A Very Victorian Asylum Challenge - Prologue

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The prologue to my asylum challenge, also known as the Punishment of Marielle Hutchins

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A Very Victorian Asylum Challenge - Prologue

  1. 1. Hello and welcome to the first of two side projects I’m writing to go with my Victorian Legacy. I’m sure you have all been wondering what the plan I had to stop Marielle gaining custody of Bertie and Stuart was, well this is it. This challenge is also known as the Punishment of Marielle Hutchins, so if you are new to my stories and don’t know why Marielle needs to be punished I suggest you check out my Legacy at Boolprop.com. Let’s get on shall we?
  2. 2. It was two mornings after I had dashed to Robert’s house, a plan forming in my mind to stop Marielle from gaining custody of her two children in her divorce. Although I had full confidence in Indy’s abilities as a barrister, I had wanted to guarantee that she would not take Bertie and Stuart away from their father, Eddie. Plus...well to tell the truth, I wanted to punish Marielle. Punish her for cuckolding my darling Eddie, for neglecting her children and for nearly destroying the health of my beloved Beth. I may not have any direct control of the happenings in this world anymore, but I could still set things in motion. What I hadn’t counted on, was an attack of conscience or some new thoughts occurring to me as we pulled up in front of a very smart townhouse in a fashionable suburb of Simdon, and alighted from the hansom. “Miss Di, we have an appointment.” Said Robert, turning to me as the hansom pulled away.
  3. 3. “Hmm? Sorry Robert I was just thinking.” I replied. “Having second thoughts?” He asked. “You’ve known me too long.” I said, smiling, “I can’t help thinking that maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all. I mean there’s no guarantee that this is going to work is there? Then there is what it will mean for the family reputation. Surely that has suffered enough, and I should not be making it worse?”
  4. 4. “I do not think that there will be a problem on the first front, and as for your second concern, I seriously doubt that my family will ever be free from some measure of scandal. My grandfather was, after all, a thief, my brother was incarcerated for attempted fratricide, whilst the brother he tried to kill was imprisoned for selling a stolen painting. Not only that, my son is very well known in certain circles for his...talent in certain areas. I think some measure of impropriety is in our blood. As for what we are about to do...it will never be spoken of. It will be swept under the carpet as part of a shameful episode and forgotten. It is after all what any respectable middle class family would do: try to get a wayward and disturbed person some help. Now do you want to keep this appointment or not?” I nodded and he turned marching up the steps to the front door, leaving me to trail in his wake.
  5. 5. We were greeted in the hall by a very striking lady. I couldn’t help but look at her dress in admiration: I knew that Alexandra thought nothing of spending the best part of £40 on just a bodice, but I was certain that even she did not own a day dress as expensive as the outfit this lady was wearing. The moiré appeared to be of the highest quality, exquisitely cut, the embroidery was especially fine and the draperies had been artfully styled. It had been made by a master dressmaker, that was for certain.
  6. 6. “Can I help you?” She asked politely, cutting through my thoughts. “Good morning, we have an appointment to see Dr Gavigan. Mr Legacy and Miss Meeeee.” Replied Robert. I was slightly stunned to hear Robert refer to himself as Mr Legacy for a moment, but then I remembered, he was only Dr Legacy amongst the family to differentiate himself from his brothers. He was in fact a fellow of the Royal Collage of Surgeons, and as such his correct title was Mr.
  7. 7. Mrs Gavigan gracefully inclined her head as if to indicate we were expected. “Mr Legacy, Miss Meeeee, if you will please follow me, I will let my husband know that you are here.” Mrs Gavigan said, starting towards the staircase. Her voice was soft and her diction flawless, and yet, there was something about how she had spoken that made me think she had trained herself to speak in such a manner, rather than been born to it.
  8. 8. Mrs Gavigan had indicated that we sit in the chairs provided on the landing of the first floor of the house, with a graceful motion of her hand before knocking on the door to a neighbouring room and disappearing inside. I turned to Robert to question him, but he pre-empted me. “Miss Di if you are going to raise doubts as to our actions again, I must tell you that it is far too late.” “I was not going to.” I pointed out. “I had a momentary wobble, and I do want to go through with this.” It was true. I really did want to see this plan through.
