"I just don't have the facilities to deal with this." Jeremiah Carson, or 'Doc' as the crew called him, rubs at his long, weary face. "I know I didn't go through the proper channels in making this request, and I know you're understaffed as well, but even so, you're much more qualified to handle this case." He pleads with his colleague, Hugh Kelvin, who watches him impassively from the terminal screen.
"I'd like to help you Jerry but you said it yourself, I'm grossly understaffed." Hugh shrugs his shoulders and leans back in his chair.
"Please Hugh, I can't do anything for this poor bastard except keep him doped out of his mind." The light from Doc's computer screen casts blue and green shadows over his aging features. In the past week he feels as though he had aged twenty years. "I'm completely out of my depth. And his presence is demoralising the rest of the staff." Hugh's mouth twists in sympathy, but otherwise he seems unmoved. "I'm sending you the case file and all the video surveillance we've gathered since we took him into custody. If you can't do anything else at least give it a look over for me and give me some advice."
"Okay, okay." Hugh raises his hands in resignation, it was the least he could do for his friend. Doc smiles in appreciation as he attaches the video files to the email and sends the report to Jerry.
"I'm afraid the details in the beginning are a bit sketchy, no-one noticed any unusual moods or behaviour. All we know is, there was some kind of accident in the power core and the engineering boys had to turn it off before there was a melt-down. Shortly after that there was a massive power surge that knocked out the emergency power in half of the base." Doc hears a faint bleep from Hugh's end, indicating he has new mail. "It's taken two weeks to finally get everything back up and running again, but we're still repairing the structural damage."
"Uh-huh." Hugh responds, only half listening as he opens his mail and downloads the videos. Doc watches his face in anticipation, knowing that once Hugh has all the information in front of him, he won't be able to deny his request. Hugh opens the first video and his face grimaces with anguish at the screams that erupt from his computer screen.
"My god." Hugh utters impulsively, feeling the need to speak, but finding no other words apt enough. Doc unconsciously raises his hands to his own ears, he's heard as much of those screams as he cares to.
Hugh closes the video and begins to skim over the report.
"He murdered one of his subordinates?"
"I'm afraid so. We only found poor Barry about eight days ago. The janitor that discovered the body, well he's looking at a lifetime of therapy too." Doc shook his head sadly.
"And you haven't found out why he did it?" Hugh sounded bewildered and disturbed, Doc had never known him to express either of those emotions in all the long time they had been friends.
"He screams the minute anyone enters the room. In fact he pretty much spends every waking moment screaming. This is why we keep him knocked out." Doc rests his chin in his hands. "I told you, I'm at a total loss."
"I'm sorry Jerry, you were completely right to call me; I shouldn't have doubted your judgment." Hugh seemed to still be in a state of shock. Episodes of such extreme psychosis were rarely heard of in this day and age. "If you fill out all the paperwork I'll authorise his transfer to this institute immediately."
"Thank you, Hugh." Doc's voice is full of gratitude and relief. He terminates the communication link to Hugh's office and reaches to open a drawer in his desk. He rummages through the stack of forms, finally drawing forth the one he wants from the bottom of the pile.
"Never thought I'd fill in a transfer under these circumstances." He muses to himself; it is all such a shame. He reads over the form before he picks up his pen with a poignant sigh. He notes, Treatment for violent mental illness, under the Reason for Transfer heading. Doc digs his pen into the form and below Name of Employee, in a neat, controlled script he writes, Chief Engineer, Carl Berger.