Cristiansohn sat back, trying to make sense of this peculiar mix of sorrow and curiosity. He tried reaching back into mind, but only coming up with empty space. What had occupied that empty space, he wondered. Why could he, when called upon to do so, bring up certain bits of information but not others?
A low sound caught his ear. He froze, straining to listen. The sound came from beyond the door, but not too far. It was a pair of voices, Cristiansohn immediately recognized the first belonging to the doctor, the second was new to him. It was a female voice, but in a hurried whisper it was deceivingly low. Both spoke in soft mutterings.
"Everything's in order, the first part seems to have been successful." This was the doctor.
"But you've only spoken to him?"
"Yes. The scan should only be confirming proof, however."
"We must be absolutely sure..."
"Why would you think I would want to be anything less than sure? I don't want to throw any more risk into this project than is necessary. But yes, we'll make sure that the first phase is completed with the scan. We'll then have to go through the results of the extraction, to see exactly what it is we have."
"Of course. When do you want to do the scan?"
"I'll do a bit more verbal, but I should think within the hour; the sooner we're sure the sooner we can proceed."
Cristiansohn crossed his arms, puzzled. He wondered what they meant by all that, discussing scans and certainty and an extraction. What could they have possibly meant by that? There wasn't any doubt, he knew they were talking about him. But what in the world would any of this have to do with him?
A peculiar realization struck Cristiansohn. The ease with which he'd listened, the speed with which he drew conclusions about the speakers, and how quickly he began processing the information, all puzzled him. He didn't have to remember a thing to do it. If I didn't know any better, he thought, I should almost think that I've done that before, several times before, in fact.