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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