A/N: Hey, this is the final story in the "Paradox" trilogy but I don't feel like posting the second one and this is my favorite. You can check out the second installment on Mibba- it's called "The Dark Triad." If you don't like gore, rape, or psychopaths then turn back now. I got a lot of negative feed back on the first story about that kinda crap and it annoys me. There's also bound to be a mistake here and there so PLEASE PLEASE don't message me about it. I'm sorry if there is but I'm not perfect. Thanks.

-MalRev

The Mask of Sanity

1

A lone light bulb hanging from the ceiling by a thin cord was emitting an intensely aggravating whir that I struggled to ignore. The dilapidated manner of the city's police station worried me greatly: how on earth could they expect to clean the filth off our streets when proper lighting was apparently considered to be a luxury?

The man sitting across from me noticed my irritation and leaned forward with a maniacal glint in his dark eyes. I automatically recoiled, displeased with his proximity. He was the embodiment of all that was wrong with society - obese, balding, reeking of cigarettes, and a clear authoritarian.

"Scared?" he asked. His breath smelled like toothpaste and vomit.

I grimaced. "Of your oral hygiene."

The man abruptly pushed out of his chair so it toppled to the floor, and I didn't even flinch. He was flustered by my indifference and perhaps a bit nervous.

"We're going to make sure you go away in a real prison cell," he said. "Your entire record is dirtier than pigs in mud."

"Actually, detective, pigs are rather clean animals. It is a common misconception that they're filthy. Therefore, your metaphor is a bit . . . lacking."

He suddenly slammed his pudgy hands on the table right in front of me. It didn't make me the least bit angry. I was actually more inclined to laugh at his interrogation techniques. We were still waiting for the psychiatrist to arrive from his latest appointment, so the police figured it would be a brilliant idea to harass me for a half hour.

I had no problems playing games with the fool now glaring across the table at me for a little while. But I wanted to see my sister again. She had been in the ambulance with Felix, who I was quite certain would be stuck to her side like a burr after she recovered.

A smile spread across my face. She would never fully recover. It would always haunt her.

"Something funny?" asked the officer.

I shook my head. "Of course not. This is an extremely serious situation."

Just as it seemed the interrogator was going to give me a serious shock with his taser, the door creaked open. In walked an extremely old man who didn't exactly play the part of "therapist." He had rainbow socks on that went past his thin calves, paired with khakis that didn't reach below his knees. I couldn't help but squirm a bit at his ridiculous sense of style. His disjointed appearance was infuriating.

The old man sat across from me and adjusted the perfectly round spectacles on his nose. I gripped the arms of the chair tightly, arousing the attention of the police officer. He swiftly secured me to the chair with manacles; I growled when he patted my head.

"Liev Vladimir Günter," the doctor said slowly. "Hello, my name is Dr. Sigmund. What an interesting name you have. Are you Russian?"

"Clearly."

"Who named you?"

"Adel."

"And who is she?"

"Mother."

A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. "One word answers are all I'm going to receive? That won't help me in diagnosing you."

"Then let me make it very simple, doctor. I'm a psychopath."

"We don't use that term," he chided. "The correct phrase is 'antisocial' or 'dissocial.'"

I rolled my eyes, already bored. "Political correctness is counter progress."

"It isn't a matter of political correctness, per se, but ensuring that people do not make an incorrect association from the word to . . . perhaps a movie."

"What does it matter? Either way, we're still intraspecies predators."

"It's the difference between assuming you might manipulate them and assuming you're going to eat them," he said.

"Surely the general public is not ignorant enough to believe I'm anything like Hannibal Lecter."

"You'd be surprised. Now, can we continue?"

I averted my eyes to the police officer, who was appearing to be a bit unnerved by the conversation between Sigmund and I. It was too early to analyze either of them accurately, but I could already tell that he was extremely uncomfortable with therapists. Perhaps a poor encounter with one in the past? The truth would be revealed relatively soon.

"Officer Fillmore, could we have some time alone?" asked Dr. Sigmund.

Fillmore glanced over his shoulder at the tinted glass. There was a team of psychologists and police on the other side trying to figure out what Dr. Greaves had discovered many years ago. It seemed rather silly that they insisted upon psychoanalyzing my behaviors again - if I chose to admit any of my past liaisons, it would just solidify the past diagnosis.

