Doctor Jackson snorted loudly as he woke up. The chair wobbled beneath him, but he quickly caught himself. Grasping the desk with a tired mind begging to know what was happening. Eventually, the mental wires connected and the engines started. Somebody was knocking at his door.
“Come in,” Jackson called, glancing at the curtains. It was still dark.
Head Nurse Hodge entered carrying not one, not two, but three clipboards. Throwing them on the desk rudely, she scowled at Doctor Jackson.
“You told me that you wouldn’t use them,” Hodge snapped. “You know what those drugs do to them. My nurses are struggling to the padded rooms as we speak.:
Jackson groaned and rubbed his face.
“These drugs worked before, you know that,” Jackson replied. “We need to find out who it works for and that-”
“Requires you experiment on patients?” Nurse Hodge finished. “I don’t know, sounds like that breaks some oath I made early in my career.”
“Martha, please, not now,” Jackson muttered. “I will perform the recovery, I know that’s why you’re here.”
“It’s the least you can do,” Hodge scowled. “I’m done dealing with the crazies tonight.”
Doctor Jackson smirked, staring at the back of Hodge’s head as she walked out. Something about calling them ‘crazies’ seemed like a greater offence than medicating them with a drug that could help them. At least, it was a drug that should have helped them.
Jackson pulled the clipboards towards him and scanned the pages. Hodge had scrawled the same symptoms across each one. It didn’t shed any light on the matter, it provided no solutions. However, the charts did read some interesting test results.
Two of the subjects had the same side effects that all subjects had when negatively impacted by the drug. However, the results for one of them had numbers that perfectly correlated with the patient who was cured by the same medication. Jackson decided to pay that patient a visit first.
Jackson knocked on the metal door that restricted the patient.
“Herman?” Jackson called. “I heard you joined a few patients in a bit of a scuffle. Do you have a moment to discuss?”
There was no response, which only caused Jackson to believe Herman had been sedated, perhaps cured, by the medication. Despite wanting to speak to Herman first, Jackson had to pass the other patients’ cells in order to reach his. Jackson decided then to open the door and enter the padded room.
Herman sat there, with a face painted with perplexion. Something about this behaviour alone was different from normal. It was more normal, anyway. Usually the other patients would sleep, sit in the corner, face away from the door. There was an unusual fear or disgust with normal people. However, Herman saw facing the side of the room with the door.
Herman looked up at Doctor Jackson with fear, but not the fear of other patients, no hatred either. Everything about him was fascinating to the Doctor and he decided to speak to him openly, without testing questions.
“Herman? Are you alright?” Doctor Jackson asked.
“I feel a little tired,” Herman replied. “Like I haven’t slept in days.”
“Well, you’ve been medicated for your activities earlier,” Jackson murmured. “I’m Doctor Jackson, in case you don’t remember.”
“Yeah, I know you,” Herman murmured. “You are the one who gave the medication.”
“No, that was one of Nurse Hodges underlings. it was necessary to make sure you didn’t hurt yourself or, in fact, anyone else while you were aggravated.”
Herman looked up curiously at the doctor, as if what he was saying didn’t make sense.
“Not that,” Herman told him. “You gave me the medication that took them away. The medicine that stopped me hearing the voices.”
Doctor Jackson allowed himself some pride in this moment. Herman had been diagnosed with severe schizophrenia. He heard voices, voices that caused him to have violent outbursts or perhaps kept him from sleeping. It was a terrible condition that used to be associated with an overactive imagination. Now, it was a condition that could be cured.
“Why did you make them go away?” Herman continued.
“I beg your pardon?” the doctor asked. “It was these voices that were troubling you, after all. Did they not keep you up at night, test your patience?”
“No, no, no, doctor,” Herman replied. “It was these voices that helped me sleep at night, that calmed my angered mind. Now...now it won’t stop.”
Jackson stared down at the patient, not believing what he heard. However, that didn’t stop him from running back through the door the moment Herman stood with ease, despite his straight-jacket. The doctor shut the door and there was only a singular bang Herman tackled it.
However, Jackson was able to close and lock it, securing Herman in his cell. Everything about this didn’t make sense to Herman. The medication cured a patient before, a patient who had the same test results. Jackson pondered this for only a moment as his eyes drifted to down the hall where he was immediately surprised by Nurse Hodge.
“I’m going home now,” Hodge told the doctor. “Glados will stay behind, but...well...you know she won’t get any real work done.”
Hodge chuckled to herself as Jackson nodded in reply. However, with his mind distracted, he noticed a peculiarity in Hodge’s words.
“Martha, you are on until sunrise,” Jackson called after her.
Hodge, who looked at Jackson with an annoyed glance, opened the nearest set of curtains revealing a bright.
“I know,” Hodge called back. “I should have left two hours ago. See you tonight, doctor.”
“Right...see you to-damnit,” Jackson cursed under his breath, It was happening, it was always happening and he had no idea.
Jackson scowled at the door beside him, hearing happy singing. It was annoying how it took this long to discover how the medication wasn’t working. More so than that, how much damage he had done without realising. The fact that he wasn’t in a padded cell told him that nobody knew the answer to that either.
Instead, he took Herman’s behaviour and left to adjust the results of the test before anyone noticed. He was scrapping this line of experimentation today.
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