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#3: CHOOSE. YOUR. OWN. ...THERAPY?
Author Message
ALIAS Offline
MIA



XWF FanBase:
The IWC

(gets varying reactions in the arenas, but will be worshiped like a god and defended until the end by internet fans; literally has thousands of online dorks logging on to complain anytime they lose a match or don't get pushed right)


Post: #1
04-30-2021 09:38 PM

(OOC: Hi all. There are 6 endings to the story, including one that occurs twice. If I have the energy and time tomorrow, I'll make up a quick narrative map for people to find their way around. Please let me know if any of the links don't work. I've tried testing them all, but I could have missed something. If you could all do me one favour and please vote in the poll as to which ending you came to FIRST, that'll give me some useful knowledge around what direction people have gone in for me to build upon in the future. I hope you all enjoy!)





3A: Whatever Will Be





"The future… it’s not ours to see. Nor really. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. That’s the God honest truth. Tomorrow I climb to the top of the mountain, and I don’t know what I’m going to find there.'

That… that scares me more than anything that you’ve said, Louis. More than all your threats, more than all your promises. It scares more than even the (im)possibility of failure. I know I will climb that mountain, but those answers of mine that you so bullishly dismiss… that’s a power enough to bring me to my knees. That’s the unknown.

Jeez, here I go again finding myself opening up to you - a
pretty little, open book for you to thumb through at your leisure. But I find no fault in stripping bare and standing before you, vulnerable and human, because for as much as I don’t know ((((((((((((((((((((answers)))))) there are a few truths that I know for certain and will cling to, even if it’s the death of me. I am just a man.

Just.

Just. Like. You.

We bleed the same.

Let’s find out!

We burn the same.

LET’S FIND OUT!

We eat the same.

Err… maybe not.

We are men.

And though I say ‘we’, Louis, I know I’m making a few assumptions about you. Me, personally? I’m mortal and fallible. I don’t need to hide behind an ominous cloud of deceit - the surest way to take me down is to cut my fucking head off, just like any other. I can be honest about that. My assumptions kick in about you because you’ve actually shared a small shred of honesty on that front too. You’re not throwing around the word ‘unbeatable’, you’re just stating what is - from your point of view - some cold, pointed facts about The Life & Times of Louis D’Ville. And you know what? You’re not wrong with some of it. Mangy stray, indeed.’


[Image: E1Qrhiy.jpg]


Sometimes the truth simply becomes a cliché.

If one is looking to break the mold though, one wouldn’t have to look very far in this duel. When, oh when, can anyone remember two men doing battle over
riches that neither of them particularly want? For one it's merely a key (there are others), while for the other it’s a mimetic desire of sorts. I suppose a similar enough situation happened with Atara Themis, but I did preempt that argument by saying ‘men’.

Goddess-slayer sounds more impressive than king-slayer.

But this is where it gets interesting, Lou’. You want this so that you can stop me from getting it, and as you said: when you want something you get it. The thing is… so do I. Or at least, so recent history would tell us. In this situation, it can only be true for one of us. No matter how you try to control the narrative around this, your argument essentially reduces down to you believing you’re going to prevail simply because that’s what you consistently do. Well draw game there, bud. You’re that dark shadow? I see in the fucking dark. Consistently. So if we can’t claim wins and losses - though you kind of are, man - what else have you got?

Nothing but the joy of running someone’s day.

Our motivations are the difference here. I’m playing for bigger stakes. Yeah that’s pressure, but by now I’ve fucking proven that I don’t crack. Not like
the boy. Still, I would’ve liked a little more on that front from you. All you offered were vague hints of something beyond.

More of the same.

Where’s that ’honesty’ I was asking for? I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. If you’re only comfortable sharing a little about
him, then I’ll take what you can offer. You brazenly brag about how you went for him, and then how you got him, and that dumb fuck doesn’t do anything to try rid himself of your stench. Makes ya think, right? I’m willing to bed, despite what you said, that you and I probably see the same thing in Thad. I mean, I fucking called it back when you and I first crossed paths, and I’ve made it perfectly clear ever since how I feel about him. At times it’s been to both Corey and Dolly’s chagrin, so we’re in sync there. Where you and I diverge is around whether or not we view that fucked up little head of his as being worth investing in, or worth devouring.

And that’s why
he’s relevant. We could debate the faults (more) and merits (less) of that tainted taint all day long, but in this contest he’s merely a matter of fuel for the fire. As if the answers to my questions weren't enough motivation, you went and chose to promote someone whose interests negatively affected my own. Well done for the execution, but go fuck yourself for the outcome. I must admit though, it does make me feel a little warm and fuzzy to know that while Thad was ‘easy’, even the good doctor is stumped when it comes to little ol’ me.

‘Right here? RIGHT here, fans. THIS is it.’

The pot of gold at the end of the
rainbow.

You’re so eager to put a hole in my head that you can’t even control yourself long enough to know what you’re looking for in me. You’re ‘not really sure what to look for’ - your words.

And on that, the seesaw tilts.

Think about what you’ve said so far, Louis. Cataclysm? It was about them. March Madness It was about them.

Yeah… you don’t care about accolades.

Mayday? I already set the scene for you, it’s about me. But people like Robert Main and Chris Page are predictable.

Literally nobody was fooled, Chris. We just didn’t care.

Similarly, mask or no mask, both Demos and Shawn Warstein are known commodities.
Day after day.

According to you, I’m not.

Ooh… isn’t this exciting! For once, the old man doesn’t have the answers! Shit, I don’t think you even have the questions.

Who?

What?

Where?

HA!

No control.

I know, I know, I know! I kind of set you up for that one. But that’s the thing, my guy - this isn’t your game we’re playing. It’s mine.

Here we are, Louis, surrounded not by your dark cloud but by the prospect of a new tomorrow when that
handsome little devil counts the one, two, three.

Heart you, Cor’.

You can feel it, can’t you? You can sense that energy in the air! You’re all aboard the hype train, Louis, and that’s great to see, but you need to look deeper. Everyone else sees what you’re not seeing. I’m quite used to doing the improbable and to going places that few have gone before, and people seem to be starting to understand that. A palpable excitement ripples amongst them as though we stand on the cusp of a revolution. Now, that’s not me. That’s not my game. I’m not a revolutionary. I’m just a guy willing to put it all on the line to earn the right to decide my own path. I belong to nobody else. And they… the others… they all see what that means for you. That’s why they’re all up in a tizzy about this match. It’s not you. Come on man, I thought we went through this. I thought you even agreed!

But yet… you didn’t. Because as you said, you’re not sure about me. I’m not like the rest of them. So now you flip it and try to reframe the narrative. But they… we... all know what this really is. I don’t need to make you feel sorry for me. After all, this is a triumph, not a tragedy. I uh… I guess I should apologise if it came across as though I was trying to guilt trip you. To be honest, It sounds like you haven’t fully understood my reasoning for opening up to you. If you’d allow me another volley, I’d like to sling another arrow and say it again in unmistakable terms: I open up my mind not to trip you up, but instead to give you cold, pointed facts.

