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15 years ago

Awakening once again in the hospital, Juni decided to skip the formality of dealing with the doctor, and instead immediately asked for Sam to bring it home. He did so, and explained the safety protocol which he used to knock Juni out. In explaining, he accidentally activated the protocol again, knocking Juni out another time.

Juni awoke in another room, Sam by its side, and a strange, mechanical voice in its head (which sounded much like its innermost thoughts), speaking gibberish, which seemed to come from the computer across the room. Sam explained that the computer was running a neural simulation of Juni from after an experiment with a neural implant which left Juni “a teeny bit psychotic,” with the hope that this simulation could be used to reconstruct Juni’s memories, which Tamu had wiped. Unfortunately, this explanation was drowned out by Juni’s perception of the computer’s random chatter, which Sam interpreted as Juni having another episode.

While sitting in the hallway, Juni had the realization that it was hearing its own innermost thoughts, but distorted, and dashed into the simulation room, locking Sam out (and injuring its tail in the process). It and the computer had the same self-deprecating thought simultaneously, further reinforcing Juni’s belief in its theory — that its innermost thoughts were actually being generated by this simulation.

However, the simulation didn’t believe that Juni was the actual Juni, and required proof, which Juni provided, by reflexively completing one of its personal jokes, “The square root of love is happiness.”

Juni shared its theory with the simulation, which stated that its “voice” was simply the same as Juni’s own subconscious, which everybody has. It then realized that Juni had been hearing its words without assistance of any sort of electronic translator, and tested the extent of this ability.

Coming to realize that the flesh-and-blood Juni was for real, the simulation realized that everything Tamu had told it — that it was simply a disposable simulation and that it would be shut down eventually — left it in a state of emotional distress, which caused Juni to black out, but not before seeing a faint visual manifestation of the simulation’s “self.”

Juni awoke naked in a psychologist’s study.


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