An 'Interview' with Skander Draco



My name is Doctor Margelise Machado Reyes and I have been a practitioner of psychiatry here in Santo Domingo for the last fifteen years. I have, for the last seven of those, practised exlusively with clients from other countries in order to, shall we say, ensure a more steady supply of work. Americans have such interesting problems in their minds! However the client of whom I wish to speak is not an American, although I initially thought that he was. To be honest I was never sure about just where he was from and he never told me. I made the very amateur error of assumption. I treated this client, Mr. Skander Draco for close to four years, on and off. We never had what I would call regular sessions; sometimes once a week, once a fortnight or even once a month, at times more than that. Sometimes he would just sit there for the duration, not talking but seeming relaxed and at peace in my company, other times he would talk about his regular doings or what he had been up to in the intervening span of time. Other times he would really open up and tell me some very surprising things. I will attach a transcript of our last session here. I would sometimes record our sessions, when he would agree to that, which was not always. This time he agreed but he seemed to be deeply, deeply troubled.

Mr. Draco was a man of some 32 years of age when he died. I was deeply shocked by his murder and have, of course, cooperated fully with the police in their investigations. As I said, he seemed quite normal for a man of his age and was not, in my opinion anything approaching what people today call a 'serious case'. He was very intelligent, eloquent and well spoken. He gave the impression of being quite an educated man. In the period in which we worked together, the changes in his command of the Spanish language were suprising. Dr. Draco was a confusing man, on one side I saw the discipline and manner of a career military man, a leader. On the other I saw a very learned and educated one. I have never seen such a contrast of person before.

I invite my colleagues to study the below conversation and inform me of their opinions. I had the initial impression that Mr. Draco was a bipolar individual primarily. He displayed all of the classic signs, swift mood changes with no later recollection of his "rages" and then his "darker spells" as he called them when we discussed them. He would become at times very introverted and incommunicative, at others emotional and distant. Then, when we discussed his other "memories" or dreams as he called them, I began to wonder. Was he in some way disassociative or perhaps even sociopathic? I remain unsure, I only began to observe these symptoms in my later sessions with Mr. Draco and did not have the time I would have liked to investigate or diagnose further. His untimely death prevented that.


File #SD001245-0105-June 12th 2019

Video Session Transcript.

Client Permission Granted & Release Signed (attached)

Present: Dr. M. Machado R. & Mr S. Draco.

Session Time: 45 minutes.

Appended to Patient File and uploaded to online record.

"Mr Draco, it has been a while -"

"Skander."

"I'm sorry?"

"Call me Skander, doctor, we've been doing this for around four years now, I feel we probably know one another fairly well by now."

{Insert note, Mr Draco had always insisted on some degree of 'respectful formality' up until now. This change was a little surprising}

"Alright - ah - Skander, thank you. How have you been? It's been six weeks since I saw you last. You appeared to have been ignoring our calls again."

"Fair enough. I may well do that sometimes, I honestly forget..."

"I understand you are a busy man. Now more than ever, I am guessing. Your campaign, how is it going?"

"Seems to be fairly well, I've never done one before so I couldn't tell you for sure but it looks promising."

"You've been busy and tired I am sure."

"Doctor you -"

"Margelise...or Mags if it easier."

"I- what?"

"If you're going to insist on informality, Skander, I think I will do the same."

"Oh - well - right - Mags - I..., well, you have no idea. I had no idea and now I wish I had a couple of doubles!"

"Doubles?"

"You know that Krushev, Stalin and I think Saddam Hussian had some of them, they say Kennedy did too and that one of them got shot in the head instead of -"

"Alright, I think I get the point. So doubles?"

"With all the appearances, PR, meets and greets with this and that organisation or person, the emails, the phone calls, the public events...I wish there were at least two more of me to share the load!"

"Oh! I have a life at least half as busy as yours and I could do with one of those, where does one get them?"

Mr. Draco simply shrugged, appearing to be studying his rather expensive leather shoes.

"Tell me more about your dreams, have you had any new ones since our last meeting?"

