Loves Greatest Gift Chapter 13
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Monday July 24, 2013
“To be honest doctor Cartwright, with this one it's rather difficult to be certain that his answers are his true feelings. As you can see from the personality profile he filled out earlier he appears to be a solid INJT type. Further, more focused testing reveals that he is either playing us, which I believe he may in fact be doing considering his intelligence, or he has multiple disorders. His answers reflect that he is antisocial, yet Histrionic, Narcissistic, Schizoid, and Obsessive Compulsive. After the last of the tests I will be assembling the team to go over the results in more detail, but I am not very hopeful of nailing down the boys diagnosis in the usual time frame,” Shawn Coleman said as he turned towards the door of the observation room.
“It appears Shawn, that young Paul there is going to be a bigger challenge than we anticipated. I believe you are correct about the boy playing us on the testing. Professional ethics aside, I find it nearly impossible the boy could hide symptoms of multiple disorders from his own father.” The middle aged aardvark clanged to his companion for a brief moment before turning to the one ay mirror again as he began to speak, “I'll have to inform Mrs. Daniels that the boy will need to be admitted fully, this boy is going to ta.....”
“Paul, we're almost finished here, there is one additional test that I think may be of help to us...” the early thirty’s tester said as he place a square wooden box in the table between them. “I have some pictures of a sort I want you to look at and tell me what you see in each of them.”
“The Rorschach inkblot test, my dad has spoken of it, though he never explained it to me sir, as I said he's never given me any of these tests,” Paul dais flatly.
“That's fine Paul, I just need you to tell me what you see in the pictures for now. So let's begin,” he said holding up the first of the white cards.
“That looks like a young couple, walking on a beach, though I can't say what time it might be. The male is carrying what looks like a blanket, the female is carrying a picnic basket,” Paul replied in an emotionless voice.
“Okay, how about this one,” the tester continued as he scribbled notes onto this pad.
As a sneer crossed the young moose's muzzle, a look of hatred flashing in his eyes he said, “my bother and his fucking tramp girlfriend fucking in my bed.”
Laying the card aside and presenting the next one to the moose boy as his paw scrawled furiously across the page the tester said, “and this one?”
“That one looks like......” Paul began, seeming to freeze mid thought. As his examiner looked up, his silence seeming to drag on longer than it should he watched as the moose's eyes went suddenly as wide as dinner plates. As the stunned researcher and counselor was about to speak Paul exploded in a scream that made the older man's skin crawl. It was unlike any scream head heard from and of the children he had encountered in the eight years he had worked at the center. The sheer, utter and total pain and fear in the moose boys tone stunned him immobile. Paul's paws cured into fists in a flash before being brought down on the metal table with a resounding thud. Paul drew in a deep breath, instantly resuming the near shriek as his fists pounded into the table over and over. The skunk man rolled back in his chair, diving to the side just as Paul drew up his hooves and kicked the table across the room. The table flew across the floor, slamming into the wall so hard the one way glass cracked in the lower corners. The tester, simply known as 'Frank' watched in shock as Paul grabbed his antlers, jerking his head from side to side roughly as the unnerving wail came from the boys muzzle again. Frank sprang to his paws as the young moose suddenly fell silent, the boys body going as rigid as stone as he froze in place. Uncertain of what was happening to the young man he rushed towards the moose, reaching him just in time as the boy snapped into unconsciousness, his body going suddenly and completely limp and lifeless as he crumpled into the skunks arms.
As the strange scene came to a conclusion in the room doctor Cartwright nearly ripped the intercom from the wall as he slammed his paw into it nearly screaming as he said, “Get a gurney to testing room 3 NOW, and alert the infirmary they have a patient with unknown symptoms heading their way.” As the older aardvark bolted from the room leaving the ermine behind a she went to check on the young moose.
As the door quietly closed behind the departing director of the facility a wicked smirk spread across Shawn's muzzle, a paw retrieving the cheap flip phone from his pocket. Scrolling to the only number in the contacts list he dialed, waiting patiently for the call to be answered on the other end.
[Whiskers, report Cobblestone]
[Trigger delivered, erasure achieved. Will report on final verification once subject Bravo regains consciousness.]
The call disconnected as soon as the words left his muzzle, the dull buzzing signaling the event. Letting the smirk leave his features the ermine snapped the phone in half, turning them over to remove the battery and sim card, slipping them both into his pants pocket for later disposal. Leaving the observation room he walked calmly down the hall, depositing the broken phone in the chute that led to the facilities incinerator. A quick glance at his watched informed him the disposal unit would ignite in a few minutes, obliterating the phone beyond recognition. “For your and your sons sake Daniels, this had better have worked,” he muttered to himself in the empty hall as he walked towards his office.
