Jack Thompson carefully placed Roger into his cage as Patrick Hughes entered the lab.

“Hey Jack. Yuri missed our weekly. Any idea where he is?” asked the Director, looking concerned.

“What?! He didn’t tell you?” replied Thompson, grinning.

“Tell me what?” inquired Hughes, reaching for a chair.

“P53! It worked! It … more than worked!” said Thompson in an excited whisper. He pulled up a chair next to Hughes, taking his time to contrive an explanation.

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“Computer, report!” yelled the Captain.

“Sir, all primary systems are online but the star orientations do not match anything in my database.”

“What was our entry confidence?”

“It was six nines, sir.”

Captain Nurbek swallowed hard, “Show me the trajectory map.”

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It was Veleriy Zyvotov’s work that finally brought an end to the AI winter. The Z-papers, as they became known, were a tour de force in cortical theory and marked the beginnings of the Brain Decade. For the next dozen or so years scientists would scrutinize and map every nook and cranny of the human neocortex in an attempt to emulate all of its quirks. The visual system was naturally one of the first to be dissected and trivialized. It turned out to be fairly easy to get a feed, an image that is, of what a person saw in their mind’s eye.

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It was 3am. I woke up thinking of her. I had no idea who she was but her presence was overwhelming. Like a black hole in my subconscious she tore away the foundations of any structured thought. All effort to escape her grasp was futile and ended in a constellation of unfamiliar memories. Her voice, her scent, her face… a dizzying deja vu of someone I have never met. The ring of the telephone broke through the silence. Stumbling out of bed I reached for the handset. “Come over”, she said in a calm, stern voice. I remained mute, unable to shake the fog and confusion of the persistent dream. She hung up.

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