The ride had been long and particularly boring. In all honesty, it probably wouldn't have been so bad, if it weren't for the fact that she was in the back of the van, and there were no windows back here. It made her feel like a prisoner, actually, but then again, she sort of was, wasn't she? A prisoner, that is. There was even an metal cage-mesh-thing between the driver and the back compartment. Well, that mesh stuff was at the top, and the bottom of the 'wall' was metal, like the sides of the vehicle. Just like a prison vehicle, she assumed. Not that she'd ever been to prison, but it seemed like the right sort.
It was sort of as if they assumed she would try to attack the driver or something, like she was violent.
Their assumption, though, did not line up with the others they had made. Namely, that she would injure herself. That was why her shirt was something close to a straight-jacket: her hands were confined in sleeves with no opening. Apparently, it had been decided that she had been scratching herself to cause harm, rather than using a weapon, since they knew she did not have any access to them. She'd decided, quite some time ago, that trying to insist that she did not harm herself never did go over well, especially if she told the truth, and so she had stopped trying that quite some time ago.
But, she couldn't help but try to help when it was needed. When at the clinic, the last one she'd been admitted to, she had tried to keep to herself and to not poke her nose into anything that did not concern her. None of the other patients had been her business, so she had tried to ignore them. She'd even been close to being released, and then that man had managed to get a hold of a letter opener from one of the doctors' offices, and had attacked one of the nurses. She'd been about to die, and so.. well, she had to help, didn't she? Her instincts had kicked in and she had laid hands on the woman before she even knew what she'd done.
It did not take long to stabilize her, but in return, she'd had her skin split up her arms, and they did not look like defensive wounds. So, instead of being released, she was transfered.
Not that they told her where she was going.
Besides the shirt that kept her hands confined, her wrists were attached to a belt at her waist, so she couldn't really move her arms much at all. It was pretty extreme, actually, and not the sort of restraints usually used in the clinic. Wherever she was going, it was sure to be a much more intense program. And now, she'd have to start over playing normal and nice and unremarkable, and hope to be released for good behavior soon. She'd been struggling with that for the past five years, since she was sent to the clinic by her mother. That had been before she was an adult, and her mother legally had the right to force her into the clinic. And then, because she was deemed unable to care for herself, she became a ward of the clinic and the state once she turned eighteen a few years ago. It had taken a while for her to figure out what she'd have to do to get out. And now she had to start all over again.
Eventually, the van rolled to a stop, the driver spoke to someone outside, and then drove a bit more, again. So, probably some wall and electronic gate, maybe? Harder to get out of, more like a prison.
No one told her what was going on any more, anyway. She had to figure it out via clues.
They went through a second check point, then pulled up and stopped, the engine was cut, and the driver exited the vehicle. And she was set to wait, and wait, and wait. There could be voices heard outside, and a heavy door opening and closing a few times. Then, eventually, the back doors opened, and two orderlies in white grabbed her elbows and pulled her out. By now, she'd learned that speaking as little as possible got her the best chance to be left alone, so she said nothing at all as they directed her to a wheelchair, then clipped her in via loops on the belt. Wow, this place did not play around. There was a lot of paperwork being signed as she was wheeled in, and her driver seemed to be signing her over into their care.
She was right about the heavy doors: the entire building looked super old, was made out of stone. It looked pretty much impossible to escape out of: there were no windows for the first two floors, and then up higher, the windows were small, like slits in the wall. In the lobby, everything was white and bright and clean, and the orderlies seemed to work like well-oiled machines, directing the patients around. Everything seemed very professional and calm. She was rolled down a hallway, in through a door labeled 'processing'. There, two orderlies, one man and one woman, got her up, stripped her down, searched and washed her.
That was humiliating, or would have been, had she not been through that upon leaving the clinic, and entering it the first time. Besides which, any time she was permitted to bathe, she had to have someone to make sure she did not injure herself. There was no such thing as privacy any more. Not for her.
"Ezra Brooks?" In the middle of being scrubbed down, the woman said her name, causing her to look up and study her for the first time: older, in her fifties, if Ezra had to guess, with curly blond hair and a no-nonsense expression on her face. Cautiously, she nodded once.
"Well, Miss Brooks, I am to understand you like to injure yourself. We will have none of that here, and you will be restrained until your treatment begins to take hold. We will start with some therapy, but if that does not work, we will progress to more...radical techniques, beginning with medication, and progressing as needed. Do you understand?"
Sighing, Ezra nodded, more than a little upset that the orderly washing her pulled her arm out, clearly displaying the thick, corded scar tissue that littered her arms, most prominently down by her hands, but it did travel up in sporadic line-shapes, toward her elbows, upper arms, and there were even a few on her shoulders. Some of the scars were light, sort of pearl-colored, and low, hardly visible, but the newer ones were thick and ugly, standing up from her skin and very noticeable.
"Now, Miss Brooks, we have been informed that in the absence of a sharp implement, you will use your fingernails to further your goal to injure yourself. This is unacceptable here, and so your hands will remain covered until we can trust you not to hurt yourself. Understood?"
Again, Ezra nodded. By now, the orderly was roughly toweling her dry. He had been very professional about the whole thing, which was a surprise. Then again, it was probably why he was not washing her alone, and there was another woman in the room with her. The man pulled a soft white shirt over her head, and directed her arms into the sleeves. A soft pair of pants were pulled up her legs as well, and secured using velcro. Her hands were forced into thick mittens, which were secured first with velcro, and then with tiny padlocks. Presumably so that she could not talk another patient into letting her out. The white shirt had 'E. Brooks' written on the left breast, right above an identification number.
They had apparently recorded all her injuries during the wash-down, and after a physical examination by a doctor, she was lead into the 'rec room' which.. well, was pretty much a white room with a soft carpet, and a bunch of other patents wandering around or mindlessly watching television. Quietly, Ezra found a seat in a corner, pulling her knees up to her chest, she quietly began to observe the others she was locked up with...