Deep Sea Visions Part I.

19 Apr

I.

Oego Biffen, standing on the balcony of his hotel room, looked out over the harbor of Porto Lago. Though an experienced landscape artist, he had not traveled to this beautiful coastal scene in order to paint it on canvas. His purpose was to restore and recreate the creative drive that seemed to have deserted him a little over a year before.

Can the type of treatment only available in this place bring back what my mind and hands have lost? the painter from the interior asked himself as he took in the quiet oceanic waters and the ships and boats floating about or docked on the wharfs.

The tall, stringy artist with sandy brown hair let his coppery eyes roam over the sunny, picturesque port, absorbing everything that drew his dormant aesthetic interest. Could Porto Lago reinvigorate his inner gifts to what they had once been? Would he ever succeed in recapturing colors as brilliant and vivid as those he was now gazing upon?

Oego suddenly looked down at the timepiece on his index finger.

He had an appointment with Dr. Malten Cacoe in one hour and had to get into his silk outfit for their first meeting together. There was no time to lose, the visiting young painter told himself.

The office of the psychiatrist with whom Oego had exchanged electronic messages lay only a block away from the main dock of Porto Lago. He felt a nervous chill as he rang the sounder beside the door with the name of Dr. Cacoe graven on it.

A short, petite young woman with straw hair and ginger eyes stood in the doorway once it was opened. The painter gave his name and announced he was there to see Dr. Cacoe.

She gave him a radiant smile. “You must be seeking my father, Dr. Malten Cacoe. I too call myself Dr. Cacoe, because that is also my name as his daughter and partner in our practice.

“Please come right in, Mr. Biffen,” she told him as she stepped back and made way for him. “Father has been expecting and waiting for you. He is eager to make personal acquaintance with you. That will be the main purpose of this introductory session between the two of you.”

Oego slowly stepped into the reception room, noticing an impressive, large figure in a dark, formal business be suit standing in the doorway to an interior chamber of the office.

“This is Mr. Biffen, father,” said the daughter. “He is here for his first meeting with you.”

“Welcome to Porto Lago,” smiled Malten Cacoe. “Come into my office so that the two of us can become acquainted. There must be a lot of things that you must want to ask me about what lies ahead for us.”

Oego made his way into the inner office. Malten went back to his iron desk and sat down, pointing to a chair in front of him where his patients would be seated whenever present for treatment or consultation.

The daughter closed the door to the office, leaving the two males to speak by themselves.

“How was your trip to Porto Lago?” asked the doctor. “I hope that your accommodations are pleasant and comfortable.”

“Yes, they are,” answered the new patient. “This city and its beautiful harbor have deeply impressed me. They form a wonderfully impressive environment for the kind of mental therapy that I am seeking.”

Maltem grinned upon hearing this. “We will enjoy close contact with the Pelagic Sea, which will serve to benefit the new kind of treatment that I have devised in my practice. I guarantee that you shall come to share my deep and fervent love for the quiet waters that flow by our coast. The experience that you have while here will always remain with you, regardless where you may go or settle in the future.”

“I can hardly wait to begin these dives below in the psycho-globe submersible,” murmured the patient in a lowered tone. “It promises to be an adventure full of great hope for my renewal in my profession as an artist.”

“The undersea journey is a new, original kind of psychiatric treatment that I have spent many years planning and working out,” declared the therapist. “It is now ready for application in actual practice. I believe that it will bring you solid curative benefits, my friend.

“You shall never regret having come to Porto Lago for psycho-globular treatment, I assure you.”

“When will we be beginning?” asked the painter with spirited curiosity and enthusiasm.

“My daughter, Data, is a licensed psychiatrist and assists me with new patients. She will be in charge of your introductory descents into the undersea’s upper levels, preparatory to further travel downward into the zones of the abyss and the bottom sea trench. Those areas will be reached later, when you have become acclimatized to the dark, lightless levels of the world of the water.”

“My movement will be a gradual descent into the depths, then?” said Oego with a measure of surprise in his voice.

“That’s right. We will begin by accustoming you to being undersea in what is called the Sunlight Zone, where solar radiation continues to penetrate and have its effect on plant life through photosynthesis. You shall be exposed to the marine animal life of that upper region of the sea.

“Only when you are adjusted to being in the Psycho-Globe will you descend into the darkness of the Twilight Zone. That may take a variable amount of time that is unpredictable, varying with each of our patients.

Beyond that zone, there is the deeper Midnight Zone of even greater darkness. You shall see your first biolucent creatures at this level. After that, there will be what we refer to as the Abyss. This layer of the sea water takes you over 19,000 feet down. You become increasing used to the high amount of pressure at these ever colder levels. This must by its very nature be a gradual process of accommodation of both your mind and your body.

“Finally, the Psycho-Globe will transport you downward to the sea bottom and its Great Trench that exists on the Oceanic Floor. This will place you in what will seem a unique, different world that lies outside the planet that you know and are familiar with.

“That is the location where my daughter will lead you through the main phrase of your psychoanalysis and mental treatment. It will not occur at the beginning, but as the final phase of the therapy pattern that we have mapped out and programmed for our patients.

“This will not be an easy course to follow and fulfill, my friend. It will demand dedication and persistence from you, as it does from all of ta patients we take on to treat.”

Oego surprised Malten Cacoe by breaking out in a wide, noticeable grin. “I am eager and ready to begin, Doctor,” he said with energy and spirit.

An early breakfast with the father and his daughter was scheduled for the following morning in the home of the Cacoes close to their office.

“You and Data can spend a few hours talking over your first trips on the Psycho-Globe today, then take your first dive below the surface tomorrow,” stated the senior psychologist,” said Malten as he finished his gruel and fried ova. “Data has finished years of study and observation that have prepared her for guiding patients on their voyages to the depths.”

“My father has been a skillful teacher of both theory and practice,” noted the daughter who had been assigned to lead the new patient’s treatments. “What I plan to do with you will follow the principles that he himself has formulated for our profession. They are strong and proven, as you shall soon see for yourself.”

Malten began to speak as if giving a lecture to a class.

“My guiding concept is that of the duality of human mental operation. By that I mean that our minds and personalities possess a double nature containing opposites and contradictions. This is by no means an original idea first conceived by me, but I have adopted it as my central idea.

“From my years of experience, I have come to recognize the inner tension between the conscious and the unconscious, the rational and the emotional, the subjective and the objective aspects within each and every individual self.

“That dualism is the very essence of the existence of our species. When it crosses over a certain limit, there arises conflict and internal problems.

“My own original discovery is the great effect that the depths of the sea can exercise in overcoming the troubled conditions of persons unable to overcome these divisions and contradictions by themselves.

“The natural luminescent lighting visible down at the sea floor where the trenches lie can make changes in troubled minds. That is the knowledge that provides the therapeutic success found aboard the Psycho-Globe that takes us down there.”

“That is what has drawn me to Porto Lago,” softly confessed Oego. “I am eager to undergo such descent into the waters.”

Malten appeared to become abstracted and dreamy as he spoke again.

“There is a mysterious process when a person is far below under the sea. It is a process of clarification that seems to occur inside a mind. I have not been able to give a complete explanation of what happens, but the various portions of an individual’s personality melt together and fuse with each other.

“The effect, after a time, is to solve many of the questions and problems that cause conflict and pain inside a person’s mental processes.”

All of a sudden, the psychiatrist pulled himself together in the present moment. His chestnut eyes focused with sharpness on the face of Oego.

“You will not be descending alone,” he announced. “Data plans to take two other new patients along on this first, short journey into the sea. One of them is a young female musician, the other is a male whose profession is that of a lawyer.

“Data will be introducing the three of you patients to each other when she meets with your trio tomorrow morning, when all of you assemble together on the dock where the Psycho-Globe is tied up.

“Be certain to have yourself a good night of rest and sleep tonight, Oego,” grinned the mental therapist.

The rising solar star filled the harbor of Porto Lago with light red and yellow rays of brilliant light.

Feeling fully restored both physically and mentally, Oego headed for the distant end of the wharf where the Psycho-Globe of the two Cacoe doctors had its berth. The first familiar face he recognized there was that of Data, standing with and talking to an athletic-looking young male figure.

Oego approached and greeted his new therapist. The latter did the same, then introduced him to the patient who was to be a fellow-passenger on the submersible they were to travel on.

“This is Nato Jatist, who is an attorney from one of the agricultural districts inland. “He just arrived here in Porto Lago, and is scheduled for the same initial descent that you will be on.”

The lanky, strong-looking lawyer offered his right hand to Oego, who took hold of it to shake. “I hope we have a good day down there,” muttered the young man named Nato.

“Here comes our fourth companion,” interrupted Data. “Her name is Capricia Depone.”

A willowy tall, fragile female approached the trio, all three of them turning toward her with focused attention. Data introduced this patient to the others.

“This is Capricia Depone,” said the psychiatrist. “She is a professional musician who plays in the symphony orchestra of the city she lives in, Broadtown.”

The smiling newcomer shook hands, first with Nego and then with Oego.

“What is your instrument, may I inquire?” asked Nego.

Capricia smiled with embarrassment. “I have to admit that I am a drum-player in the rhythm section of the great ensemble. That means that I am not at all important or prominent in any sense. But I manage at times to contribute to the overall sound of the entire orchestra,” she shyly stated.

“Let’s get aboard the Psycho-Globe,” proposed Data. “It is about time for our descent into the blue to begin.”

The huge sphere made of an aluminum-titanium alloy, with a diameter of fifteen feet, floated at the far end of the main wharf in the harbor.

Data and her three patients entered through the entrance opening which the psychiatrist rapidly closed. She took control of the instrument board after all the passengers were seated. The three patients took metallic chairs facing the large siliconate viewing window on one side of the Psycho-Globe.

The small motor of the diving vehicle was started and the four began to move out into the open sea beyond the coastal area.

Data announced when she decided it was time to begin their descent below the surface of sea water.

“We shall now go down into the so-called Sunlight Zone, which extends 200 meters downward into the sea. The technical name for this region is the Epipelagic Zone. It receives sufficient amounts of solar light to permit photosynthesis of plant life to exist within its boundaries.”

The three patents stared intently at the objects visible through the globe’s main window as Data continued speaking.

“This is the upper depth where whales and dolphins live out on the distant waters far from the continental coast. Some scientists call this the Euphoric Height of the sea because of it being sunlit at much of the time. Here are found zooplankton, algae, seaweed, anchovy, sardines, herring, scad, and whiting. Clams, crabs, salmon, and mackeral make their homes at this level as well, along with predatory sharks.

“This is a busy, crowded world of water, as you will today see for yourselves.”

All three of the passenger-patients gazed outward at the passing living beings as if hypnotized by the unfamiliar sights before their eyes.

When the globe returned to its docking location and the foursome climbed onto land, Nogo Jatist gave his fellow patients an unexpected invitation after Data excused herself and left for the apartment she shared with her father.

“Why don’t all of us visit some drinking spot and get acquainted with each other?” he proposed to both Oego and Capricia.

The latter made an excuse not to join the two males. “I have a lot to do in the flat I am renting,” she shyly muttered. “Perhaps another time, when I don’t have so many necessary tasks and chores to complete as I do today.”

“I’ll join you for a drink and conversation,” said Oego with a friendly grin. “We patients will be seeing a lot of each other on the descents that lie ahead for us.”

The pair sat down inside a small inn near dockside, Oego ordering a anise-sassafras beer while his companion having himself a dark licorice-vanilla-molasses combination. It was Nogo who found himself doing most of the talking between the two of them.

“I have not had an easy path in my chosen legal career,” confessed the advocate. “At every decisive point, outside forces have arrayed themselves to block and stymy my advance. My story is not at all a pleasant or pretty one.”

“You have had to deal with difficult situation, I take it,” muttered the painter who now did very little painting.

“Yes, that is correct. My fate with the law has not been a happy one. I seem to draw a lot of personal enemies to myself, and they do their best to block and frustrate me.

“I have had to suffer the indignity of having to defend myself against false, unjust accusations brought against me in the courts where I used to practice.

“But I proved myself smarter than my enemies, and they failed to take away my lawyer’s license, but my practice suffered irreparable damage and loss. I did not recover my old reputation or clientele. Too much damage had been done for me to ever recover all that had been lost by me.”

“There was an attempt to disbar you?” inquired Oego.

Nogo frowned. “Not once, not even twice, but three times they brought charges against me. Three times I proved my innocence of the slanderous accusations. But what was the good to me of such vindications? My sources of income all but disappeared and I fell into utter despair and desperation. I lost all signs and symbols of respect and well-being. They tagged me as a failure behind my back. I had no trustworthy friends or associates in my own profession of law.”

“That sounds highly tragic,” said Oego. “Was it that experience in the law that brought you to seek treatment in Porto Lago?”

The lawyer gave a melancholy smile. “I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that it was. My fall has been nearly complete and I have come extremely close to seeking the protection of bankruptcy.

“I at times fear that this Psycho-Globe therapy is my final chance to change the course of my uninspiring life. My case is a very sad one because of all the evil that other people have made me suffer.”

The two fell quiet as they sipped their herbal beers.

Oego realized that the other had not given him any opportunity to talk about his own severe state of depression.

III.

Capricia entered the office where Data sat at a magnesium desk. The psychiatrist invited her to sit down across from her, which the trim, sleek patient slowly did, her dark eyes avoiding looking too directly at her new therapist.

“I want to come to know you better and better, Capricia,” began Data in an even, measured voice. “What can you tell me about your parents and your childhood, my dear?”

The young woman being questioned hesitated in thought for several moments before saying a word.

“Both my mother and father have passed away, but I have very clear, sharp memories of how they treated me.”

She took a deep sigh, then proceeded into the sensitive area of her family life.

“My father tended to be absent most of the time, involved with his business in the field of property insurance. I only saw him on weekends and when we went on vacations somewhere.

“My mother was a commanding authority over ever possible corner of my life. What I wore, what I studied, who my friends could be: all such important decisions were in her hands alone. I myself was permitted little room for independent choice on almost anything.

“I was a controlled, directed child, and my mother was the one who decided all the important matters of my growing-up and my education.”

“How was it that you become a drummer rather than another type of musician, Capricia?”

The latter seemed to blush. Her eyes turned somewhat cloudy.

“My mother insisted that I take lessons on playing on the piano, but I was not too successful at all. As a result, I myself turned to drumming as a preferred musical expression of my own. It became my own alternative to becoming an unskilled, poorly gifted pianist.

“I was the one who discovered this alternative to my mother’s decision. She had to accept it because of all the pain that came upon me from attempting to do what she had chosen as my musical instrument.

“It seems today that she never forgave me for disappointing her so much.”

Data took note of the bitter, sad expression on the face of this patient. She had once presented a new question.

“Did you have friends when you were a child, Capricia?”

“Only a few, and my mother was the one who picked and approved them for me.”

“I see,” abruptly noted the therapist. “Tell me this: have you ever had a close friendship with a boy or young man, at any age at all?”

“No, that never happened to me. My mother would never have allowed anything like that. And even after she passed away, I never had any kind of boyfriend or suitor. It was as if mother was still there, in a sense protecting and guarding me through her strictness.

“Do you understand how it was for me, Dr. Cacoe? How it continues to be, even today?”

“Yes, Capricia, I am discovering many important factors and influences that together helped to shape your internal personality. There are a number of things that combined to make you who you are.

“But that is enough for now, for today. Tomorrow our group is going to descend deeper into the waters of the sea, and I believe what you observe from out of the Psycho-Globe will be most interesting and fascinating. It will help both you and me in deciphering the meaning of what seems to be blocking your independent existence as a full, complete person.”

“I will look forward to this experience, Doctor,” declared the patient.

Data took a minute to present introductory, biographical questions of Oego before diving into the nature of the problem that had brought him to Porto Lago for treatment.

“Are you happy and satisfied with the past course of your achievements in the field of painting natural landscapes and scenes?” she suddenly asked him.

Oego took a moment to consider and arrange what he intended to say in reply.

“No, I must confess that I cannot say that my history has been what I dreamed of it becoming when I first became involved in artistic activity. Although I have won a measure of repute in my chosen profession, my final products have not proven to reach the level of fulfillment that I aimed for at the very beginning. Time after time, I have ended up dissatisfied with the degree of originality and creativeness that were my initial aim.

“The result of this negative evaluation of my painting by myself has been a growing sense of pain and unhappiness. I have sought without success to find some way to reach my goal, but have not come up with a practical, realistic solution to this need of mine. The result has been despair and profound depression that flooded my mind with distress.

“I have therefore turned to the Psycho-Globe as a hopeful alternative that I wish to try out.”

“Tell me how it is that you judge and evaluate yourself, Oego. Would I be correct in thinking that you lack any kind of self-esteem about what you have done as an artist?”

“I do not deny that I possess a very poor concept of my own worth. That is the feeling that causes me such mental pain and torture.”

“You must consider that some means of escape is available for you,” speculated Data in a gentle tone full of sympathy. “Otherwise, you would not have traveled here to Porto Lago for our undersea brand of psychotherapy.”

Oego was silent for a brief time, as he formulated a response in his mind.

“I guess that I have never given up all hope of liberating myself from this horrible burden that I bear. It will now be up to you and your father to bring about the rebalancing and restoration that I need and dream of, Doctor.”

The exchange rapidly came to an end and the patient left the office.

IV.

Data was waiting in her office for Nogo Jatist to appear for his first session when her father entered, causing her to look up at him in surprise.

“I received a telephonic message from the hotel where this lawyer signed up for treatment is staying,” announced Malten Cacoe in a heavy tone. “The man told me that he would not be here for his first meeting with a therapist today. Rather than that, he prefers to delay the inaugural session for a short time. His preference is to undergo more and deeper journeying into the deep sea before talking with anyone.

“That is hard to understand or interpret, Data. My first conclusion is that this patient of yours is overwhelmed with fear and suspicion. I have no doubts that he will have to be treated for a large degree of mental paranoia. That seems to me to be the immediate diagnosis of his unusual attitude to what he came here for. He needs and wants treatment, but he has an unfriendly, fearful attitude to anyone attempting to provide him direct, personal treatment of any sort.”

“What am I to do with such a patient, father?” nervously asked Data, furrowing her brow with worried concern.

“For now, go along with his request for delay. Cancel his meeting with you and take him along with the others on the next dive into the sea.

“What else can anyone do with such a troubled individual?”

The three patients watched the darkened waters of the Twilight Zone as their therapist, Data Cacoe, described the creatures that inhabited this level below the lightened Epipelagic.

“This region extends downward to about 3,000 feet. Oceanographers call it the Mesopelagic. It contains the first instances of bioluminescence that will be visible for you. Most common will be the lanternfish, which is very aptly called that. But there is also the hatchetfish, the ridgehead, and the barreleye swimming about at this level of the sea.

“I will point out for you specific species as they move by past our globe.”

As the submersible sank lower their guide-therapist identified an increasing number of marine residents to them: the blobfish, the sabertooth, the loosejaw, the lancet fish, the stoplight, and the opah.

The threesome of patients were mesmerized by sight of an anglerfish, a flashlight fish, a pinecone fish, and a gulper eel. Strange, enchanting blue light crossed the deep, dark waters surrounding their vessel on all sides, in all directions and dimensions. As the waters came to possess a resemblance to black tar or glue, the faint light of the creatures moving through it acquired a weak but sharpened radiance that resembled some sort of electronic radiation.

The quiet inside the globe grew solemn and noticeable. Even Data maintained a silence that permitted each of the patient passengers to gaze and focus with total attention on the bioluminescence none of them had ever directly seen before.

The submersible seemed to stop in complete suspension and immobility.

An unidentifiable sound suddenly came from where Capricia sat. The psychiatrist and the two other patients turned and looked at her in alarm.

No one could believe what their eyes revealed. The musician who played upon drums had opened her mouth wide and was regurgitating a ghastly-looking liquid from out of her throat. A weak and horrible sound was breaking the previous long silence.

The ginger-colored eyes of Capricia seemed to be bulging forth.

All of a sudden, the noise ended and her mouth shut closed. She fell forward, only held and restrained by the safety belt around her waist that held her in the chair that she occupied.

Oego began to speak to Data. “We have to get her back on solid land, Doctor. Can you quickly return us to Porto Lago? She needs fresh air out in the open. There is no other way to help her recover consciousness and equilibrium.”

Data started to manipulate the control wheel and instrument knobs with both of her hands.

“Don’t be worried, she will be alright once we get her into the open air again.”

Capricia found herself unable to walk off the globe once it was tied up to the dock in Porto Lago harbor. What was to be done? was an immediate problem for Data and the two male passengers who had participated in the just completed sea journey.

Data came to a decision at once. “We will have to carry our friend to the City Hospital for first-aid treatment. Can you two fellows take hold of Capricia on each side and support her in climbing out of this vessel, then walking her to the medical center? It is about two streets away from the wharf we have tied up to. Do you feel yourself able to make your way forward with the physical support of your two partners?”

“Yes,” answered the injured musician. “I think that would be possible with their aid.”

“Let us begin that task, then,” decided the psychiatrist, taking charge of the accepted plan of transporting Capricia to the nearby medical facility where she could be examined and treated.

Oego and Nogo slowly walked the drummer with a painful injury on her right leg. Data, in front of the three, led the way to the hospital’s emergency room.

An immediate examination and diagnosis resulted in a recommendation that she be hospitalized for a short period of at least one day and night.

“She will have pictures taken of her leg bones and have a temporary cast placed on her right leg,” reported the doctor in charge of emergency treatment. “I think she will be well enough to leave here sometime early tomorrow morning.”

“We will have to leave you in the hands of the care-givers of this hospital, then,” said Data to her injured psychological patient.

A nurse and two aides lifted Capricia onto a gurney, with which they wheeled her to a private room in the interior of the facility. Data, Oego, and Nogo followed just behind.

“We can stay with you until it is time for you to rest and sleep,” said Data to the musician lying on a cushion-bed. “Early tomorrow, the three of us promise to return and accompany you home to the flat that you rent, my dear.”

The three who had been on the Psycho-Globe with her remained for close to an hour, talking with Capricia. Only when a meal was brought into the room for the patient did the group of her companions leave her to herself.

A man in white medical uniform entered the hospital room as the harbor outside fell into increasing dimness with the approach of dusk.

The smiling figure identified himself as he approached.

“I am Dr. Bren Fetch, Director of the Porto Lago Hospital.

“How are you feeling, Miss Depone? I am told that you had a serious fall while inside the globe vessel of the Cacoe family. That must have been a painful experience for you to experience.

“I hope that the treatment that our staff is providing you is satisfactory. Are you comfortable? Has your physical pain declined in the time since you entered here? If there is anything you need or that would add to your rest and comfort, be certain that we shall be happy to provide it.

“I am informed that the hope is that you can leave us early tomorrow morning.”

“Yes,” murmured the patient. “That is exactly what the nurse said just a short while ago. I hope that I will then be able to be walking on my own.”

Dr. Fetch seemed to grimace a little. “I am surprised that you have traveled to Porto Lago for treatment aboard the globe of Dr. Cacoe and his daughter. That form of therapy is untested and operates under a cloud of criticism and doubt. There are, even here in our city, a number of psychiatrists with much better credentials and reputations.” His voice fell to an audible whisper. “Is it possible for me to visit you once you leave our hospital, Miss Depone? I am sure I could provide you valuable medical aid and advice.” He paused for several seconds before adding that “There is no need for you to inform the Cacoes, since they are only practicing in the area of the mind and its treatment.”

He gazed at her questioningly, an unusual steadiness in his sloe eyes.

Capricia surprised him with her instant acceptance and agreement.

“If you wish, Doctor,” she crisply said. “I gave the address of my flat to the emergency nurse when I was brought into the hospital.”

“Thank you,” nodded Bren Fetch as he turned and headed out of the room that she occupied.

V.

Oego and Nogo repaired to the dock inn they were familiar with after night fell over Porto Lago harbor.

Both of them decided to try the chocolate millet-malt that was popular on the seaside shores of the Pelagic Sea.

“It will be hard for Capricia to recover any assurance or confidence after what happened to her today in the globe,” mused Oego aloud. “Who could have foreseen such an accident befalling the unfortunate girl?”

“Was it purely an accident?” questioned the lawyer. “There can be unknowable reasons that cause such events to come about. I have read about unrecognized, unconscious causes for harmful mishaps such as this one in the Psycho-Globe. For all we know, this incident might be a result of some invisible factor hidden way back in the young woman’s past.”

“What are you thinking of, then?” said the painter with sudden emotional reaction. “Do you suspect some negative influence inside her mind?”

Nogo picked up his ceramic cup and took a lengthy swig. “Who knows? Who can say? I am only making suppositions, that is only an idle speculation on my part.

“I have nothing substantial to go by, beyond what both of us happened to witness for ourselves today. There is no way for either me or you to be certain about her inner thoughts or motives.

“Perhaps I should not have said what I did about the unfortunate young lady.”

“I have the impression that she is fighting hard for a healthier mode of thinking and living,” opined Oego. “She has motives very similar to mine and yours. That is how I see and interpret what she suffered earlier today.”

Both men remained silent for a few moments.

“I guess you are right about Capricia, my friend,” muttered Nogo Jatist.

_

The first visitor the hospital patient had the following morning happened to be Dr. Data Cacoe.

“How did you sleep, Capricia? I hope that you rested and recovered from the pain you were experiencing yesterday.”

The young woman in bed appeared sad and troubled. “I don’t know for sure,” she moaned. “I woke up only a few minutes ago, and it will take me some length of time to discover whether I am any better than I was last night, when I was still feeling a lot of hurt on the side of my body.”

“It takes time for a person to get back to normal,” murmured Data. “You have to be very patient, my dear. Only when you are fully ready for it will you be leaving the hospital for your flat. Do not worry about your program on board the globe. We will get you back with the rest of your team of patients as quickly as is possible. You will get back on track with the others as soon as becomes practical.”

“That is what I am hoping for and depending on, Doctor,” muttered the musician who had suffered physical injuries. “My thoughts will be with you and the team aboard the Psycho-Globe. Have no doubts about that at all.”

In a little while, the psychiatrist excused herself and left the patient when the latter’s breakfast was brought in by a hospital aide.

Data decided it wise to talk with her father about the interrupted therapy program of Capricia Depone.

Malten was busy with paperwork in his personal office when his daughter entered.

“How is the one in the hospital doing?” he asked, raising his head and viewing her.

“It may take several days for the girl to return to normal, I believe. This will set her back in what is planned for the group she is in. Can the loss of time in deeper levels be made up before the globe is taken into the bottom trenches? I ask myself.”

Her father suddenly frowned. “Yes, I can foresee something of a problem in the timing of her therapy. This hospitalization is going to result in some serious problems in her treatment. Can you overcome the difficulty by a speeding up of what occurs later, when she returns aboard the globe? Will this patient of ours be able to make up for the lost voyages due to her physical condition?”

“I am hopeful that it can be done, father,” asserted Data. “But bringing her back on line may need some extra efforts on my part. Yes, I am fully willing to make the additional efforts that may come to be needed in her case.”

“That is gratifying to hear, Data,” he nodded at her. “I believe that you can lead the patient back to where she should be. You must visit and talk with her, convincing the young woman that she is able to keep up with her fellow-patients on the same team by utilizing her own imagination and speculative abilities.

“You must make her believe in the power of her mind to recreate and reassemble the component parts of the self-image she holds within her mind.”

“Yes, father, I owe that to Capricia,” whispered his daughter.

Data, smiling, turned about and departed from the office.

VI.

Oego amd Nogo reached the globe before their therapist the following morning, making it necessary for the two to wait her arrival for several minutes.

“I feel very sorry for Capricia,” moaned the lawyer with a frown. “She has been unfortunate in her experience since coming to Porto Lago. I have no doubt of that at all.”

“Perhaps she will be able to make up for lost time in the immediate future,” speculated Eogo. “I would say that she has the intelligence to join us later on in the course that has been set up for us. It is pretty certain that Dr. Cacoe will provide her with extra help and advice that can make up for absences such as today’s.”

“I hope you are right about that,” said Nogo with a sigh.

All at once, Dr. Data Cacoe appeared on the wharf, heading toward the Psych-Globe and the two patients who stood close to the under-sea vehicle.

“Good morning!” greeted the psychiatrist as she approached near, “Let’s get going, you fellows. The deep sea is waiting for us to come and see it!”

The two males accompanied Data aboard the globe-shaped craft, then watched as she took command of the instrument controls and started the hydrazine engine operating. The vessel left its mooring berth and moved into the waters of Porto Lago harbor, heading into the open sea.

As she steering the globe downward below the water’s surface, the therapist explained what the day’s route would be below in the dark region.

“Today we travel below the Mesopelagic Zone of twilight into the Bathypelagic level, what is informally referred to as the Midnight Zone of total darkness. This sector extends downward to 13,100 feet and contains many strange, unique forms of life that you two will see for the first time in their natural environment.

“You are going to view the beautiful illumination coming from creatures such as the dragonfish, the viperfish, and the black swallower. There will also be visible other bioluminescent species that you have seen before at higher levels, such as anglerfish and flashlight fish.

“Because of the total absence of any light from the solar star, the natural animal light will stand out all the more.”

This turned out to be an accurate prediction, because both Oego and Nogo were captivated by the sights they now started to observe in the Midnight Zone of the Pelagic Sea within .

The pair grew increasingly mesmerized and fascinated by what they saw outside the globe’s panoramic window as Data described the entities that floated by.

“That red glow comes from a vampire squid that can invert itself into its own body, fitting inside its long exterior tentacles. It emits a gooey cloud of bioluminescent mucus…Over there is a gulper eel with a foggy blue light in its tail, which it utilizes to attract fish larger then itself, swallowing them while into its enormously large mouth…All of these residents of the bathypelagic level possess very weak muscles within their slimy bodies. Their metabolic rates are extremely low and they use the light of their bodies to attract prey that can feed them.”

Data became silent, studying both of her listeners, one after the other, for a short time.

“I intend to allow both of you to continue looking into the sea at this level so that you can become accustomed to its denizens as much as is possible. But I tell you that when we dive lower still, you shall being viewing and experiencing forms of life that few persons have ever had any direct exposure to.

“My aim will be to prepare you for a realm that surprises and overwhelms. That region, far below this one, is where your therapy program will have its highest chances of fulfillment and success. It will become easier to solve stubborn inner problems when we reach the sea bottom and its magnificent trenches.”

The psychiatrist said very little from that point on.

“How do you feel today, Miss Depone?”

Capricia rolled over in bed and gazed with surprise at Dr. Bren Fetch.

“It’s hard to know that for sure after the terrible fall I had under the water,” she replied with evident difficulty. “I think that I still have certain kinds of echoes of that painful experience. Perhaps those feelings remain more in my mind than in my physical body.

“What do you think, Doctor? Is that the way that a sudden accident affects us after it happens?”

She watched as the rangy, stringy physician with sloe eyes approached the bed.

“Pain is a subject that we still often misunderstand, regardless of all the advances made in medical science,” he told her calmly, softly. “I myself do not claim to have a completely adequate knowledge or understanding of how pain attacks and then leaves us. It remains an unsolved mystery, I must admit.”

He smiled with friendly warmth.

“I must leave the hospital as soon as possible, Doctor Fetch,” she said, suddenly frowning a little. “My therapist is expecting me to go on with the undersea traveling that has begun. It is the center of why I came to Porto Lago in the first place.”

Bren Fetch leaned forward and asked her a question. “Can I take your pulse, please?”

“Yes, of course, sir,” she answered.

He bent forward and took hold of her right hand as she lifted her arm upward.

The two looked directly into each other’s eyes as he counted the beats of her heart.

As he released her hand, Capricia let it fall to the blanket on the bed.

“What do you say, Doctor?” she asked with a degree of concern.

“Your pulse is quite normal,” he grinned. “There is nothing unusual or alarming in what I noticed. Your heart is working as it should, I have to report to you.”

“That is good to hear, I have to tell you,” she said with a sigh.

For a short time, the two of them looked at each other in thoughtful silence. It was the physician who was first to say anything, as he started to whisper to the patient in bed.

“There is an important subject that I wish to tell you about. In a sense, it is a serious warning that I wish to convey to you, Miss Depone.

It concerns Dr. Cacoe and his daughter. Both of them claim to be trained psychiatrists operating with an innovative method based upon taking their patients on deep-sea journeys in a submersible that they call their Psycho-Globe. It is a therapy used nowhere else on our planet. They are the only individuals who claim that it has positive results when applied to mental disorders or conditions. That is the system that you were undergoing when this painful injury occurred to you.

“Am I correct?”

Capricia nodded her head and muttered “Yes, it was.”

Bren Fetch leaned his head down even more, looking her directly in the eyes.

“Do not remain under the care of these two people, I have to warn you.

“They are involved with an unproven method for which there is no foundation in scientific research. The father, this Malten Cacoe, is nothing more than a con man, a mountebank, a clever trickster who preys on innocent victims such as you.

“He is not to be trusted to any degree, not at all.

“I have discovered that before coming here to Porto Lago he was engaged in fraudulent claims on insurance companies for fabricated injuries and treatments that were never given to his confederates.

“What he claims to be able to do in his submersible is a complete lie.

“The greatest personal harm or injury may fall upon you in case you continue seeking psychiatric treatment with these two imposters, the corrupt father and his evil daughter.”

