"Patient interview number one: Elmo Sputterspark, also known as Megavolt. Elmo is one of the most dangerous villains in St. Canard. He is known to believe in the liberation of lightbulbs and electrical appliances from what he sees as slavery. Brain scans have shown increased electrical activity in his brain, which possibly contribute to his amazing works of genius. However, further study has revealed areas of the brain that are scarred and damaged. I am not sure if any amount of therapy and medicine will be able to help Elmo Sputterspark," Dr. Youngbeak spoke loudly and clearly for the tape recorder.
She heard a knock on the door and set the tape recorder to the side, still recording. She opened it, letting in two guards who were holding the arms of Megavolt dressed only in orange asylum clothing. He looked somewhat dazed and out of it. Dr. Youngbeak glanced at the guards questioningly.
"The warden wants him kept on a sedative to keep him calm. For good reason, too," he bent over to whisper in Dr. Youngbeak's ear, "We haven't been able to fully negate his powers because he needs the occasional jolt of electricity to keep his body functioning. We'll be staying here to keep an eye on him, and keep you safe, Dr. Youngbeak."
She sighed, "Very well."
She moved back to sit in her chair. Megavolt was placed into the seat across the table from her. The guards stood against the wall with stoic expressions on their faces.
"Hello there, Elmo. I'm Dr. Youngbeak. How are you feeling today?" Dr. Youngbeak asked, a smile on her bill.
"Huh? Oh, uh… fine, I guess. Kind of tired, though," Megavolt yawned, his eyes drooping slightly.
"It's good that you are doing all right, but you need to keep awake for our session, all right?" Dr. Youngbeak said, folding her hands on the table.
"All right," Megavolt said, trying to keep his eyes open. He stretched a little bit. The guards shifted uneasily but relaxed once Megavolt relaxed his arms back at his sides.
"Good. Now, do you know why you're here?"
Megavolt blinked for a moment, then looked around. He eyed the guards warily, then looked back at Dr. Youngbeak.
"Uh, well… I guess I'm in some kind of prison or something. So, I probably robbed a place or put the lights out of the city again," Megavolt said, attempting to stifle another yawn.
"You… really don't remember why you're here? Or how you got here? Or where you are?" Dr. Youngbeak blinked, having never received such a response before.
Megavolt shrugged, "Yeah. Nothing new there, though. Uh… Who are you, again?"
"Right," Megavolt paused, "Who am I again?"
Dr. Youngbeak tried not to stare at him like he had three heads. She cleared her throat.
"You're Elmo Sputterspark," she said.
"No, that's not right," Megavolt said, looking thoughtful.
"Yes. I have your files, right here. I didn't realize that you had such…" Dr. Youngbeak began, but Megavolt suddenly seemed to light up.
"Oh yeah! I remember, now! I'm Megavolt! Master of electricity!" He started laughing maniacally, then narrowed his eyes at the fluorescent lights that lit up the room.
"And I have friends to rescue," he mumbled, sparking dangerously.
"Oh no, you don't, Megavolt!" The guards were on him quickly.
"Let go of me, you oppressors! Let go!" He was sparking a little more at this point, but the guards had taken the precaution of wearing protective rubber clothing and dragged him out of the room.
"Patient interview number two: Elmo Sputterspark, also known as Megavolt. It was disappointing to have had our first session cut so short. I feel that the session has offered an immense amount of insight into Elmo Sputterspark's psyche, though. I can't imagine what it must be like to have these frequent memory lapses. His mind must have gone through quite a few changes in order to cope with this problem. I think keeping him on a sedative is the wisest course of action. The doctors here at Duckham Asylum have theorized that the less Elmo's brain is stimulated, the better. It will give any recently damaged brain tissue a chance to heal, and keep him from causing any further damage. Beyond that, I'm not sure just yet," Dr. Youngbeak said.
She waited for the guards to bring Megavolt to her. After a few minutes of waiting, she checked her watch.
Odd, she thought, They should be here by now.
A guard knocked, then open the door.
"Hey, Dr. Youngbeak. Your appointment with Megavolt," he cringed at seeing her glare, "I mean, Elmo, has been canceled. He got really testy today, and we had to give him extra sedative to calm him down. He's out like a light."