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Thursday August 1, 2013
Tennyson Center Infermery
“He seems to be about the same Mrs. Daniels,” the young nurse said as she led the moose mother idown the hall towards the small patient room of her son. “He has been awake a bit more today than yesterday, but he's still mostly unresponsive. The doctor is hoping that seeing you may help to trigger more of a response from him.”
“I take it then you still have no answers as to what hapened to him?” Raquel asked, the concern for her youngest son evident in her voice.
“Nothing that we haven't already been able to ascertain I'm affraid Mrs. Daniels,” Kathy replied. “He's catatonic, nearly completely unresponsive, his vital signs are all normal, EEG is normal, honestly we're stumped at his current state. There isn't any real medical reason for the state he is in.”
“Mrs. Daniels, good, I was hoping to catch you while you were still here,” the older aardvark said as he joined the two women at the door to Paul's room. “We've reviewed Pauls tests, as well as the reports from the doctors and nurses here in the infermery. As best as we can determine Paul seems to have had a Psychotic Break, perhaps a form of Mentonia. What we believe happened is that Paul, of his own will, had been trying to reconcile his past treatment of his brother. Those events culminated in his attack on the older boys girlfriend you desribed to me. In his mind Paul was trying to set thing to right, trying to find how he could have treated his brother, and finally the girl, in the manner he has despite his deeper feelings towards his brother. We believe he found it nearly impossible to make that reconciliation. That resulted in his psyche going into meltdown, the intention being to rebuild itself into something he could more closely associate to his feelings and reconcile his actions to.”
“I see, so something of a breakdown. Is it alright for me to see him now doctor?” the moose woman asked softly.
“Yes, as I've said from the start, it may help to bring him out of the catatonic state he's in to see you and hear your voice. By all means Mrs. Daniels take as long as you wish,” the aardark said pushing the door to the boys room open for her.
“Thank you,” she said simply as she entered the room, letting the door close silently behind her. She moved quietly across he small space, coming along side the bed her son lay in. Gazing down at him her mind raced again with blame and reprisals against herself, and Arnold, for her son being where was now. Pushing those thoughts aside, vowing to have words with her husband later Raquel sat in the hair near the bed as she watched him. He looked as if he were simply sleeping, the slow steady breathing of her son would under other circumstances be comforting. The discussion she had with doctor Cartwright a week ago, after he had called to inform her of the boys episode, ran through her mind again. As did the nearly agonizing decision over whether or not to call her daughter and tell her what had happened. By the late hours of that night she had decided that it would do little more than worry the one of her children that was the farthest away form the situation. It would only add to what she was sure would be an already difficult enough situation for her hermaphrodite daughter as she tried to settle into a new town, and a new life with the kangaroo mouse girl Cecily and her odd family of war vets. It also concerned her what the reaction of Lillyana, Ceily's adoptive mother, would be to the news. There was already more than enough tension between the liger and Arnold as it as and she was unsure if this would make matters worse between them. And it was sure to worry Daisy needlessly until she had more of an answer to what had happened.
“I need you to come back to me Paul, I need to know you're alright baby boy,” she said softly, leaning forward and placing her hed in her paws as she stared at the floor at her hooves.
“Mmmrrppphh, five minutes,” came the nearly inaudible reply from the young moose.
“Okay five minutes,” Raquel replyed without thought, realizing a moment later that the boy had spoken. She sprang to the bed, nearly toppling over onto the boy. Laying a paw on his side she said, “Paul? Honey I need you to talk to me son, please...”
“O okay,” the younger moose answered as his paws scrubbed the crusty gunk from his eyes as he turned towards the soun of his mothers voice. “What's wro...” his words halted as he looked around the strange room taking in his surroundings. “Where... where am I?”
Leaning down to wrap her son in her arms, her eyes gowing misty with emotions she asnwered, “you're in the infirmery at the Tennyson Center, you had a problem during testing.”
“A problem? What kind of a problem?” the moose boy asked, his eyes going wide.
“I think maybe the doctors should explain it I wasn't...” Raquel began, her words trailing off as it daned on her no one else knew he was awake yet. “I need to get the nurse Paul, they need to know you've come back to us.” As the moose matriarch rose and walked to the door Paul asked, “come back? “
She ran into the empty hallway, searching for the nurse hat had escorted her back to her sons room in the infirmery. “Nurse? NURSE?” she called aloud.
