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12

Now:


Leina doesn't head home after leaving Adam's, the feeling of seeing her parents before tomorrow was strong in her mind, like she had to go because she won't see them again after tomorrow. At least that's what it feels like.
It has been almost a week since she last saw them due to how busy she has been with her work, she knew they didn't mind though as long as she was safe and well.

She wondered if they knew about who she had used to be, they had never mentioned anyone called Lisa so maybe they didn't.  They greet her when she arrives and her mum invites her in for supper, Leina accepts the invitation due to the feeling being so strong so she felt it best to accept.

“Penny sweet for your thoughts?”  Sara asks while Leina helps her with the washing up after supper is finished.

“Might take a fiver's worth”  Leina replies while she dries a sauce pan.  How could she explain to her parents about the past week?  She was still trying to accept everything herself, trying to explain it to her parents would be impossible for her.

“We're here if you need to talk about it”  Would they be here after tomorrow though?  This strong feeling was insistent that after tomorrow she would never see them again, that everything she knew as her life was coming to an end.

“Maybe soon then”  Was the best she could say.

~

Returning home over an hour later, Leina takes the box from her backpack and sets it down on her coffee table in her living room, she intended on having a good look through it's contents in the hopes of more answers.
When she had left her parent's house the feeling had gotten stronger, it was now a strong feeling of finality.  That she was nearing the end of the road, but the end of what road exactly?  Why was this feeling so strong all of a sudden?

Once she's slipped her coat, handbag and backpack off and slipped on a pair of slippers, she returns to the box and examines it's contents.
So many photos showing her former life from birth to technical death, however that death had come around.  Letters from friends and family, mementos of places she had been to in that life, how had Adam managed to get all of this?
She noted that despite looking through all of this that she felt no emotional connection to any of it, they were shadows to her of another life.  It was a cold feeling.

She needed more answers and the only person who could give them to her were Adam, but was he finally going to give her those answers and who was the last target she had to erase for the next block of memories?
So many questions and not a single answer for any of them.  Tomorrow was going to be a big day for her it seems.

~~

Before:

The first phase of the mission begins after a team is sent out to try and retrieve as many personal effects of the remaining agents and council board as possible, it wasn't easy and the most they managed to return with was a box that Adam had made years ago for Lisa made from a type of wood he had managed to get his hands on shortly after they had gotten married.
Inside the box are photos, mementos, knick knacks and more of Lisa's life from birth to the present day.  The most recent addition was a photo of their children and grandchildren.

Adam promised to give it to her when she regained enough of her memories later in her new life before he and the council board underway their part of the plan.
Once the council board is done, it is time for the remaining elder agents to undergo their part of the plan.  Sara and Lenny had already undergone their part first.

~

First Part Of The Plan:

1
-  All council board members and all remaining elder agents along with the two civilians who were rescued will use the tags to regress in age.

2 -  The council board will return to their late teens and live out their lives in the simulation with the civilians who will return to their early twenties.

3 – The remaining elder agents will be reduced to infancy, this will allow their minds to be reset to a blank slate so to prevent them from being overwhelmed with memories of all that they've lost.  They need this blank slate to allow them to complete the mission following the restoration of their memories via modified punishment implants.

4 – One elder agent will be selected to erase the council board members, with approval, once the memories begin to return upon reaching the age of twenty five years old.  The council board members will be implanted with their own implants which are programmed to restore a block of memories in each agent once that person is erased.  Each erasure will result in a ripple like feeling as the simulation adjusts for the absence and makes small changes to compensate.
Lisa Astri has volunteered to do this.

5 – The simulation, which all council board members, the remaining agents and the two civilians will relocate to, will be re-programmed in places to prevent any interference in Lisa Astri's mission to erase the council board members when she was returned to the age of twenty five years.
This programming adjustment will provide parents for the elder agents who have been reduced to infancy as well as housing, employment and all that the council board members and civilians require within reason.

