Before I even entered the room I knew that the man I was to encounter there would be a nullifier. In other words, I knew that he would be a nullifier without even having to see him. I smiled to myself as I made this prediction – it was a kind of a private joke I have going with myself, the point being that wherever I went I was bound to meet nullifiers, since the whole world is full of them. It was like betting on the fact that if you give a penniless street wino a fifty Euro note he will go and spend it on drink. Okay – I am prepared to admit that there are people around who aren’t in this category, but in a situation like this, with me being about to be interviewed by a consultant psychiatrist, what are the chances that he or she won’t turn out to be a nullifier? Or even worse, a nullard and (I don’t even want to begin to go into that possibility).
When I walked into the room and saw him sitting there behind his desk – leafing casually through what was at this stage still a fairly slender file – I had all the confirmation I needed. He had all the tell-tale signs of being a nullifier. Any one of these signs on its own would not necessarily mean that he was a nullard or nullifier of course, but the combination of all of them proves it beyond any doubt. Every time. You’ll just have to take my word for that.
I will list the signs to show you what I am talking about. (I am listing them for you now but obviously I didn’t notice them all until after the interview had got properly underway). He wore a sober suit and a tie. He had black, shiny shoes (which I saw when he got up to shake my hand when he’d finished with me). He was neat and tidy, without a hair out of place. Everything around him was neat and tidy too. He had a serious, heavy-looking face, the bland, smooth face of a man who is used to being listened to without ever having to raise his voice. He broadcast an unmistakeable air of imperturbable authority. He had gravity, although not of a good kind; his voice, when he spoke, had a dry tone to it that constantly verged on sarcasm. He had the ability to completely ignore what I was saying. No matter how many times I tried to say it. Or he might acknowledge what I was trying to say but in a patronizing or dismissive kind of a way. Either way, it was as if I had never actually said anything. His eye contact was almost non-existent – he always tended always to be looking elsewhere.
His body was heavy and he had a very solid build (though there is another common type of nullifier known to me who would characteristically be skinny and gangling with a lean, bony face, thin lips and big knuckles).
There are other types of nullifiers as well, the lesser types. The more insignificant types. Some of them appear – to me at least – to be little more than perambulating suits, empty suits that walk and talk and act like men. For these ones there is only a very minimal pretence at being human. Others types wear uniforms and infiltrate the police or prison services. Or perhaps they choose to become security men or women. Or maybe they are bouncers standing at the door of a club in your local town, giving off bad vibes. Experts in the art of looking like they’d dearly love an excuse to stamp on your neck. Some become teachers or politicians. There are lots and lots of different types. But they’re all the same. They’re all nullifiers. They’re all bad. ‘Bad’ is a wholly inadequate word for what I’m talking about here, but still…
I can’t exactly tell you how I knew beyond any doubt that this guy was one of them. It was as if there was something about him – typical of nullifiers – that wasn’t physical: a psychic impression of someone who was unyielding, solid, dense, inert and immovable. Like a big old rock sitting half buried in a field somewhere. What you could see was massive enough, in some subliminal sort of a way, but you knew at the same time that what you could see was only a small part of the story, that for every inch you saw above ground there was a yard below.
And I haven’t even mentioned yet the worse thing of all about nullifiers – the way in which they slowly but inevitably drain the life out of you.
I hate nullifiers. I loathe and detest everything about them. But more than that, I fear them. I can’t tell you how much I fear them. The main reason I fear them so much is because they have my number – they understand about me and they know exactly what to do in order to drain all the life energy out of me, and they perform this operation with great skill and confidence whenever they get a chance. And they try to make sure that they always do have a chance – they carefully arrange it so that I am always in their power, and can never escape. If only I could escape out of their control I could come back to myself, I could return to myself and regain at least some of my sense of myself. As it is, my ‘sense of myself’ is contaminated with their sense of myself – which is not the same thing at all. Their sense of me negates me as a human being.
In the eyes of a nullifier I am nothing, less than nothing in fact. This particular nullifier – the one I was facing – probably had more regard for the least significant inanimate object in his home than he did for me. Something in the tone of his voice communicated this fact to me in no uncertain manner. Needless to say I couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly it was and I could easily have doubted myself in this. In a clever sort of a way he made no secret of his disdain, his utter disregard for me as an actual person, and yet if I had to confront him about it I would have been helplessly stuck for words, unable to pin him down on it. On the face of things the man was perfectly amiable, but this was part of his cleverness, the cleverness of a nullifier. They are – as far as I know – almost never overt in their actions.
Nullifiers are – it goes without saying – ruthlessly clever and sly. They look stupid, clumsy and clunky in their manner – but the fact that they always look so stupid and clunky is just another proof of how clever they really are. Although – on another level – they really are genuinely obtuse, genuinely dumb, like great big stupid lumps of lard. Nullifiers aren’t playing at being stupid, they actually are. They’re not really human. But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that this makes them weak, that this is their weakness – their total stupidity is their strength, and this strength is crushing. I have made this mistake before, and to my detriment. I have made the mistake of laughing at them, failing to respect their huge inertial strength, their unnatural heaviness, their tremendous invulnerability.
