Outside the boardroom of Minds Inc, Robert paced back and forth.
“Animus lets you enter someone’s mind
and experience their memories,” he thought.
“Yeah, that’s how I’ll say it.
Animus lets you enter someone’s mind and experience their memories.”
Short and to the point.
An executive opened the door.
“Mr. Snow, we’re ready.”
He removed his phone from his pocket
and made sure it was on silent.
He entered the room and walked to the front.
Thirteen black suits sat around a long wooden table, watching him.
Robert cleared his throat.
“Hi, I’m Robert Snow,
“大家好 我是Robert Snow
the inventor of Animus.”
They stared blankly.
He pulled a tiny device out of his pocket and held it in the air:
it looked like an MP3 player with earphones attached.
“Animus lets you enter someone’s mind and experience their memories.”
The room stayed silent.
John Minds, the CEO, gestured towards an empty seat.
CEO John Minds指着一个空位
“Mr. Snow, can you uh, demonstrate it for us?”
Robert walked over to John and placed one of the ends in his ear.
“So you put the receiver in one ear, like this.”
He took a seat and placed the other end in his own ear.
“You put the sender in like this.”
Robert lifted the central console and placed his thumb in the middle.
“Then you press play.”
He pushed down.
In an instant,
Robert and John were 18,000 feet above ground, falling from the sky.
Unconsciously, John let out a shout.
His heart raced, as he looked around and saw Robert next to him,
falling without a parachute.
He reached behind his own back and realized he had no chute either.
He yelled at Robert.
Robert wrapped his hand around his ear and yelled.
The wind howled past them as they plummeted towards the Earth.
John tried again.
Robert gave him a thumbs up.
John watched the ground approach his face.
We’re gonna die!”
Robert smiled, and they hit the ground.
John woke up screaming.
He stood up, took a deep breath, and analyzed his body.
他站了起来 深吸一口气 然后检查了身体
What just happened?”
Robert removed the Animus from John’s ear.
“You weren’t in any real danger.”
He walked to the front of the room.
“You experienced one of my memories.”
“You fell from the sky without a parachute?”
I took a memory of skydiving and altered it a bit.
I extended the free fall and got rid of the parachute.”
John shook his head.
He looked at a nearby executive.
“How long were we gone for?”
“F-five seconds, sir.”
John looked at Robert.
“How’s that possible?”
“In the Animus, time flows like it does in a dream.
Five seconds here can feel like thirty minutes in there.”
“How does it work?”
“Well, the sender loads a memory into the Animus.
When he pushes play,
the receiver experiences it with him.”
John gestured towards the door.
“I need everyone to leave.
You’re dismissed for the day.”
Everyone got up and left.
John looked at Robert and smiled.
“OK Mr. Snow.
You have my attention.
What do you want from me?”
“I’ve worked on this for the last ten years.
I put my life savings into it—”
“So you want money?”
“No. It’s not about money.
It’s more than that.
I think it can change the world.
It can be bigger than the written word.
Imagine a world where anyone can experience someone else’s story.”
“Exactly. This…this is bigger than business.
But you think too small Robert.”
“What do you mean?”
“Experiencing a memory is nice,
but imagine if we could change them.
Instead of experiencing someone’s story, we could write it.”
“What do you mean?”
“World peace, Robert.
A fight starts because people see the world differently.
Don’t you agree?”
“Imagine if we all shared the same story—
no more fights.”
“I can’t imagine that kind of world.”
“Do you believe in truth?”
“If the truth exists,
it must be the same for everyone, right?
It has to be the same story—the true point of view.”
“We can create a better world.
A world of Einstein’s.
A world of Shakespeare’s.”
John stood up.
“A world of Robert Snow’s.”
“I-I don’t know.
I made it for the people.”
“I’m with you Rob.
But the world is moved forward by a handful of great people.
People don’t know what they want.
They’re like birds in a cage.
You wanna give them freedom?
Learn to open the cage for them.”
“And how do I do that?”
John walked over to a giant window overlooking the city.
“These people won’t appreciate you Rob.
Animus will be nothing more than a toy to them—
a fancy video game.
You’re naive if you think they’ll use it for experiences
beyond the bedroom, partying, or a cheap thrill”
“I have to think about it.”
“Think about this.
How many people do you know reading Shakespeare? Dostoyevsky?”
“How many people do you know studying Beethoven? Mozart?”
You think Animus will be different?
These people aren’t like us Robert.
They’ll just use it to escape their problems
like they always have.
Instead of becoming better, they want life to be easier,
and it’ll never be easy enough for them.
But we can make them stronger.”
“I have to think about it.”
“By all means, think about it.
