Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Broken Warriors + Chapter 10
Transcription #2

Transcript entry by: Dr. Thomas R. Batoosingh
Outpatient Services
Winner Memorial Veterans Hospital
L-2 Colony

Interview conducted at:
Hospital de Santo Francis, Madrid
Dr. Maria Estella Santos, attending physician

Names censored for confidentiality.

Note: I informed Subject H that I should be considered an interim physician, as I am still active in treatment of Subject D, but both H and D have requested that I remain assigned to this case. In fact, H has made it clear that he will not speak with any other psychiatrist. Even in his weakened condtion, he is surprisingly forceful and stubborn. Perhaps also a manifestation of the paranoia and hyper vigilance that shows up in his past records. Necessary notations and releases have been filed.

Subject: H Y
Notes for Psychiatric Session #01

This is our first formal session. I have spoken to Subject H informally several times over the past two days in his room and on the hospital grounds, and observed him in the company of Subject DM, and fellow former pilots W, Q, and T. H is progressing, but remains in a physically weakened state, especially compared to his former physical level as shown in medical records before disappearance two years earlier. Very tired, sleeps 10 to 14 hours/day, is occasionally forgetful or confused, but overall appears lucid. Manner is quiet, not overly talkative, esp. in comparison to D or Q, but this seems to stem from personality rather than any desire to withdraw. Barely eighteen, he speaks in the overly formal manner of one raised around adults, with no peer interaction. However, he talks willingly with friends and medical staff, and is very polite. Seems to prefer being in company rather than being alone, esp. company of D. I reserve judgment on the specific nature of that relationship, but he certainly appears to reciprocate in some fashion D's deep affection for him. H is a hard young man to read and I remain undecided as to whether he is emotionally capable of feeling actual love for another person. Past history presents distinct possibility of sociopath affect.

Met with Subject H at 10 am, local time, in consultation room of Dr. Santos. Santos in attendance. H enters dressed in clothing provided by friends: denim jeans, black cotton sweater, and sneakers. Hair trimmed shorter, but still unkempt. Looks remarkably like wartime photos, though taller and still exceedingly thin. Looks much younger than my initial impression upon arrival. Manner is quiet, expression rather dour, though all friends assure me on several different occasions that this is natural and does not necessarily indicate discomfort or aggression. His nurses concur and appear quite attached to him already, speaking very warmly of him.

Subject avoids armchair that stands with back to door, chooses divan against the wall, with desk and window to left, door to his right. May not be significant, beyond former training. Sits at ease, both feet on floor, hands folded in lap. Nods to both Dr. Santos and myself. Waits for someone else to speak.

Santos: You are looking well today, H. I'm told your appetite is good.

Subject H: Yes, thank you.

Are you sleeping well?

Subject H: Yes, very well. The bed is quite comfortable and the building is quiet.

Santos: You have no objection to Dr. Batoosingh joining us? This is in effect your first counseling session with him.

Subject H: I have no objection. Does this mean you've accepted me as a patient, Dr. Batoosingh?

Yes. D made it clear to me that you have had difficulty trusting doctors in the past, and that it would be easier for you to work with someone already trusted by one of your friends.

Subject H: Thank you. If D trusts you, then I should.

Good. Well then, is there anything in particular you would like to tell me?

Subject H: I am feeling better.

That's good to hear. But you are not fully well, I think? You have had a very rough couple of years.

Subject H: I suppose so. (My impression so far is that the subject is not being evasive, but shy. Also trained to resist interrogation. This presented a problem with previous therapists.)

Would you be more comfortable answering direct questions?

Subject H: Like a debriefing?

If you like. Yes, we can approach it like a mission debriefing. I'm told you tend to approach unfamiliar situations as if they are missions.

Subject H: That's how I was trained.

Do you often set your self a mission objective or goal?

Subject H: Yes.

Do you have a stated objective for this session?

Subject H: Yes.

Could you share that with us?

Subject H: To be as honest and forthcoming as possible, to answer truthfully, and listen to any advice or insight offered with an open mind.

That's-that's very good, H. Did you establish this for yourself before you came in?

Subject H: No. I've had trouble in the past opening up in these situations. I wasn't able to work constructively with Dr. Ballard (psychiatrist assigned to Subject H's case in 196). However, I believe I was also not mentally prepared at that time to take full advantage of the help being offered.

How did you prepare for this session?

Subject H: I asked D what I should do. He gave me the objective I just stated.