Kathy, the nurse that had brought her to the room came running around a corner a few feet in front of the moose woman asking, “what's wrong Mrs. Daniels, is there a problem?”
“No, I don't think so... he's awake,” the moose matron said as the nurse skidded to a stop.
“He's awake? Has he spoken any,?” Kathy asked wide eyed.
“Yes, he was alert and asking questions when I came to find you,: Raquel answered.
“Go back to him, I'll get doctor Ryan down here,” the young nurse said as she nearly ran back down the hallway she had come from.
Raquel turned and went back to her sons room. When she arrived she found an ermine in a white lab coat in the room speaking to her son. “Excuse me who are you?” she asked, motherly defensiveness in her voice.
“Hmmm?” the ermine turned to regard the source of the voice behind him. “Oh Mrs. Daniels, I am Shawn, I was with doctor Cartwright when Paul had his little spell,” the ermine said, nodding towards the younger moose in the bed. “I saw you run from his room and thought there may be a problem so I came to see if he required any immediate assistance. When I found him alert and a little worried I stayed with him until someone returned. We've been having a bit of a chat while we waited. Please come in and wait with your son ma'am, I'll go and see about hurrying doctor Ryan along.”
“Oh, alright then. Are you alright Paul?” the moose woman asked as she turned to her son.
“Yes ma'am, Mr. Shawn was just asking about what I remembered from the testing... I really don't remember much of it to be honest,” the moose boy replied.
“It's alright Paul, short term memory lose isn't uncommon after what you've been through. I wouldn't worry too much about it, it should all come back to you soon. In the mean time relax and try to not things agitate you okay?” the ermine asked with a gentle smile on his face.
“I'll try Shawn, and thanks for staying with me until my mom got back,” Paul said seemingly more relaxed with is mother in the room again.
“Alright, then I'll run along and find doctor Ryan, “ he said as he walked toards the mose mother. “For now just try to keep him calm, and don't tell him about his state the last week just yet. I'm certain doctor Ryan will want to evaluate his current condition in an unbiased way first.”
“I will, and thank you Mr. Shawn,” Raquel replied as hte ermine walked past her to the door.
“My pleasure ma'am, he's a fine young man and we'll do all we can to help him,” he responded as he walked out the door.
As the door clicked closed behind him a wicked smirk rolled across he ermines muzzle. Ducking into the nearby supplies closet he withdrew the small flip phone from his pocket dialing the pnly preprogrammed number in it's memory.
[cobblestone, subject Bravo Munnin protocol successful, negative reaction to secondary triggers, negative reaction to verbal triggers. Threat neutralized, awaiting further orders.]
[You're certain of zero threat condition?]
[Affirmative, zero threat condition confirmed.]
[Then proceed as ordered, initiate freebird. Will contact as scheduled or when services are needed again.]
The electronic buzzing signaled the end of the short communication, the ermine quickly snapping the disposable phone in half, then removing the battery and sim card as usual. With the one time use device that was his only link to his true employer prepared for disposal He walked down the long hallway, stopping at the incinerators chute, glancing around casually to insure no one as watching as he dropped the ruined phone in. The sim card in his pocket would go into the smelting crucible at his residence to be vaporized, the battery wiped clean and tossed into the recycling box at a walmart leaving not trackable trace between himself, his employer, and the phone. His next stop took less than a minute to rach, the facilities computer equipment room, easily accessed with the copy of the 'borrowed' key to the doors simple lock, the duplicate of the technicians access card circumventing the need to defeat the electronic mechanism that would hold the thick, nearly impervious door securely sealed. Once beyond the door he moved quickly to the terminal used by the systems technical support staff, slipping the thumb drive from his pocket into the port and initiating the hacking worm program. IT performed flawlessly, as it always had in the past, rapidly ferreting out the days passcode, and system administrators access, authorization, and verification codes as well. The ermine smirked to himself as he changed the orders for the boys residencey admission, room assignment, and diagnosis, authorizing each with the proper passcodes from the appropriate staff members, never an inconsistency that could be a red flag should anything go wrong, that was one of is standing orders from his employers. His last order of business, the letter of resignation predated by three weeks in place, acceptance and verification by the director in place. He exited the system, thumb drive in his pocket again as he left the equipment room. Today Shawn Dutario would leave Tennyson Center for Children in Denver, reporting for his new job with a facility in Phoenix Arizona for violent troubled teens. While he would be lounging on a beach in a tropical paradise for the net two months at the least before his employers contacted him again for his next assignment.
