Subject 6047-NP, Madoka Sakurai. Found hiding in a closet. Showed signs of trust issues towards others - yet to be determined whether only towards adolescents. Mother Midori Sakurai was found dead in the bedroom area, homicide is excluded. The body will be examined by the medical examiner, most obvious cause of death : suicide. Prescribed medication was confiscated, inquiries medical history regarding the mother. No trace of the father, Masako Sakurai. Search warrant may be appealed for, alerts will follow.
'The mother suffered from a mental disorder, thought so by the spouse, known as the Capgras syndrome,'
'Speak in simple terms, doc. What does it mean?'
'The Capgras delusion is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor. The Capgras delusion is classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome, a class of delusional beliefs that involves the misidentification of people, places, or objects,'
Jeff lighted a cigarette. He locked his eyes with those of his colleague Veronica.
'So she was a nut job. Makes sense now why she'd blow a bullet through her brains,'
Veronica narrowed her eyebrows. 'Doctor Nicholson, what exactly causes this disorder?'
'My current hypothesis on Capgras, which is a more specific version of the earlier position I took in the 1997 article with V. S. Ramachandran. According to my current approach, we represent the people we know well with hybrid representations containing two parts. One part represents them externally: how they look, sound, etc. The other part represents them internally: their personalities, beliefs, characteristic emotions, preferences, etc. Capgras syndrome occurs when the internal portion of the representation is damaged or inaccessible. This produces the impression of someone who looks right on the outside, but seems different on the inside, i.e., an impostor. This gives a much more specific explanation that fits well with what the patients actually say. It corrects a problem with the earlier hypothesis in that there are many possible responses to the lack of an emotion upon seeing someone..'
Veronica shook the man's hand. 'Thank you for your time, doctor,'
'So the woman didn't recognize her own family, thinks they were imposters and decides to kill herself.. Seems reasonable to me,' The man stepped in the car, waiting for his colleague to follow his lead.
The woman shook her head in disbelief. 'It sounds to easy to be true, Jeff,'
'What do you mean? It makes sense if you ask me. Woman is nuts, husband leaves, woman kills herself. Kid hides in sheer terror. Case closed,'
'The illness is treatable. Mrs. Sakurai was on Antipsychotics and other therapeutic drugs,' Jeff started the car and opened the window to discard the cigarette butt. 'Maybe the medication didn't have relatively much effect on her illness,' Veronica leaned back, rubbing her temples while doing so. 'Why would a woman, a mother take her own life and leave a little girl behind? She must have known that her daughter would be left helpless..' Jeff smirked. 'You seem to remember that this 'mother' happened to be mentally ill. Perhaps she didn't see Madoka as her daughter but as a strange child,'
Madoka let her eyes slide across the room she was held after the events. A set of walls which held a fading shade of white, scratches adorned the metal door. Aside from the bed and a small window, the room held no secrets. Her eyes scanned every corner in the room, ceiling, floor, the crack underneath the door that would let a small ray of light meet the eye. The unfamiliar surroundings caused a twitch to her eye, and a blood curling cry echoed, bouncing off against the few walls the room held. The child wrapped her bony fingers around her wrist and kept putting a severe amount of pressure onto the small bone, 'til she could perceive a pitch black line joining her eyesight. Her phalanges felt her increasing heartbeat throbbing underneath them. Another black line appeared right across the one she saw before. They merged together, forming a figure resembling a cross. Madoka coughed, as she felt thin trails of blood leave her lips, dripping onto her hands.
'Madoka! Ruben, fo getch Dr. Darcy!'
The child felt hands trying to release the grip she had on her wrist, whilst another hand dabbed some blood from her face. 'It'll be okay, sweetie..' the woman reassured her, but Madoka sensed the strong doubt her voice held. She turned her head toward the woman, a beautiful brunette, hazel eyes which radiated benignity. Probably a young woman, graduated a couple a years ago and has been working here for a few months. Madoka could almost smell her innocence. A male voice caused her to snap out of her gaze she was giving the nurse, and her eyes lit up. This must be the 'Dr. Darcy' her subconscious mind had caught onto.
'A panic attack, I assume, miss Sanchez?'
