Published April 24, 2017

Psych Ward: Gladiator

Even the head of the Shi’ar Empire can use someone to talk to!

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Kallark is a male exterrestrial who presents as a humanoid in excellent physical fitness with a blue hued skin tone. According to the client, his coloration is perfectly normal amongst his people and not at all cause for any kind of concern.

Kallark works as part of the Imperial Guard of the Shi’Ar Empire, what he states is the most prestigious role in all of Shi’Ar military and law enforcement. In trying to conceptualize it, the closest comparison we hit upon is a Bronze Star recipient who became a Secret Service agent guarding the President and also happened to be famous and featured prominently in videos, print ads, and art work celebrating government works. Additionally, he has been identified as the Praetor of the Guard, which is like everything already listed plus being a general. Because of this role, he is more commonly referred to as Gladiator and confesses that he recognizes himself more by that name than his birth name.

Groomed nearly from birth to have a place in the Guard, the client has frequently struggled against his dedication to honor and loyalty and his own personal beliefs. Although it has happened rarely, he has on occasion stood against the current rule of the Shi’Ar because he believed the Emperor or Empress was going against the greater good. The client explains he has always felt a deep ambivalence about these moments and even when he felt he ultimately made the right choice, he was unable to resolve those emotions for some time after.

The client also served for a time in a leadership role himself. Although he rejects the notion that he was an Emperor, he did essentially fill that role after the mutant Vulcan forcibly seized control of the Shi’ar government and then was seemingly slain, leaving a power vacuum in his wake. Unfortunately, Kallark was unable to keep the Shi’Ar from falling under an opportunistic Kree government who took advantage of their rivals’ time of disarray to best them in combat.

However, in the time since, somehow—Kallark has a difficult time remembering exactly how, only that there was a tremendous conflict of some kind, one that might have involved the whole of the galaxy—things have returned to a more familiar state for himself and the Shi’Ar people.

The client reports finding himself in emotional conflict once again. A group of space farers he describes as rather “unreliable” has turned to him and the Shi’Ar for help in opposing a recently ascendant figure in galactic politics known as Mother Entropy. The official position of the Shi’Ar, however, is not to oppose or be drawn into conflict with her.

Despite having no reason to question this governmental decision, he finds himself uneasy with it and wondering if, perhaps, his government is making the wrong choice.

Therapy, therefore, is focusing on a few different goals. The first of these is helping Kallark establish a sense of self that includes service to his government without making him feel like he only exists to serve. Much like children as they grow into adulthood must establish separate whole identities from their parents to truly achieve maturation, so too must the client from the Shi’Ar government. Second, we are working on developing decision making skills that will help the client foster a better sense of ease with his choices and a more morally consistent life. Finally, we are working on developing interpersonal skills so he has the ability to explain his choices to others in a manner they may understand and even, perhaps, persuade them to agree with his choice.

As the client is a resident of another entire planet, working with this writer on a consistent basis may be difficult if not impossible. Therefore this therapist has referred him to Doctors Jim Starlin and Alan Davis. Their first session is scheduled for May 24 and their session note will be located in the file GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MOTHER ENTROPY #4.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who doesn’t mind traveling to work with a client but draws the line at intergalactic roundtrips.