You’re coming to this fight more powerless and impotent than you have ever been before.

I’m emptying all the Royal Treasury of all of its
riches.

What will be, will be.

Shit, you can’t even tell me what my malady is. But hey, if you want to treat first and act later, take your best fucking shot! Don’t get all pissy about the last trip(s) down the rabbit hole being involuntary. Take some fucking action! Take CONTROL!


Que será, será.

Choose your fucking treatment.”


CHOICE:
Be Gentle OR Be Assertive


























































3B: Be Gentle

“So what brings you to see me today, sir?” the doctor asks from beyond small, circular glasses. He tilts his head down peering intently over the thin wire frame. The patient shuffles in his green olefin chair. Echoes of a former lustre still remain in the outer fringes. Ironically, the same can be said of both patient and doctor.

“I was told you’re the best,” the patient replies.

“Well I suppose that all depends on the subject in question, doesn’t it?” the doctor curiously asks.

“Fixing things,” answers the patient. “People, specifically.”

“In my experience, people are not typically the problem needing to be solved,” the doctor says, dropping his eyes to his notepad as he begins scrawling. “People aren’t broken, people aren’t bad…”

“But are they crazy?” With an expressionless face, the doctor glances back up at the man with the scraggly hair in front of him.

“No,” he firmly answers. Stiffly, he sits forward, leaning over his walnut desk as he studies the patient. “Crazy doesn’t exist. Or at least, not how it’s typically viewed. My sessions with you will be based upon the foundation that the mind is not a mystical place. It is tangible and comprehendible. The mind is merely a product of the physical brain’s responses to the environment. The behaviour it produces is adaptive. It is… selected, by its consequences. That which results in an advantageous outcome will maintain. Thus, a person is not crazy. The world they live in is. Their behaviour is just a reflection of what it took to survive.”

“I…” He starts but stops. The patient’s heart throbs, eager to welcome this insight. His entire body urges to believe it with open arms. Everything wishes it to be true. Everything but his mind. The mind questions. It ticks over. Of course it does.

“I take it you believe you’re crazy?” the doctor asks, turning his attention back to his notepad.

“That’s what I’m told,” the patient replies. His nostrils flare.

“And do you believe everything that you’re told?” he presses further.

“Almost never,” he admits. The doctor watches on.

“That’s wise,” he says. “So what makes this accusation any different?”

“I…” Again, words fail him in spite of the budding feeling within.

“It’s okay,” the doctor reassures him, leaning forward once more. He nods gently at the patient, who finds strength in the gesture.

“My memory is… it’s…” he struggles, “...in pieces.”

“How so?” the doctor asks through his lenses.

“I…”

“You don’t remember.” His statement is sharp, but not abrasive. He scribbles in his pad some more. “I see. Let’s test some of the basics out then. Where were you born?”

“I don’t know”. His colleagues all have hometowns. What’s his?

“No?” he cocks an eyebrow. “Nothing? What of your family? Your parents?”

“I don’t know.” He had not thought of that question in an age. So focused was he on who he was, that he had stopped asking questions about where he was from.

“Let’s ask something even simpler then.” The doctor stops, lowering his notepad far into the fold of his hip. He lets it rest there, tucked away so that he no longer needs to balance it with his hands. “What is your name?”

There is an uncomfortable pause. In the deep recesses of the patient’s mind, a voice is heard. It speaks in a soothing lull; a dulcet, velvet kiss upon putried air. He cannot hear it, though he knows it’s there. Somewhere.

“I don’t know.”

Another pause, this one smaller and depressed. The patient hangs his head, near-sobbing, as though he has cause for shame. Seeing this, the doctor carefully closes his pad, leaving a black biro poking out as a bookmark. He slaps it down upon the desk, steps up, and moves around to the patient’s side. He drags a small, wooden side chair out from where it was tucked and pulls it across the thick, black wool of a rug upon which both the desk and patient’s own chair sit. Taking a seat right beside the patient, he speaks, quiet but deliberate.

“Amnesia is…” he begins.

“It’s not amnesia!” the patient snaps. The interruption takes the doctor aback. Calmly, but quickly, he leans back in the chair, increasing the distance between himself and the patient. The patient drops his head into his hands while the doctor rubs the fingers of his left hand down the sides of his cheeks in thought, bringing them together at the tip of his bare chin. They rest there as the patient raises his head again.

“It’s there! It’s in there! I know it!” distressed, he exclaims. His eyes unblinkingly lock upon the doctor. “It was taken from me!”

“Taken…” the doctor repeats, barely audible above his breath. He ponders upon the man in front him. He thinks that the patient may be right… this isn’t amnesia. He sees a look in the patient’s eye that suggests something he’s not sure he has ever seen before.

He has a choice to make.


CHOICE:
Accuse OR Accept


























































3B: It’s a Trap!

“So what brings you to see me today, sir?” the doctor asks from beyond small, circular glasses. He tilts his head down peering intently over the thin wire frame. The patient shuffles in his green olefin chair. Echoes of a former lustre still remain in the outer fringes. Ironically, the same can be said of both patient and doctor.

“I was told you’re the best,” replies the patient. He’s met with a snort.

“Well I suppose that all depends on the subject in question, doesn’t it?” The doctor’s voice is tinged with indignation.

“Fixing things,” the patient answers in earnest. “People, specifically.”


“Oh, you poor, damned fool,” the doctor says with a shake of his head. He drops his eyes to his notepad and begins scrawling something within it. “People aren’t broken, people aren’t ‘bad’, people aren’t…”

“Crazy?” the patient interrupts. With an expressionless face, the doctor glances back up at the man with the scraggly hair in front of him.

“Crazy doesn’t exist,” he firmly answers. Stiffly, he sits forward, leaning over his walnut desk as he studies the patient. “But there is such a thing as ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’. And I can tell just by looking at you that your mind is not healthy.”

The doctor rises from his chair, slapping the notebook down on the desk in front of him. He sweeps around the side and pushes a stack of papers to the side to make room for himself to sit upon its edge. Looking down upon the patient, he wriggles his nose to guide the spectacles up to the bridge.

“Look at you,” he scoffs. “When was the last time you had a haircut?”

“I…” the doctor interrupts the patient, mid-thought with a finger raised to his mouth.

“Shh…” he hushes him. “I already know your history, and I already know the excuses that you’re going to offer. ‘Waa, waa, waa! I don’t know my name! Mean people were mean to me! I’m going to beat everybody up and be the bestest!’ Save me the sob story. I’m quite tired of seeing the victim card being played.”

“I…” Again, the doctor silences the patient.

“The good news, my little vagrant, is that there is a solution.” He reaches into the pocket of his grey, pleated blazer and withdraws a small cigarette carton. Opening it, he pulls out a lone cigarette and places it into his mouth. He slides the packet back into the same jacket pocket and his hand returns with a small black lighter. He raises it towards the white paper rolled tight in his mouth and presses upon the ignition switch. It immediately sets a light. Leaning forward, the doctor positions the cigarette inside the flames and it quickly takes to burning.

