FIRST DAY OF (prison) UNIVERSITY; part two

  As I left you, dear reader, upon the arrival of the mysterious doctor of psychiatry, known only as “The Shadow Man” in this locked ward of the prison I had been unwittingly admitted to under the false assumption that it was actually a university where I was supposed to attain my doctorate of law degree.  I had been rudely awoken to the realization that instead, I was now about to become no more than a hapless victim of deeply classified, covert, government funded clinical research programme into behavior modification techniques involving highly unethical pharmaceutical experimentation upon human subjects. I was back to being a mere prisoner, my hopes of becoming a lawyer dashed to the ground, as the sickening realities of my situation were thrust in my face. I was trapped in The Shadow Man’s private psychiatric hospital, to be subjected to the sadistic whims of the maniac attorney “Wrongful Death” Rowan, and my head swam as I began to fathom the seriousness of this situation. Through all my panic and confusion; I was immediately struck with the unsettling feeling, upon first laying eyes on the diabolical doctor at the center of this nightmare; that somehow, somewhere, we had met before…but where???

A Familiar Face?
   My new friend and “lab partner” Mickey “The Rat” noticed my attention riveted on the doctor and jabbed me in the ribs. Chuckling nervously he whispered into my ear; “He’s a real mystery; that one, eh?” stating the obvious through broken rotten teeth.

  Mickey didn’t so much to have a way with words as he seemed to have his way with them. “Nobody seems to know anything about him; even me, ol’ Mickey, and I got the goods one everyone in here! That right there’s gotta tell you something right away. If Mickey The Rat don’t know who you’ve done and what you’ve been doin', then I don’t know what the what!”

  A high pitched laugh began to escape at his mouth like so much halitosis before it was stifled by a grave morsel of information he had been chewing on up until now, where he wasjust about  ready to spit it out as an addendum, “There is one thing though…” he paused and looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping, “They say, and this is just a rumor, but it’s been corroborated by more than a couple of my sources, and I got it on good information…that before he came here, the doctor was down in Argentina, carrying on in the same manner, only using orphan children as his guinea pigs, and when the locals caught wind of his twisted brand of psychiatry they ran his ass outta town.” Micky smiles and winks. “Word on the street is that the whole dirty plot was funded by some real Sick-o pervert from up here who bank rolled the entire operation with a cashed in insurance policy that he signed over to old Shadows over there, and basically gave him carte blanche to rain all manner of brain injury and real actual wrongful death upon those poor orphaned children, all under the guise of legitimate clinical research of pharmaceutical therapy!” Mick raises an eyebrow, “That’s the real culprit in those crimes, the doctor is just a stooge really, that’s how he got away so easy, the guy they really want, the man they really want to find and bring to justice, is this real mystery man; the guy who paid for the whole fiasco.” Again starting to giggle, “I wouldn’t wanna be that dude when they figure out who he is! No insurance policy in the world could protect that miserable dog when they catch him, and they will; believe me, they will my friend.”

Angry Mob
   I’m struck by inertia as the words pass before me and the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. What Mickey is saying, the nagging feeling that I have known the doctor before, experimental psychiatry involving clinical research on orphans in Argentina, the insurance policy that funded the whole thing… it all comes into focus and the truth begins to dawn on me. The Shadow Man is Doctor Medjuck! My attorney’s brother! He has gone from neurosurgery to experimental psychiatry, from treating brain injury with surgery, to causing it with pharmaceutical “therapy”, and now I was a prisoner in his very own private psychiatric hospital. My bowels churned and I thought I might be sick.

  I continued to stare at Doctor Medjuc’s face. He had obviously had extensive plastic surgery done to try and conceal his identity, and it was good enough to fool me at first, but you could still recognize his eyes; the way they seemed to spin in opposite directions, and the way he constantly drooled, there was no changing that. The work he had done on his face was certainly extensive enough for him to escape prosecution for his crimes and gain admission to the administration of the private psychiatric hospital I now called home, but no plastic surgery could change the blackness of his heart nor the depravity of his intentions. I wondered what I should do, since he was sure to recognize me, and when he did that was surely to spell my doom, and as I caught him begin to look up from his clip board to survey the room, I quickly averted my gaze.

  When I looked up he was staring right at me. That same stare I had seen, all those months ago in my lawyer’s office; piercing, heartless and cold. Our eyes locked; mine frozen in fear, his burning a hole right through me. I shook with fear, certainly my demise was to be imminent, when suddenly, and much to my great surprise, he seemed to ignore me altogether, passing me by to check briefly the other brain-dead inpatients around the room, counting heads and taking brief notes, until satisfied with his quick survey of the ward, gave a courteous signal to one of his nurses who wheeled out a medicine cart, as the monstrous Shadow Man receded from the space behind a locked door beside a large mirrored one-way window, behind which, hidden, he could observe what was to begin.