6 – The two civilians, Sara Huntley and Leonard Chantry, will not receive implants.  Instead the programming of the simulation will take them as soon as they enter the simulation, the adjustments made will have them believe that Lisa is their adopted daughter so that they will take care of her.
The moment they enter the simulation they will forget everything about the real world, they will only see the simulation as the real world.

7 – Adam Weisner will be given a remote that is to be given to Lisa once she has reached the point to where the final council board member is to be erased, once they are gone she will remember how to use it after being educated on how to use it before undergoing regression.  This remote will allow Lisa and the remaining agents, upon the restoration of their memories, to leave the simulation safely.

8 – Upon the elder agents leaving the simulation, the mission can begin.  The instant they leave the simulation they will be forgotten by everyone they met in the simulation, they will be erased from all records of the simulation and the simulation will adjust to their absence.

~~

Now:

The feeling of finality is as strong as ever as Leina approaches Adam's home the next morning and as she nears the lovingly built cabin the feeling gets even strong.
It was an unsettling feeling to have.

“Morning”  Adam greets her from where he's sitting on the cabin porch.

“Morning, guess you were waiting for me or were you having a deep thoughts time?”  He doesn't need to nod or saying anything for her to know that he was deep in thought, was he as ready to end this as much as she was?  Maybe.
Joining him on the cabin porch, she sits down beside him and they watch life pass by in the distance.  There is a very good view of the town and the road leading up to the cabin from here.

“Guess you want some answers before we finish the assignments”  Adam says quietly after sipping his coffee.

“Would be nice”  It was strange to be near him now that she knew about who she used to be and the life she had with him then.
She wonders if he feels any resentment about losing his wife and Leina taking her place in his life.
“Do you miss her?”  She asks, she already knew the answer but wanted to ask the question anyway.

“Always.  It had to be done though.  Sometimes there are things in life that require touch choices and tougher sacrifices, she accepted what needed to be done and were she here now and met you I think she would be extremely proud of you for making it this far”  His voice is sad as he talks, his heart clearly aching for his long gone wife.

“What's so important though to technically die like that?  It's a big sacrifice to make”  Adam doesn't say anything, clearly this is where the last block of memories is to come into play once the last target is erased.  Whoever that is.
Instead he takes a small device out of a pocket and hands it to her.

“This is for after the final target is erased, you'll know how to use it once those memories are restored.  Keep it close”  Leina pops it into her backpack while Adam gets up and heads inside, returning with a photo a minute later.
“This is your final target”  Leina takes the photo, then looks up at Adam.

“You're joking, right?  Having a wee laugh before handing me the real photo”  He shakes his head, he was serious.
“But it's you”

~~

Before:

The sound of babies crying makes her heart stir for her erased children and grandchildren, a maternal instinct that was as strong as the day she first became a mother.  Seven babies crying, seven elder agents who were soon to begin new lives in the simulation and she would be joining them in infancy soon.
The council board members, who are all back in their late teens, are aiding in the programming of the simulation so that everyone would have what they need within reason.  Adam's request was already programmed in and he was looking forward to seeing it for himself in person, he had always wanted a cabin in or near the woods and the town that most of them were going to be living in had quite the forest growing around it.

Although the town already has the name of Woodhaven, the council members had taken to calling it Youth Fall and were considering having the simulation adjusted to call it that.  It was meant as well to be an anagram of Fully Oath.

Lisa wasn't bothered what the town was called as long as this plan actually worked.

“I had almost forgotten what life was like before the aches of age”  Adam remarks from where he's filling out Lisa's new birth certificate, she felt it too weird to do it herself.  All that was needed was a name which he wanted to leave until after Lisa had undergone the tag process.
“Haven't felt this good in a long time”  He was as handsome as ever regardless of physical age, seeing him as a young man made her heart both flutter and ache.  She was going to be so much younger than him soon, the love they had before wasn't even going to return since she would be gone and this new life she was to live would only see Adam as a friend.