“I…” the patient starts again. He’s interrupted with a gesture for silence once more. The doctor draws a long, calculated puff, and exhales a smoky cloud into the air that wafts across the room. The patient’s eyes follow it, only brought back by the sound of a slight clip as the lighter is placed upon the desk. He looks up into the doctor’s eyes once more, whose own familiarly flicker the reflection of the flame.

“I believe,” he says with glowing eyes, “that there are memories you are suppressing. I have methods to retrieve them.”

“I… AAARRRRGGHHHHH!” The patient interrupts himself this time with a piercing shriek. The doctor presses the burning end of the cigarette further into the patient’s right hand. He recoils it back and holds it tight up to his body as he pushes to his feet. His chair tumbles backwards onto the thick black wool underneath their feet. “What the fuck did you do that for!?”

“It’s time for us to make you remember,” he says, drawing another puff of what remains of the cigarette. “We’re going to use something called exposure therapy, however, I think you’ll find that my methods are a little more… direct than some of my contemporaries.”

“No,” the patient hisses. “We’re done here. You’re fucking done.”

He turns his back to the doctor and heads for the door. Before he gets there, however, the door swings open. A troop of men in black suits and face masks file in, flanking out to the sides of the room. The patient guesses there must be twenty of them. The final two take up position right in front of the door.

The patient scans down each side of the gathered forces, looking for any point that might budge under a little bit of pressure, but he doesn’t see anything. Cautiously, he turns back to face the doctor who he sees has taken a seat again on the other side of the desk. His hands clasp in front of him as he stares studiously at the patient.

“The only question is… what’s going to be the most effective method?


CHOICE:
Restraint OR Seclusion



























































3C: Accusation

Pushing his chair back, the doctor stands. Exhaling, he walks to the far side of the room. The patient remains seated, his breathing loud and heavy. He follows the doctor with his blue, washed out eyes.

The doctor comes to a stop at a window veiled with a white, sheer curtain. The doctor pulls it back, opening the room to more of Sol’s tender rays. Even from the patient’s vantage point several feet away he can see the yellow-stone of the neighbouring buildings. The doctor, physically closer to the world beyond, watches as a pigeon flutters down to a ledge across the narrow street below. Three chirping chicks greet it with an eager hunger.

The doctor’s eyes lower to the street. The patient continues to wait. Down below, a group of three young children skip down the street - two boys and a girl. Behind them, an old man calls out to them. The girl looks back while the boys run headfirst into traffic.

The world stops.

So does the car.

The boys press forward on their continuum.



Ever forward.



The girl and the old man follow on. The pigeon flies off once more in search of food for its flock. But the man here in this room is the inverse.

“You believe your name was taken from you…” the doctor muses, still half-turned away, facing the window. His tone has changed, less considerate or inquisitive, with an air of superiority radiating outwards. “You’re an interesting man. Your file revealed several equally interesting pieces of information. With all of that prior knowledge I have, I find it curious to hear what you choose to prioritise. The first thing you seemed to be interested in was how others may perceive you. That doesn’t seem to gel well with the rest of your constructed identity.”

“Wha…” The patient begins to speak but the doctor whips around and raises a commanding finger to quieten him. He subdues accordingly as the doctor steps back from the window. He circles behind the patient, taking the long way back to the large desk chair from which he started. He settles in and rests his elbows upon the desk. His hands clasp together in front of his face.

“I’m aware of your trials and tribulations,” the doctor continues. The patient worryingly darts his eyes around. “You can’t make public statements like you have been without it coming to the attention of inquiring minds. You have a lot of people’s attention. I wonder then, why is it that you care so much about being perceived as ‘crazy’? Even further, why is it that you feel such a need to call out your colleagues when you feel they aren’t being truthful? What business of yours is it?”

“That…” Again a raised finger silences the patient.

“Though I respect your right to have your own opinion, I am very much uninterested in your theories right now,” his words are firm. They’re detached, but there’s a genuine marvel in them too. “The records show that you’ve spent months pondering the answers to the questions of your life. On your own, you have been unable to answer them. Why would that be any different now?”

The patient does not try to speak up again. The doctor, meanwhile, reopens his notepad and begins leafing through the pages.

“So… there’s a supposed escape from a psychiatric hospital. In Australia, nonetheless. Allegedly.” He looks over the top of his glasses. “Notably, you don’t speak with an accent. You have, however, spoken of a trip to the woods where you discover a magic meteor-turned-dagger, a mystical theme park adventure leading to a rope made of literal human hair, and stories of gods and goddesses seeking to claim your very being. Discrete tales, pieced together in a patchwork tapestry that barely holds up. All one would need to do is… pull the thread.”

He continues to stare observantly at the patient. His tongue glides back and forward over his bottom lip, peeled back over the top of his lower teeth.

“That is… unless a minotaur would disrupt it.” With a thwap he drops his notes onto the table once more. With a long - silencing - index finger, he pushes the bridge of his glasses back up his nose and rises from his chair once more. His hand drapes atop the desk’s surface, fingers skimming along the grains of the walnut timber as he steps around once more to the patient’s side. He half-sits upon the corner, looking down upon the ruffian.

“What would possess you to make this story up?”

“Excuse me!?” The patient has had enough. He lurches forward, his chair falling over upon the shaggy mat of black fur. He stands, inches from the doctor’s face. “I came here for help, and this is how you’re going to treat me?”

“You need to understand,” the doctor raises his palms in a non-threatening motion. “I do not deny that you need help. You do! And I can be the one to offer it.”

“How!?” the patient accuses. “By making me out to be…”

“To be what?” the doctor asks, attempting to catch the patient in a trap. The patient doesn’t take the bait.

“A liar,” he says flatly. “I am not a liar.”

“I can appreciate that my methods may seem confrontational,” the doctor concedes. “But there are times when an individual needs to confront their affliction in order to surpass it.”

“Not like this,” the patient seethes.

The doctor stops to think. The patient is getting heightened and the wrong move here could be disastrous for both the therapeutic relationship and the patient’s outcomes. Which choice should he make?


CHOICE:
Take a Seat OR Please Leave



























































3C b: Acceptance

Pushing his chair back, the doctor stands. Exhaling, he walks to the far side of the room. The patient remains seated, his breathing loud and heavy. He follows the doctor with his blue, washed out eyes.

The doctor comes to a stop at a window veiled with a white, sheer curtain. The doctor pulls it back, opening the room to more of Sol’s tender rays. Even from the patient’s vantage point several feet away he can see the yellow-stone of the neighbouring buildings. The doctor, physically closer to the world beyond, watches as a pigeon flutters down to a ledge across the narrow street below. Three chirping chicks greet it with an eager hunger.

The doctor’s eyes lower to the street below. The patient continues to wait. Down below, a group of three young children skip down the street - two boys and a girl. Behind them, an old man calls out to them. The girl looks back while the boys run headfirst into traffic.

The world stops.

So does the car.

The boys press forward on their continuum.