“He appears to be perfectly fine physically Mr.s Daniels, I wouldn't worry on that front. His mental state however is quite... confussing to be honest.” As he spoke doctor Cartwright escorted the moose mother towards the facilities reception area at the front entrance. “The results of his testing are either inconclusive, or the boy has quite a laundry list of psycholgical disorders. The... episode he experienced seems to have affected his short term memory to some degree, the extent of which may take a day or two to fully determine.” As the aardvark man looked at the tablet computer in his paw, flipping through the pages of test results and recommendations he continued. “Because of the combination of his test results, the episode during testing and resulting near comatose state he was in it is recommended that he be placed in the west wing, the overwatch wing here he ill be video monitored around the clock. As much for his safety as the safety of the other patients here. We can't be sure yet if he is a danger to himself or others, but the placement would be prudent all things considered.” Laying his tablet on the reception area's counter he reached across to the small rack of pages and withdrew one, handing it to Raquel as he spoke. “Basicly his access will be somewhat limited in addition to being under a watchful eye full time. He can have visitors twice a week for up to four hours per day, as long as he stays within the behavior limits. Family, friends, the people that are close or important to him are allowed. All interactions will be in the day room under supervision, both video and eyes on. Mail is permitted but I must tell you, and he will be informed as well, that all mail, incoming and outgoing will be monitored. Phone contact is strictly forbidden, for his benefit and because of the difficulties in properly monitoring such contact. Visitations are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we ask that they be kept to the late afternoon and early evening hours so that the majority of the day can remain focused on his educational and treatment needs. He won't be allowed visitors the remainder of this week however, to give him a little time to settle in and so we can keep an eye on him. But next week I think a visitor or two would perhaps help him to establish a more normal routine. Do you have any questions Mrs. Daniels?” the facilities director asked as he turned to look the moose matron in the eyes compassionately.
“None that I feel you can honestly answer at this time doctor Cartwright. I am anxious to have some answers, but I realize he may have a long road ahead of him before that may happen. I'll leave him in peace this week as you ask, but I will be here next Tuesday to visit him. I will remain hopeful that you may have at least some answers by then, I am realistic though and understand it may take a good bit of time for that. Thank you doctor,” Raquel said as she extended a paw to the medico.
“Thank you Mrs. Daniels, for caring about your son and his mental state, If anything should happen, or change I will be sure to contact you right away. We will be keeping you apprised of his condition, and our findings as they come. Please, as hard as it may become along the way, try to remain hopeful, I truly believe we can determine what the issues are with Paul and help him to deal with whatever they are.” Doctor Cartwright graciously returned the women's paw shake before watching as she left.
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“Yes Arnold, I'm certain he's fine, they have no idea what caused the episode he had but he seems to be okay. No thanks to you or your meddling curing the cruise For Gods sake your the child expert, why the hell did you never realize our son may have had problems? Were you that blind or did you just not give a damn about your own child?” Raquel asked angrily. She hadn't more than walked into the house when her husband began to question her, his voice nearly accusatory in it's tone.
“I'm telling you Raquel, there were no outward signs that would have indicated that the boys behavior...” Arnold said as he walked up behind her, the ice in the highball glass of single malt scotch tinkling softly as he swirled his drink.
Raquel wheeled on him in a flash, a finger jabbing him in the chest, punctuating each word as she spoke. “Bull fucking shit Arnold, do not even try to hand me that crap.” Arnold baked away from his wife, the anger, the raw fury in her eyes making it clear she was just getting started and intended to have her say. “You think in all the years we've been married I haven;t learned a thing or two about what you do? You're the child psychologist, don't try to hand me that shit there were no indications of the boys behavior changing. The sing s were right there in front of both of us the whole time. You're the trained expert that should have seen this coming and done something about it before it did. The pranks, the teasing of his brother, the crap he's pulled for years that you refused to punish him for. In the very words I've heard you speak a thousand times if I've heard them once it as an escalation. He started out with small things, each time he got away with he the next time was a little worse, a little bolder. But that shit he pulled on the cruise? Jumping from pranks and causing trouble to a violent, physical assault on a girl? If a leap like that isn't an escalation then what the fuck is it Arnold?”
“I'm not denying that Raquel, what I am saying is that the boys prior behaviors gave no indication that he would make such a leap. There were no indications we would even have been considering such an act,” the moose man replied. “But I'm wasting my breath just as I have been since we got home and the boy went off to Tennyson. You're not listening now just as you were not listening on the ship. Where was all the rage and fury then Raquel? Where was all the motherly concern and caring for the boy when you were entertaining that liger woman and eating cake?”
