Antoine Cartier-Wells (1984-2083[note 1]) is the father of Charles Cartier-Wells and the grandfather of Nilin. A social entrepreneur, in 2013 he began to formulate the idea behind sharing and storing memories on a digital platform. That idea would eventually grow and become Memorize.
Antoine was born in Paris, France in 1984 and led a fairly comfortable life as child. He was an avid chess player and attended school regularly; his parents also monitored his growth as time rolled on.
At the age of twenty nine years, Antoine won a scholarship and moved to San Francisco, eager to begin paving a path for his future in the area of technology. In his apartment, he would doodle the earliest concepts behind Sensen technology out on his desk and named it “Sen2en”. At some point in time he met and fell in love with a young woman named Molly; he planned his work and life around her and recorded her every movement, no matter how mundane. During one of his recordings, Molly asks him to promise to remember her.
A year into their relationship, Molly took Antoine to a lecture meet his hero, Bruce Sterling --- the creator of Spimes. He gushed over Sterling’s collaboration with William Gibson and their work on the Difference Engine. Soon thereafter he began feeling distracted by mundane activities like observing people and their families through photography and delved back into his work, bemoaning financial troubles that were beginning to get to him.
Antoine continued to work to solve what drove human emotions to share memories and moments between each other, intrigued by the mere action of it. After a two month holiday from his work and “himself”, he tried to decipher all that he’d seen from his own memories. Upon reading Cryptonomicon, Antoine realizes that the world’s inherent craving for connectivity with one another through technology would mean Memorize would have to move fast and corner control of memory distribution. He began practicing with the first version of the Sensation Engine with Molly as his chief test subject. He gauged her emotional reactions with certain key words. He was disappointed with the sluggishness of the machine and its inability to record emotions beyond simple gauges of “happy” or “sad”. The two stayed up until three in the morning recording information from her test.
2015 - 2016
As his experimentation with the Sensation Engine continued, Antoine was finally granted the chance to create an app that could read color coded messages from the brain. He believed with time, it would be possible to map the brain’s electrolytes with the app. As his experiments with Molly and the Sensation Engine continued, Molly attempted to fit the Sensation Engine’s chip inside the first ring she made for his technology. Though he appreciated the gesture, he found the ring too temperamental to work with and chose to maintain his experiments with the headset.
Antoine’s hope for the sensor rings of the headset was to comprise a way to develop the technology enough that it could detect when the subject was hungry and visual what the brain would generate in response. If the Sensation Engine was able to map out human fears, desires and internal problems within the body, the possibilities of self-knowledge would be limitless.
In the face of his parent’s disapproval, Antoine proposed to Molly and the two were married in Las Vegas. Las Vegas was fertile ground for his Sensation Engine; they picked up a dozen or so different emotions and needs with the headset (who was hungry, who was thirsty, and who was sick). A friend of Molly’s who worked for the VSO suggested that two travel to Kenya to test their equipment out among the refugees.
They headed for Mombasa shortly thereafter; Antoine marveled at the culture of the people and their lack of absolute dependency on technology. He speculated their way of life, codependency within a community and minimal amount of tech, would be the way to better life in Europe. Antoine and Molly continued the tests with the Sensation Engine on young children, hoping the machine would be able to tell one group of children from another. He deduced from the studies that the desires of the orphans were no different from his or Molly’s; the “landscape” of their minds were inferior and were worth less to businessmen backing their project.
Antoine and Molly are approached by a gaming company to create interactive headsets for their game after Molly presented the data of their experiment with the children in Kenya. They were also offered a deal by API to expand their technology to other social networking apps. In order to continue their experimentation on the poor with the Sensation Engine, Molly was stationed in Rio.
Antoine imagined the data collected from the favelas would immense and pocket them more financial freedom. During her absence in Rio, he began to notice off web traffic during the 2017 Olympics. He suspected it had something to do with audiences attempting stream the event and dismissed it as a major concern.
2018 - 2019
The following year, there was an attack on the hotel where Molly was staying. She was among the peoples injured in the explosion and rushed to the hospital. Antoine was notified by the hospital she was taken to about the severity of her injuries, but he was unable to reach her as a result of suspended air traffic. Another year passed before he was allowed to travel to Rio and see her; Molly was paralyzed by the attack and could not move or speak.
Desperate to communicate with her, Antoine used a newer version of the Sensation Engine headset. She was unresponsive at first, still unconscious from the incident, but she slowly began to respond. The two of them proceeded to play chess with one another on Antoine’s cell phone, Molly moving her pieces across the board the following day after his. Though he remained at her bedside, he continued to work on the Sensation Engine, this time hoping to get the system to read the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
Eventually, Molly’s activity begins to dwindle and she becomes less responsive to Antoine’s communication. She loses interest in playing chess. Antoine becomes depressed, withdrawing from his environment and the people around him. Eventually, Molly communicates to her husband that wants to die, a request eventually obliges. Before she passes, Molly leaves as message on his iPad, asking him to remember her. 
