The Advanced Occult group waited eagerly for the Controller. The one he judged had completed the best assignment would win a holiday in Japan for two.
The Controller entered the lecture room and smiled at the assembled group. “Tracey, explain the principle on which this exercise was based”.
A slim, dark haired girl stood and addressed the group with quiet confidence. “You are all aware of the trigger phenomenon. When a person has experienced a traumatic experience, features related to that experience can cause a vivid flash back to the traumatic event, causing great psychological pain. Our exercise was to identify a victim of trauma and then arrange a trigger experience”.
The Controller nodded. “As I explained in the preparatory lecture, a medical metaphor is suitable. If a person experiences a physical wound, over time the wound heals and as if no injury had occurred. However, if the injured person keeps picking at the scab, the wound never heals. Eventually scar tissue is formed instead of normal skin. What we do is identify a psychic injury, a soul injury if you wish, and keep picking at the scar so that the person is left permanently psychologically damaged. Now, I am ready to hear your assignments. Tracey, we will start with you”.
“We explored the time line, the previous incarnations of our target, searching for an experience which had caused him deep emotional distress. We discovered that his present wife had been a dearly beloved slave in an earlier life. In that life he had come home and found his slave in bed, unmoving, dead. We chose this event because the effect of being married to the same woman currently would magnify the distress. When his wife was out we arranged the bedclothes to resemble a body occupying the bed. When he came home, he called his wife, who did not move obviously, because she wasn’t there, and he experienced a flashback to the original trauma – doubled in effect because he thought it was happening again. When his wife returned he was babbling about her dying, a completely over the top reaction to a simple event, and unusual in an unperturbable man”. Tracey finished and the group indicated their appreciation with quiet applause.
The Controller nodded. “Good. Now Johan”.
A lanky blonde man got to his feet. “Without the advantages of probing the target’s pre-history I arranged a trigger for a lifetime event. The target had been involved in a road accident where his best friend had died. I arranged for a poster campaign with the slogan “Don’t let your friend die on the road” which he would see everywhere and at unexpected times, continuing to stir memories of the original event”. He turned to the Controller. “Picking at the scab”.
“I was able to probe the target’s pre-history. In a previous life she had had repeated pregnancies but every child was still-born. On her fifth birthday we arranged for her to be given a life-like, life-size baby doll. She became hysterical. We then arranged that she was forced to keep the doll so that it would be a constant reminder of her distress in this life. The target now has a deep loathing of babies”.
The group broke into spontaneous applause.
The Controller smiled. “It looks like we have found the winner”.