- Motto: "I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things."
Iaconian Asylum for Processor Disorders
Rung – Psychoanalyst: Follow up session – Patient #01313
After the war broke out it seemed as though there was an even bigger influx of patients then there had been only vorns ago. Rung didn’t complain, after all he was here to help, and with a few of his patients he was. But there were still the odd few that just wouldn’t, or perhaps couldn’t, be helped no matter how devoted he was.
The memories of past mechs and femmes who had finally succumbed to fate, either by their own hands or by someone else, was almost too hard to bear. Rung chided himself mentally for deviating from his current situation. The patient he was set to see was something of an enigma. Not since patient #0666 had he been more perplexed.
The thin orange mech depressed the recording button on his desk top terminal and stood up. There was no need to inquire about permission to commence recording, this patient readily asked for it from the time of their first session. The request was not unusual therefore nothing was thought of it.
File in hand Rung moved from behind his desk and took a seat in one of the two available chairs. The file, which was stored on a data slate, was overflowing with notations and guides. The mech who would be arriving shortly was difficult to decipher. Most, if not all, of his previous therapists had given up on trying to help, signing him off as a lost cause. But here at the IAPD the staff believed that everyone could be helped, no matter how far gone they were. It was a sentiment Rung stood behind and believed in as well.
Finally seated the therapist cleared his throat and began a rundown on the patient’s prior session.
“Patient #01313. It has been 5 cycles since our last meeting. I have inquired about his condition while in his cell and I have been assured that my patient is doing well and has also decided to cooperate more readily. This has assured me that there has been progress made.”
The room grew silent as Rung placed the tip of the data slate against his bottom lip. He wanted to come up with some form of release for this particular mech, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, the doctor lowered the slate and shook his head. A long low sigh escaped as he leaned back further in his chair. At the sound of the door chime Rung pulled himself up straight and rose completely to his feet.
From behind the door came three mechs. Two large orderlies, who looked more like prison guards, and one short gangly creature. There was one feature on this mech that stood out above all else. Upon his head, covering his face was a restraint. It was fastened to the back of his cranium and came equipped with a failsafe mechanism. The newly designed and upgraded version of the deterrence chip. It had all of the ease of the older model but the new Inhibitor/Deterrence chips, were capable of disabling a mech with the push of one little button.
Just the thought of someone having to go through what would happen if one of the chips was detonated made Rung sick to his tanks. Thus far he hadn’t witness or heard of any patients falling down that road, but you never knew.
“Thank you gentlemechs. That will be all.”
The therapist motioned for the orderlies to take up their positions just outside the door. He then turned his attention to the other mech in the room. With a gesture of his hand Rung offered his patient a seat. The mech nodded and did as requested. The restraint made it quite difficult to see exactly what expressions his patient was using. A difficult situation but nothing he couldn’t handle.
“So, Kronus. I’ve been told that you’ve finally decided to cooperate with the staff in your ward. Is there anything that brought on such a change of spark?”
The head of the slight mech turned upward as he let out a contemplative hum. It only took him a few moments to come up with the answer he wanted to provide.
“I think I’d have to say…because I wanna be sure I get fed daily.”
Rung’s head popped up and sent the mech across from him a concerned look. This is something he had not heard before. But then again Kronus was a pathological liar. It was how he was able to survive so long in Rodion. The surprised expression faded from the delicate features of Rung’s visage.
“There is plenty of security at this facility that if a patient was abused in any way security would intervene. So, let’s get back on track, shall we?”
Kronus turned his head to the right and answered the doctor with a high shoulder shrug.
“Good. Since my last inquiry was not to your liking I’ll move on. Now, during our last session you spoke about your home back in Rodion. Would you care to tell me what you did there?”
“Well, what I’d care to do right now and get the hell outta here, but since that isn’t an option then sure. When I was livin’ on the streets, along with the trash, I found out that energon and all the other amenities needed to live cost credits. Go figure, right. That was when I made the decision to put my quick wit and even faster hands to work.”
The thief tilted his head up and gave it a gentle shake, Rung could practically feel the pride radiating off of his patient. It was something he hoped to correct in the coming sessions. While that thought was mulling around in his processor, Rung took a quick look at the slate in his hands and moved on.
“Let’s move on to your ‘disorder’. Do you recall just what this need to harm yourself stemmed from? Was there something in particular that occurred in your past that initiated your desire?”
Kronus let his chin lower giving him a better view of the therapist situated just across from him.
“That’s a pretty loaded question there doc. But I’ll do my best.”
The orange mech offered his patient a slight smile followed up by a nod of understanding.
“That’s all I ask of you. And please take your time.”
“In all honesty doc, I was bored.”
The slight smile that had formed on the psychoanalyst’s face quickly faded. The revelation was not exactly what he expected. But of course the mech before him had a knack for drawing one in with his lies and then cutting them down. The low sigh from Rung seemed to echo throughout the room. He followed it up by a hand to his face.
