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Dr. Megumi's Story

She was born in Seki/Gifu prefecture in Japan to a man named Tasuke and woman named Yushiko. The woman now named Megumi was known to be rather precocious at a young age. She always learned quickly and intuitively. Her father took on a professorship in the United States on an educational visa when Megumi was five years old.

 

Growing up, Megumi excelled far beyond even what her peers could have accomplished. She has a particular love of the violin, possibly garnered from her father's adoration for classic pulp mystery and spy novels, in particular Sherlock Holmes and the gumshoe antics of the 20's and 30's.  Even “The Shadow” radio show opened her mind to the possibilities of mental power beyond the norm. She also had a fond affection for superheroes with unusual mental abilities, like Spiderman’s spidey sense… It may also have been indicative of her empathic knack that Megumi showed at a young age, which resulted in her love of theater in Junior High and High School.  She became fascinated with the art of acting, planning to become a theater major when she went to college and possibly trying her luck at Hollywood.  However, life had different plans.

 

During her accelerated High School career, she spent much of her free time with a friend named Erica Benet, who struggled with bi-polar disorder and suicidal tendencies.  Her friend had a lively yet erratic personality was the result of an alcoholic and abusive mother and a Father who was rarely home.

 

Erica had been her closest companion since Junior High. She committed suicide not long after Megumi graduated at the age of 15 with a flawless GPA and Honors from her High School.  Blaming herself, Megumi fell into a depression for six months. She had already been accepted to her father’s university (UC Berkley). But rather than follow in her father's footsteps in Archaeology and language studies, she felt drawn the humanities.  Part of it was her childhood fascination with cinema and artistry in theater, and her natural knack for role playing, quite possibly again due to her inherent empathic nature allowing her to play off of the other actor’s emotions.  However, the course of her career changed when she took several core humanities classes in Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology. She found that she has a natural aptitude for psychology.

 

Turning her attention to the understanding of the human mind, Megumi was driven by the memory of her dead friend to pursue helping others, finding that her natural tendencies towards empathizing with others folded nicely into the field of professional psychology and sociology.  She excelled, voraciously consuming every scrap of information about psychology, even dabbling a bit in Parapsychology and the study of supernaturalism, Jungian theories a particular favorite of hers.  Her professors were so impressed at her eager nature. One in particular, Lyle Goldstein who taught part-time at UC Berkley, offered her an intern position at his Clinic in Hollywood, CA, starting her early into the field of her chosen profession.

She continued studying while fulfilling her duties at the Clinic which resulted in several failed attempts at relationships due to both her youth and her hectic schedule.  She graduated at 22 Magna Cum Laude with a Doctorate in Psychology and a Masters in Physical Medicine. Continuing her internship under Dr. Goldstein, she filled the vacant space in her life by taking on volunteer hours in at a local free clinic.

 

At 23, she struck out on her own practice, resigning from assisting at both Dr. Goldstein's practice as well as the volunteer hours at the clinic.  Quickly she made a name for herself in Hollywood; rumors spread of her working with many rather distinguished names in both couples counseling as well as personal assistive psychotherapy.  Four years of frustrating practice later, she relocated out of Hollywood to a mental facility where she felt her assistance could actually be put to better use in trying to help broken people fix themselves rather than stroking the ego's and quelling the rampant insecurity in Hollywood.

 

It was there that she became re-acquainted to the surreal and the unexpected.  Interacting with those who had lost touch with reality, or who suffered extreme mental maladies brought her back to her long dead friend Erica who suffered and died due to mental illness.  Amongst the un-tenured (and tenured for that matter) faculty of the mental ward, she was peerless; her natural acuteness to the inner turmoil fueling many psychoses allowed her to help individuals come to deal with their own inner demons. It was at this point that she realized that she was developing an obsessive compulsive disorder herself.

 

It seems that a majority of her patients really needed a very structured environment. And to that end, she worked to make it so; alphabetizing books on her bookshelf was the first thing. Making sure everything was in its particular place. Then it moved into a compulsion for cleanliness. Dust is bad. Into the midst of her OCD came Damien Lamonte.

