—and all at once, I’m back in the chamber.
This part of the experience is almost always the same.
Sometimes I piss myself.
Other times I just sit and cry uncontrollably.
“Mr. Tessler, it’s crucial that we begin
the recovery debrief as soon as possible.”
“I need a minute.”
When I finally calm down enough to communicate with the operators in the control room, I’ve usually forgotten most of what happened on the other side. This is like waking from a dream. Occasionally my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex will be activated enough to imprint a partial short-term memory, but even these are fleeting. Fragmented images. nonsensical jargon. Disconnected streams of consciousness. I know these terms now; six months ago, I didn’t know my parietal lobe from a hole in the ground. Now I’m jotting keywords in the margins of EEG printouts in an attempt to parse semantic and syntactical data relative to various—ostensibly—recurring stimuli.
What happens over there is always different, right up until the very end.
In 97 of 162 tests I have attempted to return to the Praxem Group headquarters. I know this because EEG diagnostics show precisely the same delta wave activity in all 97 tests at the moment of waking; while I only retained partial memories from 31 of these sampled experiences, all 31 recovery journals denote affixed visual recognition of the Praxem building, security officer—and to varying degrees, with less than 3% deviation—a long white hallway that does not exist within the Praxem building.
Then the camera stops rolling.
Involuntary experiential sequencing shifts into phase distortion due to instabilities in atmospheric resonance.
My world dissolves to black.
There is no tunnel filled with light. No flashing memory that plays like a home movie behind my eyes. No disembodied floating through time and space.
It just is, and I am, until it isn’t, and I’m not.
Then I wake up in the chamber.
Today’s attempt was #163.
Amara has been gone for 181 days now. It took 11 days to get the company to clear me for experimentation and train me on standard operating procedures, trial safety protocols, etc.
I began live testing on day +11. That was 181 days ago, counting today.
She had a 181 day head-start.
I’m no closer today than I was yesterday.
I think I’ll start the journal with that.