I left the others at the mansion with a brief explanation, some instructions, and suggestions. I really hoped all would be alright, we only know of a few watching but who’s to say there isn't more? Preparations done I headed back home. Right on the path back to my house hung a bloody sleeve from a branch, a smiley face drawn upon it in marker. Just what was needed to kick off the night, right? I took it with me, tossed it into the car and drove off to Mystery's last known location that Trinity was able to find. Got to love that girl not just for her heart and mind but her skills as well. Limeport Asylum was the target tonight, I drove nearby and parked on the side of the road further down. The hike up to the asylum was long; I trailed through the woods and followed close enough to make out the driveway. At the edge of the woods came the lawn which was a couple yards before the fence.
Near the gate some security guards stood talking idly with coffee in their hands, the two men inside the booth watching silently. I slipped around and moved through the woods to scout out the building and determine the best place to enter. The woods covered a majority around the building, minus behind it. I did not appreciate army crawling behind the building before I was able to get back up on the other side and into the woods. I scouted back around to the gate but saw no guards. I was worried briefly I was noticed and they went looking, quickly moving back around I didn't find anyone behind the building. Running through the woods back to where I originally walked up from I still saw no guards, which was about when a laugh caught my attention. I turned my attention towards the voice, upon a portion of the fence the insides of the guards were strung like Halloween decorations. The corpses lay discarded and surrounded the figure that initially captured my attention. A woman in white, a face I recognized through a screen only.
The Oracle of Lies.
The bat within my hand faltered, I no doubt reached a new shade of pale and the grin that adorned her face didn't help. This wasn't good, why was she here? What--Did that mean Victor was here? What the hell is going on?! My mind reeled demanding to look past her and focus on what was necessary. Mystery. I felt my insides kick with adrenaline, the bat in hand becoming firm in my grasp. Fuck fear, it's only wasting time.
"I don't have time for this shit." I sneered and ran out of the woods to the booth and opening the gate. Not even trying to be subtle anymore, if she was here than he was going to be and that meant all sorts of trouble, unwilling trouble. I didn't want trouble, so tired of trouble, but when did we ever avoid it?
I entered the gates and went around to the back of the building to the stairs leading down to the basement, so happy to have scouted. A fine entrance, unlocked even. I slipped inside, a laundry room and a few activity rooms made up it. Nothing I wanted, I ran as quietly as I could trying to find a same door upstairs. It only led me to run into an orderly, he was not a happy fellow once he realized I was not from the asylum. I quote, "You're not supposed to be here, little thing." was said, I grumbled at the fact the Executor had taken it upon himself to indoctrinate an orderly, or possibly more... If not all. Well, I made him even more unhappy by smacking him with the bat. He tried to attack, nearly succeeded, but a hit to the head with a bat made of steel tends to render someone unconscious pretty damn fast. I dragged his sleeping self into a nearby room and found the door upstairs.
The corridors were an off white, stained and just... Awful. I ran down the hall on the balls of my feet, trying to keep sound to a minimal by applying less pressure to each step. Slinking around corners, I felt like I was in some bad videogame.
"Patients have been pretty bad today. Had to sedate a couple of them, others been starting fights." A voice grumbled, male, coming from the right.
"Not right." A female sighed, I peeked around the edge to see a desk where the woman sat behind, an orderly speaking to her. "They have been behaving strangely most of the day."
The man coughed a few times before speaking, "Now they are just sitting, staring at nothing. I passed by a few patients and they all were just sitting there, same direction every one of them; doing nothing, saying nothing. Couldn't get a reaction to save a life."
I pulled away from the end of the hallway and looked into the nearest room to find the patient sitting on the bed, staring at nothing like the man described. I wrinkled my nose and slinked my way past them down the hallway further. I looked into the passing rooms, each patient was faced in the same direction and was completely expressionless. I switched between left and right doors looking at every patient, all unmoving, no change. I continued and noticed finally a change, their bodies attention shifted towards my direction by a fraction.
Just what are you all looking at? The thought echoed as I looked down the hallway and found just what it was. Victor, standing tall as ever. My mind reflected on the pages of text I read from his blog, the journal entries. My "Oh shit!" moment slapped me hard in the face; I looked at the patient in the room next to me. Yea, no doubt he was looking in Victor's direction, as were all the others. It's been a bit since I saw him in person but already there was no doubt he's changed. It wasn't difficult to distinguish the change in threads; World War II German military fatigues adorned his large frame. It wouldn't take a genius to see they were worn down some, which didn't surprise me. The fact he wasn't dirty and in better condition was noticeable, it made my mind whirr with this transition but the hulking form reminded me there were other matters to focus on. Do you know what it's like to be yards away from a man that towers you and could break the only object you have to defend yourself with in half? It feels like every itty bitty piece of you still clinging to hope is crushed because you know, you just fucking know if one thing goes wrong you aren't waking up. And with that same white mask that obscured the man beneath, expressionless and as empty as the patients that gazed his way looked at you... You just knew it was going to be a very bad day.
