Jos Crane

Official website of Jos Crane, author.

“This won’t hurt a bit,” the physician reassured him. She was staring at some papers on her desk, then scooted the chair across the tiled floor towards him. She placed a few pages on a clipboard and handed it to him.

After she moved some hair that was dangling on her face behind her ear, she began to summarize the pages he was staring at. “Okay, Owen. So, these pages are a generic agreement that patients of any procedure need to fill out basically stating that we are not responsible for any injuries or death. Now, before you worry, please note that it’s extremely unlikely. It’s just ordinary stuff to prevent lawsuits.”


She continued, speaking faster. “Then, the next two pages state that the memory stored on the device is equally owned by us and you. We need access to the data in case there are any errors, which I haven’t seen yet, or upon your request. Sometimes, the police will request data from us like if you’re a suspect or victim in a crime.”

There was a brief pause that felt like minutes for Owen. She interrupted it asking, “Any questions?”

“Umm..” Owen stated confusingly. “Do you have a uh-”

“Oh right!” she responded and grabbed a pen from her labcoat pocket and handed it to him.


After he signed the papers, he handed them to her. She pushed her chair across the floor to place the clipboard on her desk and then whisked her chair to another corner. She grabbed a black-square-looking piece about the size of a fingernail. He assumed that was the memory drive. Then, she whisked herself back to her desk and raised a barcode scanner by her computer. She held it to the memory drive and it made a loud “beep!” sound. She placed the memory drive into a bag featuring a label of Owen’s demographic information and placed it on his lap.

The door opened and a man, maybe in his mid-20s, entered.

“Oh! You’re just on time!”

“Owen?” asked the man as he closed the door behind him.

Owen nodded.

“I am your anesthesiologist. I will be giving you some of this stuff-“, he tapped a giant tube before he continued, “- that will put you to sleep in about 10 seconds so you don’t feel anything. When you wake up in about an hour, it will be like you just took a nice nap. Are you ready?”

Before Owen could answer, there was a needle in his arm and he was asleep. When he woke up roughly an hour later, another lady in scrubs was nearby and asked, “how are you feeling?”


“Great! I’m going to place a screen in front of you and I’m going to ask you to take this exam. Don’t be worried. The first few questions will ask some simple memory questions like, ‘how many ducks did you see in the first picture?’ Then, it will ask more difficult questions to compare two pictures while you only have one second to review them.”

“That sounds hard. I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast!” Owen joked.

“Yeah, but with your MemoryDrive installed now, it should be extremely easy. But, if you’re unable to recall anything, we may need to do some additional configuration.”

Owen took the test and passed every question. He passed the questions comparing before and after photos. He memorized short paragraphs of stories where the test asked for him to rewrite the paragraph word-for-word. The MemoryDrive installed into his brain had worked.

A month had passed. Arguments with his wife had calmed down as she, too, had MemoryDrive installed. Instead of arguing over their recollected memories, arguments had turned to clarify the intention of their words. At work, Owen and his coworkers memorized every conversation and every detail. Productivity had improved as everyone spent less time writing documents and notes from meetings.

Crime has decreased drastically throughout the country. Victims of a crime would share their MemoryDrive with the police, and the police would have enough evidence to convict the criminal. Witnesses to crimes were more reliable as the MemoryDrive stored video and audio of the events.

The world had become closer to a utopia, until one of Owen’s coworkers, a short dark-tanned man named Aman, asked, “What were you doing last Wednesday?”

“I don’t know,” he responded.

“Don’t you find that a little odd?”

Owen considered the question for a moment. That would’ve been normal response without the MemoryDrive, and he still wasn’t used to remembering everything. Why was this so different? He nodded in response.

“I wonder if anyone else has this same problem?” asked Aman.

“We should ask others who have MemoryDrive and see if they have the same blotch.”

The two spent the next couple of days bringing it up in team meetings and with other coworkers who they knew had the same install. No one was able to remember anything from the Wednesday they asked about. One girl, named Angelica, asked them in one meeting, “What about the Tuesday before?”

They looked at each other. Then she asked, “how about the whole week prior?”

Their eyes widened. They ran to their desks to search the web and asked questions on Reddit. More and more people came forward and there was an entire week of memories that vanished. The top-voted comment on Reddit responded, “I called their support and they had no idea what I was talking about. Said it may have been a bug. But this many people is awfully suspicious.” Other people responded to the comment pointing out they had a similar experience.

The Reddit posts caught fire in the media as headlines began to question, “Is MemoryDrive safe?” or “Is there a MemoryDrive conspiracy?” or “Is the government controlling our heads with MemoryDrive?” People raised their metaphorical pitchforks as they boycotted the company in front of the company doors. Though, no one seemed to enter or leave.

There was no response from MemoryDrive, and eventually, a month later, the media went on to other subjects. Owen, Amar, and Angelica continued to work as if they never asked the questions in the first place. As more months had passed, people had forgotten there was a period where their memory was lost.