Ever forward.


The girl and the old man follow on. The pigeon flies off once more in search of food for its flock. But the man here in this room is the inverse.

“You believe your name was taken from you…” the doctor contemplates. He turns towards the patient with his whole body, and his tone softens as he speaks. The light glows behind him; an aura from another world. “I can’t ever begin to understand how that feels.”

Gears churn within the patient’s mind. Which path is he on? Is this a deception or reality? The lines have been blurring closer and closer. The doctor leaves the window and as he steps away the entire room brightens. He walks back towards his chair at the desk opposite the patient. He drops into it, letting his body fall heavily against the back of the chair.

“What do I do with you?” he asks. His defeatism isn’t hidden. He runs a clammy hand through his thin grey hair and looks at - no, through! - the patient. On the patient’s end, his eyes uncomfortably flit around the edges of the doctor’s chair, avoiding direct eye contact. For the better.

“So you believe me?” the patient asks with a child-like sincerity.

“I believe…” he labours through a resigned sigh, “...that you’ve suffered an incomparable trauma.”

“A trauma?” the patient asks with a rising voice.

“An incomparable one,” the doctor repeats. The patient hears it as if it’s supposed to lessen the impact somehow.

“Well fuck you in your fat fucking asshole!” The patient has had enough. He lurches forward, rising above the walnut desk while his chair falls over upon the shaggy mat of black fur. Frothing at the mouth and bent across the desk, he simmers inches from the doctor’s face. Briefly, the doctor shuts his eyes and draws a deep breath.

“I…”

“Oh, shut the fuck up!” the patient bellows. “I’ve fucking had it with people like you - you wrinkly-balled cunt - judging me. All you do is preach your fucking pseudoscientific, dogma-of-the-week bullshit and try to pretend that it fucking means something. I mean… you’re out here telling me that the mind is tangible. Well fucking touch it, cunt! Touch it!”

The patient jabs at the air with an extended - silencing - finger. Bubbles of perspective pop.

“You’re not touching a goddamn thing,” he hisses. “No mind, no tangible truth, fucking nothing! You pretend that you have some sort of supreme understanding of how people like me tick, but let’s be real here… your entire fucking discipline is bullshit. How the fuck do you explain what I’ve been through? How the fuck do you account for the time I spent in the hospital? How do you reckon your version of reality with what I’ve fucking dealt with? My skin has been on fucking fire!

My right hand is my left.

How do you explain that, fuckface? How do you explain everything that I am melting away? You call this a damn therapy session? What are you offering, aside from reminding me that the world sucks a big, fat, throbbing cock? That is your big fucking reveal?

‘The world sucks, so suck it.’

Really?

Like… fucking, really?

Fuck you!

And fuck everyone like you!

Fuck everyone who tries to put me in a fucking box. Fuck everyone who tries to douse my fire.

You. Can’t. Fucking. Stop. Me.

You can’t even fucking touch me!

What the fuck else do you even have to offer?”


In shock, the doctor stops to think. Somehow he finds a spare second in the chaos. The patient is enraged and the wrong move here could be disastrous for both the therapeutic relationship and the patient’s outcomes. Which choice should he make?


CHOICE:
Take a Seat OR Please Leave




























































3C: The Ties that Bind

The patient nervously glances from the doctor to the henchmen that surround him. His hands - one gloved though marred with ash, and one not - ball up into tight fists, whitening his knuckles.

“I think I have just the right tools for the job,” the doctor declares, more to himself than anything. He leaves his seat once again and makes his way to a bookshelf tucked in one of the back corners behind him. His fingers run across the spines of several of the works, before finally resting on a book with a light blue and white spine. In red script at the top of the spine, ‘High Adventure’ stands out from the coldness of the background. The name ‘Edmund Hillary’ is readable to the patient in similar font approximately a quarter of the way down from the title. The doctor pulls on it, and the top juts out a little from the rest of the row of books.

As if straight from a cheesy Scooby Doo cartoon, a click is heard, and a section of the wall begins to raise up. In awe, the patient’s eyes dart to the chamber that reveals itself on the other side.

“Oh fuck no...” he utters under his breath.

“Take him,” the doctor says with a wave of his hand. Dozens of hands grab at the patient, gripping limbs, torso, and even head.

“If you do this, I’m going to rip your fucking…” he tries to shout. One of the reaching paws muzzles him, clasping not just his mouth but his jaw too, forcing it shut.

“Tut tut,” the doctor grins. “We are really going to need to do something about that potty mouth while we’re at it.”

The shock troopers hoist the patient off the ground and start dragging him through the opening in the wall. The patient panics - it’s too familiar! Flashes of an uncertain past trickle through his mind, images of doctors and nurses ripping away his autonomy and enforcing their own will upon him. His captors care not. They carry him anyway, and shackle him with straps and chains into a chair in the secret room. His wrists and ankles are bound. He writhes against them as the doctor starts approaching.

“You fucking…”

“Shut him up,” the doctor commands. Two of the heavies oblige, securing a Lecter-like mask around his face. Beneath it, the patient continues to spout muffled obscenities. The doctor leans down into his face, safe from any gnashing and gnawing that one as rabid as this vagabond may be prone to do.

The doctor cracks his neck as he stares into shifting irises. A blue-gray both brightens and darkens as it turns to indigo. And in the faintest corners, a tinge of red. The doctor chuckles.

“We’re going to fix you,” he says, quiet and eerily calm. “We’re going to make you revisit your trauma, and through it, we’ll unteach these responses that you’ve learned. That’s all this is, troubled one. Learned behaviour. Your environment has taught you that in the presence of certain stimuli, particular responses are… adaptive. We’re going to break those bonds. Even if it means breaking you first in order to reform you. But what do we do first?”


CHOICE:
Use Fire OR Use Lightning





























































3C: Throw Away the Key

“Get him out of here,” the doctor says with a wave. Dozens of hands grab at the patient, gripping limbs, torso, and even head.

“I’m going to rip your fucking…” he tries to shout. One of the reaching paws muzzles him, clasping not just his mouth but his jaw too, forcing it shut.

“Tut tut,” the doctor grins. “We are really going to need to do something about that potty mouth while we’re at it. Now, get him out of here.”

Obliging, the shock troopers hoist the patient off the ground and start dragging him through the door. The patient panics - it’s too familiar! Flashes of an uncertain past trickle through his mind, images of doctors and nurses ripping away his autonomy and enforcing their own will upon him. His captors care not. They carry him away, down an unremarkable corridor and towards the elevator.

The bodies pack the space, closing the walls in around the the patient. Through masses of human, he spies a gloved hand open a hidden panel directly underneath the elevator buttons. Another button is revealed, and the hand pushes it. The elevator whirs to life and begins lowering the patient and his guards far more than the mere three stories that were required to reach the ground.

Down they go into unknown depths.