"Please refrain from making distasteful puns about the patients, Mr. Barker," Dr. Youngbeak reprimanded while rubbing her temples.
"Sorry, Dr. Youngbeak. Should we reschedule for tomorrow, then?" Mr. Barker asked, looking a little sheepish.
"Yes. Bring him by tomorrow. Same time. Try not to rile him up next time."
The next day, Megavolt was brought in by two guards. Again, he looked dazed and sleepy. He was sporting a few bandages as well. Dr. Youngbeak tried not to look alarmed by the bandages. She knew that the guards probably had to get rough with Megavolt if he wouldn't cooperate. Still, it was hard to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere if the patient was getting beat up left and right.
"Hello there, Elmo. It's me, Dr. Youngbeak." She was slow and careful in her speech. She didn't want to rile him up again.
"Uh, yeah… I think I remember you," Megavolt said, a thoughtful expression on his face again, "I think. Yeah… Hi."
"Good. That's very good. Last time we met we didn't get to have a very long session. I apologize if I upset you in any way," Dr. Youngbeak said, giving him a reassuring smile.
"Huh? Oh, uh… I don't think I was upset. I don't think," Megavolt said, then yawned.
Dr. Youngbeak decided not to remind him of how the session ended or of the behavior the guards reported yesterday. She proceeded carefully, figuring the best course of action would be to establish a trusting doctor-patient relationship.
"Well, I am definitely happy about that. Our goal here at Duckham Asylum is to create a comfortable atmosphere for our patients. We are trying to help people, like you, get better. Feel better."
Megavolt blinked, then seemed to chuckle a bit.
"Sorry to bust your bulb, doctor, but I don't think you can help me. I'd thank you for trying, but… you know, on some level… I kind of like being this way," he said, smirking a little bit.
She tried to hide her frown by burying her face close to her clipboard and writing notes. She returned her eyes to him, keeping a steady, neutral expression.
"Why don't you think I can help you, Elmo?"
Megavolt started to say something, then his face went somewhat blank. Then, he looked confused.
"Umm… Help me with what?"
Dr. Youngbeak kept her patience, "You said that you didn't think I could help you feel better."
Megavolt blinked, then nodded.
"Oh yeah. Yeah. You can't help me. I mean, I KNOW I'm insane, and even I can't do anything about it, really. With all the times I've short-circuited… Well, you don't recover from that. If it wasn't for the electricity running through my body and my brain, I'm sure I'd be more of a vegetable than Bushroot by now." He didn't sound bitter about this, only accepting of it.
Dr. Youngbeak took down more notes. She looked up, noticing that Megavolt went from looking casual and calm to irritated.
"Is something wrong, Elmo?"
"I just remembered… your stupid guards made me take a shower yesterday." He shot a glare at them. He appeared to be sparking slightly, and he clenched his fists.
"Elmo, take a deep breath. If you start getting angry again, you'll be forced back to your cell. You don't want that, do you?"
Megavolt looked back at her; he still looked annoyed, but he stopped sparking. He attempted to cross his arms over his chest, but the rubber handcuffs impeded him somewhat.
"This isn't really much better, but I guess it's good to have someone to talk to, instead of listening to the poor lights screaming over me in pain and anguish all the time."
He sounded dejected and miserable now. He rested his head on the table and sighed.
Dr. Youngbeak wrote a few more notes while considering her next words carefully. She didn't want to feed into his fantasies, but one of the most important things in his treatment plan was keeping him calm. Perhaps after they had made more progress, she could work on curbing his obsession with electrical objects. She nodded to herself.
"Elmo… Would you feel better if we… freed… the lights in your cell? We can also free the lights in this room, too. We can't do it for the entirety of Duckham Asylum, not yet, anyway. But we can do that much." She braced herself for his reaction.
Megavolt seemed to perk up, instead of getting upset about the other lights not getting freed.
"You would do that, really?" he asked, a smile coming to his face.
"Yes. We want to make your stay here peaceful," she noticed the look on his face, "And for your friends, too."
