Chapter 4: The Miracle Worker

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I continued making progress with Aaron, and with each appointment I could tell that he was more and more eager to think sanely. The board of Arkham was so impressed with my work that they granted me more patients, particularly tough cases that hadn't been making any headway. The Mad Hatter was my favorite of my new pool of patients, as he did provide a real challenge. He was so convinced that his sister Alice loved him, that he kidnapped her and consequently she died, which he in turn blamed on the police. He was a master of mind control, therefore all clocks or ticking sounds were removed from the counseling room prior to his appointments. I felt honored to treat him, as he was considered one of the most dangerous patients at Arkham. While he was a very stubborn individual, we were slowly progressing through small emissions of guilt and sadness. I became known as "The Miracle Worker" among the doctors of Arkham, which I didn't feel like I deserved. I was only good with my patients because I was like them, my mind was also a trap... Sarah and Zack were jealous, of course, and decided to no longer speak to me. I didn't mind though, because I was too occupied with my patients to be worried about their petty emotions. It was strange working in a prison for the insane. We had everyone from the nut that talks to the wall to the girl who scorched half the city. Gotham's crime rate had certainly decreased following the rise of the vigilante, but the criminals who dared to wreak havoc in Gotham appeared with twice the strength. Jerome's ideals of chaos and madness lived long after he was gone, as a new generation of his followers came on to the scene. I tried my best to ignore them, as they reminded me too much of my late husband, but I couldn't avoid the clown faces spray painted in the ghettos of Gotham. Phrases like "he's coming" and "get ready" would accompany the graffiti and I tried not to think too hard about what that meant. It must be another leader that rose from the followers, someone crazy enough to aspire to be like the terrorists before them. While I didn't watch the news, I had my own sources for finding out the worst crimes happening in Gotham. Selena and Ivy, given their role in the black market, they heard a lot of gossip. Apparently there was a new mob boss in town who has been conducting the largest heists all across the world, and now he was in Gotham. According to rumor, he was ruthless and unpredictable, as there have been lots of deaths in his wake. I wondered if Batman would find him before he had the chance to carry out his plan to rob our city. I willed myself to focus as I wrapped up my appointment with the Mad Hatter, also known as Jervis Tetch. "Your Sister loved you... But I think she might have been afraid also. That is why she reacted the way she did to you, and that is why she jumped to her death..." I said slowly, carefully phrasing my words as to not upset him. I saw multiple emotions play out on his face. Denial, anger, and then sadness. "My poor Alice..." He finally said, his face in his hands. "It was her fear, not the police, that killed her... Do you understand that Jervis?" I asked him softly. He ripped his face from his hands. "The police are the ones who made her scared!" He yelled and I just gave him a fri badly smile. "It's okay to be angry Jervis, but you also played a role in her fear... Do you deny it?" I pried softly, knowing that this was the closest we've gotten to He slumped back into his chair, a sigh leaving him as he thought over his answer. "No..." He finally admitted and I felt elated. "That is very good Mr. Tetch, accepting responsibility is a huge step in your recovery. Excellent work." I encouraged him and I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Hope that he might be able to overcome the demons within him. After the guards took him back to his room, I walked out feeling triumphant. Maybe I was the "Miracle Worker" after all... I went to the psychiatrists lounge, where I pulled out my lunch that Ivy had been so kind to make for me. I sat down to eat the expertly crafted pesto sandwich she had made me as one of my colleagues turned up the volume on the lounge tv. "BREAKING NEWS: This just in, the Gotham Bank was just bombed and raided by a group of maniacs! Dozens of men were killed in the effort to steal Gotham's money, most of those casualties were police officers, men fighting to keep our city safe." Everyone in the lounge stopped dead in their tracks, eyes glued to the screen as the read head reporter revealed the details of another tragedy in Gotham. "The GCPD was able to capture a few members of this crazy group, and they may have figured out who the master mind behind all of this madness is... They call their leader "The Joker", and they were so afraid of this man that they committed suicide while in jail rather than to talk to the police. All we can do is hope that Batman finds this mass murderer, and gets back all of our hard earned money before it's too late... I'm Vicki Vale, and you're watching Gotham News." The reporter finished and someone turned off the tv, no longer able to handle the horrors that occurred in Gotham everyday. Arkham has strict lock down procedures whenever a criminal decides to run rampant on the city, this was a precaution to keep our patients safe and inside the asylum. The guards were doubled, and no patients were allowed out of their cells. All meals would be brought to them I individually and all psychiatrist appointments would be rescheduled to whenever the threat ceased to exist. I finished my shift, not having much to do since all of my appointments were canceled, so I helped the nurses give meals and medicine to the patients. While this was still a prison, I preferred not to think of them an inmates or it would hurt my relationship with my patients that was so heavily built on friendship and trust. After I had finished, I clocked out and headed home. I had to pick up some groceries that Ivy needed for dinner, so I stopped at store before I went home. Parking in Gotham was always atrocious, so of course, I had to park a block down the street. As I walked through the dark streets of Gotham I looked up to the sky momentarily to see the large light shining out into the clouds, reflecting a symbol of the vigilante. Perhaps I should have been afraid to be out here, as there was a deranged killer on the loose. But Batman made me feel safe, which I didn't think was possible following my husband's death. I had relied on Jeremiah for protection, and without him I had to be able to find security in a stranger. I grabbed the noodles, spices, and vegetables that Ivy had wanted from the store and I began walking back to my car, bags in my hands. "Hey cutie, how's it going?" I heard a man slur behind me. I rolled my eyes. Great, another pig man who prowls on women when their alone. "Fuck off." I told him but then another voice chimed in. "She's got an attitude, I like em' like that..." I wiped my head around as I kept walking to see that an entire group of men had just emerged from one of the allies between the various shops of Gotham. "Leave me alone!" I spat at them, attempting to reach for my keys in my pocket while juggling the bags in my hands. One of the men took the keys from my fingers as soon as I had managed to get them out. I sighed frustratedly, attempting to set my bags down on my motorcycle so I could confront these guys but then a man grabbed me by my waist and wipped me back into him. In the process, my bags dropped, spilling their contents on the ground. Fuck.

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