{At this point Mr. Draco nodded and raised his head, allowing his tired eyes to meet mine. His heterochromia; one eye brown, the other a greenish colour were not only disconcerting but often an indicator of his moods. Like one of those cheap 'mood rings' which were popular a few years ago, his green eye would change colour as his moods changed. It was a greyish green colour now so Mr. Draco was content and relaxed.}

"Several, some simply scenes, like they are from a movie or something, others...different. Disturbing I suppose, like nightmares or - eh - visions."

"Tell me about the less disturbing ones."

"I was eating stew with Kalliades and Lupernikes, I think Korax might have been there too..."

Your friends from the ah -" the doctor is seen to consult a file she has rested on her lap. "The Hegemony, during the conquest."

"This one was in Alexandria, I think. You remember I mentioned that I - ah- he...you know, knew Jesus, I think it was and sort of, well, hid away when he died?"

"After first buring down the Temple in Jerusalem and then the perpetrators on Jesus' funeral pyre right?"

"I think so..."

{Add that Mr. Draco's psychosis was a very strange one. His 'dreams' were actually a very well ordered sequence of events. He once joked that his dreams turned up with almost predictable regularity, like one's favourite T.V show. Dr. Draco described it as 'another me in another life' someone who looked just like him but was an immortal Alexander the Great in a world where said did not die but came to rule the entire continents of Eurasia, Africa and India in what he called The Hegemony. He did this with a force of similarly immortal and altered soldiers he called Kalshodar and Dracograth serving him. He said that they - his soldiers and he - were made immortal by a dragon, a real one, under Mount Everest What is surprising about Mr. Draco's condition is that his 'other memories' come conpletely during an unconcious or sleeping state and are both serial and sequential in nature. I began to record these sessions to keep a track of his dreams and see how they sounded when described in his voice. They sounded like someone telling a story, quite a good one I might add. Mr. Draco had never wanted to or tried to be any kind of artist but, when he spoke of his 'dreams', his voice would change. I am sure he was perhaps a frustrated writer or screenwriter and these dreams were no more than his 'creation'. Maybe some trauma associated with an earlier creative phase of his life had caused him to turn his 'repressed stories' into repressed artificial memory which manifested themselves, in his subconcious, as dreams. It is a shame there will be no chance to study this phenomenon further. He would always start confused and reticent before shifting to what I termed 'storyteller mode'.}


"So, your dream. The nice one"

"Me and the boys talking about my return to the land of the living after my month of "exile" in my rooms. There was a lot of banter and laughter. I believe comments about the odour produced by my unwashed body had been prevalent, followed by the drastic improvement once I had bathed. We spoke of events I had missed and Kalliades' love of arguing with doorknobs.."

"Sham still hadn't come back?"

"No, we all seemed sure he was dead. Lupernikes was sullen about it but trying to hide the fact! We missed him, he'd always made these little gatherings so much fun with his jokes, complete irreverence and strange stories. We even missed the stink of that pipe of his!!

"Have you ever met anyone like -"

"I told you - doctor - that I remember nothing prior to arriving here in 2009, ten years ago almost. I have met no-one from India here for sure. If I had known him - before...I...well...you know"

{This was also common. Mr Draco's amnesia, when mentioned induced panic and uncertainty, sometimes even hostility. This is common is sufferers of this condition. It is also normal for amnesiacs to have flashbacks or dreams of the earlier - or forgotten - period of their lives but Mr. Draco had none of these, only his strange fantasy dreams, which seemed like another life but could not have been. Of his life prior to awakening in La Loma del Chivo in Western Santo Domingo he has yet to receive any revelations. This is strange also because I assess Mr. Draco to be in possession of a perfect memory of events of the last ten years, indicating no permanent brain damage. I referred Mr. Draco for MRI and CT scans to locate potential damage and none such was found. His brain appeared to be healthy for one of his age, healthy in fact for one of half his age. No memory associated lesions or damage were found. Nothing at all was found, in fact. His CT scans looked almost too perfect.}


"Still nothing prior to ten years ago, Skander?"

