Monday, October 2, 2023

Microstory 1986: Resident Xenopsychologist

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Dr. Klement: Oh, wow. You weren’t kidding, there are a lot of cells down here. Please tell me we have far more of them than aliens to fill them.
Sasho: We only have a handful of Ochivari. This place wasn’t built for them specifically.
Dr. Klement: It’s been remodeled for them, though, right?
Sasho: Yeah. While I was on probation for the last couple of months, they took my suggestions to heart, and made modifications.
Dr. Klement: Do you want to talk about that some more?
Sasho: I thought my required therapy was over.
Dr. Klement: That doesn’t mean we can’t talk anymore. I’m still practicing; just doing double duty with this xenopsychological study they’re wanting me to start.
Sasho: You’re our resident psychologist?
Dr. Klement: One of two, actually. The department is only going to grow from here, and there is no precedent for the effects of an alien presence on the human psyche.
Sasho: So the government is worried that one of us is gonna have a nervous breakdown, and shoot up the place?
Dr. Klement: That’s one possible outcome, but it doesn’t have to get that bad to warrant my position here.
Sasho: No, that wasn’t—I didn’t mean...
Dr. Klement: It’s all right, Officer Dreyer.
Sasho: I can’t get used to that title.
Dr. Klement: You’ve earned it. You’re running an entirely new kind of jail, for an entirely foreign species. Guard just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Sasho: *nods*
Dr. Klement: So, they’re coming today?
Sasho: *consults watch* They should be on the road as we speak. I’ll be heading up to the garage to escort the prisoners here. Once that happens, I’ll be responsible for them. If anything goes wrong, it’ll be my ass...again.
Dr. Klement: I’m sure you’ll do fine, but if you’re ever feeling anxious, you can always talk to me. It doesn’t even have to be a formal session. If I’m free, we can just have a little chat. It’s not like you’re paying me directly.
Sasho: The money isn’t the issue. Nor do I take issue with the concept of therapy, or advice. When I’m talking to you, I start to feel like I’m placing a burden on you. I’m on thin ice with everyone else here. They basically went on strike, and I couldn’t be there with them. I wasn’t able to prove that I’m one of them. They still see me as a traitor.
Dr. Klement: They know that you were never a traitor; that Sergeant Sachs fooled you as much as any of them. If they didn’t understand that before, they know now. You wouldn’t be allowed to keep working here if you were a threat. They’ll see that.
Sasho: Thanks, I appreciate it. I’ll keep you in mind, I promise.
Dr. Klement: Good. *looks down from the mezzanine for a bit* What’s that section over there? It’s still messy with construction stuff.
Sasho: Oh, the jail isn’t done yet. They’re trying to design a communal section that still doesn’t allow the prisoners to use their magical powers to travel the multiverse.

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