  9. 9. “I am glad to hear it. It has taken a lot for me to make this appointment and come here today, I would hate for it to all be in vain.” He said lowering his voice. “Whatever do you mean Robert?” “Dr Gavigan is not the sort of colleague I normally like to associate with.” He said, his voice now barely above a whisper. “I do not understand.” I said, leaning close and speaking as quietly as I could, my interest well and truly piqued. “I am certain you will find out.” He said sitting back, and looking at the door, waiting for Mrs Gavigan to come back out.
  10. 10. We didn’t have to wait long, and soon Dr Gavigan was greeting us and showing us to chairs in his office. “Mr Legacy, it is a privilege to meet you sir. You too Miss Meeeee, although I see you will not be Miss Meeeee for too much longer. Congratulations.” He nodded at my betrothal ring. “Please take a seat.” As we did so I took some time to study his clothing. Like his wife’s, his threads were obviously expensive, and although the colours of his waistcoat and jacket were muted, there was something almost showy about the cut and material. It struck me a moment later: in spite of trying to look professional and restrained, he looked like a dandy, and it wasn't just the red silk cravat that gave that impression. I glanced over at Robert’s battered old tweeds and started to understand what he had meant out in the waiting area.
  11. 11. Dr Gavigan looked at us. “Before we get down to the reason for your visit, can I offer you some refreshments?” “That is very kind of you.” Said Robert, and Dr Gavigan rang a small bell. As we waited for the tea to arrive I took a look around the room. Like it’s occupant, there was an expensive air to it. The furnishings were of high quality, as was the décor. It was all adding to the picture of this man. My thoughts were broken by Mrs Gavigan bringing in a tray of tea and biscuits. She set it down, smiling as politely as a society hostess, before leaving the room and closing the door gently behind her. As we sipped our tea, Dr Gavigan asked. “How can I help you today?”
  12. 12. Robert put his tea on the desk, coughed and folded his hands on his lap. “We are here about a delicate matter Dr Gavigan. It is family business you understand, and I expect to have complete confidentiality.” Dr Gavigan nodded and steepled his hands on his blotter. “My nephew is recently divorced.” Said Robert gravely before pausing.
  13. 13. Dr Gavigan seemed compelled to fill the resulting silence. “That is a very sad turn of events.” Robert nodded, and looked over at me. It was time for me to take over.
  14. 14. “The reason for the divorce is that his wife behaved in a...morally reprehensible manner.” I sighed. “In short Dr Gavigan, she became an adulteress, and I do not believe that she is in her right mind.” I tried to be as succinct and as accurate as possible without either giving too much information, or overstating our case.
  15. 15. Dr Gavigan fixed me with a look. “Your moral aptitude does you credit Miss Meeeee.” He rearranged the papers on his blotter. “I am interested to know what her physician makes of her behaviour.” He flicked a quick glance at Robert, and I realised that he was a very intelligent man, who was very good at deductive reasoning.
  16. 16. “I am the family physician.” Confirmed Robert. “I have attended every member of my family for years, including my nephew’s ex-wife.”
  17. 17. As I listened to Robert explaining that he shared my concerns as to whether or not Marielle was in her right mind, Dr Gavigan making notes as he listened, I wondered if it would be enough to convince Dr Gavigan to go along with my plan. Luckily I had a couple of other pieces of evidence I could use to try to convince him.
  18. 18. “Dr Gavigan,” I said as Robert finished, “there is more that Mr Legacy is not privy to.” Dr Gavigan looked at me. “Go on.” I effected to look embarrassed. “Mrs Legacy, has never...bonded with her sons. She has never taken on any of her parental responsibilities, leaving the care of her children to her mother-in-law and husband...” I trailed off, waiting to see how he responded.
  19. 19. Dr Gavigan put his pen down on the blotter. “She has formed no attachment to her children at all?” He asked. “None whatsoever.” I confirmed. “She has not even tried.” He picked up his pen and started writing frantically. “That is disturbing, and indicative of a mental imbalance in a female.”
  20. 20. “I agree.” I said. “How can a mother not care for her sons, and in fact reject them?” “It is most disturbing.” He muttered again, his pen never pausing.
  21. 21. Silence filled the room, broken only by the scratching of the nib of his pen on the paper. Eventually Dr Gavigan stopped, and smiled sympathetically, an odd gleam appearing in his eyes before disappearing again. “She is sounding like someone in need of help. I will certainly see her for a consultation, and see what sort of treatment she requires. Let me get my diary.” He reached into a desk drawer to remove a leather bound book. He started to flick through it. “Let me see. Ah I have an appointment tomorrow. Is that convenient?”