He smiled again, "Well, that's great! Thank you so much… uh… What's your name again?"
"Well, thank you, Dr. Youngbeak. It's good to have someone understand what it's like for them, for once," Megavolt said, unable to stop himself from smiling. He yawned after a moment.
Dr. Youngbeak decided to lead the conversation away from sympathizing with light bulbs.
"You were saying something earlier about the guards making you take a shower…" she began.
"Yeah," Megavolt narrowed his eyes, irritated again, "They made me short-circuit. They should've waited until I was out of juice or better yet… THERE IS SUCH A THING AS DE-IONIZED WATER, YOU MORONS!"
He seemed to spark uncontrollably for a moment before noticing an unusual look on the doctor's face that seemed half-way between fear and disapproval. He calmed down. Dr. Youngbeak held up a hand to stop the guards from grabbing Megavolt.
"He's calm, guys. Let him be," she ordered.
The guards backed off but kept even closer watch over Megavolt.
"Thanks, doc. Sorry about that," he said.
"It's okay, Elmo, but please try to control your temper," Dr. Youngbeak said.
Megavolt nodded, his voice seemed to slip into a more casual tone.
"A little science lesson for you, doctor. Tap water isn't just composed of H2O; it contains some minerals which are composed of metallic elements. This means there's ions in tap water. Ions have an electric charge. This is precisely why you don't drop a toaster in a tub full of tap water. I don't use the water you and everyone else does. I make sure all of the water I use to bathe with is as de-ionized as possible, so I don't short-circuit." He shot another glare at the guards.
"I'll be sure to write in an order that makes sure to provide you with de-ionized water to bathe with, Elmo. I am very sorry for that little mess-up. We are still learning about you and your specific needs that come as a result of your powers," Dr. Youngbeak said, scribbling more notes.
Dr. Youngbeak looked at her watch, "Well, looks like our session has ended for today. I'll see you around, Elmo."
"Patient interview number ten: Elmo Sputterspark also known as Megavolt. I feel like I have made some progress in establishing Elmo's trust. His temper has been flaring less and less during our sessions, and I find this to be very encouraging. The guards report that he continues to talk to any electrical object or light he can find, though, which indicates that we have not yet made any progress on curbing his insanity. He will never get better unless some hard subjects are broached. I will proceed slowly and hope that…"
There was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" Dr. Youngbeak called, and the door opened.
Two guards walked into the lantern-lit room with Megavolt. They had him take a seat and went to their positions against the wall. Megavolt looked as sleepy as usual but content.
"Hello there, Elmo. I'm…"
"Dr. Youngbeak, if I remember right," Megavolt said, looking to her for confirmation.
"That's right. Very good. I'm glad that you remember. How are you doing today?" Dr. Youngbeak looked over the files she had on Megavolt, mentally preparing questions in her head.
"Oh, good, I suppose. It is kind of boring around here, but I haven't short-circuited for what? A week?"
"About two months," Dr. Youngbeak told him.
"Yeah. I almost feel like a normal person," Megavolt said, then yawned.
"Normal is a relative term, Elmo. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions, if you don't mind," Dr. Youngbeak said, studying him with the careful eye of a psychoanalyst.
"Oh? Well, okay. Go ahead," Megavolt said, a curious expression on his face.
"They might… upset you."
A more alarmed expression crossed Megavolt's rodent-like face. He looked a little more hesitant this time.
"I… guess. Okay. Go for it. Don't ask too many at once, please."
"I won't. Remember that my goal isn't to judge you or hurt you. I'm only trying to get you better," Dr. Youngbeak said, her tone gentle and careful.
Megavolt nodded and took a deep breath to steady himself.
"Elmo, in the past, you have committed crimes from petty theft to first-degree murder. I have to ask… Why?" Dr. Youngbeak glanced at the guards. They were still keeping close watch on Megavolt. This reassured her.
A wild laugh startled both her and the guards.
"You… you want to know why?" His laugh increased in pitch and frequency, sounding maniacal, "Oh, doctor. You had me going there for a minute. I thought you were going to ask me something upsetting!"
Dr. Youngbeak had not expected this sort of response at all. She tried to hide her expression of confusion.