The woman discared the crouching position she was in, facing the taller man. 'Not sure, but possible,'
Madoka loathed the act adults would perform around her, namely not acknowledging her presence. It reminded it of the last set of memories her mind held of her parents. She narrowed her eyes. She hated those who would measure themselves a status of knowledge, when in reality they discared reality, creating a false one, burying themselves with words and habbits. Her visions started to blur, black dots flashing across her corneas.
'Give her half of a Thamesta. That will calm her down for now,' the man said, casting a quick glance at the blonde girl. At that moment his jaw dropped, and he stepped back. The plastic cup the brunette was holding, slipped out of her hands, the plastic material bouncing off the stone tiling, a thump following shortly after. The metal door shut, a sound of a key clicking the lock was heard. A ballad of screams could be heard on the hallway, causing a few of the patients to turn their heads, look up or raise an eyebrow.
'Can you believe this, Jones?' Jeff dropped a page out of a newspaper onto Veronica's desk. The woman looked up, placing her coffee mug on the desk. 'This can no longer be a coincidence, Jones. Two murders in the Miller institute of the mentally ill,' Veronica's eyes danced across the many lines the article held. 'Wait a minute .. isn't this..?' Jeff nodded, leaning against the desk, arms crossed firmly against his chest. 'The mental facility Madoka Sakarai was hospitalized,' The woman leaned back in her chair, gazing at the ceiling. The dark haired man rubbed his chin, eyes glued at the article.
'Three murders in a month .. and all three have some ties to the Sakurai family,' Veronica rubbed her temples, taking the article into hands once more. After a moment of silence she sighed. 'Could there be a possibility that maybe the Sakarai family had been in dept .. ?' Jeff snorted and shrugged his shoulders. 'At this point, the possibilities are endless. Not much is known about the Sakarai family,'
'We can't interrogate a 12 year old child. But at this moment .. Madoka has been a witness to no other than three murders,' Jeff's eyes met with the grey ones of Veronica.
'You're serious? The kid is in a nut house! She must be messed up due all the gore she has seen at such an age ..' A fist slammed onto the desk and the woman sprang up.
'Right now everything points in Madoka's direction! The mother is dead and the father disappeared into thin air! All we have is Madoka, everything else leads to dead ends!' The man pressed his lips to a thin line. 'I understand your motivations, Veronica. But you understand very well that talking to a traumatized child won't get us any further in this investigation,'
'Suit yourself, Williams. I'm gonna dig deeper. I want to know all there is to know about the Sakarai family. There are missing pieces of this puzzle...' She walked passed her colleague, but turned around so she stood right in front of him. 'But mark my words, Madoka is the main piece of this puzzle. The heart of this investigation, believe you me!'
That said, the dashed out off the office. Jeff furrowed his eyebrows, whilst stepping back he had struck the mug that still rested on the desk, causing it to spill hot liquid all over Veronica's files. He swore under his breath, but upon cleaning the mess, his eye fell on a declaration from one of the Sakurai's neighbors. 'Could it be that she overlooked this?' he grabbed the file and left the office as well.
'You are aware that this conversation will be recorded, Mrs. Davis?'
'I am. You are here about my statement earlier about the Sakarai family, am I not mistaken?'
The elderly woman handed Jeff Williams a cup of coffee. 'I'm feel so sorry for that poor man..' Jeff raised an eyebrow, as he watched the woman make her way into the small kitchen again.
'Are you referring to the father, Masako Sakurai?' Mrs. Davis turned her head, placing a pot of sugar and milk onto a silver plate.
'Yes, I am. He was such a nice man. Very polite and helpful,' The man saw the plate taking its place on the wooden coffee table. 'Have you ever noticed anything .. odd about the Sakarais?'
'Oh heavens .. ' The woman carefully dropped herself into the fauteuil.
'.. Well, Mr. Sakarai once told me about his wife, god have her soul, she was ill,' Jeff shook his head as Mrs. Davis offered him a cookie. 'We were aware that Mrs. Sakarai suffered from a mental disorder. Did Mr. Sakarai tell you anything about it?'
'He seemed deeply worried about the health of his wife. He mentioned it was rough taking care of her, but he said he loved her dearly and would do anything to help her,' That statement made Jeff almost lose his grip on the mug. 'Did her ever mention his daughter? Madoka,' The woman smiled. She got up from the chair and shuffled towards a dresser and plucked a stuffed bear out of the many statues. She handed it to Jeff. 'Was this hers?'