“It's a shame that I'm going to be vastly younger than you, the things we could do as young adults without some annoying twinge or sudden exhaustion kicking in”  Clara enters the room, she has the tag with her.  It was time.

“Are you ready?”  She asks as she stops at the bunk that is being used as a makeshift medical bed.

“I guess so, how's the implant?  Did the memories copy over well enough?”  Lisa, like the other elder agents, had copied her memories over to a modified punishment implant that would be implanted in her once she was an infant again.
The implants themselves were modified from punishment implants that had been used on the worst kind of people – rapists, paedophiles, murderers and more – as a way of having them experience the memories of those they had harmed and even killed since the memories could still be retrieved after death although that was harder than if they are still alive.
After the tags were invented then the implants were mostly kept locked away in case they were ever needed again.  Clearly the resistance had managed to get their hands on them and modified them for memory transfer and restoration at some point in the past century or sooner.

The memory transfer had been easy enough with the use of a , modified of course, memory transfer unit with a head attachment that scanned the memory centre of the brain and copied every memory there was over to the implant.
It was a painless procedure that tickled a little.  It had taken a couple of hours to be completed and once done each agent but Lisa had undergone the tag process and implantation, Lisa had wanted to wait until last.

Since the tag process affected muscle control when programmed to go to an age younger than around the age of five then each agent had to wear a thick adult nappy as a just in case, the others had complained about theirs but Lisa was fine with it.
Better than making a mess of the sheets at least.

“They copied over perfectly, nothing missing nor scrambled.  When the memories are restored you'll remember everything, but bear in mind that they'll just be memories, the personality behind them will be gone so you won't have any feeling towards them beyond processing them with the new memories you'll have from your new life”  She was still trying to accept that she was going to die, in a technical sense, once reduced to infancy.  Everything she was, everything she had grown to become gone just like that with only memories that she would feel no emotional connection to left behind in an implant.
A little over fifty five years of life reduced to a block of refined plastics and metal barely bigger than the tip of a needle.

“Then it's baby time.  Is this going to hurt?”  She hadn't heard any screams of pain from the others but maybe it would hurt in this case.

“Unlikely, reversion in age is painless for some reason compared to rapid ageing.  You may feel your body become younger but from the reactions of the others it will be painless”  No pain, just technical death.  She couldn't allow doubts to get in the way, this was for a purpose that went well beyond her own life.

“Adam, hold my hand during this?”  Lisa asks, Adam nods and comes over to the bunk as Lisa lies down, Adam sitting on her left.  He takes her hand gently and holds firmly while Clara applies the tag to Lisa's chest.  It could be applied anywhere really.

“Scared?”  He asks as Clara gets the implant ready to implantation before activating the tag.

“Yes, for you, myself and the future.  I don't know how different I'll be in my new life.  What if I become a horrible person who rejects the mission out of some vain sense of self importance?”  Her soon to be adoptive parents seemed like nice people but what if they turned out to be ass-holes who raised her to be a monster?

“I'll make sure that you don't turn out that way, everything's been made sure to prevent the others turning out like that as well.  If you need me to be firm but fair with you as you're growing up again then I will, I'll do my best to always be there for you as a guiding hand”  Adam had been a soft touch with their children so his firm hand needed more work, maybe he would learn how to a little more firm with her as she grew up again, she could only hope.  Her biological parents had been firm but fair.
Her grief for her children hits hard again, she missed them deeply and Adam can see it in her eyes.
“They didn't suffer thankfully from what I could see, it happened so quickly.  I wish I could have been able to do more though, to save them from security”

“I miss them”  Lisa replies as her voice shakes, tears spilling down the side of her face.

“So do I, you'll be able to avenge them as soon as you remember the mission and I know you will avenge them”  Clara returns to the bunk, a kind smile on her face.

“Adam, I want you and the others to do your best to uphold the promise I asked of you.  Don't tell me anything about my former life until the memories are at that point of restoration where I can be told little bits, don't tell me the rest until it's almost done.  Let me find out the hard way and only after I've had to hunt you down and erase you”  Lisa asks before Clara says anything.