"Just these dreams, that's right." He sounded sullen and his right eye had taken on a blue-grey coloration, a sign of irritation or frustration.

"Tell me about the other dreams. The less pleasant ones."

{No hesitation this time. He is in storyteller mode. An odd detail I will mention is that his accent changes when this happens. I would judge his 'normal' accent in English to be some kind of nuetral American or maybe British. When he enters storyteller mode, the accent takes on a Mediterranean flavour; Spanish or Greek perhaps?}

"I am underground. In a cave or something. Very like the caves and chambers under Everest but of a darker stone. I had been crossing a desert. Hephaestion {The companion/lover of Alexander the Great} had been bothering me and making lewd/strange suggestions. It was like nothing here on Earth that I remember, almost like I am on a alien planet but - I think - these events took place right after the first dream I told you about. Let's say three thousand years before the present day."

"When you - the Alexander who you are in your dreams - disappeared from Alexandria?"

"Right, this is while I - he - ah- yes - was absent for all that time.In a time when nobody even knew that some of those lights in the sky could have something like people on them."

{This is where the dreams become disassociated or non-sequential, he had told me of dreams where he 'returned' to Alexandria and "spied" on his friends without being seen after his alter-ego, this Alexander the Great varient, had vanished without a trace. He had either never dreamed of the period of that man's absence directly or not mentioned it until now.}

"You have never mentioned what he did while he was gone before."

"I have never dreamed it before. So, I was in a system of caves and chambers just like Her's {Her was what he called the dragon which was apparently female} under Everest but subtly different too. Like a nasty or perverse copy of hers, the one we were all changed in."

"Changed by her breath, freed of your mortality and altered?"

"Yes, I became immortal - no, that's not right, he did...I..yes! He was changed; became immortal and...something else; the others were improved and also made immortal. They became bigger and stronger, I - he - me - didn't, I - he - changed in other ways."

"What kind of ways?"

"The ability to travel to where he was in the dream for one and the same ability to come back and check on his friends. There was more I expect but I haven't seen that. But these chambers, they were like Her's but then they weren't they were...they were.."

"They were what? They were the same but?"

"Evil. Dirtied. Perverted."

"Evil? How?"

"You remember I told you about - the friezes the -ah - dwarves made?"

"Yes, they told a story."

"Of their past and how she and they met, yes. The history of the dwarves and her kind too; at least the end of her kind. That the pool chamber had statues of all kinds; dwarves, dragons and human warriors. Beautiful stone and metal work, big - runes I think they're called - and carvings of amazing stuff."

"I remember you told me, I could almost see it as you described it, it looked beautiful beyond words in my imagination!"

"Then you only saw the half of it" he laughed.

"So how were these ones different? How were they ah - evil?"

"They were twised. They showed - creatures, aliens or some sort of monsters; almost human but to tall and thin, too willowy, with faces almost human but not quite. They looked like cat-people, what it would look like if you mixed cats and people together....but not exactly; just the proportions of their features was more like that I - well - they were taking enjoyment and pleasure in things pleasure should not be taken in..."

"What kind of things?"

"Torture, rape, disfigurement, raping people with knives, skinning them alive and haging them up to die on strange spined trees, copulating beneath the falling blood...evil, evil things...laughing while they did it..."

"There are people like that too. Do you think maybe - ?"

"Do I think what - doctor - that I was a victim of something similar eleven or so years ago and have erased it all? That these dreams are simply my mind repackaging my traumatic memories as allegorical dreams so I can handle it?"

"That was similar to the direction of my question, yes."

"Had I been raped up the arse by cat-faced aliens using knives I think I would have some sort of scars don't you think?"

"More than likely but maybe. You have a very creative and brilliant mind, Skander..."

"I haven't, no, there are many things I don't know but...well go on, I indulge your science. Tell me of my diseased and wounded mind, please."

"Alright, you have amnesia, we know this."

"We do."

"I sent you for MRI and CT scans, they came back with nothing Your mind is - physically at least - healthier than most men half your age."

"I have the images framed on the wall of my apartment."

