by MW Cook

When Shan scoured the island in search of materials for an ultimate weapon, he didn’t pay very much attention to the fact that other sentient beings could be on the island too. In the shallow recesses of his mind, right below the general concept thinking, but on the other side of the fiery concept called analyzing, rested the dull, much-abused concept of memory. For you see, Shan’s memory had had a rough little existence. It was born in a weak sort of way, which is to say that its conception is rooted in fairly painful and bizzare circumstances. Literally. His first memory was of his entire body being covered in gooey Hythranian boogers after he and a few of his friends had upset a Hythran nest. The strange thing about Hythranian boogers are that they sting like hot chili’s and immediately erase any and all previous memories from one’s brain.

(In recent years scientists studying the Hythranian biomolecular structure developed a way to reverse engineer the function of the organ responsible for producing the gooey boogers, effectively restoring lost memory. This was eagerly marketed to the elderly and with great effect. However, there has been an astonishing number of complaints and lawsuits against pharmeceutical companies who manufacture Mem-X who demand a refund or a drug which reverses Mem-X’s effects. The basic nature of the complaint is that they really didn’t want to remember as many things as the drug allowed them to. [In some rare instances Mem-X has been known to draw from the brain memories at pre-conscious periods, such as circumcision])

Needless to say the painful re-beginning of Shan’s memory was a significant factor in its currently sub-par performance. The other significant factor is the regular abuse his memory receives from the concepts Perception and Will; mostly it is just Will. These two things, coupled with frequent visits from Mr. Forgetful of Doubting Lane, are the main contributions to the current state of Shan’s memory. So it is not suprising when, having called to memory for aid to determine whether there were any significant life forms on the island, Shan was given a blank stare followed by a brief eye-brow raised about a quarter-of-an-inch above the eye.

So he treked off across the island once more, having decided (quite shrewdly I think) to leave the sand where it lay, apply the itching powder to his ailing scalp, and call out in general statements of “Hello there!” by means of the rubber plunger head. After several hours, Shan sat down by a blue rock in the middle of the deepest part of the forest. His eye was drawn to a tiny creature climbing a tree two yards away.