'You might not believe it, but the child made this herself,' Jeff inspected the stuffed animal, checking for any open areas. He then looked up.
'Madoko Sakarai made this herself? Was it a gift to you?' Mrs. Davis smiled once more, nodding in agreement.
'That girl was so creative. Whenever she used to play outside, she would draw the most beautiful things on the sidewalks and street. Too bad she never had many other children to play with,' Still holding the bear in his hands, Jeff nodded. 'So Madoka was a loner?'
'Oh yes, she surely was. Whenever I would see her go outside, whether it was to play or to go into town to help her parents with the groceries, she'd be on her own. Such a shame, though, she was such a lovely child,'
'May I ask what the reason to this gift was?'
'Oh .. Well after her mothers illness got worse, she used to go outside more often. I thought it was strange first, she would sit on a swing for hours in a row. All she would do was stare in front of her. One day, I noticed it was raining rather severely, it was pouring to be more specific. I happened to look out of the window, and noticed her sitting underneath a tree. I asked her if she wanted to come inside, so she could warm up a little. Gradually, Madoka would visit me more often. She would help me with my cooking, or groceries. One day, she came to visit me and handed me this stuffed animal. I thought it was a very sweet offer,' Jeff ran his hand along the bears fur.
'I see. Would you mind if I take this with me? I'll return it, safe and unharmed of course,' Mrs. Davis nodded.
'Go ahead, Mr. Williams,'
'Mrs. Davis, do you happen to know how the relationship between Mr. Sakarai and his daughter was? Did they get along .. ?'
'I never heard any complaints from either of them. Mr. Sakarai seemed to love his family with all his heart. But Madoka .. she never spoke about her parents,'
'You never noticed anything strange about Madoka? Strange behaviour patterns? Did she tell you things that sounded .. off?'
'Madoka never spoke that much. She'd response with actions, rather than with words. Strange behaviour .. well, now that you mention it.. She would always check every corner in my house before she took a seat. Sometimes she would stare into the distance for several minutes, chuckle and return to whatever task she was doing at that time. But aside from all that, she seemed to be a rather normal child,'
'Thank you for your time, Mrs. Davis. Thank you for the coffee and have a nice day,'
Madoka stood in front of a large mirror. She noticed how her reflection never seemed to reach the other side of the glass. She could tell she had no reflection at all. Her lips curled into a devious smile. She found it amusing that the mortal beings on Earth were so easily misguided, so easily tricked into seeing whatever they wanted to see. With her hand she softly caressed the glass out of which the mirror existed. Cracks would follow the trail she had made.
'What they see isn't real .. is that which I see real?' She managed to scratch at a crack long enough so it would come loose, her fingernails cracked as well, but she took the piece of glass nonetheless. It reflected a white image, that would happen to portray what she really was. She let the glass softly cruise across her face, causing the white material of which her reflection was made, to fade, much like a cloud of smoke, but saw it merge again shortly after. She smiled.
'The mind is an interesting thing. Am I real?'
Her laughter became louder, sounding like a distorted giggle. She brought the piece of glass closer to one of her eyes, digging the point of it into her eyesocket. Blood seeped down her cheeks, only to vanish instantly after. Her smile turned into a hysterical laughter.
'I am anything but real. But what am I then?'
Next thing she remembered was waking up in a sealed room. Her left eye only saw darkness, so she brought her hand up to inspect what was blocking her vision. Bandage. She giggled once more.
'Did I lose my eye? Where have I put it? Did I leave it in front of the mirror? Did Mr. Mirror pick it up? Then he must be able to see my reality now. Poor thing ..'
A train of images flashed in front of her eyes. 'No! They took it! They took my eye away.. They finally realised that what they see isn't real! They wanted one of my eyes so they could really see.. '
She then smiled softly, folding her hands together. 'I must give them the other one too. It isn't very polite to keep them from wanting to see,'
~ 'From what I heard the Sakarai family seemed to be like any other average family. The father had a hard time taking care of his wife, and his daughter was clearly affected by this, so she withdrew from the world around her and wanted to be alone,'
'Same story at the school she attended. A good student, but never spoke much and always on her own,' Veronica took a bite of her sandwich.
