'Sweet, Sweet, the Memories You Gave to Me'
This flash sci-fi was written in response to some competition a while back. I can't recall the exact request except it had something to do with memories! It's a look at how our privacy has and is and most certainly continue to be, a fantasy - someone, somewhere will always be able to find your secrets!
You can't trust people like me – really. We loop through your sleeping minds, rummaging amongst memories the way Paparazzi used to pick through the refuse of the rich and famous. Plugged into your neural interface, uploading your personal mind detritus, we Creepers sneak through the back door, so to speak, unearthing the long-forgotten. Corps pay big bucks for this stuff.
In an age where people regularly script skills into their brains, fill their heads with augmented realities and download immense amounts of information from their multifarious activities, who's got the space for memories; personal or otherwise?
Creepers, so-called because we crawl between incorporation protocols, neural gateways and personal awareness. Riding the deep sleep cycle like dolphins. During NREM slow-wave sleep, we arrive undetected, loop through the pathways and collect data. Sometimes, I loop back and forth many times, between the soft cushion of the organic and the hard-blue crackle of the gateway, to the smooth MemoryGrid.
It's not all fun and looping though. I've occasionally experienced a mark's subconscious that unwittingly detected interference, I had to off-load a parasomnia or two – nightmare, bedwetting, throws them right off the scent. I'm currently working a relationship with a 63-year-old MEP who seems to survive on 4, or fewer hours of sleep per night – my employers want something in the next two weeks – or else. Not sure what happens if I fail, never have before. No amount of late-night massages with oil, fine brandy with liquid sedatives or Neural DS suggestions seems to have relaxed him enough to let me access his garbage bin of DepMems – deposited memories. The problem seems to be, that he doesn't dream. Weird, I know.
I'll probably just induce a massive heart attack. He's too much effort, no one will suspect – trust me.