Bren halted, gazing downward at Capricia with evident fear on his face. His sloe eyes seemed to dilate as she looked into them.

“I shall talk to you again, Miss Depone, before you leave our hospital. For now, you must rest and recover your equilibrium.”

The doctor retreated away from the bed, turned about, and quickly disappeared out of the room.

The patient fell into troubled, worried thought she found herself unable to escape from.

VII.

The Psycho-Globe had surfaced in the harbor of Porto Lago and approached the wharf berth where it would soon be docked. Data Cacoe turned to her pair of patients she had just guided down to the Midnight Zone and revealed what their schedule was to be in the next week of their mental therapy and treatment.

“It is now important that you undergo intense analysis that will penetrate closer to the center of your minds. That may take a number of days to finish up so that we can take you even deeper into the sea, down into the bottom trenches, which are almost a world to themselves.

“My hope is that our injured companion, Capricia Depone, will have recovered physically by the time we dive downward again, and that she will be in condition to join our group, both physically and mentally.

“She should be released to go home to her flat by the time we go down next time.”

All of a sudden, her ginger eyes focused on the lawyer, Nogo Jatist.

“I have discussed your special situation with my father, and he has agreed with me to take over the task of your personal analysis and study, my friend. He and I will be working together and consulting as a united team on your therapy.

“I hope that this arrangement will be agreeable to you, Nogo.”

The latter seemed to blush red with an unidentifiable emotion. “Yes, that sounds reasonable and comfortable to me, Doctor,” he told her in a hesitant tone.

Dr.Bren Fetch, as managing Director of the Porto Lago Hospital, had a meeting with his executive committee to address on important subjects and problems.

He sat at the head of a dark maple table, his four fellow members looking at their leader for information and direction.

“I believe that I have found a means of penetrating the practice of the two doctors who claim to be practicing psychiatry with a submersible globe. This will be carried out through one of our hospital patients who is under the care of the Cacoe pair for her mental problems and troubles.

“I have succeeded in winning her to cooperate in reporting to me on what she sees and hears in the course of her treatment aboard their Psycho-Globe. This young woman is a musician who is seeking the resolution of her painful shyness and lack of social skills.

“This patient has become uncertain about the efficacy of what the Cacoes promise her can be achieved in her case. She hopes that it will be possible, with my personal aid and attention, to measure and monitor what the effects of her voyages beneath the sea might turn out to be.

“I have won her personal trust, so that when she leaves our hospital she will continue to meet and converse with me. She will be a witness who relates to me what is attempted inside the Psycho-Globe.”

Bren Fetch, all of a sudden, smiled with delight at his cleverness. “I believe that the young woman will help us to throw these false therapists of the mind out of their profession. They will have to flee from Porto Lago in disgrace and disrepute, once I have adequate intelligence concerning what goes on in this suspicious submersible vehicle.”

His fellow medicos gazed at Bren with admiration at what he was achieving in the campaign against the unorthodox form of psychiatry carried out by the father-daughter combination with their unusual submarine globe.

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The Memory Institute IV.

21 Feb

I.

The recovery of forgotten memories out of the subconscious turned out to contain unexpected details and aspects, both Enon and Reia soon discovered.

“When are we going to announce this important breakthrough in restoring knowledge of my buried past?” he asked her with rising impatience. “It will be a great surprise to the entire profession, I doubt not,” said Enon with excitement on his face. “I never believed that such a miraculous development within my mind would ever occur the way that it has.”

“I think that there is a need for much more evidence and solid proof,” she assured her partner in their joint venture. “It will take us only a very short time to collect enough evidence to go forward with the revelation of what we have accomplished with our new method.”

Enon did not have any argument against her idea of delaying any announcement of what they had done and achieved. He would wait to see how far his recovery of memory went before anything was done to inform those around them.

The names and faces of playmates and companions of his earliest years returned into his conscious mind as if they had never been lost at all.

Enon gave Reia a lengthy description of his first few years in grammar school and the main events that shaped his character during that period of his emerging life.

“I can recall how I learned various games from my most intimate friends of my own age. Each one of them opened up a new area of activity, a different field of interest for me. I rapidly picked up the rules and the required skills for playing with balls, skittles, and game boards of all sorts.

“It is amazing how much I can now remember of each individual’s contribution to my formation of mind and personality.

“My nearest neighbor was Tmot, who already knew quite a lot about sports. He owned a variety of playing balls for different games, and I learned from him the rules and physical patterns involved in all of them.

“In other words, Tmot helped make me both a fan and also a junior, beginning player at armball, wristball, and kicker. I began to go to nearby playing field where amateur games were carried on by older youths. I became fascinated and dedicated to all aspects of these major, prime sports of Daxia. There was never enough of them for me to observe from the bleacher stands. As quickly as possible, I tried to become an active participant in as many ways as possible.

“I very soon started to play various positions on informal teams at playgrounds in our home area. It was most interesting and exciting for me. I can recall the emotional thrills that I felt within me back then.”

Reia beamed him a wide, radiant smile. “That is good to hear, because it means that old memories are coming back to life. It reflects a definite victory for our mesmeric-brain wave style of therapy, my dear. I am so happy of the success we are attaining.”

Enon’s face flushed with a flood of inner sense and feeling.

“It is amazing what comes back to me as my mind wanders through my early years of experiences,” he continued in an occupied, abstracted mood. “For instance, when I go back to my first classes in grammar school, the names of my teachers return as strong and fresh as if I were still there with them. I can see the faces of both the men and the women who presented me with my earliest lessons in subjects such as geography and history, biology and arithmetic. Not only do all of them reappear on the stage within my brain, but I can recall each and every fellow student, both the girls and the boys.

“I not only know their first, given names, but their family names as well. And I can give the correct name to every childhood face the arises in a visible form within my thoughts. There is not one face or name forgotten by me in this sudden, marvelous restoration of those once forgotten passages of my life.

“That is hard to accept, isn’t it? How can such a miracle occur? I have to force myself to believe that it is true.”

Reia, becoming increasingly aroused and excited, stepped close to him with an unusually glow in her cinnamon eyes. “But it is true, Enon. As true as anything in our existence can be. We are witnessing the spectacular results of all our efforts.”

He gazed back at her, unable to conceive what he should reply to this statement coming from the person who had succeeded in returning his early memories to him.

The following morning, Reia noticed at once that there was an alarming kind of disorientation about her partner. She hesitated asking him what was causing such disquiet in him, but waited for him to bring it out of himself on his own.

He filled a small bowl with porridge from a pot on the electronic stove, then sat down at the breakfast table opposite her. Only after taking several spoons of cereal did he reveal what it was vexing him so visibly.

“I had a dream that some people would probably termed a nightmare,” he began in an empty, weakened tone. “It was more of a remembrance of something that was horrible back then when it actually happened. But it shook me as if it was something that I just went through as recently as yesterday. The impression was as strong and complete as when I experienced it in real life, Reia.”

She struggled for breath a second or so, then spoke to him with exaggerated gentleness and sympathy.

“Do not fear that it will be disturbing to me,” she murmured. “I sincerely wish to know for myself what appears to have thrown you off the track of the recovery that was going on as recently as yesterday.

“Please do not attempt to spare me anything at all, for I know that I can cope with what has derailed you from what you and I were both striving for.”

Enon set his spoon down beside his bowl and confessed what his mind had remembered from out of the painful, shadowy portion of his subconscious mind.

“It was an incident from about my sixth year that came back to me last night. I witnessed the event in the form of a terrible dream and am certain that it is in no way a product of my own imagination. Let me describe how this vision of mine came back from its deep grave inside somewhere.

“I was an innocent, naïve boy who joined a small gang of older boys. It was my idea that this would be interesting and enjoyable for me. It was probably not possible for me to see how painful the actual consequences might turn out to be.

“All my older companions were bigger and older than me. They knew more and could accomplish more than me, no question of that. I had to hurry to keep up with their speedy pace of march, and had difficulty staying with the rest of our group.

“But the unexpected and unforeseen occurred. The other halted and turned about, facing me as an entire group. Their unified front overwhelmed me.

“The leader was the tallest, largest boy. He was the one who spoke to me in a threatening yell from deep in his throat. I heard him give me a direct order. Go back home and do not bother us with your presence. Get lost, go away from us. Do not stay in our train like you have. We do not want you trailing behind like you are. None of us want you as part of what we are going to do later on. You cannot be a part of what we are planning to carry out and accomplish. It would be bad for all of us, especially for you.”

By now, Enon was shaking in his small shoes. He looked down at his bowl of porridge and continued with his narrative of what happened.

“This bully then picked up a field stone and hurled it directly at me. It hit me straight on my face, exactly beneath my right eye.

“My feeling of pain was terrifying and severe. It ranged down through my entire body. I could not cope with the hurt, so I turned about and ran off. My head shook and quivered with tortured feeling. Somehow, I managed to run home and my governess took over, caring for and comforting me. But I yelled and wept an extremely long time.

“My aunt was so alarmed about me as my face bled and bled that she summoned the family doctor to come at once. My condition did not correct itself by itself.

“I could not stop crying and screaming for a considerable period of time.

“Why was it that my brain hid this traumatic crisis from my active memory? For decades, it was absent from my recollection until the nightmare that I experienced last night. None of this makes any sense to me, Reia.”

He searched her stolid face for any sign of understanding. She gave him no sign of anything he was able to define. She appeared unable to decide how to judge and evaluate what she had just heard.

Enon returned to eating his breakfast, but still heard not a word from the woman he lived with.

Her mind was entangled in a web of emergent thoughts, and this was what prevented her from giving any diagnosis of what she had just learned from him.

Enon realized that he would only receive some answer to his unexpected nightmare when she finally reached a definite conclusion about its possible meaning. For the present, neither of them could understand what was happening to his mind.

II.

Enon and Reia took a walk through the small public park near their apartment flat in the late afternoon. Both of them were gravely worried by the direction in which his recovered memories were taking his thoughts and emotions.

“I am shocked and embarrassed by what is arising concerning what was happening back then, in my childhood years prior to the loss of both of my parents.”

He frowned as a haggard, desperate look took control of his facial contours.
My
“You must believe me, Reia, when I tell you that I had somehow forced myself to forget the way that my father tried to discipline me by frequent use of physical punishment.

“But now it is returning with clarity, as if my conscious mind had been for years suppressing all memory of his violence toward me.

“Yes, today I am compelled to admit the truth of his brutality toward me, his one and only child. It was not a pleasant experience to be son to such a cruel, heartless father. My mother was unable to do anything at all to curb his outbursts in my direction.

“He crossed far beyond using only his bare hands on me. His common weapon of assault was his thick, wide personal belt of stiff leather. It was a bringer of pain that I made myself bury and forget after the tragic deaths of my two parents. I had to hide the actual events back then and expel them from out of my recoverable mental life. It became impossible for me to recall or recognize the crimes that were committed upon my boyhood years by the man who claimed the rights and authority of fatherhood.”

Tears erupted in the caramel-colored eyes of Enon as his mind focused upon what his parent had dared to do to him before he died.

Reia reached out her right hand, placing it upon his upper arm in a sign of silent sympathy. She found it impossible to voice anything adequate to the immediate situation the two of them had entered upon.

It was Enon who said after a long moment of confusion “Let’s go back to the apartment.”

Both of them rose and walked away together. Neither said anything.

For many hours filled with troubled thought and internal debate, Reia was uncertain what was best for her to try to do in order to aid Enon out of the trap in which his memory appeared to be captured.

What can I accomplish by myself to help him escape these poisonous memories concerning the brute that his father had been to him?

It was I who released these horrid remembrances from out of his childhood years. It was I who removed the veil of merciful oblivion in which he managed to survive and maintain a minimal amount of mental balance.

But now I am the person who threw Enon back into a forgotten hell that his father’s accidental death had put a kind of end to. That protective screen of amnesia had disappeared. Torturing memories had been freed and could now make their painful return into his consciousness.

How will he ever be able to escape from his past of extreme agony? Reia pondered and attempted to foresee.

Finally, she realized that she would need advice, and it was possible to come from her mentor, Dean Kaaro Riven at the University.

III.


How best to present the unanticipated result of the treatment she had provided to the person closest to herself? she asked without end that night, into the following morning.

Reia left the apartment early, before Enon headed for the Memory Institute for his work under Dr. Salem Silad. She entered the office of Dean Riven without speaking to his secretary in the anteroom, ignoring any pretense of official formality or custom.

Kaaro Riven looked up from his desk in surprise. “What is it?” he asked with surprise, uncertain what the meaning of her entrance on her own might be.

“Something has come up, sir, on which I need your counsel and advice,” she succeeded in uttering with a measure of confusion and disorientation. “The matter is highly important to me, and I believe that you would wish to hear what I have been involved with on my own.”

“Sit down and tell me, then,” he told her with briskness.

As soon as she seated herself, the story rolled out of her mouth.

“A friend of mine and I have been carrying out some concealed experimentation on our own. It is an unusual combination of mesmeric suggestion and brainwave modulation. The aim is to restore lost, hidden memories that have been buried in the subconscious region of the mind.

“We illegally made use of facilities of the Mental Medicine Wing of this institution. Our work had to be done late at night, when there was no one about to find out the nature of our unauthorized project.”

She became silent, gazing at the face of Riven for some sign of reaction to what she had just revealed to him. But he appeared as stolid as a rock, his mind far off at an unfathomable distance.

I have to go on and describe the unforeseen results of what we did, Reia decided.

“The memories of his childhood flood into the present mental circumstance of my close friend,” she murmured with evident sadness and regret. “He recalls an unending series of beatings given to him by his father. They only stopped with the early death and loss of both parents in a highway accident.

“Through my treatment of his mind, though, all of the senseless punishment and unjustified pain has come back to consciousness with full impact and power.

“It is as if his father had returned and started torturing him once again. That is how awful his situation now is. And I know not what can be done for him after having resurrected what was lying dormant within his shadowy unconscious memory.”

Kaaro Riven looked at her with concentrated, unconcealed sympathy.

“You must never forget that memory can act as a two-edged sword, with two contradictory characters to it. There can be destructive, poisonous remembrances, as well as those that bring us fulfillment and happiness. But it is difficult for an individual to distinguish the one type from the other.

“The mind must come to know when forgetting becomes a healthy path to avoiding some of the most deleterious aspects of conscious life. If one loses the capacity for purposeful oblivion, the mind can possibly turn against itself, plagued by a very harmful memory of the ills suffered back there in the past.”

The Dean halted a moment, deciding how to say what was rising up within his mind.

“What I fear has happened to your friend is what has been termed hypermnesia.

“That is the condition of possessing total recall, a dangerous over-supply of memories, to the point of one’s mind drowning in a sea of unlimited remembrance.”

“Is that possible?” asked Reia with desperation and alarm. “Can it be happening in this particular case and situation?”

The Dean frowned ominously. “I fear that is what the two of you brought about in this experiment of yours. But it is not yet possible for me to be definite about the situation facing this friend of yours.

“I myself have not examined or questioned the person involved, so all I have to go by is what you yourself have said, Reia.”

“His name is Enon Gareb, and he is employed as a therapeutic assistant at the Memory Institute. That is where the two of us met and came to know each other,” confessed the woman who was asking for his advice.

“I need an amount of time to think about all that you have said to me today,” he decided. “Please try to be patient. I promise that I will do everything possible to help you solve the riddle of this man’s apparent hypermnesia.”

Reia replied with a nod of her head, accepting the need to wait and find out what the Dean might after a brief time tell her to do about Enon and his new memory difficulty.

IV.

There is one particular individual I must consult on the subject of a possible case of hypermnesia, concluded Kaaro late that evening, after several hours of concentrated thought and internal debate.

Yes, I will seek out my friend from our years working together as young interns in psychiatric practice. I must ask Salem Silad to assist me in determining what can be done to treat the person described to me by Reia Terah.

The Dean looked up the phone-net number of Salem at his apartment near the Memory Institute and made a late-hour call there.

“Salem, how are you? This is your old buddy, Kaaro. Yes, I am still busy at the Medical Mental Center. It keeps me working almost day and night.

“I happened to come across a peculiar case that might be up your avenue. You are at the Memory Institute at present? This problem I am interested in has to do with a disorder of an individual’s memory and how it seems to be functioning.

“Do you think we could meet and I could explain what I have found out so far? Yes, it can be at your office at the Institute. You can set the hour and I will make the effort to get there at the right time.

“Tomorrow, late in the afternoon? Yes, that would be fine with me.

“Until then, old pal. I can hardly wait to see you after so long. Till we meet, then. Good-bye, for now.”

Kaaro Riven was not familiar with the lay-out of the Memory Institute’s building, never having much reason or motive to make a visit there until now.

He possessed a vague sense that research and treatment tended to be best when not limited or controlled by artificial, limiting names or titles.

A few questions about the main, front entrance lead him to the office that he was seeking.

It is fortunate that my friend is here awaiting me, realized the visitor as he was called into the small room once he had knocked on the door. The two shook hands, greeted each other, asked about the other man’s health, and then sat down across the therapist’s desk from the other.

“I believe that I have come upon a case of hypermnesia,” began Kaaro. “Let me explain how I have learned what I know about the person suffering this condition.”

It took the Dean considerable time to explain the case he was focusing upon, much longer than he had anticipated while preparing what he was going to say.

Salem Silad grew increasingly fascinated by what he was hearing from his fellow-psychiatrist. Every word seemed to ring a bell of remembrance in his mind. There were familiar echoes in what was being presented to him.

When Kaaro had finished, he looked at Salem with hopeful expectation. What was the one who had listened going to say to him in reply?

“This is very interesting material, I would call it intriguing in all aspects,” he muttered. “It sounds like something that could have happened right here at the Memory Institute.”

“The early part of it probably did,” declared the visitor. “The patient involved was a person employed here who took part in an unauthorized, irregular experimental test.”

Salem perked up with sudden excited interest and curiosity. “You must reveal to me the identity of this individual. It is important that I know who it is that you and I are talking about, my friend.”

He gazed at Kaaro with visible emotion, demanding the name of the person upon whom Reia had experimented with EEG electro-waves.

The Dean arrived at a decision to share what he knew.

“Enon Gareb,” he muttered with caution. “He is the one who participated in her secret project at my department.”

Kaaro was startled at what he then saw: Salem was smiling at him aa if he had just heard something humorous.

“Yes, I know that man well, for he is working as my assistant at present. I can understand why he has taken off time due to health problems. His treatments with brainwave alterations probably caused him exhaustion and weakness, at least for a short time.

“Yes, a lot about him now makes sense to me.”

“Do you, then, intend to take any actions with him?” asked Kaaro.

“I think I will talk over his experiences with him. At least for now, that is all that I may do,” grinned the lanky psychiatrist of the Memory Institute.

“Call me if you have any more questions you want me to answer,” said the visitor, rising to his feet and making a rapid exit.

V.

Reia, having thought long and deeply about the problem of surplus, excessive memories that Enon faced, realized that a solution would have to depend on his emotional and intellectual stability.

She attempted to buoy up his hope and attitude by relating to him how she proposed to attack the hypermnesia that plagued his life since their experimental therapy that combined hypnotism and brainwave modification.

“I have come to a firm conclusion about what direction will be the best for us to take,” she announced to him as the two finished dinner in a restaurant near the apartment they shared.

“What is it that you believe can relieve what I am suffering from all these thoughts about my life in the early years?” he asked her with desperation in his voice.

Reia tried to smile as she answered in a soft, melodic tone.

“Only a search for some unforeseeable means can help us. We will have to go on with variations in both mesmeric and electronic means till we discover the right combination of elements, of both kinds.

“Doesn’t that idea make sense to you? The answer lies somewhere along the path of further research and experimentation. How else can we advance toward a resolution of the trap the two of us appear to have fallen in?”

Enon did not say anything in reply for a period, for he was engaged in difficult, contradictory thoughts. But, at last, he decided what he was willing to accept from all she had offered him.

“Very well,” he murmured, “we seem to have no better alternative to proceeding forward with more testing of different variations of both of the methods.

“But if and when I see total failure and the dashing of all practical hopes of success, I will tell you, Reia.

“That will mean the end of any further work by us. I will then have to accept and live with our failure in solving my memory questions and problems.”

The pair looked at each other, both understanding the seriousness of what they would be engaged in from then on.

Salem Silad, after hours of thought on the matter, arrived at the conclusion that he had to have an open talk with Enon about all that he had found out from Dean Kaaro Riven about the unsuccessful experimental therapy.

As soon as his assistant was in the psychiatrist’s office, Salem asked him to be seated and asked him a sensitive question.

“I have been told that you have suffered problems with your memories of your childhood and have attempted to overcome them with a new type of therapy that brings together different methods.”

He eyed his assistant with a stare from his onyx black eyes, impressing the young man with the seriousness of the situation.

“How did you learn about this?” asked the one being questioned. “Did someone reveal the details of what it was that I was involved with?”

Salem, surprised by this vehement reaction, waited several moments before making any response to the nervous reaction of his helper.

“I found out about how you were involved with Dr. Reia Terah in seeking a new avenue of treatment when I was asked by an old friend of mine to give him an opinion on the efficacy of these two combined methods in a case of hypermnesia, the diagnosis that has been made on your own mental condition.

“I answered that it would only be possible for me to characterize or analyze your situation if I first conversed with you on a personal basis. That is the reason I have started to question you, Enon. I wish to make a realistic, accurate evaluation. That is the only way that I can understand sufficiently to reach a reasonable judgment on the matter.”

Enon, his fear and uneasiness subsiding, began to answer what his boss had asked him to describe.

“Yes, I agreed to undergo a system of therapy devised by Dr. Terah herself: a combination of mesmeric suggestion with brainwave intervention and modification. This was aimed at overcoming my loss of childhood memory after the loss of both my parents in a battery-car highway accident.

“The hopes of both of us were sky-high, and at first it appeared that the therapy was a spectacular success. Scores and scores of remembrances reappeared within my consciousness. They come in a great flood that grew and grew. There was no discernible end to them. I was overwhelmed by their volume.”

Salem gazed with sympathy at his assistant, speaking in a slow, carefully modulated voice. “It is tragic, what has occurred with this experiment. I wish that I know how to help you, but I do not yet know how.

“Your condition is a total mystery to me.

“You must allow me to examine the literature on hypermnesia. I hope that I can find some solution to what has befallen you with this new form of treatment that combines different methods into one.

“We shall have to work together on healing your mind from what has happened to it.”

Enon had a difficult time telling Reia what had happened at the Memory Institute that day.

He waited until both of them were seated in their favorite restaurant and ordered their evening meals, then began to explain as they waited for their server to bring them their hummingbird soups and egg roasts.

“Something highly unexpected happened at the Institute today, my dear,” he told her with a shining smile on his face. “Dr. Silad had a surprising talk with me. He has learned about my condition and the pioneering attempt that we tried out in order to open up a new type of therapy.

“He informed me that he knows of no cure or treatment for what I now suffer: my heavy load of unlimited memory that the profession terms hypermnesia.

“Although he said that he plans to consult all the recent literature on this subject, his attitude seemed very pessimistic and hopeless to me. I left him doubting that he will come up with any practical remedy for what has struck me down so hard.

“What am I going to do, Reia?” he asked her with evident desperation on his face.

At that moment, their server appeared with a tray that held their avian orders.

“I hope that you enjoy your orders,” he merrily chirped, “our hummingbirds are really delicious this spring, all our customers are raving about how they taste.”

VI.

Enon left early for his work at the Institute, and Reia was carrying out a few cleaning and ordering chores in the apartment when the front door chimes sounded their familiar notes. She rushed to find out who was there and what their business might be. Opening the door, the person standing there produced an unforeseeable surprise in her.

“Dr. Silad!” she gulped in shook. :It is so good to see you, but why have you come? As you know, I have been fired and expelled from the place where you practice. I am not considered acceptable or respectable by those who are the judges and decision-makers ruling our psychiatric profession.”

Salem attempted a weak, vague smile. “There is an important matter I wish to discuss with you, Reia. It cannot wait. We have to talk about the subject at once.”

“Come in and sit down,” she replied. “I am free at the present moment.”

“Why don’t you and I visit that little cocoa shop that I noticed at the nearest corner? We could both have a morning cup and have a private conversation there.”

“Yes, a very good idea,” she told him with a grin.

Reia fetched a light spring jacket from a hallway closet and stepped out of the flat, locking the front door with her keycard, and accompanying Salem to the place that he had selected for their exchange.

Once the two were seated at a back booth and both of them had ordered cocoa latte, he began to explain why he was there to talk with her.

“I am an old friend of Dean Kaaro Riven and he has disclosed to me what has happened to my assistant, Enon Gareb. He has a very rare negative condition that is usually described as hypermnesia in our profession.

“He has no mechanism by which to filter or select memories out of the past. They tumble into his conscious mind helter-skelter, without logic or reason. He cannot organize or regulate all these mental impressions that strike his thought. Nothing that has happened to him is a mystery or a secret anymore. The entire past he has lived is present or potentially present to him.

“Am I correct, Reya?” he asked her.

She nodded yes. “And do you know what may have caused this to happen to him?”

“I was informed by my friend that you carried out an unprecedented kind of experimental treatment upon him. That it combined standard hypnosis with EEG stimulation of brainwaves, testing out the different effects of each type of frequency passing into his mind.”

Reia suddenly looked down at her small cup of whitish cocoa.

“My expectations of successful results were obviously too high and optimistic,” she muttered with despair. “It was a colossal disappointment to me and to Enon when this hypermnesia came about, because it followed our victory over his long loss of most childhood memories.

“We rejoiced too early, it is now clear. The present overflow of minor, random remembrances of no value or importance has embarrassed and overwhelmed both Enon and me. Neither of us has any solution to the disaster that has occurred. We are lost in ignorance and incapacity to cope with the new difficulties.”

She gazed at Salem Silad with a pleading facial expression.

“But you must not sink down into abject surrender to failure, Reia,” suddenly said the man from the Memory Institute. “I have thought of a possible new direction for the experimentation that you and Enon undertook with initiate success that spoiled and disappeared.”

“What do you mean?” she asked him.

“I have imagined a way of varying the EEG stimulation that was used before. Why not try to adjust to different regions and sections of the brain? Why not use a variety of varying frequencies and attempt to suit them to the measured situation within each part of the human brain?”

Reia grew, all of a sudden, excited. “But how could that be done?”

Salem smiled. “There are new quantum computer devices that can be calibrated to variations in a multitude of scattered sites in the brain. That can produce what we can call a program that micro-manages the EEG waves transmitted into the head of an experimental patient. The amount of charge can be minutely tailored and adjusted to the tiniest possible degree or measurement.

“A complex quantum computer can handle an almost unlimited number of readings and quantities. That could provide a method of restoring judgement and logic to the processes of mental restoration in terms of memory use.

“Is there any better candidate for correcting the results of the earlier transmissions sent into the brain areas of Enon?”

He peered at her face with determination and strength in his onyx black eyes.

“I am willing to try anything that has the smallest degree of promise to it,” she uttered. “But where can I ever get an advanced quantum computer to work with?”

“We have such new equipment at the Memory Institute, and I will see to it that you and Enon have access to it,” he revealed to her. “It may have to be carried out behind the scenes and in secret, though.”

Reia for several seconds appeared confused and unable to make a definite, positive response to the plan of Dr. Silad.

“I have to remind you that I was dismissed from the Memory Institute for carrying out unauthorized experimental therapy. The charge was that my activities there carried the risk of harming patients with unforeseen ills and problems. It was considered a major offense and I received firing as the fitting punishment.”

Salem suddenly frowned. “Yes, I can foresee that there would be serious objections to having you return, even on a single project like this.

“Perhaps it will be best if you stay out of the Institute building and only act as a remote manager and advisor of the program.

“I myself will be willing to act as the person doing the actual work on the spot. Surely, I am experienced enough with EEG technology to carry out the brainwave modulations and variations called for through quantum computer programming and designing.” He focused his onyx eyes directly at her face.

“Yes, that is probably the best way to proceed and operate the research involved. I will explain all of this to Enon later today, when we are both home.”

“I too shall talk with him at work after that,” added Dr. Silad in a strong, confident voice.

Enon and Reia found themselves thinking in melodious harmony about accepting the plan devised by the individual they both trusted, Salem Silad.

A bright optimism took over the expression on the face of the one afflicted with unlimited, uncontrolled remembering.

“Yes, I can understand what he hopes to achieve using such a radically innovative modulator of each fraction of brainwave being created in me. That will permit a complete rebalancing of the electro-magnetic currents flowing through the separate sections of my mind and brain. It will be an ingenious contribution to the shelf of alternative therapies in today’s psychiatric armory of weapons.

“But will it actually work? That is the rub of the matter, Reia, isn’t it?”

“We must keep our faith in the possibility of correcting the terrible mistake that has been made for you,” she said with pain in her voice. “I refuse to give up hope in your total recovery from what you have suffered, my love.”

The two looked at each other in tender silence for a considerable length of time.

VII.

Salem Silad recognized that he had to convince Enon that it was worth his while to participate as the central figure in the speculative project that lay ahead of them in making use of a quantum computer in brainwave modification.

He invited his assistant to sit down in his office and listen to and absorb the principle ideas that lay behind the bold venture that he had in mind.

“I have, for some time, been studying and contemplating the application of the speedy, complex system of quantum physics to psychiatric therapy,” he began with a pacifying grin. “The central idea behind it all is that subatomic particles can exist in more than one state at any one time. In a sense, that is similar to what often occurs within the human mind,” Salem said with a laugh.

“As a result of this unusual situation, a quantum particle can store more information than the one or zero of a simple electronic computer. There can exist superpositions beyond merely one or zero. These are its qubits.

“A qubit becomes like an imaginary sphere that can hold an endless number of varying value, not just two. These can lie anywhere on the newly created sphere. It is a flexible, many-sided way of storing digital information.

“Many different levels of energy can be applied to each qubit, and these are called qudits. A single qudit can manipulate the interactions between a multitude of qubits. Many different levels of computer operation thus become possible, multiplying the capacity of such an instrument to incredible volumes.

“These qudits become the logic gates for colossal multitudes of single qubits.”

Salem paused to catch his breath, then went on to his conclusion.

“With such dimensions of operation, the quantum computer will be able to measure and chart five hundred or more separate neural points within your brain. It will be monitor individual neurons and their dendrites. The production of brainwaves within your brain can be followed in almost complete detail. The accuracy comes close to becoming infinite with such a system of being recorded and preserved.

“I will know exactly what occurs when you enter into mesmeric trance and reshape your conscious and unconscious memory. This will give an incalculable advantage that did not exist during the first attempt to revive your lost memories. My hope and belief is that the treatment with the quantum computer will put an end to the hypermnesia that you now suffer from. It promises us incredible hope of success in dealing with memory traces in the brain.”

Enon stared at his superior with a newly inspired confidence. “I hope that you are right,” was the extent of what he thought appropriate to say to Dr. Silad.

Azot Lotan knew the value of possessing good information about what was happening about the Memory Institute.

From his earliest days on the job, he had cultivated his relationships with the lower, ordinary employees working there.

He made a point of always greeting and talking with those who served outside the ranks of the psychiatrists and therapists. This paid off in allowing him to anticipate what his medical colleagues might be up to or what they were planning to start doing.

It was an Institute nurse who informed Azot about the activity of Dr. Salem Silap with the new, advanced-model quantum computer that had recently been purchased and added to the inventory of available equipment.

He decided to attempt questioning Salem about what he intended to do with the power and capabilities of the subatomic mode instrument. That might give him some information that he could exploit for his own purposes.

Azot Lotan was able to locate his target sitting alone in the staff dining hall, which permitted him to take a chair across from his colleague at the same table.

“Hello, Salem. How are you? It has been a while since I’ve had time with you, isn’t it? You seem to be looking well. I take it that things are moving along fairly well for you. Am I correct?”

Silad looked at him with a visible grin. “I have no complaints, my friend. None at all. My case load progresses with surprising speed and success.”

“That is very good to hear, Salem. You happen to be a jewel of our staff, I have consistently held. All of us are deeply proud of you and your achievements. No one in the Institute compares with you in terms of mesmeric capability. There is no question that you happen to be our champion innovator in every sense of the word.”

Azot gazed at the hypnotist with intense admiration.

The other man smiled. “I am still at sea over how I am going to proceed in treatment of the hypermnesia. It is not too common a malfunction of the memory. It is rare that any of us has to cope with an actual case, and I have not found any useful advice in the existing literature.

“So what do you think I should do, Azot? How would you yourself deal with such a patient if you received such an assignment?”

The visitor sensed that he was succeeding. “I would try to combine the mesmeric method of treatment with something more advanced in terms of EEG transmissions, such as quantum computer management of brainwave distribution into the patient’s brain regions and sectors.

“That is very experimental, I must admit. But I believe that it holds the greatest promise, if carried out efficiently.”

Azot stared at the face of Salem, looking for some sign of reaction to what he had said.

“Yes,” nodded the other therapist, “I have been thinking that way as well.”

“You are going to be at the center of a very important undertaking,” murmured the one making a visit to his colleague. “I wish good fortune and a successful outcome to you, and especially to the patient who will be the center of your project, Salem.”

With a smile, Azot Lozan excused himself and left.