'And apparently there are no other relatives aside from Midori, Masako and Madoka. Seemed that either there have been some arguments in the past, or the relatives just abandoned them,' Jeff took a sip of his soda.
'So all that remains is Masako Sakarai. Did you check any background information concerning Midori?'
'Not yet. I've been up for days trying to piece together some kind of story that would make these events make some sort of sense. I've been sleeping three hours a night for over a month now, and I still haven't come up with something reasonable,' Jeff rubbed her back.
'At least we have that in common. All the information we manage to gather doesn't add up .. it doesn't complete each other,' Veronica nodded strongly.
'What would make a mother take her own life? Why would a loving husband abandon his family? Why would a 12 year old child needed to be hospitalized? Why does Madoka keep popping up near murders?'
'I've visited Mrs. Davis, a neighbor. From what she told me, I can only make up that Masako loved his family with all he had. But there was one thing though that caught my attention..,' Veronica's eyes lit up. 'And that is?'
'Mrs. Davis told me that Masako seemed eager to do whatever it took to help his wife. Which led me to come op with a couple of theories, and again .. gave me a lot of questions added on top of that,' A smile crept upon Veronica's painted red lips. 'I think you might be on to something, Jeff,' The man shrugged his shoulders, finishing his lunch. 'It might be further from truth that we think, but there is nothing to lose here,'
'It could be that the care his wife needed, drove Masako to the edge. What if he just couldn't take it anymore and ..,' Both agents looked at each other. Jeff then furrowed his eyebrows.
'Okay, could be. But .. it takes much more than a depression and stress to turn a person into a cold blooded killer,' Veronica got up and smiled.
'But what if there is indeed a lead to this. Madoka seems to be a normal child, but what if she isn't. Maybe Masako needed to get rid of Midori, killed her and went after Madoka,'
'But Madoka was hidden, so he wasn't able to find her ..'
'And upon realising he had murdered his wife, he made a run for it!' Jeff smiled. 'Jones .. I think we got a first suspect,'
'They found him! Jones, Williams! They need you to interrogate him,'
Jeff and Veronica shared a glance before racing to the room Masako Sakarai was held. Veronica showed a face of pure disgust when she saw the way the man was brought in. His hair was a mess, big bags under his eyes, clear evidence that his facial hair was about to grow soon, several scars across his face. At least he was wearing a suit, but even the suit couldn't give the man the appearance of a healthy individual. Jeff nodded at one of his colleague.
'He was found near a forest. God knows what he'd been doing up there, but he showed no signs of struggle upon the actual arrest,' Jeff nodded once more. Veronica soon joined him when he entered the room.
The captured man shifted his eyes rapidly from Veronica to Jeff and back. The two agents took a seat in front of the man, taking in each and every detail of his appearance.
'Mr. Sakarai, I am agent Williams, and this is my colleague agent Jones,' No response, Jeff sighed.
'Listen, Mr. Sakarai, we are going to ask you some questions. And we would like you to answer them as truthfully as you can, okay?' The man simply nodded.
'Can you tell us what you were doing in a middle of a forest?' The man remained silent. It irritated Jeff.
'Listen, I understand you have been through some rough times, Mr. Sakarai. The loss of your wife and the hospitalisation of your daughter must've bee .. - '
'Where is she? Where is my beloved Madoka?! I've been looking all over for her ..' Veronica stepped in. 'Mr. Sakarai, you still haven't answered our question. Why did you go to that forest?' The man snickered, head held low so his eyes were no longer visible.
'You have no idea what it's like to be married to a woman who doesn't even recognize her own husband anymore.. It damages a person, knowing that Midori would lock herself into a room, and would scream for hours, turning the whole place upside down. The very few moments she'd show signs of improvement and she actually did recognize me, would end abruptly, she'd go so paranoid, she attacked me. She even lashed out at Madoka! I couldn't let my daughter become a victim...'
'Mr. Sakarai.. what were you doing in that forest?!' Masako looked up. Tears welling up in his eyes.