  22. 22. Tomorrow. That was good, but I didn’t like the idea of having to wait to see what treatment he thought she would require. What if he decided on a different course of action to the one I had planned? I had to nudge him in the direction I wanted a little bit more forcibly. Luckily I had one more piece of information I could part with. “Thank you Dr Gavigan. I really do believe that she needs help, especially since...” I looked away. “No, perhaps I should not say.” “Miss Meeeee please, if you have any more information pertaining to her mental well being, I must hear it.” Said Dr Gavigan, concern etching his features.
  23. 23. I took a deep breath and smoothed my skirts, as if unsure about what I was going to say. “It is just, some of my friends were passing the cottage she is renting outside of the village, a number of weeks ago. They witnessed her...shouting...and screaming at...her mother...only...I have it on good authority that her mother has been dead for the past two decades at least.” I finished my tale in a rush, and looked at him from under my lashes, hoping it had been enough.
  24. 24. Dr Gavigan set his pen down and looked at the two of us sitting on the other side of his desk. “That is truly disturbing.” He said. “I think that we should waste no time at all in getting her the help she deserves. I recommend that she is...placed in a residential facility. May I suggest my own? The fee is not...” he gave a small smile, “shall we say...inexpensive, but the care she will receive is first rate.” I looked down at my hands. “I don’t know, that is a large step.” I replied. “Perhaps if I tell you about the facility, it will put your mind at ease Miss Meeeee.” I nodded my assent.
  25. 25. “The facility is housed in what was a moderate country estate. As Simdon grew, it became less a country estate, and more a suburban estate in a fashionable area on the very edge of town. However it is still situated in its own, substantial grounds, with a small, private parkland to the rear, and creates a very comfortable environment for the inhabitants.”
  26. 26. “Throughout the building is spacious and airy, with high ceilings and impeccable decor. Downstairs, there is a very well appointed drawing room containing several items to entertain and improve the minds of the inhabitants, including a piano, and chess board. In fact the entire facility is designed to help ease the troubled minds of those who dwell there.” *** You’ll note there is no TV. I’m using the same handicaps as in my legacy, so no electronic equipment apart from the phone. The patients will have to learn cooking skill from preparing their meals.
  27. 27. “Next to the drawing room is a well appointed kitchen, where the inhabitants are encouraged to prepare their own meals, before partaking of them at the dining table, and enjoying the views of the parkland they can see from the window. It is also my belief that cleanliness aids mental health, and so the bathing facilities are first rate, with the bath and WC situated in separate rooms.”
  28. 28. “Upstairs there is a treatment room containing a gyroscopic device. It is my belief that such a device improves not only the mental balance of the inhabitants, but also their physical wellbeing. It is on this floor that one will also find the sleeping facilities. I do not believe that it helps the inhabitants’ mental states to be in their bedrooms for long periods of time, so although they are comfortable, the furnishings may be called sparse.”
  29. 29. Dr Gavigan finished speaking and looked at me expectantly. To tell the truth I was impressed with his rhetoric, and the facility he had described did sound very nice. Perhaps a bit too nice. “It sounds like just the place for her.” I said, smiling. After all, if Marielle was locked up, did it really matter what sort of an asylum she was in?
  30. 30. Dr Gavigan returned my smile. “I am very glad you think so, and that you approve. I had hoped when I suggested it that it would be to your satisfaction.” He looked at Robert. “Perhaps, Mr Legacy will be kind enough to recommend my facility, and my services to others whose relatives or friends could do with assistance.”
  31. 31. Robert visibly blanched at this. “Perhaps we should not be so hasty.” He said. “I did say that I insist on complete confidentiality. I would not want news of this visit, nor the details of my nephew’s ex-wife’s treatment to become public knowledge. If you cannot give me your assurance on that matter, then I think it best if we end the appointment now, and forget everything that has passed here today.”
  32. 32. Anger flashed across Dr Gavigan’s face before it was smothered by a mask of genial affability. “But of course Mr Legacy.” He replied. “Let me help you nephew’s wife...” “Ex-wife.” interrupted Robert. “My apologies, ex-wife, and if you are satisfied, then perhaps a small recommendation will be forthcoming. Now, “ he continued before Robert could say any more, “we have a lot to discuss. I suggest we make a start.”