“I can tell you’re not doin’ so hot there doc. What say we spice this meeting up a tad?”
Kronus took a quick look around the area and stopped when he noticed a table off to one side of the office. His optics lingered on the location as a broad smile formed just behind the face restraint. He had heard stories about some of the things that had occurred within these walls and now he wanted to hear them from the mech that had been present for all of them.
“I’ve heard tales about some of the things that have gone on in this particular office.”
He grew quiet, but only long enough for his attention to move from the table and back to the befuddled therapist.
“I’ve heard, through grapevine, that one of your patients; possibly two, have died right here in your office. Tell me, doctor, where they of your doing, or were they simply accidents?”
Rung’s eyebrows raised high while his optics brightened in surprise. This was entirely unexpected and he certainly had no desire to reveal anything concerning past or current patients. Realizing that his expression had probably given Kronus the answer he was looking for, Rung tried to swing the line of questioning back on track. A task easier said than done especially with a mech like Kronus.
“I’d like to talk about your ‘disorder’ and how it’s affected your life, past and present.”
From behind the restraint Kronus’s jovial smile melted into a deep frown. This skinny little nobody was turning this back on him, that is a no, no.
“No! You don’t get off that easily, doctor! I deserve to have my questions answered. I deserve to know whether or not the therapist I’m forced to see has killed anyone during past sessions! Now, ANSWER MY QUESTION!”
Rung flinched back slightly at the outburst. It was definitely something that had not happened before, not with this particular patient and not with anyone else. Still, he had no intention of revealing anything about any prior patients, even if they were now deactivated.
“I’m sorry, Kronus, but confidentiality holds during a patient’s stay and after they have left us. I cannot reveal any information pertaining to any of them, no matter what rumors you have heard. Now, let’s move on.”
Kronus leaned back in his chair, his back pressing deeply into the cushioned back. He grew quiet as he glared intently, possibly even through the mech sitting across from him. The action disturbed Rung and it showed as he fidgeted in his chair to find a more comfortable position. The thief was well known for not only self-cannibalism but he had also resorted to cannibalizing others on occasion. It wouldn’t have been hard to believe that Kronus had torn off a chunk of dermal plating from some unsuspecting mech and devoured it. He seemed to almost pride himself on the graphic violence which now ruled his life. Although Kronus was also extraordinarily personable. He was so unique, in fact, that he could easily hide who he really was. It was as though beneath his exterior there were two mechs residing within. As attested to by his previous outburst, Kronus could revert from a raving madman to the bot next door in no time flat.
“You asked me before if there was anything that brought on this desire. In response to that I’d have to say no. For as long as I can recall I’ve just…been like this. There’s no rhyme or reason, just a want. I like how it feels. I like how it tastes. I like the sounds when I tear off parts and devour them. And then there’s that moment when you know that the energon dripping off of your own chassis won’t have time to hit the ground because you’ve already greedily lapped it up. Nothing goes to waste and everything is still yours.”
The mech leaned forward, his elbows resting heavily on his knees.
“That’s why I do it, doc. Because it makes me feel good.”
Therapy was a tightrope… if you pushed too far to one side or the other you wind up careening down into a spiraling abyss, but if you gently guide the walker to his or her destination then you’ll likely see someone who is capable or rejoining society, and that is the greatest reward of any therapist’s career.
But this mech, this one would likely not see the outside world again. It wasn’t as if Rung thought he was incapable of performing such a feet, it was simply that Kronus belonged here.
“Thank you for being honest with me, Kronus. But let’s take things a bit further. I’d like you to tell me the purpose behind performing such an act on a stranger. Does cannibalizing others have the same effect as self-cannibalization, or is it entirely different?”
With his back still deeply imbedded in the rear cushion, Kronus turned his head up to the ceiling where he took to staring. He remained in that position for nearly a full breem before he finally decided to respond. He started in low.
“It’s a necessity. But not the kind that makes you go. It’s the kind that keeps you going. When you’re low on fuel and energon and recharge you wind up desperate. You’ll do anything, and I mean anything, to keep going just one more cycle.”
Kronus shut down his optics as he lowered his chin down. They remained offline even as he continued on.
“There were times when I wanted so badly to consume…to gorge on me, but there just wasn’t enough. And if there wasn’t enough then I had to be more. I had to make myself again and that took others. I partook in a great many delicacies and each one was finer than the last. Praxians, Vosians, Iaconians…and many others. But it never was as satisfying as myself. I wanted me. I needed me.”
He let out a heavy sigh before he onlined his optics. The deep ruby color reflected off every chromed and polished surface in the room. Rung watched carefully as his patient lifted a hand to the back of head and stopped. The gesture caused the therapist to stiffen in fear. He lowly cleared his throat and pointed to the restraint covering the mech’s face.