 

Damian Lamonte is a head-case who had, apparently, singlehandedly quadrupled the turn-over rate in the six months of his admittance to the mental ward.  Tenured professionals often quit after a single session with him, weeping and bawling like children after just an hour trying to deal with the teenage boy. One even committed suicide, though there has been rumors of others.  His parents had committed him, possibly out of similar issues then plaguing Megumi's co-workers.  She felt there was something off about Damian when he was first admitted. He had turned a rather disturbing smile on her that left her feeling a strange sort of internal nakedness.

 

She had asked to see if she couldn't help the young man deal with whatever seemed to be haunting him, and was rebuffed by several senior colleagues; their caution seeming only more steeled after several doctors abruptly quit their jobs and left the field of psychology medicine indefinitely.  Megumi, however, felt inexorably drawn to the patient, and scheduled a session with the boy without the Warden's consent. It cost her a few favors from people in the facility.

 

The first session almost broke her when Lamonte began talking about Erica, and the pain she had experienced prior to her death.  Megumi had prepared herself for the unexpected, but she found herself weeping not long after Lamonte began to speak... she then realized that there was something beyond the norm with him.  Unlike her colleagues, she would not be so easy to dissuade.  Mentally switching gears, Megumi recovered her demeanor and began to explore how Damian knew the things he knew.

 

Lamonte spoke of voices in his head, a classical symptom of multiple personality disorder or paranoid schizophrenia; however, these voices told him things that no human being could possibly know.  Things that only those involved would know; such as conversations that he recounted to Megumi that only she and her best friend had been privy to as children, or secrets that her co-workers had of their own. (This could be possibly the reasons for their pursuit of their careers in mental health).

 

The first session, Megumi had thought, would be the oddest.  The Warden was angry with her for going behind his back, suspending her for several weeks without pay in warning not to do such a thing again.  Upon her return she demanded that Lamonte be her patient, citing that nobody else could deal with the boy.  Reluctantly, the Warden agreed, though he had a dread that things would not turn out as well as Megumi had hoped.

 

And in the second session, things became even stranger, Lamonte talking about the malleability of reality, demonstrating with various physical examples as his voice, previously calm and level in the first session, took on a frantic almost manic disposition.  Megumi wanted to believe the physical examples portrayed were mere parlor tricks, bits of magic. But again, she remembers the stories of the Shadow… and the powers he displayed…

 

In the third session, Lamonte demonstrated further, using only objects that Megumi had brought with her into the session, naming each one before they were produced... and never moving from his chair, located some ten feet from Megumi's chair.  Megumi felt a shaken, sinking feeling when objects changed color, or shape, sometimes while she was holding them.

 

It was session thirteen when Megumi almost lost it again, willing to believe by that point that there was something supernatural possessing Lamonte, and possibly believing that there may be something demonic involved due to the boys behavior (Never having been a religious person herself, this realization was world-shaking), Lamonte began talking about the origin of the voices; the shadow people.  Megumi half-believed her eyes were fooling her as she noted that Lamonte’s shadow did not always move the way it should, odd angles and corners seeming to just-barely not reflect the position of the inmate.  Occasionally she wondered if it had shifted and moved on its own.

 

That night she stared at her shadow, unable to sleep as her heart pounded.  It was the first time she had drank enough to actually get drunk, and was the only way she could forget and block out he voices to help her sleep that night.  The next day as she went to work, she stopped in to check on Lamonte.  Finding another person in his room, she inquired as to if he had been moved.  The Registration Clerk did not know who she was talking about.  Megumi went to the Warden, who likewise did not appear to know what she was talking about.  Angry that her co-workers would be playing such a prank on her, she went to her office to retrieve Lamonte's file, finding a rather bland, expressionless man in an immaculate black suit sitting at her desk and rifling through her personal journals.

 

“Ah, Miss Toshirou, we have been expecting you,” he said. Megumi was confused, because, clearly, he was alone. “Will you please come with us? We have some questions for you.” He said as he collected he notes and journal and motioned to the door. She was startled to see another man in black at the door… He could easily be the twin of the one who was talking. Megumi’s Spidey sense was ringing bells, but there was nowhere to run.

