There's a reason I keep the lights out when I work. For all the world's infinite variety, I get stuck with the very worst of what it has to offer. The light can only bring knowledge and pain.
So even though staying in the dark exposes me to the monsters, though it means they can snap my neck, crunch my bones, cut my flesh, stalk behind my back and devour my soul, I work in the dark.
It doesn't cut out the screams or dull the touch, or negate the reality that I'm filling them with needles and serums.
But it keeps me from seeing that I'm one of them.
"Researcher Harrison, this is the sorriest excuse for a suicide note I've ever seen!"
David Harrison, recently rescued from an attempt to hang himself in his own quarters, looked up from his feet. He coughed a little, and asked, "Sir?"
"I mean, really! Four paragraphs, three of them only one sentence? I know you were in a rush, but good God, man! Were you even thinking when you wrote this?"
"Um, sir…" Harrison said, looking around nervously, "don't I get counseling for this? Psychiatric help? I've gone over this in my head, and I really don't want to…"
"And your ideas!" exclaimed the Head of Psychiatric Affairs. "'It keeps me from seeing I'm one of them'? Do you have any idea how many times we've seen that before? Would it kill you to throw a little originality into it?"
Researcher Harrison flinched. "Sir, I don't think it's wise for you to use such terms around me at this point in time…"
The man before him slammed his fist onto the desk. "Harrison!" he boomed. "Can't you see what the real problem here is?"
Harrison slammed both palms face down on the desk and stood up rapidly. "Are you going to help me or not?" he cried hysterically. A look of understanding passed over the other man's face.
"You really don't know, do you, Harrison?" he asked slowly, arching an eyebrow.
"No, no I don't." With that, David Harrison broke down in tears, dropped to his knees, and sobbed. The Head of Psychiatric Affairs got out of his desk and helped Harrison to his feet.
"There, there," he cooed, aiding the Researcher in getting out the door. "I'm sorry. It's just… look, having a two-pronged job isn't easy, you know? I've got to make sure you lot are all mentally healthy, which isn't an easy job with Glass running around compounding your problems, but I've also got to make sure your writing is up to par with everything else we put out there."
Harrison gave him a confused look. "Allow me to explain. For reasons I don't quite understand, we have to at least try to publish every little thing our researchers write. Most of the stuff doesn't make it through the editing process, being too bland for our tastes. Suicide notes, however, those almost always make it through. They provide a juicy insight into what you're all actually thinking, and help maintain a good image for the Foundation. So, naturally, when I see fifteen ones almost exactly like yours, I'm bound to get a touch angry. You understand, right?"
Harrison's emotions had rapidly changed from despair to anger. "So our pain and suffering is being objectified just so the Foundation can look good?" he snapped.
"Well, not exactly. We try to treat you with the utmost respect, but things don't always work out. Like I said, I don't know why we need to publish everything you write, but I'm sure there's a good cause for it. If it were something like, say, the entertainment of a mass audience who have no affiliations with us, that would be cause for all-out revolt against O-5 command. But I'm pretty sure it's so that we can better understand what those with lower-ranking positions think and feel. It keeps us from being too far seperated, and also makes for a good tool for studying how to solve these problems."
The pair had reached the main counceling area. "Come on, now," the man grunted to Harrison. "Let's get you back on track. Three weeks' therapy and you'll be right as rain again." David Harrison smiled, confident that his leaders cared about him, ready to set out on the path to recovery.