"Please continue," she said, readying her pen.
Megavolt giggled for a little while longer, then he nodded.
"The robberies should be pretty easy to figure out. I mean, a guy needs to eat, you know. Besides that, some people have also confused my liberation of the electrical denizens of St. Canard with stealing, too. Sometimes, the consequence of being labeled a criminal is worth it if you're doing what is ultimately right."
Once again, Dr. Youngbeak avoided turning the conversation to the plight of oppressed inanimate objects.
"Robbing to provide yourself with food isn't necessary, is it, Elmo? You have a brilliant mind. Your IQ score is off the charts. It says here in your case files that you helped to build a time machine, among other things."
Megavolt blushed a little.
"Surely, you could…" Dr. Youngbeak continued, but Megavolt cut her off.
"No. I could not. I'm stark raving mad, doctor. No one is going to hire me, no matter how intelligent I am." The blush seemed to disappear from his face, and he started to look annoyed.
"I… see." Sometimes, she forgot how aware he was of his own lack of sanity. It still confused her at times. It seemed impossible for someone to be aware of their insanity. Perhaps it was because of his high intelligence or maybe his memory problems had something to do with his alternating between being aware and unaware. Perhaps it was both.
"If we could find you a job, Elmo, do you think you would give up a life of crime?"
"Not until I'm sane, which would probably be impossible. And even then, I'm not sure. Crime has been my life since my senior year in high school. Plus, I kind of like being a supervillain. It's fun," Megavolt said, grinning.
"Murdering people is fun?" She tried to sound as neutral and un-judgmental as possible. She was sure she was failing and tried her best not to look ashamed of herself.
"Are you kidding? That's the best part! Not that I'm a serial killer or anything. That'd just be wrong," Megavolt said, in an attempt to be reassuring, "I only kill people who deserve it… and that's only if I'm in the mood for it. I'm not in the mood very often. I don't actually seek out people to kill. It sort of just happens. But anyway, the fun part is devising and building an absolutely shocking death trap, then watching and enjoying the fruits of my labor. The satisfaction from it is simply exhilarating."
Dr. Youngbeak was astonished at the depths of Megavolt's insanity. She scribbed furious notes onto the clipboard and tried not to betray any emotion which might give her feelings about the conversation away.
"Let's talk about your victims, Elmo."
"Sure," Megavolt said, still sounding upbeat.
"Your first victims were an entire family of four," Dr. Youngbeak said, pausing to compose herself.
"And their dog," Megavolt added, "I remember that. There was a dog."
"W-what… could they have possibly done to deserve being killed?"
"Did you see their power bill? I happened upon it entirely by chance while raiding an electric company, but by Tesla's ghost, it was the most horrible thing I had ever seen in my entire life. Can you imagine how much pain and suffering their enslaved appliances must have gone through? They were complete sickos!" Megavolt seemed to be sparking just at the thought of the family.
"The children?" Dr. Youngbeak asked, willing herself to stay calm.
"You think the children were innocent? They were just as guilty as the parents! Besides, as the saying goes… The tree doesn't rot far from the apple! Or something like that. It might have been an orange." He started looking confused. His expression slipped into one of concentration. After a while, he shrugged his shoulders.
Not knowing what to say, she proceeded, "Your next victim, and your last known victim, was a lawyer. A lawyer appointed to you, in fact. What did he do?"
"He called me Sparky," Megavolt said, as if this explained everything.
She was sure something was giving her feelings away. Megavolt looked at her, in a manner that almost seemed concerned.
"You okay, doctor? Did I say something wrong?" he asked, his face scrunching up in concentration again.
Dr. Youngbeak thought for a moment. She decided to nudge things in a different direction.
"Elmo… You have people you care about, don't you?"
Megavolt seemed taken aback by this question, "Huh?"
"People you care about… family? Friends?"
"Family?" Megavolt shot up out of his seat, slamming his hands on the table, "My family? Let me tell you something about family…"
Volts of electricity seemed to surround him. The guards moved in.
"Elmo, sit down!" Dr. Youngbeak said firmly.