You trust him very much.

Subject H: Yes.

He is as good friend?

Subject H: Yes. (Subject remains nearly expressionless throughout, but there is a slight vocal emphasis on this answer. Making mental note to avoid phrasing questions in a fashion that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Subject is a man of few words, it would seem.)

He has talked a great deal about you. I cannot divulge the details, but he considers you a very good and important friend. His best friend, in fact, despite not seeing you for so long.

Subject H accepts this without comment but appears shyly pleased.

Very well, then, let's begin two years ago. You were very sick then.

Subject H: Yes, I was becoming a danger to others. That's why I left.

Can you describe in detail what problems you were having? I believe you were scheduled to enter a facility for help. Yet you left.

Subject H: I wasn't thinking clearly most of the time. I believed that people-friends even --were plotting against me. I attacked several people, three I think, based on these misguided perceptions. It occurred several times during black outs or when I was asleep. At other times I was aware of my actions, and they seemed to make sense at the time, but afterwards I was shocked at my behavior. I'm glad I left before I killed anyone. I nearly assassinated R.

I have no record of any attack on her, H. Are you certain this actually occurred?

Subject H: I can't say with absolute certainty that it happened or if I only hallucinated it, but it seemed very real at the time. I escaped from the room where I was confined the night before I was to be committed, broke into R's bedroom and nearly stabbed her with a knife.

Where did you get the knife?

Subject H: I don't know.

What stopped you from going through with it?

Subject H: I've been thinking about that. I can't say for certain what stopped me, except that I heard myself saying, "Omae o korosu." That's Japanese for "I will kill you." It's one of the first things I ever said to her.

Why would you say that to her?

Subject H: I met R during my first mission to Earth. My orders were to kill anyone who saw my face and could later identify me. I intended to, but I was unable to follow through with killing her then and on several other occasions.

Why was that?

Subject H: (a significant pause. H clearly wishes to answer the question, but looks increasingly puzzled.) I've asked myself that many times. The second time it occurred D was with us and shot me to prevent me from hurting her. I don't know that I would have stopped myself that time. I'm glad he did. R has since been very kind to me. In fact, Omae o korosu became something of a joke among us. But that night two years ago when I said it in her room, I realized I meant it again. That scared me. It was like I'd forgotten who we all were, as if it was some stranger I was standing over with that weapon. I felt--ashamed.

And you stopped yourself from hurting her.

Subject H: Yes. She didn't even wake up. No one but me knew it had happened until I told you just now.

You have not told your friends?

Subject H: It's not something I'm proud of. And they haven't asked.

I assure you that anything you say to Dr. Santos or myself in this setting is kept confidential.

Subject H: Thank you. They're having enough trouble understanding why I left them. But do you think it would help if I told them about that?

Yes, I think they would understand. I'll leave it to you, unless you wish me to broach the subject for you?

Subject H: No, I'll tell them.

What did you do after you stopped yourself from hurting R?

Subject H: Assassinating her.

Assassinating R. What did you do then?

Subject H: I ran away. I'd already thought about it and had made financial arrangements. When I was thinking clearly I knew it would be best to go into the hospital, as planned, but I wasn't thinking clearly most of the time by then. I recall being so sure it was a trap, that my friends were conspiring against me to lock me up. I had dreams about being in a dangerous, abusive place, unable to get out.

Where did you go when you ran away?

Subject H: To L-1. I thought I might be able to blend into the slums there, but I was recognized. So I went Earth-side and traveled, trying to stay anonymous.

That must have been difficult. You're a very famous person.

Subject H: Yes, it was. But I'm trained for that sort of thing. I was also increasingly unstable. I think maybe when people did see me, they assumed I was some crazy person who looked a bit like the boy on the news.

And where did you travel?

I started in old India, since I hadn't been active there like I had in the States and middle Europe. As I got worse, I found myself not knowing where I was unless I saw a newspaper or vid kiosk. Often weeks would pass and I would not know where I'd been or what I'd done, unless I still had the transport stubs. That worries me a little.

Not knowing what you might have done in fugue state?

Subject H: Fugue? Isn't that a sort of music? I think I heard Quatre and Trowa play a fugue one time.

Yes, but it also refers to a state of mind in which a person wanders without memory for a period of time. That sounds like what you're describing.

Subject H: (nods.) Fugue state. I'll remember that.

Has anything like that happened to you since you came to yourself the other day?