'My daughter, my beautiful little girl... I knew she would end up just like her mother. Madoka... she isn't normal. She looks and acts like a normal child, but she is anything but normal. I didn't want my daughter to suffer as much as Midori did. I loved both of them. They were the light in my life. When Madoka was born, we gave her the name 'Madoka', which means circle, because we felt this was our circle of life. We had everything we ever wanted, what could possibly go wrong? Shortly after Madoka was born, I began to notice some changes in Midori's behavior. She used to be so outgoing, so optimistic, caring... but she would distant herself from everyone... she didn't talk to anyone .. all she did was stare in the distance... then she would smile .. When Madoka turned 6... she began to show the same behavior, it scared me so much. Each day I would pray for Madoka and Midori. But my prayers were never heard. The last couple of years, I was no longer sharing a life with my wife... that... woman... was not my wife! And it started to happen to my daughter too!.. I just.' Jeff rose from his seat.
'Mr. Sakarai, I will ask you one more time: what were you doing in that forest?!' Another deviant smile which turned into laughter.
'Don't you get it? What you see isn't real! She's been playing you all like string dolls!' Veronica raised an eyebrow. 'Are you talking about your daughter, Mr. Sakarai?' He smiled in a desperate manner. 'Madoka .. is no longer Madoka. She is no more.. don't you get it?'
Veronica rubbed her eyes as she heard a sound coming from downstairs. Flicking on the light switch, she froze as she saw a little girl stand in the hallway.
The child smiled as she looked at Veronica. The brunette stepped back as she saw Madoka's frame vanish an re-appear right in front of her. The girl held out her hands.
'Take a look,' As she opened her eyes, Veronica felt her stomach turning in a knot. Madoka held an eyeball in her little hands.
'Do not be frightened, it is a present,' Veronica shook her head, still not fully believing what she was seeing. Madoka's smile then dropped as the brunette woman did not accept her present.
'This is exactly what will once doom all of the mortals. When given a gift of importance, you deny it because you think you don't need any help!' As Veronice stepped back, she swore she could see a vague image of a woman behind Madoka.
In a mere second Midori stood in front of Veronica, seemingly taken over Madoka's place as Madoka seemed to have disappeared.
'Don't you see it? My genes were soiled .. I have cursed the one person I gave the gift of life. But by doing so, I also doomed her. I gave her life, and I took it away ..' Veronice gasped for air, frozen solid, frightened. Thinking the lack of sleep might actually have gotten to her.
'Veronica ... Your job is to understand what has happened to me before and after my death. But I assure you, how will you ever find an answer when I have been looking for one for many years? I wanted nothing more than a family, once I had received that gift, it was taken from me right away. When Madoka was born, my genes had split, and she got a share of them. My illness had begun from that moment, and as long as Madoka would breathe, I would be sick. Madoka wasn't an ordinary child, Madoka was sick. Really sick .. My daughter had changed. That was no longer my daughter. I had infected her with bad genes, and she would suffer the way I did. I did not grant her that life, I wanted my daughter to be healthy child, but she wasn't. I needed to make sure Madoka wouldn't suffer..' Midori lowered her head.
'Did you .. kill her?' Veronica asked.
'I did not. Madoka had a severe mental illness. It was much worse than mine. Madoka would see and hear things, that others would not. She believed that she had no reflection, so she avoided mirrors. She came near a mirror once, and her illness drove her to cut out her left eye. Madoka believed that humanity needed her eyes, so they could see what she saw. She believed that others were ill, and she was healthy. She had given her father her eye, as a gift she thought, so he would be able to understand me and my illness better. Masako never got over the trauma that gift had caused. Ever since he avoided Madoka and me... I never judged Madoka. Even though I knew that she was no longer my daughter, I understood what she was going through. But Madoka got worse as time passed by. She would talk to herself and tell herself that she did not trust her heart and she did not like the feeling its beating would give her. When Madoka was scared, she would wrap her hand around her wrist and squeeze so hard her heartbeat got so fast, she would faint. Madoka became oblivious to pain... But the worst was .. whenever Madoka used to harm herself, she would believe it would heal her,' Veronica gasped.
'Madoka... is she dead?'
'Madoka is neither dead or alive. Madoka is not real. Madoka is a fragment of my soiled mind. But the power of the mind is so strong... Madoka is everything that kept my mind sane. How can that, which was never born, die? And that, which is neither alive nor dead, how can it know what pain is? Madoka is ill, but she is aware that humanity needs help. Humanity needs help to see.. to open their eyes and accept reality for what it is.. Perhaps... it was a forgotten desire I held.. but as I realized mankind cannot be helped, did that realisation soil my mind and make me ill? Who'll tell? Madoka isn't a bad child .. she wants to help humanity.. and sacrificed herself, so others could see the world through her eyes,' The brunette bit her lip in her confused state.
