“Let me give you the gift of happiness,” she said.
“I’m already pretty happy.”
“I’ll make you happier. A TAT, on me.”
“Transient Attitudinal Twaeak. I’ve still got privileges at Sax.”
“I’ve been tweaked plenty. Change one more synapse and I might turn into someone else.”
“That’s ridiculous and you know it. Or every experience you had would turn you into a different person.”
I thought about that. “Maybe it does.”
But she wouldn’t let it go, and even the strongest anti-happiness argument was bound to be an uphill proposition; so one afternoon Chelsea fished around in her cupboards and dredged up a hair-net studded with greasy gray washers. The net was a superconducting spiderweb, fine as mist, that mapped the fields of merest thought. The washers were ceramic magnets that bathed the brain in fields of their own. Chelsea’s inlays linked to a base station that played with the interference patterns between the two.
“So we’re fishing for what, exactly? Repressed memories?”
“No such thing.” She grinned in toothy reassurance. “There are only memories we choose to ignore, or kinda think around, if you know what I mean.”
“I thought this was the gift of happiness. Why—”
She laid a fingertip across my lips.
“Believe it or not, Cyggers, people sometimes choose to ignore even good memories. Like, say, if they enjoyed something they didn’t think they should. Or—” she kissed my forehead— “if they don’t think they deserve to be happy.”
Peter Watts, Blindsight.