"I don't have you in my schedule, so how did you manage to get an appointment with me?"
Doctor Meadows asked testily as she regarded the young man that was waiting in her examination room.
The blonde man flinched at the comment and his eyes glazed over as he stared at the wall in front of him. A few moments passed before his eyes narrowed their focus and glanced at the doctor.
Ruth Meadows took a seat at her desk which separated her from the potential patient. Her interface was flashing to indicate that she had a message waiting for her.
A gentle humming sound escaped from the man's lips, followed by a despairing croak.
Doctor Meadows couldn't help but smile at the sound. It was one of the first indications that the patient's mind was completely fried.
"But do you have good insurance? That's the million credit question!"
Ruth asked as she tapped on the profile. The results caused her smile to evolve into a delighted laugh.
The blonde man's despairing wails had subsided and been replaced with a gentle rocking motion back and forward.
Ruth breathed as she started adding items to her new patient's prescription.
The blonde man was staring at Ruth, and she could have sworn there was a flicker of intelligence in his eyes. As soon as it appeared, it was gone. His awkward rocking motions returned and Ruth couldn't help but revel in the fact that such a boon had landed in her lap.
"Looks like there's still some of you left in there. Look at me."
Ruth teased as she leaned across the table.
Green eyes snapped back to meet Ruth's before they lost focus.
"This is literally my favourite part... let me tell you what's going to happen to you."
Doctor Meadows walked around from behind the desk and placed her hands on either side of her patient's face. His eyes cleared once more.
"You've done this to yourself. Now I have to take care of you."
His mouth opened slightly, but no sound came out.
"If I need to take care of you, it's only fair that I be compensated for my time."
A weak hand tried to grasp at the Doctor, but she continued to keep her grip on his face. A cruel smirk crossed her lips.
"B-Class brats like you can afford my FULL treatment, so I think we're going to start billing you immediately."
The despairing wail escaped his lips one more time, a flicker of panic crossing his features before melting back into his passive expression.
"And I think I'm going to have to take special care of you... so lets have these sessions daily."
Dr. Meadows released his face before patting him lightly on the cheek. The slight force caused the man to rock sideways.
Glancing through his profile, Ruth scanned the different pieces of information. Most of it wasn't relevant for her, but she wanted to know how he ended up in her office without being scheduled in.
"So, lets see who you used to be..."
As Dr. Meadow's found the patient's name she looked up with a self satisfied smirk.
"Kell, was it?"
The fading green eyes locked onto Ruth's face, but this time they didn't lose focus. They instead stared intently at her as a terrifying smile appeared below them.
Ruth faltered momentarily as she studied Kell's face.
The symptoms he had displayed were real, she had seen them throughout her entire career.
The man in front of her was traumatised by over exposure to virtual reality.
"Yes, I'm Kell. You must be Doctor Ruth Meadows."
Her mind was reeling.
He had displayed all the symptoms, she diagnosed him, he was fried just a moment ago.
"You know... you're the one that's starting to look like the mental patient. Are you still in there, Ruth?"
Kell waved his hand in front of the stunned Doctor.
His eyes and smile didn't change in the slightest.
Was all she managed to croak out. Her hand darted beneath her desk to find her tranquilizer gun, but the holster was empty.
"You know, I was tempted to let you have the gun, but without any of the ammunition. Just to see if you could incriminate yourself any further, but I settled for just the dialogue."
Kell admitted as he got to his feet. There was no awkwardness in his limbs anymore. All the swaying was erased and his entire demeanour had changed.
Ruth took a steadying breath as she got to her feet. Her hands gripped the edge of her desk as her mind tried to make sense of this situation.
"Is this a shakedown?"
She eventually spat as she glared at him.
Kell replied simply as he tapped his wrist a few times.
"Do you know who funds this clinic? Do you have any idea the sort of people you'd be messing with? I'm just one of a million cogs in the machine!"
Ruth questioned as she tried to regain her composure. She knew in the back of her head that if she name dropped a few investors and sponsors, she'd be able to scare him.
Kell however remained quiet. He continued to tap on his wrist, ignoring the words of the doctor.
"You've absolutely no idea what you're getting yourself into. Be smart, Kell. Forget everything, erase your files and I will look the other way. Just this once."
Ruth offered as she spread her hands out wide.
Kell sighed with relief before looking back up at Ruth.
"Sorry, were you saying something?"
Clenching her teeth, Ruth stared at the smiling face in front of her.
"You're a fucking sociopath."
Kell burst out laughing.
