"Good morning, Herr Major," Zorin said without looking up from her paperwork as he entered her office.
"Good morning, Zorin," he replied.
"Have a seat," Zorin pointed to the sofa, "I don't think you can lay down with that thing on your head, can you?"
"Oh, the halo?" The Major questioned, sitting and motioning to the framework of steel bars that encompassed his head and shoulders, "Dok says my fractured skull isn't too serious, and it should come off in a few days. But needless to say, I can't do much."
Zorin nodded, "That's good to hear. How are you sleeping?"
"The morphine is nice, when I mix it with Nyquil and Vodka," The Major offered.
Zorin continued, unheeding of his comment, "So no dreams. This is progress. But we must do some further delving into your emotions to confront the source of your episodes, I'm afraid. Sadness, as you have demonstrated, seems to be both pathetic and pointless to our inspection. So, we move now to anger." she looked up at the Major, folding her hands behind her head and leaning back in her chair, "Do you feel angry today, Herr Major?"
"Not really," The Major admitted, "I mean, normally, I'm pissed off at something or other -usually the world- but today…I think I'm still under the influence of my sleepy cocktail." he smiled softly.
"Wrong answer," Zorin said, sitting up an tilting her head to crack her neck, "We need to get you angry."
The Major shrugged as best he could, "I'm sorry, I'm just not feeling it. I got a good nights' sleep; Hans made me a Luftwaffle sundae and Panzercakes for breakfast; Rip smiled at me; people are dying in the middle east… I'm just having a really good day."
"Does this happen often?" Zorin asked.
"No. Most days are crappy and boring."
Zorin laughed in triumph, "Excellent! Your daily grind of mind-numbing, melancholy routine could very well be resulting in your lapses! Just what makes you angry, Herr Major?"
"Well… really everything in general," he considered, "Um… perhaps we can continue this session tomorrow, when I feel less inclined to float away on a chemically induced high?"
Zorin shook her head, "Forcing you to anger now would increase the factors of your instability, thus making you more susceptible to a relapse." She clicked her pen, beginning to write on her pad, "Now, tell me, specifically, what kinds of things make you angry."
"Well… snoring people," he answered, "they're really quite annoying. And noisy eaters. The kind that chew with their mouth open." he shuttered, and Zorin laughed.
"The color orange. I don't know why, I think it's hard on the eyes. Pop culture- I've never been one for the crowd. Warm beer, open doors, chickens…"
Zorin stopped him, "I don't want your annoyances, Herr Major. I want something that really pisses you off, and why."
He tried again, saying with an effort, "An un-tuned violin."
Zorin paused. "What? Why?"
The Major looked slightly embarrassed, "When I lived in a boarding school in Berlin, as a child, there was this blind man, and he played the violin for coins. The problem is that he never tuned the damn thing, and it always sounded awful."
"Why does that make you angry?" Zorin said, setting down her writing and watching him intently.
The Major was silent for a few moments, watching his own hands in his lap, before saying, "He was just this blind old fuck, you know… a few of the other boys got together and ran him off, and I never saw him again."
"Did you ever tell him that you were angry at him?"
"He was blind, for Christ's sake. I might now, but could never bring myself to do that, when I was only a boy. It just pissed me off, because I could never…do anything for him, besides give him my pocket change. And money wouldn't change anything, he'd still be blind." the Major shifted uncomfortably.
"So, you didn't like the old man, because you couldn't help him?" Zorin leaned forward, speaking very softly, "Herr Major, do you get angry at everything because you believe you can't change anything?"
The Major watched her for a few moments, expressionless, "STOP TALKING!" he yelled suddenly, making her jump with alarm. He laughed as she glared, and he chuckled, "Boy, I really baited you into that one!"
"Alright, Herr Major," she said stiffly, rising, "If you insist on being difficult, I'm going to bump up your regiment. Just to piss you off, I'm going to assign you the most annoying shadow you've ever had-" she tilted her head back, calling, "SCHRODINGER!"
The Major jumped with surprise as the werewolf popped thru the floor, standing before the large woman, "Hello, Zorin!" He said cheerfully, saluting, "You called?"
She smiled darkly at the Major, "Yes, Schro… I'd like you to take Herr Major on a walk, if you would."
"Herr Major, have you ever thought of changing your name?"
"No, I don't believe I have. 'Max' works too well."
"Well, I have. Wouldn't it be neat to have a really cool name, like a wrestler?" Schrodinger stood beside the Major as they gazed out at the ocean, their bare feet buried it the hot sand. He cast a stone into the rising and falling waves, "Something like 'Blade', or 'Viper' or something. I was thinking 'Spike'- do you like the name Spike?"
The Major shaded his eyes, squinting out at the distant horizon, "Not particularly," he replied, "A name is a name, regardless."
"Yes, but 'Captain Spike' has a ring to it, don't you think?" Schrodinger said hopefully.
"I suppose." The Major rubbed the sore spots on his newly healed forehead, where Dok has removed the Halo and wrapped his forehead with soft gauze, to protect it from the sun. his right shoulder felt sore, and he lifted his right arm to set it back into his sling; despite a higher rate of recovery for his mechanical parts, he still felt the wear and tear on his human ones.
"Herr Major, why are you fat?" Schrodinger asked, switching from one subject to an entirely different one, which he was prone to do, and had been doing for the last six hours.
"I like to eat," the Major admitted, "Come on. Let's go build a sandcastle in the shade- all this water makes me nervous." and he trudged back up the beach, Schrodinger tagging along at his heels.
"Why don't we all speak German on base, Herr Major?"
"To benefit the reader. Sometimes we speak Japanese."
"Ooh. Are you Japanese?"
"Not in the least."
"Are any of us Japanese?"
"I don't think so. Perhaps Rip Van, if you squint." They reached the solace of the shade of the overhanging palm trees, and sat in the sand.
"Do you like singing, Herr Major?" Schrodinger chirped, beginning to crush the damp sand in his hands.
"Take your gloves off, they'll get dirty. I prefer to listen to singing, rather than attempt it myself." the Major pulled off his jacket, doffing it onto the undergrowth nearby.
"Do you want me to sing?" Schrodinger pulled off his gloves, scooping sand in his palms.
"What do you want me to sing? I can sing anything. Well, everything except instrumental, but I can hum that, if you want."
"Whatever you want, Herr Schrodinger- Spike, whatever."
"How is he even doing this?!" Zorin hissed to Dok in disbelief. The doctor only shook his head.
"Herr Major has always been an exceedingly patient man, even if it seems strange, from looking at him," Dok answered, and Zorin glared, "I fear the drugs may only be aiding him in his acceptance of Schrodinger's annoying drabble. I doubt you will be getting any results from this attempt."
"Don't condescend to me, I will break you," Zorin growled, resting her chin in her hand as she watched Schrodinger stick a starfish to the Majors' forehead. The pair laughed distantly, "It just means more drastic measures are required. Observe." And she tramped off down the beach.
Dok watched, wishing distantly he could touch the sunlight.
A shrill wail of despair raised the hair on the back of his neck, and he blinked, watching Zorin stomp the sandcastle flat, driving Schrodinger to tears.
"It's alright, Schrodinger," the Major comforted reasonably, "We'll just build another, don't worry." he fluffed the werewolf's hair.
"Un-freaking-believable!" Zorin howled.