Literally on a whim due to being inspired by something, i sat down and wrote everything on the spot in like two hours. Inspiration, the enemy of procrastination.
April 12, 2558
Arja: "To be honest, I wonderrr if... hmm.
"I've wonderrred if therrre's morrre to it. I don't know, I don't know my own kind's neurrrobiology as much as yourrrs, how differrrent we might be, so I can only rrreally use yourrr systems and definitions as a rrreferrrence point.
"But... I wonderrr if it's morrre than just amnesia. I mean, I rrrememberrr a lot, rrright? I can rrrememberrr all these... these skills, two differrrent languages, even specific events frrrom... howeverrr bloody long I was with those merrrcs. But I can't rrrememberrr my life beforrrehand, I can't rrrememberrr my own full name-- what if... what if "Arja" isn't even my rrreal name, you know?
"And I think it isn't just amnesia, because if it's anything like with you, I would've lost way morrre than just that kind of memorrry. It's, I think, morrre of a fugue state, perrrhaps."
Mason: "That would make sense, yeah."
Arja: "Mm, and I think this whole mess is... it's a combination.
"Therrre's the old me, the me I've forrrgotten and am trrrying to rrrecoverrr. I think they made me forrrget that. They turrrned me into a soldierrr, a weapon, and trrried to errrase the old me. But they didn't do it completely, and I... It's like my mind was split in two, Winterrr in frrront, myself trrrapped in the back, knowing this was all wrrrong, but doing it anyway because that's just what I did now. Orrr Winterrr did. Orrr whateverrr.
"And then I finally escaped, and I wake up herrre, and I strrruggle to rrrememberrr the crrrash, and it's like...
"... I think, even though I want to rrrememberrr, a parrrt of me still doesn't. Parrrt of me wants to completely disassociate frrrom all of that. And I think it succeeded, if only at firrrst.
"... They made me forrrget who I was, and I made myself forrrget who I became."
Mason: "And now you're stuck."
Arja: "Now I'm stuck.
"Forrr now. Maybe I'll dig my way thrrrough. It's still... harrrd to think, sometimes. Thrrrough all the fog. And I don't want to starrrt distorrrting my memorrries by thinking too harrrd on them, orrr even make false ones.
"I hope I haven't done that by accident alrrready."
Mason: "Dios, I can't imagine being like that, man.
"... I gotta wonder, though. Like, if it is a fugue state, right... people go into those for a good reason.
"And you're looking for your locket, whatever's in there, you think it'll help you remember, right? What if it unties everything?"
Arja: "Meaning, opens up the floodgates I'd closed off myself as well?"
Mason: "Yeah. I mean, I guess it's bad enough that you're still remembering the bad stuff anyway. But if everything all up is what put you in that state of mind, then...
"... I don't know. I can think of plenty of times I've remembered a ton of stuff I'd clean forgotten, just from that sorta... that key memory I just happened to stumble upon, and went down the proverbial rabbit hole down whatever memories were connected to it.
"And if along that same idea you're trying to get to find some... like, some key memory linked to everything else you'd been made to forget, everything you'd made yourself forget could be just around the corner, you know? Unless you're really good at compartmentalizing, and maybe that's a Tajaran thing for all I know, like... at some point when you were your old self, you ended up with those mercs, ostensibly, right? That's a direct chain of thought that can lead right into your time as Winter, if you go along with it. You might not even have a choice if you're dredging up memories just by dreaming, if they really are actual memories, you know?
"So it's like... ... I don't know, man. I'm drunk as hell when I really shouldn't be, so maybe I'm just off my rocker right now. Am I making any kind of sense?"
Arja: "Mm. I hadn't thought about that, I think.
"... I don't know. I guess that's the question it boils down to now, do I trrry to rrrecoverrr my own self, rrrunning the rrrisk of also rrrememberrring the parrrts of my time as Winterrr I specifically wanted to block off?
"Would you want to, in my shoes?"
Mason: "... Honestly, I don't know, man. Like I said, I can't even imagine being in your shoes as it is.
"And, I can't have drunken insight all the time, heh."
Arja: "Heheh, fairrr enough.
"Suppose it's mine alone to answerrr, then.
"... I, I think, would, yes. I want to.
"If I rrrememberrr everrrything now, now that I'm out of that situation, I can deal with it, I think. I can trrry and push it away on my own terrrms. I don't want who I became to block off who I was, because otherwise it wins. They win. I'm not Winterrr, and I'm not going to let herrr define me in place of my trrrue self."
Mason: "... Well, I guess that settles that, huh?"
They both grin.
Arja: "Suppose it does~."