VIII.

The time for the initial phase of the experiment had arrived.

Enon was the one who supervised the setting up of the EEG mechanism that was going to be used upon himself.

A vacant room was chosen on the ground floor of the Memory Institute for the location of the project. A comfortable, well-cushioned test bed was found and brought to the site. On a specially arranged table were placed a number of emergency first aid and medical objects and substances that would be available should there occur anything unexpected or dangerous to the patient at the center of all the activity.

It would be Salem and Reia who would be in charge of the course of the electro-magnetic transmission to the brain to be worked upon.

Everyone directly involved grew increasingly nervous as the time for starting the experiment came nearer the designated morning.

The first participants to be present on the spot turned out to be Enon and Reia. They had entered the building inconspicuously, through a back delivery door they expected to be unlocked during the day as supplies arrived from the outside.

I have to maintain courage and a positive attitude about all of this, he said to himself over and over as he waited for the professional psychiatrist’s arrival. It should be a lot easier than anyone now supposes or imagines, he told himself. None of us who are involved can afford to have any doubts about how this will all turn out.

Spirit is everything in such an enterprise as this one, Enon advised himself.

Reia, in an expectant mood, spoke to him as if to keep up the courage of both of them.

“We shall be attempting a dangerous experiment, Enon,” she told him in a hushed voice. “The action we are planning to take will go to the center of memory, the nerves and dendrites that are the site of the mind’s remembering.

“I have been thinking about what this will mean in terms of delving into your brain. It will be an intimate kind of intervention into the core of your being, to the center of who you are, to the nucleus of your identity.

“How could a person know themselves at all if they lacked the factor of remembering? Previous life exists in something like a secondary, mirror-like inner world that reflects the external, outside world of life in society and reality.

“I compare it to a scene of double existence, one being objective and the second subjective.

“Are we actually double beings, Enon? One half of us in the real world, while the second one created by the mind’s imagination? Is that it? Is that situation of duality the cause of what sometimes occurs to trouble the minds of some individuals?

“I wonder and worry about that fundamental division inside our minds: between the inside and the outside realms. Is that the primary distinguishing marker of human nature? Is that what makes it so hard for us to understand ourselves?

“It may be that your hypermnesia results from a gap between your hidden imagination and your conscious remembrances, a kind of problem of their synchronicity. There could be a lack of harmony or connection between the objective and the subjective components of the memory function of your mind.

“Previously, the two portions could not remember your childhood years. They had been disconcerted and separated by the tragic deaths of your mother and father.

“But after your first recovery of memory, your imagination grew wildly uncontrolled. It was then unable to limit or manage your multiplied power to remember.

“I suspect that I am not yet completely convinced of what I theorize about the mind, Enon. Perhaps I am trying to explain too much with these ideas of mine.”

It was precisely at that point that the door to the room opened and Salem walked in, interrupting the abstract generalizations of Reia.

“Hello, Enon. Hello, Reia,” said the breathless psychiatrist who was an expert, experienced mesmerist. “Are we ready to begin? First of all, Reia and I shall wire you up under the EEG transmission cap. That will not take us very long. Then, we shall start to send current waves into your brain, Enon.”

“Let’s get to work, then” he smiled to the other two.

This is probably the day that Salem takes positive action, Azot Lotan told himself as soon as he reached his office early that morning.

I must keep close watch on his movements in order to detect what he is about. His exact location in the building must be constantly monitored and learned.

It was easy for him to find reasons to leave his own office and pass up and down the main corridor in order to walk past the office of his quarry. Will he leave for another interior destination at any precise time? wondered the one on the watch. He feared that the one he wished to follow might slip out without his own knowledge. That must not be permitted to occur, not at all.

Chance and fortune turned out to be on his side, he discovered.

Azot happened to be opening his own office door in order to make a rapid exit and step out for a trip to the nearby restroom facility when he spotted the figure going past. Yes, it was Dr. Salem Silad, that was for certain.

It seemed wise to wait a few seconds before making his own exit from the office he occupied. When it was sure to be safe, Azot slipped out into the corridor.

Glancing in the direction in which Salem had been headed, he managed to catch sight of a distant door closing shut.

That had to be his target entering a consultation-treatment room where he planned to carry out an unknown, unacceptable therapeutic experiment in cooperation with the expelled Reia Terah.

That is where I shall now go in order to corner these rule-breakers, decided the watcher with an evil smirk on his face.

IX.

Salem and Reia had placed the electro-magnetic cap on the head of Enon and had connected it to the transmission-monitoring apparatuses that would control and calibrate the EEG brainwaves that were soon to be traveling through the brain of the object of the programmed treatment.

Salem began to tune and adjust the dials on the main board on a small managing table.

The two psychiatrists in charge looked to the entrance in surprise when the door suddenly flew open.

The robust figure of Azot Lotan rushed into the room almost in a run, slamming the door shut with a loud noise.

His turquoise eyes flashed with an almost feral passion as they focused on first Salem, then Reia, and finally Enon. The latter looked at the intruder as if frozen into terror.

“What are you people doing to him?” demanded Azot in a furious, crazed tone. “This is a criminal procedure that the two of you are attempting to administer to this sick man. How dare you use him as your guinea pig this way. I am going to report this illegal experimentation to the Director, then to the medical and health authorities of Zaxia City.

“The two of you are going to be thrown out of your profession and banned from any further psychiatric practice for life.”

Azot glared with brazen hatred at the man and the woman in charge of the experiment that had not yet begun to go into operation.

He started to step forward in the direction of Reia, glowering at her with evident hostility and disdain. “What are you doing in here, you witch? The Director has fired, expelled, and banned you from the premises of the Institute, yet you crawl back here to perform your ugly operations on the helpless and innocent.

“Why doesn’t someone pull out your hair and drive you away?” Azot growled like some Zaxian monster out of our country folklore?”

As the psychiatrist stepped slowly forward toward her, an attempt to defend Reia came from a totally unexpected source.

Enon, sitting in the experimental chair with the electro-magnetic cap on his head, suddenly leaped up on his feet and hurled himself forward toward the aggressor and his intended target.

The cap he wore fell off his head without effort or notice of any sort. He continued his advance so quickly that no one else sensed what was happening or what he might be intending to accomplish.

The young man who had volunteered for the planned experiment raised both arms and struck Azot with a hard blow to the throat before the latter could react or defend himself.

Azot hit him a second, then a third time.

Reia and Salem watched in awed shock as if paralyzed by fear and surprise.

The blows from Enon continued until Azot finally fell down upon the floor.

The frenzied fighter turned to his two comrades and spoke to them.

“I think we should now continue with what we were doing, go on with our experimental therapy at once,” he declared with a strange grimace on his face.

_

Before the trio returned to their experimentation, the comatose body of Dr. Azot Lotan was taken to the first-aid station of the Memory Institute by a pair of husky male nurses summoned from the upper floor.

Nothing was told the bearers about what had happened to the unconscious psychiatrist or what had been going on in the room with the accumulated equipment visible in it.

Enon took his position in the special chair and was once again connected to the EEG apparatus with the special cap fitted upon his head.

The patient under treatment tried to calm down his two scientific partners with reassuring words about his own mental circumstance.

“Don’t be concerned or worried about me,” he told the pair. “I am well enough to go on with the program. We must take the opportunity to make this important test of dealing with my hypermnesia with this combined method.”

Reia took a position in front of him and soon had her lover in mesmeric trance, while Salem took charge of the regulation of the electro-magnetic transmission entering the brain of Enon through the specially constructed cap with its five hundred separate points of managed input.

The testing took less time than any of the trio had anticipated.

Positive results were noticed as soon as the procedure was finished.

“I think we have a successful breakthrough in this,” said Enon with unexpected joy. “My mind seems to be operating without the great surplus of memories from which I was previously suffering.”

X.

As soon as Azot awakened in a bed of the first-aid station, the Director of the Institute spoke to him.

“I have decided to fire you,” he announced. “We cannot permit the use of physical force by you or anyone else connected with us.

“You have revealed yourself as a dangerous person, Azot. Do not try to return here, or else the police will have to be summoned to remove and arrest you.”

Ithai Adeb abruptly turned about and exited, walking back to his office.

The three involved in the concealed experiment sat waiting for him in front of his magnesium-steel desk.

The Director took his chair and addressed those who had waited there for his return.

“I believe that Dr. Lotan will not dare to come back in the future. My hope is that we will be rid of him completely.

“I must make my own apology to all of you for having listened to and trusted this man the way that I did. That led me to make very serious mistakes about what was being done in these experiments and tests. But my judgment has now been corrected about this important subject involving the hypermnesia of Enon.”

The Director looked at the latter with a guilty look.

“You are sure about your recovery, my good man?”

“I know that my memory is now on the road to recovery and correction. It should be operating in the normal way from now on, I am certain.”

The head of the Memory Institute turned to Reia and asked her whether she accepted that conclusion.

“As far as I can judge, there has been a nearly miraculous return of balance to the operation of Enon’s memory system. I believe we now have a successful therapy that deals successfully with that specific mental condition.

“There will have to be a lot more testing of this new method, of course. But I am optimistic about what can be done with what we have put together to treat Enon.”

Ithai Adeb then turned to Salem and asked him what he thought of what had been done to Enon.

“Yes, I agree,” he answered. “We have astonishing results to announce from what was carried out to treat this patient. It appears to have been a major victory on our part.”

Reia attempted to describe her new perspective on the nature of human memory and how it can go astray into malfunctioning.

“I have come to see two spheres of remembering within our minds.

“Memory is like a creative act that combines the external, real world with another realm that is internal, subjective, and tied to the imagination and its operations.

“This inner mind is an atemporal, nonlinear, kingdom rooted in the unconscious, but an important element of our memories.

“The mind can fall into amnesia and lack of memories, but also into an unregulated, uncontrolled super-memory without any limits.

“Enon suffered both difficulties, one after the other. But I believe he will now be free and be able to avoid both extreme.”

“I certainly hope I am finally free of both problems,” grinned her newly happy lover.

The End

The Grobnik

21 Feb

Traiche Stefanov was born and grew up in northwestern Macedonia early in the nineteenth century. His parents were members of the Shoppe village of Zidilovo on Osogovo Mountain, near the town of Kriva Palanka. He lost both parents when only a boy and joined an itinerant gang of wandering farm workers.

Traiche became an assistant to a roaming man who claimed to be a vampirdzija who was able to rid communities of evil, murderous supernatural monsters by identifying their human identities. In time, he started to wander about eastern Macedonia as an independent vampire-hunter.

His reputation in this arcane craft grew and spread, until word came to him from other itinerants that there was an enormous problem across the Vardar River in the western town of Bitola, the Ottoman capital of a large province.

I will head there and offer my developed services, decided the young enemy of dangerous vampiric killers.

Bitola lay on the Pelagonian plain. To the south, it was bordered by mountains named Pelister, Nidza, Kajmakalan, and Baba. A Turkish governor and a Greek bishop operated from the growing commercial center that was called Manastir in Greek, due to the number of monasteries of the area.

How was the stranger from the east going to get is bearings in this region so new to him?

He rented a room in a hotel-han for travelers and began to frequent nearby taverns, hunting for information concerning the vampire threat.

One of the first things he learned was that the term used for such monstrous beings was that of “grobnik”, based on the word for a grave or tomb, the “grob”.

“They are buried, but not yet fully dead,” explained one tradesman of Bitola to the Osogovo Shoppe. “In the night, they go about in the shadowy dark and carry out evil deeds such as murder, especially of defenseless women and children.” The merchant lowered his voice. “I have heard that several villagers have been killed on the village of Bukovo, but no one from there is willing to talk to outsiders about the evil that threatens all of them.” The fat man talking to Traiche gave a slight wink of the eye. “It seems that the inhabitants of Bukovo are determined to keep silent about the strange deaths that have happened late in the night in their village. It is one of the largest communities in the Bitola region, with about five thousand people living there. It contains a monastery where, I understand, the monks keep busy copying old books and manuscripts.”

Traiche smiled, because this had to be the village he had heard about back in eastern Macedonia.

The vampirdzija walked the short distance to Bukovo in the bright morning light shortly after the clear spring dawn. He realized that he had to find a local authority who was able to inform him about the sudden deaths that Bukovo had suffered. He planned to offer his knowledge and experience to the goal of ridding the place of the murderous fiend responsible for the crimes.

Traiche slowly distanced himself from the high Clock Tower, the most visible sign and symbol of central Bitola.

As he entered Bukovo at last, his eyes caught a tall, straggly figure moving toward him along the unpaved central street of the village. The man, wearing a dark fur cap, waved at the stranger and spoke.

“Good morning, my friend. Can I help you in any way? I take it that you are not of Bukovo and are making a visit to our beloved village,” he said in a melodious, pleasant tone.

Traiche returned the tall man’s smile. “Yes, I have traveled a long distance because I think there is important business waiting for me in this beautiful community of yours. But I must look for your highest elder or official. Is there a bashkan or kodjabashia in charge of public matters here in Bukovo?”

The stranger turned serious. “You must be thinking of my own father, who serves as high elder of our community. My name is Kosta, but I am called Kotse for short.

“My father is Dejan Todev, and he is the mayor of our village of Bukovo.

“If you aim to meet and talk with him, I believe you will find him at his favorite inn at this early hour. He usually has a breakfast there before going about his daily tasks as elder.

“I will show you where it is, if you wish.”

“Thank you,” replied Traiche. “I will be indebted to you for doing so, my friend.”

The inn was a large and comfortable institution, a gathering place for the male elite of Bukovo.

Kotse introduced his father, sitting alone at a long oaken table, to the outsider he had just met. Traiche gave his name and Dejan Todev invited him to sit down and talk.

“Do you have some sort of business matter that brings you to Bukovo?” imquired the mayor without fanfare or idle talk. “Perhaps I can be of assistance to you.”

If this large, brawny local authority is so direct and serious, so shall I, decided the traveler who had come so far with a mission in mind.

“I come from the region of Kriva Palanka to the east, as you can tell by how I speak. Rumors reached my ears that your community may have a very great need for the knowledge I possess about an inimical force that has descended upon your village and is causing horrible tragedies here.”

The mayor looked across the round table to where his son was standing.

“I believe that you have brought me a vampirzhija, Kotse,” he said in a loud, ringing voice, his dark, bushy eyebrows in a frown. “The entire world must know by now about the assaults and killings that we have suffered. It is not a secret and cannot be kept hidden from others elsewhere.” He turned his dark brown eyes back to Traiche and leaned his large head forward toward the vampire-hunter.

“No one has found any way to protect our villagers,” muttered the mayor. “Two housewives and a young girl have already been killed during the hours of late night. No one, young or old, male or female, dares to wander about between sunset and sunrise. Every person feels fearful of possible danger. Who can have enough knowledge, strength, or skill to contend with a grobnik, as we in the countryside call such unnatural demons, neither fully dead nor alive.

“We have no remedy, because neither prayers nor weapons have been successful.”

Dejan Todev stared forcefully into the face of the itinerant vampirzhija.

“Can you do it?” he asked in almost a whisper. “Do you know how?”

“I have never been defeated in my work,” stated Traiche with confidence. “My entire mind and heart will be dedicated to complete victory over this monster and its evil spirit.

“I intend to put all my soul into ridding Bukovo of the devil who has invaded your community.”

Sensing the powerful force behind this promise, the viiiage elder accepted the special services of the vampire-huntsman from afar.

His father commanded Kotse to show Traiche the buildings where the vampiric victims lived before they were murdered.

Two bereaved widowers took the two into their humble, modest cottages, to the rooms where their wives had once cooked meals or worked weaving and sewing.

The vampirdzhija made a careful, detailed examination of the windows and the tables and chairs that had been used by the vampire’s victims.

“This man, with wide knowledge and experience, intends to hunt down and destroy the evil-doer who took away the life of your wife,” explained Kotse twice, to each of the mourning husbands in his lonely dwelling. “He knows what to look for in order to locate the trail of Bukovo’s grobnik.”

The third home the pair visited belonged to the family of the young girl who had been attacked and killed.

The victim’s father explained that his daughter had disobeyed his order to all four of his children not to go out of their cottage after sunset.

“She did not do as I told and warned her,” said the second father. “I believe that her purpose in going outdoors was to check on the hens in our chicken-coop. Our little girl was always interested in gathering eggs for the rest of us to have for breakfast.

“Our little Marushka was an angel, I swear to you,” said the parent with a sob.

Traiche followed Kotse in silence out of the home and down the central street.

“My father mentioned that he wants you to meet and talk with the igumen of our monastery,” noted the son of the mayor. “I will take you to the large house where the monks live adjacent to the monastery church.”

Kotse took the vampire-hunter past the two rivers that flow through Bukovo, the Stara Reka and the Kindarka. The Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration lat within strong outer walls which the pair entered through the main gate.

Kotse pointed out the white-washed church building and the two-storey residence where the monks were lodged.

“I shall take you right in to the quarters of the abbot, Igumen Ognen,” said his guide to Traiche. “I am certain that he will see you at once.”

A monk in a simple black ezorasson cassock happened to be passing along the path leading to the residence structure from the monastery church.

“I have brought an important person from outside to speak to the igumen,” announced Kotse in a muffled, humble tone.

The tall man in black glanced at Traicho, then signaled with his right hand that the stranger was to follow him. “The abbot is preparing to leave his quarters. I will tell him that someone is here to speak with him.”

The monk turned around and started to walk toward the far end of the residence building. Kotse and Traiche followed behind him.

The latter two waited on the open porch while the monach went inside to inform the igumen of the presence of visitors. When he returned the monk waved the two waiting outside that they were to enter.

“The igumen is eager to converse with someone who has traveled from so far away as you,” he said directly to Trauche.

The pair walked into the room where a short, small figure sat at a table covered with books, manuscripts, and documents.

The igumen at once recognized the son of the village elder. “How is your father?” he inquired of Kotse.

“His health is still quite strong,” answered the latter. “I have asked to see you, sir, because I believe that you would like to know that a vampirzhija has arrived in Bukovo to try to protect us from the demonic monster that has already taken three precious lives from our midst.”

Igumen Ognen turned his almond eyes on the stranger, studying his face for hints or signs of his inner character.

Traiche gazed back, astounded at the smallness of every feature of the high authority figure within the monastery. Little hands and face, features and limbs. A large gilded cross lay on the igumen’s chest. A black kalimavka covered his head.

“You claim to be able to hunt down the evil stalker who comes out in the night?” the official suddenly asked the stranger.

”I have been successful in many places,” declared Traiche in a strong, confident tone. “My skills have grown and increased over the years, I believe.”

The igummen seemed to grow distant, ruminating over thoughts deep within his mind.

“As you know, our villagers call the vampire by a special name of their own. They refer to it as a grobnik who has returned from out of the ground because of not having turned completely dead. In the depths of night, it roams about and attacks the living in order to satisfy its thirst for their blood.

“So, if a hunter wishes to capture and destroy one of them, he must seek the place where they were buried in the ground, the graveyard that could not keep them under its soil.

“That is where those monsters rise up and go out to commit their evil deeds.”

Traiche sensed an uneasiness in himself. What was the abbot trying to tell him with his words? he asked himself.

All at once, Kotse began to speak.

“Do not be concerned,” he murmured, turning his face toward the vampirzhija. “I am willing to accompany you at night into the cemetery we have on the far edge of Bukovo. We can watch together for any sign of grobnik presence of any kind.”

“Inform me in case anything is discovered there,” said the igummen.

Kotse answered that he would do so, then took his leave, leading Traiche out of the abbot’s private quarters.

Dejan Todev listened to his son relate what he and the vampirdzhija had been advised concerning the problem of a grobnik about at night in Bukovo. The three men were eating a midday meal in the cottage of the village mayor.

“I do not accept the idea that a vampire returns to a kind of grave and rests there during the day,” argued Dejan. “Any large hole in the graveyard would certainly be seen and taken note of by someone. No, that is not the place to look for the grobnik, asleep in one of the graves but not fully dead. That is just an old tale told by the old women.

“The truth has to be much different from what the igumen told you it was.”

“Where is the best place to hunt for the monster, then?” demanded the mayor’s son with emotion.

Dejan turned to their guest and gave him a sly smile. “You are the one with experience with vampires, so tell us what you think is the best place to look for them if we decide that the graveyard is not where it may be hiding itself.”

Traiche could sense the curious eyes of both father and son focused upon him.

“I have learned a painful lesson: that the grobnik is not asleep during daylight, but has turned into what appears to be a normal, living person.

“The monster may be walking about and performing his daily work so that no one knows or recognizes its second name and identity at all. The grobnik portrays a human being like a kind of mask.”

For a brief while, no one said anything. It was Kotse who broke the solemn silence.

“If that is so, the grobnik could be someone we see every day here in Bukovo.”

His father extended this idea further afield.

“It might be that the Grobnik comes down to commit evil deeds from higher up on Pelister Mountain. The vampire may hide at daytime at a village such as Dihovo, Nizhepole, Trnovo, or Magarevo. It may be an inhabitant of any of those communities.”

“That may be the way by which the vampire is avoiding capture and destruction,” added Traiche from deep inside himself.

Kotse invited the vamirshzija to accompany him that evening to the village inn so they could drink and talk to each other about the grobnik problem that Bokovo faced. But once the two were outdoors in the twilight dusk, the mayor’s son made a new proposal to his companion.

“Why don’t you and I make a visit to the village graveyard. There might be something of interest there for us to see.”

Traiche was surprised at the idea, but immediately saw its logic and accepted the adventure it promised him should the vampire have any tie to the place.

“Yes,” he agreed. “We may find out something of great interest to us there.”

The cemetery of unknown, incalculable age was surrounded by leafy oak and pine trees. By the time Traiche and Kotse reached its oldest end, all light from the sun was gone and dark shadows covered and enveloped the wild, uncut grass of the burial field.

Traiche noticed that stone markers and monuments were few and scattered about. Villagers of Bukovo have mostly lacked the ability to place permanent reminders of who was buried where, he told himself.

The two men stopped and sat down on large, flat rocks marking the boundary of the graveyard. The only noticeable sound was that of crickets and small insects.

All at once, Traiche caught sight of a large shadow moving between the graves in front of him. What could it be? The vampire-hunter glanced to his right, seeing that Kotse was faced in the same direction, at the same movement.

“I recognize who that probably is,” whispered the mayor’s son. “It is a villager who is walking down from Magarevo, where his family lives.

“He comes down to drink at the inn in Bukovo, and I often see him there. His name is Marko Stojanov.”

“Why is he walking in the cemetery?” inquired Traiche with alarm.

No answer came from Kotse. Instead, he called out to the fat shape moving slowly among the graves.

“Marko! What are you doing in the Bukovo cemetery? Are you looking for something?”

The big man from Magarevo did not say anything until he was very close to the two who were looking at him through the darkness.

“I am on my way to the inn in the village,” he replied in a low, sonorous voice. “Why are you here? And who is that at your side?”

“This is a traveler from far away,” said Kotse. “He is staying with us at our house for a time. His name is Traiche.”

Marko neared closer, his eyes focused on the stranger. “We can return to the village together. I am going to spend the evening enjoying some strong drink there.”

“Go on ahead,” suggested Kotse. “We can meet there and have longer conversation with you.”

Without another word, Marko from Magarevo turned to the left and made his way out of the cemetery.

When he had disappeared, Traiche spoke in a murmur to his companion.

“You go on and meet with that fellow,” he proposed. “I plan to stay here and think for awhile before going back to your cottage in the village, Kotse.”

The latter said farewell. He understood that the viperdzija still was hoping for a sight or sign of the evil grobnik who had already killed victims.

Traiche had a lot of conflicting thoughts contending within his mind.

Had he just come across the human shape of the vampire he was after?

Why had this man Marko made his way among the graves of Bukovo?

What was he up to? wondered the vampire-hunter as he stared at the field with its scattered old gravestones.

There was an undefinable quality about the form of the visitor from Magaravo that he had viewed moving toward him and Kotse. Experience with a number of vampires at different locations in the eastern sector of Macedonia had built up his intuition to a high degree of sensitivity, Traiche had come to believe.

Suspicion of the weighty man had instantly arisen in the back of his mind. He was unable to dispel what he trusted that he had recognized in this person named Marko.

Traiche reached under his outer white shirt to an inner belt that he wore beneath his outer clothing, around his waist. A small pouch attached there held a special tool of many vampirdzhijas: a rare grass from Osogovo Mountain that was called the grobnik herb. He knew from his own experience that it had the power to make him able to identify the enemy he was hunting for. There was valid reason why herbalists and vampire-hunters called it the vampirdzhija grass.

Taking a single blade from the pouch, Traiche placed it in his mouth, under his tongue. The taste was a sharp, bitter one. He instantly felt its effect on his mind and senses. The hunter was now prepared to face the suspect when and if he came back to the graveyard.

Time flowed past and through the mind of the watcher as if he were dreaming.

Part of him was conscious, but another sector was unconscious, when Traiche caught sight of what he had been expected to happen.

A peculiar darkness characterized the moving object that his thoughts and emotions identified as what he was after.

I know what is required of me, the vampiradzhija commanded himself.

He rushed with sudden speed between the rows of graves, aiming his body toward what he understood to be a grobnik disguised as Marko from Magarevo.

The foe was too stunned and paralyzed to act or move.

The two hands of Traiche reached forward and grabbed hold of the lightless form with strength and determination. Surprise gave him superiority and victory. The grass under his tongue gave an unnatural, arcane capability to the attacker.

Traiche squeezed and pressed with indignant power, punishing the killer of innocent village victims.

Only after the grobnik fell to the ground, dead and unmoving, did the hunter realize that he had been in fatal error.

It was not Marko Stojanov who lay at his feet, but the igumen of the Bukovo monastery.

In his full vampire stage, the monster was large and heavy, no longer the small monk visible in the light of day.

The heart of Traiche beat with feverish speed.

I have defeated the demonic vampire, but it was not the person I thought I had unmasked.

The monster turned out to have had an almost perfect masking disguise during the day.

.

The Memory Institute III.

30 Jan

I.

Reia and Enon sat talking in the front living room of the former’s apartment, making plans on how they were going to carry out a treatment that combined neurofeedback with auto-hypnotic trance dreaming.

“I am willing to undergo the new plan tomorrow night down in out basement laboratory,” said Enon with a philosophical sigh. “That may contain the right mix of influences to result in a return of my childhood to my conscious memory.

“We shall see what the results are going to be. I have applied hypnotism upon others, and I should be successful with myself as well.”

“I will be watching and monitoring everything that happens,” promised Reia. “My hope is that all goes on smoothly.”

Ebon found himself smiling at the situation. “The self-hypnosis reminds me a lot of what I believe about the nature of memory itself.”

“What do you mean?” she inquired in surprise.

“A memory is not a part of the reality of an actual life experience, but an imagined reflection of it. That makes memory a mirror-like reproduction. Actually, it is a product of the mind’s imagination, its ability to create an echo or reflection of something else, something out there beyond the brain, the body, or the person involved in it. The remembrance is therefore partly an imagined fiction, a product of thought.

“I think that our very self-image is based on memory of our own personality and existence. That means that a loss of memory is due to having buried the imagined reflection down in the subconscious region of the mind, perhaps in the labyrinth we call the hippocampus of the brain.”

Reia grew excited by what he had just told her. “Yes, I think I agree. Our memories are basically products of our work of imagination. So, that is what you may be trying to accomplish under neurofeedback and auto-hypnosis: restoring your misplaced imagined memories, Enon.”

The latter seemed to be puzzled by what she had said. “But there are false memories that invade the mind. What about those illusions of the mind?”

Reia made an arch smile. “False memories may really be failures of the imagination. A person can falsely imagine what the truth is. It is a kind of voluntary self-deception.”

The two of them gazed at each other in a solemn mood that both shared.

Salem Silap decided he had to be the one in charge and control of all aspects of his patient’s hypnotizing. He could not take the risks of relying upon Sevath Bgar to accomplish such a difficult, delicate operation upon his own mind. It had to be done under his own total supervision. He could not trust any individual to carry it out, certainly not Sevath himself.

“Are you ready to enter into trance, my good man?” inquired the psychiatrist once his patient was comfortable in the large, padded, and cushioned chair that Salem had found eased his transactions with patients.

“You have been taking your medicine, the ampakine, on a regular, daily schedule?”

“Yes, of course I have,” muttered Sevath. “You know that I want to regain my lost memories. You have put a lot of hope in the drug, so I felt that I was justified in doing the same. But unfortunately, the stuff didn’t do the trick the way you said that it would. So, that was something of a disappointment to me.

“But now I hope that this trance you want to put my brain into will let the ampakine do what you promised me it would. It has to work on me, that’s what I am depending on to happen.”

Salem reached out his right arm, placing his hand on the arm of his patient.

“Do not have any concern about that first treatment that did not live up to expectations. Adding mesmeric therapy to it will multiply the effects of both the one and the other. In combination, they will have a result increased many times over. I am certain of that.”

“I’m willing to try anything, separately or together,” said the patient with determination on his face.

“We can begin then,” whispered the doctor. “Look straight at my face and into my eyes, Sevath,” ordered Salem in a slow, soothing tone of voice.

Reia and Enon descended to the basement with their most important and difficult project since having begun at the Electric Center.

The first part was to be placing the brain cap on Enon so he could be the recipient of EEG transmission. But simultaneously he was to be under hypnotic entrancement from his partner, Reia.

What was the result on the memory retrieval going to be? How would his mind and his thinking be changed by this combination of two different therapies?

Neither therapist nor subject knew for certain what it might turn out to be.

Reia allowed her subject to sit for a while before she spoke to him.

“We can now start,” she murmured, her head leaning forward close to his forehead. “I want you to look at me with your total attention. Keep your eyes focused without blinking or turning away on either side.

“I am going to talk to you in a quiet, calm manner so as to let your reach complete relaxation. We need not be in any kind of hurry, because there is plenty of time for you to enter the state that both of us are seeking to attain. We can take our time and set any speed we decide on.”

Reia continued to concentrate her mind and cinnamon eyes on the face of Enon, ceasing her effort only when she could be certain that he had entered a condition where his mind was thoroughly abstracted and distanced from its surroundings.

It was time for Reia to move over to the controls of the neurofeedback apparatuses, which she slowly carried out.

But seemingly out of nowhere, a loud noise interrupted what was in progress in the Electric Center.

Reia glanced over to the metal door of the chamber as it flew open in a single second.

The figure that barreled in was not at first identifiable. Who could be doing this? Who was invading their experimental therapy?

“Stop this!” screamed the Chief of the Memory Institute. “Halt everything that is going on here!”

Enon, waking from his hypnotic trance, turned his head and gazed at the intruder, Dr. Ithai Adeb, the man in charge of the entire facility.

Right behind him stood Abi Manas, the building’s electrician.

The special treatment combination set for that night was not to be continued to its finale, it was now clear to those involved in it.

Their efforts had been brutally interrupted.

II.

The Chief, Ithai Adeb, acted with dispatch to take immediate control over the situation of rebellion and subversion he believed he had uncovered.

The two staff members caught in the Electric Center were commanded to leave the building immediately, but then report to his office soon after dawn the next day.

“I will take care of this matter concerning your strange activities tomorrow,” grumbled Ithai in ire. “There will be plenty of time then to judge what will have to be done about what I have found here.” He turned about and spoke to Abi Manas. “I thank you for reporting to me what these two have been up to,” he told the electrician who had led him to this informal therapeutic laboratory.

With that, the two intruders departed, leaving Reia and Enon alone, staring at each other in startled disbelief.

“It looks like our enterprise is finished,” she muttered to her partner in unauthorized experimentation. “I think you should stay with me in my flat, Enon. “You may not be in proper condition to make your way home at this late hour of night.”

The pair turned off all the machinery and equipment, then walked out of the Electric Center. They exited the Memory Institute and stepped out into the silent darkness.

Early the following morning, both woke up and prepared to face the Chief of the Institute for his judgment on their future there.

“He may be extremely hard in how he decides to punish us for what we were doing,” opined Reia. “I think that Ithai can become very emotional and vindictive when his authority and standing are threatened by someone.”

Enon, facing her closely, threw his arms out and embraced the woman he was in love with.

“Do not fear what lies ahead for us,” he told her in almost a whisper. “We were not doing anything unlawful or evil in any way. It is our right to defend our actions as perfectly lawful and justifiable. There is no reason for either of us to cringe or shutter for what we were engaged in last night. We have the right to defend ourselves and what we were engaged in last night.”

The pair left the flat of Reia and headed through the dimness of early dawn for the Institute where they were both employed.

The Chief’s personal secretary was already at her desk, controlling entrance to the office of Ithai Adeb.

“He wishes to see you first,” she told Reia, pointing with one hand at the oak door that the psychiatrist was to enter.

Enon took a plain chair in the entrance way, watching his partner make her way to the court of judgment in the executive office of the man who held her career and future in his hands.

Reia found Ithai looking down at a white sheet, pretending he was reading it.

He gave a quiet cough out of his throat and began to address the therapist in an officious, distant voice.

“I thought it best to speak and deal with each of you separately. What was going on in the basement of this building shocked and outraged me. The two of you were engaged in potentially dangerous activities that took a great amount of equipment and apparatuses out of their assigned locations and allowed them to be misused and abused. You may have believed that this was some sort of scientific, therapeutic work, but both of you kept it secret from me and everyone else on our staff. That is not the way that we carry on our professional responsibilities. Not at all.”