Medication Time!
   Now I was really confused. Why was the doctor ignoring me? It was impossible to tell what was going on in his mind at the best of times, but now, with his face so distorted by extensive plastic surgery, and with everything else that was piling into my poor spinning mind, I simply didn’t know what to think anymore. Of course, there was old Mickey, the Rat, right there beside me with his running commentary, not so much informing me of the facts as fanning the fires of my increasing paranoia.

  “You better fasten your seat belt fella, the fun's about to begin..tee-hee.” Mickey whinnies like a sick pony. “Now you’re going to see what the clinical research that they like to call “psychiatry” in here is really all about.” He rubs his hands together, “I hope you like your pharmaceuticals in large doses, my friend, because you are about to get your fill.” At which point The Rat leans back in his plastic chair, almost satisfied at the situation.

   The second nurse, the one not manning the medication trolley, reads out two numbers from her clip board, and wordlessly two inmates reluctantly rise and walk to the center of the ward room. The men take seats opposite and grimly acknowledge each other, quietly awaiting their signal to begin. Mickey finds this pause a perfect time to resume his play-by-play description of the events as they are unfolding.

  “You see what they’re doing pal? It’s really quite advanced stuff, we’re part of some ground-breaking shit here buddy.” I don’t follow, but he continues, “What we have here is a first in the area of penal-system based psychiatry, quite revolutionary, and pretty exciting to be part of, if you can get past the whole human rights abuses part. We’re all lucky really, this is progressive stuff.”

  I turn and look at him in disbelief. How could he think this was going to be OK? He’s got my full attention, I want him to explain. He complies…

  “What you are seeing before you is at the vanguard of Transactional Analysis and Psychiatric Pharmaceutical Therapy, it’s so advanced, they don’t even have a name for it yet, but it works something like this…You see those two guys? Well they are going to cross consult each other on the root of their psychiatric problems…”
  Cutting Mickey short, the one nurse holds up a stopwatch and shouts “Start!” whereupon the first inmate asks the other “Tell me why you are in here.” To which the other begins to tell his story. It’s the usual stuff, broken home, poverty, high school dropout, got in with the wrong guys…that sort of thing. Eventually his story leads to where he stuck up a grocery store at knife point to pay off a gambling debt, resulting in his sentencing of 5 years for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Fair enough I’m thinking, not really shocking or sinister at all considering where we are, but as soon as he concludes his tale, the nurse shouts “Time!” clicks her stop watch, writes briefly on her clipboard, then holding the watch aloft again shouts “Start!”

  Now it is inmate number two’s turn. His story is a little different but not much, the same hard luck story of misspent youth leading to a life of crime and eventually the big-house where he sits now. BOOM! Like she anticipated his ending the nurse shouts “TIME!” again and both men sink a little in their seats, this part of the therapy done with for now.

  Mickey has another update for me. “OK, this is where it gets interesting. You noticed how they both are trading the role of ‘psychologist’ and ‘patient’, taking turns like that? Well, what happens next is what makes it really unique.” He stops here and turns, as do all eyes in the room, to “Wrongful Death” Rowan, who has sat silent like a statue at the far end of the room. I had briefly forgotten about him amidst the confusion of the events as they unfolded before me. He might as well had been comatose, in fact I had assumed he was incapacitated by some sort of pharmaceutical induced brain injury, as he had remained inert, immovable as a part of the building itself until now, when suddenly, at the center of the attention to all present, he slowly raised his head and spoke through his manacled torpor…  

  “# 32-098!” Wrongful Death calls, the number of the first inmate of the two in question. "You seem to have mother-issues, and latent schizo-affective disorder." He decrees,“590 mg Clozapine, 743 mg Bromo-benzodifuranyl-isopopylamine, 330 mg Tryptizol, 450 mg Haloperidol, 2000 mg Desoxypipradrol intravenous,  with 45 mg of Nyquil and 7 squares of chocolate Exlax administered orally.” To which the nurse at the medicine trolley compounded these prescriptions then waited for the maniac attorney to speak again.

  “# 887-23” (the second inmate-patient) "Obvious borderline personality disorder marked by narcissistic tendencies!" Followed in quick succession with “4000 mg 2C-D-NBOMe, 4000mg again, fluphenazine, 2200mg N-Ethyl-L-glutamine, and throw in a dash of morning glory seed extract for good measure. Intravenous!” To which the nurse sub sequentially prepares a second hypodermic. Mickey has a moment to fill me in on the details here. Both men have been prescribed, by Wrongful Death Rowan, dangerous psychopath and convicted  killer, a potent, high-dosage admixture of psychiatric pharmaceuticals (mostly neuroleptic anti-psychotics) combined with even higher dosages of extremely powerful unclassifiable designer drugs of the psychedelic variety. Basically, what appears to be happening in this experiment here, is a sort of self-guided inmate led, pharmaceutical behavior-modification therapy, involving inmate diagnosing inmate and the very worst offender as acting physician.

