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  • Outside the boardroom of Minds Inc, Robert paced back and forth.

  • Animus lets you enter someone's mind and experience their memories,” he thought.

  • Yeah, that's how I'll say it.

  • Animus lets you enter someone's mind and experience their memories.

  • Short and to the point.”

  • An executive opened the door.

  • Mr. Snow, we're ready.”

  • Robert froze.

  • Coming.”

  • He removed his phone from his pocket and made sure it was on silent.

  • He entered the room and walked to the front.

  • Thirteen black suits sat around a long wooden table, watching him.

  • Robert cleared his throat.

  • Hi, I'm Robert Snow, the inventor of Animus.”

  • They stared blankly.

  • He pulled a tiny device out of his pocket and held it in the air: it looked like an

  • MP3 player with earphones attached.

  • Animus lets you enter someone's mind and experience their memories.”

  • The room stayed silent.

  • John Minds, the CEO, gestured towards an empty seat.

  • Mr. Snow, can you uh, demonstrate it for us?”

  • Of course.”

  • Robert walked over to John and placed one of the ends in his ear.

  • So you put the receiver in one ear, like this.”

  • He took a seat and placed the other end in his own ear.

  • You put the sender in like this.”

  • Robert lifted the central console and placed his thumb in the middle.

  • Then you press play.”

  • He pushed down.

  • In an instant, Robert and John were 18 000 feet above ground, falling from the sky.

  • Unconsciously, John let out a shout.

  • His heart raced, as he looked around and saw Robert next to him, falling without a parachute.

  • He reached behind his own back and realized he had no chute either.

  • He yelled at Robert.

  • Parachute?”

  • Robert wrapped his hand around his ear and yelled.

  • What?”

  • The wind howled past them as they plummeted towards the Earth.

  • John tried again.

  • Parachute?”

  • Robert gave him a thumbs up.

  • You're insane!”

  • John watched the ground approach his face.

  • End this!

  • We're gonna die!”

  • Robert smiled, and they hit the ground.

  • John woke up screaming.

  • He stood up, took a deep breath, and analyzed his body.

  • “I'm..I'm okay.

  • What just happened?”

  • Robert removed the Animus from John's ear.

  • You weren't in any real danger.”

  • He walked to the front of the room.

  • You experienced one of my memories.”

  • You fell from the sky without a parachute?”

  • Not exactly.

  • I took a memory of skydiving and altered it a bit.

  • I extended the free fall and got rid of the parachute.”

  • John shook his head.

  • Incredible.”

  • He looked at a nearby executive.

  • How long were we gone for?”

  • “F-five seconds, sir.”

  • John looked at Robert.

  • How's that possible?”

  • In the Animus, time flows like it does in a dream.

  • Five seconds here can feel like thirty minutes in there.”

  • How does it work?”

  • Well, the sender loads a memory into the Animus.

  • When he pushes play, the receiver experiences it with him.”

  • John gestured towards the door.

  • “I need everyone to leave.

  • You're dismissed for the day.”

  • Everyone got up and left.

  • John looked at Robert and smiled.

  • OK Mr. Snow.

  • You have my attention.

  • What do you want from me?”

  • “I've worked on this for the last ten years.

  • I put my life savings into it—” “So you want money?”

  • No.

  • It's not about money.

  • It's more than that.

  • I think it can change the world.

  • It can be bigger than the written word.

  • Imagine a world where anyone can experience someone else's story.”

  • Exactly.

  • Thisthis is bigger than business.

  • But you think too small Robert.”

  • What do you mean?”

  • Experiencing a memory is nice, but imagine if we could change them.

  • Instead of experiencing someone's story, we could write it.”

  • But why?”

  • Peace.”

  • What do you mean?”

  • World peace, Robert.

  • A fight starts because people see the world differently.

  • Don't you agree?”

  • “I-I do.”

  • Imagine if we all shared the same storyno more fights.”

  • “I can't imagine that kind of world.”

  • Do you believe in truth?”

  • Yeah.”

  • If the truth exists, it must be the same for everyone, right?

  • It has to be the same storythe true point of view.”

  • Hmm.”

  • We can create a better world.

  • A world of Einstein's.

  • A world of Shakespeare's.”

  • John stood up.

  • “A world of Robert Snow's.”

  • Robert hesitated.

  • “I-I don't know.

  • I made it for the people.”

  • “I'm with you Rob.

  • But the world is moved forward by a handful of great people.

  • People don't know what they want.

  • They're like birds in a cage.

  • You wanna give them freedom?

  • Learn to open the cage for them.”

  • And how do I do that?”

  • With power.”

  • John walked over to a giant window overlooking the city.

  • These people won't appreciate you Rob.

  • Animus will be nothing more than a toy to them—a fancy video game.

  • You're naive if you think they'll use it for experiences beyond the bedroom, partying,

  • or a cheap thrill.”

  • “I have to think about it.”

  • Think about this.

  • How many people do you know reading Shakespeare?

  • Dostoyevsky?”

  • Not many.”

  • How many people do you know studying Beethoven?

  • Mozart?”

  • “N-not many.”

  • Exactly.

  • You think Animus will be different?

  • These people aren't like us Robert.

  • They'll just use it to escape their problems like they always have.

  • Instead of becoming better, they want life to be easier, and it'll never be easy enough

  • for them.

  • But we can make them stronger.”

  • “I have to think about it.”

  • By all means, think about it.

  • But remember, you came to Minds for a reason, didn't you?”

  • “I did.”

  • And what was the reason?”

  • You can get it into every home.”

  • Exactly.

  • Power.

  • You think I got powerful by giving the people what they want?

  • I give them what they need, even when they don't know they need it.

  • That's why I own the biggest building here.

  • That's why you're the one coming to me and not the other way around.”

  • Robert stayed quiet.

  • Now go home and think about it.

  • But remember Mr. Snow, all roads lead back to me.

  • Take it to another company?

  • I'll buy them out.

  • Get it to market?

  • I'll have my best scientists tear it apart and figure out how it works.

  • Don't make this harder than it needs to be.

  • It's your destiny to bring Animus into the world, and it's mine to take it to the next

  • level.

  • Don't let your ego get in the way of progress.

  • We can do great things together.”

  • As Robert exited the room, John yelled after him.

  • “I want the same thing you do: a better world.”

  • On the way back to his car, Robert pulled out his phone.

  • He had missed three calls from the same number.

  • He opened a voicemail they had left and gave it a listen.

  • Hi Mr. Snow.

  • I'm calling from St. Catherines hospital.”

  • Robert's heart sank.

  • It's about your mother.

  • She got into a severe car accident, and well, she's in a coma.

  • We're not sure if she'll make it through the night.”

  • Robert got in his car and drove towards the hospital.