What do you say to that? You'd think I would have known by now, right? I glanced from side to side, uncertainty pulling at my insides, an escape plan needing to be formed. The sound of his military boot hitting the tile floor, cracking it with such force, brought back my attention. Alert by the one step closer, still at a distance but when has closing in on a kill ever been a problem for him? Not with the way he moved. Funny thing is I knew that had I not been worried for Mystery and my life lasting till she got the hell out of here, I would have been more than happy to see him. Call me crazy, go ahead. I'd rather be crazy and help someone suffering than be like the ignorant fucks that do nothing. Just like the others that serve Him, he deserves someone to fight to prevent further suffering and who is willing to march through Hell to strive and find new ways to help when the old ones don't work.
But at the end of it all this wasn't about Victor. Not tonight, not here. And as I inwardly writhed I knew it probably would be meaningless if the Oracle is the one that unleashed him upon this place. As much as I wanted to do nothing more than offer him the same help I do through the screen that usually separates us I couldn't, Mystery was top priority, and dealing with an unleashed Victor was not on the list of things to do. On top of that I really didn't want to whack him with this thing, not because it would probably just piss him off more-so than hurt him, but because I really wasn't looking forward to doing him harm anyways. On top of that the idea of even being able to deal damage seemed very... Unlikely.
Have to find Mystery. Save her, get her out of this hellhole. That's what mattered now, that's what would have to matter. My heart wrenched, it felt like abandonment to what I promised to do despite my mind knowing otherwise. Looking upon Victor, gazing into the black holes where his unseen eyes laid behind... I'm sorry. Was the only thing that came to mind. And then I said within my head, Fuck all emotions and carry out your mission.
There wasn't any more time to waste, though. I held the bat with both hands in front of me and mapped out the building I have explored so far. Specifically where I came from. Right, just crossed an intersection can back track. I huffed a breath making up my mind to act now rather than delay. I kicked off backwards and around the bend, immediately coming into view of the security guard. He yelled at me, the woman got up from the chair but I didn't stop. The moment he attempted to grab me I purposely tripped myself, skidding beneath his grasp and pulling myself up when I slowed. Around another bend, behind all there I could hear was screaming. I faltered briefly, it was inevitable. I should have realized that people were going to die either way. Should really stop being surprised by this shit.
Passed another intersection and bolted right, got down the hall when two orderlies walked around the corner. I skidded to a halt, they were already alert. I cursed Executor and his goddamn influence, normal people weren't this alert. The two men came at me; I jumped into the wall dodging being mauled and stumbled away from being grasped, which only led me to knocking into the opposite wall. Loudly swearing about the corridors and what not I swung the bat, really hoping they'd just get knocked out quickly. The real purpose of bringing the bat and not the axe, I really didn't want the blood of a dead person on my hands. Knocked out, that's a different story, beat the shit out of these fucks if I had to. They'd heal; have a story to tell if they remembered any of this. All good.
So when my arm was grabbed and pulled into an awkward angle while I was separating distance I swore loudly, but that didn't last. There was a blur, my arm pulled briefly before being freed, a sickening crack from a sledgehammer making contact with the man's forearm. I pulled away and back off from the close proximity of Victor, my shoulder cracking as I rolled it. I witnessed as he brought down the hammer upon the fallen orderly who had previous grabbed me, silencing the man with one swing to the skull. Without a moments waste he swung upwards at the second oncoming orderly, catching him beneath the chin and sending him backwards. Simple movements as if they meant nothing, these orderlies didn't stand a chance. It meant nothing because they were nothing in comparison.
"Find the woman. Leave them." The Caged One whispered as Victor hovered over the fallen man, hammer raised. "Leave. Them. Be." The voice hissed as the hammer was dragged downwards and connected with the man's torso. It didn't just stop there. Every hit seemed to aggravate the Caged One, her voice screamed through my mind, "Run!"
The bat in my hands faltered, clanging against the tile. It was enough to have him look over. The Caged One raged, furiously tugging at my mind until my body obeyed. I was running, bat in hand firmly. I was just running, corridor after corridor, the stained white passing by and blurring together. The lights above made my eyes squint as I sprinted, the world itself whooshing by and eventually falling silent.
Silence... A flash of blackness, slowly melting away... Everything just shifted.
"Back to the place where I was made."
Ghosts ran by, a taller brunette child and a young dirty blonde. Both wearing asylum gowns, their small feet padded softly against the cold tile. The blonde fiddled with her hands, flinching as the brunette hurried her along. The two hurried down the corridors, peering for anyone that might be around. A shaky breath from the thin brunette, her dark eyes wide as she scanned the hallways.
"You lost?" The blonde asked a small twitch as she looked over her shoulder before back to the brunette.
"Be fine. All is fine. We'll get out. Yes. Freedom. Get you out."
The younger one's eyes narrowed, "We're both getting out."
"Doesn't matter." The girl muttered as she tugged along the other child towards a door. "Can't let them see. You. See you. Know you. Can't let them."
