Disclaimer - See previous chapters
A/N - I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to update. Unfortunately my summer job hasn't been leaving me with enough time or energy to do much creative writing. This installment was originally intended to be part of a much longer chapter, but as I may not be able to get any more done before I go back to Uni in October I thought I might as well post it now. Special thanks to all of the people who reviewed the last chapter, feedback is very much appreciated.
Smeagol Gollum was not happy. He had been confined to bed following an incident during the previous night, in which his two personalities had come to vicious blows over the question of who should be evicted from the Big Brother house this week. There was not a television in sight, and the interesting side effects of the drugs he was being administered were becoming increasingly less interesting. After being given the pale pink pills with the ChemiPharm logo on, the King of the Butterfly People had visited him once again. Unfortunately instead of continuing to expound upon his thought-provoking observations about the nature of reality, this time the hallucinogenically created half-man half-insect had told toilet jokes. It really was a sad day when ones psychotic delusions began to suffer from bouts of acute immaturity. Still at least it wasn't all bad, Cathy Miller, the fourth year medical student who had been sent to Wildrose House by way of 'work experience' - or 'an experience of how not to work' as she tended to think of it - had solved his light sensitivity problem by giving him a pair of Power Ranger sunglasses that her nine year old nephew Jonathan has grown too embarrassed to wear. The garish red frames clashed nicely with the yellow Teletubbies sweater and blue and green striped trousers he had been provided with by way of 'day wear'.
As he lay there feeling generally sorry for himself, he became aware of the argument going on just outside his room between Dr. Hargreaves, who appeared to be the leader of the intrepid band of psychiatrists, Dr. Banbury, whom Gollum though could probably teach the dungeon keepers of Barad Dur a trick or two when it came to inspiring terror in their captives, and Dr. Craig, whom Smeagol personally believed to possess a level of intelligence comparable to that of the average Moria Orc. At Wildrose House patient confidentiality was something that happened to other institutions, so that staff were usually quite happy to publicly discuss the most private of matters in the corridor (providing of course it was not their own private matter).
"You mean to say that Bradley Carver barricaded himself in the basement, and you can't get him out" came the dour and rather careworn tones of Dr. Hargreaves.
"In a manner of speaking," mumbled Dr. Craig.
"What do you mean 'In a manner of speaking'. He either has or he hasn't."
"Well he err... hasn't so much barricaded himself in the cellar as err... flooded it."
"He's done what?"exploded Dr. Hargreaves. "We're storing about five million pounds worth of drugs and equipment down there. How the hell are we going to explain this to the board of directors."
Dr. Craig merely mumbled something nearly unintelligible about the new medication not working properly by way of response.
"Oh so it's the bloody medications fault then. I thought I was told that Benzylchlorase was 'top of the range and completely effective' wasn't I Dr. Banbury?"
"Well Benzylchlorase has performed very well in the clinical conducted by ChemiPharm," replied Dr. Banbury sniffily.
"Oh yes it has been very effective. As in very effective at treating seizures in pigs, as oppose to, you know being very effective at preventing delusion behaviour in paranoid schizophrenics. You obviously forget Yvonne that I have actually been known to read those drug trial reports of yours."
"I don't see any reason why we need to stand around here all day shouting at each other," said Dr. Banbury. "Anyone would think we weren't professionals. The best course of action would be to use this as an opportunity to deal pro-actively with certain issues that may, if left unchecked, lead to future problems for the hospital."
"And these issues would be what exactly," said Dr. Hargreaves, suddenly sounding a little less hostile.
"Well there is the Robert James case. His family are still trying to sue for gross malpractice, which is ridiculous really as ChemiPharm did thoroughly tested that particular combination of drugs on cockateels with no ill effects found. Well apart from vomiting, shaking..."
"Yes but what does this have to do with the basement being flooded?"
"The lawyers representing the family are trying to get hold of his medical records, which may give the untrained eye the impression that we were haphazardly prescribing a dangerous cocktail of psychotropic drugs just to see what would happen."
"And we weren't?" said Dr. Craig sounding puzzled.
"Of course not," snapped Dr. Banbury. "We were adopting an intuitive rather than systematic approach to finding the right combination of drugs to treat Mr. James condition. Anyway as I was saying, if the records were to be regrettably destroyed as a result of say a flood in the cellar in which they were being stored, then they would not be available for misinterpretation by those untutored in the methods of modern psychiatry."
"So what you're saying is that we should douse the medical records, put them in the basement, and then pretend that it was an accident?" said Dr. Hargreaves.