“I promise”  Adam replies.

“Ready?”  She asks kindly.

“Let's get it done then”  Adam gives her hand a gentle squeeze and she returns the squeeze.

“It's been programmed to act slowly, as requested, so it might feel different from how it was for the others.  Let's get started then.  Revert”  A warm feeling begins to fill her body as the tag gets to work, it wasn't an unpleasant feeling.  Her fingers and toes start to tingle before the tingling fades away followed by the strangest feeling of her skin shifting as she began to drop down through the years.

“It feels weird”  She remarks as the first five years melt away.  Her voice sounds a little less cracked now, the tone becoming softer bit by bit.  Her hair thickens while the grey melts away to be replaced with it's original colour, her skin begins to tighten as the lines gradually melt away.
“I can feel my boobs firming up, I was starting to wonder if they were going to be saying hello to my knees before this”  Although the tag is on a slower setting, the effects can still be pretty quick and within minutes where there was a woman in her mid fifties was now a woman in her early thirties and continuing to get younger.

“Before I get to the point where I can't say it, I'll say it now.  I love you, Adam.  When we met I wanted to clout you for being so cheeky about my age, I honestly didn't expect to fall in love with you and build a family with you.  I tried to keep things professional at first but it wasn't easy, I couldn't keep ignoring my feelings for you.  I've had a great life with you and I hope that I'll have almost as great a life with you in my new life”  She reaches her late twenties now, she could feel her body coursing with energy.  Adam is still holding her hand, his love for her is as strong as ever in his eyes.

“Same here”  Adam replies.  “Working together so much and building a friendship was supposed to be just that, love just didn't factor into it but it found a way”  Early twenties now, as young as she was when they first met in person outside the Agency building all those years ago.

“I wish I could say that I'll miss you but I won't even know who you are soon, you'll be a stranger to me and I'll have to get to know you all over again.  Only as a friend though, anything more than that would be awkward considering”  Late teens now, she can feel her medical gown and adult nappy beginning to loosen, thankfully so far unused.  Adam's hand was feeling so much bigger as well with her hands shrinking.
“Fair warning, I was an awkward and at times bitchy teen.  Drove my parents mad many times”  Mid teens now, her adult features softening into more childlike features.

“I think that's par the course for teens, all those raging hormones and the changes happening to the body.  Feeling a little hormonally loopy myself”  Now in her pre-teens, Lisa struggles to keep a strong grip on Adam's hand.  Her arms were so much shorter now and her hands smaller, she felt so full of energy though.

“I had forgotten how it was to be so young and full of energy, felt like a lifetime ago before”  She whispers, it was getting hard to concentrate.  Her mind felt muddled and hazy in places, her memories were fading away so quickly.
“So this is dying by regression”  Her voice sounds so young now as she enters her post toddler years.  Everything seemed so big and continues to get bigger as she slips into her toddler years.
“Goodbye, Adam, thank you for a wonderful life with you”  Speech was becoming so hard, words were rapidly becoming too hard to form.  She felt tired and uncoordinated.  Her hand slips from Adam's as she coos to him.  Then everything goes blank in her mind as Lisa fades away with the last of her memories.

Gently Adam kisses her forehead as the baby girl falls asleep, the regression having taken a lot out of her.  Her mind was now completely reset and ready to start anew.

“The injection shouldn't wake her, the implant will know where to go once it's inside her, can you get her cleaned up and dressed while I get the injector ready?”  Adam nods as he gently scoops the sleeping baby up and takes her over to a changing table that had been set up earlier.
“What name did she say that she was going to use in her new life?”  Clara asks as she prepares the injector.