Eventually the lift door dings open. They file out into a large, windowless room with thick concrete walls. The bodies fill it up as they unload from the elevator. The patient is borne forward again towards the far end of the room, which narrows down to a long, aseptic hallway. Thick steel doors with heavy deadlocks line either side. Approximately half-way down, one of the side doors is open. The patient is forced in, and discarded face first onto the cold, hard floor. His hands barely have a chance to prevent his jaw from shattering on the ground.

The door slams shut behind him, and the patient hears the bolt slide into place. He scrambles to his feet and charges the door. He tries to open it, but it doesn’t budge.

“Hey! Hey, come back here!” he calls out to them as he hears footsteps trail off down the corridor. His fists bang against the steel, but it is to no avail.

He’s trapped.

---

He doesn’t know how long he was alone in the room before he heard anybody’s voice. The lack of outdoor light obscures the passage of time. But as the door’s lock unhooks, he clambers to his feet to meet his guest.

The unidentifiable men in suits enter first, aggressively pushing him to the back of the room. He takes a seat upon the bare mattress he had been provided with to sleep on, and the wrought iron frame that it rests upon creaks. Four guards then take positions next to the door - two on either side - as the doctor himself reenters the room. His beady eyes leer at the patient through his frames.

“I hope you’re finding your accommodations suitable,” he says, his words dripping with mockery.

“You need to let me out of here!” he screams as he tries to stand up. The guards each raise their left hand, while their right moves to a holster on each of their belts.

“I cannot, I’m afraid,” he declines with hands raised to the sky in forgiveness. “Not until you’re well again.”

“What does that even mean?” he begs for an answer.

“Relive your trauma,” he growls. And just like that, he spins on his heel and leaves. The brigade follows, leaving the patient alone in the room again.

---

More time passes, incalculable and obtuse. He tries to come up with a system to track the days based on when a plate of sloppy muck is handed through a slit in the door for him to eat, but it continues to be fallible. As a result, he suspects the times he is being fed are genuinely inconsistent.

The silence of his existence becomes his greatest foe. With nobody to converse with, he fills the void with his own music. The one fluorescent light tube fastened securely beyond his reach in the ceiling casts shadows against the walls and floor, and through them his hands become characters. The tales start off absurd and derivative: stories of lions and hyenas and meerkats and warthogs, jostling to become the king of the savannah.

Over time, the shadow sagas shift to familiar stories of love and loss. Through them, the patient emotes.

“Oh Corey, I just want to bone forever!”

“Sorry, Dolly. I’m gay as fuck now!”

“Does this mean you’re finally going to plow that grungy guy who’s been after your D since day one but you told him you didn’t swing that way?”

“Of course not, I’m going to stick my dick in some other hole!”

“We better put that grungy dick in a different hole in then. One all by himself!”

“Great idea! And we’ll never try to find him either!”

As time bleeds on, the patient’s characters devolve further. No longer complex constructions and scenes, they become static and repetitive. Their language becomes simple and obsolete.

“My right hand is my left.

My right hand is my left.

My right hand is my left.

My right hand is my left.”


---

The doctor watches eagerly. He sees the regression unfolding and waits with baited breath for the patient to take the next step. He never does. The revelation never comes.

---

Throughout his deconstruction, the patient is visited by the doctor several times. They seem to start out frequently at first - the patient using the irregular meal times as his best available measurement. During these early call-ins, the doctor continues to espouse the same vague plan. As the patient ‘progresses’ however, the tone shifts further. He becomes more pointed and callous.

“You’re worthless,” he tells him. “Utter, vile garbage who can’t ever be cured!”

The patient takes it to heart at first, but as the visits become more sporadic the barbs lose their pointedness. If anything, they become a reprieve. The true battle rages within the walls the rest of the time.

“My right hand is my left.”


---

The visits stop altogether. ‘Food’ continues to be delivered, but soon, even that runs out.

In a dark hole of a place nobody remembers, the patient becomes a myth. The myth is eventually forgotten, and the patient becomes the past.

“Que será, será.”


My right hand is my left.
My left hand is my right.
My centre may be bereft
Of life, but not of fight.





GREEN ENDING
Go Back One Step OR Start Over





























































3D: A Beginning With a Bloodied Body

“Please, you’re angry...” the doctor acknowledges. He tempers his tone, but the condescending undercurrent still lurks beneath the surface. “That’s a normal response. Take a seat and we can work through it.”

“Take a seat?” the patient repeats. “Take a fucking seat?”

He stomps back to where the chair he had previously been sitting in lays sprawled across the ground. He hoists it, looks the doctor dead in the eye, and hurls the chair at the window the doctor had been staring out of prior. Glass shatters as the window bursts into a thousand shards, spraying a shower of falling death out onto the street below. Pigeons and people, old and young, flee for cover. The doctor backs away cautiously as a firm, but gentle breeze begins blowing into the office. A couple of loose leaves of paper on the doctor’s desk ruffle in the wind and blow to the side of the room. They catch the doctor’s attention just enough to give the patient time to bound around the desk in the opposite direction and cut the doctor off.

“There you go, I took it!” he barks. “I took it and did with it exactly what I should do with your advice, your opinions, and shit… maybe I should do it with you.”

He prods the doctor with a stiff, extended, index finger. The poke pushes the doctor backwards a couple of steps.

“There’s no need for that,” he says to the patient, a slight suggestion of concern creeping into the corner of his eye.

“For what? This?” The patient thrusts his finger into the doctor’s chest again. Again, the doctor steps back.

“Please...” he pleads, that whisper of worry working its way into his voice. The patient prods him again.

“You said ‘please’,” he shrugs, as if he expects the next words out of the doctor’s mouth to be ‘thank you’.

“Don’t do this…” the doctor’s voice quivers. He nervously eyes his desk, and the patient follows his gaze, narrowing to focus. Behind the doctor’s side of the magnificent timber, just to the right of where he would sit upon his chair, a small red button barely pokes out from underneath the surface.

“Oh! How clever!” the patient’s words drip with sarcasm. “It’s a pity that little alarm of yours is so far away!”

He prods with his pointer finger again.

The doctor steps backwards once, but cannot step again. He has run out of space to move.

He stands in the frame of the open window. Jagged shards of glass still jut out into the opening.

Terror takes him.

“Tell me how this makes you feel?” the patient asks, full of malice. “Do you feel safe? Secure? Is this a comfortable place to share?”

“I…” the doctor trembles as he glances back down to the street below.

“What’s the matter, ‘doc’?” the patient taunts him. “Have you never been put in this position before? Have you never had anybody be able to beat you by playing into your own game? This is your game, right? You sow fear and doubt and watch all of the pretty terror trees grow from the muddied soil. You deconstruct people. You try to bring them around to your way of viewing the world. But this… this is how I view it!”

His left hand lunges forward and jams into the doctor’s mouth. The doctor flails, fighting against the patient in front of him and the near certain doom that the patient is steering him towards. The patient pushes back. The doctor’s neck cranes as he tries to balance against the relentless attack. His knees buckle. With a thud, he collapses onto the edge of the full-length window. His shoulders hang out over the edge, brushing against a brick ledge just on the other side, while his head hangs completely over the side. Streams of blood trickle down each of their arms from what glass still remains in the window, but the patient doesn’t seem to even notice. He continues to apply pressure to the nerves inside the doctor’s jaw.

