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  Artwork by Joseph Garhan



Selected by Noveltunity!
Selected by Noveltunity!

“Smartly written, cleverly paced…”

Kirkus Review

“Safronoff creates a riveting story, beautifully written…”

IndieReader Review



Genetic causes, environmental, or self-imposed, the Collective treats all of the maladaptive sort the same way; plug and scrub. “It’s the only sane solution for society.” Approved before I was born, it was the cure for all mental dysfunction—and the financial hemorrhaging that resulted from all other forms of treatment. A ‘plug and scrub’ began with a chemical soup served up to diminish both your discomfort and the integrity of the proteins you use to make new memories, and re-imagine old ones. They plug into your Chip, if you have one, and start playing stimulus pulses, electrical discharges, across the prefrontal cortex. That part goes on for hours. Eventually the bad behavioral pathways of the brain are cleared out… along with most of your memories. During the time it takes to complete the process, the generated voice of your biological mother recites keywords to evoke images of each important developmental stage of your life. Specific memories are eradicated if a relationship is found between a subject’s undesirable behavior patterns and the memory. If you aren’t equipped with a Chip, the process is a little more random. The results of a chipless plug-n-scrub can be pretty frightening.
I’m chipless, so I’d rather not attract any attention from anyone, but especially not from the Collective Officer sitting beside me. She was sporting some fantastic GEaR, the kind of myth or military. No way was she an average Officer. No way I wanted…
“Hello, Joshua.”
Too late.

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Welcome , today is Saturday, September 22, 2018