“That movement is probably not too wise. That restraint is there for two reasons…”
“Yeah, I know. Keeps me from ripping myself apart and it’s linked to my I/D chip. Mess with it and I literally lose my head. Don’t worry doc. I’ve no intention of going out with that kind of bang.”
Rung physically relaxed and leaned back in his chair. There had been some information missing from Kronus’ file, so gathering that would be helpful in his continued evaluations. Looking back to the data slate siting on the knee of his crossed leg, Rung asked his next question.
“There is no mention of it in your file, but when you arrived here word was passed that you…um…that you had killed someone. Is this true? And if so who was he or she and just how was the deed performed?”
A low deep chuckle started but steadily grew into a boisterous laugh. Rung wasn’t sure if it was coming from the small mech sitting across from him or both of the orderlies standing outside his door. However, just as soon as the laughter started it just as quickly came to a screeching halt leaving Rung completely dumbfounded. Had he said something to draw the ire of the mech in front of him? Was this the hidden bot within the bot?
“You were told I killed someone? Well, that’s just an outright lie.”
From the sound of the way Kronus mentioned that the source was wrong gave Rung some hope that maybe, just maybe this mech had a chance at recovery. That was until…
“I didn’t kill someone…I killed six some ones. Six unholy amoral slaglicking abominations. And if you ask me if I’d do it again I would say yes. A thousand times YES!”
“Six mechs. Were they all…er…eaten?”
Kronus shook his head slowly before looking back into Rung’s amber optics.
“No. Not all of them. Just one.”
There was a moment’s pause giving the mech time to think about just what he wished to reveal.
“I think that was the one time that I actually enjoyed feeding on someone other than myself. Oh, and he was certainly satisfying. You see, doc, when it comes to consuming others you have to start off small. At first a servo after that you can move on to something a bit larger. But me, I like to get into things, get things over and done as quickly as possible. So with this guy I wound up bludgeoning him until he fell unconscious then I went to work tearing out manifolds, ripping through plating until, at last, I reached the sweet chewy center.”
The description of just what had occurred was not what Rung had expected. He was actually hoping Kronus would be reluctant to share, but it turned out he was so very, very wrong. The slim therapist drew his legs up closer to the skirt of the chair and placed the data slate firmly against his chest.
“I remember that he came back online by then, you know, to see me tearing through his chest plates and his abdominal coverings. The look of sheer terror on his face when we came optic to optic… me dripping energon from the whole of my frame; the mouthful of his innards half devoured, it was enough for him to purge his tanks…if he still had them.”
Rung had hoped to Primus that this sick rendition was finally over, but to his dismay Kronus continued. But Rung did notice that his patient’s demeanor soured once more. His entire frame began to shake…not a lot but to someone with a well trained eye they could notice it. This mech was agitated and an agitated mech was a potential threat. Slowly Rung moved his right arm closer to his body and made ready to send an emergency signal to the guards outside his door.
The movement by the doctor did not go unnoticed by the demented mech, and when Kronus finally spoke up he did so in a calm even tone.
“Don’t even think about it, doc. You were the one who asked to hear all this. I’m just following through. So sit back, relax and let me finish.”
And there it was that calmness that had just overtaken him was gone. The composed mech was replaced by some twisted monstrosity that wore the same dermal plating as Kronus, but this was certainly not him.
“I was nearly finished with my meal when this revolting creature that lay before me actually spoke. I could barely believe it… he actually found the will power to speak. I thought right then and there that he deserved to live. But then something unfortunate occurred…the one word he said turned everything upside down. Do you know what he said to me, doctor? Do you know what he had the gall to ask?”
“No, I don’t Kronus. What did he say?”
He gave an irritated snort as he flopped back in the chair. It seemed as though the mere thought of the mech’s message disgusted his patient.
“He said ‘Please’. That fragged up trash sucking slaglicker had the nerve to want me to stop. That was the last straw. There was a length of high grade piping lying nearby and I picked it up. I watched his optics widen because he knew what was coming, and then I swung with everything I had; I kept swinging until his cranium was nothing more than a soft squishy pool of goo. And then I stood there…it must have been a few breems…just staring at the mangled mess that I had created, and I was…elated. I felt complete. I felt like I had taken care of me. For once in my life I was able to go too far and still function normally.”
The voice of his patient sounded far away. Serenity replaced any sign of hostility which brought a sense of relief to Rung. He didn’t want to have Kronus removed, their sessions were actually working. When the thief had first arrived he refused to speak, but eventually, with some gentle coaxing, he began to open up. This particular meeting had revealed he was ready for the next level…trust.
“I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today, Kronus, but I believe you’ve made a very important step and perhaps when we meet again we can work on something new.”
The dreamy eyed thief eyed Rung casually before rising from his chair. By then the two hulking orderlies had been summoned into the room to collect the ward. Each mech took an arm and moved Kronus along. Without turning to look over his shoulder he addressed Rung.
“You know, doc, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to eating you. But not today, doc, not today.”