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Fossilized Remembrance: Chapter Two

by Ari11


“Are you going to start getting ready to leave, Dr. Bailey?” the second scientist asked, gathering all their belongings into a bag. “It’s going to be lights-out soon.”

“In a minute,” the first woman replied, scribbling something down on her notepad. “I have to document this interaction.”

The second scientist peered through the window and down the containment shaft at the two small figures standing at the bottom.

“They seem to be getting along well,” they observed. Dr. Bailey nodded.

“For the most part. There was a spike of distress in both of their readings for a moment…if I look back at Patient J’s mental reconstruction…” she enlarged a window in the corner of one of the monitors, winding it back to around nine minutes before. “Yes, there. He was protecting the photo of Patient A.”

“That’s a good sign,” the second scientist nodded.

“Indeed,” Dr. Bailey continued to watch the transmitted brainwaves, eyes scanning for any spikes in Patient J’s emotional state. “He seems to have developed quite a bond to the photo, and become protective of it…that’s definitely some good progress.”

She rolled her chair over to the window, peering down at her patients below. They seemed to be talking about something, pointing up at the fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling.

“Naturally, the next step would be to introduce Patient A to Patient J,” Dr. Bailey murmured, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. “But seeing as we still haven’t recovered them…what’s the status on the search for Austin Green?”

“From what I’ve heard, not much has happened,” the second scientist replied, setting their bag on the table next to Dr. Bailey and finding a chair of their own. “Patient A has been extremely elusive, despite our best efforts. It would be much easier if the Blast hadn’t taken out nearly all of our electronic equipment…as of right now, the team is still searching for Patient A on foot.”

“They haven’t been able to fix any of the scanners?” Dr. Bailey asked. The second scientist shook their head.

“No. It’ll take a great deal of generated electricity, as well as hardware that we simply do not have. We’ve tried sifting through the ruins of old cities for supplies, but so far--nothing. The Blast was very thorough in crippling us, technologically as well as physically.”

The second scientist followed Dr. Bailey’s gaze to the redheaded Patient J, who was explaining something very animatedly to Patient C. The second scientist narrowed their eyes.

“I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with them,” they told Dr. Bailey, standing up. “They’re just taking up space. If anything, we should send them to the Colony. Then at least they could help us instead of hindering us.”

“We need to know what happened, though,” Dr. Bailey moved away from the window, fixing her counterpart with a stern look. “Don’t you think it's strange that they all lost their memories at the same time, on the same day? And both Patient J and Patient A should’ve died in that explosion…yet Patient J is perfectly fine.”

“Lots of weird things have happened over the past year,” the second scientist rolled their eyes. “We’ve got supernovas and the Affected to worry about, and you’re sitting here studying a bunch of teenagers who are missing a few memories. It’s a waste of resources!”

“They’re not just missing a few memories,” Dr. Bailey retorted, standing up to match the second scientist. She was a bit shorter than them, but not by much. “They’re missing everything! And we still don’t know why. Don’t you want to know what occurred that day, Dr. Dennison?”

“I don’t care about things that happened in the past, Orpha,” Dr. Dennison retorted sharply. “I’m more concerned about how the Colony is going to survive the winter. All we’ve got for food is some flour and potatoes. Tell me–how are two thousand people going to make it through December with only bread and soup? We don’t even have a good water supply to speak of!”

Dr. Bailey lowered her eyes, pursing her lips as she stared at the ground. Dr. Dennison took a few breaths, shaking their head.

“You’re a brilliant scientist, Orpha, you really are,” they said in a softer tone. “But you’re wasting it on these kids. Go back to the Colony–do something productive for a change! We need you.”

“The kids need me, too,” Dr. Bailey protested, pointing at the shaft. “Without me, they’ll never get their memories back. They’ll never get answers!”

“Is it the kids that want the answers, or you?” Dr. Dennison asked. Dr. Bailey went silent. “Look, I can’t force you to do anything. You have to make that choice yourself. I’m just saying…maybe you need to re-examine your motivations here.”

With that they scooped their bag off the table and marched to the door, disappearing behind the sliding metal. Dr. Bailey watched them go, chewing the inside of her cheek. Then she turned back to her desk, watching the line on Patient J’s brain monitor go up and down, up and down. 