But remember, you came to Minds for a reason, didn’t you?”
但别忘了 你来到Minds是有原因的 不是吗？”
“And what was the reason?”
“You can get it into every home.”
You think I got powerful by giving the people
what they want?
I give them what they need,
even when they don’t know they need it.
That’s why I own the biggest building here.
That’s why you’re the one coming to me and not the other way around.”
Robert stayed quiet.
“Now go home and think about it.
But remember Mr. Snow, all roads lead back to me.
Take it to another company?
I’ll buy them out.
Get it to market?
I’ll have my best scientists tear it apart
and figure out how it works.
Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.
It’s your destiny to bring Animus into the world,
and it’s mine to take it to the next level.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of progress.
We can do great things together.”
As Robert exited the room, John yelled after him.
“I want the same thing you do: a better world.”
On the way back to his car, Robert pulled out his phone.
He had missed three calls from the same number.
He opened a voicemail they had left and gave it a listen.
“Hi Mr. Snow.
I’m calling from St. Catherines hospital.”
Robert’s heart sank.
“It’s about your mother.
She got into a severe car accident,
and well, she’s in a coma.
We’re not sure if she’ll make it through the night.”
Robert got in his car and drove towards the hospital.
Robert stared at his mother, her face pale and expressionless,
Robert看着母亲 她脸色苍白 神情呆滞
her body lacerated from the crash.
She appeared lifeless.
“Where are you,” he thought.
“Where are you going?”
He walked to the door and peered through the glass,
ensuring that no one was in the hallway.
He pulled the Animus out of his bag
and grabbed a toque from his coat pocket.
Robert connected the receiver piece to his temple,
concealing it under the toque.
He sat in the chair next to her,
connected the sender to her temple,
and positioned her head to the side.
“Here goes nothing,” he said and switched it on.
Robert stood on a lawn, between two spruce trees.
The winter wind cut through his down jacket, and the snow climbed up to his knees.
He looked ahead and saw his childhood home.
It gave a welcoming glow against the starry night.
Holiday lights hung from the rooftop,
and a small tree illuminated the window.
He walked up to the door and gave it a knock.
After a few moments, it opened, and his mom appeared.
不一会儿 门开了 妈妈出现在门口
She immediately hugged him.
“Robert? What are you doing here?”
Robert embraced her tightly.
“I’m here to see you.”
That technology I told you I was working on, it works.
We’re in one of your memories.”
She took a step back and smiled.
“You always were such a smart boy.
Your dad will be so proud.
Why don’t we call him over and tell him?”
Robert raised his eyebrows.
His mother turned and yelled. “George!”
他妈妈转过身 喊了喊 “George！”
Robert stepped inside.
“He won’t be able to see me mom.”
“Why not?” she asked, as George walked into the room.
“为什么不能？” George走进房间时 她问道
Robert’s eyes swelled with tears.
He last saw his dad when he was a kid.
“Because only you and I are connected.
I can experience any of your memories,
but I can’t interact with them.”
George approached his wife.
She looked at her husband and shut the door.
“Yeah, I thought someone was here,
but I must have heard wrong. Sorry.”
George gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Oh Daisy, you’re crazy you know that?
“哦 Daisy 你有点神经质 知道吗？”
Come, I’m about to give Robby his Christmas present.”
He led her upstairs to a spare room,
and Robert followed behind them.
The room was empty—except for some carpet, a small chair and desk,
and a simple, wooden bookshelf.
George called out.
“Robby, you can come look now.”
Little Robby walked into the room
with a blanket in one hand and a book in the other.
He looked around.
George lifted his arms to the walls.
“Yeah, it’s your own library.”
Little Robby lifted his book into the air.
“But I already have one.”
“That’s why I got you more.”
“But I like this one.”
George got down on one knee.
“But it’s the only one you’ve read.
How do you know you won’t like one of these more?”
“This one has pirates in it.”
George grabbed a book from the shelf.
“So does this one.”
He opened it up to show Robby the pictures.
“But in this one, they go to space.”
Little Robert’s eyes lit up.
I’ll read it to you before bed tonight.
Now let’s go set up the dinner table.”
George lifted his son and carried him down the stairs.
Robert looked at his mom and laughed.
“I don’t remember being such a brat.
This was always my favourite gift.”
“I know. You never left it.
I can’t remember how many times I brought your dinner up here so you would eat.”
“Every day, probably.
This room was the inspiration for Animus.”
“Oh? How so?”
“Well, I spent every day here in someone else’s mind,
experiencing their world.
I wanted to create for the world what dad created for me.”
“Your dad would be happy to hear that.”
