Alex Markovich. Imprint

For the first time Alice realized that she was not what one would consider an ordinary child. This revelation took place on her seventeenth birthday.

The date was 1983 at a scout camp, where Alice was a counsellor’s assistant.

Within her group there was a boy called Jack. Jack was from what would be considered a middle-class family. His father, however, was a religious fanatic, who by the way, was not adverse to routinely gulping down a couple of glasses of whisky before going to bed.

Since Jack’s earliest childhood this angry, hypocritical man imparted to his son the idea that all misfortunes in this world are caused by women; as a result of this pathological thinking, Jack’s mom was quite often subjected to emotional and physical abuse, often resulting in serious injuries.

Jack was constantly exposed to this horrific behaviour: but as a staunch Catholic son, he felt himself powerless to challenge his father’s unconscionable behaviour. According to his dad’s tortured logic, he had the Christian right and duty to pass judgment in any way he saw fit.

Jack could not quite understand how one can raise his hand against a woman, particularly one who worked two shifts, did the household chores and at the same time try to please her husband in every possible way.

When Jack first saw Alice he was stupefied. Alice was a plain girl, nothing special, but Jack could not take his eyes off her. One could not say that Alice was feeling any strong attraction toward Jack, but there was something about that particular fifteen year old lad that caught her attention.

The end of this story was, if not tragic, then, as most child psychiatrists would say, certainly out of the ordinary. Jack’s innocent childish love was rejected by Alice: as a result of being spurned, Jack threw himself headlong off a cliff and was found dead, on the river bank the following morning. In his cupboard there was found a note with a few scribbled sentences: loosely translated he stated – that he was so completely infatuated by Alice that life was no longer worth living, once she spurned him.

Alice’s parents quickly took her out from the camp, the Director was fired, and from now on the kids were thoroughly monitored, and no one was allowed to leave the camp grounds; even in the company of adults.

Alice, in order to protect her, was not told about the note.

Obviously no one wanted to burden her conscience with the details of this sad event.

Alice got married when she was eighteen, and two years later was blessed with a child. By the age of twenty eight she was divorced.

Why did she get married at such a relatively young age?

Sadly, to run away from her parents and to prove to herself, an ordinary girl, that there is somebody in her life who needs her.

A phone call at 6 a.m. shocked Alice with the news that Sam, her ex-husband, died.

He had left a suicide note stating that as a result of the divorce, he was overcome by grief and had decided to kill himself by slitting his wrists.

Interrogation at the police department, scowling glances of the neighbours, and a general feeling of discomfort made Alice move to a different state.

Two year have passed. Alice has recently broken up with Frank, who was even ready to marry her. Two weeks later she was shocked with the news that Frank had thrown himself under a train.

Interrogations by the police, more scowling glances. Alice had to move again.

For 18 months Alice did not get in contact with anyone. She lived on her single-mother benefit and sometimes a postal money order from her parents

Michael she met by accident. The guy having seen Alice, parked the car near the neighbour’s house and then under the pretence of visiting neighbours popped in a couple of times to visit Alice.

The romance with Michael lasted for about a year, but in Alice’s opinion he loved poker and whisky more than her.

She finally told him to get out and never come back.

In a week Michael was found dead. Poisoning by analgesic overdose, His death was ruled a suicide by the coroner.

This time, though the police interrogated Alice, the cops were indifferent to this situation. Michael had been a well-known knave in the neighborhood, and had plenty of illegal drugs at his disposal – Case closed!

But when three weeks later, after parting with Alice, Steve died, Alice became «a person of interest» in the case: In other words – a suspect.

Well, of course there are some situations when a lady gets married and then in a couple of years her husband dies from a heart-attack, and his estate, passes to the widow.

But, alas, all of Alice’s admirers left her nothing except debts, disappointment and interrogations at the local police department.

At seven o’clock somebody rang Alice’s door bell.

I am detective Lloyd – uttered the man and showed his badge.

I have already given my testimony. I had nothing to do with these incidents. – Alice, however started getting nervous.

Nobody is blaming you for anything, – interrupted the detective, – I would like to ask you several questions, that’s all.

The detective pulled out of his pocket a small device and put it on the table.

Are you going to record me? Is this a Dictaphone? – asked Alice.

No, this is not a Dictaphone, – answered the detective, – this is just a device which should help us.

Help in what? – Alice questioned.

You’ll know later, – uttered the detective.

The conversation lasted for about fourty minutes. Obviously Alice heard nothing new from the detective, probably all those questions were just a formality for conducting a case. During the conversation Alice several times glanced at the device which detective Lloyd had put on the table.

At 8.30 the detective left.

After popping into his department, the detective found his way home.

For the whole night he could not sleep. He was seeing Alice in his dreams. Twice he woke up, totally disoriented and had no idea where he was.

Why Alice appeared in his dreams the detective had no clue. May be it was a tough day or perhaps he was anticipating the decryption from the device which evoked so much curiosity in Alice.

In the morning the detective was already at work.

What are the results? – he asked Kraig, the head of the technical department.

You won’t believe it. Nothing was recorded. Did you turn it on? – Kraig asked the detective.

What do you mean “turned it on”? It was already on when I put it on her table. – the detective raised his voice.

Al, there is nothing there. Nothing was recorded, – and Kraig with bewilderment looked at the detective.

Take it to the Central Department, let these guys scan it, – and muttering and cursing Al jumped into his car and went to Alice’s house.

Oh, it’s you… – Alice was a bit surprised.

Yeah, it’s me, – smiled Al. – I would like to ask you some more questions. Will you treat me with a nice hot cup of coffee?

