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He'll Always Have Paris

Gunderson. I think maybe they...if there's someone else..." Dorian stared for a few seconds, then
turned back to the keyboard. Cedric felt relieved to no longer be facing him. Instead he focused
on the work his hands were doing.
"If there's a reason I'll find it and we'll work through it," Dorian said, now standing next to
Cedric.
Dorian walked around to the other table and gathered up the various devices that needed to be
attached to his skin to monitor his vital signs and keep him in touch with Cedric. Everything else
that the procedure needed was done inside the tubes.
As Cedric watched he realized that Dorian was right about one thing. He could have done this all
by himself. Once the program was started at the terminal Dorian could have keyed in any delay
he wanted. Then he could have gotten his wife's body and his own ready, lay down, and waited
for the tables to recede into the tubes in the wall. If he was successful in his m ission then he
wouldn't need Cedric there at all. If Dorian failed while inside his wife's mind, on the other hand,
and Cedric weren't there on the outside to lead him back, the rejection plus the overload would
be too much for Dorian's brain. He would essentially be trapped inside his wife's memories while
inside his own head.
But the bottom line, Cedric realized, was that Dorian was right, if need be he could make it
appear as if he had never been here.
"Okay," Dorian said from the opposite table. "W ish me luck."
The last few hours played across Cedric's sleepy eyes: the phone call waking him up, the
badgering and plead ing to get him to come down to the lab, Cedric trying to say "No" but
knowing that he could never deny his friend anything, the frantic rushing about once Dorian had
arrived, and now Dorian lying next to his sedated wife ready to slip into oblivion. Cedric didn't
even have a chance to open his mouth to reply before Dorian's table began sliding him headfirst
into the cylindrical hole in the wall.
Once his feet had disappeared from view the thick metal door slid shut with a clang. Cedric knew
that sensory deprivation had proved to be a key element in starting the process, but he had
always said that the once all the bugs were worked out the first cosmetic move they should make
was to redesign the doors. It reminded him too much of the similar rolling tables a block away at
the morgue.
He looked down at Tab itha. Even in the harsh brightness of the light stands and under heavy
sedation she still looked beautiful. Then the table began moving and she disappeared into her
tube, her feet fading from view, the door clanging shut.
----
Dorian waited in complete darkness. The sensation of lying on his back slowly faded as it
became difficult to believe he was oriented in any particular direction. There was some humming
from the machine, even heavily dampened it was still audible, and he made a mental note to look
into this when he was back at work.
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