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Alex Hargreaves is being haunted by the past. But the ghosts that plague him are born of science, not superstition. As a Security Specialist for the ISA, Alex has a memory implant that allows instantaneous access to memories – both good and bad. He can recall facts and figures with unfailing accuracy, but cannot move past the painful sense of death and abandonment made manifest by the tragic loss of his wife and daughter. Those memories, like all the memories within his mind, remain excruciatingly present.
When communication with an isolated Deep Space Observatory is lost, Alex and his synthetic partner, Persephone, are sent to investigate. The Cochrane is a small observatory tucked within a pocket of relative inactivity. A single data analyst runs it on a six-month rotation. Six months in the emptiness of space can feel like an eternity. Depression is a common problem. Suicide and accidental death are not unheard of at stations like Cochrane. Alex and Persephone are sent to learn which of these fates has found Amanda Hayes.