Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 86: Memory Therapy
Indifference in the bones could still be useful on occasion. Ruan Xian didn’t have the slightest worries about being misunderstood by his companions or any grievances. He put his hands in the pockets of his white coat and frowned slightly.
“I said that statement is only theoretically true. There are many things that are established in theory. I have a similar idea to MUL-01, so what? Can this be used as evidence? After all, before the end of the world, I myself was a scientist in the related field.”
He stepped on the blood on the ground indifferently, and the dark red blood left boot marks on the cement floor.
“If I remember correctly, Order Supervisors can also get information from the brains of fresh corpses. Assuming that I am MUL-01’s dog, it would be better to just take the heads of the two of you than keep you alive. Besides, how many opportunities had I had to act… Speaking of this, is the fried bun delicious?”
The other party had always been taciturn and indifferent and was moderate when he smiled. This was the first time Yu Le saw Ruan Xian show a cold smile full of murderous intent. He rummaged through his memories desperately, but he couldn’t find the relevant details related to Ruan Xian touching those buns.
Indeed, only Tang Yibu and himself foolishly ate them.
Yu Le touched his stomach subconsciously with one hand and was about to turn the muzzle of the gun, but Tang Yibu pressed it down with one hand. The android shook his head at him with an unpredictable smile on his face.
“I lied to you.” Ruan Xian shrugged. “I wouldn’t specifically give a delayed poison.”
“The buns aren’t spiked, unless you could bribe a shopkeeper you’ve never met. But maybe you want something else from us, such as pure tracking and observation.” Tang Yibu kept his smile. “That possibility holds true in ‘theory’.”
“Well, you caught me.” Ruan Xian raised his hands and winked. “Do you want to punish me? Let’s do it when we finish things here, hm?”
That kid surnamed Ruan was avoiding the obvious and Yu Le could see this. In any case, normal people didn’t divert their thoughts using the most brutal means, and it seemed that he could do it within minutes, without any psychological barriers.
But as the other party said, all he had was suspicion.
Captain Yu thought he had an eye for people. This kid was closer to a viper more so than he thought. Whether his words were true or false, this was an extremely crazy situation. The kid didn’t even have the slightest suspicious physiological reaction and didn’t even shed a single sweat drop, as if he had lived in this kind of setting since he was a child.
It was difficult to distinguish between what was real and fake; he was completely watertight.
He had only seen this in two such people. Either a wily old bird who had waded through all kinds of muddy waters, or a lunatic with serious mental problems. Ruan Lijie couldn’t fake his strangeness and curiosity about this desolated area, so he didn’t look like the former.
He looked at Tang Yibu, but Tang Yibu showed a thoughtful look, as if he was seriously considering the content of the so-called “punishment”.
Alright, two lunatics.
Lao Yu clenched the gun tightly. His palms were sweaty, and he almost lost his grip.
“Bombs. The explosives and smoke bombs are in place. Joke’s over. Let’s withdraw.” Ruan Xian gestured. “Anyways, I won’t run. If you have questions, you can ask when we return.”
After that, Yu Le no longer regarded this as the usual heckling random acts of vandalism. His deputy captain wasn’t here, nor was his crew. These two young men didn’t show much sharpness in their words or actions, so he had subconsciously put down his vigilance. Now, Yu Le tightened the strings in his mind again—Perhaps this was why Fan Baiyan was fooled by them.
He couldn’t be careless.
Time passed slowly. They had long left the store, where an extra corpse was added. This process became smoother after a few stores—the smoke bombs were installed near the old-fashioned cybernetic brain, while the explosives were tied to important bearing points in the basement. They waited for just the right time and blew up the “precious property” in Qian Yigeng’s basement.
Qian Yigeng’s shops were all in relatively lively areas. Unlike the headquarters, security still relied on old-fashioned machine and human eye detection. Among the three of them, none of them were silly enough to get caught, so it wasn’t difficult for them to infiltrate.
