The Story (working title, work in progress)

Call me Ishmael.

No, Michael.  I won’t feed into your psychosis any more.  I’m your doctor, and I’m trying to help you get past this.  Why do you insist on playing games?

You’ve always told me I play games every day, why stop now?

Because you’re a game tester.  You work for a software company.

No, I’m Ishmael, high elf ambassador to Midgard.

Let’s just walk through this for a second.  You’re a high elf, right?  Look in this mirror here for a second.  Particularly at your ears.  Do they look like the pointed ears of the high elves?

Of course not.  Midgard enjoys an… intolerant peace with the elvish.  I am tolerated as long as my ears are covered by a prosthetic.  At all times.

So why now?  You’re not in Midgard now, are you?

Do you think me a fool, or merely an incompetent?  Of course I am not currently within Midgard’s protection.  I am on the business of the Norse, though, and as such am bound by the constraints of my charge to Midgard.

Well, you’ve certainly got an outstanding cover story for yourself.  You’ve rationalized yourself into a Norse existence.  What about your elvish honor?  Sense of pride?

My honor is of no concern to the likes of one such as you.  My motives are not your own, nor are yours mine.  However, your motives concern me.  Release me and this goes no further, neither in Midgard or Ulthuan.

I think not.  Let’s wrap this up for today.  We don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

***

At first, it seemed simple to cure.  Create a plausible reason for the psychosis, try to press that as the reason for it.  Repair the break, reinsert reality.  Granted, not the ideal – hell, not even approved – methodology to treat, but this is a severe case.  Maybe tomorrow will see some progress.  That would certainly be a nice change.

***

Good morning Michael!

We’ve been over this, call me Ishmael.

Fine.  Good morning Ishmael.  Better?

Improving.

Well, let’s get back to it, shall we?  Why do you think you’re an ambassador to Midgard?

Why do you think I’m not?

For starters, Midgard isn’t real.  It’s a piece of Norse mythology.

Ahh, yes.  The mythos argument again.  I grow weary of this repetition.

Perhaps it is repeated because it is the truth?

Perhaps truth does bear repeating.  I am Ishmael, high elf ambassador to Midgard.  I am from Ulthuan, high elven homeland.

More mythology, even game references.  We seem to be at a standstill Ishmael, shall we take a short break?

***

Ishmael.  It is a small thing, a name, but the concession has been made.

***

So, Ishmael, what does the ambassador of the Asur to Midgard do?

Asurian ambassadors carry the burden of business affairs between two peoples.  My job is merely to assure a standing peace and continued trade.  A simple thing, really, to maintain a peace between two powerful foes.

How so?

Ensure equal armament strength.  Let small matters resolve themselves.  Simplicity itself. Let long-standing feuds alone long enough, and commerce will prevail.

That makes an odd kind of sense.  You have really devoted yourself to this charade, haven’t you?

Tell me, what do you call yourself?  Human?  Psychologist?  Do you know how to be both of those things?  Did you have to devote yourself to your humanity?

At times, yes.  Humanity is difficult at times.

Being what you are is easy.  It is in becoming what you are not that difficulty is found.

You make me wonder at times if perhaps we are in the wrong seats here.

Indeed.

***

Concessions today, yes.  Perhaps this process will work out as designed after all.

***

So tell me, doctor, what does a human psychologist do every day?

We try to make those who’ve built walls around themselves see that they are better off allowing the rest of the world back in to their lives.

Are we so different in that regard?  I allow nations, peoples, to see mutual benefit, and reforge relationships.  We are more alike than you may think.

But for the fact that one of us is delusional.

Yes, *chuckle* but for that.

Do you think this is funny?

No, not at all.  I believe this is very serious indeed.  Pardon my indiscretion.  I was merely enjoying your wording, doctor.

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