"Finally, an accurate diagnosis. I'll be sure to add it to your case file, to at least show some evidence that you're qualified as a doctor."
"What have you done?!"
Ruth demanded through gritted teeth. Her knuckles were white and her mind was racing.
Kell pointed at his wrist, and looked surprised.
"Oh this? Yeah, I was just sending a recording of our conversation to a few people. Smile for the camera."
Kell nodded to the corner of the room. Ruth followed his gaze to see a drone silently suspended in mid air.
"Incredible how lax people can get about security when they think they're the only sane person in the room."
Kell remarked with a mocking sigh.
"Who did you send it to?"
Ruth's voice was now strained with panic.
"One of them went to my newest colleague. She's a hot-shot lawyer apparently. Ever hear of Elvira Corbeau?"
Whatever colour remained on Ruth's face evaporated in that very moment.
The most terrifying lobbyist in the legal world was working with this sociopath.
"You're... You're bluffing!"
"Another recording went to one of your colleagues! Well, I don't know if you'd call it a colleague? More like a boss? Actually, what would you call Graham Dryksell?"
Kell asked with a genuine look of confusion on his face.
"Like, I know he's the CEO of Dryksell Pharma, and the creator of NeuroHype which you prescribe exclusively to your patients... but how do you think he'll feel about this?"
A barking laugh that didn't suit the woman burst out and Kell got to see the return of her sickening smile.
"You really are naive! I can't believe I fucking fell for this whole charade. Elvira Corbeau, scariest bitch in the legal world and now you're throwing in Dryksell too? You're full of shit."
Sitting down on the patient chair, Kell merely smiled throughout Ruth's rant.
"What makes you think that two of the most powerful people in the world are going to drop everything to come after me? So what if I charge a bit extra, or keep patients on drugs for a while longer... I'm not the only one doing it!"
Nodding his head, Kell crossed his legs and planted his elbows on the plush leather arms of the chair.
"The audacity to..."
Doctor Meadows started before faltering.
Her interface was showing an incoming call.
"I wouldn't leave Mr. Dryksell on hold if I were you."
Kell warned with mock fear.
Ruth flinched as she reluctantly answered the call.
Ruth Meadows, this is the office of Chief Executive Officer Graham Dryksell. Please remain on the line.
Kell joked as he perused all of the framed certificates on the walls. It didn't take long for a different voice to join the call.
Meadows, is Kell still in the room with you?
"Mr. Dryksell, if you would just allow me to explain my version of events!"
No, Miss Meadows. Let me explain my version of events. I'm losing my Sponsorship slot for the Hero Percivus in Abidden. It's going to cost me millions in lost revenue. Furthermore, I've just been hit with a lawsuit... from the fucking offices of Elvira Corbeau. She is creating a class action lawsuit on behalf of every patient that has ever stepped through your doors. She has also made it abundantly clear that after you're buried, she's coming after me. Tell me, Meadows... does your version of events clear up this mess?
I didn't think so. Now, tell me. Is Kell still in the room with you?
Excellent. Kell, I would like to once again apologize for this incident. I can confirm that I have received your instructions and they will all be carried out immediately. Doctor Ruth Meadows will be removed from her post. Her clinic will be dissolved and her patients will be reevaluated in a new facility that is supervised by an independent third party organisation. Dryksell Pharma will reimburse patients that have been overcharged and we shall ensure that this never happens again. In addition to your instructions, we would like to privately fund a centre of excellence for victims of gaming trauma. We hope that this small token could get us on track to rebuilding your trust in our organisation.
"That's a fine gesture, but a conversation for another time, Mr. Dryksell."
Kell responded in a remorseful yet respectful tone.
Of course. I shall liaise with Miss Corbeau.
With that said, the conversation ended.
The once arrogant and self assured Doctor Ruth Meadows was a quivering mess. Her face was ashen and her body was shaking. Graham Dryksell, S-Class Titan of Industry, CEO of Dryksell Pharma and one of the richest men in the world had personally called her to fire her and take away everything she had built over the last twenty years.
"How... did you do this?"
Getting to his feet, Kell winked at the distraught doctor as he walked towards the door.
"It's my job."
As his hand touched the metal, a sudden thought popped into his head.
"Oh yes, that's right! There was something else I was supposed to tell you."
Ruth physically recoiled from the grinning man. The atmosphere around him was nightmarish, and every part of her body screamed at her that this man was a threat. Her body finally gave out and Dr. Meadows fell to the floor, tears flowing freely down her cheeks.
Kell grinned as he took a picture of the despairing woman.
"James Sylvester sends his regards."