"Right good idea. You two can both go and find the appropriate cabinet and take it down to the basement. Oh and while you're at it try and get that Carver man out of there, he might damage something expensive."
"Yes Dr. Craig, what is it now."
"If we destroy all of the medical records in the same cabinet won't we loose any, you know, important information about the other patients medical histories. Like what sort of medication they're supposed to be taking?"
"Dr. Craig, how exactly do you expect to hold down a career in mental health with that kind of attitude."
"Sorry Dr. Hargreaves."
"Right, off you go then."
After Dr. Banbury and Dr. Craig had set off on their mission Dr. Hargreaves sauntered into the room where Smeagol Gollum was currently sulking.
"Right have you calmed down now?" he asked in a bored sounding voice.
"Yes, yes I have kind master. Smeagol promises not to cause any more trouble," said Smeagol.
"Wess just wantss to watch our nice television programss again don't we precisouss," added Gollum, who was for once on his best behaviour.
"Well, I suppose you can go and watch television. Providing that is, you don't go and make another scene."
"Yes nice master, Smeagol swears he won't make another scene."
"Oh and for god's sake stop calling me master, it doesn't sound... you know... right."
Dr. Hargreaves then left to do whatever it was that Dr. Hargreaves did in his office (rumour had it that it had something to do with using the hospital budget to fund a compulsive Internet gambling habit), and Smeagol Gollum half walked half crawled out of his room. As he headed towards the room holding the sacred screen he paused.
"We sshould go and have a look at the cellar preciouss, if it'ss flooded there might be fishess down there." said Gollum.
"But I don't want to miss Hollyoaks," protested Smeagol.
"But that won't be on until after the Weakest Link will it preciouss. Wess can go and look for fishess and then we can eatss them in front of the television."
"Very well," relented Smeagol. "But you better be quick, Smeagol will be angry if he misses his favourite programs."
Smeagol Gollum then proceeded to head towards the stairs leading into the bowels of the hospital. An inability to read the direction on the wall did not in the least handicap either Smeagol or Gollum, who both possessed an uncanny ability to locate dark places underground that they had been expressly forbidden from entering.
Wandering down the steps Smeagol Gollum heard the sound of dark forces at work on the floor above. The nurses were on the medicine round again. After about five minutes he came to a blue door. Pushing it open Smeagol Gollum entered a place reminiscent of his old cave under the Misty Mountains. The difference was that this dark place was filled with array of contraptions and objects that not even the most sadistically creative Orc could have thought of. There was the old electro shock therapy machine, which Dr. Bywater was still hoping would make a come back once all this talk of namby pamby 'ethics' had stopped. There was a cabinet containing Dr. Banbury's experimental drugs from Chemipharm, which many of the staff had taken to dipping into when the pressures of working at Wildrose House got too much. There was also an ominous looking black trunk in which, unbeknownst to the rest of the staff, Dr. Hargreaves was keeping half of last years service development budget.
"Who's there? Is it the Goblins?" came a hissed whisper from somewhere on the far side of the cavern.
"Oh that's alright then," said the voice relaxing somewhat. "What are you doing here anyway?" Bradley asked.
"Looking for fishess," hissed back Gollum as he sprang into the three feet of water that had collected at the bottom of the steps.
"Don't think I've seen any."
"None at all?"
"Don't think so. I did find this though." The man opened his palm to reveal a silver monopoly piece.
Gollum reached out to touch it. Bradley snapped his hand shut.
"Hey that's mine. Find your own."
"Ah it'ss your preciouss," said Gollum, grinning knowingly. Three days ago he would have killed, maimed, or take up traditional Hobbit folk dancing if it had meant that he could possess such a shiny item as the man now held in his hand. Now though the allure of cheap metallic tat, whist still strong, had been utterly subsumed by the desire to watch that nights episode of Wife Swap; and killing other patients for shiny objects would probably get him confined to his room until halfway through next week.
"Yeah," said Bradley, as a smile began to form on his normally terrified features. "Yeah, it's a precious all right. My precious."
"I don't want to miss my program," interrupted Smeagol.
"Letss go then preciouss," said Gollum. "We can't see any fishess swimming about down here."
"You going then?" said Bradley, who was looking lovingly at his discarded monopoly piece.
"Yess, we needs to watch our television don't we preciouss. Oh and look out for nassty Goblins and Hobbitses. They'll come and try to take your preciouss. But you knows what to do you sees them."
"What. You mean pull them under the water and eat them?"
