What to do after wrestling with a serpent – Part 2

What to do after wrestling with a serpent – Part 1

Rorsharch was a psychologist back from the early days, when humans started to begin the depths of the human mind.  Most people know him because of his test, where the subject is presented with a series of ink blots and asked to say what they see in each ink blot.  These responses are then interpreted by the psychologist to shed light on the subject’s sub-conscious mind.  Very archaic compared to the multitude of chemical analysis tests that Eric had undergone and had clearly passed, but nonetheless, after two weeks the clerks were not allowing any avenue to remain unexplored.

“What do you see Mr. Anglegot?” Asked the clerk holding up a card with a butterfly shaped ink blot on it, while the original clerk that was processing Eric’s papers sat on a stool in the corner quietly observing.

“A large butterfly,” responded Eric without any hint of sarcasm even though it was how he desperately wanted to deliver his response.

The clerks nodded unconsciously at the response.  This was a trait Eric had noticed they do when in the same room, analysing some form of data.  They were linked, not like a hive mind, but like some online echo chamber.  They would always interpret results in the same manner as their Siblings and the more Siblings they consulted, the stronger their conviction would become.  It was in unequal parts infuriating and fascinating.  Eric had certainly had enough of it and their tests.

“And how about this one,” the clerk asked as he dropped the butterfly blot card face forward onto the table to reveal a new ink blot.

“An aircraft carrier,” Eric said absentmindedly.  The moment he said it he felt a sharp regret, but concealed this emotion as best he could.  Even so, something twigged with the Siblings, and Eric hoped it wasn’t his look of regret.

“What is an ‘aircraft carrier’?” The original clerk queried.

Luckily, Eric thought, they were so confused by such an archaic term that they missed the regret altogether and instead homed in on the strange word and what it might mean.  Honesty, or a shade of it, was the best bet here Eric decided.

“It’s an old military vessel that sailed on the sea under nuclear power and carried a complement of attack aircraft that could launch from their decks in any weather,” and then he offered by way of explanation, “I’ve always been somewhat of a history enthusiast in both of my lives so far.  Early 21st century has always been of great interest to me because of the complicated manners in which they went about doing things we find so simple – in this example, transporting attack aircraft around the world because of the lack of hyper-speed intra-Earth travel.”

The clerks nodded again and one of them made a note on his pad, an then queried further, “it seems odd that such an archaic part of our history is so at the forefront of your mind after two lifetimes that you would see it in the ink blots.  Do you care or can you explain this?”

Answering a question such as this was tricky on too many fronts.  How was he supposed to explain an obsession that he originally understood so little about and then turned into a singleminded goal that would pose a roundabout threat to the Order.  It was at the forefront of his mind, because he was searching for just such a vessel deep on the ocean floor.  He had no intention of saying that though, so he needed something credible that would not get him permanently locked up in this timeless zone across the moat or whatever it was that separated where he was and the outside world.

“Well, as ever it probably stems from my parents in some shape or form,” Eric said, going back to some basic psychology he had read about sometime that said everything was on our parents and how they nurtured us, “and maybe how they neglected me for mechanical items.”

The clerks felt something fantastic coming.  Like Eric and his obsession with archaic ships, they had a love of archaic psychological theories and their applicability to present day subjects.  It’s the other reason why they liked to draw out evaluations whenever they could.  “Go on,” they said in unison.

“Well, you see, they were both in the Earthbound Corps of Engineers, and spent the majority of time either travelling on deployment or tinkering in their workshops.  This left only a little time for me.  That’s unfair, I guess, as I know they always took me along for the ride and provided whatever I needed.  I was fascinated by what they were doing, but it’s hard for a child to fully understand the complexities or the need for a major dam.  It’s also relatively boring if no one explains it to you.  So I got ahold of their engineering pads that were lying around and slowly read through parts of the archive.”

Eric stopped for a breath.  He hadn’t said that much, but he worried he was saying it all too quickly and not making enough sense.  He looked at both of the clerks who were eagerly anticipating the next bit of his story, so he resumed, “well, these old

“Thank you Mr. Anglegot, that will be all for now.”

Back he was marched to his padded “room,” his oppressively basic cell where they kept him as a precaution.  It was all for his own safety, of course, which the Siblings cared so much for.  Most of the time, Eric thought they were actually trying to make him go insane.  He had no idea how it could actually benefit them unless there was some type of secret quota system they kept to so they could prove their worth to the public.  Odd and dangerous how the organisation had taken on a life of its own.

He slowly did some basic exercise to keep himself occupied for half an hour and work off his frustration, without seeming to be frustrated.  It was always the key, to keep calm and ensure none of his frustration seeped out into the psychological sessions.  It was vital.  It was the only way out.  So he jumped and pushed and crunched until he felt calm and then he lay on the floor as there was no mattress.  Waiting time had come again.

What to do after wrestling with a serpent – Part 3