He looked at Reia with blazing raven eyes filled with angry emotion, though his voice remained calm and controlled.

“I thought about this matter all last night and reached a difficult decision. You shall have to leave this institution where you were dealing with mental patients. There is too much risk that you could break our norms again, should a wild notion take hold of your careless, heedless mind. I cannot afford to take such a dangerous gamble.

“The entire Memory Institute will be informed of your immediate suspension. You must depart at once and never return here for any reason whatever. Your work here comes to an end at once.

“Do you understand what I am telling you, Dr. Terah? We will never accept you as a part of our small community, ever again.

“That is all. Good bye.”

He returned to his pretense of reading a report. In a few seconds, Reia rose and left the office, nearly staggering out of it.

As she came out, Enon rose from his chair.

“You can now go in,” the secretary said to him from her desk nearby.

Reia occupied his chair as her partner walked into the inner office to find out what his sentence might be.

The Chief began to speak as soon as the assistant to Dr. Terah was seated across from him.

“I feel awfully sorry for what has happened to you. Your assignment to aid such a wild, undisciplined practitioner turned out to have made you into the subject of that madwoman’s experimentation. That should never have been permitted to happen, but sadly it resulted in placing you in a hazardous situation, for which I am truly sorry. She put you in an unacceptable position, and I can sympathize with your need to placate and follow the person who was acting as your supervisor.

“She seriously deceived and misled you, young man.

“Fortunately, I found out about what was going on so that I could put an end to it before the thing developed into a disaster.

“I have fired Dr. Reia Terah. She can never return to any job or post connected with this institution.

“What about you, young man? I have considered how to deal with you for hours since I saved you from possible harm. Now, I have something definite to tell you.

“There is no need to punish you as an individual. I have taken care of the problem produced by the presence of Reia. She will no longer be associated with the Memory Institute in any way. She is out for good.

“As for you: I intend to assign you to another of our practicing psychiatrists. You will learn what the details are later today, once I have conferred with several of our leading therapists.

“That is all, for now. You can go home and rest the rest of this morning. Come back in the afternoon and find out what my assignment for you happens to be.”

Enon walked out of the office with mixed, confused feelings and thoughts. Reia had suffered punishment, but he had not.

He was uncertain what might lie ahead for him and for her.

III.

Since both them were extremely hungry, they sat down in the kitchen’s eating nook and started on a second breakfast after an earlier one hours before.

Enon was first to raise the serious, overhanging question of their economic survival.

“What shall we be doing, my dear?” he asked her across the tiny table. “The Chief said I can remain at the Institute, but what about you and your future?
What are you going to be doing from now on?”

She grinned sadly, taking up and swallowing a spoonful of the oat gruel she had made before dawn.

“I cannot say for sure yet, Enon. All that has happened to us is still too close to allow me a chance to even fully catch my breath.”

“There must be opportunities for someone with your education and professional experience. I can see your entrance into private psychiatric practice. There is no possible reason for you to abandon all that you have so far achieved in your life.”

“What about your future, Enon? What will it be?” she asked with sudden fervor. “Do not allow the events of last night and this morning defeat you or your ambitions in the slightest way. You have to continue with hope in your future prospects.”

He made a sudden grimace. “I must see the Chief this afternoon and find out what he has in store for me.

“I feel a need to leave the Institute along with you, and never again go there, even on a visit.”

“Don’t foreclose what possibilities survive there for you,” she asserted. “I think you should go and find out what might still be available to choose from.”

It was not the Chief himself who gave Enon his assignment to a psychiatrist, but the secretary in the anteroom. She told it to him in a crisp, blunt manner.

“It will be your good fortune to be working for one of our best known psychiatric therapist, Dr. Salem Silad. I hope that you find your work with him very enjoyable,” she said with an unconcealed smirk.

Enon left the office with a feeling that the choice by Ithai Adeb could have been much worse. He could have somehow have been appointed assistant to Dr. Azot Lotan, a person he had come to have loathing for.

I have a great chance to learn the craft of hypnosis and auto-hypnosis from my new superior, the young apprentice told himself with a smile of satisfaction.

Reia decided to visit the Zaxia City Medical School at the university center of the capital, hoping to locate some kind of lead into returning to the private practice of psychiatry. Why not get into touch with old professors and instructors? she asked herself. She intended to learn what her prospects might be.

It was her decision to see the Dean of Mental Medicine that brought her to the office of Dr. Kaaro Riven, who had acted as a mentor to Reia in her medical and psychiatric training. Fortunately for her, he was not too busy that morning. He was glad to see her.

“Let us go and have ourselves some root tea, Reia,” said the small, pudgy dean when she appeared in his outer office. “I am not at all busy at this hour of the day, and there is nothing that would delight me as much as exchanging some thoughts and words with you.”

He led his former student out of the Mental Medicine building, across the street to a tiny coffee and tea shop. The two sat down at an outdoor sidewalk table. Riven told a waiter to bring them bowls of hot tea. Then, he asked Reia a question.

“How are you doing over at the Memory Institute?”

She looked down at the circular table. “Not too good at all. You see, I was let go for my unauthorized use of certain unacceptable treatment techniques.”

The Dean felt his jaw drop. “I don’t understand,” he muttered from deep inside.

Reia proceeded to describe her project of combining hypnotic methods with neurofeedback treatment of brainwaves.

“That is a tragic story that you just told me,” said Kaaro Riven, frowning with strong emotion. “You were treated unfairly, no question about that. There should have been some sensitivity and understanding of what you were attempting to do with your combination of two therapeutic methods into one.

“It was a brave new idea that you came up with.

“But you have to concentrate on moving forward and not dwell on what has already occurred. Could you take some specific advice from me, Reia?”

“Yes, of course,” she replied.

“There is a new type of brain survey being developed that uses and depends upon nanowaves. The sensitivity of such radiation to electric changes within the human brain is startling and extraordinary. This is a very recent development though, and all its potential applications have not yet been fully worked out.

“There are many high prospects in this specific area of research, I dare to say.”

“What do you think I should do?” inquired Reia.

Kaaro thought a few seconds, then revealed what he thought.

“Nanowave exploration could be a sharp knife in tracing and analyzing what particular neural networks of the brain are up to and what their content might consist of. It could give us an exploratory instrument better than any other that has ever been available.

“If you can master the details such microwave penetration, then you would have a way of delving deeper into what goes on when the mind loses track of what is stored in its nerve cells.

“What do you think, Reia? Does the practical, therapeutic application of nanowave radiation into the brains of mental patients arouse any interest in you?

“I consider this a promising, yet unexplored frontier with potentially magnificent future prospects. No one can today predict how far it may take us in our therapeutic work with patients.

Reia pondered inside herself for a moment. “I will have to take a look at what you are talking about,” she murmured, but somewhat uncertain what she might do beyond that.

IV.

Enon found himself delighted to have been assigned assistant to Dr. Salem Silad.

“I want you to sharpen and perfect your talents in the area of hypnotic entrancement,” said the latter to his new subordinate. “I see from your records that you have taken courses and practicums in this difficult field at Zaxia City University, but that is only the beginning.

“I need to have you develop your skill to a level where you can take on a lot of the burden that I see ahead with the growing number of patients that I anticipate are going to be sent to me by the Chief, Ithai Adeb.”

Enon smiled with hope. “That will aid me in developing the skills I will need in order to be able to help those suffering serious losses and injuries to their memories,” he said with a joyful expression of thankfulness.

“As important as mesmeric technique used on others is the ability to hypnotize oneself,” continued Salem. “You must learned how to affect your own mind through entrancement, so that you can transmit that capability to patients who can use it in order to restore their own remembrances of information from out of their past.

“None of this will be easy, but I assure you that it will serve to open important doors toward mental therapy for those who are ailing.

“You can then operate as a practicing psychologist with mesmeric and electro-magnetic skills and knowledge. That will be much more than the average psychiatrist in Zaxia is capable of performing, I guarantee you.”

Enon and Reia both had promising news to relate to the other when they were together in the latter’s flat late that afternoon.

“I have decided to take several advanced courses on nanowave medical monitoring at the University,” announced Reia. “Dean Riven has made it possible for me to become an auditor who can specialize in the new medical technology that is entering the area of the brain and the mind.

“He has great hope for the possible advancements certain to occur, and I share them. It is a tool that can locate and identify problem areas within the brain, but even go beyond merely that first step.”

“What do you mean, Reia?”

She gave him a bright smile. “There is a promising potential of using nanowave transmission for therapeutic purposes as well. It remains largely unused in that area today. But I foresee its utilization in our field of memory retrieval. I plan to be exploring how to accomplish that, going beyond mere exploration to actual treatment directly upon the brain.”

Enon frowned somewhat. “Is there any danger from such waves of tiny frequency? I mean in terms of toxicity and physical harm to the organs of the body.”

“There was hazard with traditional microwave radiation, but nanowave rays are many times smaller. Tests have proven them to hold no danger whatever to human beings. This includes the cells of the brain. It is a perfectly safe method of exploring all areas of the brain.

“My ambition is to prove that nanowaves can accomplish much more than that.”

“Let’s celebrate, then,” said Enon. “I will take you out to eat some gourmet bird this evening. How would you like some roast turtledove, my dear?”

Salem summarized his concept of self-hypnosis to Enon the following morning in his office.

“I often call the desired state for my patients an autogenic trance, one generated by their own wish and thought.

“Their goal must be not what is called full, total sleep, but rather a condition of highly focused attention and heightened suggestibility to their own suggestions. They must come to want this trance of mild, moderate dissociation in order to revive their buried memories.

“I work on the premise that the person’s unconscious has recorded every experience that he or she has ever had. Even information they were not aware of experiencing has left traces in the brain.

“Falling into a deeply relaxed state, the patient opens the door into the unconscious and the subconscious. This is the patient’s clear, positive intention. The unconscious part of the mind will do most of the heavier work involved in recovery of the past.

“My patients learn how to get out of the way of the unconscious, allowing it to speak to them without inhibition or censorship of any sort.

“Their minds creatively build new brain connections leading to what is hidden beneath the outer surface of the conscious mind.

“The patient, if successful, will learn to enjoy and even crave the liberating trances as they go on.”

“That is marvelous!” noted Enon. “But can these people learn how to do it to and for themselves?”

Salem grinned with joy. “Of course, because the technique is simple. Let me explain.”

He proceeded to demonstrate hand and arm gestures and exercises, eye movements, imaginary visualizations, and breathing rituals that were means of reaching autogenic trance states.

Last of all, the psychiatrist demonstrated how a person could use a pendant or pendulum arm to induce self-mesmerization.

“I plan to use these techniques on myself after work, at home,” Enon said to Salem before leaving later that afternoon.

He intended to demonstrate to Reia what he had learned from the hypnotizing psychiatrist that day.

Regardless of what he might be up to, regardless of what his goal was, Azot Lozan had the habit of preferring to act behind the scene. He liked to avoid the spotlight, yet have primary influence on what happened out on the public stage.

At the Memory Institute, his favorite point of leverage was his relationship with the Chief, Dr. Ithai Adeb. The latter was an individual he was able to influence with his clever stream of words. He enjoyed exercising such power.

It was while sharing dinner in the special room reserved for the Chief that Azot let out his suspicions about certain activities going on under the aegis of Salem Silad.

“I am frightened by what the newest of our staff members is doing along with his new assistant,” said Azot with alarm in his voice. “There is a problem arising here at the Institute, and it will grow worse the more that we ignore it.”

“What kind of problem are you worrying about, Azot?” asked Ithai, suddenly showing concern.

“The new assistant that you gave to Dr. Silad is still associated with Reia Terah. I have learned that the pair are living together as a couple. She remains a dangerous enemy of what we stand for as an institution. She is a vicious influence upon this naïve partner of hers.

“You remember how she tried to bring feedback techniques here by combining them with hypnotism? The result was that the devilish fiend had to be fired and driven out.

“But now she has a foot back in our Institute, through the young man who now works under Dr. Silad. He is not here for good, but to commit some evil we cannot yet identify. She could be using him as her puppet who acts for her.

“That is the peril that this Enon Gareb presents. With Reia in control of him, he can do serious harm to everyone involved in therapy with us.

“I merely wish to warn you to keep your eyes on what might be going on behind the scene. It is a real, impending threat.”

Making no immediate response, the Chief seemed abstracted and absent for a brief time.

“Yes,” he said in final reply, “both of us will have to watch what this young fellow might be up to.”

V.

Reia listened with focused attention as Enon described all he had learned from Dr. Silad that day, as the pair took a stroll through a small park near their apartment.

“It sounds to me like inspiring, productive work you are engaged in,” she told him as they sat down on an unoccupied polymer bench. “But I also absorbed a lot of interesting material today, because I observed how two-dimensional nanowaves are able to locate and map out the varied parts and regions of the brain. It was amazing to me how finely detailed such a minute exploration can be. This type of radiation can pin down the exact location of each specific, particular mental function performed, and exactly where it is found.”

“Was there much about the memory and where it might be centered?” asked Enon.

Reia smiled with unexpected glee. “I succeeded in observing nanowave pictures of the prefrontal lobe, which holds short-term memories, and the hippocampus, seat of our long-term storage. The possible interplay between these two areas of the brain is an important factor in terms of what can be immediately recalled and what may seem to be lost and forgotten.”

“That is an interesting fact to know,” commented Enon. “What else did you pick up from this work you became involved in?”

“Each hemisphere of the brain contains four separate lobes: the frontal, temporal, occipital, and pariental. We have explored all of them with our nanowave transmitters.

“It is within the medial temporal lobe that we locate the primary areas involved with memory. They are centered in what is called the hippocampal formation and the adjacent cortex region of the parahippocampal gyrus.

“Especially important are what are called the mammillary bodies within the hypothalamus, as well as the anterior nuclear group of cells in the thalamus.

“There are overlapping networks and subnetworks of neurons between these varied areas of the brain, and how they interact is important for the functioning of the memory. These regions possess a high degree of connectivity. As a result, memory may arise from the interaction between a multiple number of separate hubs.

“For example, the episodic memory of the brain packages and holds facts and events in long and short series that correspond to points in time.

“The temporal lobe seems to process and store visuals, scenes, sights, faces, and identities for the mind’s future use.”

Enon felt a contagious thrill that he realized originated from Reia’s excitement.

“Keep up with this exploratory mapping,” he advised her. “It will surely come to have good consequences for the memory therapy we both have such great interest in.”

“What am I going to do?” she said with a degree of alarm. “It is very difficult to start and develop a private practice in the variety of psychiatry that I want to practice. And no hospital is going to hire me due to my failure at the Memory Institute.”

“You were not a failure there, Reia. Not at all. It was stupidity and ignorance that caused Ithai Adeb to fire you for the pettiest of reasons. I believe that he turned against you because you had omitted to ask the Chief for official permission from him to proceed with the combination of neurofeedback with self-hypnotism. His sense of rank and dignity was insulted by the advanced research you were carrying out all on your own, independently.

“You are the one on the outer frontier of your profession, not Ithai. It was you who were exploring and testing new therapeutic combination, while he and those like him at the Institute were enemies of forward progression in the treatment of memory problems and illnesses.

“From what I have heard Salem Silad say about the tragic incident in which you came to be expelled and excluded, there was a sinister influence that incited the Chief’s spiteful reaction. It came from Azot Lotan, who saw you as his most serious rival for favor and support. He poisoned the mind of Ithai Adeb and forced it to turn against you.

“Isn’t that the best explanation of what came to pass?”

“What you say makes a lot of sense to me, Enon,” she told him with a sigh of sadness. “You and I must somehow find a way of proving that we were right in what we were doing at the time.

“I possess a half-secret hope about how to justify our kind of research, which can prove the most valuable in the long run, over time.

“There is the possibility that the nanowaves that I at present am studying and learning to apply can have a future.”

“What kind of future are you thinking of, Reia?” he asked her with curiosity.

She made a mysterious grin. “I am considering whether it has a place in direct therapy as a tool that can revive lost, untraceable memories.”

VI.

Reia decided after a month of study and research that the time was right for her to present a delicate request to her friend and mentor, Kaaro Riven.

It seemed best to face him directly and go immediately to the gist of what it was she was after.

“I would like to go onto the payroll and staff of the Mental Medicine section as a technician carrying out nanowave scans on patients,” she announced.
My objective is to advance and solidify my skills in this new exploratory area. I want to become a psychiatrist who can make maps of the brain patterns within the heads of those seeking treatment of their memory damage.

“What do you think? Is there a place for me to try to test what I can accomplish for the patients under therapy?”

Kaaro Riven studied the face of his ex-student. “I guess it can be arranged, so maybe you will be able to get yourself even greater skills while serving some of our patients with the brain maps you will be generating.

“Yes, I intend to do all I can in your behalf.”

“Thank you, my friend,” said the psychiatrist with a shining grin on his face.

Reia was in ecstasy when she informed Enon of her new employment.

“I will be working directly with memory patients among other types. There will be opportunity for me to ask them questions of my own as I map out the different regions of their brains with nanowaves that I control through the transmission machinery in the diagnostic chamber.

“I intend to make full use of the openings for my own personal research that the tasks assigned to me will be offering.”

Enon beamed at her. “I am so happy for you. This will give you a feeling of genuine accomplishment.”

“My hope is that I can find some unique, original results from talking with patients during their individual brain scans,” confessed Reia. “That will make all of this worthwhile.”

Enon went to work every morning, finding his supervisor sinking into increasing frustration with his treatment attempts.

Salem Silad expressed himself without embarrassment or hesitation when the two of them were alone in the psychiatrist’s office.

“I have tried to wipe out the barriers to remembering in patient after patient, but the recovery of memories has always turned out to be a disappointment to me.

“A little bit of what was buried does return, but most of what I seek to revive remains as dormant as it was before therapy even began.

“Nothing appears to help, even my use of self-hypnosis. No medical compound has any effect on the final results. There is nothing that turns out as I hoped or anticipated when I first turned to mesmeric treatment. It is very disappointing indeed.

“Whether the trance originates from outside or inside the individual’s own mind and brain, there is little difference in what the final score happens to be. Very little improvement results.

“Is it any wonder that I am depressed by the dashing to pieces of what I thought might happen when I first came to the Memory Institute?”

Enon looked at the doctor with sympathy and understanding.

Is there another, unexpected factor that could save what he is trying to do with self-hypnotic methodology? wondered the assistant.

Could the solution lie with what Reia is planning to experiment with? he asked himself.

“I think we can go forward with the combination of two methods that we have been planning to carry out,” said Reia with steel in her voice one morning as she ate breakfast in the kitchen of her flat. Her cinnamon eyes appeared aglow with an inner radiance. “It will be possible for you and I to enter the nano-experimental chamber without interference or questions after midnight. There will be no one at all anywhere in that vicinity, of that I am certain.”

“There are no night guards around at that kind of hour?” asked Enon with perplexity. “We would face no problem of being asked why we were there at such an odd, uncustomary time?” He looked at her with a frown on his worried face.

“The security staff is a small one and does not pay too much attention to that section of the building, certainly in the middle of the night.”

The pair fell into silent thought for a short while, till Enon made a decision that changed his initial fears and doubts.

“I guess it is perfectly safe as long as we are very careful and discrete,” he muttered. “Very well, you will control the transmission of nano-radiation into my brain, and I will be the one performing the auto-mesmeric entrancement of myself.

“It will be a daring and interesting experiment on our part, Reia,” he declared, forcing himself into a smile that assured his partner.

VII.

Enon had to choose which method of self-hypnosis to use for this specific circumstance, since he had been taught a number of different ways to induce a trance inside his own mind and brain. He discussed this specific subject with Reia in the late afternoon of the date they had agreed upon as appropriate and suitable.

“I have decided to use a series of steps that ensure that theta waves are dominant in me, that I am not fully conscious yet not asleep or in a complete coma. Rather, I will be in a trance of distraction and disassociation, as it is called. Neither fully awake, nor completely unconscious, but rather in a middle stage between the two conditions. I will know where I am and what I am doing. It will be a sort of twilight position, neither the one nor its opposite.”

“And how will you act upon your mental state to bring that about, Enon?” she inquired with serious interest.

He smiled with self-assurance. “I have profound faith in what I call the triple method. Let me explain.

“In my thought, when I am quietly relaxed and at ease, I visual three different objects or existing entities, for example organs of my very own body. An arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg. Or outside myself, a chair, a table, or a light sac or a door.

“Three times, I make myself see, hear, or feel three separate objects or beings.

“Then, I imagine that I can hear three new, different things.

“And after that, I tell myself to imagine that I can tactically feel three new entities out beyond my own mind.

“There then follows a second round, in which I see, hear, and feel only two things, omitting one from each of the categories of seeing, hearing, and feeling.

“Last of all, I think of only one object that I see, then one I hear, and one that I can feel. I omit another part of my imagined and visualized entities.

“This repeated, but reduced, imagining and mentalization will bring me into the state of abstracted auto-hypnosis that I seek to enter.

“It should be a successful road to what we are both after, Reia.

“I will be ready to receive and absorb the nanowaves that you focus upon my brain, particularly the region of my memory-holding hippocampus.” He grinned with confident emotional bearings at his partner. “Don’t worry at all, my dear, we are surely going to succeed in this.”

_

The night was an extremely cloudy one, with not a ray of starlight descending out of the blackened sky above.

Enon and Reia moved under cover of the darkness outdoors, entering the wing of the Mental Medical building without being seen or noticed by any other person.

Reia opened the door into the main corridor with the key she had taken from the office where Dean Riven supervised activities that fell under his authority.

Enon followed behind, since she possessed greater familiarity with where their destination was located in the place. Within less than a minute, the two reached the special room that held the nanowave equipment that they planned to use in their secret project.

Reia knew where to reach to turn on the dials that lit up the entire chamber used for pioneering research into mapping the brains of troubled mental patients.

“That is the testing chair where you will be seated,” she whispered to her companion, pointing with her right hand to the throne-like piece of furniture specially constructed and set up here for use in exploring into brain patterns and nervous operations connected to thought.

Enon backed his body into the wide, comfortable padded seat, giving his partner a nod indicating he was prepared to proceed on with their project.

Reia, picking up a head cap with tiny wire terminals attached to its side, carefully moved behind him and placed the covering over his short chestnut head of hair. She took several seconds to adjust how the rubbery piece fit upon him. At last satisfied, she moved to his front where she could face him directly.

“Everything is ready for monitoring your brainwave variations and changes in electrical frequencies as they occur. I shall now take charge of the transmission apparatus and begin registering what your brain conditions are in its various regions and sectors.

“When I am ready to start focusing waves into specific loci within your hippocampus, I will signal this change in electronic power and frequency with a deep, visible nod of my head and a lifting of my right arm to my forehead.

“Are you ready to start, Enon?”

“Yes,” he murmured in a low, barely audible tone.

Reia, looking away from the man she had become devoted to, stepped away and placed both hands on the dial-board on top of the EEG transmitter. She started to move, calibrate, and adjust the dials, button, and levers that would send a series of nano-charges into his brain.

What is going to occur within his hippocampus? the psychiatrist asked herself. Is he about to be moved into a new sphere, almost a new world that has lain dormant for a long, unmeasured period of years? And how can such recovery of past events and knowledge affect his future thoughts and actions?

He and I are both leaping into an opaque cloud whose features remain to be seen and known, Reia swiftly realized.

Enon knew that something undefined and enigmatic was happening to him. This was obviously a new experience that he had never before had.

Certainly, he had placed himself into hypnotic trance on a number of occasions, under the guidance and supervision of his superior, Dr. Salem Silad.

But now he was in a state that was totally novel, unprecedented, and strange. There was something uncanny, even unnatural, about how his emotions happened to be reacting to a flow of something mysterious into and through his brain.

It seemed like he was located in a location that had not existed as a possibility for him up to now.

My life is becoming different, and it will never be the same as what it was before.

An unknown force, a hidden power of some sort, had begun to emerge deep in his consciousness of being alive.

Was his forgotten memory about to return where it ought to have been?

Reia removed the electrical cap from his head after disconnecting all the lead-in nanowires. She restored the equipment and apparatuses as close as possible to where and how they had been before their invasion and intrusion.

“Are you able to walk out of this chamber and out into the night air on your own, Enon,” his partner in scientific but unauthorized lawlessness asked him.

“Yes, I feel strong enough to make it on my own,” he replied. “My head feels clear. And I still have enough balance and self-control to walk out on my own two legs.”

The pair, with Reia in the lead, sneaked out of the brain-mapping chamber, into the corridor lit only by tiny guard lights high on the walls.

Slow, cautious progress brought them to the back door of the Mental Medical building. The night was cloudy and damp. The temperature had fallen to a level that made both Enon and his companion shiver a bit.

They reached a small transit station along a major boulevard of Zaxia City and waited on sheltered polymer benches for the next night street-trolley to pass by and take them on board, then homeward.

VIII.

Reia thought it best for Enon that he not say anything about his experience immediately, but go to bed to get a few hours of sleep and body rest.

“We will talk and find out what resulted when you awaken and are fully at ease,” she said as pleasantly as she could. “There will be plenty of time to delve into the questions we both are asking ourselves. I prefer you take tomorrow off and not go to work at the Institute.

“You can later make an excuse to Dr. Silad concerning your one-day absence. There should be no complaint, because till now you have never missed any time at all, Enon.”

The latter complied with her proposal and was soon soundly slumbering.

Reia looked in on her partner several times before day dawned, noticing that his sleeping was proceeding with unusual nervous twisting and turning about.

Has the treatment that I administered to him disturbed his mental balance and equilibrium? she wondered uneasily.

It happened by chance that Reia was standing beside the bed he was used to, looking down at him in curiosity and vague alarm.

His caramel eyes were unusually swollen when he suddenly awakened and looked out and about. He caught sight of her and focused his strengthening attention.

“My dear, I had a dream I never had before. It was more a kind of revelation.

“I was a small child, perhaps about four or five years old. It was happening on the big, open porch of the house that the family lived in during my early years of childhood, before I was taken in by my aunt and uncle.

“I was, at first, all alone. Then I saw a small group of children walking past our house, out on the cement walkway that passed by beside the quiet, empty street where any traffic was a rare thing.

“The neighborhood gang of boys and girls about my age shouted at me, inviting me to join with them and go along to the nearby playground. Their voices grew louder and louder, until my father came out of the interior of our house and called out to the passing group.

“I was able to make out what he was telling them in his raised voice: that I had been very sick with the grippe and ordered to stay at home for the time being, until he determined that I had fully recovered from my illness.

“That might come about soon, he informed them and me as well. Then I would be able to accompany them and join in on playing at the little park a short distance away, down our street.”

Enon paused to catch his breath, staring with unmoving, enlarged eyes at her.

“What do you think, Reia? Is my memory of forgotten events reviving itself? I have never had any remembrance of such a thing having happened to me back then, on the front porch of our old house.

“Is it a true memory, or just a figment of my dreaming imagination? Was it a real happening in my life, or merely some sort of wish-fulfillment?

“Can you tell me what it was for me?” he asked her in a desperate tone.

She forced herself to smile at him.

“Time will tell us the nature of it, as well as anything else that is going to pop up in your conscious thought.

“We must wait with patience, and then together analyze the truth and reality of any new impressions that come to you.”

“I feel hungry” announced Enon. “Why don’t we both find something to eat in the kitchen? We can talk all we want over breakfast.”

“A good idea,” she nodded as he raised himself out of bed.

Reia went to work later than was usual for her, but no one said anything when she excused herself with a simple lie.

“I stayed up late last night and that made me oversleep this morning,” she claimed. “It’s purely my fault and it won’t happen again.”

“Do not be worried about the matter,” responded Dr. Riven with a glowing smile. “Your work is so excellent that you will surely make up the few minutes that you lost in only a little while of effort.”

Reia went about her scheduled tasks of helping map out the brain patterns of a number of patients scheduled for nanowave analysis and study.

The work day passed by rapidly for her. She skipped going off to the section cafeteria for lunch. Instead, she remained in the nanowave room, examining all she safely could.

Nowhere was there any kind of trace or clue revealing the occupation of the facility the previous night.

Enon had a day unlike any other he had ever experienced.

His conscious mind returned to his lost, forgotten childhood years. Over and over, again and again, he found himself with mental images that appeared he had not experienced since that blank period that had swallowed up years of his early life.

At first, his emotional response was one of exhilaration and inspiration.

Was his memory coming back? Had it emerged from a dark, opaque cloud of mental oblivion?

But in just a short time, his thinking changed direction and character.

How much danger existed for his self-image if full memory returned to him?

Did he possess the strength of will to be able to cope with the results of the variety of new thoughts flowing into his consciousness?

Enon sensed that he would never be the same as he had been before his recent treatment with nanowave fed into his brain.

He began to dread the possibility of an unforeseen disaster occurring within his brain and mind.

IX.

“Are you remembering anything that appears newly found to you, as if it proceeded out of the shadowy recesses of your subconscious into the light of full consciousness?” questioned Reia upon returning to the flat after finished working at the Mental Medicine Center.

“Yes,” he replied with a positive spirit and attitude. “Indeed, I have recalled incidents of my early life that I did not have memory of until this day.

“Do you wish me to give you an example to illustrate what it is I speak of?”

“Yes, go ahead,” she urged Enon.

“I was only about six years old and I was playing various simple games with a small group of boys who had recruited me as a friend of several of them.

“We enjoyed proposing daring acts to each other. It was a kind of competition, individual to individual chum, to learn who would accept the dare and who was unwilling to do so.

“One day, several of my companions gave me the bet that I would be afraid to enter into a vacant house near our neighborhood which was at the time unoccupied. Would I test the doors to learn whether any of them could be opened? Did I possess enough courage and bravery to carry out the dangerous act of entering the empty building and walk about inside it?

“I told my friends that I had no fear of going in on my own. So, I tried all the outside doors and discovered that the one on the back of the house remained unlocked. While the others watched me, I opened the door, snuck in, and made my way into all the first-floor rooms.

“Having finished this mission, I quickly exited and rejoined the gang waiting for me outside.

“That is what I remembered today for the first time since I grew out of my childhood. It is something that I only salvaged and restored in my mind today.

“I can say that it actually occurred, but it had been erased from remembering until now.

“It is back in my personal memory once again, it has been recreated by the nanowaves that entered my mind at the same time that I had mesmerized myself.

“It is a nearly magical achievement, I admit to you, Reia.”

The pair looked at each other with happy smiles on their faces.

“I believe that you are going to remember much more from those early years,” she told her partner.

Enon felt as if the brain inside his head was in a continual wild spin of some sort. Incidents from out of the once buried past stormed into his consciousness, disrupting the rhythms of his daily life.

He related the gist of each and every separate, distinct event that he recovered through endless recall of his earliest years of life.

“I had only begun to attend primary school in our neighborhood and
become accustomed to walking to my class there on my own, when a strange attack upon me occurred.

“Two large, frightening dogs came up to me from behind and leaped ahead, blocking my forward movement entirely. As soon as I halted, they made their attack on my body, setting their awful mouths open, extending their long red tongues, and advancing as if ready to bite and eat me. My fear rose as never before or even since then. It appeared that they were intent upon making a meal out of the small young boy that I was at that time.

“But then the appearance of a postman in ashen blue uniform rescued me from these brutal animals. He came up to me as the two dogs slunk away from the mail carrier. The mailman asked me if I was all right, and whether I knew how to find my way home. I thanked him for compelling the dogs to retreat and leave me alone. Yes, I told him that I could make it home on my own, by myself. He smiled and said he was willing to be my personal guard and accompany me the rest of the way. I replied that I thought I was capable of walking home by myself and started stepping away. I gradually forgot about the pair of aggressive dogs that had scared and stopped me.

“Only today, out of nowhere, the strange encounter that I long ago experienced came to mind. Did it result from being jolted out of my subconscious by the combination of auto-hypnosis and nanowave treatment, Reia?”

He sensed the inner warmth behind the smile his story had generated on her face.

“It must be the result of what we did, Enon. We have discovered a method of bringing back to consciousness long-lost memories. The instrument that we have in our hands can have revolutionary consequences for memory therapy. No one can predict how far it can lead today’s psychologists and psychiatrists.”

Enon grew excited, in parallel with the rising emotional trend she was showing to him.

“Are you going to report this to Dr. Riven and the rest of the staff of the Mental Medicine wing?

“I can only imagine how Ithai Adeb and the Memory Institute would react upon learning what you and I have done with nanowave radiation.”

Reia thought deeply several seconds before giving him an answer.

“No, I believe we must have a short period of retesting and careful recording of additional results. It should not take us too long to obtain more solid proof and verification of the effects on memory.

“What do you say, Enon? I am thinking of just a week or two of additional recollection of your childhood past. Then, we could publicize and announce our great achievement to the rest of the profession and the entire planet.

“What do you think about my plan?”

“Yes, I can understand the sense of going forward with necessary caution,” muttered her partner with a measure of hesitation.

Remembrance followed remembrance for Enon. It formed into an unending series, year by year of buried memories. Each and every day emerged out of the formerly invisible, unknown past. Reality solidified and was identified in his brain’s screen of becoming who he was.