I switched back to staring at Dr. Sigmund. He was just like the other psychologists: arrogant and willing to use any means necessary to prove himself. Nauseating.

"Flick the lights when you're finished," Fillmore said. He left without another word.

Sigmund wrote something down in his notebook and smiled vaguely at me. "His presence was a bit bothersome."

"Indeed."

"Now, can you possibly list the women you recall violating?" He slid the notebook across the table toward me and offered his pen. "Rape, murder, burglary, domestic violence, anything. And if you can remember, write their names and physical appearance."

I raised an eyebrow. "It's going to be an extremely long list."

"We have as long as is necessary. If I decide you're not mentally stable, there will be no trial and you will be immediately placed in a mental institution. If I decide you were perfectly sane, there will be a lengthy, painful trial and you will be thrown in jail for life."

With a heavy sigh, I began to compose the list with the first person I could recall: Olivia. Blake was promptly after Olivia and had been the first person I murdered. I smiled to myself at the memory - it was the night I learned how satisfying killing a person was. Something that exceeded an adrenaline rush.

"Everyone?" I asked.

"Everyone. Even if it was just slight aggression."

I scribbled down Cassie, which led my thoughts to Celine. She had been dull. Fourteen, black hair, an obscene amount of makeup. Luckily, all freshmen had a strange reverence for older kids and she had been willing to go out with me for a drive. I drove out to the middle of the woods, pretended to care about her problems for a half hour, then slowly convinced her to sleep with me. She agreed reluctantly, but changed her mind. It was too late for her by then. Celine was a cold case now.

Most of the names weren't anything special and I didn't stop to think about them. I had slowly become involved with older women as I grew older. The largest age gap between a female and I had been with a girl named Rachel when I was twenty and she was sixteen. After that, I strictly stuck to those seventeen and older.

Terra had been, by far, my most frightful encounter. She herself didn't scare me, but the way she made me feel was incredibly upsetting. I had known from the beginning that I had to dispose of her, something that was slightly unfortunate.

"You started when you were seventeen?" Sigmund asked. "You're twenty-six now, correct? So that's nine years which resulted in 392 women. So about . . ."

"Three point six three women per month, forty-three point five six women per year. Roughly, of course."

Sigmund raised an eyebrow. "Are you good at math?"

"Quite," I said. "I'm a physicist."

"Ah, that explains a lot." When I looked up at him curiously, he continued to explain. "It's sort of a stereotype that those with genius minds tend to become violent. They have a sad predicament - brilliance in the face of stupidity. It can cause intense resentment towards humanity."

"Or it could just be because my father was a psychopath."

There really was no other reason. I didn't understand why psychiatrists continually insisted that there must be another cause for my affliction. It was clear that I had been raised in a tumultuous household, but I had been predisposed to mental problems even before then. There was no purpose to continually picking me apart.

"That's the most likely cause," Sigmund said. "But APD tends to skip generations. My belief if that your parents' expectations along with your environment helped shape who you became." He set aside the list of women to open a manila folder, which contained several loose papers. "You were treated by a Dr. Ronald Greaves as an adolescent?"

"Yes. He was a friend of both of my parents."

"Interesting. He was very quick to assume your APD was genetic."

"Why wouldn't he be?" I asked. "It was quite obvious. You should've met my father when he was alive."

Sigmund shuffled through the papers. "Nikolai Günter and I were acquainted. However, I never met your mother. She must have been an extremely strong person to deal with someone like him for so many years. And your sister, Viktoriya."

"Tory is of no significance." My voice took on a sharp tone and I hurried to steady it again. "She and I were rather close as children, but grew apart."

"Oh, she's of utmost importance," Dr. Sigmund said. He placed his finger on a single line within a large paragraph. "First of all, you had full intentions of raping her. That's very unnatural, even amongst sociopaths. Secondly, the wounds you left her with are peculiar - to the stomach for the most part. Why would you select such a specific area?

"The answer lies within your own fixations. You saw the scars your mother had from Nikolai, and became a sort of copycat. Perhaps you felt as though you were vindicating Adel by torturing someone who was at least fifty percent of Nikolai, and bears a striking resemblance to him. Because it's obvious to most everyone that you wanted to rape Tory to get revenge on your father. You certainly couldn't hurt him yourself because you knew he would kill you, so you took out your resentment upon your sister."