 

Calming herself, she fell in behind the man outside of her office with the other behind her. After riding the elevator down to the basement, she started to get really nervous. The original man in black (and the only one to speak) said, “Relax Miss Megumi, this will not be painful.” Somehow his words did not comfort her at all… Her Spidey sense was giving her a head ache.

 

They walked for about fifteen minutes through a maze of corridors and pipes before coming to another elevator that was starkly out of place in the grungy basement. Its insides gleamed a sterile white. As it would soon bear out, it looked like the elevator just went deeper down into the ground.

 

It swiftly descended with metallic dings marking the various floors whizzing by until it suddenly stopped with a lurch. The man who hadn’t spoke, reached out and steadied her by grabbing her arm. Something was wrong with his touch… too cold… almost clammy. Then she realized another interesting bit… she couldn’t sense anything about them. Normally, people give off a vibe or sense about them. These guys are giving her nothing… too weird.

 

More white sterile hallways and closed doors with red and white lights above the doors. She is led down the hall to a door where the white light is on. The quiet one opens the door to a bare room with a single table and two chairs. He motions for her to enter…

 

She walks in and notices how clean the room is… not even dust. “Must be using a filtration system of some sort…” she says to herself. There is a camera dome over doorway… Obviously this is some sort of interrogation room. The speaking one says, “Please, Miss Megumi, have a seat. The quiet one pulls the chair out for her as the speaker sits. The quiet one nods to the speaker and leaves the room. There is an audible click as the door closed.

 

“Miss Megumi, we are well aware of your abilities. We would like to know how you managed to keep yourself from harm while treating Mr. Lamonte?” he said. “Where is Damien Lamonte?” Megumi asked. “We have moved him to a safe location where he cannot harm others or himself,” the man said. “When we find people like Mr. Lamonte, we try to help them. To teach them how to control their abilities and to use them constructively,” he continued. Somehow his words just weren’t very comforting. Something was missing…

 

“What we need from you is to know how you managed to get to him without damaging yourself. What you may not know is that everyone but you who has worked with Mr. Lamonte has committed suicide. And yes, I know what you were told.” Megumi’s head was reeling… all dead… just like Erica. This didn’t make any sense… Why is this happening?

 

So, Megumi did what she did best…She told the truth… all of it. Every detail. The thoughts of Erica, everything. Now, most people, even the most hard core stoic, would be hard pressed not to wipe a tear, let alone not show any emotion, but the man just sat there, occasionally looking at her notes. When she was done, he looked over his shoulder at the camera dome and nodded, then stood.

 

“Miss Megumi, you have been most helpful. We will need you to stay here for a while and we will be back for you shortly, “he said. As he approached the door, there was an audible click as he reached for the knob and left the room, followed by another audible click as the door closed.

 

She sat there for what seemed like a long time, though only minutes had past… She had to keep looking at her watch… it really seemed like time was moving so slowly… That was when she saw the white rabbit.

 

Not an overly large one, rather average looking, yet it had strange looking eyes. Its eyes somehow seemed familiar. Just when you start to think that this is really strange, things really got strange. The rabbit spoke, “If you want to live, follow me. In a moment, the door will unlock. Follow me closely. We only have one shot at this. Any hesitation will mean death for you. Do you understand?” Megumi was speechless… The rabbit’s voice came from inside her head. She didn’t know how she knew it was the rabbit; just that it was the rabbit. And with that same sense of knowing, she knew that she had to follow the rabbit.

 

Before she could respond, she heard Rabbit say, “Good. It may seem that things are moving a bit slow around you. Don’t let it upset you or distract you. Follow me, stay close, and do exactly as I say.” As soon as Rabbit had finished, there was an audible click of the door, and Rabbit said, “Open the door and turn left. Go down six doors. Open the door on the right. Wait there till I tell you where to move next. GO!”

 

Megumi quickly opened the door, running down the empty corridor to the sixth door on the right, opened it and went in. She nearly collapsed against the wall. She felt as if she had been running a marathon… Rabbit reappeared and said, “Excellent. Take a few moments and take some really deep breaths. The temporal distortion does have costs. And you will need your strength for the next bit.”