Almost automatically, Megavolt sat down. After a moment, he blinked and stopped sparking.
"Ah… um… What were we talking about again?" he asked.
Dr. Youngbeak wrote a note to bring up his family again at some later date and to bring it up as gently as possible.
"We were talking about people you care about. Your friends, in particular," she said, watching him.
"Well, I am friend to all things electrical… Big or small," Megavolt said, looking like he was about to go on some heroic ramble.
Dr. Youngbeak interrupted him, "I would like to talk about those friends, sometime in the future. For right now, do you have any other friends? Non-electrical ones?"
"Other friends?" Megavolt blinked, thinking, "Well… hmm… Hang on. I think I'm remembering something…"
Even after all he said earlier, Dr. Youngbeak couldn't help but feel pity for him. She really hoped he would have some friends, even just…
"Oh yeah! Quacky!" Megavolt said, his eyes seeming to light up.
"Quacky?" Dr. Youngbeak repeated, arching an eyebrow.
"You know, Quackerjack! Oh, and Bushroot! Oh! That liquid guy… Liquidator! Well, I mean, I don't really like him all that much. We don't… err… mix very well, if you know what I mean. Still, I think I can call him a friend. He's nice enough," Megavolt said, his expression thoughtful.
Dr. Youngbeak wrote down a few notes. Treating Megavolt was going to be especially difficult if his only friends, his only support network… were other criminally insane supervillains.
"So, you care about them, then? You don't want to see them hurt, right?"
"That's right! They're my pals. I… oh… well, there were those first ten times with my friend, Quacky." Megavolt blinked, "Yeah. You see, he kept calling me Sparky. So, I kept trying to kill him for it. He just wouldn't die, though. He always escaped or survived somehow. It was infuriating!"
Megavolt sparked for a moment, then the sparks died down.
"But then, he tried to kill me for trying to kill him so many times. He didn't succeed, of course, but we had such a laugh, afterwards. Now, he's my best friend!"
Dr. Youngbeak stared at him outright, "Do you try to kill all your friends?"
"No. I haven't tried killing Bushroot and Liquidator. That would be kind of pointless, anyway, all things considering. I don't try to kill Quacky anymore, even when he calls me Sparky. Don't let him know that he's the only one who can get away with it, though. It'll go to his head," Megavolt informed her.
She paused to jot down a few notes, "Your secret is safe with me."
"I certainly hope so, for your sake, doctor," Megavolt said, then grinned, "Ah, don't worry. Just supervillain humor."
Dr. Youngbeak laughed nervously, "Right. So, other than that, you don't want to see your friends hurt or killed?"
Megavolt nodded, "That's right. I don't know what I'd do without those guys."
Finally, they were getting somewhere. Dr. Youngbeak folded her hands on the table.
"So, Elmo… Has it ever occurred to you that there are other people who have friends?" she asked.
"Uh, yeah. I guess so," Megavolt said, a wary look in his eyes.
"Has it occurred to you that these people also don't want to see their friends hurt or killed?" Dr. Youngbeak continued, looking at him expectantly.
Megavolt nodded slowly, "What's your point?"
"Well, Elmo, my point is that you don't want people hurting or killing your friends. So, why should you be allowed to hurt or kill other people's friends?"
Megavolt stared at her as if she was the crazy one. After a moment, he let out another maniacal laugh. Once again, it startled the guards and Dr. Youngbeak.
"Oh, doctor. Isn't it obvious? I'm a supervillain! My friends are supervillains! It's just the way things are," he said, then let out another wild laugh.
Dr. Youngbeak sighed and looked at her watch.
"It looks like our time is up. I will see you next week, Elmo."
"Okay, later… uh… whoever you are!" Megavolt said, while the guards took him out of the room.
"Patient interview number twenty-two: Elmo Sputterspark also known as Megavolt. I'm afraid my initial assumptions are coming true. Elmo has not been responding well to anti-psychotics or lithium. The sedative only helps to keep him calm. It would seem that the extensive damage to parts of Elmo's brain are keeping him from getting better. As of right now, we do not yet have the knowledge on how to fix this. We can only prevent further damage from being done by preventing Elmo from short-circuiting and keeping him from overloading his brain with electricity due to his temper or excitement. Elmo will have to remain in Duckham Asylum's care indefinitely."