2020 - 2035
After the death of Molly, Antoine relocated Memorize from San Francisco to Hyderabad, India. His financier assures him that the relocation will allow him more freedom with perfecting his technology and work in favor of his wages. The next two years result in massive test increases in regards to the Sensation Engine’s capacity. As Sensen continues to expand, Antoine signs agreements with both HUF and VMK in order to integrate his technology into their sunglasses.
The diversity of the Sensen technology expands into rapidly declining markets, allowing it to prosper. As his business continues to grow, he receives heavy backlash from the people of India who see Sensen as a means to control minds.
2036 - 2040
Sensen is mass produced and shipped as an application for apps as Memorize continues to prosper. Married for the first time since Molly’s death, Antoine’s wife, Claudine, announces her pregnancy on New Year’s Eve. Charles is born a year later in 2038, however, Antoine remains distant from his new family, his heart still suffering the loss of Molly.
The following year, the tunnel to the English Channel is destroyed by terrorists; his parents are killed by rioters who broke into their home. Antoine blames himself for their deaths, believing his inability to work fast enough with the Sensen technology as the root of the problem.
2041 - 2064
As the European Civil War continues, Antoine uses Sensen to prevent the deaths of thousands of European civilians by dissuading them through social media networks to remain home and avoid protests and riots. His actions are a direct benefit to the " "Stay at Home Experiment" (SAHE). Antoine begins to wonder if the privilege that Charles experiences as his son will soften him and dissuade him from facing challenges. Tension between himself and Claudine comes to a head finally, the two agree to a divorce, ending their relationship. In the aftermath of the Vienna Atrocity, Memorize’s output for data collection using Sensen increases tenfold. Their activities, however, are seen as exploitative of the disaster in Europe; people in America begin to move to protest against the Memorize Corporation. Weary from the constant state of destruction around him, Antoine wishes to erase and remix his memories to forget the pain he’s experienced.
Memorize’s first attempt to remix a subject’s memories and create new ones is a success. Their “patient zero” was a young woman, named Zena, who was found and tortured in the Balkan Peninsula’s war zone. Antoine, fully aware of the hatred, that rules his world, moves to use the Sensation Engine to “scrub” hatred from the world. However, his attempts end in disaster, his failure leading him to believe hatred is a “mold” that cannot be destroyed.
Eventually, he is approached by European government to help rebuild Paris from the ashes; his son wants to continue the tests with the Sensen technology, but his father is doubtful of yielding successful results. He begins to experiment with a new A.I. system that creates different narratives of his life with the Memorize database; he calls the scenarios a “memory remix”.
Five companies pledge to his son to help rebuild Paris and create a “Neo-Paris” from the ashes of the European Civil War. Despite his successes, Antoine desperately wishes to forget the deaths of Molly, his parents and the earliest days of his company’s beginnings. When he discusses his “memory remix” ideas with Charles, his son calls him a child and suggests that his father wants more than he can swallow.
2041 - 2064
Antoine is among the thousands that witness the first Sensen devices implanted in a live host through the social media outlets; however, he is weary of the new possibilities that the implant presents and wonders if the end result was what he and Molly originally intended. Antoine is disillusioned by the complacency of the people who use the Sensen technology.
How easily their loyalties are brought and how quick they are to replace or discard their memories. Almost seven years after the implant devices are approved, Memorize suffers its first Sensen-related suicide and murder. Antoine’s doubts over his creation are fueled even more and he decides to resign from his position as member of the board of Memorize. He takes up a teaching position in the hopes of educating others on the powers of philosophy and peace. April 6TH, 2074, his former company is hacked by an unknown organization; he takes the incident as a sign of the dangers of his technology and clings to Molly’s memory. He relocates to Slum 404 to live among the poor and the “memory junkies”.
He continues to try and educate the people of Neo-Paris, hoping that his words will teach others something one day. However, the people whom taken heed of his words created a movement to fight against Memorize. Antoine is disheartened by their violent methods, believing his words were taken too literally by those who heeded them. Six years later, his son Charles ventures down to the slum and announces that he’s cracked his father’s code.
He now controlled the ability to remix, upload and combine human memory in a single storage space. Charles offers his father the chance to be the first to be remixed, but he declines. A year later, Antoine notices a dark skinned, young girl that reminds him of Molly. Charles returns to the slums one last time and offers his aged father the chance to be remixed again. Three years later, Antoine finally agrees to his son’s offer and allows his son to remix his mind. Antoine ruminates over the Errorist Memory Hunter, Nilin, and her ability to remix memories. He mourns that he never got the chance to meet her. Antoine’s memories moving in reverse before his vision is blinded by white light suggests that he did not survive the attempt to remix his memories.
- Antoine's Journal's final entry is dated December 15, 2083 at 20:46
- Antoine’s Journal: Chapter 1 Cite error: Invalid
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- Antoine’s Journal: Chapter 5
- Memorize: my first trip out to paris
- Antoine’s Journal: Chapter 2
- Antoine’s Journal: Chapter 3
- Antoine’s Journal: Chapter 4