"You dream of events which could not possibly have happened. History quite clearly tells us that Alexander the Great died in 323 BC. It also does NOT tell us anything about giant dragon-soldiers or anything similar. Also Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross for our sins, not stabbed to death in an alley."

"All correct yes, I've read all the books."

"So what can your dreams possibly be?"

"You're the doctor, this is what I'm paying you for, not for insults about my alleged sexual past."

"We have several schools of thought about dreams. They are the brain tidying up at the end of the day, clearing space for more memories. They are memories in the process of being deleted or moved to long-term storage and are, therefore, jumbled up. They are memories moved into long term storage in a corrupted form trying to organise themselves into a recognisable one."

"Or messages from God or the gods, you forgot that one."

"Skander, I am a scientist. I may understand sarcasm but I don't appreciate it at this time."

"She said that, or something very like it..."

"When?"

"All the time....I suppose I am very sarcastic."

"She and I agree on that! Or at least we would, were she real or we could figure out who she really is."

"You really are stuck on my dreams being some sort of scrambled memories aren't you?"

"I can think of no other scientific explanation."

"I suppose you're right but I must have some seriously fucked up imagination then."

"Mr. Draco, please. We dealt with the smoking in my office, we still have the swearing issue."

"I apologise, I forget myself when my humours are up."

"Alright. You have long-term and incurable, it would seem, amnesia with no visable physical cause. You have memories or dreams of a life which could not be fact. You ARE certainly bipolar."

"So you said, I'm just passionate. My Ilyrian blood most likely."

"Your what?"

"I'm passionate I said, not bipolar."

"You mentioned blood...you used a strange word I have never heard beforer but it sounded Greek or Russian..Yeal, ear and run blood or something."

"I did not mention blood. Why would I do that?"

"Mr. Draco I -"

"Don't make me out to be even crazier than your reports already do..."

{A break of 10 minutes was agreed to, so that Mr. Darco could go and smoke outside. This episode left me rather unsettled, he clearly did not remember that last part, I brought up a search on my computer and found "Illyrian", a semi-mythical tribe said to have migrated into ancient Macedonia. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias was said to be part Illyrian. They were like the Celts or somewhat similar, some sources said, one of thoee migrating tribal peoples who went on to become the nations we recognise today. Maybe he found that out during the reading he mentioned earlier.}

"Alright. Did you enjoy your cigarette? Feeling better?"

"Did I really say that bit about blood? I don't remember -"

"I checked the video, would you like to see it? " He just shook his head. " Illyrian blood, you said, explaining your passionate nature."

"Oh. Well I am a passionate man. I'm not crazy though."

"You do know that they all say that, right?"

"Sham told me something similar once. Him, I mean. The fellow in the dreams."

"What did he say?"

"He said 'I know I'm crazy, right? So crazy people don't know that they're crazy, also right? So I'm actually NOT crazy because I know that I am!' It was much funnier in the argot, the Koiné Greek of the army."

"What is that? Argot, Koiné?"

"You know Alexander in this time crossed the entire world from India, Afghanistan and thereabouts, adding to his army as he went with locals. Locals who didn't speak Greek or Macedonian."

"Apparently, that'd be a lot of different languages."

"About two-hundred and fifty dialects, languages and otherwise at first count."

"So I suppose it's reasonable to say managing all of those different peoples in their own language would have been beyond even someone like Alexander?"

"Exactly! So, back when it was just Greeks in the army they'd come up with the Koiné, sort of a standard Greek. See, each city-state and area spoke their own version and said things in a different way. The Thracians didn't always understand the Thessalonians, the Lesbians didn't understand the Kefalonians; the Athenians chose not to understand everyone else I'm sure! Everyone said the Macedonians sounded like backward country folk and the Spartans like foreigners. So they came up with, after a lot of arguing and some natural osmosis, the Koiné developed. A lot of it was due to people just working and fighting together picking up words and pronunciations from one another naturally, like me learning Spanish here, I never took any classes, I sort of picked it up on the streets. Koiné sort of grew by itself."