The sky turned from slight darkness to complete darkness, and the curfew declaration began to be widely broadcast again. Ruan Xian stopped the floating motorcycle that came from behind a certain store and stepped on the stagnant water in the alley.
“Have something to eat.” He took out three bags of hardtack from his backpack. “This is tightly packed, don’t worry.”
“If you’re really Lord Order Supervisors, let alone strict packaging, I won’t even believe the canned food that was just dug up from the ground,” Yu Le snorted.
“You picked this one yourself. There are still π’s teeth marks on it.” Tang Yibu looked at the bag in Yu Le’s hand, and then at his own. “Mr. Ruan, can I try the scallion oil flavor? My bag is jujube flavor. I just tasted it yesterday—”
Ruan Xian took two steps forward and stuffed his bag into Tang Yibu’s hand. Tang Yibu happily took the small bag with some metal reflections and rubbed his face against Ruan Xian’s cheek quite naturally.
Ruan Xian’s body was taut for half a second, then he stepped over the puddle as if nothing had happened and walked back to his original position.
It wasn’t ventilated here but the air quality was barely passable since they weren’t far from the air filter. Unfortunately, the water pipe by the wall was damaged and no one had actively repaired it. Steam filled the alley and water droplets trickled down on the side of moldy green pipes, mixing in with the rust and soot and silting up into a dark pool on the ground. A little layer of transparent water was still left on the top part of the sewage as the jet of a floating motorcycle passed by, muddying the murky soup.
He shifted his gaze from the puddle to Tang Yibu, who had already eaten the hardtack and had crumbs around his mouth. The android was still looking over with curiosity and enthusiasm, and Ruan Xian felt like he was being dissected by the other party’s gaze.
In comparison, the intensity of Yu Le’s gaze could be said to be a drizzle. Ruan Xian shook his head secretly as he nibbled on the hardtack while thinking about other things.
Yu Le had a big reaction to the infusion of memory data into a human brain. It wasn’t a reaction of ordinary suspicion, but more like he had touched some kind of taboo, and Tang Yibu obviously knew about it. As far as the information he currently had, it seemed that humans would only inject personality and memory into a cybernetic brain. When they were in the Shade Refuge, he did see the operation of injecting memory data into a clone’s brain—but what was inside the clone was a real normal brain.”
After thinking about it carefully, it was true that only the people on the MUL-01 side have used this method. However, a clone’s brain may not be used as a clear reference. If his inference was correct, the human brain in those jars was considered a blank piece of paper. Even if part of the environmental memory remained, it wasn’t much different from what a baby remembered in its mother’s uterus.
No one would really remember such details.
But what if memories were injected into an adult brain that already had memories? Had anyone really done it? Looking at the fearful reaction of Qian Yigeng’s flunky…
“Chapter 22, Article 13, Paragraph 1, of the Memory Law, the naturalness of human memory is part of human rights. Unless the application is made spontaneously by the person himself and witnessed by three or more reputable guarantors, no organization or individual may tamper with it arbitrarily. The scope of permission for applications includes memory fragments that have been determined by a medical institution to have ‘adverse effects’ on the person, such as major disasters, death of a relative or friend, and personality disorder. The addition, elimination, and transplantation of memories must be operated by a designated medical institution…”
Tang Yibu licked the hardtack crumbs around his mouth and finished reading this passage like it was verbatim. “Mr. Ruan doesn’t remember this, right?”
“Nn.” Ruan Xian didn’t hide his surprise this time.
“This is the last common regulation to be adopted by the global agreement before the Great Rebellion of the 22nd century.” Tang Yibu patted off the crumbs on his hand. “Everyone calls it a Dead Can Pact”—You can only use a special can opener to open a dead can, otherwise, there’s no point in even talking about it. The amount of text in the memory method itself is amazing, so forgive me for choosing just one paragraph.”
Yu Le squeezed the packaging bag in his hand and stopped chewing.
“Before the law officially came out, many things were messed up.” Tang Yibu looked at Ruan Xian unblinkingly, without letting go of any micro-expression from the other party. “Memory therapy was very prevalent before.”