“Leina, Leina Astry.  After her great grandmother”  Clara comes over with the injector and waits until Adam is done getting Lisa, now Leina, dressed, the sleeping baby still deeply sleeping.
After Adam is done Clara applies the tip of the injector to Leina's left arm and injects her with the implant, once inside her body the implant makes for the memory centre of her brain where it will find a non-intrusive point to take root and wait to begin restoring her memories once Leina reaches the age of twenty five years old.

With any luck Leina will resume with the mission as soon as she receives the last block of memories, if she wasn't too different of a person by then.
Leina continues to sleep as Adam scoops her up again and cradles her in his arms, one hand lightly patting her padded backside gently.  He has seen her baby photos before and she was as cute as she was in the photos, her left hand was moving to her mouth and her thumb pops in for a suckle.

“Let's get you lot into the simulation then”  Clara says quietly.  They join the others at one of the entrances to the simulation, Adam hands Leina over to her new parents while Irene hands him a backpack.

“There's a rifle in there, a few grenades, a clip, comm attachments and two scanners in there.  Keep them safe for when she's ready to use them”  Adam takes the backpack and slips it over a shoulder, he can feel their weight even though they don't weigh much.  Maybe it was the weight of his new grief at losing his wife that made them feel heavier than they were.

“Alright, everyone, the acclimation process will take a little time and you'll be in the simulation shortly.  So enter the acclimation chamber and let's get started”

~~

13

Now:


Adam says nothing for a moment while Leina tries to understand what Adam is saying by giving her this photo of himself, he couldn't be serious about this.  He was telling her to kill him and it didn't seem to be a joke, he seemed very serious about it.

“I can't erase you, you know that.  This has to be some kind of joke, who's the real target?”  Adam sits down next to her, the bench creaking a little and for a moment it seems like time just stops.

“I am.  If you look into your memories you'll see that the Agency we worked for had a council board, I was part of the council for five years before we had to go into hiding.  I was due to retire but felt I would be more of a help on the council helping you and the other agents since Irene was planning to retire eventually.  Things didn't work out though, not after you, Lisa I mean, took an action that ended up having a larger consequence than she had expected.  You need to erase me to get the last block of memories so that you know what happened afterwards and what you have to do from now on”  Her heart feels heavy at what Adam is asking, she couldn't do this, not to someone who meant so much to her in two lifetimes.
“We all have to make sacrifices, Leina.  Lisa did, the other agents did, the council board members did.  There is something that has to be done that is bigger than any of our lives.  Any doubt, any sense of familiarity is only a distraction from what needs to be done.  I know it's a hard thing for me to ask of you but you need to erase me, it's for the best”

“I can't erase you!  I won't be able to live with myself!”  Adam cups her chin and turns her head to face him, his eyes are filled with determination and sadness.  He knows it's a lot to ask of her.

“What you and the others have to do is more important than your feelings for me, it is far more important than my life.  It has to be done”  She can see what he's about to do, she can already hear the words forming.

“Don't you dare say the trigger, please don't make me do this!”

“Just get it done”  The door opens while the other slams shut, the order was given.

“Understood”

“I'll give myself a head start of half an hour, after the time has passed you are to come after me after you've spent that time preparing the rifle and putting on the comm clip attachment.  I'll keep close to the cabin but not too close, you asked me to give you a hunt.  I can give you answers as you hunt me and more afterwards, maybe.  Be sure to set the tag for a slow erasure so that I have about five minutes or so to give any remaining answers and to be able to say goodbye”  Leina doesn't reply, a blink says she understands though.
“See you soon”  Adam gets up and walks off into the forest while Leina prepares the rifle for the hunt as ordered.

~~

Half an hour soon passes and Leina is on the hunt the second the half hour has passed, she can hear Adam talking to her through the comm clip attachment.  His voice sounds so close yet so far away at the same time, she tries to regain control over her body but the detachment is still strong.

Answers then since you've reached that point”  She wanted to stop this hunt, she didn't want to erase her friend but she had no control over her body, everything she tried to bring her emotional awareness back was failing.

