“So, Cadet Gens,” began the service psychologist, “I’m here to help you deal with any anxiety or guilt you might be feeling after the events on the Malice of Maldeumer.”
“I’m not feeling any,” replied Parthi straightforwardly.
“You are confirmed as having killed a number of people during the unauthorised intrusion,” pointed out the psychologist, “and it’s quite natural for you to be feeling unsettled after that, Pallas. I may I call you that, mayn’t I?” The young psychologist gave her a sympathetic smile.
“I would prefer you don’t. My preferred use name is Parthi and I would prefer it if you didn’t use the script you’re apparently running off.” Parthi bared her teeth in an aggressive grin.
“Oh?” The psychologist looked taken aback.
“I am perfectly well aware that I definitely killed two men on the Malice and that I may have killed four. I am also perfectly well aware that each of them was trying to put a burst of three rounds in my chest and maybe follow it up with another burst to my head.” Parthi added, “I feel no guilt or anxiety arising out of my actions as a result. If that’s all you have, then I have a class I could be attending.”
“Cadet Gens,” the psychologist was indignant, “you haven’t let me complete my assessment yet. You’re supposed to co-operate!”
“I’m not going to co-operate by pretending to things I don’t feel, just to make you happy by matching your expectations or a script,” retorted Parthi. “If you can’t work with that, then let’s have a chat with your supervisor.”
“You can’t do that!” The psychologist’s indignation was growing.
“You haven’t convinced me that my care is in competent hands,” answered back Parthi. “Given that you didn’t bother reading my notes carefully enough to get my use name right, why should I spend any more time talking to you?”
The psychologist gawped at her.
“I will give you a line for your lessons learnt question though,” when Parthi said that, the psychologist looked down at her checklist involuntarily. “Never attack an engineer in their workshop, not when they know you’re coming and have had time to think about it, not necessarily in that order. Lieutenant Commander Gliffens’ solution was effective and slightly spectacular.”
This is now followed by The Cadet: Part 20.