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Fossilized Remembrance: Prologue

by Ari11


“Any progress on the patient so far?”

“No. His vital signs are stable, but there isn’t any indication of unusual brain activity.” A woman in a white lab coat typed something into her computer, listening to the steady beep of her patient’s heartbeat on the monitor. “Oh, wait! There is something!”

“What is it?” Another scientist leaned over the first woman’s shoulder, eagerly inspecting the screen.

“Hang on…” the first woman leaned closer to the computer, the skin between her eyebrows furrowing as they moved closer together. “Actually, false alarm. He’s thinking about frogs.”

“Frogs?” the second scientist raised an eyebrow. “Well, that could be something. Is there any record of him knowing about frogs before?”

“Let me check.” the first woman pressed a button on her desk and a second screen appeared, this one displaying a log dating back to the previous six months.

11/17/2052/ Patient J is familiar with Case 77.

11/16/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of Planet Earth.

11/15/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of desolation.

The first woman scrolled all the way down to the bottom, her eyes scanning each entry as it went past.

5/04/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of love.

5/03/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of consciousness.

5/02/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of having a name.

“There’s nothing in here about frogs,” the first woman muttered, scrolling back up to the latest entry. “That’s a new thing for him.”

“Put it in the database,” the second scientist ordered. The first woman opened a fresh text box, typing in the date and the words:

11/18/2052/ Patient J is familiar with the concept of frogs.

“This is good,” the second scientist murmured excitedly, bouncing a little on the back of the first woman’s chair. “We haven’t introduced any animal-related stimuli. He’s recovered this memory all on his own!”

“Indeed,” the first woman rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “He may be recovering the neural pathways related to mundane memories. I would think he’d react first to something more intense, like Patient A, but I suppose this is still a good sign.”

“Why do you think he’s not responding to the Patient A stimuli?” the second scientist asked.

“I don’t know,” the first woman replied, shaking her head. “Patient J seems to be having difficulty with the concept of human connection. It’s creating a bit of a roadblock in his mental facilities. Perhaps he’d have an easier time understanding it if we took him out of that bubble for once. After all, he’s been stuck in there for the entirety of his recollected life.”

The second scientist tilted their head. “What are you suggesting?”

“We give him a friend,” the first woman responded, turning to look at the second scientist. “Patient C would be a good fit. Her caring nature would mesh well with Patient J’s disposition. It’ll help him understand the concept of connection.”

“But that may cause a neural overcross,” the second scientist pointed out. “The reason we keep him in that bubble is to ensure he makes as little new memories as possible. It is imperative that he recovers the old ones first.”

“But he can’t understand the old ones if he doesn’t have anything new to compare them to,” the first woman stated firmly. “The human brain is notorious for only being able to understand strange things through comparison to familiar things. In this case, his relationship with Patient C will be seen as similar to his connection to Patient A, allowing him to understand the importance of Patient A. That will create an opening for us to finally recover those previous memories.”

“But what if he loses the old ones instead?” the second scientist wondered. “What if he becomes too attached to Patient C and doesn’t want to remember Patient A?”

“His love for Patient A is too strong,” the first woman replied, turning and leaning over her desk to look down at the chamber below. At the bottom of the round, white shaft was a single bed. Sitting at the edge of the bed was a boy with an explosion of vivid red hair, staring intently at a picture on the wall. “He’ll remember. Eventually.”


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Sat Sep 16, 2023 3:42 pm
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Rose wrote a review...



Greetings Storyteller!

Beyond my beloved horizon, I'm setting sail into uncharted pages with an itch for adventure. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye a captivating story titled “Fossilized Remembrance” that deserves a good review. Therefore without further ado, let us begin.

Image

I. It all Begins at the Beginning
There is this thing about mysteries, they always come with some sort of complex riddle or indescribable paradox and keep you in a pit of suspense at all times.
That is exactly the tone of your tale when it opens with several questions about a patient. A patient of whom we only know his ID, he is apparently patient J.

There is definitely some creepy experiment going on, an experiment of which we still don't know if it meant for good or (cue the dramatic music) EVIL....
It is, however, clear that the scientist are trying to revive the memories of patient J. There must be something valuable about them, or the patient must have known something that could eb of value to the scientists. But again, I do not have the faintest idea as to why they are trying to do that.

II. Ups and Downs
When I read this part and take a closer look at the the terms "patient", "vital signs", "scientist" and "monitor", I can point out that they are probably in a laboratory.

“Any progress on the patient so far?”

