Excerpt from Secret Psychiatric Evaluation

Defending Sovereign, Church, and Country from the Forces of Darkness

In 2010, the Privy Council of the United Kingdom assembled a team of eminent psychiatrists and psychologists to perform a psychiatric evaluation of Sir Differel Van Helsing. This evaluation was kept secret from the rest of the government, and from Sir Differel. The team debated through 2010 into 2011, and finally wrote a report, which they submitted to the Privy Council by Hallowe'en. This report was classified top secret and given the highest level of clearance. It was read to the entire Council (without informing Sir Differel) in early November. A copy was sent to the Queen and the Prime Minister for their review.

Someone in Buckingham Palace leaked an excerpt of the report to Sir Differel. Naturally, she was angry that the Council would do this at all, much less behind her back, but the damage had been done. Rather than lodge a formal protest, however, she decided to post the excerpt here for all to see, to inform people of how their government operates, of the resistance and obstruction she faces nearly every day, and of the lengths to which her enemies in the government will go to discredit and defame her.

Excerpt from a Secret Psychiatric Evaluation

From: The Rt. Hon. Jeremy Steele, Earl of Strattmoore, PC
To: HM The Queen
CC: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; The Rt. Hon. David Cameron, MP
Subject: Report on the Psychiatric Evaluation of Sir Differel Van Helsing

TOP SECRET – Ultra Level Clearance – For Your Eyes Only

[Excerpt begins]

However, the [psychiatric] team also noted several instances they feel suggest serious, possibly even critical problems that could prove detrimental under the wrong circumstances.

1. The unanimous consensus of the team is that the combined events of the death of her father, the attempted usurpation by her aunt Miranda Baroness Pendragon, the personal murder, albeit justified, of said aunt, and the release of Vlad Tepes Drakulya, resulted in severe psychological trauma that left her timid, uncertain, and without sufficient confidence to act as Director. It is also the majority consensus that the unwarranted emancipation and appointment of Sir Differel to the Directorship by Your Majesty compounded the trauma. However, a dissenting minority consensus blames sexual/erotic tension concerning Vlad Drakulya, Aelfraed Walters, and/or Giles Holt. Alternatively, an addendum opinion sees the influence of guilt associated with an unresolved Electra complex, in which "Mother" (Aunt Miranda) was literally killed to possess "Father" (the Directorship and mastery over Vlad Drakulya).

2. Further majority consensus states that the subsequent isolation within the estate from virtually all social contact combined with a rigorous training regimen that left little time for healthy personal pursuits, plus the constant presence of Vlad Drakulya, created a dissociative state that impaired proper emotional development. This resulted in arrogance, stubbornness, and defiance, and later emotional coldness, anti-social behavior, and over-confidence to the point of hubris. A minority consensus believes that this sparked a rebellious streak that not only explains a well-documented contempt for authority, but also the frequent "retreats", that effect a disappearance and total lack of communication with all but Vlad Drakulya. According to this conjecture, the retreats are a form of acting out expressing a desire to be free of all responsibilities and restrictions. (Parenthetical Note: All attempts to discover the destination(s) and purpose(s) of these retreats have so far failed.) An addendum opinion states that this dissociative state could also explain the reports of compulsive masturbation and bondage / dominance / sadomasochistic fantasies.

3. A majority consensus maintains that the rape and attempted murder by a baobhan sith produced further trauma that resulted in observed hypoactive sexual desire behavior. A minority consensus, however, believes that it awakened repressed lesbian tendencies.

4. The unanimous consensus of the team is that the near destruction of the Caerleon Order during the Grendel Invasion is a profound psychological event. However, the members are split over the nature of its significance. A majority consensus claims that the event, along with the subsequent abduction and attempted impregnation, produced further trauma that led to the near disastrous Battle of Camdel, whereas a dissenting minority consensus believes that the event was merely a result of previous trauma impairing the faculties of analysis and reason. Further investigation, including psychotherapy, is recommended. Another minority consensus believes that subsequent behavior can be explained in terms of survivor's guilt.

5. It is also the unanimous consensus of the team that the assassination of Lord Victor Plunkett and the failure to prevent it generated a psychotic break, resulting in a loss of contact with reality due to delusional beliefs, impaired insight and social interaction, and bizarre behavior, such as the slaughter of the assassin, the escalation of conflict with the Holy Order of St. Antony Demons Bane, and the defiance of a Royal Command. A majority consensus contends that the break was resolved when the Command was complied with, but a dissenting minority consensus contends that the break may only have been repressed and may break through under some environmental stimulus.

6. A majority consensus assumes that it is not possible to correctly evaluate the long-term and cumulative effect of the attempted mind control by the Serpent Woman Leannán Soit, but nonetheless postulates that it could have had a profound psychological effect. A minority consensus, however, accepts that the procedure was active long enough to produce a narcohypnotic effect, though probably not long enough to induce thought reform or behavioral modification. Nonetheless, this effect could have further exacerbated the existing trauma. An addendum opinion claims that the procedure caused actual physical damage that has produced the more recently observed unusual behaviors.

