A Psychologist In The Foundation
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Simon Glass was sitting in his assessment room.

The curtains were drawn and there was only a small amount of light rolling through the room, making everything seem dim and soft. He didn't want to turn on the lights, even though it was working hours.

The chief psychologist was unconsciously wondering whether this room was the last place one might want to get close to in site-17.

Probably not. His brain answered for itself.

The monthly psychological evaluations can frustrate a few people — most, perhaps. And after every accident, the compulsory psychological intervention and subsequent memory elimination will also lead to instinctive resistance, not to mention some stubborn guys who refuse to forget anything: emotionally, Glass does understand them, but as their temporary psychiatrist he only feels headache — to hatefully take "the worst memory of life" to heart is simply not a good way to keep normal.

But this doesn't mean that his existence is a mistake.

The proof is there's always someone, either explicitly or implicitly, asking for help. Most of the foundation staff are strong and reserved enough to send only a brief email politely inquiring about the schedule of his assessment room. Occasionally there might be someone who bursts open his door, huddles silently on the sofa or clutches the hem of his lab coat, weeping from sobs to tears.

The latter kind is rarer. After all, when it comes to "saving the world", personal trauma is far from high on the list of priorities: people seem to take the act of pretending to be normal for granted. Showing few signs of vulnerability, they stride on high-caffeine drinks and memory-erasing pills until Glass has to step in — sometimes he feels like the Foundation version of a priest to whom these weary souls confess.

Yet this is not the worst.

Asking a psychologist for intervention is actually a reflection of the desire to survive. The worst ones are some bastards who don't want him to get involved and insist that they're not sick, when whose states are usually a Mariana Trench away from the word "normal".

And they all know about this.

Glass, back from his trance for a moment, subconsciously reached for his glass. Holding it up to his lips, he realized that it was empty, leaving only a layer of tangy brown powder on its side. This brought him a little sense of frustration, which was then somehow magnified and echoed so much that he dropped the idea of getting up and making another cup of coffee and, in slight desperation, reached the bottom of his drawer for a can of beer.

Yes, Dr. Glass, one of the foundation's top employees, also hides some alcoholic beverages in his office. Typically, Glass only consumes a lot of caffeine at work, as he doesn't have a particular fondness for alcohol — they are for his friends.

Although he was not sure if he could call them "friends" — perhaps "colleagues" was a better word, given that one of them could smile friendly and announce in brilliantly organized language that he was to murder everyone including Glass, and the other might begin killing in the breakroom for minor things like changing the filter. By contrast, some Personnel Director running to his assessment room at a much higher rate than required was quite a relief. If only he had stopped harassing him during the evaluations.

The psychologist then started to wonder why he hadn't died of exhaustion/containment breaches/mad colleagues/whatever. After all, he did have survived in such a work condition for so many years that he got quite familiar with all those psychos and who would eventually become psychos. Maybe the familiarity was not enough to allow him to consider everyone as a "friend", but preparing some alcohol for their occasional visits was totally acceptable.

The pull ring made a snap when the can was opened.

Usually, Simon Glass's job at the Foundation was like this: getting bogged down in paperwork, searching for significance in stacks of reports; giving some plausible scales, collecting a long list of cooperative or uncooperative responses, and stamping for qualification on the regular assessment forms afterwards. He left only this part of himself in the room doing those cold, mechanical readings, while the rest rose from his body and hung over his head.

What's the use of all this? The outer part of him quipped. You've never been trained for that. Did you expect to be responsible for a bunch of freaks who deal with anomalies all day long, when you got your PhD?

How can you — how should you help others when yourself is already broken?

Psychologists are anchors, yet when the storm sweeps across the sea, no ship survives.

He hated his inopportune "softness" written in his profiles, which had tore him apart by forcing him into all this onlooking, and finally left him alone in the unescapable abyss.

He just couldn't sit by.

"You're not on the Ethics Committee, Glassy, but you're always arrogating their work." Bright once said to him.

The famously disingenuous doctor was sitting on the desk in the assessment room, legs crossed, swinging leisurely. This guy had just found a host with green irises, thus vauntingly came here to make some sarcastic comments; with those emerald eyes filled with complacency, he completely ignored the thick pile of unfinished reports on the room owner's desk.

Glass gave out a slight sigh. As his consultant, whether or not 963 was there, he could always recognize a Bright easily: despite his changing face, the grumpy, lonely soul behind his eyes remained the same. Sometimes it was really hard to persuade himself into writing a "passed" on Bright's psychological evaluation report, but considering the particular circumstances, it was far from easy for him to be sane either.

Well, so what?

Simon Glass, he said to himself, You've tried, but you're not the God, you cannot save everyone -

You cannot save anyone.

A man must be saved by himself.

And the chief psychologist is no exception.

He savored the slight tingling of the pungent liquid as it slid down his throat and felt a transient peace.

Before the eventual day comes, he may have to endure another long, long period of self-torture, self-doubt and powerlessness.

But before that, there's still much more to do.

For example, writing a long report for his colleagues after they save the world once again, or stealing a can of beer during work time.

With this kind of thinking, it seems that days can always go on.

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