A Fresh Start…?

Written to @inspectorCaracal‘s prompt: 

Waking up with no memories and a pamphlet explaining you have been given a fresh start in life


He woke.

He was in a room with a bed, a small table holding a suitcase and a bag, and a mirror; two doors and a window led out of the room.

He knew all those things, but he had no idea how he’d gotten there.

He had no idea who had gotten there. 

He had no idea where he was, or why, or – or anything.

A tablet next to him beeped.

“Greetings,” it said, in a voice that sounded vaguely mechanical.  “You have been given a complete fresh start.  In the suitcase on the table you will find a basic wardrobe.  In the smaller bag, you will find a wallet.  The ID will be provided when you provide us with a name.  Would you like to randomly generate a name now?”

Name?  he had no idea.  He could not remember a single name.  Not one.  “Yes, please.”  He thought his voice sounded strange, but he had nothing to compare it to.

“Would you like a very common name, a strange name, or a very rare name?”

“Common, please.  What – why am I here?”

“That information is against the terms of the agreement.  You wished a complete fresh start.  You have been given it.”  The machine booped and beeped a few times. “Your name is Patrick John Martin.  If you stop at the front desk on the way out, you will be provided with ID, a credit chit, and an appointment for the job board.  This room is available for one hour twenty-two more minutes, after which time you must vacate it.”

“Thanks, I suppose.”

He looked at himself in the mirror.  He looked, he thought, tall.  Handsome.  He didn’t look the least bit familiar.  As a matter of fact, he thought he looked a little plastic.  He was wearing simple pants and a simple shirt; there were shoes and socks next to him.

Nothing at all was remotely familiar.

“Well, nothing to do but go forward.”  He was hoping something he said would trigger a memory, but there seemed to be nothing at all there except a basic vocabulary of shapes and feelings and such.  “Job board?”

“The price for a new life is not inexpensive.  The job board will place you into training, after which they will give you options based on the skills you demonstrate.  One-half of your paycheck for the first five years will pay for your transition.  The rest we suggest you save as much as possible.  As long as you are working for the company, the company will provide some form of lodging and food.”

“This is beginning to sound ominous.”

“I do not know that word.”

“Oh, good.”  With a sinking feeling in his stomach, he gathered “his” bags and left the room.

Nothing looked familiar.  He passed a woman with a similar plastic look to her and a dazed expression that reflected what he thought he might be wearing.  She didn’t look familiar.  The blue line on the floor that led to the lobby didn’t look familiar, nor the robot at the desk who handed him an ID card and a credit chit.

The sky didn’t look familiar, the air didn’t smell familiar, and the road looked empty, save for a couple more people dressed as he was and looking as he was and two well-dressed (he thought) people whose faces looked more natural and whose smiles suggested that they actually knew who they were.

“So who were you?”  He hadn’t noticed the woman coming up next to him.  “I mean, have you found out?  There has to be a way to find out, right?”

He stared at the woman.  She was familiar.  And he has absolutely no idea why.

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