Subject H: Came to myself? I like the way you phrase things, Doctor. It's very descriptive and helpful. No, I don't think so. I'm still tired, and my mind wanders a bit, but it's different. (Pauses, thinks, scowling rather darkly, then shakes his head.) I was confused when I woke up here that first morning, but I was able to recall what had happened when I concentrated. That wouldn't be a real fugue, would it?

No. You've been quite lucid, by all accounts. I'm very impressed with your rate of recovery.

Subject H: Thank you. As I said, I'm feeling much better.

More like yourself?

Subject H: Not entirely. In fact, that's something I'm trying to figure out.

Perhaps I can help. Can you describe how you're feeling?

Subject H: Peaceful. I feel--peaceful. Before, when I was being trained, and even during the war, I felt calm, I guess. I didn't feel fear. I was brave, but mostly because I felt no fear of dying or being hurt. I was hurt very badly on several occasions, and that was bad physically, but mentally I just remember feeling resigned. When I was successful at a mission I felt--good? I was rewarded for success in my training and later was able to feel positively about myself when I accomplished an objective, without needing any outside praise or reward. When I accidentally killed innocent people I felt very bad in a lot of ways.

Can you name those emotions?

Subject H: Failure, and guilt. Sorrow? I killed some important Colonial diplomats by accident early in the war. It was a mistake. I'd been misinformed. But I accepted misinformation from the enemy and allowed myself to be misled, so the fault was mine. That made me feel very bad. Later I tried to apologize to some of their family members.

Did that make you feel better?

Subject H: No, but it was the right thing to do. Trowa was with me then. He said it was "above and beyond."

Perhaps, but it also showed great character.

Subject H: Thank you for saying that. I worry that I'm not capable of normal feelings. Many people think I don't feel anything. That's not true, but I know I'm not like other people. I wish was. It's important to be able to follow your feelings.

I assure you, H, you have emotions. Your early training and socialization were certainly not normal, but it is clear you feel deeply for those you call friends, and even for strangers. You recognize the difference between right and wrong, and wish to do right.

Subject H: (is very quiet. I realize after some minutes that he is overcome with emotion. He does not weep, but he blinks and goes silent for some time.) I used to feel like a machine. I thought about that yesterday.

A machine?

Subject H: Yes, some machine programmed only for specific functions. I was taught about demolitions, infiltration, electronic spying, how to kill with all sorts of different weapons. No one told me much about how normal people treat each other. And when Dr, J was dead and the war was over, I felt like a machine he'd forgotten to turn off. Does that make sense?

Yes. I hear that from a lot of vets I treat. What about love?

Subject H: No, we never talked about that.

Do you think you know how to love other people?

Subject H: I don't know. I want to, though. I think that's important. But I'm not sure I understand it enough to say whether that's what I feel for anyone or not.

What about the holocard you sent D?

Subject H: A holocard? I don't remember that.

You did. You should ask him about that and we'll discuss it next time. D showed me the email you sent to him the other day from the embassy. In it you mention seeing your friends on the news. Q speculated that you kept track of them that way.

Subject H: Yes. I needed to see them. I needed see how they looked and what they were doing, even though sometimes it wasn't very good behavior. And--I've been thinking about that a lot, too, since I've been here--it didn't always make me feel good, but I still wanted to see them.

How do you mean?

Subject H: Sometimes--not always (strong emphasis again, relatively speaking) but sometimes, when I saw them being happy together, like when they were at clubs together, laughing and enjoying themselves? I-- I felt--badly. I can't explain, really. I never felt that way before.

Can you break the feeling into components for me?

Subject H: I've been trying to do that. It was like a mix of anger and sadness and loneliness and my stomach hurt. But none of that makes any sense. You're laughing. Is that very odd?

Forgive me! No, it's a very normal, common sort of feeling and I enjoyed how well you described it. You were jealous.

Subject H: Oh.

You communicate very well, H.

Subject H: You're the only one except D who seems to think so. Everyone else says I'm too quiet, or too scary.

But not D?

Subject H: No, he always seems to understand whether I say anything or not. And he's never scared of me, even when he should be. That's one of the main reasons I stayed away. I knew he wouldn't believe me if I told him I was dangerous. None of them would, but especially him. He can be very foolhardy at times, and very stubborn.

You wished to protect him? And all your friends.

Subject H: Of course.

Why is that, do you think?

Subject H: I don't understand the question.

Perhaps it is too obvious; they are your friends and therefore you protect them, even if it means causing yourself pain.