    When the nurse was finished preparing the needles she put them carefully aside and reached into a larger padlocked red drawer in the meds-wagon, and produced an over sized plastic vile marked clearly “PT-141, BIMT-17 COMPOUND” then she took each horse-sized hypodermic, which were both only half full with the other meds, and topped each up to fullness with this secret added ingredient.

  “Do you wanna know what that is?” Mickey’s tempting me to ask, “Well, I’ll tell you.” Not missing a beat “That stuff in there- that’s the experiment in a nutshell. The first combination of drugs old Wrongful over there thought up, sure, that’s gonna knock anyone on their diapers, natch, but that PT-141 and BIMT-17 combo…Whee doggy, that’s the rocket fuel gonna send you to the moon brutha! Do you know what that is???”

  I’m looking at him in horror. I don’t want to know, but I must. He tells me. “PT-141…Bremelanotide, BIMT-17…Flibanserin!” Gibberish to me, the Rat knows it and is toying with me… “It’s female Viagra! PT-141 is female Viagra, and BIMT-17 is another type of female Viagra! They mix that bad-trip cocktail of psychiatric and psychedelic drugs with an elephant’s dosage of two kinds of female Viagra! It's female Viagra...IN STEREO!!! And both those fools have to inject it!” He’s turning red, wheezing and laughing. He actually thinks it is funny.

  Before I can even compute what I have just been told, the nurse carries the two giant syringes over to the two inmates sitting in the center of our circle and hand one to each man. The cons, resigned to their fate, briefly look apologetically at each other while rolling up their sleeves, lightly brofist each other like doomed men on the gallows, then without a word each stabs the other in the central vein of their respective forearms, simultaneously emptying the contents of each brimming hypodermic into the bloodstream of the other.

Experimental Pharmaceutical Treatment
  There’s a second or two after they remove the needles where they look at each other with morbid dread and fearful anticipation. The nurse carefully snatches the syringes out of their absent-minded hands, and to my side Mickey the Rat is jumping in his seat with glee.

  Then the drugs start to take effect. Inmate #32-098 is the first to react. He seems violently stricken with terror. He looks as though he is seeing things, attackers, monstrous, all-consuming hallucinations. His whole body suddenly lurches backwards, hurling him over his chair and to the floor. He’s rigid with fear at the invisible horrors consuming him. Physically paralyzed, his body still in the seated position, arms bent at the elbows as if still gripping his chair, he lies on his back, legs still bent at the knees,  frozen in rictus, mouth open and eyes wild in a frozen, silent  scream.

"Harsh Tokes"

  Inmate #887-23 has a markedly different reaction to his markedly different pharmaceutical concoction. His eyes glaze over, then roll back into his skull. He sags, the slumps, then as though he had a hundred tons of imaginary telephone books dropped upon him, he falls face down on the floor. But it’s not over yet. There’s some tremors, and a whinnying sound like Shemp Howard makes in the 3 Stooges movies. Then his body starts to curl and coil like a snake. He writhes into a seated position and flips onto his back, having seizure after seizure until his body, flopping around the room like a fish in the bottom of a boat. He actually makes quite a lot of progress like this, each spastic flop sends him yards across the room until finally, his contorted thrashing finds him wedged behind a chesterfield, where he thrashes futilely once or twice before he passes out stuck and for good.

"Lights Out!"
  It’s quite a show, and I’m not the only one who is taken aback. Most of the inmates look like they are about to be sick. The two victims are left to lay where they have fallen and the nurses exit through the same door that the doctor had passed earlier. I can’t believe what I had just seen. There were so many things to take in in the space of one afternoon. The doctor had returned like a bad penny, with gruesome, disfiguring plastic surgery. My insurance policy cashed in and spent funding atrocities south of the border, and now, here he was again, conducting this sick clinical research in his own private psychiatric hospital within the prison. The rampant abuse of dangerous pharmaceuticals in the name of psychiatry, and Wrongful Death Rowan calling the shots, prescribing inhuman dosages of brain injury causing cocktails of deadly drugs…I was struck dumb! Leaving, of course, an opening for my talkative little friend Mickey to pipe in. “Ya know…were lucky really.” I’m stupefied, what could he mean; I slowly turn towards him, my mouth hanging open. “It’s not every con gets access to this sort of all-you-can-eat buffet of drugs, fresh clean works every time too!” He’s leaning back contemplating the bounty of it all. He folds his hands behind his head and crosses his legs. “No sir-ee, not too bad at all. Just you wait till tomorrow when it’ll be our turn, you’ll see.” He winks at me again “The drugs are superb, A-1, absolutely top-drawer, were gonna have ourselves a grand old time.” righting his chair to punctuate his speech. He folds his arms and leans in for one last word. “Don’t you worry one bit, it’ll be like a walk in the park my friend.” Then as he pauses to consider what he just said, he’s moved to make one disclaimer, “that is, once you get used to the female Viagra…”

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