When this plan was set into motion, we were all grieving for the loss our friends and loved ones.  City security had hit fast and we were unable to react in time, if it hadn't been for the resistance then none of us would have survived.  The retaliation for Lisa's action was a swift one, swifter than we had been expecting”  The shrubbery of the forest doesn't faze her as she tracks Adam, she's more focused inside on regaining control though to care about shrubbery.

The plan was two fold, the first part required the use of the tags to return the council members as well as Sara and Leonard to our late teens, Sara and Leonard back to their early twenties although they don't remember that since they weren't given an implant to help them retain their sense of awareness in this mockery of the real world.
You and the remaining seven elder agents however were reduced back to infancy because you were needed to complete the mission that was proposed by the resistance, a mission that asks a lot but is the only option left at this point.  So using the modified punishments that were implanted into each of you upon your return to infancy, we entered this massive computer simulation in order to go into hiding while the resistance tries to gather more supplies.  They should be almost done by now, that remote I gave you will allow you and the other agents to leave the simulation as soon as I'm gone.

It wasn't an easy sacrifice to make, especially to lose you.  It was the only way though, grief would have only gotten in the way of completing the mission and you and the others accepted that.  The rest of us had to learn how to cope with our grief, it wasn't easy.

The second part of the plan will be all on you and the remaining elder agents, you'll know what you need to do as soon as you have the last block of memories.  You'll understand why it's so important once you do, it's a cold thing to say but the mission is more important than any feelings of doubt and sorrow.  The future of the planet is more important than the future of our species after the damage our species has caused for so long
”  She can see an opening in the forest, Adam is waiting there and she feels her body go into a sniping position.

Do you see me?

“Yes”

Take the shot”  Her finger rests on the trigger, she tries harder to regain control but fails again and again.

Take the shot, complete the assignment”  The sound of the rifle firing, even though there is no sound despite her hearing it inside herself, is deafening.  Adam leans against a tree after the shot even though the tag isn't active yet.

Permission to feel again, well done”  Her emotional awareness returns and she swings the rifle around to her back while she breaks into a run over to where Adam is, almost tripping a few times in her rush to get to him.

“I'm sorry, I tried to stop myself”  She gasps once she reaches him.

“Nothing to be sorry about, I told you to do it.  Activate it then, time's running out”  His voice is quiet, his expression one of peace as he reaches for her.  She kneels down beside him and he kisses her forehead softly, he was ready for the next step.
“Please, Leina, activate it”  He whispers as he pulls away and gets up on his feet, Leina standing up with him.  She hesitates, reluctant to do so.  This wasn't how she wanted to say goodbye.

“Revert”  She says quietly, reluctance in her voice.  Adam shudders as the tag activates, sinking into his skin and beginning it's programmed action.

“The others will be here shortly or already are, as soon as you have the last block of memories then don't look back, just use the remote and leave”  They head back to the cabin which isn't too far, Adam had purposely gone around in circles while keeping close to the cabin, he hadn't wanted the hunt to take too long.
“Once you and the others leave the simulation you'll be forgotten by everyone you know here, all trace of each of you will be erased from the system.  It wouldn't be a good idea to try and return so please don't try to, there will be nothing for you here”

“I'm scared that I might forget you”  Leina remarks as they near the cabin.

“I'm too unforgettable to be forgotten, you'll always remember me as long as you have your memories.  Don't lose yourself to them though, focus on what you have to do”  The cabin is in sight now and she can see seven people there, she doesn't know any of them yet they are all familiar to her.  Adam's age is now in his early thirties and dropping.

One of the people waiting, a man, speaks up as they enter earshot but Leina raises a hand to say without speaking 'Not now' and the man closes his mouth.

“Don't mind her, if you're here because of a compulsion to come here then you've come to the right place.  Wait a few more minutes and you'll have all the answers you need”  Adam remarks to the man before entering the cabin, Leina following him inside.  He looks to be as old as Leina now.
Going over to the sofa, he sinks down into it as his legs weaken.  Leina sits down next to him and holds his left hand, she could feel it starting to shrink as he enters his early twenties then his late teens, Adam places the two wedding rings in her hand and she can feel them against her palm.

