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> Chance in Plureality 7

He came to in a field. The sounds of tires on asphalt floated by with the Doppler effect. He rubbed his eyes and crawled out of the tall grass. He felt like being drunk, from the glass of water's point of view. He was actually starting to get used to it now. Balance was always hard to maintain though and he fell into the orange doors of the storage lockers.

Find an identity... Pretend. The usual course. Weather the shift.

Reaching up he grabbed at the lock on the shutter door. Someone didn't fully close it... Either that or reality was throwing him a bone. Dropping the lock to the ground he reeled the door upwards.

Stumbling over some worn faux-leather recliners, he squeezed himself between a propped up mattress and reached for the brown boxes in the back. Boxes held parts of people's lives, he knew. Stored away the trinkets that held memories, these time capsules of sorts.

He dug through quickly. Not wanting to handle too much at once. He'd come to realize across shifts that during these "calibration" moments he could take on the memories stored in objects. He wasn't sure if this was some sort of fallout, or if this is what the Angel and Demon wanted him to be doing.

It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. He could hide from the sweeper teams, those seeking the reality deviants, this way. You blend in properly they look right past you. They scan your mind, and if you happen to be carrying enough hijacked memory from someone they might just overlook you.

It's hard taking on someone else's life though. You don't always have the understanding you need to fully adapt. You've got fractions of the whole... And if you're not careful... You impale yourself on the sharp end of the stick of their pain.

Rummaging through the boxes Keane picked up his new identity... A writer... Struggling apparently. Lost... Self-destructive... A small red box he lifted sent a jolt of loss. A woman with red hair. Brilliant smile... Miles away. He dropped it with a pained cry.

Sudden spurt of rage and the box shoots out into the night air, its contents scattering along the gravel. Opening the new box, digging frantically. A jacket, worn beaten leather. Shrugging the mantel on the memories dug in. Sore feet. Vacant highways. Wanderlust.

Then he saw the phone... These little computers held so much of a person these days. Calibration was nearing its end... He grabbed the phone. A different woman's face now. A hollow feeling now. But a goal... Hear her voice... Even though he's never heard it himself. The memories he'd stolen were there... But memory wouldn't do this time... It wasn't as simple as hiding from the sweepers this time... He had to find this woman... It was going to be dangerous, it wasn't going to make sense... These weren't his memories. This wasn't his life... But this one held a key, he knew it.

Keane crawled back out of the locker, over the pile of scattered contents, and headed for the highway, down a road he had never walked, but one his stolen memories knew.