“My life is starting to make more sense to me,” he confessed to Reia one evening in the second week after the nanowave treatment.

“I feel as if I now possess a new, different mind,” he laughed with glee. “I am now a richer, more evolved Enon than I was only a short time ago.

“Is it possible to change a person so radically, so fundamentally, through the radiating of nanowave frequencies into one’s brain?

“I have a difficult time accepting the truth of this sudden, immediate kind of liberation, Reia.”

She returned his laughter with a bit of her own. “If it was any kind of liberation, then it had to be self-liberation. Don’t forget, your mesmeric trance resulted from auto-hypnosis. I was not its source, you were.”

“We cooperated to bring it about. One of us committed the mesmeric portion, the other provided the nanowaves that created the right internal conditions in my hippocampus. It was only together, with both streams, that I recovered the memories lost somewhere in my brain.”

Reia and Enon approached each other and embraced as never before.

Neither of them were able, at this point in their lives together, to foresee how the future might hold the hazard of hypermnesia for Enon and other potential patients. That complete memory itself was a dangerous condition in which a brain to exist in safety and harmony with itself.

But that was another part of the story of their lives with each other. It remained an area of potentiality and possibility for a comparatively short period of time as the Memory Institute changed and evolved.

The Memory Institute II

21 Jan

I.

The building was dead still when Enon led the patient down the stairwell to the darkened basement and the Electrical Center.

Reia first spoke to Nabot, explaining what her plan was for that night.

“I wish to combine two methods together so that the one can augment the other. My hope that such a conjoining of them will result in the magnification of each of them upon your problem of confused memory.

“First we shall submit you to brainwave feedback, so that your nervous system becomes used to self-regulation. Our objective is to raise the chance or rebalancing and filtering of true memories from the inventions and the imaginative creations of your own brain. You must become capable of distinguishing the one from the other.

“The hope is that by strengthening your ability to recall the truths of your past, you will be able to free yourself from the falsehoods residing in the memory patterns that you call up from out of your unconscious region of the mind.

“In a strange way, the neurofeedback treatment you are about to receive should help you discern the difference between the true and the false in your memory bank. That should become easier for you to do.

“Once we are done with that aspect of therapy, I intend to question you about what remembrances of the past remain as strong survivals and which fall by the wayside and vanish.

“Is what we are going to do clear to you, Nabot?”

“Yes, I believe that I understand, Dr. Terah,” replied the patient with visible hope and enthusiasm. “I am ready to begin.”

Reia looked to the side of the chair in which sat Nabot. She gave a nod of her head to Enon who stood at the control of the computer that would be regulating the EEG waves fed into the patient.

Her assist began to transmit the electrical charges that were to produce and govern the wavelengths of the brainwaves to be set and measured through the head cap worn by Nabot.

The exercise started with a combination of fast beta waves being generated in the neurons of the patient’s brain.

After several minutes of this activity, Enon changed the flow of electrical energy into the medium range of alpha waves of slow nervous idling. This variety of transmission dominated the right side of the brain first, then spread over into the left side as well.

A few minutes of this frequency finished with another major change governed by what Enon was doing at the control board of the main computer he had delivered to the Electric Center.

The brain waves of Nabot now changed into predominantly relaxed theta waves. The patient now fell into a state of slow thought and relaxation, similar to simple, uncontrolled day-dreaming. He was now very close to falling asleep, in which there would have been mostly the slowest of all types of waves, the delta ones of unconsciousness and slumbering.

Enon and Reia looked at each other. Both of them understood that this was the point at which the subject of their efforts had the chance of separating imagination from reality, true memory from the fictional kind. Their primary hopes rested with the lethargic, easy theta waves.

Have we succeeded? each was asking the other as Nabot seemed to have dozed off into day-dreaming prior to genuine sleep. Were his memories to be reformed and straightened out?

“Our patient is nearly in hypnotic trance,” whispered Reia to her assistant.

“Yes,” agreed Enon, “I am amazed at how quiet and relaxed our friend has become, yet he remains fully conscious of his surroundings and what has been going on. I hope that we can discover some discernible change in his store of memory. If we are successful, his mind will have been liberated from the memory trap it was caught in.”

“I will now start to question Nabot about his past history,” she said, turning to the patient and posing a question to him.

“Nabot, please tell us if you can name the teachers you learned the most from back in grammar school. Who were they?”

The man with the brain cap on his head rattled off a series of half a dozen names that smoothly issued out of his memory neutrons. The electro-recorder that Enon had placed next to the EEG machine had been set running and took down what was now being said by both the doctor and her patient.

“Second, Nabot, I would like you to tell me the names of your favorite teachers during your years of high school education, the ones who did the most for you.”

It took only a minute or so for the patient to present what had been requested by his therapist.

“Now, I want you to tell me what courses you took when you were a student at Zaxia City University. I am sure that you can recall what they were. Give me their titles, if you can.”

Nabot carried out the task given him with speed and alacrity, pronouncing the titles of numerous courses with ease and confidence.

Reia then turned to Enon. “I think it is time to end this session, so you can help our friend to return upstairs to his room. He is probably tired and could use some rest and sleep.”

The assistant closed down all the EEG equipment and the recording computer.

The doctor left the Electrical Center first of all, then the two men headed for the stairwell that led to the first floor.

II.

Reia and Enon did not see each other or speak till the following morning, in her office. She appeared to him to be in a mood of disappointment about what they had been involved with the previous night. Her brow was wrinkled. A frown seemed to be forming on her face.

As soon as he was seated the doctor started to tell him what conclusions she had reached about the results of their neurofeedback project.

“It did not go well at all,” she reported in a heavy, troubled voice. “I looked up what we have of Nabot’s academic records, and they failed to match up with what we heard when I asked him those three questions last night.

“He did not study under those teachers that he mentioned. Nabot somehow heard about them from other students and imagines, in his remembering mind, that they would have been preferable to the instructors and professors he actually had experience with.

“There was noticeable effect of our efforts on his memory. True ones were not winnowed out of all those that his mind for some reason managed to fabricate. That is the sad score that resulted from all the brainwave changes that the EEG treatment produced in him. It is a tragic disappointment.

“The program turned out to be a big, fat zero.”

Enon could see that she was distraught over the failure they had experienced with what they had carried out the night before. He decided to ask Reia about what future she now intended for the attempt to shape the brain electronically.

“Are we going to continue treating Nabot the same way next time?” he inquired with evident curiosity.

“There is a chance that the way the frequencies were presented to his brain was defective or mistaken. So, I believe we have to vary how these are presented in terms of time sequence.”

“What does that mean, then?” he asked.

“Each segment of waves must be made shorter, and then set into a rotating pattern that is repeated over and over for a fairly long period of time. We are to repeat the series of wave changes again and again from Beta to Alpha, then to Theta and Delta. Over and over, but for short periods only. None of the cycles will be of any noticeable length, not at all what you carried out last night under the control of the computer that you handled. It has to be done on a different scale, with new rhythms to it, Enon.”

The latter appeared to be astounded by her change of direction.

“You have reason to believe that will do the trick?” he questioned with uneasiness.

All of a sudden, Reia broke out in a smile. “I see no other alternative at this point,” she muttered in a bittersweet manner.

Chief Ithai Adeb surprised Dr. Azot Lotan by making an unscheduled, unannounced visit to the latter’s office a short while after the noon hour.

“I wanted to talk with you, Azot, so I decided to walk over and see you right here in the place where I knew you would be.” He sat down across from Azot without being asked to do so.

I am glad to see you,” mumbled the unsettled man behind the desk.

“The business that I am interested in concerns the new preparation that you appear to be using at the present time,” said Ithai with a sudden smile. “Yes, I received word about it from a scientist at Zaxia Pharma who happens to be an old, close friend of mine. We saw each other at a social event at the Cultural Center downtown and he reported what was going on to me.

“Did you forget to tell me about such an important development by mistake?”

This announcement from the Chief caused Azot to let out a cough from deep in his throat.

“I must not have considered it worthy of your attention, sir. The compound is still in its stage of experiment and I see myself as giving it practical testing on memory problems. That’s all there is to it.”

“Do you have any positive results from using it yet?” asked Ithai.

“No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t. It is too early for that, it appears.”

“You must remember the fact that no other tool is as effective in correcting the problems in the memory than old-fashioned hypnotism. It has, as far as I can tell, always been our best instrument and tool in psychology.”

Both men turned silent for a brief time.

The Chief bolted to his feet, disconcerting Dr. Lotan with its vigor and suddenness.

“Keep me informed in what you find out, Azot,” muttered the head of the Memory Institute as he made a speedy exit out of the office.

The second session with Nabot Jor undergoing EEG neurofeedback occurred three nights after the first treatment in the basement Electric Center.

Enon saw to it that the brainwaves of the patient followed the pattern of changing frequencies drawn up by Reia. The latter then asked Nabot a number of questions to determine whether his memory profile had been altered by this kind of therapy.

Enon returned the patient to his rooms on the upper level of the Institute, while Reia went home with charts of how Nabot’s brain had reacted to what he had undergone.

Early the following morning, Enon showed up at the doctor’s office, curious to find out what she had concluded about the condition of the memory of the person under the new system of therapy.

“What happened within Nabot last night?” he inquired as soon as he walked to into Reia’s office, standing as he waited to learn what she was going to say
to him.

As soon as he caught the frown on her forehead, Enon came to anticipate that the news was not going to be positive or encouraging in any way.

“It is very close to what we witnessed the first night,” she told him. “I could find nothing in his answers to me or on the rolls that might be considered progress. Despite the changes that we made, the memory function of his mind seems to have remained unchanged. There was no noticeable improvement at all.

“I find that result tragic and disappointing.”

“So do I,” murmured Enon. “What are we to do now?” he asked her.

“It is too early to place Nabot back in the Electric Center receiving EEG power through a head cap,” answered Reia, frowning for a second. “If only we were able to locate the cause of the stubbornness of his brain, resisting the location of his concealed early memories.”

Her assistant suddenly conceived an unexpected, unusual idea.

“I just thought of something. Why don’t we carry out a testing exercise with our neurofeedback set-up? What I mean is this: why can’t I place myself in the position that Nabot was occupying and have you at the controls, varying the combinations of waves forming in my brain? Doing that would enable you to change the order and the timing of the kinds of waves generated inside my head. And you would be in a position to try out different patterns of waves as to timing, but also as to strength.

What do you think of my idea, Reia? Is it outlandish and too wild for a strict scientist such as you to take part in?

“I think that it might reveal why we are failing with Nabot, up to now.

“There is nothing to lose, is there?”

Reia stared directly into her assistant’s caramel eyes.

“I don’t believe we should be taking chances with the balance inside your mental operations,” she told him thoughtfully. “If we don’t foresee what the outcome might turn out to be, we should not be gambling or taking experimental risks of any kind.”

“But there will be no such hazards involved, Reia,” he assured her. “You will be governing and calibrating the EEG and its electricity. Doesn’t that provide us enough confidence in the safety of the enterprise? I should think that it does.”

Both of them considered the potential situation for a short while.

At last the psychiatrist made a decision on his proposal.

“I will accept the idea and act as its technical direction, but on one condition.”

“What would that be?” asked the puzzled Enon, biting his lower lip.

“That you permit me to hypnotize you first, so that we can avoid pain or any sort of harmful effect upon you. I insist that we accomplish that safeguard first, before you undergo EEG current into your brain.”

A smile broke out on his face. “Very well, I will concede that provision to you. That will be the way that we proceed in the Electric Center. When do you think it should happen?”

Reia suddenly grinned. “Late tonight will be best,” she merrily announced to him.

III.

It was surprisingly easy to place her assistant into hypnotic trance, the doctor discovered once she had descended to the Electric Center along with him.

He sat in the experiment chair, the cap with sensors and EEG connections on top of his head.

The first phase of the plan set was for Reia to place Enon into a mesmeric state.

She stood directly in front of him, her cinnamon eyes focused on his caramel-colored ones. The two experimenters stared intently at each other.

Enon grew distracted from conscious thought in less than two minutes, while she slowly waved her right hand in front of him, back and forth a number of times in succession.

The hypnotist was astonished at the speed of her success with this particular subject. She suddenly found herself in a state of mental command over the young man who worked with him. His mind had fallen into a waking trance.

Reia stopped moving her hand once she was certain that the goal had been attained. His brain had entered a condition of theta wave dominance, she was thoroughly certain.

“Tell me what your earliest childhood memories may be, Enon,” she whispered in a slow, musical tone.

Nothing came from the mouth of the assistant for a long period, till he began to murmur a reply to her question.

“My Uncle Jodah was the one who tried to explain the accident that my mother and father suffered out on the intercity highway, but it did not at the moment make any sense to me.

“How could they go away and never come back again? Where would they go and stay? I began to think that they were angry with me and had decided to punish through abandoning me. That was it: they had decided that they did not need me or love me anymore. I had been abandoned by them.

“It took me time to realize that this was not a joke or a game they were playing on me. I had to live now at the home of Uncle Jodah and Aunt Seta. They were not my parents and they treated me like a stranger, an outsider, a person they had taken in for reasons of their own, unlike how my mother and father had treated me when I lived with them.

“I had to move to a different house that I was not too familiar with, that I had infrequently visited before. I had to go to a school new and unfriendly to me. The teachers seemed cruel and unfeeling to me. The other children were brutal and teased me a lot. They asked me questions full of hatred and disregard for my feelings. Where is your father? Where is your mother? Why has no one among us ever seen or heard about them? Why had they vanished out of my life?

“I started to turn sick and often had to stay home with Aunt Seta. She was very strict and cold toward me. My memories of her are painful ones. And Uncle Jodah believed in physical punishment, often spanking me with a large stick that he kept for that purpose. Those two had no children and had no knowledge at all about what a child thinks and feels.

“My memories are very bad ones from those years with them. I tried to remember my mother and father, but there was nothing left of them in my mind, nothing at all. My mind was a blank when it came to the time before the accident and my moving to live with the two who tortured my very soul. I could sense their disregard and coldness toward myself.

“I wish that I had some definite, concrete memory of my birth parents, but I have nothing. I cannot even remember what they looked like. Were they tall or short, heavy or lean? Only from old photographs can I have a look at them. But the amazing fact is that I can see their pictures and not even recognize who they are. Two strangers, I have to conclude and answer. Did I know them? I ask myself. Did they know me? Who were those two people in the photos? These pictures had no meaning or importance whatever to me.

“That is the sad state I must live in, as if I was born or reborn at the age of eight.”

Reia, at that point, interrupted the unusual reverie of her assistant.

“You can now stop talking, Enon.

“I will now proceed to the completion of the EEG transmission into your brain. You shall now be experiencing the effects of our planned program, including the neurofeedback effect of the setup.

“You can now stay silent until the brainwave treatment is completed.”

When the planned pattern of electrical stimulation was finished, Ebon helped Reia remove the brain cap he had been wearing. The two of them rose after all the instruments that had been in use were shut down and closed up. They then left the Electric Center together and climbed the stairs leading to the ground floor.

“We will have to go into the possible memory changes that occurred when we meet tomorrow morning in the office, Ebon.” She stopped walking and turned to face him. All of a sudden, she did something that caught him off guard and caused initial confusion, then consternation in his mind.

Reia kissed his mouth and then turned away.

Before Ebon could pull himself together or ask her a question, the doctor he worked with had withdrawn down the corridor leading to the back exit of the Memory Institute.

What did she mean to communicate to me with her kiss? the assistant who had undergone neurofeedback asked himself. How did she think and feel concerning me?

His mind searched for possible reasons, but they all evaporated immediately.

Does she have feelings toward me? What type of emotion has risen within her?

Reia had never seemed a romantic individual to him. But he realized that he was very unfamiliar with females in general.

She is years older than me. What is she thinking or dreaming of?

Does she have some dream concerning our future relations, one to one?

Is she merely lonely for friendship and nothing at all beyond that?

I have never thought of her in any particular way.

Should I now begin to?

IV.

“How was your night, Ebon? Did you enjoy a restful sleep after what happened downstairs?” asked Reia with spirit that following morning when the assistant reported to her office.

He realized at once that she was going to pretend that she had not carried out her surprise on him the previous night. Reia was putting on a mask and pretense of forgetfulness over the mysterious incident.

“Sit down,” she said to him. “I want to learn whether you have experienced any new memories that you did not possess earlier, before last night’s feedback.”

Ebon did as he was told, his eyes glued on her face as he searched for some sign of emotion related to himself.

“My brain feels exactly as it did before yesterday. No noticeable change in me at all. It would be sad if all our work together resulted it nothing at all. Perhaps the neurofeedback idea is a futile one with no future. Maybe we are really wasting our time and our efforts, Reia,” he said with a moan.

She gave him a look of being troubled by his attitude. “No, we can’t just surrender and give up. You and I have to continue and persist. I see no alternative to continuing in this direction. What alternative is there?”

For a moment, Ebon was unable to reply. But an idea suddenly came to him.

“Perhaps it would be best if we went on with someone new. First we attempted to treat Nabot Jor. And then I was the subject. How about attempting to restore memory to a different individual?”

Reia furrowed her forehead in thought.

“Yes, that might be the best alternative for us. There is another of my patients who could be a good choice for EEG therapy. His name is Ahaz Daman. He is a middle-aged merchant.

“I believe that I can convince him to volunteer for neurofeedback treatment. He is a man very eager to find what has been lost in the back of his mind. He will not turn down an opportunity like what I mean to present to him.”

Azot Lotan was becoming more frustrated with ampakine each passing day.

The patient on whom he was testing the so-called miracle compound, Sevath Bgar, was not responding with any major improvement in memory. There might be a little progress for a day or so, but it quickly disappeared and was gone.

The middle-aged merchant soon reverted back to his initial paramnesiac state. He was unable to recall some of the major events and personages in his path of life. He was becoming depressed about this condition, just like his therapist.

Azot pondered what might rescue him from the blind alley he found himself in. But he could not conceive at that moment what it might be.

The Chief of the Memory Institute, Ithai Adeb, awaited the arrival of his new recruit with sky-high expectations.

He had first met Dr. Salem Silad at a conference on hypnotic medical procedures held in Zaxia City earlier that year. The presentation made by this psychiatrist had deeply impressed him. Ithai had spoken with the gangly practitioner for only a few minutes, but that had been enough to produce the idea of hiring him as an employee of the Institute.

The Chief concluded that he had to draw the man out of his country practice to work in the capital under himself. He prepared himself to make the direct proposal of a transfer to the Institute when he met with his guest in his office this morning.

His secretary told her boss over the office intercom that Dr. Silad had arrived and was waiting to walk in. Ithai told her to send him in, rising from behind his magnesium-steel desk and heading toward the door.

The psychiatrist who was making the visit here was a lanky, limber figure with onyx black eyes and sandy blond hair. He possessed an impressive, intense presence, whatever environment he might enter.

The Chief greeted Salem Silad, shook hands with him, and proposed that the two of them sit down and talk.

Once they were seated, Ithai got directly to the main business at hand with his visitor.

“You can probably guess, Doctor, why I asked you to come here. The purpose is to recruit you onto our staff of the Institute. There will be time this morning to take you on a tour of our building and showing what happens at our facility. I guarantee that you will find it attractive and intriguing.

“My sincere wish is to win your agreement to come in with us, because we need someone on the staff with your specific specialty. Indeed, I foresee a great future everywhere for the Dream Therapy that you have helped to develop as a psychiatric hypnotist.

“Our name reveals that we study and deal with problems connected to the human memory. And you yourself have applied hypnotic dreaming methods to the repair and restoration of lost and damaged memory capacities in mental patients. That is precisely the set of skills that are needed at our Memory Institute. I have no doubts at all that you would be able to contribute great advantages to our capacity to cure and alleviate what ails those who come here for help.”

Dr. Silad smiled at the praise and flattery he was receiving from the Chief.

“Thank you for your kind words,” he purred. “But I am not the only person who ever tried to apply Hypnotic Dream Therapy to patients with memory malfunctions. It is a very old method and idea, but in recent times the area has witnessed important, breathtaking breakthroughs.

“I have merely adopted and applied the discoveries initiated by others.”

“I am amazed at how your brand of treatment deals with unconscious barriers and obstacles that impede the recovery of deeply buried memory traces,” declared Ithai.

“It amazes me that your field of hypnotic therapy permits the designing and creation of particular dreams that liberate repressed memories long hidden within the subconscious part of the mind.

“You would certainly add a new path toward cures to our Institute, Dr. Silad.”

The latter ruminated and considered rapidly, making a decision on the offer made to him by the Chief of the Memory Institute.

“I have to think about it,” finally said the tall hypnotist, already realizing that he was certainly going to accept the invitation to join the staff of this well-known and respected facility.

V.

“What shall we do with all of our EEG machinery and apparatuses?” asked Enon of the woman he worked with. “How can we continue our neurofeedback work when our results, so far, are negative and disappointing?”

Reia, sitting opposite where he occupied a folding chair, looked preoccupied by thoughts distant from what she had just been asked.

“What are we going to do, Reia?” he persisted to ask. “Do you think we can try some new, different combination of elements of the treatment? Or is it possibly a matter of reorganizing the time sequence of brainwaves that are used?”

He gazed at her with a desperate plea in his eyes and on his face.

“Something new is entering the Memory Institute for the first time,” she informed her assistant. “A new recruit is entering our staff, I was told this morning by a colleague. This is a psychiatrist from the countryside who has been using an unusual method of memory therapy. The treatment depends upon shaping patient dreaming through focused hypnotic suggestion.

“No one can foresee what the effects of this person on the rest of the staff will turn out to be. It may be good, or perhaps the opposite.”

Ebon appeared taken aback by the news she had given him.

“How will this development affect us and our electro-feedback actions in the basement?”

Reia looked away as she replied to him. “I can’t say. No one knows anything for certain at this time.”

Salem Silad moved to Zixia City the following week, renting an apartment near the Institute, and occupying a consultation office where he could meet with his new patients.

One of the first therapists he met was Reia Terah, introduced to him at a table in the staff dining hall where six colleagues were eating their lunch.

Salem placed his plate of food down in front of himself, sat down, and began speaking to the entire group. Reia took in every word he uttered, almost suspending her meal as she listened in rapt attention.

“It is a great honor and opportunity for me to be a member of the staff here at the Memory Institute,” he told the contingent of therapists. “I intend to focus upon the method I have specialized in for the last several years. That is memory restoration through hypnotically inspired dreaming.

“It is a procedure that I am deeply devoted to. I am thoroughly convinced that it works with enormous effectiveness. My patients swear to its marvelous success.”

“The patients are placed in deep trance through hypnotic treatment?” inquired one of the psychiatrists sitting at the table. “How can anyone control the content of what is going to enter into the patient’s dreaming? I use mesmeric trance in my work with my patients, but I do not know how to shape what will appear in their minds when they are in an unconscious state. That is far beyond my skills or abilities. And how can it help them to recover lost memories from long ago? I do not understand it at all.”

Salem smiled at the questioner. “One must gauge the state of sleep in which the subject happens to be in at different periods of time. It is the late REM phase that is most conducive to dream consolidation. Rotary eye motion is the sure sign the patient has entered the state when dreaming is most certain to be occurring in the unconscious mind.

“I will suggest a suitable topic of the dream that will help unlock secret, hidden remembrances. This occurs before the person falls asleep, through hypnotic suggestion coming from me. The patient is told to fall into a comatose state of slumber and does so.

“I tell the person hypnotized that their mind will be able to trail the neuron paths leading to recorded experiences and learning. This has a surprising effect on enabling the patient to carry out that very memory restoration on their own.”

“The material that was lost reappears when the patient awakens?” inquired one of the therapists at the table.

Salem looked directly at that individual and answered him.

“Yes. And the patient receives enormous encouragement from the first successful session with this method. I then go on to a second, then a third hypnotic intervention. The patient becomes devoted to the successful treatments that follow. And the successes follow in a series of greater and greater victories. It is marvelous to behold.”

“That sounds almost incredible!” interrupted another staff member.

Salem turned his head and addressed him. “I have gone so far as to teach self-hypnosis to the most advanced and determined of my patients. The method can be taught and put to use by themselves when they leave my care and go out on their own.”

The exchanges ended as Dr. Silad picked up his fork and began on his roast beef stew.

His colleagues exchanged looks of wonder in absolute silence, then resumed their meals.

Reia returned to eating, telling herself that Enon would like to learn what she had heard the new psychiatrist say to his fellow practitioners.

VI.

Azot Lotan decided that he had to have a private talk with the new staff member, Dr. Salem Silad. He had to investigate whether this new factor brought to the Institute might be the holder of unforeseen opportunities and possibilities.

The easiest way to corner the man was to make a visit to his new office.

Azot knocked at the door and entered when told to enter.

“Let me introduce myself,” began the visitor with a warm smile. “I am Azot Lotan, a psychiatric therapist with a background in the application of biochemical compounds for psychological purposes.

“I am interested in how your special area, that of hypnotic dream application, could be combined in my own bundle of methods and means.

“Could I spend a few minutes with you, Dr. Silad?” asked Azot with a pleading voice and facial expression.

“Certainly, please be seated, sir.”

Once he was settled, the new man began to speak to his visitor.

“Through a lot of patient treatment and study, I uncovered productive ways of eliciting contact with deeply buried memories. I hypnotized subjects with crucial, central questions in their minds, and it came about that their unconscious area of the mind answered me through new dreams inspired by my influence during the process of producing the sleeping trance.

“The unconscious could only reply through the medium of the dream. So, when conscious thought returned to my patient, so did the memory trace that both of us were searching for.

“The treatment was as simple as that,” triumphantly grinned Salem Silad.

Lotan gave a single laugh of joy. “I would like to learn about how you ask pivotal question that effect the results of the hypnotization, because it sounds like it can be combined with the focused medication that I apply every day in my work.”

“I would be happy to do exactly that for you,” nodded the other.

Enon spent most of the spare minutes he had to himself pondering what road he and Reia should be taking in their neurofeedback work together.

At last, he felt that there was an idea to be presented and proposed to her.

The two had gone outside for dinner at a downtown restaurant that evening. He waited till both of them had finished their plates of fried pigeon before he told her of the plan he had thought up on his own.

“I believe that we have to go on from what we have already carried out, Reia. This does not mean ignoring anything we have learned or achieved up to now. Rather, we should add a new, different ingredient as a factor in our procedure.”

“What would that be?” she asked with rising interest.

He leaned his head forward. “I believe we can add the induced dream method to the hypnosis that we have been applying, introducing it to the mind of the patient before the actual EEG energy is transmitted through the head cap.

“I can see no logical reason why we cannot try to generate a dream trance, especially during the theta wave section of the transmission to the brain.

“It might be the key to the final unlocking of what lies dormant in the unconscious.”

Reia appeared to be frowning. “I am unable to understand how a dream can accomplish such an opening up of long hidden, forgotten memories. It does not seem to have any psychological logic to it. How can a dream promoted and inspired from the outside affect the workings of deep memory?”

“It could contain some profound mystery concerning the linkage between our conscious and unconscious regions.” replied her assistant. “Isn’t that a possibility that deserves to be examined and explored?”

As he stared into her cinnamon-colored eyes, she revolved his idea in her own brain. How was it going to be evaluated? Enon wondered.

Once she had determined what she thought and what made the most sense to her, Reia muttered a reply.

“Well, then, we will have to try and test this business of hypnotized dreaming that this Salem Silad has brought to the Institute.

Late that night well past midnight, the pair determined to perfect the system of neurofeedback therapy they were involved in descended down to the basement of the Institute, their aim was to try out the concept of hypnotic dreaming in conjunction with the brainwave therapy they were familiar with.

Could the creation of a healing variety of dreams revive forgotten long-range memories lost from the earlier years of life?

The two were determined to find out if that was the ingredient that could elevate what they were experimenting with to a new, more effective level of efficacy.

There arose in the back of Enon’s mind an unvoiced, indefinite fear. Would this combination of two varying methodologies lead to the unmasking and revelation of his innermost thoughts and feelings about Reia?

He had not dared to formulate or specify the emotion that he sensed within himself. Had she somehow thrown an unconscious kind of spell over his inner feelings? Had he become secretly infatuated with Reia?

I am younger than she is, but to me that is a meaningless, insignificant fact of life. It must not and does not matter at all to me.

But am I taking the chance of embarrassing both of us by revealing my personal dreaming to her? That has to be the result of what the two of us are about to embark upon. Is the risk of exposure one that is worth taking? What would be the reaction of Reia to what comes to the surface of consciousness? he wondered with fear for the possible consequences.

They reached the Electric Center in the building’s basement and rested for a little time before proceeding on to the attempt to use both brainwave feedback and mesmeric trance to produce revelatory dreaming in the mind of Enon.

The latter, sitting in the chair in which he would receive both neurofeedback and hypnotic suggestion, began murmuring in a lowered tone.

“I understand that the depth of sleeping is not the optimum measurement of whether one will have dreams that are later recalled. It is in light sleep that a person will have remembered dreams.”

Reia smiled at him. “That is right, because hypnosis is close to everyday day-dreaming, when the theta waves become dominant in the brain.

“Dreams tend to occur as a person has just fallen asleep, or when one is on the verge of awakening. And those dreams are the ones that we remember.”

“So, I can expect to be experiencing a light trance not too far from everyday consciousness,” concluded Enon. “And you intend to lead me into the area of buried memories of my early life.”

“Yes, I shall repeat my suggestion to you several times, so that it sinks in and guides the direction of what dreaming is going to occur.”

“We shall see what this procedure digs up out of my past, Reia,” he muttered with expectation.

She began to move her hands in front of his eyes, drawing and focusing his attention. The mind of Enon grew abstracted and self-concentrated. Though remaining conscious for a brief time, he lost contact with his immediate surroundings, as if afloat in a different, inner reality.

Reia began adjusting the input of frequencies into his brain.

“You are about to see your early childhood years as you dream,” she repeated over and over. When she was certain he was in trance, the repetitions ended.

Reia looked into the unmoving, glassy caramel eyes of Enon.

Was he going to remember what had considered for so many years to have been forgotten? she wondered. Were old memories about to be resurrected and returned to conscious life?

VII.

“I have no memories at all of the years before I lost my two parents,” admitted Enon with visible regret. “No, I did not have a particle of a dream concerning what I was seeking. My mind was a total blank with no living content at all. That period of my life remains as it was before. It is gone, as if it never existed at all.

“I am sorry to confess that there was nothing like what you and I expected. Nothing at all.

“Hypnotic dreaming did not work, at least not tonight. It was a total failure.”

Reia thought that she saw a tear form in the right eye of her partner in the project that had collapsed.

“We will talk about what we do next tomorrow morning,” she whispered to Enon.

“I will help you put everything back where it was before,” he said, looking away from the woman who had hypnotized him without the result they had both wished to see.

When he moved his head back the way it had been, looking in her direction, an unexpected surprise shook his mind and all of his nervous system.

Reia had stepped toward his chair and was leaning forward toward him.

She came closer and closer, until at last she planted a gentle kiss on his open, gaping mouth.

He had never anticipated that this would happen again, that the earlier event had not been a wild, unguarded whim. No, there was more stirring Reia than he had thought possible. She had astonished him with what she had just done.

Enon reached toward her with both arms, taking hold of the therapist and embracing her with the strength of both his physical muscles and his emotional passion. He had her in his grasp.

It was now his turn to kiss, which he did over and over on her face.

Reia entered a state of rhapsodic ecstasy as she realized how her assistant felt toward her. Her emotions seemed to fly and float upward.

Both now understood each other in a novel, intimate sense.

When the pair reached the silent, deserted main corridor of the first floor, Reia stopped and whispered to Enon, moving close to his left ear.

“Why should you have to find a cab-car all the way to your apartment, my dear? You can stay with me nearby in my own flat. I have a comfortable sofa that you can use until the morning. It will be a lot easier for you, I think.”

“Yes, I will,” agreed her assistant.

Thus it came about that he did not have to make a lengthy trip through nighttime Zaxia City that night. Sleep came to him quickly that night.

Wherever he might go within the Memory Institute, Salem Silad saw or met Azot Lotan. If he had been a suspicious person, the psychiatrist might have imagined that he was being stalked by this colleague of his.

Whenever and wherever he could, Azot would open with conversation on matters of interest to himself.

“What do you think of long-term residence here with us for patients with serious cases of dementia, living with little remainder from their own past?”

“We may not be capable of a complete, final cure, but I know how much benefit that even the most serious cases can obtain from dreams that locate and liberate even the oldest and most obscured of memories. I know that from actual clinical experience with patients who were previously considered without hope of any kind of improvement.”

Azot expressed his positive reaction to what Salem was telling him.

“I believe that you are going to bring a great deal of beneficial reform to how we do things here in the Institute, my friend,” gushed Azot with excitement in his turquoise eyes.

Reia discussed the future of the neurofeedback experiments with Enon in her office after her appointments and sessions for the day were finished.

“What lies ahead for the work that we have started?” she asked the man with whom she had tied her most intimate internal emotions, the person who had captured hold of her romantic dreams. “What must we do next, Enon?” she inquired of him.

His brow furrowed in heavy, serious thought as he pondered and considered what to say to the one he was now devoted to protecting.