“It feels very different from the last time, this must be close to what you felt when you underwent the process”  She can hear the voices of the others outside, thankfully none of them enter.  She wanted to focus on Adam's last minutes instead of answering any potential questions.

Now in his mid teens, Adam smiles over to her, his features beginning to soften.

“I love you, I always have.  Even as a friend that love was as strong as ever, I did everything I could to ensure that your second life was a good one and I'm glad to see that I didn't fail you.  I am so proud of you, Leina, Lisa would be so proud of you as well if she had ever met you”  Pre-teens now, his hand feels so small in hers.
“Good luck, make the sacrifices made worth it”  He was a child now, little more than seven or six years old.  His voice is so young.

“I love you too, you've been an incredible if infuriating at times friend.  And you were a wonderful husband going by these memories”  A toddler now and he chambers onto her lap where she holds him in her arms, rocking him gently as he continues to shrink.
“Goodbye”  She whispers tearfully once all that remains of him are his clothes that are starting to fade away, the tears fall onto the clothing leaving little wet spots before the clothes are gone completely.
The cabin starts to fade away and Leina leaves before it's gone completely, the ripple like feeling kicking in as it does so for the final time.

She remembered everything now.

“Lisa, we have to go”  The man from before remarks, she nods and takes the remote from her backpack, summoning the exit that gives a loud hissing like sound as the simulation distorts to reveal a large doorway.

Finally!  Head through into the acclimation chamber, you're really cutting it fine”  A woman's voice, Clara, says from out of nowhere.  Leina is the last to go through, her tears falling to the false ground for the final time.

~~

14

The acclimation chamber, that Leina and the others enter, is a medium sized room with several beds, comfortable chairs, monitors and bathroom access.  When the simulation was created, according to the records in the computer, it was found to be helpful in avoiding a painful death by allowing people to adapt to the faster flow of time in the simulation.
It wasn't really intended to be used for leaving the simulation at first until an accident required that after a family member of one of the wealthy prats had wandered into the simulation and tried to leave, only to be torn apart in regards of their age both speeding up and reversing in rapid measure.
They had died a painful death after their body couldn't cope with the stresses of accelerated aging and uncontrolled regression, their internal organs shredded to pieces.

The acclimation chamber was adjusted to prevent that happening again despite the intent that no one was to be able to leave once inside the simulation.

The acclimation process takes around two to three hours as a safety measure to ensure that there were no after effects, it was a pretty tedious process as their bodies were being acclimated to handle the slower pace of time outside the simulation.
So as they wait for the process to be complete, Leina and the others are brought up to date on what's been happening while they've been in the simulation and once that's done Leina explains the memories, implants and more to them.
It was a lot to accept.

After Leina finishes explaining, the others talk amongst themselves.  Leina retreats into herself from her sorrow from Adam's death.

“That explains the dreams and the compulsion to meet at that cabin, must have been part of the implant programming to make sure we all got to the exit while Lisa, sorry Leina, focused on her task”  Riccola Selou remarks to the others, she was looking none the worse for her full memory restoration.

“Also why none of us really pursued too much in our lives, we sub-consciously knew we had something else to be doing and we were waiting for the call from the implants.  In a sense”  The man from before, Samual Fliars, replies.
Then they started to talk about their older and more recent lives, clearly some of them had managed to build a friendship in their second lives with one another.  Leina was the only one who hadn't been in contact with any of them until today.

She listens to them talk as she caresses the rings that Adam had given her, the names Lisa and Adam can be seen on the inside and a little message in both saying 'Forever And Always'.  She remembered wearing her old ring so long ago, now it just seemed so alien to her like a relic of a bygone age.
Both of them were long gone now, lost to time and memory.

She pockets them and listens to the others talk while waiting for the acclimation process to be completed.