  33. 33. As I listened to the two medical men discussing Marielle’s medical history, and making arrangements for her to attend a consultation the next day before being removed to the facility, I couldn’t help but feel that, even though I had nudged the doctor along, it had been easy. In fact, it had been almost too easy.
  34. 34. I said as much to Robert as we left the townhouse and were about to hail a cab. “Robert, I wanted this plan to succeed, and yes I did have to tell him quite a bit in order to persuade Dr Gavigan to go along with it, but it did seem almost too easy.” Robert gave me a knowing look. “From what I have heard, Dr Gavigan is always very willing to admit his patients to residential care. I am almost certain that he would have suggested it, even if you had not parted with all the information you did.”
  35. 35. “You think I said too much?” I asked. “No, you did the job we came here to do, but I would hope that you can see why I do not want to be associated with him, any more than I have to be.” “It’s not just the fact that he is a dandy is it?” I asked. “No Miss Di,” he said lowering his voice, “he is a very dubious doctor, and I would not want my professional reputation sullied by recommending either him, or his facility.”
  36. 36. “His facility does sound good though. Almost too good for the evil witch.” I said. Robert looked at me amused. “Would you like to see it? It is the other side of the city, but I do not think that it will take long to get there.” I smiled at him. How could I refuse?
  37. 37. It took a little over an hour to reach the facility, and although it may once have been a grand house, situated in a fashionable suburb, the area had long since gone to seed. All the buildings, including the asylum, were run down and in dire need of repair, and as for the substantial grounds...they may once have been beautiful, but now they were overgrown and the land to the rear resembled a fairytale haunted forest more than a private parkland. I turned to Robert. “It’s perfect.”
  38. 38. He gave a bark of a laugh. “Yes. It is well known in certain medical circles that Dr Gavigan charges the Earth, and then spends all that money on himself, his family and his home, not his patients.” “That is why it took you a lot make that appointment, and what you meant by him being dubious. If you recommend this, you are not risking your reputation being sullied you are risking it being destroyed completely.” He nodded and replied simply, “yes.”
  39. 39. “Then why do it Robert?” I asked. Robert looked thoughtfully through the gates. “Because Eddie is family. Because that bitch of an ex-wife ruined his reputation, made him miserable, rejected her sons and caused my favourite sister-in-law to fall off of a ladder and seriously injure herself. Because I would follow his father to the ends of the earth and do anything to keep the family safe or help any member of it.” When he finished I was silent. There was after all not much I could say in reply: I had always known that Robert was loyal, I just hadn't realised the extent of it. “I wonder who will be joining Marielle.” I said finally.
  40. 40. Back at the Gavigan residence, Mary was tidying up the tea things from Nathaniel’s last appointment. “I take it from your smile it went well.” She said, her voice neither as soft as if had been when greeting the visitors, nor her pronunciation as polished. “Mary,” said Nathaniel, sliding shut a drawer in his desk, “I did not spend a ridiculous amount of money on elocution lessons, in order for you to forget the content of those lessons as soon as there is no one around.” “I apologise, my love.” She said, slipping back into what she always thought of as her “good” voice. He nodded at her to indicate he had accepted her apology.
  41. 41. “To answer your question, yes it went well. It was obvious that they were desperate to have Mrs Legacy committed, but I did string them along a bit, for my own amusement. I learnt a lot about all three of them: the patient, Miss Meeeee and Mr Legacy.” Mary put the cup back down, and perched on the edge of the desk. “So the facility is full again Nathaniel?” Nathaniel smiled. “Yes it is full. Now pass me those files out of that drawer, and I will tell you who is buying you your dresses for the next year.”
  42. 42. “Our last patient is the one I will start with. Marielle Legacy nee Hutchins, due to be committed due to a severe mental imbalance, and inherent moral corruption.” *** I’ve not rolled for personalities or aspirations, after all I want these sims as they are in their home stories appearing in this challenge, so Marielle is a romance sim, Aries, with a personality of 8,10,4,3,3.
  43. 43. “Next we have Brittany Upsnott. Her abrasive manner seems to be the least of her problems. She was committed to my care by her family when she returned from finishing school and started talking about a half-elf she met there.” “A what my dear?” Asked Mary. “Half-elf. It appears to be a figment of her imagination.” *** I’m using Marina (Smoothiequeen87)’s portrayal of Brittany from the first generation of the Boolprop Round Robin Legacy, and she’s here because she upset Carli. She is a popularity sim, a Capricorn, 7,7,8,2,1.