Without support, the doctor’s head bends at an obscene angle. His eyes start to loll from side to side in his skull as he loses his grip on consciousness. As they begin to roll up into the top of his head, the patient lets go, allowing the doctor to remain in this world for a second longer.

“Not yet. Not for you. I want you to hear this,” the patient says as he brings himself back to his feet. “I have had well and truly enough of people like you thinking that they don’t need to be held accountable for what they do to people like me. You want to paint this picture that I’m not in touch with reality. But look at you… laying in a puddle of blood, barely clinging on to this world… what does reality even mean anymore?”

The doctor groans as he tries to move. The patient lifts a leg and drops a green and white Converse shoe across the doctor’s chest.

“My reality is what I’ll make of it. I’m the one in control of that.” He looks out of the window while he speaks, almost as if he is talking to himself. “There will be a great disruption, but don’t you get it ‘doc’? I am that disruption. I am already what you want to make me into - an agent of chaos. This is my game.”

The patient spies the baby pigeons bobbing their heads up and down in the nest across the street. He smiles at them.

“Where’s your sense of experimentation gone, my man? Where’s your scientific interest?” he continues, speaking into the air and barely even registering that the doctor is under his foot. “Aren’t you just a little bit curious what will happen when someone like me gets dropped into the universe? Don’t you want to know what sort of effect that sort of variable will have on the way of the world?”

He lifts his foot, and takes two half-steps back from the body of the still conscious doctor. Through the window, he looks up to the blue, cloudless sky and the moon that still refuses to set.

He dreams.

“Here’s the real kicker…” he muses. Pausing, he reaches down to the doctor and with a heave, pulls him up to his feet. The doctor wobbles, but the patient steadies him. Warmness returns to his eyes as he pats the doctor on the cheek. “We already know what happens when we drop you in…”

And the kicker comes like he’s Leonidus. The heel of his shoe connects squarely on the doctor’s chest. He goes a-flying and plummets to the street below.

SPLAT!

The patient pops his head out and sees the doctor’s body lying mangled on the sidewalk below, his head resting in a large red pool of his own making. Dozens of scavengers crowd around and murmur in hushed, shocked tones that don’t make it all the way up to the third floor window. Nobody bothers to look up.

“My favourite stories are those that end with someone all bloodied.” he confesses. Taking his sight from the doctor and up into the heavens, he lays eyes upon the moon.

“Unless this is just another beginning...”


Without warning, he steps off the ledge himself.

He falls.

Up and up, he falls.

He falls forward towards tomorrow.

What will be, will be.


In our hearts we choose to believe.
It’s our bane; our plage; our curse.
Though we may find a way to perceive,
Our dreams twist into something perverse.





RED ENDING
Go Back One Step OR Start Over




























































3D: My Way:

“I’m sorry to hear about your frustration with the process,” the doctor says as he meets the patient’s eye. Unblinking, the patient keeps his gaze. They hold, locked in an eternal struggle.

It’s the doctor that breaks.

He pushes up from his perch and brushes past the patient as he treks across the room to the window, resuming his study of the world outside. He stays there for a moment that to the patient, feels as if it lasts an age. The doctor hears the patient as they grow more and more restless. Finally, he turns back, looking over his shoulder, and speaks.

“I think you should leave.” Again, his voice is calm but direct.

“You’ve got to be kidding me…” the patient complains. “Are you seriously going to just boot me out?”

“I admit that this is not the preferred option, and I regret it as such...” The doctor turns his back on the window completely. The light glows behind him; an aura from another world. “I fear, however, that you are beyond my scope of practice.”

“Are you fucking serious!?” the patient asks, storming towards the doctor. The doctor raises one hand and motions for the patient to stay back. Retaining some level of restraint, he stops about four feet away. His fingers twitch at the bottom of stiff hands beside his hips. “What kind of fucking doctor are you?”

“Sadly,” he starts, “not the right doctor for you.”

He gestures with an open arm towards the door. The patient’s twitch spreads from his fingers up to his eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, but please leave,” the doctor repeats.

Ideas flood through the patient’s mind - all of the different ways in which he could punish the doctor for this perceived misconduct. He thinks of clamps, hammers, screwdrivers, and chainsaws. He thinks of his friend, the blowtorch. He dreams of doom but decides on acquittal. If the doctor is not right, then the doctor is not right.

Right, Doc?

He spits. A large wad of saliva lands in front of the doctor’s feet but the patient does not wait to see the response. He has already started heading for the door. He barges through it, past the receptionist and other patients waiting in the lobby outside, and into an elevator. Another woman approaches the open doors, but when she sees the look upon the patient’s face, she thinks again and steps out of sight.

With a ding, the doors close. The short trip - just three floors - is without the stereotypic banality of typical elevator music. There’s just silence. A familiar nothingness, as fucking useful as that asshole doctor.

The elevator opens at the bottom floor. The patient steps out, paying no attention to the mindless vultures buzzing about. He cuts a swathe through the crowd and steps into the enclosure of a rotating door. A quiet fury bubbles beneath the surface as he waits for the glass to cycle back to the opening. Except the opening never comes. Round and round he walks, orbits and cycles and the circle of life. The world around begins to shift. It strips away, bloody shards of a prior memory. And finally, the patient emerges into a small, enclosed courtyard. Concrete walls reach up to the galaxies above. And before him, a gate of fire.

Through his own gate of transparent glass, three stories above, the doctor looks down at the man standing on a non-descript city street.

The patient steps forward towards the flaming portal.

A pigeon flies above.

A spattering of excrement drips upon the patient as he steps into the fire.

Good fucking luck, kid.

The fire laps at his skin. The avian discharge smolders away at the mercy of the thirsty flames. It dissolves. The flames grow bigger. The patient presses on into the inferno. His skin begins to peel, sizzling and flaking. His hand means naught when his entire being is ablaze.

’He’ falls away, drifting off with the remainder of the prior world.

A new ‘he’ emerges into a new kingdom. Not a patient… a legend.

Before him unfolds a fresh field of burgeoning blossoms and the sprouts of spring. A rainbow arcs across a bright blue sky. Pigeons become bluebirds, singing songs of life and love. In the distance, upon a hill, stands a shining city of stars and gold.

This is how it ends.



Legends follow oft-sung paths,
Answers exposed through struggle.
Sins lather choirs’ baths,
Shining lights, not dropped, but juggled.





BLUE ENDING
Go Back To Accuse OR Go Back To Accept OR Start Over





























































3D: Pandora’s Box

“Please, you’re angry...” the doctor acknowledges, soft and understanding. “That’s a normal response. Take a seat and we can work through it.”

“Take a seat?” the patient repeats. “Take a fucking seat?”

He stomps back to where the chair he had previously been sitting in lays sprawled across the ground. He hoists it, and looks the doctor dead in the eye.

“I’ll fucking do it!” he threatens.