Smeagol Gollum then scampered back in the direction of the stairs. Behind him Bradley Carver began to coo horribly over his 'precious'. He knew that when the time came he'd be ready to deal with all of the nasty creatures that would try to steal it.
Smeagol reached the TV room just in time to catch the start of Hollyoaks. It promised to be good episode, with more death, family feuding, and comical misunderstandings than the chronicles of the house of Feanor. After letting Gollum intimidate the other patients into letting him have possession of the remote control he settled down to a cosy nights viewing.
It was half past seven by the time Dr. Banbury and Dr. Craig made it down to the cellar with a cabinet full of confidential medical records.
"You first," said Dr. Banbury as they approached the steps.
"Why me?" said Dr. Craig.
"Because I'm holding the bloody records. Anyway which one of us is the senior doctor around here."
"B... but it's dark down there."
"Oh for gods sake man you're not telling me you're afraid of the dark are you?"
"My brother once locked me in the cellar for two days when I was ten."
"Well it's about time you snapped out of it then isn't it." sniffed Dr. Banbury displaying the same level sensitivity, compassion and empathic awareness for which she was famed amongst the hospitals in-patients.
Dr. Craig tentatively opened the cellar door. He heard the sound of someone muttering in the gloom.
"Goblins coming to take my precious away. I won't let them get it though. It's mine."
"Err. I think I've found Carver... Aaahhhh." The Doctor suddenly felt something pulling at his leg, and he found himself being dragged into the water.
"Oh what is it now," said Dr. Banbury. "Can't you go for one minute without having some kind of hysterical... Eeeeek."
There was a loud splash as Dr. Banbury and seventy medical records hit the water.
The first Smeagol Gollum heard about the incident was on the eleven o clock news. All of the hospital's patients were supposed to have been returned to their respective rooms by this time, but Smeagol had decided to sneak back to the hallowed goggle box as soon as the nurses had given him his nightly medication. Well it was either his medication or Mrs. Young's. It was always so difficult to tell when the tablets were both the same shade of blue.
His ears pricked up when he heard the presenter mention the words Wildrose House.
"... news just come in that earlier this evening that one of the patients Dampshires largest secure mental hospital attempted to drown and eat the two doctors. The centre has recently been the focus of a series of investigations being carried out by, amongst others, The General Medical Council, The Royal Dampshire Constabulary, The Inland Revenue, and for some reason The Advertising Standards Agency. The hospital management team have so far declined to comment on this latest incident."
Smeagol and Gollum were both delighted. They had watched enough television over the past few days to understand that interesting news stories like this one were bound to be followed up by in depth documentaries that would be used to filled the empty slots between soap operas. When the television cameras came to Wildrose House they were determined to have their five minutes in front of the camera.
A/N - Well I only managed to fit the Gollum storyline into this chapter. Hopefully the next installment, when I finally manage to write it, will have some of the other character meeting up with each other due to the flimsiest of deux ex machina and the silliest of pseudo scientific explanations.
Response to Reviews:
Aisling Niamh - Glad you're still enjoying the story. Hopefully the hapless film extras will feature in the next instalment (I'm looking forward to writing that scene). I think lots of people can identify with the hormone/alcohol driven crazed fans even those who wouldn't usually admit it attempts to look nonchalant and fails miserably.
Pippin-Kun - Thanks. The characters can understand spoken English but not written English. The very silly reason I've given for this is that when they were zapped into the plot hole of despair they passed through the Lexical Distortion Field (LDF) which alters the language parts of the brain to fit whichever world they're being dropped into. Unfortunately this means that unless they pass back through the LDF on their way back to Middle-Earth they won't be able to speak Westron or Quenya.
Eykar - Thank-you, hope you enjoyed this chapter. My inability to master the art of using of apostrophes strikes again, I now have post-stick on top of the monitor to remind me of the difference between plural and possessive so hopefully they'll be fewer mistakes in this chapter (although I do sometimes type before I think). I think that Frodo and Sam's inability to cope with earth food will last until their bodies adjust to all of the chemicals (well either that or until they manage to find the nearest organic food market). Thanks for reminding me about wounds such as Frodo's needing to be elevated, I should really have remembered that (lets hope that I'm never called on to deliver first aid to any injured Hobbits in the near future). As for what going to happen with Frodo, Sam and the bottle of cider, well I don't want to give away too much but it will be a scene that underaged drinkers everywhere will probably recognise.
Rabid Locust - Thanks, I'm completely recovered now. I suppose that most of us torture the characters every now and then. I still feel a bit mean when I do it though, especially to poor traumatised Frodo.