Jeremy lay back in the ambassador's bowl shaped bed, Querik knelt at his head.
"Close your eyes, and focus on one of the drawings, your mother, or maybe your siblings. Try to recall yourself drawing it." He touched Jeremy's mind, and watched the almost imperceivable image of a hand, holding a charcoal pencil, and tracing on paper. The memory as trying to form, but something was holding it back.
Querik traced it back to a part of Jeremy's mind that was harder, crystalline. The wisps of the memory were coming though a tiny crack in what Querik perceived as a wall. He pushed at the crack and, with effort, made it larger. More wisps escaped and the image became solid. With it more images appeared at the periphery of Jeremy's consciousness.
"Oh wow, I remember drawing this. I was practicing for a portrait of my sister, I was going to draw her for her birthday."
"Good. Now let your mind wander. Let it connect to other memories that are linked to this one. Don't try to force it, let your subconscious do the work."
A memory of Jeremy drawing a kelsirian moved to the center. And the crack started shrinking. Querik had to work at keeping that from happening. Something behind the wall didn't want Jeremy to remember this. There was a quick flash of a memory of him drawing himself having sex with a kelsirian, and then he was drawing his brother.
Sound came with this one, faint, in the distance. No, Querik realized, not in the distance, blocked. He forced the crack wider and the voices became clear.
"Did you see that?" Jeremy's father said. He wasn't visible, and while Jeremy was hearing it, he had been concentrating on the drawing.
"It's just a drawing. It doesn't mean anything." His mother replied.
"How can you say that. What he's drawing isn't normal."
"It's just a drawing. He's young, he's just seeing what he's capable of doing."
"It isn't just one. There's at least half a dozen like that in his book. I'm telling you, there's something wrong with that boy of yours. We have to take him to a specialist."
The memory shifted, Jeremy was now seated on a comfortable chair, in a plain doctor's office. It wasn't his usual doctor. The doctor put things on his head, and asked him questions. He also had him watch images on a screen. When that was done he went to another room to talk with his parents.
Fabricated fear assailed Jeremy then. Something was telling him he didn't want to know what they were talking about. Querik opened his month to say something, but the box appeared in Jeremy's mind, and he pushed the fear in it.
"I'm afraid you were right," the doctor said, "he does have the condition."
There was a gasp from his mother.
"I knew it," his father said.
"We have to treat him," the doctor said.
"Do you?" his mother asked. "What if we make sure he isn't exposed to those things again. Surely that would be enough."
The thing behind the wall fought against Jeremy remembering, but Querik didn't have to fight back. Jeremy was forcing the crack wider by himself. He wanted to know what was hidden behind the wall. Now that he had seen hints, he needed to know what was behind the wall.
"I'm afraid it isn't that simple. If it isn't treated, he will deteriorate quickly. It isn't just a case of of making sure he avoids exposure, the sickness is in his mind, and if we don't do something, it will eat at him. In a few year he'll be so bad that . . . Trust me, you don't want to see what happens to them if untreated."
"How successful is the treatment?" his father asked
"With regular supervision, he will be completely cured."
"Supervision?" his mother asked.
"Yes. The treatment he will undergo here will repair the damage that's been done to this point, but this sickness has been in him for a long time, you just hadn't realized it. So there is always a chance it could reestablish itself. We'll assign him a specialist that will be able to see the signs and provide treatment if needed."
"I see." His mother's voice was weak.
"Do it." His father said.
"Something else you need to remember. Your son's current personality has been formed around the sickness, and shaped by it. Once we've repaired the damage, his personality will change slightly."
"How much?" his father asked.
"There's no way to know. He's still young, so it probably won't be a major change, but you shouldn't be surprise if his likes and dislikes aren't the same."
"Okay." His father again.
"Good. Then leave him with us. I promise that once we are done you son will be as good as new."
Stop! The thing behind the wall said. There's only pain. Nothing good will come of remembering.
Enough! Jeremy's voice boomed inside his own head, loud enough that Querik's ears rang. No more secret, no more hidden. NO MORE! The wall was filled with a spider web of cracks, and then it shattered, letting the memories pour in.
Jeremy fought to get out of the bed, and then ran for the bathroom. He didn't make it. He fell to his knees and threw up in the doorway. He struggled to get up and went to the sink to wash his mouth. He rested against the sink for a moment, before grabbing a towel and cleaning up his mess. Once done he threw it as hard as he could in the sink
"How could they do that to me? I was fourteen years old. I was just a kid and they tortured me for weeks. Why? Jut because I drew myself having sex with another guy? What the fuck is wrong with them?"
Querik remained silent for a moment. "Your parents couldn't know what they would do to you."
"I know."His voice was hollow. "it's not them I'm pissed at. I . . . I don't know what I feel about them right now. But those so called doctors? What right did they have to do that to me? And how about here? My stomach pain, my anxiety. That was all a response to the programing they tortured into me. Each time my subconscious thought about men, not me, my subconscious, the pain would come. Fuck! I should go and tell them what I think of them, right now!"
"You can't." Querik said calmly. "Obviously, they have the approval of your government. The reinforcement system is too wide spread to be the work of a few maverick doctors."
"So what? I'm just suppose to ignore what they did to me?"
"No, but now you can make a decision free of their influence. I recommend that you wait until you are calmer, before you make a decision. If you decide to fight your government, know that I will help you in any way I can."
"Thanks," Jeremy's anger subsided. "This is going to sound weird, but do you mind if I sleep here tonight? I really don't feel comfortable going back to my quarters."
"Not at all. You are welcome here when ever you feel the need."