2010-06-29: New-Fangled Therapy



Date: June 29, 2010


Give the patient what he wants.

"New-Fangled Therapy"

Warehouse Cell

Roberto's favourite pets (i.e. his therapists, that incidentally, he occasionally takes out for walks), have been kept in a relatively small holding room— including a set of bunk bets and now a cot since he decided to put them all in a room together to encourage them to amp up his ability. A flat screen tv is connected to a wall across from the beds. But it's off. There's only so much daytime a person can take.

Right now? It's eerily quiet as Sydney sits on the top bunk, in the corner, pale-faced and paranoid. Since yesterday what she had written off as mere intuition for years shut off. She can sense nothing; a feeling she'd longed for since that day in October when she realized it was more than intuition.

She shudders as she tries to focus and feel the people on the outside of the walls, but there is nothing. Nothing at all. No sensation. No emotional vibrations, nothing. Hugging her legs to her chest, the blonde is worse-for-wear and unsure how she'll ever convince Roberto to let them go now.

Despite her paranoia she hasn't uttered a word about it as of yet. Instead, she sits alone with her own thoughts and feelings, unbeknownst and unshared with the world.

Under the top bunk, fidgeting hands work steadily to smooth out a sheet on the bottom mattress. Amy is kneeling on the floor, making the bed — in such a way that the most discerning of four-star hotel housekeepers would applaud. Every corner is perfect, everything perfectly tucked in and turned down, every undecorated pillow in place. She's had time to perfect her method. Even today, this is the fourth time she's made the same bed in the last twenty minutes.

That done — the fourth time is, apparently, the last … for now — Amy sighs and hesitates. Instead of sitting on the now-perfect bottom bunk, she curls against the wall beside it. Her height makes the bed a somewhat ungainly habitat, anyway. Arms wrapping around her knees — not unlike Sydney — she peeks up. "Syd? Something's seriously not right, is it." Amy doesn't need super-powered empathy to figure that out. But, she might underestimate how right she is, since she sighs dramatically and knocks the back of head against the wall a second later. "GOD, what I wouldn't maim for an iced mocha."

There's something to be said for observation…not much can be said after so long of just sitting in a room, but something can be. Watching Amy continuously make her bed, untidy it, and make it up again gives something to do when they're all just sitting around waiting for something to happen. That has been what Fred has been doing. He, surprisingly, might seem like the coolest cucumber of the bunch. Whether he is actually as cool, calm, and collected beneath the surface as on it, might be left to the imagination.

Fred rubs his eyes lightly and blinks a couple times. He looks from Amy to Syd and back to Amy. For a few seconds he repeats this, before finally letting his eyes gaze cooly on Sydney. "What's wrong? Did you have a particularly bad session with Roberto? Thinking of going goth again, maybe?" Okay, so the last part was meant as a joke to lighten things up. But there you have it.

Sydney shakes again at the questions, her eyes turning to slits and she hugs her legs even closer to her chest and she shakes her head just a little. With a deep heavy breath, she releases her legs and lays them flat on the bunk before sighing and crawling to the edge and then down the bunk to the floor. Her feet step down the ladder slowly, the metal of the ladder cool against her skin. As her feet step onto the floor she shivers just a little, goosebumps forming on her skin.

Instead of saying anything to the questions, she pads over with silent steps to Amy and then curls on the floor beside her. She reaches out slowly to her friend to squeeze her shoulder and then closes her own eyes. She takes a deep breath, focuses, and… nothing. Nothing. She can feel any anxiety, no angry, no paranoia. Her feelings truly are her own. Returning her hands to her lap, she frowns. "I think… I think it's gone…"

Amy gives a mumbled "mnnnh" noise to Fred's question of Sydney "going goth" — weighing in her two cents over that fashion disaster… but it's half-hearted. She watches her friend with growing concern, though the expression is a little dulled — she's spent so much time being concerned about everything, she's tired. "It?" she queries with forced naivete — she's figuring it out already, with how Sydney's acting. "Your thing? The thing you do?" she keeps questioning apprehensively, a sharper concern peeking through. "With the feely emotions?" Why yes — she is a licensed psychiatrist.

Fred shakes his head softly, not giving any sort of noise response to Amy's. He just sits back against the wall, eyeing the ceiling. He listens as Sydney climbs down the ladder and takes her own 'seat' on the floor. "Now that's strange…" he murmurs quietly, more to himself than the others at the news. Lowering his gaze and looking toward the pair, he looks straight at Sydney and says, "I'm sure it'll be back soon. These things never last." Or do they? He doesn't really have experience with abilities disappearing. He's more the: Go out into the field and capture them or talk to them while their captured. He's not into the whole 'science' aspect of it.

