthrough. I was able to secure seed money for our new Alzheimer treatment, but instead of using it for that, I poured every dime into building humanoid machines. The idea was simple but complex in execution and it required your husband. Once Isaac understood, there was no stopping him. Isaac fought the board and almost lost his job over you, he demanded you know the truth from the beginning of your procedure. I saw the passion in his eyes, he was determined to save you. I let him. Stacy didn’t.”

“Isaac begged Stacy to let him go on with the procedure, but she begged him to let her go. She became paranoid, Isaac even found notes scattered across the house that Stacy left explaining to whatever came after her about her wishes to die. Immortality was something she was going to deny herself access to so Isaac played God and killed her. In Isaac’s mind she was already dead, or rather he saw himself saving her from death. The board became concerned when one of our prototypes was unaccounted for. I understood immediately what he’d done. Isaac confessed everything to me. I didn’t want to fully believe it until I received your call and was still in denial up until the very moment you walked up to our table this evening.”

“I don’t know what is truly in there”, he pointed at me, “whether you’re just a rewiring of Stacy’s brain or if you are her. I can’t pretend to understand, but I am no Isaac and whether you choose to live or die is solely up to you. I knew Stacy for a long time and I know what Stacy would do. Take my card, when you’re ready call me.”

I’ve been holding his card for the last hour wondering when I’ll call.

-Stacy

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2 thoughts on “Watermark

  1. So, Isaac used your body? Makes me wonder who the body in the basement belonged to. Have you looked at pictures of Stacy?…the old Stacy?

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    1. Keith, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around everything Pierre said. The body in the basement was mine or rather Stacy’s. After Isaac killed Stacy, he used whatever technology Pierre referred to as “humanoid machines” to create whatever or whoever I am. .

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