  44. 44. “The third inhabitant is Katherine Schehl. The self-styled carer to a vulnerable young woman by the name of Monica, she became fixated with the family she believed had wronged Monica. Her carefully plotted plan culminated in the kidnap and attempted murder of the youngest Carter child. She now finds herself in my care.” *** Katherine is from Lea (Thls0)’s Barsoom Legacy. She’s here because of the above, and is a family sim, a Cancerian, with a personality of 6,3,6,4,6. If you are unfamiliar with any of the residents’ original stories you can find them at www.Boolprop.com, and I recommend you check them out.
  45. 45. “Next we come to Lisa Bauchman. She has some very...unusual and deeply concerning views about the male gender. Her mind is clearly imbalanced, and the facility is the best place to correct her mental attitude and behaviour.” *** Lisa is from Gin (GintasticNecat)’s Science of a Legacy. She earns her place through being an evil bitch who chucked Allo out on his ear, and was awful to her wonderful son Norris. She is another Cancer family sim, 2,6,9,2,6.
  46. 46. Nathaniel opened the next file and looked at it. “Now this patient troubles me deeply. Meadow Munster- Enriquez. She formed an unnatural attachment to the eldest son of the Munster family while he was at university. When it became clear he had no romantic interest in her, she attached herself to his younger brother, believing that the family owed her something. She has since made their lives as difficult as possible, including kidnapping and attempting to kill the children of Bartholomew and his sister Tabitha. I dread to think what else she might attempt if she were to ever escape from my care.” *** Meadow comes form Katy (Hurrikaty)’s Munster Legacy. She hasn’t yet finished her reign of terror, but I want to torture her for what she did to Abe, and the rest of the family anyway. She is yet another Cancer family sim, 6,3,6,4,6.
  47. 47. “The sixth patient is Melody Tinker. A renown troublemaker during her teenage years, once she became an adult she become obsessed with a married man. Her obsession escalated to the point she attempted to concoct a draught to ensnare Mr Doran’s senses and make him fall in love with her. Her failure had such dire consequences she ended up poisoning her entire village.” Mary gasped at this, and waited for Nathaniel to elaborate. He didn’t, instead moving to the next file. *** Although Melody has done LOTS to earn her place here, I’m using Gin’s portrayal of her in the second generation of the Boolprop Round Robin Legacy. She is Knowledge, a Virgoan, 8,2,9,3,4.
  48. 48. “In contrast,” continued Nathanial, opening the file, “the next patient is here because her family believe her to be morally corrupt. Meredith Kimbrell has been holding dalliances with a number of men, showing no sign of taking a husband.” *** Meredith is originally from Jamie (DocGirlP)’s Bohemian Legacy. Quite apart from her gift for backhanded compliments, she’s here because she hurt Finch, and although he and Tammy were made for each other, no one hurts Finch. She is a romance sim, and a Capricorn, 7,4,1,8,5.
  49. 49. “Finally, I come to the caretaker. Aristide Xenobia, has a delusion where she believes she is an alien from another planet, and yet apart from that she appears to be quite sane. She is certainly more amenable than the other patients, and I believe that she will be able to care for them quite adequately.” Explained Nathaniel before closing the last file. “I envisage them arriving at the facility very soon.” He smiled, thinking of all the money that would soon come rolling in. That was, after all, the reason he ran the asylum. *** Ari is the founder from Lauri (LauriEmpress)’s Legacy of Jubilee. As you’ve probably guessed, she is my controllable. Normally a family sim, here she has her secondary aspiration of fortune, with the LTW to become the law. She is a Cancer, personality 5,6,5,3,6.
  50. 50. That’s it for the prologue. I’m sure you clever people have already worked out the connection between all the non-controllable sims, but if you haven’t: they are all Maxis made, or game generated sims myself and some of my favourite writers have made into antagonists or villains. I have used the personalities their counterparts have in my game. To those writers I’ve mentioned, thanks guys for letting me use your characters. These sims may be in thousands of simmers’ games, but it’s your characterisations I want to torture, so, umm, congratulations? Special thanks to Lauri, for volunteering Ari as the controllable, I’m trying to take good care of her at least. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with part one, until then, happy simming.

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