 

Megumi closed her eyes for a moment to rest…her mind refusing to process anything…She opened her eyes with a start. She hadn’t meant to fall asleep… Rabbit was still there. “You should feel better now. Resting in a temporal distortion has benefits as well,” Rabbit said. She quickly looked at her watch only five minutes had passed, yet she felt as if she’d been asleep for hours.

 

“Are you ready? The next bit is tricky and I hope you can swim. If not, we do have emergency personnel on standby,” Rabbit said. Megumi was thankful that her father had forced her to take swimming lessons. Though not her favorite past time, she is a competent swimmer.

 

“In a moment the door opposite the one you came in will open. When it does open it, go right. Count down eight doors on the left and enter. There will be a hatch on the floor. Open it… I will see you there,” said the rabbit. And then Rabbit vanished.

 

As she got to her feet an audible click came from the other door. Quickly, she moved to the other door and opened it. Looking to the right, she sees more sterile hallway and doors. Looking left, she sees someone walking away and turning the corner. She swiftly moves down the hallway counting doors… 5, 6, 7, 8. As she reaches for the door handle there is another audible click.

 

As she enters, she sees Rabbit (much to her surprise and relief). Rabbit begins, “Quickly now. They know you are not in your cell. They will start searching. Open the hatch.”  As Megumi opens the hatch, she smells the water and the coolness of the air rushing out of the hole. “It is going to be dark and cold,” Rabbit says. “Remove your shoes and toss them into the hole,” it says. As she tossed her shoe in, she started to worry. It took a good five seconds before they hit the water.

 

“Don’t worry. There is a ladder,” Rabbit said. “But the water is cold and you must hold your breath as long as you can. I will be with you all of the way. Friends are waiting at the end to help,” Rabbit continued.

 

Somehow the rabbit got smaller and was in her coat pocket. “Be sure to close the hatch behind us. No sense in giving them ideas,” Rabbit said…Megumi could almost detect a smile on the rabbit’s cute face. When she closed the hatch, it became very dark and cold. The steel of the ladder was cold and wet, making it hard to hang onto. “It’s just a bit further. When you feel the water with your feet, stop and take a really deep breath…” Rabbit said.

 

In a short while, her left foot touched the ice cold water and gave her a start. “You will be free shortly. Take a deep breath… JUMP!” Rabbit said very loudly. With a start, she let go of the ladder and plunged further into the darkness and cold…The water was swift as well, tossing a pulling her on ward. She could still hear the rabbit trying to comfort her, “Just a bit further now… They are ready for you… Hold it for just a bit longer…”

 

Just when she thought her lungs would burst, she hit something. It felt like a huge net. In her surprise, she swallowed a big mouthful of water and as she was frantically trying to breath, must have hit her head… everything went black.

 

When she awoke, she was in the back of an ambulance with an oxygen mask on, hooked up to various monitors. She quickly looked around for the rabbit… But all that she saw was a gentle looking EMT… something about his eyes. Then he spoke, “Welcome back! I was beginning to worry about you…” The voice, it was the rabbit. She was sure of it. He took the oxygen mask off and started removing the various sensors.

 

“I am Agent Tom. Your driver today is Agent Harry. And yes, my voice is familiar. If we had more time, I’d love to explain it, but we are almost there. Agent Carmichael will explain it all later,” said Agent Tom, the EMT. Megumi couldn’t get his eyes out of her head. They were such a pale blue that they could be silver. Who is Agent Carmichael? What is this all about, she though as the ambulance made a sudden turn to the right and the brakes squealed to a halt. She heard some big doors closing as the back of the ambulance opened up.

 

She was in a large warehouse of some kind. She was briefly distracted as Agent Tom went to the front of the ambulance and yelled for help. Agent Harry collapsed as soon as the ambulance stopped. Apparently, there are other medical personnel here as well. White coats rush to the front of the ambulance and remove Agent Harry from the vehicle and place him on a gurney and wheel him away.

 

Megumi asked Agent Tom, “What happened to Agent Harry?” Agent Tom responded, “When he pushes himself too long, it can kill him. He always thinks he can push it farther. He will kill himself yet.” Agent Tom sprinted off after the gurney…

 

Just as all of the excitement over Agent Harry died down, an older gentleman well dressed and walking with a cane approached. “I am Agent Carmichael. Welcome to your new life.”