7. A unanimous consensus states that the nightly excursion to the "Dreamlands" is a delusional state. The team is split evenly between those members who see this as a defense mechanism against a recurring psychotic break by providing a safe refuge to retreat from the problems of reality and those members who see this as evidence that a break has already occurred. However, an addendum opinion tried to explain the phenomenon as unusually lucid dreams based in a form of the collective unconscious.


The portion of the team's report dealing with Sir Differel's relationships covers a full one-third of the page count. Therefore, I will summarize their conclusions.

Her relationship with Vlad Drakulya is extremely complex. On the surface, they appear to be Master and Servant, though he sometimes mocks her or acts in an insolent or rude manner. (Parenthetical Note: However, when he becomes too insulting, she has been known to put a bullet through his head to put him back in his proper place.) However, at times it seems more like Protégé and Mentor, and there is a deep, abiding respect between them, that borders on friendship. He is one of the very few people she feels comfortable enough being around to openly display her temper, whereas for his part he responds to her rants and rages with amusement. He has offered, on more than one occasion, to allow her to drink his blood so that she can become stronger; so far she has declined. At the same time, a quasi-romantic relationship with subtle erotic undertones is evident in their manner. Though there has been no known consummation, much less acknowledgment, of this relationship, the bond between them is very powerful and intimate in a fashion that goes beyond lovers, even soul mates. She has risked her career and even her life to defend and protect him from those who would prefer to see him destroyed, and he will kill to protect her honour. She can call to him from anywhere in the world, and he will come as quickly as he is able. Her life is his paramount concern, and she will not squander his role as her most valuable and powerful weapon. And yet, despite her aristocratic propriety, she has no sense of shame or modesty around him, treating him much the same as a piece of furniture. For his part, despite an occasional crude remark at her expense, he seems uninterested in her as a woman. However, the team could not help speculating as to what extent, if any, he feels sexually attracted to her, and she to him.

In contrast, Sir Differel's relationship with Medb hErenn appears to be cordial and professional, but ambivalent: she makes use of the massive woman's resources, and learned greatsword fighting from her, but seems to resent her supreme self-confidence, her undoubted competence and ability, and her seeming indestructibility and imperturbability.

Eile Chica and Sonne "Sunny" Hiver, known as Team Girl are Sir Differel's best friends, and quite possibly her only friends. They have made great strides at getting her to come out of her shell and be more social, even more feminine. She also feels comfortable enough around them to display her temper—she and Eile can have some pretty intense screaming matches. Her appreciation of them is so strong that she has appointed them ad hoc Caerleon agents and family retainers, has inducted them into the Order of the Dragon, and has made them her son Henry's guardians. However, her emotional dependence upon them has grown to the point that if they were to betray her, even inadvertently, she could have a severe breakdown, perhaps even another psychotic break.

Lady Margaret Rose Chesham shares an unusual relationship with Sir Differel. Until the age of 12 she bullied her and got her excluded from Gresham's School. No doubt this damaged her feelings of self-esteem. However, during Christmas of that year they reconciled. Though they maintain a compative air of antagonism, they have become confidants and occasionally socialize together. The team believes this may be the healthiest of her relationships, but there is some concern over possible homoerotic aspects hidden just beneath the surface.

Aelfraed Walters is a father figure to her and Helena Widget a role model for proper ladylike decorum, while Giles Holt is more like an older brother and Phillipa Trumbo an older sister or aunt. Magdalene King and Sharona Turing, on the other hand, are almost friends, except Sir Differel has avoided taking that step. Only Dr. Thaddeus Carmichael is a colleague/employee. These overly familiar associations are unhealthy in a proper master/servant or director/staff relationship. It calls into question her ability to effectively manage her team, or if necessary send someone to their deaths.

Over all, though loyal to friends and retainers who remain loyal to her, paradoxically Sir Differel gives every indication of being ruthless enough to sacrifice anyone and anything for the cause of protecting Sovereign, Church, and Country. However, her refusal to ever again casually throw away the lives of her people as she did during the Grendel Invasion, even when there seems to be no other choice, calls into question her ability to take this sometimes necessary step. As if to compensate for this survivor's guilt, when she must put her forces in harm's way, she goes with them, often leading them from the front lines. This assumes that she does not simply go off on her own, or with Vlad Drakulya, Giles Holt, and/or Team Girl. She has also displayed a dismaying tendency to risk her own life and the resources of the Order to rescue any of her people in trouble. Though she is normally prudent, her reckless disregard for her own life and her willingness to place herself in harm's way is a source of constant consternation to superiors and subordinates alike. However, this behavior endears her to her troops and ensures their devotion and loyalty.

[Excerpt ends]

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