Effusion - Chapter 3: Warning! Some schizophrenics may be philosophers in disguise!
Posted By: Tursas<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 6 April 2002, 6:34 am
"You know, I don't see everything around here. For all I know, there are five other people in the room with me; there is at least one that I know of, and that identity is rather fuzzy."
The voice came from the lone lanky human in the observation cell.
"I wonder whose great idea it was to do this. There must be someone in the world mean enough to not tell me the truth ... But I can't handle the truth, can I? To have someone you would very much like to meet follow you around ALL of the time, without any care for your sanity or mental health, could be considered a crime in most countries ... But then, I am from another planet, aren't I? I sure wish the mother ship would come to get me soon."
The person known only as Tim sat dejectedly in the corner, talking to whomever he felt like talking to. There was nobody there to listen - except for himself and the Monitor, when he came to visit - but he talked all the same. It was acceptable that he should do this; he had been there for a long time.
"For things to pop in and out of existence without any reason at all is disturbing enough, much less for people to inhabit your bedroom and home like it was their own. Kinda makes you wonder about what kind of split personality you really have ... MY split personality!? Mmmmmm, haunches..."
But he had begun talking to himself long before he had ever been to this place. That was questionable.
"But seriously folks, innuendo never did anyone any good. That's the problem with people today, isn't it? No one wants to see some fat kid fall apart. The only 'good' thing that comes from this is the unparalleled laughs of watching the moron try to figure out what is going on ... Can't wait till 6:30."
His obsession with time transcended the definition of 'obsession'. He didn't like to talk about it much, but there was always the burning in his soul from knowing that time was still passing.
"I missed something big and important. It's not every day that you realize that everything you think is available to other people in one form or another. Bank account codes, school ID and grades, everything ... Yeah, those things pretty well sum it up for me ... They are the only things of real 'value' that I own ... No, my conscience doesn't count - not that I have one or anything."
He also believed that there were other people talking to him. They weren't necessarily in the room or even on the planet. They were just there.
His head began to move up and down, and his body to sway to some otherwise unheard rhythm.
"This piece of music hits me right here. I bet you never knew I had parts like that.
"Hummm. Drummm. Erf. Bum diddle um."
The Master Chief was very bored. And he was very angry. He had been floating in the same place and with little to no contact with the outside world for nearly two days. He had thought initially that the new Monitor would take great interest in him; try to figure out the secrets of his mind as quickly as possible. He had even gone so far as to imagine that sooner or later they would stick a needle in his head and try to figure out things that way, but so far no go. The only things he had come into contact with over the course of the two days were packages of pasty food thrown at him from a hole in the wall. That and a curiously small waste disposal unit that not only didn't use any cordage to get its work done, but also teleported away when he was finished with it.
On the whole, it had been a very dull two days.
"Hello again, Reclaimer."
"I take it that you are annoyed that you have had so little contact with the outside world."
"That would be about right."
"You should be feeling honored right now. You have received twice as much attention as anyone else for the whole time you have been here."
"Yes. And you have been very quiet about it."
"How do you mean?"
"The last individual I visited has a tendency to talk when nobody is listening. Would you like to hear a little of what he is saying?"
"Sure. It doesn't seem like I have anything better to do."
There was a bit of a hum as the audio systems in the room warmed up.
"For some reason, this individual does not want to stop talking about his dead girlfriend. I'll try to edit those parts out, if you want."
"No, that's fine. Leave them in."
The transmission began, "Ahhh, Saturday. Today I shall think about my station in life, the ways that would never change it, and how much I envy that guy upstairs.
"I don't suppose it would be ethically correct to blow my brains out after you've put yourselves through so much trouble to expose them. But then, what say do I have in the matter? I don't own myself, much less anything else.
"The only thing that I could say is excess baggage is this hormone injector. The description of what it does for me begins with a 'B' and ends in 'ullshit'. What's the point?"
The Monitor interrupted, "We swore to him that it wasn't a hormone injector. For some reason he absolutely won't believe us."
"... I think I'll live the rest of my life as a skink. Newtdom is an awfully big place, and I can't wait until the day when the Grand-Pooba Toad says, 'Come home, my trout, yours days are over'... You're right. On the airplane back, they'll probably throw me out the door somewhere over the South Pacific."
"He seems to have a thing about skydiving as well," the Monitor said.
"They said, 'He just has to figure it out.'
"I say, 'Figure out what?'
"They say, 'Use your imagination. What has fleas and a taste for blood?'
" 'A big ass jaguar.'
" 'Guess again.'
" 'Nice try, but no cigarillo.'
" 'Getting close...'
" 'My ego?'
" 'Bang on.'
" 'No way.' "
A pause. The Master Chief was really soaking this up, but began to wonder if this monologue could eventually drive him towards the tedious side of crazy.
"Somehow, everybody in the world suddenly became telepathic. Have they been this way all along? Someone must have made a crap load of money if it came about from selling some product. They forgot to tell me."
"Another thing he really has a problem with." the Monitor stated, "Again, he won't believe that nobody is reading his mind."
"But then, what creative and constructive pieces of information do I have to contribute? Not much. Maybe that's why. I must be seen as scum or something. Nothing new. Just that it hits as a possibility.
"This much we know: Tim has a girlfriend, Tim isn't too knowledgeable about much of anything ... that everyone Tim knows would sell their grandmothers ... and that someone very powerful is behind it all."
"It occurred to us that the girlfriend may have been completely fictional as well, but there must have been other people like this on Earth..." The Monitor trailed off as Tim launched into his next rambling.
" 'So what's the answer?'
" 'Look inside yourself,' they say.
" 'Nothing here but vital organs.'
" 'Oh, sorry. We thought you were asking about something else.'
" 'So what is it?'
" 'Don't look down.'
"Huh? ... "I thought that national coverage would be fun. Boy, was I ever wrong!"
"ANOTHER delusion, it seems, is that not only are his thoughts read and recorded, but that they are universally accepted as being entertaining." The Monitor's tone betrayed that he was trying to be helpful, but the Master Chief thought otherwise. "This alone would be funny if he didn't think it was true... Don't you think?"
"So the guy next to me leans over, see. Says something about 'duality' or something like that." A chill ran down the Master Chief's neck, though he had no idea why. "The sweat dripping down his face scares me, like my thoughts have something to do with his sudden discomfort.
"And what, exactly, is geo? ... Geo? ... Jeo? ... Jill?"
"That's the name of his girlfriend, the one I told you about earlier." The Monitor cut the awkwardness of the situation like a hot knife through butter.
"Don't you think this guy is a little crazy?" the Master Chief asked.
"His condition stems from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Technically, even by former Earth standards, he isn't crazy, just maladjusted."
"Then why don't you help him realize his dream and broadcast this for the rest of the human survivors? If they are as deprived as you say they are I'm sure they would soak it up. It might even be considered therapeutic for Tim."
"... Sponsors here. Sponsors there. Sponsors, sponsors everywhere..." This remark seemed to be related in literal translation to what the Master Chief had just said, but was stated in such a way as to seem otherwise.
"We already tried. They are all too busy with their tasks to care to listen to his ramblings."
"And what would those tasks be?"
"My mind numbs over. I see now that it is quarter to twelve. Jill has 13 minutes to tell me what's going on before the rest of the day starts." The distinct and separate obsessions with his girlfriend and time overlapped for a moment.
"All of the humans are being tested in one way or another, including you."
A pause. The Master Chief felt a little sick, but also felt that a greater knowledge was held behind a thick wall in the back of his mind.
It was then that Tim quipped, "... And they thought I was funny..."