Once upon a time there was a boy named Herz Hessian, who knew a lot of things.
He knew that he was from a state called Kansas, on a continent called North America, on a planet called Earth. He also knew that his parents' names were Rall and Doe, that they loved him and had brought him up as best they could, and that the scars on his face were the result of a brutal attack during his junior year of high school. He was a devout Lutheran and overall doing fairly well for himself in spite of the fact that he was a total social pariah. He wrote, he cooked, he went to school. He knew who he was, where he was, and how he got there.
Then he woke up on the M.S. Elegante, and found out that he'd never really known anything at all.