“I believe you, but know that you don’t have to.” The doctor raises his hands, palms facing out, and in gentle, repeated motions, encourages the patient to lower the chair. “I know that you’re upset, please put the chair down and we can come up with a way to resolve this situation.”

“Ugh!” the patient grunts. He tosses the chair to the side and it clatters off the light brown wall and onto the carpet. The impact shakes a photo of the doctor atop a mountain from its hook, and it too falls. Without looking over his shoulder, the patient storms off to the door to the office.

“Wait!” the doctor calls out, but the patient doesn’t respond. He shoves the door open and blows out into the lobby. The suddenness of his movement draws the attention of the receptionist and other patients waiting in the lobby outside.

The patient eyeballs the others in the room, only becoming aware of the doctor standing behind him when he spies the receptionist reaching a slow hand across their desk to a black telephone. The doctor, stepping out of his office, shakes his head at her and slightly smiles, letting her know that the situation is okay.

“My friend,” he says, draping a gentle arm around the patient’s shoulders. From the corner of his eye, the doctor notices the other patients in the room staring at the two of them. He raises a thumb, subtle to the patient but clearly visible to the other inhabitants, while he turns his primary attention back towards his current ward. “I know that was trying, but I wanted to thank you for your cooperation there. Upon further reflection, I have another suggestion for you, if you’d be interested?”

“I doubt it,” the patient grumbles, becoming all too aware himself of the gawking stares.

“Hear me out!” the doctor entreats. Side-by-side, looking over each other’s shoulders, they make eye contact.

“Fine!” he agrees with a scowl.

“Marvelous! Walk this way, if you will?” The doctor claps, and rubs his hands together. He lowers his voice, barely audible above a humming fishtank sitting behind the reception desk. “Less nosy nellies.”

He pats the patient on the shoulder and then starts off, the patient half a step behind. They move into a short corridor branching off from the waiting room just next to the elevator. The door they enter is at the end, and it opens up into what resembles a dental examination room. A black chair, easily and creatively articulable, dominates the centre of an otherwise sterile mix of whites, greys and faint baby blues.

“Please, sit,” the doctor asks, without any hint of irony. Warily, the patient does as he’s told. The doctor, meanwhile, slides a rolling stool along the textured linoleum flooring, and takes roost just beside where the patient sits in his special chair. They make eye contact again, and the doctor’s warmth cradles the patient’s heart. “I’m very proud of you. I want you to know that.”

“Oh…” The kindness takes the patient aback. “Wha… what for?”

“For your perseverance and your courage,” the doctor beams. “For how you were able to recognise that you were about to make a bad choice, and so you were able to stop yourself, observe your own behaviour, and make a good choice instead. You’ve made so much progress!”

“Thanks…?” the patient stammers.

“No, thank you!” The doctor takes the patient’s hand and wraps both of his own around it. He rubs it gently, still brimming with pride.

“What was the suggestion you wanted to offer me?” the patient asks, with no hint of the malice of his previous outburst.

“Ah yes!” the doctor jumps from his seat. “Wait one moment; just sit right there.”

He hastily shuffles behind the patient, who eases back into the chair. Through the reflective corner of one of the benches in the room, he watches the doctor rummage behind him. For the most part, however, his vision is impaired by the doctor’s turned back.

He draws a deep breath and closes his eyes for just a second. When they reopen, he sees movement through the shiny reflector. The doctor half-turns to the side, and the patient sees something in his hand. It’s a...

“Wait!” he panics. Flashes of an uncertain past trickle through his mind, images of doctors and nurses ripping away his autonomy and enforcing their own will upon him. The memories trouble him enough to force him to his feet, except…

SNAP!

A metal contraption launches up from the chair to the side of his head. Forcefully, it wraps around him and restricts his head into a perfectly still position. He tries to use his hands to free himself, but…

SNAP!

His hands are gobbled up by metallic bands that rise from the side of the chair. He wriggles in place but gets nowhere with it. He still has his mouth though.

“Why you fuc…”

SNAP!

Wrapping around from the side of the head contraption, a steel mask locks together and is lowered down over his mouth, muzzling the patient.

“We’re going to perform a little operation here…” the doctor says as he lowers a power drill into the patient’s limited range of vision. He gives it a few test bursts. The expression on his face is all new - to both he and the patient. “This procedure is one that I find quite useful in situations such as yours where a differential diagnosis is too difficult to determine.






















Lobotomy.”

The drill approaches the patient’s head, and with no warning and no anaesthetic, it pierces his skull. The patient screams as steel grinds on bone as chips fly across the room. A particularly large and bloody bone chip lands upon the doctor’s lip. He licks it clean. The patient’s consciousness grows weak, and eventually, he fades.

And that’s when it happens.

The hole in his head begins to glow white hot. The doctor hears a distant cry of trumpets coming from within. He bends down and peers into his therapeutic mineshaft.

FLASH!

The light blinds him. It physically overwhelms him. With the patient’s mind not there to hold them in, pantheons of creatures and otherworldly buildings pour forward and completely rend the doctor into nothing.

Pure nothing. Just like he used to be.

---

The patient comes to.

The Lobotomy saved him.

Unfortunately, it did worse for the doctor.


A man lost his mind
In his search for control.
He dared to look inside
This head like a hole.





PURPLE ENDING
Go Back One Step OR Start Over






























































3D: Watch it Burn

The patient fights against his restraints. He jerks his right arm, straining with all his might. The chains clink and clank. They don’t budge. They don’t break. He tries with his left instead, even going as far as trying to raise it! But he is denied. As he tries to extend his arm, the links in the chain seem to supernaturally stretch. It’s not enough. Willing himself one more time, he gathers his strength and steels the totality of his force and will against his binds. The chair itself shakes!

The chains don’t just remain, they tighten.

The doctor watches the patient toil and strain. As his efforts fail him, he drops his head in defeat. His body falls forward and hangs there for a silent moment. Slowly, his head rises up; his eyes narrowed and his teeth gritted. He locks in upon the doctor’s wicked face, a wry, leering smirk making itself at home upon it.

“Fuck you!” he rages from behind the mask. It’s muffled, but the doctor understands.

“No thank you,” the doctor shakes his head. “Let’s fix that little tic of yours, shall we?”

Turning his head to the throng of suited men gathered alongside the patient and doctor in the hidden chamber, he nods. The two closest to the centre of the pack - the same two who were closest to the door in the office - turn to face the nearest shiny steel wall and simultaneously open even more hidden panels.

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?

Underneath is a button, which in perfect sync, they press. The wall begins to move. Again.

Because why wouldn’t it?

An engine grinds to life and a rectangular segment of the wall juts out. It rotates, shiny side down, and settles just above the average waist, perpendicular to the ground. The patient’s eyes flick to the revealed table. The doctor watches him attentively, gently licking his lips.

“Do you see it?” the doctor asks. The patient focuses back upon him, his expression unchanged. “Is that… a no?”