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Fri Jul 28, 2023 5:18 pm
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hiya! This is Orabella, here to give you an (unfortunately) short review.

Another chapter, another mystery. There seems to be some sort of colony that's disconnected from the place they're in now. Food supplies are short, and it seems the cause of this was an untimely supernova. Only a few thousand people are left (where they are at the moment, at least). I wonder if most of everyone died.

Also, I love the inclusion of (or what I assume is) non-binary people. If I'm wrong about that, please correct me.

We can also see the characters through their words. Dr. Orpha Bailey is curious and she feels responsible (I think) of the patients. Dr. Dennison is concerned on how they'll survive.

And that's the end of my review (sorry about that). I'm afraid I'm crazy busy today but I really wanted to read the latest chapter. Know that I do love this story and I wish I could comment more (and actually read it more than once through). But seriously great job on this. It's very hooking and I want to know more about their situation.

Keep writing!




Ari11 says...


No worries about the shortness of the review, I'm just glad to know that you liked it! Yes, Dr. Dennison and Patient A are both non-binary, as am I. It seems like there isn't a lot of non-binary representation in books and stuff, so I decided I'd start making my own XD

Clara is also Aro-Ace, but that doesn't really come up in the story...



OrabellaAvenue says...


That's really nice. I don't usually see LGBTQ representations in books, particularly non-binary people. It always gives me happiness when I see that, although I'm not exactly a part of the community.



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Thu Jul 27, 2023 9:22 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



You tagged, therefore I'm here to crack on with chapter two!

“Are you going to start getting ready to leave, Dr. Bailey?” the second scientist asked, gathering all their belongings into a bag. “It’s going to be lights-out soon.”

Ooh I like that we're getting both the points of view of the patient and the scientist. I love a dual narrative so I'm definitely on board.

“Yes, there. He was protecting the photo of Patient A.”

“That’s a good sign,” the second scientist nodded.

This has me wondering how they're ever going to do anything without the scientists noticing. I feel like we're starting to set up for how difficult it would be for them to ever escape.

“No. It’ll take a great deal of generated electricity, as well as hardware that we simply do not have. We’ve tried sifting through the ruins of old cities for supplies, but so far--nothing. The Blast was very thorough in crippling us, technologically as well as physically.”

This is good for setting the scene - now I know that not much time has passed since this blast event!

“The kids need me, too,” Dr. Bailey protested, pointing at the shaft. “Without me, they’ll never get their memories back. They’ll never get answers!”

“Is it the kids that want the answers, or you?” Dr. Dennison asked. Dr. Bailey went silent. “Look, I can’t force you to do anything. You have to make that choice yourself. I’m just saying…maybe you need to re-examine your motivations here.”

Ooh I like this as tension too. I'm still not sure I trust the scientists, but I definitely trust Dr. Bailey more than Dr. Dennison!

I'm still too early to make predictions I think, but I like the balance in information and questions we're getting at the moment, and the pacing seems right.

See you for chapter three!

Icy




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Thu Jul 27, 2023 9:23 am
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FluorescentAnt wrote a review...



Hi! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Yesss another chapter of this series! And thanks for tagging me by the way. Probably wouldn’t have seen it if you didn’t.

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know
So we have gone back to the perspective of the scientists. Interesting. And they are having an argument because Dr. Bailey is studying the patients a lot and Dr. Dennison thinks it’s time to let go. It’s good that you revealed their names. I guess we couldn’t call them “first and second scientist” forever. This chapter also reveals a lot of stuff about the apocalypse. I like that you are revealing things but by bit, and not all once.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements
I think you could have added a little visual description on the lab where the scientists are working. You haven’t yet given us any information about what it looks like, so I think it would be easier to visualize if we had some descriptions. Unless, of course, the writing style for this piece is meant to be vague. (I might have said that in the last review)

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece
Like I said, you did really well in keeping the suspense. We still don’t know a lot, but each chapter you give us a little more details that are out of context. Which makes the reader want to keep reading the story, and read the next chapters.

Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts
This is another suspenseful chapter overall. I am so excited to continue reading this series! Happy writing!

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