There was a knock at the door, and with her permission, the guards came in with Megavolt. It was a familiar routine.
"Hello there, Elmo," Dr. Youngbeak began.
"Dr. Youngbeak! It's good to see you!" Megavolt greeted, a big grin on his face.
Dr. Youngbeak smiled at his enthusiasm, "It's good to see you, too, Elmo. I'm glad that you remember me. How…"
"I was thinking, doctor," Megavolt said, interrupting her.
"Oh?" Dr. Youngbeak looked up from her notes.
"Yes, I was thinking… Wait. I lost it. No. Yes. No. Ah… Oh yeah! I was thinking, Dr. Beakyoung, you're my friend, right?" Megavolt said, looking at her with wide, expectant eyes.
"Dr. Youngbeak. Elmo, I'm your doctor, first. But yes, I want to be your friend. Everyone here wants to be your friend, Elmo," she said, wondering what he was up to.
Megavolt glanced at the guards and rolled his eyes, "Yeah. Right."
He turned his gaze away from them in a dismissive manner.
"I was thinking, doctor. Since you're my friend, you should become a supervillain, too!" Megavolt ignored her gaping look, "You could be… Doctor Terror! No, wait. Doctor Despicable. Yeah, I like that. Oh, hey, what about Doctor Megadeath?"
"Elmo, I don't think…" Dr. Youngbeak began, but Megavolt was persistent.
"So, I was thinking about this whole doctor theme for you, you know? You could have like…. A stethoscope that shoots lasers! Wouldn't that be cool? You could be a part of our team! We could be… The Sinister Six! Although, actually, maybe with an extra member… We can all take down that horrible Negaduck. That guy really burns my bulbs," Megavolt said, sparking slightly.
"I'm really not…" Dr. Youngbeak said, frowning.
Megavolt continued, "And we could go on heists together… and try to kill Darkwing Duck… and…"
"Elmo!" Dr. Youngbeak shouted, which got Megavolt's attention.
"Err… You talking to me?" he asked, suddenly confused.
"Yes. Elmo, I do not want to be a supervillain. I like my job as a doctor. My job is to help you," Dr. Youngbeak said, firmly but gently.
Megavolt frowned, "But… You're my friend."
"And friends help each other," Dr. Youngbeak pointed out.
Megavolt narrowed his eyes, "I AM trying to help you. You need to be a supervillain! You're my friend! Argggh… Can't you understand? You're driving me mad!"
Sparks generated around him, "Mad, I tell you! Mad!"
He pointed a single sparking finger at her. The guards sprung into action a little too late.
"To Do List: Consult grocery list, I need to go grocery shopping today. Organize my notes. File case files alphabetically. Change my bandages."
Dr. Youngbeak strode through the hall of Duckham Asylum with her tape recorder in hand. She was dressed in her usual work attire. Bandages were wrapped around the top part of her head. She also had bandages covering various other areas of her body that had been burned the day Megavolt attacked her. Apparently, one of the guards had given him a little too much extra electricity the day before the attack. It had been two weeks since that attack, but she still insisted on seeing Megavolt. She knew the risks associated with the job when she took it, and she wasn't about to give up on a patient so soon. Megavolt had in the previous sessions seemed bitter towards her, but last session, he had apologized for attacking her. It felt like they had taken two steps back, but they had taken another step forward. She realized progress with Megavolt was going to be even slower than she originally thought.
She sighed and spoke clearly for the tape recorder, "Prepare for Elmo Sputterspark, patient interview number twenty-five."
Seconds later, she heard alarms ringing throughout the asylum. She blinked. Megavolt, in full costume, was running towards her.
"Elmo! What are you doing out of your cell?"
"Can't talk now, Dr. Beaky! Gotta run!" He sprinted past her before turning around in a little backward jog. "I hope you feel better soon!" He shouted at her before facing forward and running away.
Dr. Youngbeak watched as guards took off after him, and she sighed again. Yes. Progress with Megavolt was going to be very slow indeed.