Bottled up, that wasn't the time or the place to air our dirty laundry to who ever may care to listen. Not to mention I thought his father would handle the situation properly. I understood the need to protect Ralph and Zoe from wrongful prosecution, I really did. But the boy should have been in irons or locked into a room in the first place Goddamn it. Even if she did offer willingly it was not Daisy's place to take responsibility for her brother, it was ours. You knew, I fucking know you knew that she and Cecily were drawn to each other and becoming involved. Just as I know you knew Daisy wouldn't just let him roam the ship freely. You knew she would do what she felt she had to to keep him from his brother because Ralph would have hurt him, and rightly so. It almost seems like you set him up for what the mouse girl did to him. For the love of God you told me yourself after dinner that night it was obvious the girl suffered from extreme emotional stress and that you suspected she had been horribly abused sexually.”
“I did no such thing,” Arnold retorted defensively, “I had no way of knowing she was capable of..”
“Just as you had no way of knowing what our son was capable of Arnold? You can see things like this coming with the other children you work with but not with your own son?” Raquel screamed into this face. “Of course you can't, you..., neither of us have spent the kind of time with our children she should heave been. But you work with kids like this all the time, your the 'expert' in child behavior and this broadsided you as much if not more than it did me. I'm partially to blame for things getting out of paw, but the blind expert carries far more of the blame than I do.”
“I don't have to stand here and listen to this... wild, rambling conjecture,” the moose man said turning and stalking off into this home office, slamming the door behind him.
“That's right Arnold, slink off to your safe haven to hide from this, just as you've hidden from your children for years,” she screamed at the closed door. Turning and stomping down the hall Raquel grabbed up her keys and purse from the wall table in the hallway, the sudden sound of the multi-tone door chimes catching her attention, and her ire I an instant. She stormed to the door, nearly twisting the latch handle off as she jerked the door open and screamed out “WHAT?”
A moment after the nervous cheetah girl rang the doorbell the door flew open, the obviously angered moose woman in the open space screaming out a simple “WHAT?” She fidgeted with her paws as she slowly backed away from the angry moose a she stammered out, “I... I'm sorry I didn't mean...”
“Stop,” Raquel said as she seemed to suddenly become far more calm, “I'm sorry child, it's not your fault, you didn't upset me. That is someone else's fault.” Taking a deep breath she continued, “now, what can I do do for you Ms.?”
“Jada, Jada Kinnison Mrs. Daniels, I w was wondering if P Paul was home... “ the young cheetah girl asked, her voice a little shaky and unsteady.
Several of the more recent arguments between her sons played across her mind, she had heard the girls name before, more than once in fact. “Jada?” she said, more of a thought than a question. “The same Jada that had been in Paul's classes for several years? The same girl he has a crush on?” she asked as a small smile came to her lips.
“Y yes ma'am I've had classes... wait, Paul has a crush on me?” the cheetah girl asked wide eyed. “He likes me? Really likes me?”
The argument with Arnold only a few moments ago all but forgotten for a time Raquel fought to stifle a giggle at the girls sudden near giddiness as her eyes went wide at the revelation. “Yes dear he does, has for several years in fact from what Ralph has said. You never realized he liked you?”
“No ma'am... he never said any thing, or even really acted like he was interested in me...” the girl trailed off, thinking of the dozens, maybe even hundreds of times she had tried to get the young moose boys attention, or the nerve to tell him how she felt. “Not... not that I've ever really let him know that I like him either. Is... is he home? I really want to tell him now that I like him,” she asked shyly, her cheeks flushing a bright crimson at having admitted her feelings for the boy to his mother.
“I'm afraid not,” the moose matron answered as several thoughts ran through her head, “Paul is currently in the Tennyson Center for children.”
“Oh my God, why is he in that place?” the cheetah girl exclaimed, a look of concern in her eyes.
“He... stepped over some boundaries while e were on vacation, did some things no young man should ever do. But I honestly think that it may be better, for him at least or to help in his treatment, if he were to tell you himself. Though I have to say that it may very much change your mind about your feelings towards my son. He did something very wrong Jada, I won't cover for him in regards to what he did, but I do think you should hear it directly from him.” Raquel paused, lost in thought as the cheetah girl considered what she had been told.
“I can see if you can be put on the list of visitors for him if you wish Jada, he can see no one until next week. Tuesday is the first day he can have visitors, I'll see if you can be added and you can think it over in the mean time. Just let me know by next Monday. If you still want to talk to him, and perhaps tell him how you feel after he has a chance to explain why he's where he is than I will have no problem with taking you to see him if you still want to.