“John!” Amanda screamed, waking from the Animus. Her vision dimmed and lighted, showing her wisps of those slipping white ghosts. They were talking, whispering - but a sharp ringing sound filled her mind, dulling all her other senses. She grasped her ears and screamed, liquid flowing from her eyes, her nose, her ears...
The darkness passed and Amanda came to. She saw the light above her blur and come into focus. The sound of her own breath was the only thing she could hear for a moment.
“Amanda?” Dr Sung's voice echoed, “Amanda, can you hear me?”
Amanda turned her head and saw the doctor sitting there, holding her clipboard.
“What...?” Amanda struggled to say, “what happened?”
“You left the Animus prematurely, it caused you some trauma. I'd advise you to stay as you are,” the doctor replied.
Amanda closed her eyes and listened to the sounds in the room - the beeping of the heart-rate monitor, the churning of the IV line. There was a thumping vein in her temple that seemed to throb above all the noise.
“Would you like anything in particular? Music? Television? Food?”
“Water,” Amanda said, “please...”
Dr Sung raised a plastic cup to her lips and Amanda drank the water slowly. It was cool and fresh and Amanda drank it with enthusiasm and thirst, spilling it over her neck and chest.
“I must say I'm confused,” Dr Sung said, “You chose to enter the Animus through the Black Room, and experience your ancestral memories - which is fine - but you seemed to have come out of the program on your own. That's extremely dangerous. It could have killed you,” Dr Sung paused, “Do you have any idea as to why this could have happened?”
Amanda took quick shallow breaths.
It was impossible, what she knew, but she knew.
The same moustache, the same nose, the same unexceptional face - and the same eyes: one a dark blue, the other a light-dark brown.
How could it be?
But it was.
“I don't know,” Amanda lied.
“Hmm...” the doctor said, noticing the heart-rate monitor spike, “Amanda...”
Amanda touched her head. She couldn't lie her way out of this, “I'm... I know... something,” she said, “It just doesn't make sense at the moment.”
“I saw a man in my ancestor's memory. This man... I know him. Personally. I've met him,” Amanda said, “I just don't understand his part in all of this. Why there's two of him. And why I and Jack Molay - both - would know him... Is it just a copy? A look-alike?”
“Well... Describe him for me.”
“Furrowed brows, thin lips, thick moustache, large-ish nose, eyes two different colours...”
Dr Sung chewed the end of her pen, “I believe we ought to go and see Laetitia.”