“It’s what we’re calling an improved McMemen technique,” Siston said. “Users are affected for longer periods of time and more strongly. It’s more difficult to snap them out of the trance state, and the problem of blackouts has been solved.”

“Solved how?” Friedman groused. “That’s been the millstone around the program’s neck for years. The assets always suspect something because of the memory gaps unless we take them into custody and implant false memories the old-fashioned and expensive way, with psychologists and bright lights.”

“That’s the beauty of improved McMemen,” replied Siston. “In addition to the orders and situational training, it implants…well, the technical term sucks so the boys have been calling it a ‘seed crystal memory.'”

Friedman glared. “What kind of new age hippie crap is that?”

“Well, the human mind has an enormous capability for creativity–just look at dreams. The technique utilizes that mechanism to construct artificial memories using the asset’s own building blocks. The ‘seed crystal’ provides the raw materials and a rough structure–say, a short camping trip–and within that framework the asset’s subconscious will construct a totally realistic and totally individual memory. They’ll remember it all down to the raccoons stealing their marshmallows.”

“Ridiculous,” Friedman said. “They’d remember a pink elephant or something crazy like that.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Siston said, grinning. “After all, this whole conversation was implanted in your mind the same way.”

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