Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Microstory 883: Forced Perspective

You are all here because you understand what we’re doing, and what’s at stake. This job will not be easy. We are investing heavily in counseling services, and while we’re still working out the details, one thing we do know is that witnesses will be limited to the number of cases they’re allowed to work over the course of a yet-to-be established duration of time. This is extremely dangerous technology; it can have lasting effects on a person’s psyche. Anyone who finds joy in their work will be immediately removed from the program, with zero compensation. I expect you to have trouble seeing the horrific things you will undoubtedly see, but at the same time, I expect you to do your job. One thing we haven’t explained yet is that there is an unusual component to the memories that we can’t seem to figure out. Has anyone ever heard of the medical condition known as prosopagnosia? Well, it’s also known as face blindness. It’s a less rare than you would believe cognitive disorder wherein the patient has trouble recognizing faces. They could conceivably be standing right next to a loved one that they’ve known their entire lives, and not have any idea. They interact with other individuals using context clues, like fashion, and hairstyle. Out of all of the survivors who have agreed to this program, not one of them suffers from this condition, so it has nothing to do with them personally. For some reason, when the memories are fed into the image interpreting software, it doesn’t come out right. You will be able to see through their eyes, as clear as they could; better, even, because you will not be experiencing the same shock and trauma as they did. You will not, however, be able to discern the face of their attacker, even if they weren’t wearing some kind of cover. Again, we don’t understand why this is, and we haven’t found a workaround to include this data into the system. If we could, we wouldn’t have to hire most of you, because we would be able to solve these cases with nothing more than a few memory fragments. It will be your job to look for clues from these scenes. You’ll still be able to see distinguishing marks, like tattoos, or moles. Think about how the attacker smells, how stronger they are, their balance of rage, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy. If you do manage to see their face, please let us know, so that we can further study this problem. This is important work, and if the pilot program succeeds, it could be a great boon to our justice system. No one in the world deserves to experience rape, which is why you will have every opportunity to back out of this program at any moment, with no legal consequences. You can even quit in the middle of a procedure, if you just cannot take any more of the pain. If no one has any further questions, then we will begin. We only have one machine at the moment, so who’s first?

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