It was around Empath's 50 years of age when the Psyche Master saw that the new generation of Psychelings that he had been growing for the past year were now ready to begin their training. He gave a command to the officers of the Psychelian Medical rank to begin the hatching of the Psyches from their gestation chambers.
"What of the Psyche designated 1137-K? Is he to join the other Psyches?" one of the medical officers asked.
"Psyche Student 1137-K is to be treated as a Psyche," the Psyche Master answered. "Do not deviate from your assigned duty to prepare him and the others for their day of emergence."
"This one acknowledges, Psyche Master," each of the medical officers responded.
Soon the green egg-like sections of the gestation chambers opened, and the Psyches stepped out of them like robots, including Empath. There was nothing in his mind at that point except for following the dictates of the Psyche Master, which were programmed into his memory prior to his hatching.
The Psychelings were ordered to enter into a line, where they were to go through a cleansing machine and then have their heads shaved so that their designation code could be imprinted on the back of their heads. Empath, however, was spared the shaving of his head as his head was already bald.
After the Psychelings were fitted with restraining cuffs which were placed on their wrists and ankles, they were ordered to assemble within the Psyche Master's chamber, where the Psychelian counselor Mastronius was to inspect each of the Psychelings to see if they would function as new members of the community. He was also given the duty to assign to each of the new members their alternate designation.
"Psyche Student 1101-K, step forward. From now on, your alternate designation shall be Antaris. Acknowledge."
"This one acknowledges, Master Mastronius," Antaris responded before he stepped back in position.
And so Mastronius went through each of the 100 Psychelings, calling out their designation codes and assigning them their alternate designations. Each one of them responded in the same fashion as they recognized their code and accepted their alternate designation without question.
Then came Empath's turn. "Psyche Student 1137-K, step forward," Mastronius announced. "From now on, your alternate designation will be Empath. Acknowledge."
"This one acknowledges, Master Mastronius," Empath responded before he stepped back in position.
And after all the Psychelings were inspected and given their alternate designations, Mastronius turned to the Psyche Master. "All Psychelings are ready for your instructions, Psyche Master," he announced before he stepped away.
"Salutations, my children," the Psyche Master announced. "Today begins your life as a Psyche, where you will be trained in all aspects of your life -- the physical, the spiritual, and the academical. As Psyches, you are all members of a collective...you must not think of yourselves as individuals or having any identity other than being a Psyche. Everything you do or learn must be beneficial to the entire collective. Failure to adhere to his rule will cause you to be subject to punishment. Acknowledge."
"This one acknowledges, Psyche Master," all the young Psychelings, including Empath, responded in unison.
"A question, Psyche Master," the Psyche known as Polaris said. "The student with the designation of 1137-K seems different from the rest. Is he a prototype that must be raised among us?"
"Psyche Student 1124-K, that is not an appropriate question to ask the Psyche Master," Mastronius said.
"I will answer the question," the Psyche Master said. "He is indeed a prototype Psyche that will be raised and treated as a normal Psyche."
"But, Psyche Master, does he not resemble a member of Species 0002?" Psyche Student 1158-K asked.
"His resemblance to any of the races outside Psychelia is totally irrelevant," the Psyche Master said. "It is imperative that you must accept 1137-K as a member of the Psychelian community. Is that acknowledged?"
"This one acknowledges, Psyche Master," Polaris and Psyche Student 1158-K responded.
"Very well," the Psyche Master said. "The instructors will now assign you to your resting quarters before your training begins. Until they arrive, you are all dismissed. Wait outside my chambers until they appear."
As the Psychelings headed for the doors that would lead to the outside of the Psyche Master's chamber, the Psyche Master called for Empath to stay in order to talk to him in private.
"You are sensing that the others are treating you as different, my little Psycheling," the Psyche Master said.
"That is correct, Psyche Master," Empath responded. "This one cannot understand why the other Psyches are referring to this one as a prototype."
"You are unique among your brethren, but do not let this uniqueness mean that you are greater than your brethren," the Psyche Master said.
"This one acknowledges, Psyche Master," Empath said. "This one only wishes to fulfill your desires and to be obedient in all your commands."
"I know that is what you want, Empath," the Psyche Master said. "It is here in Psychelia that you will find your purpose in life. Do not forget that above all else, you are a Psyche."
"This one acknowledges, Psyche Master," Empath said, giving a respectful bow to the Psyche Master before he left his chambers.
In Empath's first lesson, he and the other Psyches given an understanding of all the various cataloged species that existed outside of Psychelia. Among the species was a holographic presentation of what was called Species 0002 -- a humanoid species that resembled a Psyche with some key differences.
"Species 0002 is considered a primitive race of inferior savage beings," the instructor said. "They live mostly for the purpose of satiating their own desires through various forms of sensual pleasures."
Empath stared at the holographic presentation of Species 0002 in wonder. "Is that why this species wears only a hat and a pair of pants?" he asked.
"The males of that species are very proud of their carnal desires that they would display themselves in such a manner that would be considered improper in Psychelia," the instructor answered.
"This representation does not seem to make Species 0002 proud of any immoral behaviors that they may be stated to exhibit," Polaris said.
"The behaviors of Species 0002 are not to be our model, under the orders of the Psyche Master," the instructor said. "You will come to learn the proper behavior of the Psyche in time as you grow to understand your purpose in the community."
As the Psychelings move on to their next lesson, Empath is still left wondering about what he saw in the holographic presentation of Species 0002 and why he was being compared by another Psyche to being a member of that race.