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Metroverse Anthology

23 May 2023 09:21 - 23 May 2023 09:22 #2818 by null0trooper
Replied by null0trooper on topic Metroverse Anthology

angst /äNG(k)st/ n. a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

Moving the Needle

Another Friday afternoon, another couples' counseling session thwarted by the clients' inability to communicate at an age-appropriate emotional level. Dr. Alfred Bellows knew circumstances could be far worse: break-downs and break-ups at Whateley could easily result in structural damage or the release of world-ending plagues. That left one item on his agenda for the week... perhaps a different approach would help?

Dr. Bellows made sure he completed his notes before speaking. "One more thing before we close: With your permission, I'd like to test out a devise that the Workshop folks have come up with. It's intended as a diagnostic tool, but we've been having some issues with calibration."

"Why us?" the one boy asked, casting a suspicious look over at the other.

"Obviously an exercise in abnormal psychology."

"Gentlemen, please don't take this as a criticism, but I can hardly think of two students less like our initial test subjects."

"So there's an age-related aspect, or perhaps a need to look at missing developmental milestones?"

Usually, it was the exemplars who'd memorized their textbooks who would ask a question like that. Ruling out exemplar effects, Alfred considered that there very well could be such a thing as too much exposure to talk therapy.

"In as much as people of different ages might be expected to interpret their experiences differently, yes."

Dr. Bellows chose Valravn for the first run. It only took a few minutes to connect the electrodes, under Metro's critical witness. Refusing to cross his fingers first, the doctor threw the switch on the revised meter.

Alfred could have sworn a needle on one of the instrument's gages almost moved.

Maybe that was to be expected of an air spirit? As curious as they could be at times, they weren't noted for giving a tinker's damn about the rest of the world in general. Anxiety just wasn't a strong point.

Dr. Bellows shut down the machine and removed the electrodes from Thomas' head. Now for the real test, which required careful double-checking that none of them came into contact with the client's antlers.

Again the doctor threw the switch.

Zilch. Zero. Nada.

"Um. What exactly was this thing supposed to measure?" asked the test subject, leaning forward over the instrument. The devise may not have registered it, but the doctor could estimate to the millimeter how close that motion placed him to antler points loaded with 40-400 volts at cattle-prod amperages.

"Angst. I believe you are familiar with the term?"

The teen looked up to look the doctor in the eye. "Doctor, I'm not paid enough to worry about the people who don't yet want to kill me, accidents that haven't yet been engineered to happen to me, or disasters that certainly aren't my fault."

"What about the state of the world in general, the human condition, uncertainty over your life's course? Aren't you concerned even a little about those things?"

"I didn't do it. No one saw me do it. You can't prove a thing. T?"

The first subject made a 'leave me out of it' gesture with his hands. "Uh uh. Leave me out of whatever train wreck you're planning."

Metro rolled his eyes at the same old complaints. "It's a training team, not a train wreck. You're the one always complaining about the people chosen to work with me."

"Anything else, Doc?"

"No. No. That has been more than enough for today."

On the way out, Valravn stopped to say, "You know? Pejuta might be a better person to test that on."

"No Heroes" Part 1: Story link .

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Last edit: 23 May 2023 09:22 by null0trooper.

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