Transcripts of Dr. Josiah Singh: CASE NUMBER JACKAL

Patient interview number: 1

April 5, 2008

Beginning of session

Today I am meeting with a new patient recently transferred to the Arkham institution. His name is Michael King, known outside of these walls as 'Jackal'. I see that this patient has achieved notoriety in Gotham, but is not overtly famous in any area not in his natural territory, his 'hunting grounds'. I see no inherit danger in him. I will leave this recorder on my desk, during the initial interview.

Patient description, for future references: hair colour brunette, hair length to mid-thigh, eye colour green, skin tone pale, thin frame, effeminate features. Looks too thin to be healthy; must advise for possible anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or other eating disorders. Height five foot four, weight one hundred pounds, reinforcing earlier eating disorder theories.

I haven't received a list of his crimes yet, but I am assured that he is dangerous and has killed. A hundred pound, sickly young man a killer? He's in his twenties. I do not see how he could be so overtly dangerous. I am sure they have made a mistake.

…I hear the door. That must be him. Ah, Michael. Come in, come in, and sit down. Guard, please shut the door; I think we will be fine here. How are you settling in here at Arkham?

Well, I think I'm doing pretty well, doctor. Though the walls could use some colour, I don't see any reason why I should be unhappy.

[There is chuckling]

I'm…um, fine, I guess.

That's good, that's good. Michael, please call me Dr. Singh; yes, pronounce it like 'sing'. Now, tell me about yourself.

Oh, okay; what would you like to know, Dr. Singh?

Well, how about how you're feeling right now? Are you hungry? Dinner is in an hour; if you are, then you'll be able to sate yourself soon. Are you tired, feeling ill?

I'm feeling a bit hungry, sir, but nothing serious. I feel fine. The guards are a bit rough.

Yes, they are; some of them aren't very fond of the patients here. I'll see what I can do about them.

No, no…you won't. But that's okay.

Hm…Michael, why do you think that?

Think? That you won't do anything about it? No reason, doctor. You don't know their names, I, uh, don't know their names either. I'll probably never see them again.

[Nervous laughter]

There's no reason to put up the effort, and I'm, er, sure you won't. But that's okay. I wouldn't either.

I see…Michael, tell me about your childhood.

Um…why?

Well, good portions of mental illness cases have roots in childhood experiences or stimuli, and so I thought that it'd be good to talk through your childhood.

If you really want to know, then I grew up in the Narrows. We didn't have much, but it was a building with a roof. My mother, what would I have done without her? She was a beautiful woman. She kept good company. My father was a stern man, though not unwarranted. He taught me how to be a man, and he showed me what to do when I went wrong. I had a brother, and a sister. My sister, God bless her soul, stayed up all night with me sometimes. She was very affectionate. My brother was gone for most of my life; he's begun life in a much hotter place. Humid, they tell me.

You sound like you had a nice life.

Oh, I did. My parents worked very hard to make sure their children grew up the right way.

And did you ever suffer any traumatic experiences?

Oh, not really. Not anything I would consider…um, traumatic, anyway.

Good. Well, I think that that's enough for today. Goodbye, Michael, I'll see you later on.

Goodbye, Dr. Singh; I'm, um, looking forward to it.

Michael King seems well adjusted enough, almost strikingly so; he is polite, though he's a bit nervous and slightly meek. When I speak with him, he has his hands folded in his lap, he smiles at me in a gentle sort of way, if not nervously, and he shows absolutely no signs of mental illness. I don't understand. He says his childhood is trauma-free, his family life was apparently nurturing enough, and so what caused whatever he's done?

I do not know. I will, however, get his file sometime tomorrow, and read through it closely.

End of session