“It is difficult to choose anything that promises success for us,” he finally declared. “I have been considering attempting to obtain advice from the individual who has specialized in the area of hypnotic dreams. But I do not really know this new therapist, Salem Silad. Neither does he know us in any way. We are both strangers to this new member of the Institute’s group of psychiatrists.

“Do we dare approach the man and seek his help in what we are trying to do? I should speak mainly of you, Reia. You would have to be the one who builds a bridge of cooperation with him, since you are on his level of rank, while I myself stand well below both of you.” He looked with curiosity at her. “Would you be willing to ask Silad for his aid in our enterprise of memory restoration?”

Reia ruminated several seconds, then replied. “Yes, it might be beneficial to us to get his opinion and ideas about our combination of hypnosis and feedback therapy. He could have the answers that we need.”

“You will try to question him, then?”

“It may get us what we want,” she told him with an enigmatic grin.

VIII.

“I have strong belief and trust in the effectiveness of medicinal compounds in the treatment of all forms of dementia and memory illness,” opined Azot Lotan in conversation with Dr. Silad during dinner with him in a restaurant near the Institute. It was very popular with the memory therapists, offering them favorite food items from the Zaxian traditional cuisine. There were many varieties of flying avians on the menu.

Both psychiatrists ordered roasted raven with rutabaga soup.

Azot, exploiting his gift of knowing many old folk stories and jokes, humored his companion with several humorous tales and fables. He succeeded in getting Salem to laugh at several of them.

He chose an appropriate moment, when both of them had finished eating and were slowly drinking glasses of raisin wine, to present the idea he had been hatching in the back of his mind for a considerable time.

“I dreamed of something unusual last night,” lied Azot with a shining smile on his face. “Perhaps it was only a reflection of a conscious wish that had sunk into my subconscious, but I imagined that I was busy working with you on an important joint project.

“You were in charge of the hypnotic dreaming aspect of our project, while I was in control of the pharmaceutics involved. Our enterprise was a combination of both of our fields of specialization, exploiting the advantages coming from each of them.” He gave out a short, sharp laugh. “Perhaps it was in reality only a piece of dream nonsense.

“What do you think of my dream, and the main, central idea that was connected to it. Who can say? Perhaps what I dreamed of contains the best way of recreating lost memories. It could be that none of us has found what everyone seems to be hunting for.

“I am relating the matter to you in order to find out what you think of the notion of unification of the two methods into a joint venture operated by both of us.”

Azot stared openly into the large onyx eyes of the newcomer. What was he going to say? How would he evaluate the strange, original notion of cooperation?

All at once, Salem Silad seemed to explode with natural enthusiasm and spirit.

“Yes, indeed, what you just said makes a great deal of sense. I believe that our inventory of biochemicals and therapeutic drugs is in need of non-material additions, namely hypnotism and dream analysis. The one type of means will aid the other, and visa versa in addition. Each sphere of treatment will be augmented. Each will grow more effective and productive of noticeable results.

“Our profession should never be divided up by artificial, formal boundaries. These borders become solid walls, and we grow ignorant of the possibilities that we are separated from. It is much better to add one method to others, so we can reach more advanced heights of achievement.

“You and I, together, must explore how we can bridge together our two areas of therapy, my friend.”

Azot had a sense of having won what he had come to gain from the dream hypnotist.

How does one begin personal contact with a psychiatrist new to the Memory Institute? wondered Reia Terah.

She decided that the best option was to walk right up to him and ask a technical question about inducing a specific vein of dreaming in a patient. That would provide a smooth way of introducing oneself to the man.

When Reia walked into the staff dining hall that evening, she was accompanied by Enon. The pair sat down with their trays at a small, private table alongside the outer wall and windows of the large chamber.

It was Ebon who happened to spy Salem Silad sitting by himself at a distant table for six. But he was alone there, since it was late and most of those eating at that hour had finished their meals and left the place.

Enon gave Reia a nod of his head in the direction in which he could see the target of their attention.

Reia gestured with her nose and mouth that she had looked over and identified the new staff member sitting all by himself at the far end.

The pair first went to the food counter and ordered what they wished to eat that evening. Then they took their trays and dishes and walked to the cashier’s desk.

Enon presented his purchase tab, it was passed through a reader by the cashier, and the two diners headed toward the table where sat their targeted individual.

Reia spoke to Dr. Silad as soon as they reached where he was sitting and eating.

“Doctor, excuse us, but could we sit down at your table? I am Dr. Reia Terah, and this is my assistant therapist, Enon Gareb.

“Both of us are eager to make your acquaintance and exchange backgrounds and opinions with you. There is no question but that you are a magnificent contribution to the Institute’s spectrum of possible methods and services.”

Salem stared at her in surprise. “Please, join me, both of you,” he welcomed the pair.

For half a minute, all three at the table concentrated upon eating their food.

It was Reia who spoke first on a professional subject to the new staff member.

“Excuse me for asking you this question, but my assistant and I have been involved in an unsuccessful attempt by ourselves to delve into lost memories using a combination of mesmeric trance and dream analysis.

“But we have found great difficulty in inducing appropriate dreaming in our subject, since we lack the experience that is in all probability necessary to attain that complicated goal.

“As a result of our lack of knowledge and capacity, we have failed to restore memories of the earliest years of a certain person’s life.

“Our failure has been a disappointment to both of us, Dr. Silad. A very serious failure on our part.”

“Please, call me Salem,” muttered the hypnotic practitioner. “Let me advise you and your assistant with candid words. It is not at all easy to shape or control what a subject of hypnosis is going to dream. The possibility of error or failure is enormous. It can often turn out a failed attempt, without the planned and desired product in the mind of the dreaming person.

“It can occur that the mind refuses the injected command from the therapist, because it is an external message communicated to the brain from outside. It is not original or personal enough. The commanded dream may not penetrate deeply enough into the subconscious of the patient. That has at times happened to even me.”

“What can a hypnotizing therapist do about these difficult barriers and handicaps, then?” demanded Reia. “Are there any remedies for such dangers to therapeutic success?”

Salem surprised both of the persons who had sat down at his table by what he answered to her question.

“Although it is primarily a matter of luck, one can begin with a detailed plan of influencing what shall be in the dream that results. One composes a well-organized system of suggestions and hints that can determine the direction and the contact of the resulting dream. The planning must be detailed and thorough.

“It is not at all easy, but a clever program can be devised that guides the unconscious mind of the one being treated with hypnotic proposals.”

For a few moments, there was an indelicate silence about the table.

Finally, it was Enon who spoke out.

“That is very interesting, Doctor. I wonder, would you be willing to demonstrate for me and Dr. Terah how the task can be properly carried out? That would be a marvelous contribution to how the two of us deal with the patients assigned to us.

“We promise not to take too much of your precious time, sir.”

Enon smiled as pleasantly as he could, attempting to influence the dream hypnotist to cooperate with Reia and himself.

“I will be most happy to do what I can for you, starting tomorrow morning, if that is acceptable and possible.” He turned his head and looked directly at Reia. “It can be interesting for all three of us,” he said with a grin.

That settled, the trio of therapists attacked the dishes in front of them on the table.

IX.

Salem welcomed the two visitors to his office and seated them across the zinc desk from him. He began addressing them as if he were delivering a lecture.

“I believe that there are three basic stages of memory: the sensory, the short-term, and the long-term.

“But we can aso distinguish between explicit and implicit memory. Some varieties of remembrance are direct, but others are indirect.

“I find that the way we structure the information that the world gives us affects to a great degree the way that we retrieve and restore it in our minds.

“There is an important imaginary element in our memory, and that creates an unending tension between our memory and our imagination. The latter is always one of the factors that create the former.

“This is an major influence on our dreaming, where memories and entangled with imaginary images and conceptions. The two can never be completely isolated or separated.”

“That is so true!” said Reia excitedly. “I have felt such unseen powers when I am asleep and dreaming.”

Salem smiled and continued. “I consider dreaming a form of memory processing. When our brain is asleep, our subconscious is allocating and classifying our memories of the past, as well as information out of the present time.”

“Yes, that is the nature of the phenomenon of having a dream,” agreed Enon. “It functions to organize our lives.”

“When we dream,” continued Salem, “we also make subtle, concealed connections between our varied past experiences. The dreamer reorganizes old, lost memories into new structures and patterns. This is done out of the light of the brain’s consciousness.”

Reia intervened. “And hypnosis reveals what it is that the patient’s mind is rearranging and repatterning. Isn’t that so?”

Salem smiled benignly at her. “Indeed, that is what I am after in my therapy sessions with individuals suffering memory difficulties and problems.” He paused for a moment, then went on. “I concluded very early in my work that the shortest and most effective road to restoring long forgotten memories lies in one of the rarest and most difficult forms of hypnotism. That could be what is termed auto-hypnosis.”

“You are able to teach patients how to hypnotize themselves?” questioned Reia.

The new psychiatrist stared intently at her. “Yes, precisely that. If we can instill that capacity into an individual, then he or she can manage and control the content of their own dreams. In that way, we can facilitate their finding the hidden memories that they are searching for and attempting to bring into full consciousness.

“I admit that it is not at all easy, but whenever it can be made to occur, the results turn out to be spectacular.”

Both Enon and Reia gazed at the hypnotic practitioner with wonder in their eyes. He had presented profound truths about the mind to them.

The Memory Institute I.

20 Jan

I.

Zaxia is a country where the past remains a valued and revered element of life
into the present, said Enon Gareb to himself as he hurried down the boulevard.

He smiled, realizing that the past had always been a shadow falling over his own life from his earliest memories of it.

Enon was today a candidate for a research position at the Memory Institute of research and treatment here in Zaxia City. He was on his way to an appointment with the organization’s General Chief, Dr. Ithai Adeb. Would he pass this initial examination and be accepted as a therapeutic apprentice?

I have for a considerable time been firmly determined to make myself a participant in the field that this institution concentrates on, he understood.

I am fascinated with the subject of human memory because of my own family experience in terms of my own early childhood.

The young aspirant walked past a dark red brick medical office building and entered the yellowish stone structure holding the destination that held all his personal hopes, the home of the Memory Institute.

A secretary in a business-suit led the virile, athletic-looking candidate for employment into the office of Chief Ithai Adeb, then left the two men alone in the large room full of magnesium-steel furniture and wall decorations.

Enon smiled at the chunky manager of the institution, a middle-aged man with raven eyes and thinning golden hair. “Please, be seated,” suggested the Chief.

The person who held the young man’s future in his hands stared at the applicant’s caramel-colored eyes and short chestnut hair.

“Tell me why you wish to work here at the Memory Institute, Mr. Gareb,” began the official head of the organization. “I am always interested in the reasons why different individuals apply for any openings that we happen to come up with over time.”

Dr. Adeb attempted as warm a smile as he thought was appropriate with a candidate for employment under him.

Enon recited a reply he had had the foresight to prepare for exactly such an inquiry.

“Of the many areas of human mental activity, none has ever interested me as much as that of the memory. How remembrance occurs in the physical brain and the psychological mind became my central focus at Zaxia University, and I made it my particular focus of attention and study.

“The problems and difficulties that can arise within the operations of persons’ memories is where I wish to devote my time and energy, sir. That is an area that has fascinated and entranced me for a long time.

“It was my sad fate to lose both my parents in a terrible road-car accident when I was only at the age of eight. My aunt and uncle took me into their home and raised me, helping me to finish secondary school and go on to the university here in the capital. The loss of my mother and father has been the great tragedy that I went through in childhood.

“My major became psychology and my personal interest came to center on the subject of the memory processes within the human brain and mind. I was drawn to the problems of remembering by many factors in my own experience and life history.

“That is the story of what has brought me here today, sir.”

The Chief waited several seconds before he spoke.

“That is very laudable, because I myself came into this particular field due to similar interest and enthusiasm for finding answers to complicated questions and riddles about human remembrance of what is past and gone.

“Your academic record is most impressive, I would even say it was excellent in a number of respects. It appears that you have for a long period been oriented and drawn to what we try to accomplish at our Institute.”

“Yes, I have held such an ambition for a considerable period of time,” confessed the candidate for a position.

The Chief thought a short while before making a surprise announcement to Enon.

“You shall be notified by electro-message when the decision has been fully confirmed by our trustees, but I intend to recommend your hiring, my friend. I dare say that you have impressed me as the best qualified person who has applied for this opening. That is the truth, I can tell you.

“May I wish you good fortune and success in your endeavors with us,” grinned the head of the Memory Institute.

II.

Enon lived in a small apartment in central Zaxia City, close to the university.

It was minutes after the solar dusk that he heard the signaler on his electro-screen sound, signaling that there had been a message for him just received.

“Congratulations, you have been hired as research assistant by the Memory Institute. Report tomorrow morning at the seventh hour to Dr. Reia Terah, who shall be acting as your immediate superior and professional instructor.”

The welcome news came from the Chief, Dr. Ithai Adeb.

Enon had a short, nervous sleep that night, looking forward to his initial day at the facility he had for a long time dreamed of joining.

He awoke hours before his customary time and prepared for the day’s thrilling events. A ride on a crowded morning street-rail omnibus took him to the building of the Memory Institute. As soon as the new employee entered the front vestibule he heard the voice of one of the secretaries.

“You are scheduled to meet with Dr. Terah,” said the young woman. “Her office is down near the end of the hall on the right side.”

She pointed with her hand to the corridor that would take him to where he was expected.

Enon gulped and swallowed, walking toward his first meeting with the stranger who was to hold his future course in her hands. He was determined to do all her could to impress the psychiatrist with his seriousness and dedication to the aims of the institution. He would be assisting her as a therapeutic psychologist.

The new employee rapped on the office door, hearing a high soprano voice telling him to enter.

Reia Terah, a young-looking female of moderate height looked at him with sparkling cinnamon eyes from behind a small aluminum desk.

Enon identified himself and was asked to sit down across from her.

He smiled at the wiry, sylphlike individual who had been assigned to take control of his training and preparation for research work.

“We shall be working together,” she began. “I see from your records at Zachia University that you have taken every single course that deals with human memory. That will help you a lot in developing the skills you will need with us.” She suddenly became absent and distracted. “There is almost no area of psychological study as complex and undeveloped as that of the memory and how it operates. Our specialty still has great need of discoveries and breakthroughs in order to catch up with the other aspects of the human mind.”

“Yes,” said Enon with spirit. “My ambition is to help, however I can, advance our knowledge and capacities involved with problems of memory.”

“I first learned the methods of hypnotizing persons with failing memory, but then I discovered from experience that there is no single, simple method that succeeds in restoring what has been lost. It was difficult for me to acknowledge that we possessed few answers to the mysteries and riddles connected to the human mental storage abilities. They continue to remain profound mysteries in many respects.”

Enon noticed that she gave a deep sigh of regret and resignation.

“I completed all the courses available in hypnotic theory and application,” he continued. “And during my senior year I was involved in a practicum in mesmerics that included active experience in using that methods.”

Dr. Terah suddenly frowned. “The brain seems too complex for anyone to understand or deal with in any adequate, satisfactory fashion. There exist billions of cellular units that process information in it, connected by kilometers of nerve fibers and trillions of synapses. And all of it operates on no more electrical power than it takes to illuminate a light bulb.”

“It is a wonder how much memory a brain can hold,” mused Enon aloud. “Yet there are times and cases when the remembering process completely fails and becomes lost.”

His supervisor stared at Enon for several moments before she went on to what her plans were for his coming activities working under her.

“I think that it would be useful for you to accompany me for a time when I visit and talk with a new resident patient recently assigned to me.

“The man’s name is Nabot Jor and he suffers horribly from what has been diagnosed as false memories. These appear to have no relation at all to his life or his personal character.

“He now occupies a room in our patient dormitory on the second floor. We can go and see Nabot in a little while. It will help you a lot to become familiar with his case and how I am dealing with it.”

Reia Terah, wearing a gleaming white medical uniform identifying her rank and position, rose from her chair and started for the door, Enon right behind her.

“Good morning, Nabot,” cheerfully chimed the doctor. “How are you feeling today? I want to introduce you to my new assistant, his name is Enon Gareb, and you will be seeing him a lot from now on as we work together.”

Reia stepped into the front room of the patient’s tiny flat, Enon trailing immediately behind her. The tall, gangly resident came toward the pair visiting him.

“Nabot has for a long time suffered severe dismnesia and has never been too certain what are his true memories and what are unreal fancies and fantasies,” declared the therapist, looking back at her new subordinate whom she had just met herself the previous day.

The patient, looking directly at the doctor, suddenly let loose a laugh. “I am looking ahead to the picnic. It will be held the day after tomorrow, won’t it?”

“Yes, that’s right, Nabot. Reports are that the weather will be fair for us.” She turned her face toward Enon, who had stepped forward and stood beside her. “We will be holding our annual summer picnic outdoors at the municipal park area that Chief Adeb has reserved for our use and enjoyment. It is an affair that both the residents and the staff are looking ahead to. There is always a very good time had by everyone who is present for the festivity.

“You will have the opportunity to join with us and get to meet all of the people connected to the Institute while you are there. It is a special occasion for all of us, the high light of summer for nearly everyone.”

She turned back toward Nabot, who now asked her a question.

“When can I have another hypnotic session with you, Doctor? I felt a lot better after our last one over a week ago and I feel ready for more such treatment.”

Reia smiled at him. “We can do it again this afternoon, right after lunch. My assistant will be attending in order to watch and learn, Nabot.”

“That is fine with me,” confessed the patient, gazing directly at Enon.

“We will go now and let you rest,” his doctor told him, turning to leave with her new assistant following.

Close to this suite, the two found the rooms of a second patient of Reia Terah.

The resident was a chunky, beefy middle-aged man named Ahaz Daman. He impressed Enon as outgoing and friendly. He seemed to be in a pleasant mood.

“I am feeling quite well today, Doctor. My mind seems settled and well-balanced, and I think that my memory no longer plagues me with unhappy thoughts from my past. That gives me much satisfaction, indeed.”

“We will see you at the coming Institute picnic, Ahaz,” said Dr. Terah as she left with her assistant. “There will be many opportunities to talk with and get to know many others when we are all together at the park,” she smiled at her patient. Enon smiled at Ahaz and followed her out into the hallway.

Once they had departed, the therapist whispered to Enon. “The poor fellow does not look afflicted with cryptomnesia, but his memories are awfully mixed up and confused. He is unable to identify which of them are real and which happen to be sheer fiction. He takes even true remembrances to be some new fancy just dreamed up at the present moment. This causes him complete confusion and disorientation. His case is one of the most difficult I have ever had to face.”

She led Enon back to her office and outlined his future readings on the subject of dealing with memory disorders and problems.

“You shall be busy studying what is known about the complex nature of how we human beings remember,” Reia told him as they sat facing each other across her desk. “My hope is that you will see the need for a new direction in how we treat the troubles that people can possibly come down with in this specific area. I expect that there will be many new questions that occur to you as you learn about the subject. You must never be shy about bringing them up with me, because I see myself helping you perfect your skills in our field.

“I am enthused about what is happening with neurofeedback therapy. Are you familiar with that new method of treatment?”

“Only a very little,” replied Enon.

His supervisor grinned. “You shall find out a lot in the readings I have assigned you, and we will be discussing this promising frontier in psychology. I intend to help you obtain a deep, but also wide-reaching knowledge of what we deal with here at the Institute.”

III.

Enon spent several days attending therapeutic sessions with Reia. His evenings and free time were centered upon catching up with recent literature dealing with memory theory and problems.

The Memory Institute rented eight carrier buses to take the residents and the staff to the picnic grounds on the outer edge of Zachia City.

The open grass and pavilion were within a grove of oaks, maples, and willows. Tables and benches were available for enjoyment of the food and beverages brought for the large group of participants present for the summer event.

Reia Terah rode on the vehicle reserved for the top staff and the therapists of highest rank, while Enon was assigned to the carrier holding assistant employees of the Institute.

As soon as he arrived at the picnic site, Enon went to the food tables and filled a plate with available sandwiches and desert items, then looked about for a vacant spot to occupy at one of the tables where residents were already sitting. He caught sight of Nabot, a person he recognized at once, and walked over with his food.

“Can I sit with you?” he asked the patient of Dr. Terah.

“Of course,” replied Nabot with a sunny smile. “None of us located here is going to bite you, I can guarantee. We know how to act and to control ourselves in public.”

Enon took the empty space next to him and began to attack his plate of food, starting with the mixed salad and rice pudding. He was involved with chewing when a voice addressed him from behind his back.

“I take it that you are the new assistant who has been hired to work with Dr. Reia Terah,” sounded the low bass voice of the stranger addressing Enon, who instantly turned his head around to see who it was speaking to him.

A leathery dark brown face appeared with gleaming turquoise eyes of unusual size and steadiness. The man standing there seemed to possess a robust form of strength and vigor that impressed others from the first second of meeting or confronting him.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” announced the intruder. “I am the supervisor of chemical and drug treatment for the Memory Institute, and my name is Azot Lotan. It is my custom to get to know all the new personnel taken on by our Chief, Dr. Adeb, because I have discovered that helps to facilitate the therapy of those of our patients assigned to me for chemical medicines.

“Allow me to welcome you to our staff. My hope is that we come to cooperate and work together whenever that becomes necessary in the future.”

Azot Lotan extended his large right hand, taking strong hold of Enon’s and shaking it with an iron grip that surprised the new employee.

The veteran doctor continued to talk in a deep tone. “As you will in time learn from others, I myself prefer that we use the most recent, innovative medicinal compounds in treatment of memory disorders. To me, that is common sense. My belief is that the best, final solutions to such malfunctioning in patients such as ours lies in solving the problems and questions concerning the neuro-chemistry of the human brain.

“Of course, everyone who practices around me does not necessarily agree with my guiding principles. Not yet, but my hope is to prove that the chemical path is the most successful kind of intervention possible for paramesiacs and others with similar maladies.

“Please excuse me,” ended the stranger. “I see that our Chief, Dr. Adeb, has climbed up on one of the tables and is preparing to address the crowd of picnickers assembled in the park today. I wish to hear all he has to say.”

Dr. Lotan turned about and hurried away, leaving Enon breathless with surprise at the bold character of this pharmacological practitioner.

The staff and patients stopped their eating and drinking, all of them turning bodies and heads so as to hear what the Chief was telling them in an usually loud voice for him.

“Friends, therapists, staff members, employees, and dear residents, it is a pleasure for me to speak to all of you at another of our annual summer picnics out here in this garden of nature. The weather is calm and pleasant, and there are many things available for the happy enjoyment of every one of us.

“All that I wish to convey to you is the leading idea behind the foundation of the Memory Institute. Our belief was that solving the problems of individual memory difficulties demanded a specialized, focused institution of expert practitioners and therapists. That is exactly what we succeeded in constructing. It is a community of comrades who respect each other. Our Institute combines individuals with varying methods and theories, but we share a common goal of widening knowledge and expanding, evolving treatment. And we have progressed onward to better and better diagnoses and practices.

“All of us realize that questions and problems of the memory lie behind a large percentage of the mental difficulties and illnesses that our population comes down with.

“Our forward movement has set before us the prospect of final victory over the suffering and distress resulting from faulty memory. We know much more than ever before about what has to be done to improve all facts of individual remembering. And we intend to produce ever more startling improvement in the days to come.

“Remember, future achievements at the Institute depend upon working together, both doctors and residents, in freely given cooperation and mutual understanding and sympathy to everyone else.

“Thanks to every one of you for being here. Now, let us enjoy the remaining hours of this bright, glorious day.”

The Chief climbed down from the table he stood on, his hearers giving him a generous, thundering round of hand-clapping and cheering.

A small hired trio of musicians began to play lively tunes and melodies.

IV.

The next morning, Reia had a short meeting with Enon in her office. She asked him whether he had enjoyed the picnic they had attended and he told her that he had a very good time there.

“I met an interesting therapist named Dr. Lotan, and he impressed me as an intense personality who exercised a lot of power and influence here at the Institute.” He paused a moment. “In an undefined way, I felt that there was something disturbing about such an assertive individual as he appeared to be.”

The doctor suddenly frowned as if troubled. “I believe that you received a pretty accurate impression of what this man is like. He is a headstrong champion of chemical drugs and means of treatment and devalues what I and others do for our patients.

“I see Azot Lotan as my greatest opponent and foe here at the Memory Institute, and I believe he has a similar negative view of me as well.

“From the very start, we did not get along with each other. I have great distaste for him and his stubborn, narrow ideas on memory therapy and restoration. That is no secret, Enon.”

The latter made no further comment on the matter and the pair went on to discuss the progress of Nabot Jor in terms of his return of memory.

“I have been contemplating what should be the next step in the treatment given to Nabot,” said the therapist. “But there is a remaining method that has not been tried in his case. I have come to the conclusion that this is the moment to apply a mechanism already being used by many psychology facilities beyond the borders of Zaxia with tremendous amounts of success. That is neurofeedback.”

“Neurofeedback?” questioned Enon. “Has it been applied to memory illnesses anywhere?”

“No, I cannot find any sign or trace of its use in our specific area. That is why I believe that our Memory Institute can be a pioneering force in expanding the neurofeedback system into a wider front of application. It can be done right here among us, I fervently believe. It is available, and we can be the ones who carry out the opportunity presented.

“I want you to help me in adjusting the neurofeedback system of therapy to the field of memory treatment, Enon.”

She gazed at him with shining cinnamon eyes as if begging him to cooperate with her.

“Yes,” he said with a visible nod. “I think it would be a thrilling adventure to attempt the application of the method you are speaking of to Nabot. It would be like an experiment of sorts. There would have to be precise calibrations to his case and the specific malady that he suffers from.

“But I am certain that Nabot’s condition can be improved through such feedback treatment. That may turn out to be the final necessary factor in recovering his ability to remember his prior life and experiences.”

The equipment that would be used in generating a range of different brainwave frequencies and feeding them into the head of Nabot was set up and arranged in a special treatment room obtained by Reia.

She brought both the patient and Enon in to show them the EEG apparatus and explain how it was planned to be used.

“This method of neurofeedback therapy has been used to alter and remove unhealthy mental states in persons suffering mental disorders. The main objective in applying it is to aid the brain in functioning better. Its main result is to increase what might be called self-regulation by the mind itself, by enabling it to function in a balanced manner.

“This therapy is aimed at allowing the brain to produce and distribute its electrical energy in a balanced, healthy way.

“Their are four major types of electrical impulses that fall into four frequency bands: the Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta wave lengths.

“My intention is to enable your brain, Nabot, to self-regulate the these waves, so that they can smoothly shift from one variety to another. This kind of feedback is known to turn abnormal brainwave patterns into normal ones.

“A cap with several sensors will be placed over your head. Wires will connect this cap to the computer you see across the room here. The cap will help me draw what is called a brain map of the operation of yours. I will be able to determine which regions and areas of your brain are overactive and which ones are underactive. The EEG will give me information on specific locations and how they operate electrically.

“Through the feedback that you obtain by watching the EEG screen, your brain will learn how to self-regulate itself. Every brain has the capacity to change itself because of what we call neuroplasticity. It can form new connections and create new patterns of brainwaves. New pathways can arise that connect different locations scattered in separate areas. In a strange way, the human brain is able to reinvent itself in terms of electrical waves and energy.”

Dr. Terah paused a moment and drew a deep breath.

“My hope, Nabot, is that new, altered brainwave patterns can find and revive the memories long buried in the cells that hold your mind.”

She motioned with her hand for Enon to step forward and aid her in placing the EEG cap on the head of the bewildered patient.

Azot Lotan was a person who tended to overestimate dangers to his interests rather than underestimate their potential harm to him.

“I have to see the Chief immediately,” he told the secretary to Dr. Adeb. “Their is an important matter I must discuss with him at once. Please buzz him and say I am here on a serious problem.”

The dilated turquoise eyes of the energetic, excited therapist impelled the aide to take action by push an intercom button on the top of her zinc desk.

“Sir, Dr. Lotan is here and he has important business that cannot wait. Shall I tell him to come right in?”

Azot could not hear what the Chief said in reply, but the secretary lifted her right hand and motioned for the therapist to enter the inner office where the head of the Memory Institute worked at his supervisory tasks.

“What is so urgent that we have to face it right now?” abruptly inquired Ithai Adeb, looking up from the business reports he had been perusing before this unexpected interruption.

Standing in from of the Chief’s desk, Azot began to speak with excitement and speed.

“I have a complaint to make about the unauthorized actions being taken by Reia Terah with one of her patients. This has come to me from one of my assistants who himself observed what was happening in one of the treatment rooms near her office. When I learned of this event I at once decided that you have to look into the matter and make a rapid judgment on putting an immediate end to the potentially dangerous experiment that she is trying to carry out.”

“What are you talking about, Azot?” asked Adeb with a degree of unease.

“She has turned to an untested method that has never had any success when attempted with memory problems or difficulties. It is a form of biofeedback called neurofeedback that relies of EEG monitoring and application to brainwaves generated by a patient.

“The method was used for a long time in cases of depression and neurotic conflict, but has never proven to have the slightest value for restoring lost memories of any sort beyond severe brain injury that often results from heart attack or stroke. Beyond certain specific areas such as these, the use of electronic feedback has not been considered useful for patients such as those whom we here are dealing with.

“My opinion is that the Institute must at once order Dr. Terah to halt these nearly secret use of EEG-based therapeutic treatment.

“It does not work, and she should recognize that.”

The Chief raised his right hand and rubbed his chin as he considered the problem presented him by the irate Azot Lotan.

“I will have to talk with Reia and impress upon her the hazards that she is playing around with if she should continue with this feedback type of activity that you have described to me.

“It will be my personal responsibility to make her change course and return to the accepted, standard therapies that have worked here at the Memory Institute.”

V.

After the initial feedback treatment of Nabor Jor, Enon walked him back to his rooms, then returned to the therapy room, where Reia was studying the computer read-outs that plotted the brainwave patterns registered during the session with the patient.

She looked up with a tiny smile across the bottom of her face.

“I think that I now have a clear clue as to how to revive the buried memory patterns lodged in Nabor’s brain cells. The neuron paths must still be there, like forgotten bones and fossils that naturalists dig for in the ground.

“Comparing the brain maps before and after the treatment I administered, you can see that unforeseen patterns of impulse transmission appear. That means that old routes of impression recordings are still about in the brain, primarily in the hippocampus, the seat of our human memory.

“And these earlier but unused routes continue to survive, though concealed and currently inactive. Yes, that is what I believe. They have become inactivated, but hold the promise and possibility of being reactivated and brought back to life. These memory tracks and traces are buried in a state that resembles animal hibernation. They can be brought back to life, so to speak.

“I find that a hopeful and intriguing idea, Enon.”

The latter thought over what he had just heard. “But how can that be made to happen?” he bluntly asked her. “It does not seem to be easy to bring about.”

Reia furrowed her brow as she formulated a reply to his question.

“We have to carry out variations within the brain’s electrical frequencies, in order to arrive at the right frequencies in the right areas. I plan to use numerous variations of fast and slow waves, in a variety of different sequences of time. It will be as if we are hunting for a formula or combination to open the lock holding forgotten and buried memories.

“It cannot be done at once, Enon. We shall have to try a number of systems of waves in order to liberate the memories hidden in the brain of Nabot, especially in his hippocampus treasury of remembrance.”

Enon sensed a growing enthusiasm in himself. “It will entail a lot of work in order to find the right key, won’t it?”

Reia suddenly grinned. “You will assist me, of course.”

He nodded yes.

“You can start to look over and scan these brain maps for signs of the rise of new, uncustomary electrical activity,” she told him. “I believe you will find it a fascinating activity to find yourself engaged in.”

Both Enon and Reia looked up with shock as the door of the therapy room swung open. They were astonished as the Chief burst in, his raven eyes aglow with anger and fury.

“Dr. Adeb!” Reia was able to say in a high-pitched tone of voice.

Ithai looked about the small room with white-painted walls. His sight focused first on the EEG apparatus, then the pile of brain maps and brainwave frequency rolls and charts on the top of the desk where Dr. Terah and her assistant were sitting across from each other.

“I have been informed that there is electrical treatment going on by you, Reia,” he barked loudly. “Now I see for myself what kind of business you are involved with. What can I say? It must be clear and plain to you that this sort of activity with any of our patients is not to be allowed or tolerated. Not at all. It falls outside of and beyond the parameters of permissible memory treatment.

“This is certainly known by you and all the rest of the staff of the Institute. What makes you think that you can carry out unproven methods that our profession has for a long time frowned upon and stayed away from?

“I fear that you have acted contrary to the program rules that we have long followed here, Reia. You Electrotherapy is not an accepted method for any of us of the Institute. You will have to cease all of this at once.

“The Memory Institute will not permit such flagrant disrespect of its normal, long-accepted practices. As you yourself know, the central method that we favor is the long-established and well-proven system of hypno-therapeutic treatment for disorders of memory. That is the way that that our residents must be given what they are in need of, not EEG methods that do not work.”

Once the Chief had said what he had come to say to Reia, she rose from her chair and started to oppose what she had just been forced to hear.

“I would not be as positive about hypnotic treatment within our own specific realm of memory, not at all.

“What is our rate of successful therapy? Is it twenty percent? Is it even fifteen percent of our patients who leave the Institute with their memories completely restored?

“I doubt that you can tell me, and I believe all of us are afraid of an open, uninhibited tally of how each of us scores in terms of cures. The numbers would not at all be pleasant or complimentary to us for all our efforts with those who come here to restore their brain power.