He doesn’t wait for a response. The doctor walks across the glossy ground and towards his table. He stops at its edge, and glances back towards the patient once more. His smile has only grown more sinful. Turning his back towards the patient and focusing upon the bench, the patient is left to hear a light clanging sound as unknown materials drop onto the table. The doctor sighs longingly.

The patient tries one more time to wriggle free from his bondage. He thrashes. He flails. It’s to no avail.

Slow, plodding footsteps return the doctor to the patient. He crouches, and presents to him a weapon.

“How about now?” he asks, making sure that the patient can see the item in all its glory. The patient can. The patient does. “It’s probably a bit bigger than what you’re used to, but I happen to think this dosage is necessary. After all, smaller prescriptions have been… ineffective.”

He stands, and slings the weapon’s strap over his shoulder. A nearby soldier helps fasten it in place and braces the doctor as he takes two, overencumbered steps backwards. Another slips the spectacles off his face and replaces them with a reflective, protective visor. The nozzle of the blowtorchfucking flamethrower is pointed right at the patient’s restrained body.

“Fuck you!” he curses the doctor again, louder and clearer above the covering on his face. A small puff of flame threateningly suggests the future. The patient doesn’t blink. “Do your fucking worst.”

And so he does.

A blazing inferno roars from the flamethrower’s mouth.

It completely engulfs the patient.

His tattered shirt catches. It burns away, first into ash, and then gradually smaller and smaller into infinitesimally small particles. His denim jeans follow suit. As do his shoes, his socks, and his underwear. The eternal flames embrace his entire, naked body.

And he…



The dark of another world surrounds him.

A sky of reds and oranges.

The naked man with a hair full of scraggly, unwashed, blonde locks, stands atop the mountain.

Bodies lie everywhere. Stripped and desecrated.

He steps over the body of an old man and towards a circle of massive, doused torches.

Five stone altars glow; complete.

He looks up to the skies.

It rains fire.

Everything burns.

[Image: Syumvvp.png]

The flame dies and the doctor flips his visor to the top of his head.

He smiles, at first, big and hearty. Gradually, it drops. The melted sludge of the metal chains drip from the sides of the chair.

The naked patient stands.

Just what I needed,” he says, his eyes not blue but red.



---BLINK!---



Bodies of men in suits are strewn everywhere. The naked patient steps over the doctor.

And into a new world.


I will walk on through the fire,
Because I was made to emerge.
You will fall upon the pyre,
And I will watch you burn.





ORANGE ENDING
Go Back One Step OR Start Over































































3D: Day One was Shocking

The patient fights against his restraints. He jerks wildly from left to right. The entire force of his body and strength drives against the chains. They creak and clank as the links push against each other. He surges, pushing further and further! Desperately he tries to stretch the steel. The chair itself shakes!

The chains don’t just remain, they tighten.

The doctor watches the patient toil and strain. He doesn’t give up. Violently he continues to fight for his freedom!

Do you hear?

“Fuck you!” he rages from behind the mask. It’s muffled, but the doctor understands.

“Let’s fix that little tic of yours, shall we?” the doctor snarls. He nods to the small army that supports him, and the two men closest to the centre of the pack - the same two who were closest to the door in the office - approach the patient. They stand on either side, and raise their fists.

THUMP!

One punch lands square on the patient’s left temple, just behind the edge of the mask. Restrained, he can’t defend himself. The patient indecipherably raves - the mask too much to overcome at his rate of mania.

THUMP!

Another punch lands on the patient’s right temple. His eyes rattle, smashing against the orbital bone. This disorients him, and he tries to blink himself back to consciousness. Just in time for another…

THUMP!

And another…

THUMP!

Vision blurs completely. Somewhere he hears a voice, but he cannot make out what it says.

THUMP!

THUMP!

He hangs on.

THUMP!

THUMP!

He’s gone.

“Where am I?”

He hears a roar.

“I’ll try.”

Dazed, he wakes to himself lying horizontally upon a thin mattress. The chains of his captivity have been replaced with straps of black leather wrapped across an exposed torso. He tries to reach for them to unlatch himself but his limbs are similarly buckled down. Red lines - the results of his war against his chains - are etched into his arms. He groans.

“You’re awake,” the doctor says, as he comes into view above the patient’s line of sight. The patient leans his head back to get a better view, but a bright light above him blinds him and forces him to turn his head. “That’s good. I apologise for the… roughness… of your transfer, but this particular treatment package could not be conducted upstairs.”

“Where…” he stammers, still groggy. The mask that covered his face has been removed, allowing the doctor to hear as clearly as the patient could articulate. The one word is enough.

“Oh, I have a few treatment rooms in the basement of the building,” he answers with a nonchalant tone. “For my more… resource-intensive procedures.”

“What…” the patient tries again.

“I think you know,” the doctor interrupts. Something tingles the patient’s third nipple, a couple of inches below the line of his others, and slightly off-centre to the left of his chest. A gel - moist and cold in the dank air.

He remembers!

The clamp of an electrode bites down upon the nipple. His heart starts to race. The doctor draws another leather strap over the throat of his neck, fastening his head in place, and dabs at it with a wet cloth. Leaving the cloth in place, he secures a bowl-like apparatus to the patient’s cranium.

This wasn’t it!

Not quite.

But yet…

“This may hurt a little…” the doctor devilishly chuckles. He looks down at the patient - his head blotting the light which frames him with a halo.

Angel.

Doc.

No!

And just like that, the doctor’s head is gone. The patient hears him move across the room. But he can’t see where he ends up.

“Soon you’ll be whole again!” the doctor boasts.

The patient never sees the doctor flip the switch.

Volts of electricity surge through the contraption and into the patient’s body. The room enlivens with a neon blue glow and the crack of Thor echoes across the sky. The glow grows brighter and unnaturally sharper. The lightbulb above shatters, bursting into a thousand shards and spraying a shower of glass and tungsten onto both patient and doctor. The room goes dark.

Loud, thumping hoofsteps pound in the near distance. They grow louder and soon, the steel door explodes, blasting inwards. It wipes out the doctor with one simple blow and the force sends the patient’s own fragile bed tumbling over.

ROAR!!!.

Somehow, the destroyed lightbulb shudders to life once more. It casts a softer, golden hue across the room. In it’s glow, the patient notices that the straps that bound him are gone. Not loosened - gone! He hurriedly forces himself to my feet and stands amongst the wreckage.

“Divine intervention…” he muses, and looks up through the ceiling. His vision pierces through layer upon layer of brick and steel, and he salutes those who watch him from above. He returns the favour to those who watch him from below. From somewhere in existence, The Salmon-Coloured Minotaur had freed him again. It beckons him. “That clever bastard.”

He steps out through the doorway to the corridor beyond and makes his way towards the elevator.

This was his freedom.

He steps, shirtless, into the elevator. As the doors close behind him, his body poises. Guns on his hip and desert whistle in his head. A clear mission in sight.

Just like day one.


Finally, the sun arises
Upon a brand new dawn.
The night had worn five foul guises,
But they all retreat before the horn.





YELLOW ENDING
Go Back One Step OR Start Over





























































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