Hoping to get some constructive criticism here on the angles I'm not seeing. Please pause to consider the implications of this plot bunny before you make a hurried answer (I already got the hurried "this'd never work" from a friend, so consider "what if it would
work, what would this change?").
A psychic has the power to transfer memories from trauma victims into his own head. He uses this to compare their memories and track down serial assailants.
Consider a world much like our own, except one guy has the power to transfer memories from the heads of other people into his own. It's not an easy power; these are the boundaries I've decided on so far:
- He picks a subject, talks through the procedure with them, susses out whether they're up for it or not.
- They lie down, with physical contact (e.g., holding hands, though I was thinking more psychic's hands to subject's head), and trance.
- Psychic can't force memories, but guides the subject into dredging up the right stuff; subject relives the memories in vivid detail.
- Memory contains only what is in the subject's brain, and often lacks detail, based on what was sensed at the time, how much detail was stored long-term, and how much has degraded or been lost over time.
- It's all filtered through the senses and perceptions of the subject. This may mean that some false memory stuff can filter through, but the psychic is usually good at picking up on this, like a photoshopped image.
- Psychic forms an index of the main memory and all the little details stored elsewhere or connected to other spots.
- When the index is completed, the psychic uses it to move the memory completely into his own head. The patient forgets it permanently.
- Psychic awakens drained and potentially traumatized.
Note: It should be possible to use this power to guide people through vivid recollections of their memories without the transfer procedure, but this isn't the psychic's primary use. He wants to help trauma patients forget - I mean, the ones who are so bad off that they can't work through it on their own - and also to compare and contrast memories to track down serial rapists and the like.
1. How would this change the American court scene, over time, to allow for it to be useful in legal matters?
I mean, right now, you have the right to face your accuser, for one; if your victim no longer remembers you, but this other guy who couldn't possibly have been your victim does
, how does that all work out then?
And can a surrogate witness actually be worked into the law? How would juries take it? I mean, imagine an old man, under oath, testifying of the defendant that "He put his hands on my breasts; then he reached between my legs with one hand and..." etc.
Imagine it possible, and help me understand the ramifications.
2. What would be the psychological toll of a psychic accumulating dozens or hundreds of memories of sexual assault and even torture?
I mean, he could easily gather up more than a lifetime's memories. And he'd be having flashbacks of pain in physical parts he doesn't even have. How long could this go on without him going nuts?
What sort of trauma-based personal tics might he develop?
3. What sort of person would he have to be to use his powers like this to begin with?
I rather assume that he'd do his utmost to avoid additional exposure to violence. No scary movies and whatnot. Or am I going the wrong way there? Maybe he'd watch whole marathons, trying to help him deal with what's real inside him by watching what's unreal and outside him.
4. What sort of clients would seek him out?
Or would he be the one seeking them
How does this even come across to, say, the mother of a nine-year-old victim? "I know your daughter got assaulted, and I'd like to walk her through those memories in vivid detail before pulling them into my head, along with any associated memories. Assuming she's strong and brave enough to get through this, she's gonna have major gaps in her memories for life, but that's better than hanging onto this
, right? Oh, and it might possibly help me catch the guy who did it."
I mean, I can kinda see scenes of this, here and there, but I'm sketchy on how it all comes together.
Which is why I'm here.
Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all.