Ruan Xian swallowed the sweet and greasy hardtack in his mouth and gradually became alert. He didn’t know why Tang Yibu said this suddenly, but he did hear the word “memory therapy”, which Ji Xiaoman’s android mother mentioned not long ago.
“Memories affect personality to a large extent. The memory here is not a separate visual or other perceptual record but contains the thinking and emotions at the time.”
Tang Yibu continued, taking another step closer.
“Humans have had many similar records—the death of a loved one, the breakdown of feelings, and the like. People will subconsciously write down the food and music they come into contact with at that time and have a certain rejection of them. This is not something that can be determined by genetics.”
Finally, the android stopped in front of Ruan Xian. The tip of his nose and fingertips were less than five centimeters away. “Similarly, coupled with a memory of ‘it’s like eating filth for a certain food’, it could make people dislike certain foods. If that was a little more serious…”
“The memory of being abused or injured can also cause a person’s personality to change. The memory implanted with regular habits also has a high probability for the implanted person to acquire these habits.” Ruan Xian continued calmly and didn’t back down.
“Yes, humans are easier to domesticate than they think. They discovered this, which saved a lot of things—you know, there are quite a few ‘problems’ that would have had to be fixed decades ago by criminal punishment, illegal imprisonment, incarceration, and abuse.”
Tang Yibu smiled.
“It was much more convenient at that time. Future generations will have intolerable behaviors or ‘defects’ that could be fixed with memory correction. From hobbies to sexual orientation, there was nothing that hurtful memories couldn’t interfere with. The torturers also didn’t need to worry about the serious damage they did to the subject of torture. They only need to keep them alive, inject different fragments of the deceased that were submitted to torture… Take that man as an example just now. If you completely pour the memory of another person into him without any integration process, if he’s lucky, he’ll develop a split personality. If he’s unlucky, he will go directly go crazy.”
“Why?” Ruan Xian clenched the hardtack in his hand and clearly heard the crumbling sound of it being crushed. Under Yu Le’s gaze, he couldn’t speak too freely, and out of some unknown emotion, he always felt that Tang Yibu could understand.
“Because you have been confused about the past, baby. I’ll help you review it.” Tang Yibu hugged his waist affectionately, rubbing the tip of his nose against Ruan Xian’s nose. “This time, I know you didn’t mean it. Next time you say something out of line, I may not be able to stop Captain Yu.”
Tang Yibu stretched out his slender fingers, slowly scratched from the corner of Ruan Xian’s eyes to the corner of his lips, dabbed up the crumbs, and then licked his fingertips.
“The jujube flavor is also good,” he muttered, moved half a step naturally, and touched Ruan Xian’s face ambiguously with his other hand, completely turning his back to Yu Le.
[Be honest.] Ruan Xian pursed his lips tightly and used the earring to convey the message. [What are you trying to say?]
“Personally, I don’t agree with the practice of memory replication and transplantation.” Tang Yibu silently mouthed his words with a gentle smile. “Every individual is unique, and this kind of thing is very arrogant, especially if the other party has specially copied someone you are familiar with…”
The pupils of those golden eyes shrank slightly.
“It’s like putting inappropriate parts into a precision watch, don’t you think?”
The other party had a relaxed expression of chatting, but Ruan Xian’s scalp was numb instinctively. “Forgive me for not being able to imagine it.”
“If it were me, I would take a good look at how the parts work. Finally, I’ll disassemble the watch and get the parts back.” Tang Yibu’s expression was quite innocent, but the hands around Ruan Xian’s waist tightened firmly.
Ruan Xian almost wanted to pull out his gun and fire a few shots at the person in front of him. However, this hair-raising situation was interrupted by a timid female voice, and only then did Ruan Xian remember the purpose of bringing the two of them here.
“It… It’s you guys.” Tiantian-Q2 pulled down her dirty hood and stared at the hardtacks. “Can you give me some?”
The author has something to say:
Don’t forget that Tang is also a ruthless character… He thinks his father is still the Ruan in a wheelchair.