Amanda yawned. It was too early. It had taken her a while to fall asleep in Daniel's bed - after indulging stupid amounts of time in just smelling his sheets - and she had yet to eat breakfast. She would have appreciated breakfast, since she was so starved she could well eat a horse. But she was being escorted to the doctor's office - and such a check-up was mandatory - so she went along with it. Her escort opened a door at the end of the corridor for her and Amanda said her thanks before stepping in.
The doctor's room had a clean smell and was warmer than the rest of the building. All the furniture was made of oak. Bold diagrams and bright posters covered the light green walls, and there was a surgical bed pushed to one side.
A small, kindly woman sat behind her wooden desk and smiled at Amanda as she entered. A placard on her table read 'Dr S Sung'.
“You won't believe this,” the doctor said, “but I have been absolutely dying to meet you since I'd heard about you.”
Amanda scoffed, “Since yesterday?” she asked.
“Since Daniel spoke about you,” Dr Sung clarified, and then gestured to the seat opposite to her, “Please, sit. Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee?”
Amanda's mouth went dry, “I'm, I'm fine, thanks,” she sat down and asked, “Daniel spoke about me?”
“It took a little coaxing on my part, but he didn't mention you by name - if that's what you're asking. He seemed very, very fond of you.”
Amanda looked at her feet and said nothing.
The doctor's smile weakened at Amanda's silence, “I'm sorry, is this still fresh?” Dr Sung asked softly.
Amanda shook her head, “The moment sort of... comes and goes,” she whispered, “I miss him, a lot. He was... There could only ever be one of him.”
Dr Sung nodded in understanding, “I'm sorry.”
“Did you know him well?”
“I was his main doctor, for his psychological conditions - which I'm sure you know about,” Sung leaned forward and tapped a few keys on her laptop, “I must say, I'd grown quite attached to him and his death was a shock for me also. Though, I've no doubts that my shock and horror must pale in comparison to yours.”
Amanda swallowed, “I don't want to talk about it.”
“Fair enough,” said Dr Sung, “But, before we commence the regular things that need checking and detailing - Daniel mentioned that you weren't... for want of a better word, 'normal' - which was why he felt he got on so well with you, why you understood him,” she intertwined her fingers and rested her chin on them, “Would you care to elaborate on this?”
“Well, I suffer from bouts of depression and I... self-harm at times,” Amanda explained, trying to be as honest as possible, “and I used to show signs of schizoid behaviour, but my imaginary friend hasn't appeared in a while. Not since I used the Animus, I think.”
“You've used the Animus? Already? Not to experience someone else's memories, but to explore your own?”
Amanda nodded, “I don't know how much you've been told, but I was with Assassins before I came here. In order to train me, they used the Animus. They spoke about the Bleeding Effect and how I could absorb the fighting qualities of my ancestors if only I was to experience them.”
Dr Sung took out a notebook from her desk-drawer and clicked her pen, “And you've been showing signs of the Bleeding Effect?”
“No. Every now and then.”
“List any signs you might be aware of.”
“Well, I've hallucinated more than once.”
Dr Sung began noting everything down, “Visual or auditory?”
“Are you aware of your surroundings when you have these hallucinations?”
“Are these hallucinations preceded and/or followed by nausea, dizziness or loss of consciousness?”
“All three, before and/or after.”
“Any deafness, trouble with breathing, or gastric problems?”
“No... At least, I don't think so.”
“Absolutely out of order at the moment.”
“That must be terribly nasty. Any memory loss?”
“I don't think so.”
The doctor completed her brief notes and looked up at Amanda, “When was the last time you used the Animus?”
“It's been about a month and a half, I think.”
“Have you experienced any hallucinations recently?”
“Not ones that are particularly vivid. I get the random headache, and sometimes a faded white spectre of what I can only assume is my ancestor floats around the borders of my vision, but other than that...”
Dr Sung chewed her lip and looked at her notes, “I believe you might need treatment for this, Amanda, or it can get progressively worse. Now, I should warn you that the treatment itself won't cure the problem, but keep it at the same level and stop it from developing.”
“So the hallucinations won't go away?”
“I'm afraid not entirely, no.”
Amanda blinked, “Well, I guess if it has to be, it has to be,” she leaned back in her seat, “What will I have to do?”
“Spend time in the Animus,” Dr Sung said, “and I may need to prescribe some antidepressants to keep you stable in case of an attack. But before any of that...”
Dr Sung then carried out the normal general check-up - measuring Amanda's height, weight and asking the usual embarrassing questions regarding her sexual activity and whether she had had any life-threatening diseases because of it.
“Is that it, doctor?” Amanda asked.
“Yes,” Dr Sung replied, “That is the end of the world's most humiliating questionnaire.”
“I'm going to write a note to Mr Otso Berg so that you can begin treatment immediately.”
“You're going to put me in the Animus now?”
“Not to scan your ancestral memories, but just to treat you.”
“There's a difference?”
Dr Sung smiled, “You'll see.”