“The method that I hope to develop with my efforts will be specifically focused on the treatment of persons with problems of remembering past experience, observation, and learning. That is my simple aim, sir.”

As if in a contest to find which of them could glare with greater force and emotion, the pair glowered back and forth in very personal conflict. For a significant time, neither of them appeared to have words to throw at the other.

At last, the Chief realized he could not achieve any verbal statement of surrender from the enemy he faced. He abruptly turned his body around and stalked out of the office in furious haste. His face was burning red with anger and fury.

Enon, who had been the uneasy witness of this ugly scene, was able to see that Reia was in a state of disorientation, cooling down her jangling nerves and pounding heart. He waited a time before deciding it was appropriate for him to speak to her.

“I would never have thought that Chief Adeb could be so bitter and unfair. He was totally inconsiderate in how he spoke to you. There was no reason for the insulting manner of his words. It was a cruel, brutal way to treat a person attempting to find an improved method of treating memory loss.”

She slowly turned her face toward him, so that Enon saw the tears in her cinnamon eyes.

“Thank you,” she told him in a moaning tone. “I will now have to stop treating Nabot or anyone else in such an accessible place, so close to other things going on in the Institute.” She gave him a fixed stare, her voice rising and her eyes clearing up. “Are you willing to help me set up a secret place of operation where neurofeedback treatment can be continued? It will be a very risky enterprise for both me and you, Enon.

“Will you join with me in a secret conspiracy to try to cure Nabot and others who might benefit from reordered brainwaves?”

Her assistant did not hesitate even a fraction of a second.

“Yes, of course,” he replied in a firm, determined voice. “But where can we hide the electronic equipment and the computer we shall need?”

An unforeseeable smile brightened the face of a now energized Reia.

“There are rooms down in the basement of this building that we can convert to our hidden purpose, I think. Tonight, when there is no one moving around, you and I can survey the locations below ground where we can move our brainwave experimentation and therapy. Circumstances are compelling us to turn ourselves into unseen, underground experimenters doing what is forbidden.”

VI.

Chief Ithai Adeb knew that he had gone too far and overdone what he had planned to do in disciplining the independent, non-conformist Reia Terah.

But the order and warning had been conveyed. So it was now his job to watch for any transgression breaking the limit he had attempted to place on her brainwave type of therapy.

He used his office intercom unit to get in touch with the person who had reported to him what Dr. Terah was up to with the EEG equipment and portable computer she had taken for her outrageous experiment.

“Azot, this is the Chief. I went to the office of Reia and I laid down the law, so to speak. I ordered her to halt all her neurofeedback activity with the patients and stay within the accepted, standard therapeutic practices.

“My hope is that she does that, but no one can be perfectly certain of how such a character might act. We will have to be watchful and aware of what she might be doing as time goes forward. It is difficult to fully trust what she will decide and carry out, though.

“If you should learn of any more infractions, I would like you to report that to me at once. It is important that I know if she is carrying out outrages that break our rules.

“It is a sad story, but we have a genuine troublemaker in this woman, Reia Terah. Do not hesitate or delay, but inform me immediately about what is happening.”

“Yes, I will do so, sir. That is what I recognize I must do for the sake of our Memory Institute.”

“I know that I can depend upon you to help me, Azot.”

Enon did not go home to his apartment that night, but remained in the tiny room that served as his personal office, continually checking the time on his finger-timer. As soon as the numbers on the screen showed that it was midnight, he slowly, silently made his way down the dimly-lit corridor to the office of the therapist he worked under.

A single, slight rap on the metal alloy door aroused an immediate reply from Reia.

“Come in, Enon,” she murmured in a carefully muffled voice.

He slowly opened the door, slipped inside, then closed it.

The pair looked at each other as if waiting for the other to say something first. It was Reia who took the initiative.

“We must be very guarded and wide-awake, Enon. We do not want anyone to notice what we are about or where we are headed. It would be disastrous should what we are up to be discovered.”

Her assistant nodded his agreement and wish to comply.

“Let us, then, take the stairs down into the basement areas and carry out an exploration,” softly said Reia. “Did you find a flash-lantern that we can use so that we can avoid turning on ceiling lighting?”

“Yes, I have it right here,” he answered, showing her the small cylinder he held in his left hand.

She rose from behind her desk and Enon cautiously opened the office door, looked up and down the dark corridor, and motioned to Reia to go out first.

Once the two were out of the office, the assistant took the lead and made his way to the stairwell at the end of the hallway. He slowly proceeded down the steps, the therapist just behind him.

The pair carefully passed by stalls full of supplies of all sorts, then larger areas of empty floor spaces. All at once, an idea came to Enon, compelling him to stop, turn about, and reveal his sudden conception to his companion.

“It just struck me that there is a central electrical chamber at the middle of the basement,” he whispered to Reia. “That could be the most advantageous location for what we plan to accomplish, because of the complex electrical circuitry and electronic instruments operating from that area.

“Why don’t we look at that room? It has what we most need in terms of the electrical energy available in there. I cannot conceive of a better location for us to use.”

In a matter of seconds, the two had entered the electrical center and began to explore and examine it. They circled about, trying to foresee the possibilities of what could be accomplished in the available space.

Reia came to a surprisingly rapid decision. “Yes, Enon, this will suit us well. You picked the right spot for us.”

Both of them were surprised and also happy that the door to the electrical center was not locked. They entered the darkened chamber, Enon locating the switch board where he was able to turn on a number of overhead light sacs.

For a short time, he and Reia moved about, making a rapid survey of what was available for use in the neurofeedback therapy they intended to carry out here.

“This is the perfect choice for our use,” said the doctor with a bright smile. “What do you think, Enon? Do you agree with my evaluation? Would this be a reasonable, practical choice for us to make?”

“Of course,” he replied. “We can use the electrical outlets and switches that are visible in this room. They will provide us exactly the power connections that we need for therapy. I think we can start bringing in our EEG equipment as soon as possible. It might be possible to begin bringing some smaller instruments this very night. What do you say to that?”

“Yes, of course we must start on that,” she nodded positively. “I am most eager to get started.”

“So am I,” chimed in her assistant.

The pair left the center, Enon shutting off the light sacs he had turned on.

In charge of the secret movement of EEG equipment to the new basement center of experimental treatment, Enon realized that he needed an assistant whom he could trust to keep his mouth shut about the enterprise.

His choice fell upon the electronic technician in charge of electrical and computer matters for the Memory Institute, Abi Manas. Enon found this lanky young man with charcoal hair and eyes in his small office near the supply delivery entrance in the rear of the building.

It was late in the morning when the electronic specialist looked up from his desk to find the new therapy assistant staring at him with steady, confident caramel eyes.

“You are Abi Manas, the head of electronics for the Institute?” inquired the visitor in a friendly tone of voice.

“Yes,” said the tall, thin craftsman as he took a look, up and down, of the stranger in white medical clothes.

“I work under Dr. Terah as her assistant,” explained Enon. “I would like to have your help on a very important project that my supervisor, Reia Terah, plans to carry out. It will need someone with your professional knowledge and experience here at the Institute, Mr. Manas.”

The latter eyed his visitor with a multitude of questions rising in his mind. “What specifically does this project of yours need from me?” he asked.

Enon gave him a confident, innocent-looking smile. “Dr. Terah intends to have me move certain electronic computer components down into the basement electrical center. There are particular psychological experiments that she judges can best be carried out and completed down there, for technical reasons.

“These activities will need a very large amount of electrical energy, and the best place for obtaining augmented, enlarged quantities of power are right there, at the center of this building’s supply of electricity.

“That is the optimum solution to what she will need to fulfill all of her scientific plans, she has told me.

“Do you have the time to help me move certain heavy equipment down into the electrical and electronic center of the building, my friend? This will not take a large share of your time, I assure you. The two of us can swiftly finish the task in a short period of time.”

Abi had to consider for only a couple of seconds.

“Yes, I can squeeze what you are talking about into my schedule of work,” drawled the technician, raising himself from his chair behind the small aluminum desk he used.

VII.

The main headquarters of the Zaxia Pharma Corporation was a building of advanced design in the downtown business center of Zaxia City. It stood out among the older, traditional clay brick structures around it on all sides.

The translucent bricks of this company-owned building were made of recycled polyvinyl, polystyrene, and polycarbonate. They reflected their surroundings like a broken mirror. Zaxia Pharma stood out from its staid, traditionalist neighbors, which satisfied its president and primary owner, Mr. Jeio Tmos.

The latter was a heavyset man often characterized as chunky or beefy. His eyes were a shade of cobalt that seemed always to be changing. Though getting older and having pure white hair, he continued to keep command of company business and new breakthroughs in the area of medicine and pharmaceuticals. He continued to be fully devoted to what he happened to be involved and busy with.

A subject of major new importance had impelled him to call a therapist from the Memory Institute to a private, personal conference at his office on the top storey of the headquarters. When Dr. Azot Lotan arrived for their scheduled appointment, Jeio Tmos was well-prepared for what he planned to say to the visitor.

A secretary brought Azot into the spacious executive of the corporate president who shook hands vigorously with the man from the Memory Institute.

“Sit down, my friend, I have interesting news about something new that I want to tell you about. You will be the first person outside our company to hear about what we have accomplished. I consider it an achievement of major future importance.

What is he hinting that he has? wondered the therapist with a measure of confusion. What is it that is exciting his imagination?

Jeio Tmos posed a question.

“How are affairs going at the Memory Institute?”

“We go on as we have in the past, but I believe we could use some new methods and tools of therapy, such as new medicines and pharmaceuticals.”

The corporate president made a deep sigh. “I believe it is accepted by everyone that the brain’s center of memory formation is the hippocampus, which acts as the great nerve center where the crucial electrical switching occurs. It is in the hippocampus that short term memory is converted into long term memory. All that we remember is consolidated and combined there in the hippocampus. That is where the treasures of human memory lie.

“Am I right, Azot?”

“Indeed. New synoptic connections and patterns that form between the many neurons are made permanent and become engraved into long term memories in the hippocampus. That section of the brain is where our memories are created and stored.”

Jeio Tmos went on with what he was revealing.

“Our researchers have for a long time searching for a compound with which to alleviate the damages to memory due to brain injury or to senile dementia. And they believe they now have a means that deserves realistic testing.

“As I was saying, they now have a hopeful chemical that appears to raise the strength of the synaptic connections within the hippocampus. It is very effective as an agent doing that.

“Memory loss is accompanied with a reduced level of what they call the glutamate mediator. This new compound excites and stimulates the nerves of that region of the brain, resulting in enhanced ability to store and consolidate synaptic paths and patterns.

“This magic compound has been named ampakine. I myself call it a memory amplifier that changes the synapses in the hippocampus. Important proteins are created that revive and strengthen the neuron connections that have been weakened or damaged.

“It is now certain that ampakine can trigger the processes that rebuild the memory paths and patterns set down long ago inside the hippocampus. But this miraculous remedy has to be tested on actual humans like the patients that you deal with in your Institute, Jeio

“Are you willing to cooperate with us in the practical development of the new substance that appears so hopeful?”

The visitor from the Memory Institute felt a jangling electrical charge in his own nervous system. There was a whirling sensation in his brain. He was learning something of possible enormous future importance.

“Yes, of course,” he answered. “I am ready to begin with it at once.”

Enon became busy and absorbed in organizing the equipping of the basement electrical center with all the equipment that Reia needed for her feedback type of patient therapy. Most of the moving of what was needed had to be done after dark, when the corridors of the building were dim and deserted.

It is fortunate that Abi has agreed to help us in setting up the program we plan, realized Enon. Everything has progressed without being uncovered by anyone with formal authority. The coast remains clear for us.

But the psychological assistant was finding it difficult to rest or sleep at all. Both his days and nights were nervously active with serious practical concerns.

And he realized that his own personal deficit of memories of early life was growing worse. His self-awareness had never been as painful or burdensome as it had now become. There was a gigantic vacuum in his mental structure, he realized when he tried to look back on his life.

Enon finally decided to reveal to Reia that his memory was an injured and damaged part of his mind.

His personal confession occurred when he accompanied her down to the treatment center in the building’s basement for the final inspection before the first patient was brought down for neurofeedback work.

The chosen one was to be Nabot Jor, already a subject of initial treatment upstairs in the chamber that the Chief had uncovered and closed down.

Enon chose what he believed to be an appropriate moment to reveal to Reia what he had never hinted at or indicated in any way about himself.

“There is a matter that I have not told your about my own psychological situation,” he suddenly said out of the blue. “It may be something that there is a solution to, now that I have seen the promise represented by EEG feedback therapy. This is something I should not keep secret a moment further.”

He gazed at her with blankness in his caramel-colored eyes.

“I am afraid to have to admit that I suffer a very severe memory vacuum within my brain. It is something that I have not been able to make up for, despite all the efforts I have taken. No physician or psychologist has made the least progress in restoring memory of any event before I reached eight years of age.

“What happened to me back then was this: I lost both parents at once. They died in a terrible road-car accident while traveling on a summer vacation. I had been left alone at the house of my aunt and uncle for that short period of time. Perhaps my parents wished to be alone by themselves for a brief period. That is possibly what saved my own life at the time.

“The effect upon me was a complete collapse. I had to be taken out of school because of the catastrophic tragedy I had experienced. So, at that early age of eight years I fell into pieces. My mind seemed to be lost and confused.

“For months on end, I was unable to think reasonably or speak coherently. Doctors feared that recovery might turn out to be impossible for me. Only gradually did I return to some measure of childhood life. But the critical change had the effect of totally erasing all memory of my parents and my years living with them. A great part of what should have been available to me in my mind had vanished, completely disappeared. I could never recall it back.

“Even today, I can only show myself what they looked like from their photos. My parents became like strangers I had never met or known.

“Can oblivion be so complete? Can all memory tracks vanish from consciousness?

“That would appear to be what occurred in me. Nothing remains inside my mind from the first years after my birth.

“What can be done to bring back my past? I often wish that I could undergo my own neurofeedback therapy. That might be the key to unlocking the closed door in my brain.”

Reia stared at him a considerable time before she said a word.

“I never suspected that you had suffered such amnesia, Enon.

“Yes, we must work together to find a way to restore those forgotten years with your parents to you.

“I think that you need some immediate EEG brain maping, my friend.”

VIII.

Azot Lotan waited impatiently for the arrival of the experimental brain-affecting biochemical compound’s delivery to him. He sat in his office, planning how it might be best to begin using it on patients.

At last, it arrived at the Memory Institute by special messenger service. An office assistant brought the large box from the pharmaceutical firm directly to Azot in his office. He unwrapped it with excitement and took out the vials that promised so much to his own professional success. His nerves seemed to ring with nervous excitement.

He made a broad smile, telling himself to find the patient he had decided was the best candidate for the medication. It was certain to him that Sevath Bgar would give no resistance to taking the medicament he intended to recommend to him.

The patient was a spry little man with a spruce, dapper look about him. He was always well dressed, even as a resident in a mental institution. His diagnosis before arriving for treatment had been one of false memories, a form of self-created confabulation. Azot Lotan had not progressed further than lowering the amount of painful emotion that Sevath experienced from the confusion in his mental life. What was true, and what was real? The suffering man was uncertain.

“I cannot tell the difference between true memories about events that really happened and fantasies that are unreal. There is no way that I can separate or distinguish one from the other,” he acknowledged in from of his therapist, again and again.

“You feel painful embarrassment about your condition, then?” asked Azot, sitting across from the troubled little man in continue frustration.

“Yes, I truly wish I could figure out what to do about what I am suffering. It tortures me night and day, without end or relief of any kind.”

The doctor grinned confidently. “There has been a surprising development in the field of memory research. A new compound promises to make it possible to restore and strengthen old synaptic pathways that years before were built up inside the brain. That can possibly help you to get rid of the imaginary thoughts in your mind that pose as real memories.

“There is great hope that this medicine can help boost your hidden memories and make them victorious in the competition with the ones that your brain merely dreams up out of nothing. That would be miraculous and breathtaking.”

Sevath suddenly grew excited. “I am ready to do anything to escape from the dungeon that holds me prisoner, Dr. Lotan. You have today given me hope that I did not have yesterday.

“Yes, I am willing to take this new medicine you speak of.”

“It is still experimental, but the early tests on its effects on memory are extremely positive,” said the therapist who believed in the efficacy of biochemical means of treatment.

“I don’t care what the risks might be,” declared the patient. “I am a very desperate person.”

It was taken for granted by both Reia and Enon that the first individual to receive neurofeedback treatment in the basement electrical center would have to be Nabot Jor, upon whom the beginning work had already begun.

“I have left him as if in midair,” the therapist told her assistant. “Before I proceed to your case of memory blockage, I owe it to Nabot to continue and complete was has been started with him.

“You understand my reasoning, don’t you, Enon?”

The latter broke into a grin. “Certainly. In the time before I myself put on the brain cap with the sensors, you and I can analyze what the effects of my loss of early childhood memories has had on my life and my personality development.

“I have long feared that it had an inhibiting impact on my self-image and my ability to interact with other people. It could have been a major influence on building up inhibitions and self-doubts in my mind.

“I don’t know and can’t say for sure, one way or the other.”

“We must find out the truth of may have caused your strange amnesia,” softly murmured Reia. “But first we have to see what we can door for Nabot.”

“I think that I can sneak him down into the basement level, and later back to his rooms. But we have to be careful not to be detected on either trip with him. It is embarrassing, but we will have to maintain complete secrecy about what we are up to.”

Reia suddenly let out a disguised chuckle. “I never imagined in Zaxia City Medical School that I would ever be giving secret, clandestine treatments in the middle of the night, in the basement of a mental facility.

“But it appears that life circumstances can move us to perform activities that seem strange, even somewhat weird. That has become necessary and excusable for us. We are perfectly justified to keep everything we do concealed from others.”

“Do not be concerned,” Enon assured her in a confident voice. “I will be there helping you out all the way, Reia.”

Galactic Minds IV.

13 Dec

I.

As the Hygea left its orbit around Targentum, Captain Nevre Wia spoke over the ship’s audio system to the hospital staff and the vessel crew.

“My dear team members, comrades, and friends, we are now on our way, increasingly at top photonic speed, for the planetary target that has agreed and contracted to be our next host. It will be a large world in the Scutum-Centaurus Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy.

“This is a planet whose specialty is in metal mining and industrial production of machinery for exportation elsewhere in its own solar system. In several weeks we will find ourselves close by and maneuver this ship into orbit about the planet whose name happens to be Capra.

“Until our arrival at our distant destination, all of us will have an opportunity to rest up and prepare ourselves for the interesting tasks that we shall find when we arrive in the neighborhood of Capra, the place where the present cross-galaxy journey will be taking us.

“Best wishes for success to each and every person aboard the Hygea.”

There was much preparatory work in progress among the therapists in anticipation of arrival at their destination where they would have new patients to try to take care of.

Soro met with Mead to discuss what might lie ahead for analysts like them.

“It looked hopeful to me to be taking on Deger Tarcan as a staff member,” thoughtfully said Dr. Rimny a short while prior to reaching Capra. “But I do not at all understand the way he is behaving at the present time. The problem that I believe he is getting into stems from his friendship with Bax Muh.

“The two of them are spending a lot of their time together. Both of them say that they are perfecting and sharpening their analytic skills through the development of a new method that they seem reluctant to describe for anyone. Their claim is that they will reveal details concerning the matter once they are in orbit around Capra and their skills are in improved condition.

“To me, their actions arouse some degree of fear in me. You can guess why, Mead.

“Bax Muh is not a stranger to you or to me. We can remember how he was the schemer behind the Patients’ Association that a time ago threatened the system of organization on this vessel. The man is what I call an adventurer. He is always conceiving ways to turn things upside down. Isn’t that so? Am I not correct to feel a degree of apprehension about what he might be doing at the present time, with Deger assisting him and falling under his influence?”

Mead waited a short while before responding to what he had just heard.

“It is right to be watchful and keep an eye on what may be going on,” he slowly mused as if only to himself. “But you and I know Deger. He is not a fool and will see through any trickery, in case his friend is trying to use him in some kind of manipulative scheme.”

“I hope you are right, Mead,” said Soro with a heavy sigh.

Deger felt powerful thrills moving through his lengthy body as he listened to the promising plans outlined to him by Bax in the office of the man who had become his close friend and advisor in the field of epiphanics.

“We are standing at a decisive, fateful moment. From this ship of ours, our method of reorganizing and rearranging the archetypal patterns of the mind and personality will spread out and undergo repetition over and over, throughout all our galaxy.

“I have no doubt that the future of psychoanalysis everywhere will be shaped by what you and I are now engaged in developing.

“Who will refuse to learn and adapt the epiphanic way of harmonizing conflicting archetypes, bringing nearer the curative individuation that is the goal of human psychological evolution?

“We are the two who are responsible for the victory of psychoanalysis of our archetypal type over all its rivals and competitors. The biochemical therapists are going to suffer their final defeat at our hands. The other branches of psychoanalysis will have to submit to accepting our principles and methods.”

“How are we going to start forward toward these wonderful results, Bax?” asked the Marfan called Deger Tarcan.

The older therapist smiled archly. “We will have to recruit new followers and allies right here aboard the Hygea, my friend.”

II.

The planet named Capra was a mountainous environment with a small number of inland seas. Its main source of wealth consisted of hundreds of large and small mines out of which flowed the ores of iron, magnesium, manganese, tungsten, chromium, zirconium, titanium and a series of others. Refining and working the metals occupied the scattered towns and cities of this specialized world dependent on its exports to the rest of its solar neighborhood.

Once the Hygea was in steady orbit, space barques started to transport selected patients up to the hospital vessel waiting for them.

Director Klet Zor had one of his assistant’s find Soro Rimny and inform him that his superior needed to meet with him at once.

Soro hurried to the office of the coordinator of therapeutic services and was ushered in by a secretary. What is so urgent and important? wondered the analyst.

Once the visitor was seated, Klet Zor revealed what the subject of summoning him was.

“There is a sensitive situation about to occur with the contingent of patients coming to us from Capra,” announced the Director. “One of the persons coming here in the first shipment happens to be a young, unmarried woman. The question arising from her presence arises from the fact that she will not be staying aboard the Hygea all to herself.

“The patient’s father will be accompanying her when she is with us. The man is one of the richest and most powerful industrialist in Capra’s metal sector. It is because of his authoritative importance that he obtained the approval of his planet’s medical and psychiatric experts for his right to accompany his one and only child while she stays with us for treatment.

“The reason I called you here at this time, Soro, is to inform you that I intend to place the young woman, Salga Rej, under your own direct supervision. You will be the one who chooses who is to act as her personal analyst.

“Her father, Meto Rej, will be with us, looking over my and your shoulders at the progress of his child’s therapy.

“It was he who decided that she will need archetypal psychoanalysis.”

Klet, staring at the veteran analyst, drew a deep breath and sighed.

“This case looks like it will not at all be an easy one,” muttered Soro Rimny, rising to his feet and making his way out of the office.

Father and daughter sat apart from the rest of the others on the carrier taking them up to the hospital vessel circling about Capra.

He was a husky, majestic figure in elegant, stylish planetary garb of silk and satin. She was a delicate, balletic creature with sylphlike grace about her.

The parent was giving her instructions in a quiet but authoritative tone.

“I want you always to take care and act cautiously among these off-planet characters,” he told her under his breath. “They do not really understand the ways of our culture or society, and I foresee that they will turn out to be total strangers in their ways for us.

“But we need their advice and treatment methods if you are ever going to become free of the fears and handicaps tied to your personality.

“That is why I agreed to your going up to this ship. The staff has a very favorable record and reputation, and our Capran doctors have proven themselves unable to help with your unhappy, painful mood swings.

“We are going to find out what they can do for you, my dear.”

She studied the face of her father with her shining azure eyes. “I hope we are not wasting our time traveling up to this treatment ship. There was no relief given me by our own doctors, although they tried again and again. I fear that these new analysts will judge me a failed case, just as happened at home.”

Meto stretched forth his right hand and caught hold of that of his daughter.

“I intend to consult with the Director in charge of all treatment and ask him to choose the analyst best equipped and trained to help you, my dear. Do not be worried or concerned, I shall get you better care than what was offered you on Capra.”

Father and child gazed at each other, both of them close to tears.

Soro went to the office of Mead Quort to make him an offer of a patient.

“As far as I can tell, Salga Rej may prove to be a very difficult person to deal with. She grew up in extraordinary wealth, with only a single parent. Her mother passed away when Salga was a small child. Her records show that she has few memories of the woman who gave her birth.

“It is possible that her father was overly possessive of his daughter, bearing down on all aspects of her early years. Although the growing girl had private teachers and close servants, her ties with the father were the primary relations through the years up to now.

“Treating her will be a difficult assignment, because that was how her treatment on Capra proved to be. But I believe the challenge can be handled by you, Mead.

“Are you willing to work with this suffering young woman? Her father insisted upon accompanying his daughter up to the Hygea. He demanded the right to keep an eye on her therapy with us.

“I have chosen you to act as her primary analyst, Mead, because of my knowledge of your skill and ability. What do you say?”

The psychoanalyst did not have to think over the offer at all.

“Of course, I’ll deal with her case. Has she and her father arrived here from Capra yet?”

Soro glanced at the tiny timer on his white medical tunic. “The two have been here several hours and are settling into the private suite that her father ordered to be reserved for them.”

III.

Deger Tarcan had become accustomed to meeting with Bax Muh every space-morning in either his own cabin or that of the man who had taught him the way to apply epiphanic treatment on patients being treated for archetypal conflicts and ailments.

The space-day that patients started arriving from planet Capra, the pair came together in the cabin of the Marfan from Targentum.

“I received the list of my new patients,” reported Deger. “So far, they are only a list of names of unknown persons. But I just found their psychological records delivered, and I have begun to read and study them.”

He pointed to a high pile of paper documents on the surface of his magnesium desk.

“Yes, I too have a lot of records to plow through as sessions with my new patients soon begin,” sighed Bax. “But I foresee a lot of opportunities for the application of epiphanosis in almost all future cases coming up for me.

“I cannot ignore a simple, meaningful fact: we now have won six other analysts aboard the Hygea to the cause we represent. They are developing their abilities to use our method of inner illumination and are ready to put them to work at once.

“And support for the theory and ideas that grow out of the epiphanic therapy is putting down roots in numerous minds as well.”

Bax did not conceal his enthusiasm or excitement.

“It no longer makes sense that Soro Rimny acts as supervisor of all archetypal analysis and treatment on our vessel. That must not go on any longer. Right here, as we orbit Capra, we must work and fight to remove him from his position over all of us.

“Soro himself is not a practitioner of the epiphanic art, and has shown no interest whatever in learning and mastering the new technique of therapy.

“We must organize all of our followers for the aim of expelling him from his place in charge of our section. There must be one of our own exercising the office and authority that he now enjoys and uses.”

Deger, for a few moments, looked bewildered. “How can that be done?” he asked Bax. “I do not foresee our Director making such a radical change in the formal structure, not at all. Why would he do that?”

Bax sent him a sly, cunning smile. “We must conceive of a way of convincing the Director not to oppose our future demand for a change in leadership,” he darkly muttered.

Klet Zor came himself to the suite of rooms that the two Rejs occupied in order to welcome them to the ship and identify the daughter’s new therapist.

“You are going to receive the best treatment that we offer, Miss Rej,” said the Director in an unctuous voice, standing before the two sitting on a long, soft luxury sofa. “We will not omit any element of therapy that can be of benefit to you.”

He nodded and gave the young lady a courteous bow.

“Your analyst shall be Dr. Mead Quort, a skilled provider of archetypal analysis and therapy. He is capable of unlocking the secret causes and forces that produce what you suffer from. We are putting you in the hands of a very adept healer, Miss.”

Salga looked downward, avoiding his glance, as if for some reason embarrassed.

Her father suddenly intervened with an unexpected question.

“My Salga has had many unsuccessful and troubled encounters with psychoanalysts on our home planet. No therapists, even the most highly rated ones, have done anything of value for the girl. Both of us have been disappointed with the empty results of spending so much our time with doctors I dare to call clumsy quacks. All they did was to make her feel worse about her self and her life. It was an awful shame, that is the truth.”

Klet Zor grinned with confidence. “I assure you, sir, that we can and will outdo those on Capra who failed to produce the desired results. We have advanced, well-developed and tested methods that have produced cures and improvements in many parts of the Milky Way Galaxy. That record of success will go on as we orbit Capra. I have not the slightest doubt of that.”

The Director peered courageously at both Rejs. “You will meet your analyst, Dr. Quort, when he comes right here to your apartment to introduce himself.” He glanced at the timepiece attached to the front of his red jacket. “In fact, Mead Quort should be appearing here in a couple of minutes. Excuse me, I must return to my office to oversee the connections between our new patients and their assigned psychiatrists and analysts.”

He rose to his feet, gave a small bow, and left the two.

IV.

Mead felt goosebumps as he knocked at the door of the suite occupied by the Rej family. He had heard talk of the father’s great fortune and importance in the metallic industry of Capra. Never before had he dealt with such a closeness of parent and child in his previous practice. Would he prove able to deal with the tangled interrelationship that often resulted from such a one-to-one configuration of personalities?

Meto Rej opened the door and Mead introduced himself. “Step right in, Doctor. My daughter and I have been eager to become acquainted with you.”

Mead entered the front parlor and took a cushioned chair facing the sofa where his patient silently sat. The industrialist sat down next to Salga, directly facing her new analyst.

“Have you had experience with females of my daughter’s age who grew up without a mother’s direct care for most of her young years?”

Mead smiled and replied in a disarming tone. “No, not directly perhaps. But I am quite familiar with the literature on growing up and maturing. My experience has been focused on analysis of conscious and unconscious archetypes that can clash and become the breeding ground of harmful complexes and combinations, of opposing emotions and concepts.

“My hope is that I can identify, comprehend, and harmonize the troublesome portions of Salga’s personality. That may take a series of conversing sessions, but I am determined to uncover the state of her individual psyche.”

Meto Rej made a grim frown. “You have seen her records, I know that. Do they help you to find what steps may come to be necessary in the time ahead of us?”

“I cannot yet be too certain, until I have talked for awhile with Salga. It is impossible to estimate with any accuracy how quickly some progress may result.”

Mead peered directly at his patient, who immediately looked away to one side.

“Do you have a hobby or a favorite pastime, Salga?” the therapist asked her all of a sudden, surprising the young woman.

“I like to read novels and watch dramatic disks,” she quietly murmured.

“Do you have any interest in romantic stories, on paper or electronic screens?”

She looked downward, her face slightly reddening. “Yes, that is my favorite area of attention,” she shyly informed the psychoanalyst.

Mead beamed a warm, friendly smile that focused on his new patient. “We shall have the opportunity to delve into what is of interest to you, Salga,” he predicted with self-assurance meant to inspire her to trust her therapist.

Having nothing more to say at this point, he excused himself and found his way out of the suite of rooms.

All the therapists on the orbiting vessel, both biochemical-prescribing psychiatrists and archetypal psychoanalysts soon had their full complements of patients from planet Capra.

But a series of special private seminars were organized by Dr. Bax Muh, with the assistant of his earliest follower, Dr. Deger Tarcan. Both men were surprised at the large number of people at their first conference after reaching Capra. There was obvious interest in the new method as word of its success back at Tangentum spread among the staff, member by member.

It was Bax who addressed the group of over thirty, half of whom were psychiatrists and half psychoanalysts of the archetypal school.

“What my brothers and I are applying for the purpose of overcoming divisive conflict within the personality’s of our patients is a method of instantaneous cohesion and welding together the conscious and unconscious elements of thought and emotion. We have come to refer to it as epiphanic illumination of the disparate elements that contribute to creating the Self.

“The therapy occurs through an immediate enlightenment and illumination of both the shadow and the ego, the unconscious and the conscious.

“The ancient concept of epiphany was of a sudden, intuitive mental perception that results in instantaneous insight into the truth about what is being considered or focused on.

“There occurs a revelation, a discovery that affects an individual with wonderment.

“Supposedly out of nowhere, a unique thought never experienced before manifests itself to the mind.

“There is an immediate realization about the essence and the meaning of a subject or object.

“The knowledge that is thus gleaned is apodictic, meaning that it is undeniable, indubitable, and inarguable. One will never attempt to question or retest it. This insight will be the basis of all future knowledge as well.

“Because the epiphany deals with the personality and the Self, it will bind the conscious and unconscious elements together from that moment forward.

“The result is an instant solution to the deepest and most stubborn internal conflicts between different, varying archetypes embedded in a personality.”

Bax stopped a moment, drawing a breath and surveying his spellbound audience of practitioners.

I am winning more converts and followers, the analyst said to himself.

V.

Salga wore a yellow silk dress suit with purple flowers on it for her initial appointment with Dr. Mead Quort.

The therapist warmly welcomed her and pointed to where she was to sit opposite him in the consultation room.

“Tell me, Salga, were your early years, after the loss of your mother, a lonely time for you? Did you have close friends and playmates? What sort of feelings do you remember from that part of your youth?”

Her answers were slow and extremely careful in their wording.

“Yes, I felt great coldness and loneliness, as far as I can recall. It was like a physical injury, a deep wound that went all the way to the center of me.