Of all memories, I wonder why you thought of this one.”
“I think about it often.
It’s the best memory I have, but it’s also the worst.
I guess I could never let go of it.”
Robert hugged her.
“Sometimes you need a little darkness to see the beauty of the light.
What time does he go?”
“After dinner, when I send him out for dessert.”
Daisy stepped back.
“Now come join us for dinner.
You can eat, right?”
I can experience what you experience.
So anything you can taste or smell, I can too.”
“Great,” she said, as they walked down to the kitchen.
“很好” 她说 他们向厨房走去
George pulled the turkey out of the oven and placed it on the table.
“Dinner is served.”
They all sat down.
Daisy looked to her husband.
“George, can you say grace?”
They all held hands.
“For a roof that keeps us safe, clothes that keep us warm,
love that makes life worth living,
and food that keeps us strong,
we thank you Lord for these gifts.”
Everyone bowed their heads.
They began eating.
It had been years since Robert had a good meal.
He ate every thing: roasted turkey with cranberry sauce,
warm stuffing, and creamy potatoes.
After a few bites, George looked up from his newspaper.
“Honey, listen to what this critic said about my short story.
‘A life changing read.
George Snow is an upcoming talent.’”
She took a sip of water.
“That’s incredible Georgie.
I’m so proud of you.”
“Wait til they read the novel.
It has more than a hundred characters.”
“I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep up.”
“Well, the one’s who care will.”
George got back to reading the paper.
“I don’t remember dad working on a novel,” thought Robert.
He watched his younger self flipping through the space pirate book.
After they finished eating,
Daisy scooped up the plates and put them in the sink.
She turned towards George.
“Hey honey, I forgot to grab dessert.
Do you think you could get some?”
He rubbed his stomach and smiled.
“Definitely. I’ll be right back.”
George put on his coat, his hat, and exited the house.
Daisy and Robert watched him leave from the window.
“Mom, do you think dad’s sad about the novel?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he never got to publish it.
It could’ve changed the world, right?”
But who knew those books would be such a big deal?”
“Yeah, the library!
Bet he never thought it would lead to Animus.”
“Sometimes the smallest actions make the biggest difference.”
“Yeah, I guess.
Mom, I need your help with something.”
Robert heard a beeping sound.
Daisy stared ahead without making a sound.
The beeping got faster.
The memory grew darker.
Robert put a hand on his mother’s shoulder.
The beeping grew faster.
He hugged her as the memory continued to fade.
“Mom? Mom! Mom!”
The memory collapsed, and he woke up screaming in the hospital room.
He removed the animus and put it into his pocket.
But the beeping grew faster and faster.
The emergency alarms went off, and a doctor rushed into the room.
Robert kept screaming, but he was asked to leave the room.
At 6:54 AM, Daisy was pronounced dead.
A few weeks later, Robert placed the Animus on his workbench.
It had been prepared for John.
He sipped whiskey and looked around the garage.
Tools lined the walls.
“Ten years,” he thought.
“Ten years. Never thought it would end like this.”
Robert took another sip and gave John a call.
“John. It’s Robert.”
“John 是我 Robert”
“Robert. Have you made a decision?”
“I have. You were right.”
“Destiny. Our destiny. They’re intertwined.
The Animus is yours.”
“I’m glad to hear that.
I’m in the office now if you wanna come by.”
“See you soon.”
“See you soon,” Rob said and hung up.
He finished off his drink and called a cab.
Robert entered John’s office on the top floor of the Minds building.
“Robert, great to see you.”
John extended his arm forward.
“You too John,” said Robert and shook his hand.
“我也是 John” Robert说 并跟他握了握手
He admired the view.
“Nice view, eh.”
“Come. Sit down. Show me what you got.”
“来吧 坐下 让我看看你带来的东西”
Robert took a seat at John’s desk and pulled out the Animus.
“It rewrites memories, just like you asked.”
Robert handed it to John.
“John, can you do me a favour?”
“What is it?”
“Rewrite my memory.
Make me forget I ever made the Animus.”
John’s eyes widened.
“I can’t move forward knowing I put this into the world.
But I know it needs to be done.”
“S-sure. I can do that Robert.
How do I do it?”
Robert put the receiver in his own ear.
“Put the sender in your ear.
I’m gonna think about creating the Animus,
and you think of a memory to replace it with.”
“Alright, I got it.”
“Now, press play.”
John pressed his thumb down.
They both stood on a beach.
John looked at Robert.
“Did it work? We’re in the memory I imagined.”
Robert looked at John and smiled.
Back in John’s office,
their eyes rolled back, and they collapsed to the floor—
trapped in an eternally looping memory.
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