My hands curled into fists involuntarily. I resisted the innate urge to kill him with great difficulty by closing my eyes and clenching my jaw. Sigmund's eyes bored into me the entire time with an arrogance that nearly drove me berserk. I hated therapists.

"And, of course, you were hungry for control," he continued softly. "No matter what way you put it, rape is always about control. You lost that control when you met Terra, who completely changed your emotions about women, and you needed it back. But you still didn't feel in control after you raped her, so you began pursuing your sister."

I pinched the bridge of my nose between my index finger and thumb. He was wrong, so wrong. I had wanted Tory for a very long time, and she amused me immensely until she thought I was no longer in control. We would play with matches together and I always put the flames out. When she needed something, I got it for her no matter what. Who was she to think she could go out and do whatever she pleased?

But getting angry would just please the man sitting across from me and possibly ruin my chances of escaping on the count of insanity. So I let my thoughts wander back to the first night I had raped Terra, to her muffled screaming, to the sensation of her squirming underneath me, to how tight and warm she was-

"Are you daydreaming?"

I opened my eyes. "Attempting."

"About what?"

"That does not concern you."

Dr. Sigmund stared at me blankly for a moment, then reassembled everything within his single folder. I waited patiently and tried to keep my thoughts from wandering again. As long as he didn't irritate me, it would be a very simple task.

"I'm going to recommend that you're placed in a mental health facility," he said, already signing a release form. "You will be assigned to a psychiatrist who is not me and probably placed on an antipsychotic to . . . take off the edge. They will not release you to the outside world for any reason. It is, for all intents and purposes, prison without the bars."

"I'm thrilled."

"You will wear a uniform, but no straitjacket. That is, if you behave. Constant surveillance. Your psychiatrist will diagnose you and prescribe appropriate medication, as I do not have the time or resources to do so currently."

I smiled. "Giving up already?"

"No, not at all, Liev. I just figured out everything I needed to know. Wait here for a moment while I summon the officers." Sigmund rose to his feet with his folder and the release form, nodded to me curtly, and left.

I let my plastic smile immediately drop into an aggravated scowl when the door slammed shut. The group of investigators behind the tinted wall were probably gathered around Sigmund by now to discuss what I had told him, so I could quit my façade of friendliness. My chest felt extremely tight; I rubbed the affected area and turned my back toward the window. Repressed stress had a tendency to torment me at the most inopportune moments.

The door opened again and I forced myself to ignore the pain to face the two guards who had just entered the room. They were hesitating near the threshold with the manacles, clearly surprised that I had turned back around. What did they think I was going to do to them in the middle of a crowded police station?

"Don't be afraid," I murmured. "I only torture women."

Both of their bulky bodies stiffened as if I had dumped cold water on them. I let my lips slide into a malicious smirk and offered out both of my wrists. But the bigger one of the right with a sleeve tattoo was still uneasy, keeping either of them from moving.

"It's like they're making us handcuff an alligator," he said.

I cocked my head. "I've always imagined myself as more of a shark. I can smell blood miles away, and if I get you alone-"

Another person shoved open the door rather rudely and brusquely pushed aside the guards to charge toward me. I could see the reflection of Terra in her father's gleaming blue eyes, which nearly stopped me from defending myself. He swung blindly for my face, swearing and flushed red with anger. I dodged the first few punches, then seized his enormous fist and slammed it down on the table several times until I heard his fingers break.

He howled in pain, clutching his grotesquely misshapen digits until the guards fell upon both of us. I couldn't help but laugh when the behemoth who had been too scared to walk within a five foot radius of me held me down to the table by my neck while he cuffed my hands behind my back.

"Nothing's funny," he snapped.

Terra's father was twisting wildly in the grasp of the other guard, who was losing his grip.

"I'm going to find you and fucking kill you!" he bellowed.

I was jerked off the table and grinned back at him. "It's not going to change anything. I still fucked her, and she still screamed." The guard tried to silence me by giving me a vicious shake, but I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away. "She was just a dispensable little whore."

More people poured into the room to escort Terra's father out because he had now completely lost it. Apparently, he had overheard my sentencing.