Submitted for your consideration: Ardis Peake, resident of the Starkweather Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Term of residency: decades, after the unspeakable annihilation of his mother and a ranching family that had shown him nothing but kindness. Peake spends his days and nights in a solitary, drug-induced stupor which is felt to be better for him, and the world at large, than consciousness.
Outside of Starkweather lie the mean streets of Los Angeles in the closing days of the twentieth century. A waiter-cum-actor is found dead, sawn in half, in a car trunk. Months later, Dr. Claire Argent, a psychologist at Starkweather who had