'Did you kill yourself? What happened to you?'
Midori disappeared and Madoka appeared. Veronice held her breath as she saw the two empty eyesockets in the child's face. 'Mommy never died. She is with me every day. And together we keep daddy company. We give him advice,' Veronica furrowed her eyebrows.
'Daddy always wanted a family. But daddy was sick. He would imagine things that weren't real. So they locked him up. But that didn't help daddy at all.. Daddy got even sicker. But he still wanted a family more than anything. Daddy would see people but not recognize them. He thought they wanted to harm him, that they were bad people. Mommy and I would visit daddy in the hospital. He would talk to us all day. But one day, daddy found a way out of the hospital and ran into a forest. He found a rope and tied it around his neck. When daddy died, we remained here. Mommy and I,'
Veronica rubbed her eyes, she needed some sleep. Pronto. Mr. Sakarai sat in front of her, seemingly in need of a good night's rest too.
'Tell me, Mr. Sakarai... are you sane?' The man gave her a confused look.
'I was wondering .. you believe your daughter was evil, right? .. I find it hard to believe a father that sees his daughter as evil...'
'Couldn't it be that you were the one that is mentally ill .. and because of your disease you flip reality upside down, so you thought your wife and daughter were the ill ones..' She shifted in her seat.
'I have done some research and I learnt that... you, Mr. Sakarai, were hospitalized at the exact same moment your wife turned out to be pregnant,' Masako clenched his fists.
'I have no idea what you are talking about, lady .. '
'That makes sense. You were diagnosed with a mild case of schizophrenia and paranoia. you also suffered from capgras syndrome and borderline. Things don't look so good up there, does it?' Veronica opened the file that lay on the desk.
'You have a history of attempted suicides, one almost worked out. You wanted to hang yourself in a forest. And doesn't it seem very coincidental that that also happened to be the area where we arrested you?' The Asian man narrowed his eyes.
'You killed your wife, in a psychotic state. You actually believed that your wife had infected your daughter with her 'illness', so you had to punish her. Because .. after all, she was no longer your wife. She had become one of them. And why is that? Because she wanted to help you, she wanted to get you hospitalised, but you didn't like that, did you? But first things first, in a psychotic state you have no control over your actions, nor any recollection about your actions, correct? You killed your wife, and made a run for it. But I'll tell you one thing, about one thing you were right, your daughter is indeed ill. She has the same mental disorders as you, and right now, as we speak, your daughter is buried,'
Masako jumped up. 'YOU'RE LYING! MADOKA IS ALIVE! SHE'S SAFE, I KNOW THAT!'
'Mr. Sakurai, you were seen in the mental institute at the exact time those murders took place. You wanted to get your daughter out of there, no?'
'I never set foot in that place! I didn't even know where my daughter was the entire time!'
'Do you hear voices, Mr. Sakarai? Voices telling you you need to make sure mankind sees what you see? See the reality as it is? Doesn't it aggravate you that mankind doesn't accept those offers?' The man remained silent.
'Have you ever listened to those voices thoroughly? Don't you recognize those voices? Don't they sound familiar?' Veronica smiled smug.
'You killed your wife, just admit it. If you do, I'll let you see your daughter,'
'I .. No! I can't be! I loved her.. she was ill, I took care of her!'
'The truth is, Mr. Sakarai .. your daughter has been dead for a while now. June 23rd, 7months after the murder on your wife, your daughter died from self caused injuries. Your daughter cut her own eyes out, causing her to bleed to death,' Masako banged his fists on the desk. 'you're lying .. you're lying!' 'You killed your wife and made a run for it.
After the media spread it that Madoka was hospitalised you went to visit her. Seeing your daughter triggered another psychotic attack, you murdered two doctors. I don't know what you have told Madoka, but whatever it was, must've caused her to adapt your desire to die. I also happen to have done some research on psychotic attacks .. and they can last a couple of months before a person returns to his normal self. After you psychotic attack faded, you realised what you have done, and that's why you went to that forest. You wanted to take your own life,' --