“No. His vital signs are stable, but there isn’t any indication of unusual brain activity.” A woman in a white lab coat typed something into her computer, listening to the steady beep of her patient’s heartbeat on the monitor. “Oh, wait! There is something!”

“What is it?” Another scientist leaned over the first woman’s shoulder, eagerly inspecting the screen.

But if you really were aiming for a eerie atmosphere, you could consider describing the setting a bit more. Not that you literally need to describe the microscopes, magnifying glasses or centrifuges; instead, think more about "describing-while-not describing" at once.
This way you can set the atmosphere while not giving away much about the mysterious setting.

Here's an example:
In the spotless laboratory, where the gleam of polished surfaces should have felt comforting, an eerie atmosphere settled in like an unexpected guest. The glowing lights above buzzed with an unsettling intensity, casting stark, clinical shadows across the cold floor.


You do a pretty good job at maintaining the mystery throughout the story, something that is quite difficult to master.
It's always a bit too descriptive or just not adequate, or maybe too much dialogues or too much of monologues, but with a little more work on the atmosphere and maybe also the setting, you have just the perfect scene.

III. When All Is Said And Done
I must say, I was completely immersed in this, it was a real treat to read. The fact that your story is set in the far-away-future, makes this tale all the more intriguing.
And when I say that you managed to keep the mystery there, I mean it. Can't say the last paragraph didn't leave me with many questions...

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

Yours in Puzzling Shadows,
Rose




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Tue Jul 25, 2023 4:40 am
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MrW0op3r wrote a review...



Interesting. Seems pretty good! My brain drew some similarities between this and The Maze Runner, but that’s pretty good how you’re able to make me think of that without any mention of mazes or running. I also like how much descriptive text there is, gives you a bigger picture of what’s going on. Also interested in why the concept of desolation is a notable thing, as well as case 77




Ari11 says...


Glad you liked it! Would you want me to tag you when the next chapter is release?



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Sat Jul 22, 2023 9:20 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hey Ari! I don't often get a chance to read a prologue on here, so I've jumped at this one :)

Let's get right into it!

I really like the questions you've posed for the novel already - who are these patients and what's going on?

“Hang on…” the first woman leaned closer to the computer, the skin between her eyebrows furrowing as they moved closer together. “Actually, false alarm. He’s thinking about frogs.”

I like the balance of humour here, and I'm intrigued to see how they can possibly work out what he's thinking of specifically.

The fact we've got a patient A, J and C makes me assume that there must be other patients filling in the other letters!

I kind of get a bad vibe from the scientists in general, especially when we get to the end
“We give him a friend,” the first woman responded, turning to look at the second scientist. “Patient C would be a good fit. Her caring nature would mesh well with Patient J’s disposition. It’ll help him understand the concept of connection.”


I'm interested to see where we're going to jump to in chapter one! Looking forward to reading it :)

Icy




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Sat Jul 22, 2023 6:56 pm
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hiya! Orabella, here to review.

Ooh! This is interesting. I love the concept of scientists in a more advanced world trying to recover someone's memories. While being a very creative idea, it's also engaging, and easy to follow along.

It seems Patient A and Patient J have some sort of history. I wonder if C was also a part of that or not. Does Patient A, like J, have some sort of amnesia as well? And if so, what caused it? Especially if they know each other, what are the chances of both forgetting everything? If not, why is A (and C for that matter) a Patient? Already I have so many questions to a very interesting beginning.

Also, what's with frogs? The whole site seems to be revolving around them. Is there something I missed? (Granted, they are pretty cute and lovable.) Also they way you added them in the story was funny.

Patient is familiar with consciousness. Patient is familiar with the concept of having a name. Patient is familiar with the concept of frogs.


Normal, normal, frog. *claps*

Also, what is Case 77? How is it relevant to the story, and is it important that J remembers this?

Obviously you don't have to answer my questions if you continue to write this story. They'll probably be answered later.

I love this story, and I hope you'll continue to write more soon! Here's something adorable to help you along (although not relevant): Image

This review courtesy of
Image


Keep writing!




Ari11 says...


Thanks for the review! I'm glad you're interested in the story so far, I'll tag you when I post the first chapter later today!
Yes, Case 77 is relevant to the story, as well as the reason they're all missing their memories...but we'll get to that later ;)
The frog thing is actually because some of the concept art I made of Patient J and Patient A depicted Patient J being swarmed with the little amphibians XD If you want to see it, here's the link to my art thread: Ari's Art Corner




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