Talk about a blast from the past! Continued from the events of Secret Six...
DC Mayhem Presents
“Why?” an Anarky Oneshot
Each Friday, Lonnie Machin walked downtown through Gotham to his court- appointed therapy sessions. Unlike most ex-cons Lonnie not only believed in the concept of rehabilitation—he devoted himself to it. Ever since the young man was released from Blackgate, he’d spent his days volunteering for charities, sponsoring drug abusers, and preparing himself for the next job interview that the halfway house could provide. Machin knew that none of these deeds could erase the things he had done, but this was a second chance for him and he couldn’t waste such a golden opportunity.
While walking to the shrink’s office, he heard rattling noises and giggles coming from a condemned building. His initial thought was to leave it alone--as an ex-con he learned that it was better to take caution--but it felt as if he was drawn to the laughter. Lonnie’s curiosity got the best of him, prompting him to enter the building. As he reached the steps of the abandoned home he passed a foreclosure notice plastered on the cheap plywood that was bolted over the front door. He cut through the side alley, hearing the giggling and rattling loud now with the added sound of an aerosol spray. He quietly opened a window and attempted to slide in. After he made it through the window he looked through a doorway, noticing two teenagers spraypainting on the living room’s wall. Lonnie stepped forward to get a closer look at the image but one of his feet collapsed through the rotted wood floor.
“Crap!” a feminine voice yelled out. The two girls in purple hoodies scurried out of the back door before Lonnie could catch up to them. He emerged from the hole and saw the girls run of through the distance through the living room.
Lonnie sighed in relief, “Just kids.” He turned his head and was stunned by what the girls had graffitied.
It was a large mural dedicated to the clown prince of crime with the words “Joker still livz!” scribbled in purple and green beside it. Lonnie weazed, as he clenched his chest he heard a maniacal laugh burst through his eardrums. “You’re not real, you’re gone! You can’t hurt me anymore--She killed you--You’re dead! YOU HEAR ME!!!” He shouted aloud.
As Machin snapped out of his episode he started to smell smoke. Upon looking down he realized that the girls had been smoking pot and one of the roaches lit a small fire within the house. Lonnie quickly circled around the lot to wipe his prints off of the windowsill and the gates before making his exit.
Later that night
Lonnie rushed into the doctor’s office for his session.
“You’re late” said the doctor. “Tardiness is a bad habit, and we know where bad habits can lead us, don’t we Mr. Machin?”
“I’m sorry Doc, something came up and I musta lost track of time.” He explained.
“It’s alright, we all make mistakes sometimes. Tell me more about this…distraction?”
"It didn't really botha' me at first. Just a couple of teenagers playing around, but when I saw what they was drawin all the bad memories kept rushing back. Our crying, his laughing, and the blood...the blood was everywhere. I fell down like I was hit with a tonna bricks then I started to feel like my old self."
"Old self--you mean...Anarky?" The Doctor inquired.
"Yeah. Beneath all of the laugh and my own fear I felt the same feeling I used to feel around the clown. I don't know how to describe it doc, but it was kinda like a pleasant numbness that washed over me; sorta like no matta what happened everything would make sense, even if nobody understood why."
Lonnie leaned back on the couch and smiled, briefly before jumping up. "Nononononono!" Machin wailed as he paced around the office."
"Please sit down Mr. Machin."
"Can't you see it's startin all over again!!!" Lonnie shouted. Instinctively he started to take a few deep breaths to control his heart rate before retaking his seat. "Look, you've gotta help me out doc. I thought I'd be relieved when I heard the Joker finally got his ticket punched but since then the voices have only gotten louder. Can't you just up my dosage or write a new script?"
Doctor Strange rubbed the whiskers on his chin. "I don't believe that more medication would be an appropriate solution. You've made a lot of progress since our first session Mr.Machin, but considering the vast trauma you've experienced such relapses aren't unexpected."
"So there's nothing you can do?" Lonnie inferred.
"I never said that." Strange affirmed. "Given your condition there is an...unconventional treatment we could try, but such methods are still far off from being recognized by my peers. It may be considered long shot."
Lonnie's eyes sparked. "I don't care about the odds doc, if there's a cure for what I got than go for it. I willing to risk harming myself if it prevents me from harming others."
Hugo sighed. "Very well Mr. Machin, I suppose we can try the treatment if you insist."
Doctor Strange strapped Lonnie's limbs tightly to the chair and placed a visual projector and headphones on the subject. Upon entering the neighboring room he performed a sound check.
"Testing, One-Two, Testing. Lonnie can you hear me?"
"Loud and clear Doc!"
"Good. Lonnie, the purpose of this treatment is to force you to confront your psychological triggers until they no longer have an effect over you. You will have to remain strong and remember who you truly are. Remember who you truly are. Are you ready to begin?"
"Yes Doctor." Machin replied.
Huge grinned. "Good, then we shall begin." With a few clicks Doctor Strange uploaded images of torture, murder, and rape to the projector and played a song that was made familiar to Lonnie in his past by the Joker simultaneously.
For six hours Doctor Strange played the footage on a loop. Initially the patient screamed and begged Strange to stop, following an hour of sobbing, until Lonnie sat silently. In the last moments the patient had broken his catatonic state with a menacing grin across his lips.
After finishing the procedure. Doctor Strange walked into the room removing the projector and headphones. Machin's smile grew more unsettling. The light had clearly left his eyes as if he were a corpse. Strange had seen that stare only once, from another patient who had recently died.
"Who are you?"
"Me?" Lonnie laughed. "I'm what you wanted me to be, what everyone else needs, I amAnarky!!!" Machin roared before chuckling maniacally.
"What will you do if I release you?" Strange asked.
"Hmm, now that's a toughie doc. Well first I'll have to mourn the loss of dear ol' dad, then I'll need to serve a nice cold dish of revenge, sprinkled with a dash of fun of course."
Doctor Strange smiled and began undoing his patient's restraints. As Anarky hopped from his chair Doctor Strange pulled out a note from his pocket. "This is where you will find the Joker's murderers. If you are captured you do not know me and you where never in my presence, understand?"
"Sir yes sir!!" Anarky saluted before resuming his persistent giggling.
"Off you go then."
The madman sprinted out of Strange's office. Once he had heard the laughing quiet Doctor Strange sat in his desk and dialed a number on his phone. After several rings the call was picked up. "It's done."
"Good, then everything is on schedule." Mockingbird replied.
"I still don't understand why you've asked me to do this."
"You don't have to." Mockingbird replied. Simply know that there are two types of people in this world: those who ask why and those who ask why not. I simply prefer to side with the latter. From hereon out outr interactions are severed, know that if you try to contact me or ever speak of my name you will be terminated."
"I still don't"-- Strange's words where cut off by his benefactor.
"That's the flaw with men like you Hugo; you always expect to find an answer from every action. Word of advise Doctor, try not think so hard, it'll only drive you mad." Mockingbird jested.
Strange tried to reply but the line was already dead. He hung up the phone and stared at his laptop. On the browser window glared a pending transaction to his bank account. Hugo smiled. "Why not?" He said, before clicking on confirm transaction.
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