Subject H: Yes.

And from what you just told me, it was painful to see them happy together when you were so alone.

Subject H: Sometimes, when I wasn't well. Other times it made me happy to see them like that. But it was the different when they were in trouble. Especially when D was sick. I wanted to help him but I knew that even if I went to him when I was feeling at my best, it wouldn't last. I'd end up hurting him when I got sick or went into another--fugue?

You're a very good friend, H. It's too bad you weren't able to get adequate treatment so that your friends could have helped and supported you. I think they would have, don't you?

Subject H: Yes. They think I made a mistake in how I handled things, but I still think they're wrong.

So what changed?

Subject H: Why did I finally contact D, you mean?

Yes. What changed your mind?

Subject H: I don't know. I'd been really fugued, and then I wasn't. I was still very confused and sick, but I saw his name on this. (Takes a scrap of newspaper from his pocket. It is weathered and water-stained, but he has folded it neatly and handles it with great care as he shows it to Santos and me.) What I could make out from the article said that people thought I was dead, and that he'd gotten very sick at that same time. D has been unstable since the war, and I was afraid that news of my death might have caused him to hurt himself again. That's what the paper made it sound like. Seeing that, I suddenly felt like I had a mission. I had to find out if that was true, and to let him know that I wasn't dead.

So keeping your distance had become counterproductive?

Subject H: Yes, but I can't claim to have thought in such rationale terms at the time. I panicked. I just wanted to know if he was all right.

Do you think you would have had the same reaction if the name in the headline had been T's, or one of the others?

Subject H: I--I guess so. They are all my friends. Why wouldn't I?

I was told some of the details of your reemergence, shall we call it? I've done some checking with various news archives. All of your other friends were in the headlines at one time or another since your suicide attempt. Even living on the streets, you might have seen mention of them on a kiosk or newsstand. In fact, it would be difficult not to have seen something, especially if you were on Earth all that time. Why do you think this particular headline caused such a strong reaction?

Subject H: I don't know. I was sort of hoping you could tell me.

I'll give it some thought. Do you mind if we talk about your suicide attempt now?

Subject H: No, I don't mind. I don't remember very much about it, though.

Tell me what you do remember.

Subject H: It's all--in pieces? I think I remember being very sad, but I might simply be inferring that from the evidence. I have these scars (notes slashes on wrists) and I remember sitting in a temple in Kyoto with a knife and some pills. I didn't have the scars before then, so I must have tried to kill myself. Clearly I failed.

It's hard to imagine from those scars how you survived.

Subject H: Haven't they told you about me?

Told me what?

Subject H: That I may be the product of bioengineering. I've survived physical damage that should have killed me lots of times, and healed in ways that aren't-normal? It should be in my service records.

Yes. (This had in fact come up with D, and has been verified) I've also looked at your treatment records. This has caused problems with medication. Very high doses of drugs like sleep aides and anti-psychotics. Doses that would have killed most people, but had little effect on you. You have an unusual metabolism.

Subject H: Yes. Unusual.

And luckily so. Would you agree with that sentiment, H?

Subject H: Sitting here now, yes. But before? No.

I'm glad to hear you say that. You're in much better spirits than I'd expected. But returning a moment to the suicide attempt, you recall having pills of some sort. Do you know what they were?

Subject H: No, but it's likely that they were Unadol. I'd been taking that and it helped more than any of the others. When I ran away, I kept myself supplied.

Did you steal them, H?

Subject H: (no reply. Face quite expressionless.)

Very well. You might have had a supply of the prescription anti-psychotic Unadol. Any idea how much you might have taken?

Subject H: No, but I suspect that I'd have calculated what I thought would be a lethal dose. I'd do that sort of thing for any mission: plan and calculate. I was taking 2500 milligrams as a therapeutic dosage, and probably did some research into the relations between dosage, body mass-that sort of thing. I'm sure I took a lot to insure the result I was after. But obviously I miscalculated.

But there is a good chance that you did take it?

Subject H: Like I said, I remember having some sort of prescription pills with me, along with the knife. I don't remember using either, but I probably wouldn't have had them if I didn't plan to use them.

Are you a Buddhist, H?

Subject H: No. Why?

You said you remember sitting in a Buddhist temple. I wondered if you'd gone there to pray, make peace, or something of that nature.

Subject H: Ah. No, I doubt that. It was winter and I was homeless. I was probably just in there for shelter.

Perhaps. Did you feel peaceful there?

