Even before full consciousness returns he knows this isn’t where he fell to sleep. It’s a thousand small things that tells him this. The feeling on his skin, the air in his nose, the humidity, the temperature, the pressure on his body. The biggest clue something’s off is that someone is touching him. His roommate would never touch him.
“Hey, come. Wake up.” A women’s voice says.
What the hell is going on?
“You agreed to help…Ah, hey. Now don’t go back—”
A hook drops into his core, grabs the fish that is him, and rips him free of his body of water. Shot from a cannon, blasted into the infinite of space, a rocket propelled sled traveling faster than thought. It all slips away, every memory, every thing he calls his, left behind. Reaching for any one of them is like trying to grasp a fleck of dust in water. The more you reach for it the faster it escapes.
Every time is unlike the last. Only once it happens does he remember. Waking from a dream, but only knowing such when the latest one ends. No way to move back, only forward.
“You awake?” she asks. He knows her voice, remembers it from…That game, can’t remember what it was called. Linear…Nope, it’s gone.
“Where am I?" he asks not sitting up or opening his eyes. Doesn’t want to take in too much. Senses already overloaded. This isn’t his room. The familiar cold glow of his computer screen gone. A wavering light dances against his closed eyes, the sound of water playing with a rocky shore. Smells begin finding homes in his head. Plants, that water, wet earth.
“You don’t know?” she asks. “Hey, dad,” she calls, aiming her voice in a different direction.
But he does know. Memories of his previous life are fading fast. Soon to be lost forever. And yet it all felt so real—was real.
“You up, boy?” a man asks.
Ac1d, a thing he remembers. “I guess.”
“You going to help us or just lay in bed all day?”
Help. Help with…Tries to connect that phrase with the name, and a fragment returns, dragged from the muck of muddled thoughts. He was called Ac1d and was going to help someone, a woman. But this isn’t her, this is his sister. The man his father. One-by-one memories are exchanged. Like old books taken off a shelf and replaced by new ones. Only he doesn’t know these books, hasn’t read them. Has he?
“Help with what?” he asks, eyes still closed.
“We’re putting a totem up.”
Strange as it is he does remember. “Yeah. Sure. Give me a minute, I’ll get up.”