“Don't know about the rest of you”  Alica Knorlan remarks as she looks over to Raymond Steele in the chair beside her.  “But I could so with some serious sex, right horny”  Raymond pales a little, they had been a couple in their prior lives although not married and it looks like they had started to become a couple in their new lives although it must be pretty recent.
With their memories restored then he probably remembered how their sexual lives were, Alica was known for being very dominate in sex while Raymond preferred gentler sex.  He did and clearly still does love her though, as much as she continues to love him.  He didn't look ready for some non-gentle sex at this time however.

“Wait until later then”  Elizabeth, Eliza to her closest friends, Cheraz remarks.  “Watching you two going at it like crazed sex fiends again while the rest of us are still in here doesn't sound like a fun time”  A few chuckles can be heard, they all remember how Alica and Raymond used to be in their prior lives.

Wouldn't mind something to eat after this”  Fredrick Friones says after a minute later.  “Got a yearning for something sweet and sour.  Hey Clara, would the supplies allow for a good hearty meal after this process is complete?  I fancy something sweet and sour”  Clara replies a few seconds later.

I believe so, we got lucky in our supply runs.  I'll ask the chefs if it's possible, any orders the rest of you have in mind?”  Clara is monitoring the acclimation process in the monitoring room on the other side in case of any problems during the process.
All but Leina make requests, Leina just shrugs when asked what she's in the mood for and finally says “Something spicy but not too spicy”.  The meal requests range from sweet and sour, something spicy, some vegetarian meals and some desserts.
They finally all settle for sweet and sour chicken for those who preferred meat and vegetarian stir fry for those who didn't want any meat, all liked the sound of apple and cinnamon cake with custard for after and something non-alcoholic to wash it down with.  Leina's will have some additional spices added which isn't a problem to manage.

Alright, I'll let the chefs know and your orders will be ready shortly after the acclimation process is complete”  Everyone thanks her and return to talking, Leina and Tanya the only ones who don't say a word and just listen.

~

Hours later after their meal, which was well received and had gone well thanks to the luck the resistance had been having with getting supplies in the past week, Leina goes to her temporary bunk for a rest.  She passes Alica on the way who is dragging Raymond to her bunk, Raymond looking like he's torn between surrendering or pleading for help.
Elizabeth and Tanya, who had been as quiet as Leina had been when they had been in the acclimation chamber since she had lived a somewhat troubled life in the simulation and was struggling to come to terms with her restored memories, are assisting Clara with mission prep while Samuel is catching up with the news.
Riccola and Fredrick are doing some gaming, they had been strong friends in the simulation as well as in their prior lives.  The restoration of their memories has strengthened the friendship even more than it already was.

Reaching her bunk, Raymond's voice being heard down the hall before the door close - “YOU'RE OFF YOUR BLOODY HEAD!”  Which probably meant that Alica was suggesting something rather rough for sex.
Sitting down on the bunk, which is comfortable enough but nothing as good as her bed in the simulation had been, she takes the two rings out and sets them down on the small beside table beside her bunk.  She looks at them in the room's dim light, such small things to hold so many memories of two dead lives.

She could feel the weight of her fatigue in her bones, the acclimation process had been pretty exhausting.  The past few days in simulation time had been pretty exhausting to say the least and now that fatigue was hitting hard.
She wished she could just call Adam, have a chat.  He had always been happy to listen to her talk about whatever was on her chest and she was just as happy to listen to him not that he had ever really spoken about his life all that much, not until recently anyway.

She couldn't call him though, his voice was only in her memories now.  All she had in her life now was the mission and no moral support from any loved ones.

“Got to work the mission”  She whispers to herself before laying down on her bunk and falling into an exhausted sleep.

*To Be Continued*
One more part to go, I decided to make this a shorter chapter so that the final part can be the mission in full.  I'll get started on the final part shortly.

Sacrifices must be made for the bigger picture.

Part 1 - 

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Part 2 - 

Mature Content



Part 3 - 

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Part 5 - 

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