“I’d like to take you back about fifty years, to my own formative years. That was when computers started to become predominately access points for the Internet rather than individual machines which performed calculations for scientists and governments. Television was still largely dictated by the corporations rather than available as required, and the music industry was creating a huge fuss about the recent ability to produce perfect copies of their products. The anti-piracy campaign was …”

I shifted in my seat. I knew all this already: after all, I was there. Like Professor Horlicks, I’d spent my formative years in that world. The trouble was, Professor Horlicks was a good forty years older than me.
It was just luck that I’d wandered past the university building and seen the sign for the lecture. I’d been let out of hospital only a week before. Not that they had any idea what was wrong with me: a twenty-five year old whose recent memories were all fifty years in the past was somewhat beyond their experience. They’d poked and prodded and scanned and finally declared me to be in perfect health. Then they’d asked for £10,000 room and board. I’d laughed. I mean, where was I supposed to get that sort of money? I’d handed the receptionist a £20 which was fifty years out of date and walked away. I mean, I didn’t know who I was or where I lived, so how were they going to find me?

You can find the complete version of Displaced in issue 73 of TBD.

Joanna McKenzie