Cvber Joke Part 02-1: Welcome to Arkham by adorety ()
Members remain the original copyright holder in all their materials here at Renderosity. Use of any of their material inconsistent with the terms and conditions set forth is prohibited and is considered an infringement of the copyrights of the respective holders unless specially stated otherwise.
Harleen awoke a little late the next day, but she did not have a set time to be at Arkham. She was a high level intern awaiting her advancement to full time staff. She spent over seventy hours a week there and often in to the late night.
She thought about the previous night and was still mad at Bruce, but also a little shocked and feeling insecure. She thought it was going great and even if she had ulterior motives, he was handsome and she had come to like him.
She got ready quickly without catching up on the news. She donned a conservative, yet tight, skirt, a blouse and some simple pumps and ate a muffin and drank a cup of coffee. She left her luxurious apartment that she was behind in the rent on. Her current patient had been able to point her in the direction of some money to help her get started and build some status, but it didn't last long and she was in debt now. Despite scholarships, she still had loans she owed, but when she was made a permanent member of the staff next month, the money would flow on in.
As she grabbed her car keys from the table by the door, she picked up a hitch hiker that she did not notice. Without incident she made the forty five minute drive to the asylum and spent the time listening to a recording from a Dr. Bryce and her theories on combining organics and cyber technology. She even had theories and primitive prototypes of cyber/organic brains she called positronic networks. Very interesting stuff. Harleen thought how it could put her out of job someday. If someone had a mental problem, you just adjust some parameters and programming and voila! That was likely a long way off still and a bit of an oversimplification.
She arrived and still had to park in the general parking area. She didn't mind. It was a brisk seven minute walk to the entrance and she needed it. She used to be in much better shape. She had been sitting a lot more these few years and her curves were filling out. In high school she had been a gymnast that competed on the national level and eventually she went to the Summer Olympics at seventeen. She competed in the gymnastics and womens' martial arts. She had already graduated by then and when she came home with a silver and bronze medal she went right to Johns Hopkins on a full scholarship and did her graduate studies at Gotham Tech University and began her internship at Arkham in her second year at GTU. When she started her internship, her athletics fell by the wayside. She was accepting her more curvaceous figure and liked to find outfits that accentuated them. Her self confidence was growing.
Her mother and father had always been supportive in their own way, but that often consisted of a lot of backhanded compliments, especially concerning her athletics. “Great form!” her father would say, quickly followed by, “And don't worry that it's not perfect, not everyone can be in the Olympics.” Well she showed them, or so she thought. She made it to the Olympics and won two bronze in gymnastics on the balance beam and floor routines and a silver in womens' martial arts. Of course her mom said “Almost gold dear heart.” And dad, “More focus and it could have been gold, but hey, you did alright.”
She lost points in her last bout. Rules prevented athletes from using certain devastating moves, since this was non lethal combat. As she fought her final opponent she managed to get a glimpse of her mother in the audience. Harleen had secured two tickets for this last night in Atlanta, but only mom made it. When she saw her mom she, she wasn't looking back. She was looking elsewhere talking on her cell phone. Harleen was crushed and angered all at once and she laid out her opponent with three illegal moves. She had been way out in front with points and a gold medal seemingly assured, but those moves cost her enough points to only earn the silver.
Disappointment had mounted on top of anger on top of self disappointment. When she returned she quit sports and followed her quest for understanding the human psyche.