"Yes… that… it's.. it's gone… I think…" Syd's eyebrows furrow as she now bangs the back of her head against the wall. Her eyes focus on Amy and then Fred before she pales further. "I… I don't know how… or why…" She frowns and crosses her arms over her chest somewhat defiantly. "How do you know that, Fred? I… I don't know how many people are behind that door. Or if anyone is lying to me… and I won't be able to convince Roberto to let us go now. Do you know how close I was? Twice!" She brought him into a peaceful mood until Harley invaded. Darn invader-person. "And there's no way we can do what he wants… we all know that…'

Amy turns her head to give Fred something of a strange look. The notion of powers is new enough, let alone any kind of experts in the area. Frowning, she looks to Sydney. "Do you think Roberto did something to you to throw your juju off? Maybe he's messing with your head. You're still a good therapist, Syd, even without your craz— without your … you know, stuff. Maybe you can't tell who's behind the door, but if there's a way we can convince the freakshow to let us out of here some time this century, we will, with our without it." If not— well— let's not think about that. "Maybe you should enjoy the break!" Sydney doesn't look like she's enjoying the break, though — Amy wraps an arm around her, on that note. "At least you don't have to feel whatever me and Dr. Zen over there are feeling all day."

Fred smiles softly. "I've worked with people with abilities for longer than you've know you've had one, Syd." He says softly. "Even before the AP." Yes, that's right. He kinda is an expert. The idea of powers is not too new to him. Maybe that's why he's so calm in the face of all of this. "I'm sure you ability will come back." He takes a deep breath in. "Whatever is happening, though, Dr. Masterson is right. You're still a great therapist." There's a pause before he speaks up again. "Don't worry about how many people are outside the door, or what they're feeling. Whatever happens happens. Besides…it's not like we're planning an escape soon…are we?" He smiles. "Just trust your instincts when it comes to our…most gracious host. You know him better than any of us. Just trust in yourself and you can't be led astray."

Leaning into the one armed hug, Sydney rests her head on Amy's shoulder. Her eyes close gently. "What I wouldn't give for some of Fred's zen koolaid though." Her eyes open and eyebrows arch as she straightens again with a small sigh. She feels strange; there's no denying she doesn't exactly feel trusting at this point. "I think… Roberto is… unstable." There that much is true. "He's a sociopath, doesn't relate to anyone. Doesn't really want help other than to become ohmigosh all-powerful and awesome in every way… y'know?" She shrugs a little before banging her head against the wall again. "Amy. Maybe you can reason with him… I'm not sure if he'll listen to me without my whole… emotional… empathic… thing…"

"He's a typical egomaniac," Amy agrees, only to pause and tip her head sideways. "Okay, maybe not typical," she corrects. She unfurls her long legs out along the floor, though the stretch hardly seems relaxed. "Honestly— he scares me. Someone like Roberto, I don't think reason is the best way to go, you know? There's nothing reasonable about the guy. But I can— talk to him. Play to his crazy ohmigosh all-powerful and awesome in every way."

Fred raises an eyebrow. "He kind of reminds me of this one case I read about…although a bit more crazy and a bit less wanting to…well, nevermind that. They're kind of similar, that's the point." Only Fred would equate this situation to another one. "If neither of you wish to speak with him, I would not mind being the one who does so." He smiles sympathetically at Amy. "I can understand why you fear him. Honestly. He's an egomaniac, a megalomaniac, and he suffers from delusions and psychotic breaks. And to top it all of, he can…do things, from what I've been hearing around."

"Things?! He made one of his men stab himself and he's desperate to 'taste the rainbow'! And now I can't even keep him calm! Ugh," Sydney buries her head in her hands for a moment before hugging her legs to her chest again. "And the entire reason we're here is to 'fix' him so he can control more people at once… he thinks I have some crazy secret way of enhancing him, making his … talent stronger. That's why we're all here. Like we have some secret way of opening him up to the world— "

"Well— wait, wait, wait." Amy unwraps her arm from around Sydney and splays her hands out in front of her, looking to the door as she gathers her thoughts. Sometimes all it takes is a few key words said in the right order to spark an idea — whether it's a good one or not. The redheaded therapist sits up a bit straighter against the wall. "What if we make him think we can. I mean, I don't want to think abou what he'd do if he realized it was a lie, but if we can't actually do it, find his secret switch or whatever … we can pretend. He obviously likes theatrics…"

Fred nods to Sydney, though his mind is reeling. "Taste the rainbow…" He mutters quietly. "It…" Pause. "It's hard to do that, though, if we don't know what he wants us to do, isn't it?" He says, looking at Amy. "But, it's worth a shot. In the mean time…I gotta talk to him. I gotta go see him. I…I…I gotta…" His eyes shift from left to right and back again a few times. "Yes!" Oh, his brain is in overtime!

"He does like theatrics," Sydney agrees quietly wrinkling her nose. "And yeah… you both should talk to him. He's not stupid though. Don't underestimate him. IN fact, he wholly understands what it means to be a therapist. He gets psychoanalytic theory, believes deeply in the process of talking out his feelings and the like."

She presses her lips together and then adds finally, "Whatever we do, we need to be careful. To be aware. And recognize we're not getting out of here unless we can convince him we're helping him out…"


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