Chapter 01 Yes, I am paranoid. Am I paranoid enough?


This is a work of fiction and is copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.


Yeah, right…some of this in Chapter 1 is true. The names have been changed to protect the…"innocent" for lack of a better term….

Starpoint Central High School, Pendleton, NY

May 15, 1974

Steve Raven stared at the nameplate on the door.

Dr. Raymond White, School Psychologist.

*What the hell am I doing here? * he asked himself. Several funny quips sprang to the moment they did not seem funny.

The door opened. Dr White looked the part - he might have stepped from a central casting office.

He held out his hand. "Mr. Raven?" he asked. "Please step in and we'll chat."

Steve stepped into the office and sat down in the comfortable, overstuffed leather chair.

He was carefully observing Steve. At 6'1" and 250 lbs, Steve looked to be a typical American High School Senior, of the sub-variant marked "Football Player."

Dr White sat down behind the desk and opened up a large folder. He spread out the documents, and then steepled his hands. He peered over the top of his glasses.

Steve groaned as he recognized the top two documents.

"Mr. Raven, you appear to be an interesting case. You were referred to me by two of your teachers, Mr. Kus and Ms Conners. They are somewhat worried by the tone of some of your writing."

"Geez," said Steve, "I got A's on both those assignments."

" I admit, I am quite impressed by your research on this document." Dr White held up the first report. "Biological Warfare Threats to the American Public. This is college quality work, maybe even government quality. At first, I was sure that you must have plagiarized it, but Mr. Kus assures me that you showed him plenty of drafts and research notes."

"Hey, " said Steve, " It is a morbidly fascinating subject, and one that most people don't pay any attention to. Mutual Assured Destruction by Nukes is on everybody's minds...but to concentrate on that threat ALONE is stupid. The point of the paper is to illustrate that city-busting nukes is not the ONLY threat."

"I know," agreed Dr White, "you make that point very well. I do tend to disagree with your assessment that we have much to fear from, what is your term? - "Bioterrorism". The idea of someone using Anthrax as a weapon is pretty far-fetched...and the idea of using recombinant DNA to modify a disease such as smallpox is both frightening and nearly impossible. These techniques are fairly complex and expensive, and would require government resources. No sane government would spend money on such things. Besides, recent treaties make such research illegal."

"You obviously have more faith in government sanity than I do." Muttered Steve.

"And this other story, from your Creative Writing Course...there are some frightening overtones here, that I would like to talk to you about."

"Frightening?" exclaimed Steve. "The assignment was to write a dramatic modern horror story, something like the old Twilight Zone. Frightening was what she asked for, frightening was what she got."

"You did that, very well. But you seem to have a problem here with Muslims - I mean, the protagonists are Arab terrorists who hijack an airliner and crash it into the John Hancock building to protest American Policy in the Middle East."

"So?" asked Steve. "How many hijackings have the PLO conducted in the last few years? And what is the next logical step?"

"But the US has nothing to fear from the PLO. They don't even conduct their operations in the US. And the new security steps should make airline hijacking a thing of the past."

Dr White shook his head. " You mention the Muslim Fundamentalist movement as a threat in your biological warfare study, then they are the main villains in the horror story. This fixation against Muslims bears further examination." He sipped his water. "You aren't Jewish, are you?"

Steve looked at the man in disbelief. "You aren't Jewish, are you?" he parroted in singsong. "Doc, if that question wasn't so stupid, I'd get irate." The teen peered at the Pshrink. "Just for the record, my dad is Scots-Irish-Tuscorora, and my mom is Japanese. Far as I know, NONE of my ancestors have been near the Middle East in the last several centuries."

" So you object to my suggestion that you might be Jewish?" said the doctor. "Fascinating" he said as he scribbled some notes.

"No, it's not a rebound syndrome, Doc." said Steve. "I'm neither Jewish or Arab, nor do I have any particular like or dislike to either group. I just frickin' wrote a horror story for a creative writing assignment."

"Well, be that as it may," said Dr White, " But the tone of the stories, gives me the feeling of your underlying world view. That is what I want to talk about here."

"What underlying attitude?" said Steve." Look, the whole idea of Science fiction- horror is to take an outlandish idea and make the reader suspend their sense of disbelief. Believing in the unbelievable, at least for a while."

"But the technical details of smuggling weapons on an airliner, past the security precautions, indicate that you've spent a lot of time thinking about this matter. My fear is that you are dealing with some type of repressed rage, and that is what we are here to talk about..."

After several more counseling sessions, Steve finally convinced the Shrink that he was simply a harmless student with an active technical imagination, not a paranoid homicidal maniac with a grudge against Muslims.

Steve was convinced that psychologists were idiots...a belief that was never seriously challenged in further life experiences.