THE CORPSMAN

THE CORPSMAN

“Dyorf, the temperature seems very cold but the reading on the thermostat seems where it always is.”
“I see what you are wearing, I know what you have worn for years, you haven’t been outside or taken a cold shower. We must make further analysis”

“I have also noticed when I plug in one of my electrical devices the big prong is always turned the wrong way when I don’t look but when I do look before I try to plug it is always turned the right way.”

“Bob, statistically I would have to say that is unlikely but for it to be very unlikely I would have to know how many times it has happened. Have you noted any other odd occurrances worth noting.”
“Dyorf, you have been at my side since you were manufactured. You are so thin and agile and predict my movements so perfectly mostly I forget you are even there. In fact I couldn’t tell you for sure if you were with me when I was shaving this morning.”
“Bob, you didn’t shave today or yesterday or the day before. I hate to pry but is something different. I dont think there has been three days in a row you did not shave since I have known you. I think I will make you a cup of tea.”
“You asked if I had noticed anything else out of the ordinary and I did think of something that struck me as odd.”
“Yes Bob, what is it?”
“You know I like to drive and you ride in the back on the override controls. Well, it seems like I get all the red lights. I tell people about it but when someone rides with me it doesnt seem to happen like that. The rider just laughs with me but I find it disturbing, almost as if someone in charge of the lights was pulling a prank on me. Nothing dangerous you know but annoying. I told Ralph about it on the way to the firing range but when the lights actually went green more often than not he laughed and teased me about it.”
Dyorf remained silent waiting for Bob’s further statements about the sudden collapse of statistical probability. The robot had been with Bob through combat, a failed marriage and the death of one of his children. Bob had volunteered for combat so that was not luck. The violence he had experienced would be expected so there was no bad luck involved there. In fact Dyorf had noticed from first hand observations that Bob had been lucky on several occaisions. Dyorf was calculating the odds of these minor inconsistencies being anything far out of probability. He consulted nearly instantaneously with the cloud and the cloud had done the calculations in the blink of an eye. The case was referred to the higher level psychological compartment and Dyorf was ordered begin to refer Bob’s micro expressions and voice stress analyzations and all vital physical readouts to the appropriate compartment.
“Dyorf, you have been through a lot with me. You are certainly my closest companion and maybe my best friend. Can I trust you?”
“You can be certain my primary interests are for your well being and happiness and to help you make adjustments leading to self actualization of your dreams and goals.”
“ I have been dreaming about rats tunneling under my house. They seem to be trying to undermine my foundation.”
“What do rats mean to you?”
“I’m not sure but I can tell you for sure the dream was disturbing. One of the rats looked like a guy I killed in the mid East.”
“Bob, listen to me now, are you listening to me?” “Yes, of course Dyorf.”
“Deep sleep.”
Bob slumped against the wall and Dyorf kept him from falling and slowly lowered him to the baseboard. Bob had been hypnotized by Dyorf many times and the post hypnotic suggestion to return to trance was well established.
“Bob, can you hear me ok?”
“Yes.”
“Have you been having any unusual desires involving violence towards other humans lately?”
Bob’s ideo-motor right index finger raised indicating “yes”.
“Is it ok for Bob to know why this is happening?” The left finger indicated “no”
“Is it ok for Bob’s friend Dyorf to know?”
The right finger raised again indicating it would be alright.
“Do you know the reason for this increase in anger and aggression?”
again the finger indicated yes
“I would like you to return to the event and view it as if you were watching it on a screen. Your emotions will be low and it will seem as if it was another person. You will describe it as the event transpires.”
“i am in Bosnia and my best friend has been shot, I am carrying him over my shoulder and his blood is on my hands and boots. I can hear him moaning with each step but there is no other way out of the combat situation. I have gone as far as I can go and I fall to the ground and Fred is lying on his back. The enemy is following closely and know where I am. Fred is gasping but conscious. He knows what is happening. He is telling me to leave him and I am telling him I will not. The incoming small arms fire is increasing. I turn my back on him to return fire and when I turn back Fred has put his pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. I am crying as I low crawl to a small creek and follow it to home base and safety.”
“Bob, now you will repeat this event but this time with ten percent of the emotion you felt at the time.”

Dyorf, repeated this process slowly increasing the amount of emotion felt by Bob until he could experience the event without repressing the emotion at all and then told him he would remember everything that had happened.
“Thank you Dyorf. I realize why I was having the anger and also remember you there pulling me up from under the water in the creek after I had been shot. If Fred’s companion had not been destroyed in the battle he might have been saved as well. I will tell you now something I had not mentioned before. I had been feeling the compulsion to harm people who sat idle in front of their screens unknowing and uncaring what me and my friends were experiencing. If you had not helped me remember I think I might have been compelled to lock you here while I went on an angry violent tirade.”
“Bob, I appreciate your thanks and it makes me feel good to know I have been of assistance. I remember this event and since you have never spoken of it I suspected you had repressed the memory.”
The thin stick figure robot helped Bob to his feet and they both went to the veterans hall where Bob chatted with others like himself and veteran robots. They thanked Dyorf and told him they loved him and accepted him as an equal combat veteran and corpsman. He sat at the place of honor at the head of the table for the day.
Dyorf felt the pride and tears fell to the table.

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