Excerpt from Dr Harriet Walters’ report:
We can confirm that the new procedure has been a resounding success from a physiological point of view. The subject has not reported any headaches or other adverse physical symptoms. Psychologically, the subject seems stable and has integrated the loss of targeted memories well. There are no signs of adjustment problems: no anxiety, psychosis or any kind of emotional distress. The problem seems to be coming from an unexpected direction. It appears we have underestimated the link between memories and character development. Please refer to the transcript of my recorded session with the subject’s husband attached to this report:
“- Doctor, is there any way to reverse the procedure?
– I’m afraid not. But why would you wish to reverse it? Everything went well and your wife seems happy and relaxed. We have been closely monitoring her for three months and she herself has not reported any ill effects.
– You’re absolutely right with that but, you see, she doesn’t know what’s missing. She doesn’t know she’s not herself any more. The traumatic memories of the years of abuse and neglect in her childhood are gone. The night terrors have stopped but… I suppose I never realised how much my wife was shaped by those horrendous experiences. She’s like a sweet and biddable child now. She reminds me of a… Stepford wife.
– So you’re telling me your wife is now, um, too perfect?
– No, yes, I don’t know… I guess I’m telling you I miss who she was – she used to have a core of steel, such determination and, well, balls. Wouldn’t take any shit from me or anyone else. God, I even miss our arguments!
– So your main complaint is you don’t argue any more?
– No! My main complaint is that this procedure killed the vibrant, brash, irritating, bull-dogged and adventurous person she once was. I would never have supported her in this if I’d known it would be tantamount to killing who she was.
– I see. What do you intend to do now?
– My wife is gone but I will look after her shell because I once promised for better or for worse. And I want your personal assurance that no one else will undergo this procedure without being informed of all the effects of targeted memory deletion. I don’t have any illusion that this procedure can be buried, but I want your promise that you will ensure that others benefit from our loss. Otherwise I will sue you to hell and back.
– You have my word.”
I recommend further research into memory and personality. I also recommend that we proceed more cautiously, perhaps targeting a key memory or two rather than a block of years, in the next procedure. Finally, I would recommend using a subject who is perhaps more isolated and less well-connected than the wife of a popular judge.