Oliris 2018

By: S Neff

Prologue–Sentence

(Sena)





Dr. Beal sat in his plush wingback chair and fussed with his com screen, his small frame swallowed by the massive piece of furniture. It was the kind of chair any stereotypical psychologist would drool over, its lush brown leather whispering of success and money earned. In reality, that piece of furniture only meant that one man’s ego was much bigger than the small body he inhabited.

Everything about the man in front of me was a cliché, down to his collared shirt, tweed sweater vest worn on top, and scrunched, constipated features. He was middle-aged with deep furrow lines on his forehead and purple-tinted skin that hinted at otherworldly descent. His skin tone was the only thing that set him apart from the ideal prudish human male. I hated him, more than should’ve been possible—since it was only my second visit with the psychiatrist. Other than these sessions, I’d enjoyed a cell since my arrest by New City Police two weeks previously.

“Senana…” Dr. Beal said with his clipped tone that grated on my nerves. It also didn’t help that I hate my full name—which Dr. Beal knew from our first session—and each time he addressed me, he kept using it. It wasn’t a common name for a male human, but my mother was from Oltrian, a planet with humanoid beings in the next galaxy over, and my father was from Earth. They’d met when she’d visited Earth on a cultural experience and fallen in love. Two years later, they made me and given me a name that was common on her planet. That’s where I got my name, Senana Sa’z Rays. Sena, to those I was close to.

Taking a deep breath, I managed to ignore his passive aggressiveness. “I’ve told you to stop fucking calling me that,” I said irritably. Beal didn’t look perturbed by my irritation. Instead, he peered calmly back at me, while slightly adjusting his glasses on his bulbous nose.

“Senana, may I remind you that you are here for a physiological evaluation? You are here to establish whether you are a threat to others, especially in the situations that you find unsavory. This will be your second known offense: publicly brutalizing another citizen. It’s within your best interest to cooperate with me. Calling you by your first name is a common practice on Earth, and should not cause such an extreme reaction.” His lips curled up in a derogatory smile and he looked down at his com pad, writing something down with a few annoying taps of his stylus. “As you very well know.”

A silent boil began in my gut. Beal ignored my silent brooding and proceeded. “Senana, you were put into this situation after you attacked another citizen, as you also know.” He paused, looking down his narrow nose with violet eyes. “Can you tell me the reason for your attacking him?”

I ground my teeth and clenched my fists until my knuckles cracked painfully. The slight chair I sat in groaned under my weight as I shifted in agitation. There was no fucking way I would tell anyone why I had really beaten Sean Payne almost to death. If I hadn’t let my emotions run wild, I would have gotten my revenge and killed the bastard, but when I’d caught sight of him walking down 5th Street in New City, I couldn’t hold back the rage that had blinded me. At least I’d know he’d never get the chance to hurt Rhy again, not after what I did to him.

A feral grin spread across my face as I replayed each moment Payne screamed, begging me to leave him intact. The memory cooled my anger, letting me settle my large frame into the chair and release a little of the tension from my body. “Guess he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“That being so, Senana, do you really believe that the citizen deserved the…excessive force you used?” Beal asked mildly, marking something down on his com screen again, before looking back up at me.

“I guess that’s between me and Payne, isn’t it?” I narrowed my eyes. “I have no intention of talking to you about any of this. You might as well write whatever bullshit you’re going to write and let me leave.” I stood up, ready to alert the guards to return me to my cell.

“If I may ask? Your anger against Mr. Payne didn’t have anything to do with his violent attack against Mr. Sekik, did it?” Beal’s violet eyes stared at me, a red flush to his face.