"That sounds fascinating, a I've always had a thing about language developement from a purely psychological perspective. This Koiné of yours sounds like just that. It wasn't formally created it just became."

"That's right, and the argot, what later became formalised as Hegemonic Standard, was the same. It just developed from a lot more languages; the multitude of Persian ones, Chinese, Mongol, Indian (a variety there too), Scythian, Sogdanian, Dacian, Babylonian, Albion, Gothic....Neshaa once described it as a complex cloak made up of more colours than could possibly exist. Ah! How he used to swear, I'd tell you some of them but you'd probably chuck me out if I did. He was - eh - very inventive with his cursing was Neshaa. He never got the hang of Koiné and he sort of made up his argot as he went along. Even once it became Standard and got all written down and formalised, he was - eh - liberal with his phrasing!"

"A joker then? Playing the clown?"

"Who, Neshaa? Good gods no! He was never intentionally funny to my knowledge. He was like you - I say this in a nice way - quite religious, he was a Zoroastrian - rather serious and all tight-laced and moral. He only swore when he was very angry and upset. Probably whipped himself or something later for his terrible sins"

"I don't whip myself."

"My good Mags, I have never once imagined you doing such things!" He actually winked at that point. "Anyway I was talking about Neshaa not you, but thanks for volunteering the info.."


{I would describe Mr. Draco as experiencing a manic episode at that moment. It is odd but when he is in deep "recollection", talking about his imagined dream world, his personality takes on some clear and obvious changes. He is normally quiet and reserved. He has that unidentifiable 'military' accent and is always polite and respectful. When he is in his manic state he becomes a soldier among other soldiers. His personality adapts to his tale, he would never have normally spoken in that way under other circumstances. Innuendo, to my understanding, is not his style. In this mode he becomes gregarious and quite - ah - risque in his manner. Also his word choice and 'accent' changed. He became less eridite and educated in his speech and slightly - I hesitate to use the term - coarser, using less educated and, instead, more common speech. It is not unknown for disassociative individuals to have 'alters' with a different accent, different ethnicity or even different gender to them. Note also that when he is so 'coherant', he is not getting confused over identies. The man in the dreams is 'him' or 'Alexander'. He does talk about others as direct acquaintances of his though, which confuses matters a little. He is there but he is not, he is seperate.}

"Back to business though. So, you said that this language, this argot just developed by itself as the army travelled and interactions but then, to use your words, it got written down and formalised?"

"That's right, I admit to it being a bugger to learn! The scribes and white-chiton crew were fighting and screaming over this and that point, how to adapt this grammatical rule into the Greek structure, other people arguing that the Persian Grammatical form was better and easier to expand into. He stayed out of most of it. Let them deal with the machinery and get the intellectual bruising. He was obliged to master it once they were finished though, for appearances. The crew had been speaking their 'unofficial' version for a while now and they still did but that was considered too 'rough and ready' for a proper Hegemon, right?"

"A king must be proper and well spoken, I suppose."

"Right, right, he had to be proper and Hegemonic, exactly. Couldn't have him speaking like a soldier now can we?

"Well no, so back to your dream?"

"Must we? I would rather forget that."

"You found it so frightening, it was reall that scary?"

"You have no idea, Mags. I thought that evil was just an idea, a concept. I thought the devil of your Catholic pantheon was a silly make-up bogey-man to scare people into attending church"

"Well I have my scientific opinion on that and, of course my personal one of faith."

"I do find it curious to find a religious psychiatrist. I thought you would all be atheists railing against the antequated beliefs of others."

"We all have our surprises, I suppose. Anyway, you said that you thought that evil was a concept, the devil a lie. You no longer do?"

"I've actually seen it now, Mags, I have seen it's face and what it means. What it does and what it is going to do.."

"You mean you psychopathic cat-aliens?"

"The Fey." His voice lost all tone and emotion, becoming almost of one catatonic. The voice of one who has seen much more horror than they can handle. Someone for whom emotion has given up trying.

"That is what they are called?" Her voice barely more than a whisper, leaning forward, arms on thighs. "These aliens of yours?"

