Forget Me Nearly Part 9

Web Novel Forget Me Nearly Part 9. If you are looking for Forget Me Nearly Part 9 you are coming to the right place.
Forget Me Nearly is a Webnovel created by Floyd L. Wallace.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

Borgenese was tapping on the desk, but it wasn’t really tapping–he was pushing b.u.t.tons. A policeman came in and the counselor motioned to Putsyn: “Put him in the pre-trial cells.”

“You can’t prove it,” said Putsyn. His face was sunken and frightened.

“I think we can,” said the counselor indifferently. “You don’t know the efficiency of our laboratories. You’ll talk.”

When Putsyn had been removed, Borgenese turned. “Very good work, Luis.

I’m pleased with you. I think in time you’d make an excellent policeman. Retro detail, of course.”

Luis stared at him.

“Didn’t you listen?” he said. “I’m Dorn Starret, a cheap crook.”

In that mental picture of Starret he’d had, he should have seen it at once. Left-handed? Not at all–that was the way a man normally saw himself in a mirror. And in mirror images, the right hand becomes the left.

The counselor sat up straight, not gentle and easygoing any longer.

“I’m afraid you can’t prove that,” he said. “Fingerprints? Will any of Starret’s past a.s.sociates identify you? There’s Putsyn, but he won’t be around to testify.” He smiled. “As final evidence let me ask you this: when he offered you a share in his crooked scheme, did you accept? You did not. Instead, you brought him in, though you thought you were heading into certain retrogression.”

Luis blinked dazedly. “But–“

“There are no exceptions, Luis. For certain crimes there is a prescribed penalty, retrogression. The law makes no distinction as to how the penalty is applied, and for a good reason. If there was such a person, Dorn Starret ceased to exist when Putsyn retroed him–and not only legally.”

Counselor Borgenese stood up. “You see, retroing a person wipes him clean of almost everything he ever knew–_right and wrong_. It leaves him with an adult body, and we fill his mind with adult facts. Given half a chance, he acts like an adult.”

Borgenese walked slowly to stand in front of his desk. “We protect life. Everybody’s life. _Including those who are not yet victims._ We don’t have the death penalty and don’t want it. The most we can do to anyone is give him a new chance, via retrogression. We have the same penalty for those who deprive another of his memory as we do for those who kill–with this difference: the man who retrogresses another knows he has a good chance to get away with it. The murderer is certain that he won’t.

“That’s an administrative rule, not a law–that we don’t try to trace retrogression victims. It channels anger and greed into non-destructive acts. There are a lot of unruly emotions floating around, and as long as there are, we have to have a safety valve for them. Retrogression is the perfect instrument for that.”

Luise tried to speak, but he waved her into silence.

“Do you know how many were killed last year?” he asked.

Luis shook his head.

“Four,” said the counselor. “Four murders in a population of sixteen billion. That’s quite a record, as anyone knows who reads Twentieth Century mystery novels.” He glanced humorously at Luis. “You did, didn’t you?”

Luis nodded mutely.

Borgenese grinned. “I thought so. There are only three types of people who know about fingerprints today, historians and policemen being two. And I didn’t think you were either.”

Luise finally broke in. “Won’t Putsyn’s machine change things?”

“Will it?” The counselor pretended to frown. “Do you remember how to build it?”

“I’ve forgotten,” she confessed.

“So you have,” said Borgenese. “And I a.s.sure you Putsyn is going to forget too. As a convicted criminal, and he will be, we’ll provide him with a false memory that will prevent his prying into the past.

“That’s one machine we don’t want until humans are fully and completely civilized. It’s been invented a dozen times in the last century, and it always gets lost.”

He closed his eyes momentarily, and when he opened them, Luise was looking at Luis, who was staring at the floor.

“You two can go now,” he said. “When you get ready, there are jobs for both of you in my department. No hurry, though; we’ll keep them open.”

Luis left, went out through the long corridors and into the night.

She caught up with him when he was getting off the belt that had taken him back to the Shelters.

“There’s not much you can say, I suppose,” she murmured. “What can you tell a girl when she learns you’ve stopped just short of killing her?”

He didn’t know the answer either.

They walked in silence.

She stopped at her dwelling, but didn’t go in. “Still, it’s an indication of how you felt–that you forgot your own name and took mine.” She was smiling now. “I don’t see how I can do less for you.”

Hope stirred and he moved closer. But he didn’t speak. She might not mean what he thought she did.

“Luis and Luise Obispo,” she said softly. “Very little change for me–just add Mrs. to it.” She was gazing at him with familiar intensity. “Do you want to come in?”

She opened the door.

Crime was sometimes the road to opportunity, and retrogression could be kind.

–F. L. WALLACE

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