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Forget Me Nearly   By: (1915-2004)

Forget Me Nearly by Floyd L. Wallace

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction June 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.


By F. L. Wallace

Illustrated by EMSH

What sort of world was it, he puzzled, that wouldn't help victims find out whether they had been murdered or had committed suicide?

The police counselor leaned forward and tapped the small nameplate on his desk, which said: Val Borgenese. "That's my name," he said. "Who are you?"


The man across the desk shook his head. "I don't know," he said indistinctly.

"Sometimes a simple approach works," said the counselor, shoving aside the nameplate. "But not often. We haven't found anything that's effective in more than a small percentage of cases." He blinked thoughtfully. "Names are difficult. A name is like clothing, put on or taken off, recognizable but not part of the person the first thing forgotten and the last remembered."

The man with no name said nothing.

"Try pet names," suggested Borgenese. "You don't have to be sure just say the first thing you think of. It may be something your parents called you when you were a child."

The man stared vacantly, closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them and mumbled something.

"What?" asked Borgenese.

"Putsy," said the man more distinctly. "The only thing I can think of is Putsy."

The counselor smiled. "That's a pet name, of course, but it doesn't help much. We can't trace it, and I don't think you'd want it as a permanent name." He saw the expression on the man's face and added hastily: "We haven't given up, if that's what you're thinking. But it's not easy to determine your identity. The most important source of information is your mind, and that was at the two year level when we found you. The fact that you recalled the word Putsy is an indication."

"Fingerprints," said the man vaguely. "Can't you trace me through fingerprints?"

"That's another clue," said the counselor. "Not fingerprints, but the fact that you thought of them." He jotted something down. "I'll have to check those re education tapes. They may be defective by now, we've run them so many times. Again, it may be merely that your mind refused to accept the proper information."

The man started to protest, but Borgenese cut him off. "Fingerprints were a fair means of identification in the Twentieth Century, but this is the Twenty second Century."

The counselor then sat back. "You're confused now. You have a lot of information you don't know how to use yet. It was given to you fast, and your mind hasn't fully absorbed it and put it in order. Sometimes it helps if you talk out your problems."

"I don't know if I have a problem." The man brushed his hand slowly across his eyes. "Where do I start?"

"Let me do it for you," suggested Borgenese. "You ask questions when you feel like it. It may help you."

He paused, "You were found two weeks ago in the Shelters. You know what those are?"

The man nodded, and Borgenese went on: "Shelter and food for anyone who wants or needs it. Nothing fancy, of course, but no one has to ask or apply; he just walks in and there's a place to sleep and periodically food is provided. It's a favorite place to put people who've been retroed."

The man looked up. "Retroed?"

"Slang," said Borgenese. "The retrogression gun ionizes animal tissue, nerve cells particularly. Aim it at a man's legs and the nerves in that area are drained of energy and his muscles won't hold him up. He falls down.

"Aim it at his head and give him the smallest charge the gun is adjustable to, and his most recent knowledge is subtracted from his memory. Give him the full charge, and he is swept back to a childish or infantile age level... Continue reading book >>

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