Forge Netting 5: A Way To Think

If you checked Arson’s ID file against who he was currently claiming to be you would most likely find little correlation, but then the same was true of probably half the people in the room.

It had all started, for each of them, regardless of where they were now, with a decision that they wanted to forget something in their life. It had continued with a heavy dose of denial about what the drug which enabled that amnesia was doing to them; that heavy denial aided, of necessity, by the drug. It lead to this – a state where nothing in the user’s reality was real and so they would start to grasp at insane explanations for what was happening to them.

This place – the Forget Me Not Bar, was a hang for people suffering this affliction. People would disappear from the list of regulars on a daily basis: kidnapped by company Image Recovery Men, or just wandered off into the wilderness of their own blankness.

Arson offered them something – a way to frame their situation as a belief and a lifestyle. He called it evangelical absenteeism and the name and the idea seemed to persist with no problem in the swimming fog of his addled mind; it seemed to survive in the lives of others too: it became a kind of anchor that held them together and allowed them to forge relationships where before despair had reigned.

Arson stood there, arms raised, rocking back and forth on his heels. Offering praise up to the idea of the slate wiped clean.

‘We are the children of Tabula Rasa; swallowed by the milky whiteness. Freed of our old baggage we are born again as innocent children. The world had forgotten our plights and we were lost in them – until the day came we chose to forget and we were able to rise up above the chains of the world and reclaim our places.’

People ate it up. It wasn’t a scam though – you could see that; it gave Arson as much relief and pleasure as his audience.

Those who stood on the outskirts of the crowd were not so happy though. Those tasked with monitoring, with shepherding, with removing if necessary; any movement like this was bad news for them. Soon they would have to strip away this source of guidance as they had done before. That the world was this shape now, and so fast, had astounded some of them. others were not surprised at all … this had been on the cards from the first moment an injection was administered.

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Forge Netting 4: Righting A Blank. Check

Colin had been working for LEthe since it had brought out its treatment – so he wasn’t there from the first; those guys were all in development; but he had been with them long enough to have seen some things.

They had offered the employees free treatments as an incentive at one point but he had refused. Sure, he could see the attraction but he would rather hold onto the painful shit instead of becoming a zombie. Quite how zombified people were becoming was now becoming evident – and if it kept getting this negative spin in the media then the whole company was going to be up shit creek without the proverbial paddle.

He’d worked in places before where a lawsuit sapped them quicker than you would believe – you just had to hope that the initial profits could absorb the impact of a class action lawsuit; that the PR campaign they would need to mount could resurrect the product and the reputation of the inventors. There was a lot of repurposing in the drug industry – all that specialised equipment was expensive and if you could convince the world that the drug which had just been declared dangerous for one thing could be used for something else then you didn’t have to scrap it. That, he found interesting – just because they were using it to treat something different it didn’t make it any less dangerous … didn’t remove the effects.

The guy he had been assigned to had been out of communication for a while – he had, as far as he could tell from reading the case notes, drawn the short straw in this game. People stupidly thought that they could sign up for this product and go unobserved? Investments left to go unwatched were not going to reap them many rewards.

None of those using were going to be that hard to track down – it was a backdoor feature that none of those who had signed up were informed about.The thing is – depending on how much the people had been using and the side effects that they were starting find about – there might be more than just a slightly destabilised individual with memory loss; if the infection leak was also present then there might also be something occuring in the localspace that threatened anyone who came near.

He activated his transparent second skin and the nanoswarm security measure that was being recommended as a standard action for any operative in the field, and he left his house.