"Not mine, yours."

"I don't understand."

"You couldn't and neither you nor anyone else on this earth will. Not yet."

"Skander, what do you mean?"

"They are coming here, to your Earth, I am going home, to the Hegemony. We'll be ready for them there. She made us to oppose them, to stop them maybe forever. Here though, you won't stand a chance." There were tears falling from his eyes. "I am sorry."

"Who is coming here?" Her blood suddenly felt like ice in her veins.

"The Fey! All of them, they are already coming! They left right before I found their caves!"

"But they are not real..."

"Do you still believe that? Do you still cling to your precious science? Will you not see sense before it is too late? Two times twenty-one."

"Skander you are scaring me! You are full blown manic. Do not make me press the button you know I have under my chair."

"They are coming, Mags! Oh gods they are coming. I am sorry, we cannot save you; just us four."

"You four?"

"Neshaa, Kalliades and Sham will be here soon too. We shall not be seeing one another again. It is is time for us to go back, almost."

"Go back to where, Skander?"

"To the Hegermony, don't you listen?" His right eye was pure grey now but his voice low and steady. "We have to get ready. We have to get him and his load of half-breeds" he said that word with such hate, such venom. He paused, eyes flicking up the left. "He is here too, how can that be?"

"There is a He now too?" She'd clearly given up on being reasonable and professional at this point.

"He will contact you after I have left. Do not talk to him, do not let him near you but be ready. Another man will come through later, a religious man with the eyes of a soldier. Tell this second man where to find the first; the one with the dead eyes and vicious smile. That might help a little. Let the soldier find the shark, he'll be angry but he won't hurt you, the shark can and will."

"Soldiers, sharks...Skander, you're..."

"It's intentional this time. The frightened mind remembers the most details."

"Kant?"

"Aristotle, didn't get written down."

"Didn't you - I mean - he - I mean."

"Yes, we did. Now listen to me. Tell the soldier the following; Acts 104:20-22 and Luke 10:19, tell him that in Spanish, quote it to him if you like, but tell him in the right order and he will understand. He will leave, neither man will bother you again."

"Is that all? You sound like Nostrodamus or one of those snake oil salesmen with their crystal balls!"

"What do you mean Mags? We were just talking about languages, what does that have to do with Nostrodamus? I mean, all the people who believe in him must be annoyed that we'll make it to 2020 and beyond but still..."

"Are you going to tell me you remember nothing of the past five minutes now?" She threw up her hands.

"Like I said, we were...."

"Never mind, Skander, never mind."

"Alright, I think our time is up, by the way, all this chatting we've been doing! I have a campaign meeting to get to, I'm probably late already."

"I understand."

"Same time next week?"

"You always ask that but there -"

"Never is a next week, I know!"


That was the last time I saw Skander Draco, except for on the news. First when he won and finally when he died. I cried when I learned about that. I was very surprised by my reaction. I was more surprised by the other thing I learned from the TV reports and newspapers. There were three men on stage with him at the time he died; a Persian, an Indian and a Greek, just like he'd said there would be, only the names were different. I followed his advice though. Once I saw things unfold as he had more or less told me they would, what else could I do? The card of Detective A. Tannaker from Interpol went untouched. The video messages, emails and calls went unaswered. Seeing those eyes of a shark - just as he had described - once had been enough. A few weeks later a man in fatigues came into the practice. He was PND (Polica Nacional Republica Dominician - Dominican National Police) with a number of Special Operations flashes and acronym badges on his uniform. He was somewhere between 30 and 40 years of age; a well preserved 30 or badly cared for 40, I couldn't tell. Of medium complexion and average height. He came into the office silently before pausing at military rest 10 paces away from the desk at which I was seated and asked for me by name. I nodded and spoke out the two Bible verses Skander had given me. I quoted them in Spanish in in a clear and confident voice; I felt I should make some effort.. Upon hearing the first verse he raised his eyebrows and looked deeply pensive. For the second, he smiled thinly and left. I indeed never heard from either man again.

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