Subject H: In the temple? I don't remember. I doubt it. If I'd felt better I wouldn't have tried to kill myself.

Is it wrong to kill yourself?

Subject H: It's wasteful to throw your life away without accomplishing some goal in the process.

That's your training talking?

Subject H: That's common sense, Doctor. I don't hold life to be worthless. I think it's better to go on living as long as you can be useful. A sacrifice should accomplish something.

Good. My impression is that you are no longer suicidal, although we will be keeping you under observation a little longer, just to be safe.

Subject H: I'm certain I'm not, but thank you.

I'd like to touch on something you said at the beginning of the session. You mentioned feeling "peaceful" and that that was a new experience for you. Can you elaborate?

Subject H: (he smiles slightly, more with his eyes than his mouth. His eyes are a striking dark blue and very expressive.) I have no stated mission. I have no job, no home, and no clear purpose. Yet that does not make me feel uncomfortable in any way. I don't feel paranoid or sad. My friends are here; they seem well and are happy to be with me. Physically, I have no reason to believe that I will not recover fully and be strong and useful at something. I'm reasonably intelligent, assuming I've suffered no permanent damage. I can be trained for something. Yes, that makes me feel peaceful. Perhaps hopeful as well.

You sound like a young man with his whole life ahead of him.

Subject H: I am. (Clearly taking my comment quite literally.)

What do you think you'd like to do with your life, H? Any ideas?

Subject H: I think I should wait until I find out more about my prognosis before I make any plans.

Yes, but hypothetically, what would you like to do? Anything at all. It doesn't have to be job related, just something you can imagine yourself doing.

Subject H: (thinks for some time about this. Finally smiles and shrugs.) I want to be with my friends. Duo says they're trying to learn what normal is. I'm not so sure what they've tried so far is normal, but I'd like to do things with them. I don't want to be alone anymore.

I think that's a fine plan. And I think D will be very glad to hear it. You're very important to him, you know.

Subject H: (blushes noticeably.)

On that note, H, there is something I've been curious about. Technically, I'm supposed to keep treatment of different patients separate, but you and D are so intertwined in extraordinarily unique experiences. I'm considering joint sessions with the two of you. Would you be willing to try that?

Subject H: If it would help him, sure.

There is one incident in particular that I've had difficulty approaching with him. Since it involved you as well, I'd appreciate your perspective.

Subject H: What is it?

D has alluded several times to a night during the war when he was wounded and you were the only one there to care for him. He doesn't talk about it in any detail, avoids it, in fact, when I try to press him, yet it's clearly something very important to him. What occurred between-- H? Are you unwell? Dr. Santos, call for a nurse!

(Subject H stood and attempted to leave room, then fainted. The expression on his face just before was most unsettling. In truth, it was frightening.)

Addendum: H carried back to room, still unconscious. May be nothing more than a stress reaction, considering his physical state, but it seems increasingly likely that they shared some traumatic event. D was waiting for H and extremely angry when he learned what had upset H. I have been informed, via Q that D does not wish to speak with me for unspecified time. Under normal circumstances, I would remove myself from this case. However, these are anything but normal circumstances. Will await further communication with both subjects before I make any decisions.

Re Medications: Both Dr. Santos and I remain uncertain how to best proceed. H remains on antibiotics and analgesics. Not psychotropic drugs strongly indicated as yet.

MRI, CT, and spinal fluid eval. all return negative. Comparison to earlier records, pre-overdose, indicates that for reasons as yet unverified, certain earlier noted anomalies have regenerated to near normal levels. Dr. Santos and I both speculate that given HY's abnormal physiology, an otherwise lethal dose of Unadol (Speculation. See above interview) may actually have effected a cure of some degree. For whatever reason, his serotonin uptake is functioning at a comparatively normal level at this time. This should not be possible, but then, neither should many other documented physical events surrounding this patient.

Second Addendum: Several hours have passed. H recovered quickly, with some embarrassment, but will not talk to me. All five "Gundam Boys" have gone quite cool toward me and closed ranks, as it were. Sadly, H also seems to be distancing himself from the others for now and is currently alone in his room. A serious misstep on my part, I fear, but not disastrous.
I have worked with members of many elite fighting units during and since the war, but they are all quite unique. I remind myself that, military records aside, training aside, these are still, in the final analysis, teenage boys I am dealing with, not grown men.

[chap. 9] [chap. 11] [back to pyrzm's fic]