Ken had been living by himself for a year after the incident, but he had never even realized his memory was so fuzzy in this time. Suddenly the need for sticky notes made a lot more sense. He and Laura parted ways explosively that night, but their paths would continue to cross at shows throughout Seattle in the following months. In his mind, she was a villain, a rival to be overcome. And it seems she decided to play the part. She'd tease and taunt Ken from the sidelines, almost reveling in the role. But sometimes, he would catch her staring.
Now in the present day, as each of Ken's memories returned to him, he wanted answers more than anything else in the world. Answers for why Laura had acted strangely, distanced herself, played the part of his personal villain, and then disappeared from the face of the earth following the gang incident at her show. It was all too much for him to handle. Almost immediately after the spell on him was lifted, Ken attempted to reconnect with Tripwire - No, Shay - for these answers, but it seemed she had no memory of knowing him before either, or having more than a typical history with Laura. It broke his heart knowing his best friend no longer knew him. This handiwork was unmistakable, though, and the group found that a memory spell had been placed on Shay, as well. It wasn't until the end of a particulary integral and treacherous mission in the Redmond Barrens - an isolated side of town akin to a Mad-Max-esque wasteland - that the spell was finally lifted. The two had a teary reunion, but it didn't last long. That's when things really went south for the Good Samaritans.
In short, a particularly shadowy megacorp named Sint Holo had been following the Good Samaritans due to a connection between one of the team and one of the megacorp's highest-standing members, Miharu. Sint Holo also wasn't very pleased with the Good Samaritan's sticking their noses in their plans thus far. This megacorp had been manufacturing lifelike synthetic bodies for an unknown purpose, and it turned out, Shay was a project of theirs (and one of the other members of the Good Samaritans was, as well). She hadn't always been this way, though - At some point in Ken and Shay's history up until now, she had been swapped with an indistinguishable synthetic copy. Sint Holo deemed Shay a failed experiment, and with a snap of her fingers, Miharu recalled Shay's consciousness back to her real body, which Sint Holo was holding somewhere unknown. This also brought to light the revelation that Shay was a Technomancer.
Now, Ken had lost both of his best friends, and still had no answers. He no longer wanted to stay ignorant like he did in his youth: He wanted the truth, no matter how terrible, and he wanted his two best friends back. Ken would spend the next few months (as his memories were slowly returning to him) chasing down clues for Shay's location, Laura's whereabouts, and what on earth was going on with the both of them.
Maybe some stones are better left unturned, though.