Image Comments (17)
adorety () 8:31PM | Thu, 26 September 2013
Now here she was several years later and still in her twenties, though late twenties, and ready to be made a full staff member at Arkham. Arkham Asylum is known for harboring the craziest of the crazy criminals and was also on the cutting edge of modern rehabilitation through medicine, science and holistic treatments. Harleen was an advocate for anything that worked and held an open mind. Despite that, her life growing up had given her insecurities she could not shake, event though she did not see it herself. As soon as she had gotten that large sum of money, besides the apartment, she had gotten herself a boob job as she saw her hips widen, thinking that might balance things. She now had plenty of fans and was always being propositioned. This of course added to her insecurities causing her to think they only wanted her body. Though that was probably true, it clouded her vision to those who genuinely liked her for who she was, like Bruce. Then she finally got to meet him. The one who became her patient. He was different than the rest. And that's an understatement on all measures. He engaged her mind. He became a source of obsession for her and she wanted to do everything she could to get him back in to society. She saw beyond his disfigurement. To her it was just part of who he was and she wanted him to find his way there and with her help. She had managed to get him some real recreation time instead of being in one cell twenty four seven. And now she was trying to get Bruce Wayne to sign off on letting her treat him in a more open environment and allow him to interact with others. She firmly believed isolation would only make things worse for her patient and keep him in a constant state of anger. Though he expressed his anger with laughter. In fact he expressed almost everything with laughter. She considered these things as she entered the asylum. She stopped in her shared office, that was currently empty and dropped off her hand bag. She came through the reception and was greeted by Ruth, a very nice and pleasant woman. “Good morning Miss Quinzel, how are you?” “I'm fine Ruth, thanks.” “Great!” She smiled. “Here's the files you requested.” Harleen picked up some papers and a large binder off of Ruth's desk. “Thanks Ruth. Is he in?” “No, not today. A special meeting on the ninth hole I think.” She smirked and rolled her eyes. “Of course. See you later.” She continued down the hall and into the depths of the asylum. The first door had an unarmed guard, George Richtman. There was no one or anything too serious beyond this door, just more administration and minimum security treatment rooms. He was here mostly for show and to give guests a sense of security without threat. He only carried a club and no gun, plus he was looking a bit aged and out of shape. “Good mornin' Dr Quinn, medicine lady.” He smiled. He was a little older and used an outdated reference to an old TV show. He said Harleen reminded him of the actress Jane...something. And the character name was close to hers apparently too. He was odd, but pleasant enough. The next door led to more serious criminals with bigger issues and those who did not have a firm grip on reality. Some violent, some angry and those who no longer felt a connection to society, but yet no murderers in this block. Daryl was the armed guard on this side with a pair of guards on the other side of barred electronic doors. Between Daryl and the other guards were transfer cells. Patients were brought to these cells to wait while more guards came and escorted them to secure treatment rooms for solo and group sessions. Her patient had not seen this room since passing through it on his arrival day. “Morning Miss Quinzel, always a pleasure to see you. ID please.” Daryl was nice enough and all business by the book. She was fine with that. “Thanks Harleen. And by the way, it seems there's a bug going around. Blaine is feeling under the weather and three other guys called out sick, kinda freaks me out. I mean, I know this is a hospital, but it's for the sickos in the head, not the body. The agency sent over replacements, so don't be surprised at the two beyond here. Frankly I think they're a bit crass, but they have the proper clearance. Just don't let them get to you.” Harleen thought to herself “You call the patients here 'sickos' and you're calling others crass?” And out loud said, “Tanks Daryl, but I tink I can handle myself okay.” She smiled. “No doubt!” He beamed. “I'll never forget those Olympics. As I always say, I think you was robbed.” He kept smiling as he opened the door for her. She kept her smile, but now with supreme effort. If Daryl knew how that affected her, he would be polite enough to stop, but she never had the courage or care to tell him what that time had really meant in her life. The other two nodded as she passed through. They looked a bit shady and she could feel their eyes on her behind as she walked away. They didn't say a word and that just made them look even more creepy. She walked down the corridor here studying the papers and looking through the binder she had picked up from Ruth's desk. Shouts, moans and other noises could be heard throughout, but she was oblivious to them now. She came to another door that was sealed with only a small window to peer through. Eric Han stood guard here. “Good morning Doc. How's the weather?” “Ya gotta a nice and sunny afternoon ta look forward too Eric.” She said. His shift was done at two o'clock. She paused here and went to a locker and donned a lab coat. “Awww. Not today. I'm doing a double because Brian called out.” “Really?! That's four sick and five I guess if Blaine isn't feeling right.” “Yeah, Blaine was looking a little pale. In fact the temp with level five clearance, looked a little pale to me, but hey, I've never seen him before.” He tapped on some buttons on a wall console and the door made a loud click and Eric reached over and opened for Harleen. “Thanks Eric. I hope the day moves quick for ya.” She smiled and stepped through. Thanks for stopping by. I've been out of the loop for a bit and I'm trying to catch up on comments.
RodS () 8:47PM | Thu, 26 September 2013
Well, it seems she's dealing with all kinds of .... jokers today. And I wonder if that spider is going to bite her.... Hmmmmm........ I'm digging this story, Art - and of course your artwork as well! Good to see you back, bro!
twelvemark21 () 8:49PM | Thu, 26 September 2013
Very detailed chapter, great character insight. Do love the way you've chosen to show off Harleen's curves. Excellent sequential storytelling.
barryjeffer () 9:25PM | Thu, 26 September 2013
I have a strong feeling that all is not well in Arkham... can't wait to see what is coming next. Very cool story so far and excellent illustrations.
eekdog () Online Now! 9:54PM | Thu, 26 September 2013
great collage of images, i would freak out with a spider on me.
vitachick () 5:39AM | Fri, 27 September 2013
So rude of mom to be on cell while here daughter was competing... Great college and story.