I had once made the mistake of not respecting the innate power of a younger, lesser, flimsier version of the psychiatrist who now faced me across the table. I had taken him for a lightweight because he had been so palpably foolish and gauche. I had felt superior to him because he was so demonstrably idiotic. I had tried to play a game with him but he had beaten me. Easily, effortlessly. Almost without knowing he was doing it, I would say.
He had won the game. He had put me neatly in a box, and had been smiling as he did it. That’s what they always do – they put you in boxes. That’s how they work. And that what this one was at now – he was preparing to put me in a box, and there was no doubt in my mind that he was an expert. An expert in the field. A heavyweight.
I wasn’t going to make that mistake with this one. I knew very what he could do to me and I was supremely wary – I wasn’t going to give him anything at all. I would keep it bland. I would be every bit as bland as he was. I wouldn’t give him a thing.
The game they play is all about asking questions, asking questions, asking questions. Wearing you away, trying to get you to let something slip, trying to get you to give something away. Trying to get it out of you. Trying to get inside your head. It doesn’t matter what they learn about you, it doesn’t matter how trivial or insignificant it might seem – anything you tell them gives them power over you. And then they grow stronger – more substantial, heavier, and therefore more draining – at your expense. Then they write it down in the file. Always the file. With time of course the file gets bigger and bigger, as more and more of you goes into it, until you end up like one of the poor bastards you always see hanging around places like this – people who have come off worse in such clinical encounters so many times that there is nothing left of them. There is nothing left in them apart from what is written down about them in the medical notes (and what you find in there is a shockingly mean and impoverished description of a human being, to put it mildly).
These unfortunate victims (I mean patients) are then only there in shell. They are there only in body. They become mere shuffling bodies – drained husks, shadows of themselves, existing in mute incoherent testimony to the malign and insidious power that has overcome them. No wonder psychiatric patients always complain of being dead tired!
We become helpless at this stage, we become the sad and helpless victims of the nullifier’s terrible power to nullify, to negate, to drain. The medical chart has grown fat, and you have become a shuffling ghost – thin on reality. (Thin on your own reality anyway, and that is the only reality that counts). The file has you in it at this stage and you can’t hope to ever get out of it again. Your ass has been nailed down. Your very soul has been taken from you. You’re in the box and there is no getting out; you’re in the box and there’s no chance of reversing the process. The box has become a deep, deep grave and there is no climbing out of it. That’s the end-stage, the end-game, and I can tell you I wasn’t about to let that happen to me.
The way they work is that they get hold of a little bit of you and then you have to play ball in order to get it back. That’s how they catch you. What choice do you then have? You keep going back and going back, you keep doing everything they say, you keep taking the pills, hoping to get yourself back one day, but they never give it back. Of course they don’t give it back – they wouldn’t have you anymore if they gave you the bit back. The bit they took off you.
But they weren’t getting any of me. Not this time. This time I was ready for them. This time I knew what I was dealing with. I looked carefully across the desk him, “Nullify that, you cocksucker!” I said in my own mind, giving him the finger under the desk, where he couldn’t see it, smiling at him as I did do. And then as soon as I did that I straightaway regretted it because it seemed to me that at this precise moment his face reacted – a mildly quizzical expression passed briefly but unmistakeably over his blandly composed nullifier features. His eyes seemed to focus in on me, for all the world as if he were taking an interest in what I had just said. But I hadn’t said anything – not out loud anyway! I saw then to my horror that his eyes had a dark sparkle in them, a sparkle of incalculable evil, it seemed to me. The sparkle came and went and I felt deadly cold inside. I knew he was playing with me.
The eyes then of course went right back to being the blandly attentive eyes of a normal run-of-the-mill psychiatrist sitting at a desk, but I knew what I had just seen. I knew that I had been granted a sudden glimpse into depths of power and malice far beyond anything I had expected (or could ever have imagined, even in my worst nightmare). I started to panic deep inside, keeping it hidden as best I could. But my brain was racing. Had I miscalculated? Had I been overconfident, even when I had sworn to myself never again to fall into that trap? Had I given too much of myself away already, before we had even started? What was I dealing with here? Could I really hope to survive an encounter with one such as him?
The panic was starting to rise in earnest within me now: this was no ordinary nullifier sitting in front of me. This was no ordinary, run-of-the mill ‘STS type’. That was plain. He had just shown me that. He had put his cards on the table. This thing was a fully-fledged nullard at the very least. Or possibly – and I could hardly bring myself to think this – he was of another order of beings (‘null-beings’, that is) entirely. Maybe he was one of the Legendary Ones. The Ones no one talks about any more. The Ones we only hear of in myths and ancient folk lore. Maybe he was one of the rulers. Maybe he was one of the Old Ones.
Maybe he was an Archon.