Alice has thought that it would be nicer to chat with the detective over a cup of coffee rather than being interrogated again down at the station.

Al put the similar device on the table.

So what is this? – asked Alice.

So as not to look like some sort of spy in Alice’s eyes, Al just said that it’s a new model of Dictaphone with lots of functions about half of which even he was not aware.

The conversation lasted not more than two hours. Mainly they discussed hackneyed topics about life, work and kids.

When in the morning the detective came into the office to get the decryption from the device, Kraig was totally perplexed. The second device as well as the first one had no information recorded. Well, what the guys had to do was to wait for the results from the Central Department regarding the first device.

In the evening there was a phone call and Kraig told Al to come to the office as soon as possible.

There were three huge jeeps parked near the department – Al saw these vehicles for the first time.

Al entered the office. He saw six strange guys, Kraig and the Head of the Department.

Let’s begin, – said one of the strangers without any greetings or introduction to Al. – What did you see in your dreams this night?

I do not understand you… – Al perplexed.

What did you see in your dreams this night, Mr. Lloyd? – repeated the stranger.

Well, nothing special. Some pieces from interrogation, the suspect, pictures of her son… Obviously the things that might have a relation to her. And how is it connected with the case? – Al looked at the stranger.

The second stranger took the laptop and said:

We received the decryption. Your Alice is a real treasure. You can not even imagine. She is able not only to extract the information from the brain, then implant inside the brain what she deems necessary, she has the capacity to eliminate the victim. And the most interesting part is that she probably does it unconsciously. She creates an imprint.

What does she create? – asked Al, his head spinning.

Imprint. A very powerful stamp of her or somebody else’s image. The image is uploaded into victim’s brain, and then, my goodness, – the stranger even stood up a little, – penetrates into the source codes of human consciousness and recompiles. To cut a long story short, Alice is a kind of biohacker, I would even say psycho-hacker, who does not even understand the power of her abilities.

Everything is very simple, – continued the second stranger, – Alice after all the information is downloaded, generates a code of so-called “love” and the victim accepts it as his own thought. But this is not all. Normally, human nature being what it is, people get over things and get on with their lives; however in this case Alice’s image sticks forever in the brains of her victims. Nobody in the life of those poor chaps would be able to replace Alice. Two-three weeks and the guy is dead by his own hands, and Alice is as innocent as an angel!

But almost every day we hear the news of an idiot who jumped into a loop from non-shared love. How does it relate to Alice? – parried Al.

This is true, but in this case the level of idiotic behaviour exceeds all possible limits. To be correct, this “idiotic behaviour” is uploaded into the head. The victim can not find a place for himself. Any biological object of the opposite sex will remind him of Alice. And it develops with such progression one can hardly imagine. More than that, her potential is so high, that we needed fourteen hours to decrypt her brain emanation. And guess what the results gave us?

What?

NO-THING!!! She was able to neutralize the scanner. Here is the question: Does it occur purposely or subconsciously?

==

For two years Al has been working in a special department of a secret organization which was tracking psycho-hackers. Those psycho-hackers who were tracked, secret services by hook or by crook were able to turn, and they ended up working for «the agency». To be politically correct, they just disappeared.

But Alice was, as the Chief stated, a hard nut. The paradox, Al thought, was probably in Alice’s non-awareness of the ability of her psycho-energy.

What a naïve guy… You starting to get the picture??

For the whole night he saw Alice in his dreams. He was her husband and they had two wonderful kids: a boy and a girl. Joshua was fourteen and Sarah was eleven. They were a very happy family. But bright moments did not last very long. Sarah with her two classmates dies in a car accident. Al finds out about it by telephone from Alice. And wakes up…

Al put on his clothes, jumped into the car and went to Alice. She was standing in tears on the threshold of the house, waiting for Al.

Al ran into the house. Alice’s parents were sitting on the sofa, Joshua was in hysterics.

The inner atmosphere was very tense, Al was about to faint.

How could this happen? – his tongue could hardly move.

Silence was hanging in the air. Everyone was looking at Al with reproach.

Al ran out into the yard. He felt dizzy. The image of Sarah, his daughter, remained very sharp in front of his eyes. She was calling him begging for help.

How could Al let that happen? He had to be with her! For the second year they were planning to go to Africa with the whole family. Bloody “school tour over the cities of Europe”!

Al was wandering along the road. The thoughts were chaotically moving in his head. Life lost its meaning. What should he do? But he’s got Joshua and Alice! They should be the reason to keep living! Wait a second! Who are Joshua and Alice? He is a single father, who kept bringing up his only daughter after his wife’s death. He’s got nobody else in this life except Sarah!

A truck was passing by. Whether Al did not correctly judge his path or he did that purposely – an abrupt braking of the truck did not save Al.

==

Next day Al’s boss was expressing condolence to his relatives.

In a couple of days there were funerals. The chief was standing next to Alice.

You are a good girl, – uttered the chief, – testing went very well. The emission of your brain is higher day after day, I even feel a bit scared. The scanners in your presence become just a piece of useless plastic. It’s a pity, of course, that we had to sacrifice one of our agents to conduct these tests. But you were as brilliant as ever being able to break his psycho-defence so easily. In a week we’ll arrange your “new marriage”.

The man laughed and continued:

The name of the object is Ken Potter. A very skilled and ambitious politician. A Republican. Two years ago his wife died. You’ll stay with him for a year, download everything from his head, upload all necessary stuff, wait a while and then you may send this damn Republican to join his wife.