“My father was my protector and support, as he still is. Without him, I would have been like a lost sheep or lamb. I cannot recall very many playmates or friendly children. As I told you, my life has been a very lonely one. I was always by myself, except for father of course.”

“Yet he had his professional responsibilities in the metals industry. Did you happen to see him a lot? How often did he have to be away?”

Mead sensed a reluctance in his patient to be too specific over things that once caused her pain and suffering.

“My father was a very busy man, but he always found time to spend together with me. The two of us took long vacation trips about Capra. I have fond memories of the naval islands and the Summit Mountains. Every summer, father and I visited some new region with a different climate and different people. I was always sorry to have to return to school.”

The analyst leaned his head forward and decided to ask a probing question with as much delicacy as he could.

“Tell me, Salga, did your father have a lot of friends and an active social life? Or was he primarily together with you when he was not working and attending to business?”

He studied and watched to catch what her reaction might be.

“That is hard to answer precisely. I do not know all of his friends, even today. My father and I have no close relatives. There exists only the two of us. I would say that we are somewhat isolated, off to ourselves.”

“Do you like to do things all to yourself, Salga?”

“Sometimes,” she laconically replied. “But mostly I like being with my father.”

“What books and drama films have been your favorites?”

She talked on that for awhile, mentioning the titles that she enjoyed the most.

“What are your hopes, dreams, and plans for the future, Salga” he inquired, looking directly into her face.

“I’m not too certain about that,” she stuttered. “I’ll have to think about that, Dr. Quort.”

The first meeting between the pair soon came to an end and Salga left the room for the suite she shared with her father.

V.

Bax was fascinated by the appearance on the Hygea of the father and daughter duo from Capra. He related his reaction to them when alone with Deger in the latter’s office.

“There has never been a person as important or wealthy as Mr. Meto Rej with us before,” he speculated. “It is a tragedy that a therapist as limited as Mead Quort was given charge of the young woman’s case. She is not going to receive the epiphanic treatment that could have had an effective result in rebalancing her personality.

“You or I might have been able to do the necessary work that would bring about full solution of the problem torturing this patient.”

“We have not proven our epiphanic method as effective and adequate to the remaining archetypal psychoanalysts of the Hygea,” said Deger with regret. “They still do not know enough about what we are carrying out or achieving in our own practice.”

Bax frowned with anger. “I blame one person for limiting us. It is the Director of Therapy, Klet Zog, who is creating all these barriers to our growth and success.

“It would be better and easier for us if someone replaced him at his post.”

Deger suddenly grimaced with a sad grin. “This ship would be offering more successful therapy if you were in charge of all services, Bax,” he muttered in a low, thoughtful tone of voice.

Mead, writing on his memory-set, organized his thinking about his new patient named Salga Rej.

“The primary conscious archetype of this personality is the Princess Pattern. Her character is that of a young, virginal woman who has only recently risen from her girlhood phase. Everything about her is good and kind, pure and loving. Others view this person as gentle and benevolent.

“The main aim of her thoughts and emotions is to please her father, whom she is devoted to with all her heart. She is completely, deeply devoted to him. There is no one else whom she thinks of or considers.

“Salga perceives herself as Daddy’s little girl.

“Every day she seeks to please and satisfy her Daddy.

“Salga feels herself entitled to his love, care, and concern. He is all to her and she feels herself as his all as well.

“She expects everyone else to recognize and accept her sole claim upon Daddy’s love and responsibility. They make up the main relationship in her personal life.”

Mead read over what he had written on the screen of his memory-machine.

What was he to do to solve the internal tension that Salga suffered because of the problem that was troubling her mind?

Meto Rej peppered his daughter with questions about what was happening with her consultation meetings with her therapist.

“Is the analyst giving you good advice of some sort, Salga?” he inquired after the pair had finished dinner in the patient eating hall and returned to the suite that they shared.

“No, father. It seems that I am the one who does most of the talking when we are together. Dr. Quort only presents me with the questions, but I tell him what he wants to know about our life on Capra. He is more of a listener and doesn’t reveal to me what he is thinking.”

Meto grew alert and attentive. “Does he ever ask anything about me?” he said in a cool, calculating tone.

The young woman had to try to recall for a moment. “No, not too often. He wants to know a lot about my reading and how I entertain myself. I told him that you and I like to take hikes in the countryside together. He asks about my favorite songs, what types of music I prefer to listen to.

“Things like that, that seem minor and insignificant, that’s what I describe for him.

“He must know what he’s doing. I certainly don’t, father.”

Meto considered what he had just heard. “The man is a trained psychoanalyst who is trying to delve into your unconscious shadow. I have read a number of books about the science of psychoanalysis. A lot of what they find out about a patient has to be obtained indirectly, not directly. They know means of dragging archetypes into the light of the conscious ego, as they call it.

“I may ask to see your Dr. Quort and ask him how his explorations are proceeding.”

Mead ate that space-evening in the staff hall with his mentor and supervisor, Soro Rimny.

“You looked worried and concerned, Mead,” commented the veteran analyst. “Is it caused by the new patient who is onboard with a father? Is that it?”

The other therapist looked across the table with a quizzical look.

“You can see it in my face? Is it that visible? Yes, I have concluded that the key to unlocking the patterns in my patient’s shadow lies with her father, the most important outer symbol in her unconscious thought patterns.”

“You cannot, unfortunately, compel him to enter treatment beside the daughter. But why don’t you talk with him on an informal basis, outside your therapy sessions with the young woman? Have you thought of that alternative?”

The light blue eyes of Dr. Quort suddenly seemed to light up as if illuminated.

“Yes,” asserted the younger man. “That is feasible, I imagine. Should I try to do it, then?”

“It might do a lot of good in understanding his child, Mead.”

VI.

Meto Rej was one who was rapid in the forming of suspicions concerning everything that surrounded him. That reaction was especially strong in connection with the apple of his eye, Salga.

The father noticed a subtle change in how she spoke about and characterized her psychoanalyst when presented with questions about the course of her sessions with Dr. Quort.

“Does your doctor ask a lot about your early years, right after we lost your mother?” Meto inquired one late space-afternoon after she came back from a meeting with the therapist.

It seemed that his daughter was reluctant to be too specific in her reply to him.

“I only talk to him in general about the time when I was very small,” she softly told him. “My own recollections are vague and foggy, I have to recognize. There is a lot of confusion in my mind’s memory, even today. Nothing is too clear or definite, and I myself have tried to avoid thinking or remembering about mother’s death.

“It remains a painful subject, and I sense how great our loss was at that point in the past.

“When Dr. Quort started to enter that time, I answered quickly and tried to get beyond it as soon as I could.

“There was no need to dwell on our family tragedy, was there, father?”

He forced himself to smile at Salga. “No, you did the right thing, my dear. Your therapist should not have done that, because he caused you unease and pain. You are correct to avoid what happened back then.”

Meto Rej vowed to himself to warn the doctor to stay away from such a sensitive subject as the death of his wife.

Bax Muh had come to the conclusion long before, before the Hygea had come to Capra and entered orbit, that the Director was an opponent of the epiphanic methods of reorganizing conscious and unconscious archetypes and patterns.

“I have gotten nowhere talking with him,” he revealed to Deger Tarcan. “Even a full description of the results that I have produced has no impact on his stubborn resistance to my novel invention. It is in the interest of the old, traditionalist psychoanalysts, the Soro Rimnys of this ship, to keep applying the same system over and over, regardless of the many failures.

“And when Soro brings in some new practitioner, it is another Jungian analyst like this Mead Quort, who stays within the old channels and guidelines of long, endless talking surveying and descriptions. These characters do not realize the phenomenal outcomes possible with epiphanic illumination and restructuring. They are afraid of what I myself discovered, and do everything possible to conceal and denigrate my historic breakthrough in analysis.

“They merely gaze and stare at the patient’s Self, whereas I succeed in recreating it.”

He looked at Deger with sparks in his diamond eyes.

“Is there anything that can be done about this discouraging situation?” inquired the Marfan therapist.

Bax lowered his voice. “I am going to seek support from someone higher in authority aboard the Hygea, the Captain.”

“Captain Wia!” reacted Deger with astonishment.

Muh gave him a demonic smile. “Who is there beyond her to elevate the epiphanic system that you and I use to a standard method?” he asked his partner in the new therapy.

Mead sent a written message to Meto Rej asking him to come for a conference on the treatment of his daughter. The analyst informed him that he would be in his office in the late space-afternoon. He made a few notes of what he intended to say to the father concerning the case of his one child.

A rap at his door indicated that the rich industrialist was there.

Mead rose and went across to open the door for his visitor, welcoming and leading him to a chair. “Please be seated, sir,” smiled the analyst.

Once both men were seated, Mead began to verbalize what he had thought out.

“The case of Salga is a difficult, complicated one. I do not recall ever having a patient with archetypes so hard to analyze and understand.

“To me, she falls within the Princess Archetype. Those patterns of personality make her kind, loving, obedient, and benevolent. Her dream-image is that of Daddy’s Little Princess, for she is totally dedicated to you, sir.

“All her life, she has tried to be a good little girl who would make her father proud of her. This love of you has made her an adoring child, eager to please and satisfy you. As a result, her greatest fear is that of losing your love and trust. She has become your worshiper, one whose thought and emotions revolve about one single object, which is you.

Salga is therefore not free or independent. She does not shape her own future, but merely serves your image of what she should be. This has blocked any path forward for her toward adult living or individuation. Your daughter is not able to find her own identity or personality as long as she remains a mere satellite of your own identity, Mr. Rej.

“I have hunted for hints and signs of what archetypes may lie unseen in her unconscious shadow, and my conclusion is disturbing. Your daughter holds a secret Aphrodite Archetype that is in complete conflict with the dominant Princess of the conscious mind

“The Aphrodite is named for the ancient goddess of love and beauty back on planet Earth.

“It contains images and combinations of the impetuous seductress, of a drive toward romance and sexuality. Salga unconsciously yearns to be a creative artist of some sort. Her Aphrodite side is a Queen of the Night full of self-confidence, unlike her Princess Archetype.”

Mead looked directly into the face of the industrial tycoon. “I believe that the very best thing you can do for the sake of her mental health is to submit to analysis of yourself. That would be the most important contribution you can make to the therapy of your daughter, believe me. It would help to free her Princess from the limitations that hold it imprisoned. The Aphrodite Archetype would then be able to rise into her consciousness and influence her life, making her a fully adult woman.”

The broad face of Meto reddened with blood. His emotions exploded in a rushing flood, making him nearly speechless.

“Who do you think you are!” he shouted in rage. “That is an insulting, insane thing that you propose? We came on the Hygea for my girl, Salga. She is the one who needs analysis and therapy. Not me, not her loving father who has always taken the best possible care of her.

“I tell you that there is no romantic, seductive Aphrodite in my daughter!”

Meto was able to spring to his feet. His anger overflowing, he leaped to the door, opening it, exiting rapidly, and then slamming it loudly shut.

It took several minutes for Mead to recover from what he had just witnessed.

What am I to say to Salga now that I have found out how her analyst is turning her against me? worried Meto as he stalked through the corridor leading to his suite, where his daughter was waiting for and expecting his return.

We shall have to quit our stay aboard the Hygea. How can we remain in such an unfriendly environment as this? he speculated.

The irate father decided he had not cooled down sufficiency to face his daughter. But where should he go, and what should he do?

To take his mind off what had occurred with the psychoanalyst and rest his mind and nerves a bit, he would go to the ship’s natatorium and cool down in the water pool he had heard about. Yes, he had been a good swimmer home on Capra, and swimming had always been restful and refreshing for him.

Meto decided he would spend a short time restoring himself in the Hygea’s water pool, its natatorium.

As Meto headed toward the long water tank, he caught sight of a towering, slender Marfan in bathing trunks. The latter was climbing out of the water, onto the ceramic floor surrounding the pool.

“Hello,” smiled Deger as the other approached him. “I take you to be related to one of our patients. I myself am an analyst on the staff. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with my genetic type. I am a Marfan from Geryon and my name is Deger Tarcan.

As the two men shook hands, an idea suddenly occurred to the industrialist from Capra.

“Could I speak with you, Doctor? I am in urgent need of practical advice because of a conflict that has erupted over my daughter’s treatment by her present therapist.”

“Let us sit down and you can explain,” said the surprised Deger, pointing to a nearby table with benches around it.

Meto gave his interpretation of what his daughter’s analyst had said to him that ended in angry conflict.

“This Dr. Quort insulted both me and my child, Salga. He characterized her as under a pattern he called Daddy’s Little Girl. His claim was that I over-dominated her and blocked her from normal passage to individual adult life.

“He insulted me, saying that I prevented her from growing up into a person with her own personality, that I tyrannized over my own daughter.”

Deger, sitting across the polyplex table from the irate parent, put his right hand on that of the father of Salga.

“Do not worry about your daughter’s future therapy. It should be done by someone who understands and practices epiphanic therapy.”

“Epiphanic therapy?” questioned Meto with curiosity.

“Let me explain what it is. I am practicing a new type of treatment that I learned only upon coming on the Hygea. It received its name from the instantaneous, immediate nature of the treatment of a patient’s psyche.

“I have found it a very effective and rapid way of rebalancing the archetypes that make up a particular personality. Epiphanic treatment reunites a person’s conscious and unconscious elements through whole individuation of the divided, warring component parts of a mind.”

“It sounds too good to be true,” stated Meto. “How can it be successful?”

Deger beamed a radiant Marfan smile. “Take my word for it, sir, for I have seen marvelous results with my own patients.” He paused a moment before making a proposal. “If you and your daughter are willing, I am prepared to treat her with the epiphanic system that I have learned and mastered.”

He stared with all his mental force at the industrialist.

“I will offer this idea to Salga,” finally said Meto. “If she agrees, you can proceed with this therapy that you say is new and effective.”

VII.

The face of Bax Muh lit up like a plasma-gas light as he heard Deger relate to him what had happened with the father of Salga Rej and what was now planned.

“You shall be treating her by our own epiphanic therapy?” asked the leader of the new analytic movement.

“Yes. We will began tomorrow space-morning,” indicated the Marfan.

“I believe this will prove to be a pivotal point for our method,” thoughtfully concluded Bax.

A meeting with Captain Nevre Wia soon occurred on the bridge station.

“I had to inform you that my followers are on the verge of winning over the support of the richest man in Capran industry. He will see the positive effects of our brand of therapy in his own child.”

Nevre wrinkled her brow with concern. “What can be done to spread epiphanic work to all of our staff, even the most recalcitrant ones?”

Bax lowered his voice. “I am going to attempt to replace Director Zog, because he is too traditionalist and conservative. As long as he remains in high post, there cannot be the full victory of our new treatment system.

“That is the difficult truth that we all must accept, Captain.”

The latter appeared to be slightly shaking. “I myself am not powerless. It is possible for me to call an assembly of the ship’s entire therapeutic staff and move that Dr. Klet Zog be at once replaced by someone capable of reforming and improving what is going on with the patients.”

The diamond eyes of Dr. Muh appeared to shine and glow as he foresaw approaching victory.

Mead went to his office door to see who was knocking on it. It was an unforeseeable surprise to find Degen Tarcan standing there.

“Can I speak with you?” said the haggard Marfan. “I must discuss something of importance with you.”

Backing up, Mead let the analyst from Geryon walk in and sit down. He himself returned behind his desk.

“I have been asked to take charge of one of your patients,” began Deger. “It is her father who insists on her leaving your care. The change has been arranged by our colleague, Dr. Muh.”

Mead felt as if hit by a bolt. “I should have seen it coming, because I had a kind of quarrel with her father. He grew very angry at me because of what I told him about his daughter’s condition. It was not at all acceptable to the man, who is a wealthy industrial leader on Capra.”

“I am being asked to give her an epiphanic treatment and thought that I must inform you of this alteration. Could I request your notes and records on what you have concluded about Salga?

“I have not yet met or spoken with her.”

“Certainly,” returned Mead. “I will give you all that is recorded about her case on my memory unit. You can have the material immediately.”

“How did you characterize the young woman’s personality?”

“It was immediately plain to me that Salga’s conscious mind was dominated by the traditional archetype of Daddy’s Little Principle, a passive, obedient child to her authoritative father.

“But at odds with this major archetype there was an opposing one hidden in the unconscious, that of Aphrodite. This instinctive force held patterns and images of love, romance, and sexuality, contrary to the content of the Princess Archetype.

“Out of the tension between the two archetypes comes the painful troubles from which poor Salga suffers. She must be helped to solve and bridge the battle inside her mind and personality.”

Deger nodded his agreement. “Such a gulf can be bridged through a unifying epiphany. Of that I am certain because of how I have applied it in many of my cases. Experience has convinced me that this therapy actually works with success.”

Mead’s light blue eyes appeared distant and abstracted as he began to speak on a personal, intimate plane.

“I have had curiosity about the invention that you and others call epiphanic therapy, but the central core of this method continues to remain mysterious and hidden from outsiders like me. That has made your system hard to understand or accept.

“Would you be willing to have me present as a witness when you first apply it to this ex-patient of mine, Salga Rej?

“It would be of great benefit to my knowledge, I assure you.”

He looked pleadingly at the Marfan analyst, waiting for his reply.

“I see no reason to refuse what you are requesting,” declared Deger with a degree of remaining reluctance. “But you must not tell anyone what you are doing. It would not be good for you, or for me either.”

The epiphanic practitioner excused himself, rose to his feet, and slowly left the office of the other archetypal therapist.

VIII.

Deger sat watching behind his desk as Salga and her father entered his consultation room.

“Welcome,” nodded the psychoanalyst. “Please be seated, both of you.” He looked directly at the daughter, his new patient, and asked her a question.

“Are you ready to have me place you into a mental state preparatory to epiphany for the sake of changing the archetypes in your mind, Salga?”

She glanced at her father, then turned to her new therapist.

“Yes, Doctor. I’m prepared to undergo whatever is necessary in order to transform my personality into a state of health and balance.”

Deger rose to his feet, revealing his unusual height. He moved around his desk on the side opposite the father and stepped close to where his patient sat.

He spoke to her slowly, in a soft, gentle tone that he intentionally modulated.

“You are going to enter a semi-wakeful state, Salga. Neither fully asleep, nor completely awake, but somewhat like being absent-minded. Have you ever felt that way before? That is what I am going to aim for.

“You shall soon become unaware of your particular surroundings, where you are and what you are involved in. Our goal is to induce total absent-mindedness, so that you feel peace and tranquility.

“You shall soon be in such deep meditation that you shall not even notice your own feelings or sensations.

“There shall be nothing present at all to distract you. No memories, no thoughts, no nearby objects. You shall be thinking about nothing in particular.

“You are going to suspend all of your conscious thinking, yet not fall into sleep or lose your consciousness.”

Deger raised his right hand and slowly passed his open palm in front of Salga’s face.

Seeing that her eyes and her attention were unfocused, that she had become unaware of her situation or surroundings, he raised both hands to her forehead and stroked her skin very gently several times.

A slight smile occurred about the thin lips of the analyst, because he realized he was succeeding in mesmerizing his new patient.

Her mind had become almost a blank, he realized. It was now possible to deal with her unconscious, because it had now surfaced while she was semi-awake.

He began to whisper almost inaudibly to the young woman now in a trancelike condition.

“Let the woman in your shadow arise and be present,” he murmured to her. “There is a hidden goddess named Aphrodite who must enter the highest point within you, so that she can live in peace, concord, and harmony with the Young Princess you have for so long allowed yourself to be.

“Join together the Goddess and the Princess, so that you can become the Self you were meant to be.

“Let them join hands together and become one person, the true Salga destined to live in supreme happiness.”

Deger stopped whispering and moved back a step, then two.

He snapped two fingers of his right hand in front of the open, abstracted eyes of his patient.

As soon as he saw signs that she had fully returned to herself, he spoke once more.

“You must return to your quarters, Salga, and lie down for a nap and some rest. He turned to the confused, bewildered father. “Please accompany your daughter and see that she does as I have instructed her to do.”

Meto rose and helped Salga to her feet. Then the two departed hand-in-hand.

Deger was typing his notes into his memory unit when his office door opened. Bax stood there, a serious, concentrated expression on his face.

“How did your session go?” he asked. “Did the epiphany occur the way it was supposed to?”

What should he say? wondered the Marfan. How much did his partner in the epiphanic therapy need to know?

“It is too early to know for certain,” he said in order to explain his reluctance to enter into detail. “I had the feeling that the archetype transfer happened smoothly, but it is difficult to be definitive, because there were so many external factors involved.”

“External factors?” questioned Bax with evident frustration. “What sort of external factors are you talking about?”

“I am referring primarily to the presence of her father, the rich metallic industrialist. He sat next to his daughter and might have been exercising some sort of invisible, immaterial influence over her, in an unconscious manner. Their minds might have had synchronous connections, and that could have created difficulties or counter-currents.

“Who can say?”

Bax, with no more to ask or say, closed the office door and disappeared.

Deger took a deep breath and returned to his memory-mechanism.

Mead realized that the time had arrived for him to unload his new course to his mentor, Soro Rimny.

He found the supervising veteran analyst in his office and went at once to the matter of importance that had brought him there.

“Forgive me, Soro, but there is something that you must learn about what I am planning to become involved in.”

The gray eyes of the other focused sharply upon his face. He did not have to say a single word in order to communicate his rising curiosity to Mead.

The latter turned his gaze slightly to the side in order to avoid looking directly at the older therapist.

“I have decided to learn what lies behind the epiphanic method of treatment,” he explained. “It is Deger Tarcan who has agreed to teach me the principles of what goes on when a patient is placed in semi-trance by a practitioner.”

Soro asked a question of importance. “Have you done anything yet? Are you involved already in the operation of that new path being used by some analysts?”

“No. We two have not started. But we soon will.”

A short silence followed, with each man thinking his individual thoughts, not expressing them to the other psychoanalyst.

“Be careful, my friend,” muttered Soro. “I advise you to stay watchful of everything that may be happening to you.”

He lowered his face and his eyes, pretending to read the paper report on top of his desk.

Mead at once comprehended the signal being given him, so he rose and departed.

IX.

Salga was feeling and acting differently than ever before, realized her father. This was a new side of her that he had never seen or experienced before, he knew at once.

What had happened to her in the course of the short therapeutic session with Dr. Taran? he wondered. She was somehow transformed into a new form, one he did not recognize or understand. His daughter now slept during hours unlike her previous schedule. She seemed to need additional, unusual amounts of rest. What had the new analyst accomplished in altering the boundaries of the conscious and the unconscious deep inside Salga?

Meto broke out of his inner musings over the transformation occurring in his daughter by the buzzing of the door apparatus attached to the suite entrance.

He rose from the easy chair he sat on and went to see who it might be.

A large figure with auburn hair and shining diamond eyes stood there and addressed him.

“Mr. Rej, I need to speak to you about the treatment being given to your daughter, Salga.

“Let me introduce myself. I am a psychoanalyst on the staff of this vessel, and my name is Bax Muh.

“It is important that you and I discuss the epiphanic therapy undergone by Salga, as well as its future course on this hospital ship.”

Meto took a step back, allowing Bax enter, then closed the door behind the unexpected stranger visiting him.

“Please be seated, Doctor,” the industrialist managed to say as his mind spun in growing confusion. “We can talk freely. My daughter is asleep resting in her bedroom.”

The two studied each other a short time once they were in easy chairs facing each other.

Meto decided he would be the first to say something about what the visitor had mentioned to him about the purpose of his presence at the suite of rooms.

“I am, so far, quite pleased with the results of what Dr. Tarcan performed for Salga. She seems calmer and better balanced than I have seen her for a considerable time. I might say since she was a small girl.

“It is a miraculous wonder for me, her father. No one knows Salga as well as I do, and I not only see the improvement, I also feel and sense it. Would you believe me if I claim to be sharing in the new contentment and peace in the thoughts and feelings of my child?”

Bax made a little smile toward the wealthy Capran. “I have heard the good report from Dr. Tarcan himself. You see, I was the one who taught him how to use this technique of epiphany in archetypal analysis and treatment.

“In fact, it would be truthful and accurate to say that I created the system from which your dear daughter received relief, rest, and transformation.

“Yes, I use the term transformation, sir. For there has occurred a major change in the mind and personality of Salga. Her most important mental archetypes have been moved and repaired, in a subtle manner. The unconscious shadow of your daughter no longer fights and sabotages her conscious emotions and thinking, as before.”

Meto seemed deep in thought and meditation for several moments. Finally, he spoke in a quiet, controlled voice.

“I am beholden to you and Dr. Tarcan for what has been produced in Salga. I will forever be in debt to the two of you for the great benefit brought to my family. I swear to that.”

Bax ceased smiling and suddenly frowned. His face grew grave and troubled.

“There is an existing problem that you deserve to know about, Mr. Rej.

“Here on the Hygea, me and my followers are looked upon as rebels and outlaws. Our epiphanic method is despised and rejected by the rest of the staff, even by the archetypal analysts not using our system and standing outside our special circle of advanced practitioners. They do not grant us the respect or position that we believe we have more than earned through the results we have achieved.

“The hope of the future is with us, but they deny us recognition, respect, or position. It is a terrible shame, a professional insult. I call it criminal.”

The face of Bax had turned a fiery red by now. He paused to measure the effect his words were having, then proceeded on.

“As a result of what we, the epiphanists, have been made to suffer, we intend to make a major change in how treatment goes on aboard this ship.

“We mean to ask our Captain to replace the Director of psychological treatment at once, and replace him with some person who will favor our new method of therapy.” Bax paused, letting his words sink in. “Would you agree to come forward as a supporter of our movement for reform, Mr. Rej? Would you be willing to give testimony about how your daughter was brought into harmonious life through epiphanic therapy, sir?”

“Certainly, I would,” asserted Meto with forcefulness in his tone. “Yes, I am willing to be a witness for your wonderful method. I know that it works, I can swear to that.”

Bax shot up on his feet. “Thank you. I must now leave. But I promise to inform you when your testimony can be given to a general staff meeting that I can foresee Captain Wia calling together very soon.

“Again, my comrades and I thank you for the support you are showing to us.”

Meto watched passively as the slippery, adroit analyst found his way out of the master suite of the Rejs.

X.

Captain Nevre Wia lost count of the number of times the psychoanalyst named Bax Muh intersected with her as she left her quarters and walked to the bridge and then the engine chambers of the galactic ship she commanded.

“What do you intend to do about the problems caused by the present therapy director?” demanded the petitioner. “Isn’t it time for a change in the management of our psychiatric services aboard the Hygea?

“Dr. Zor has proven himself a total failure by ignoring and blocking the most important innovation in galactic psychotherapy in many years of static practice. He has been an active enemy of the invention assembled here on our own vessel, the one known as epiphanic treatment.

“We would be light-years ahead of where we now stand if Klet Zor had supported and protected the development of the new system. But instead of that, he has acted as a destructive annihilator of all that has been attained.

“This Director must be replaced as soon as possible, for he is holding back the successes that would otherwise be realized by epiphanic practitioners here and elsewhere throught the Milky Way Galaxy.

“That is the terrible truth of our situation, Captain Wia.”

Overwhelmed and embarrassed, the latter looked away several seconds, then turned back and gazed at the analyst with her large green eyes.

“Very well, Dr. Muh, I shall call a meeting of the entire medical staff. But it will be up to the majority who attend to decide the future of our present Director and who might succeed him in office. That will not be up to me at all.”

Bax, happy at his success in convincing the ship’s Captain, when on to talk with a number of traditional psychiatrists who centered their therapy on biochemical drugs and compounds.

It was not easy to win support among these practitioners, but he started to rally some of them to the cause of the epiphanic innovation.

His final stop was at the pharmaceutical dispensary to talk with Dr. Lema Giten, in charge of this department of the Hygea.

“We are in a serious crisis with our present Director, and a change must be made as soon as possible, Lema.

“He is blocking the full introduction of a wonderful new therapeutic invention that goes by the name of epiphany. Are you familiar with it? Have you heard about it from friends or from the enemies of the innovative treatment?”

“Yes,” answered the pharmacist. “There are severe critics of it, but also others who wish to try it out to learn what the results can be.”

Bax lowered his voice a little. “I would like you to be an ally in throwing out the present Director and placing in a better person, someone who is not afraid of the new. That is what the future holds for this vessel. Epiphantic analysis and treatment will then spread far and wide, throughout our galaxy.”

Lema peered at him without reacting to what she had heard from the analyst.

“Thank you for notifying me what will soon be coming upon us,” she said in almost a whisper, then turned about and walked quickly away.

Mead was on his way to his cabin when he caught sight of Lema Giten moving toward him from the opposite direction.

She appeared glad to find him and at once began talking to him.

“I am fortunate to find you so easily, Mead. There is a matter that I have to discuss with you at once. Can we go back to the pharmacy so that we can have some degree of security and privacy?”

Stunned and surprised, the analyst nodded his head. “Yes, Lema. I have the time to accompany you there. You can lead the way if you wish.”

Mead followed the pharmacist to the dispensary, where the pair entered a side room where supplies were stored.

The two sat down across from each other at a small, empty table.

“What is it you wish to tell me, Lema?” asked Mead with a sense of growing alarm.

She looked him straight in the eye. “I have talked with Bax Muh, and he told me that he has convinced Captain Wia to summon a meeting of the medical staff, all of it. The objective will be to expel Director Zor from office and replace him. After that, he plans to have a person from his new school of Epiphanic Psychology to that top post. He believes that there will be enough votes on his side to carry it through with a majority.”

“That would be a tall order!” interjected the psychotherapist.

“He thinks that the votes will be there for him and his side. There are fifty staff members in total. Thirty-two are traditional psychiatrists who depend on drugs and biochemical. The analytic therapists who apply archetypal means are a minority, only about fifteen.

“Bax is convinced that he has most of the psychiatrists as supporters who will oust the present Director. They would join together with his epiphanic supporters into a majority that will make him the next head of the hospital.”

The two stared at each other for several seconds, until Mead shot to his feet.

“Thank you, Lema. You have acted boldly by informing me about this scheme. It will be difficult, but Bax Muh must not be allowed to take over the leadership of the Hyea.”

XI.

The call for all staff member to assemble that evening came over the audio system of the Hygea late in the space-afternoon.

Mead hurried at once to the office of Soro Rimny to decide what path the two of them were going to take. Both knew for certain what the subject of this gathering was set to be: the replacement of the Director, KLet Zor, in order to clear the way for the elevation of Bax Muh to that position.

“What should we do?” said the unsettled Mead. “What is left for anyone to attempt in order to prevent a terrible catastrophe?”

Soro replied in a placid tone. “We will have to decide on our course when we see for ourselves what the circumstances are to be when everyone is there together.”

All the psychiatrists and analysts were present, eager to witness the direction the meeting was going to take.

Mead and Soro sat next to each other on the left side of the eating hall, surrounded by the rest of the archetypal psychoanalysts.

Captain Wia was the last person to enter. She went to the long table facing the assembled practitioners. Standing there in full white dress uniform, she addressed the large assembly of fifty in a high, shrill voice.

“I have summoned this meeting in order to announce the firing of Dr. Klet Zor from the position of Director of Mental Treatment. That post is now proclaimed to be vacant. It will now be the responsibility of this meeting to select his successor.

“Does anyone wish to make a nomination of a new supervisor of therapy?”

All at once, the tall, haggard form of Deger Tarcan rose to his full height.

“Captain Wia, I wish to nominate Dr. Bax Muh.”

A strange, indecipherable murmuring began to arise among the psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. No one could tell what it might mean or signify.

Suddenly, though, a second voice sounded in the dining hall.

Eyes turned upon Mead Quort, standing up among the seated archetypal analysts.

“I am making a nomination that I think will be a satisfactory new Director of Mental Therapy. Brothers and sisters, I wish to nominate a recent addition to our staff, but an individual we have all come to know and respect.

“Captain, I am nominating Dr. Deger Tarcan, a man we have recruited from the planet of Geryon.”

The assembly started to move and whisper as if struck by a sudden storm.

Bax Muh seemed fallen into apoplexy, experiencing a physical and mental shock. He looked about himself at the group of followers and users of epiphanic therapy. All of them that he could see were up on their feet, continuing to cheer for the nomination of Deger Tarcan. The Marfan himself remained seated in his chair, overwhelmed and entranced by what was occurring before his eyes.

Mead leaned over toward Soro and whispered to him. “I think that my nomination has beaten the schemer, because Deger has a better reputation than he has.”

All at once, Bax began to wave his hands toward the Captain, begging her to recognize him to say something.

Nevre Wia pointed her right hand at him, surrendering the floor.

“Captain,” yelled out Bax. “I wish to withdraw my name for nomination and give my support to my dear colleague, Dr. Deger Tarcan.”

A resounding cheer echoed through the dining hall.

Mead turned back to Soro and gave his explanation of what they had just witnessed.

“He had to surrender, because he saw which way the epiphanists and even the psychiatrists were going. His own reputation from before helped defeat the slimy manipulator. Nobody trusts him to be Director, but Deger is a credible personality whom people have come to trust.”

Soro smiled, realizing the dimensions of their victory. “I guess that I too will have to learn how to use epiphanic technique,” he remarked with a serious laugh.

The End