The brunette turned grasping the blonde by the shoulders and shaking her, "Do not ask! Do not think! Do not question! Run. You keep running. When older you will see. Adapt. We all adapt. Have to. We have to. Or die."
"No! No more questions! Exit. Run away. Don't stop. Don't go home. Run only."
The blonde's eyes watered with confusion as she wrung her hands anxiously, "Then what?"
"You never forget. Ever. You then become more of what you already are."
The door opened but not because of the brunette, rather a white coat with four orderlies. A scowl adorned his blurred face, the dark lines showed that clearly enough. Everything burned all at once, his face melted, everything just faded to black. The eyes opened to a bright light--the brunette screaming--nurse being gutted--screaming--black hospital cross--running across the grounds, down the lawn with the hooded boy--I missed you--drowning, awakening, screaming--a scruffy man with hollow eyes but a cruel smile, wearing an orderly outfit as he raised to trace a white mask that could not be made out--injection, no, no, stop!--IDONTWANTTODIE!--staring at the man as the vision faded out--IDONTWANTTODIE--cut to the back of a car, the same blurred mask staring hovering, the same hollow eyes--
Walking down the street as a car slowly pulled up--disappearance of a young blonde thing--the field with the hooded boy--
"It was never Mr. Sunshine." Cage One murmured, standing in the middle of the corridor looking younger than the last time. Her hair was lightening from a brunette, a sad, ghostly smile on her lips. "You're the reason he is the way he is. For her," She waved to the thin brunette frozen in time, "for the deaths, for us. It's all on you. Every. Last. Drop. Of. Blood. Spilled."
My hands dug into my hair, grabbing at my skull as I attempted to calm the trembling, to calm just everything the fuck down.
Layers peeled away until reality fell back into place...
I blinked back, finding myself hunched over with my arms wrapped around my head. My heart raced painfully, standing up straight and looking ahead only made it worse. The sight of the Oracle directly in my face made things so much worse, so fucking much. I literally flinched, my shoe hitting the bat that must have fallen at some point. The sound of the metal bat being kicked made me jump further, by the time I looked back at the Oracle she was gone, nothing but laughter echoing down the halls. I slapped myself with a shaky hand and grabbed the bat off the floor, running to find Mystery. Three orderlies later I did. I looked through the slot and saw her unhappy self. She was sitting on the bed with her eyes squeezed shut, legs tucked Indian Style. The patient pajamas she wore loosely clung to her frame, a straight jacket pinning her arms from being used. A violent spike of aggression flooded my system seeing her in such condition, I fumed and pulled back before swinging the bat into the slot, a small crack. I swung again and again until it cracked open a hole. I looked back in and grinned with some relief, my body involuntarily twitching.
"Hey." I called out lamely, "Stay back." Let's just say it wasn't an easy battle against the door but at the end of it the damn thing was on the ground and I was a bit sore. Briefly I glanced up and down the hallway, she was already at the opening. "Let's get the hell out of here."
"Don't have to say that twice." She murmured and looked past me, freaking out about the giant stain on the wall. I glanced back before looking back at her as if she was crazy before mentally smacking myself. I calmed her down as quickly as I could while unclipping her from the straight jacket, tossing the damn thing into the room afterwards.
I looked her over, obviously her body was weary but her behavior seemed normal, if not somewhat tired. I'm guessing she was pumped with something, I didn't ask. Didn't need to. "You know what direction the exit is?"
"Yea." Mystery said as she brushed some hair from her face. "Go down that hall; turn right at the second corridor." She replied automatically, her eyes narrowing as she looked around for more stains, no doubt.
I griped the bat tightly and headed off, listening to how closely she followed and making sure to move at a pace she could keep up with. Paranoia ate away, I cringed at nothing, twitched with some irritation. Past bleeding into the present, I swore mentally. Mystery was not blind; I saw her look of concern. Looked like she was the stable one of mind here, and I of body. I was relying on her for directions as she was relying on me for protection. We passed the first corridor and kept moving down the hallway to the second, inching our way to the exit. An orderly must have noticed, he called out at us from the first corridor and came running out into the hallway. I raised the bat but a blur slammed the man into the wall, I knew all too well just what it was too.
"Yes!" I bit out with some urgency, "He's free roaming with the Oracle."
I shrugged, "Easy pickings?"
Mystery scowled as Victor dropped the body, "We need to go."
I agreed and rushed with her into the second corridor, the sound of screaming echoing behind us. The high pitched laughter I knew all too well reaching us. I wrung the neck of the bat, I could feel my body growing warm and ready to boil over with stress. The thought of lasting till we reached safety given Mystery's condition was the only motivation that kept me from flipping a bitch. Her instructions on where to go were helpful, I thanked whothehellever for giving this woman a brilliant mind because we sure as hell would be fucked to the bone by now if she didn't memorize the exit.
"Just up there." She said tiredly, I glanced over my shoulder assessing her state. Her body wouldn't last between stress and meds, my mind wouldn't last either as I could feel the seams being pulled apart. I bit my lip, hard, to distract myself from such things and snap back to the exit that was just ahead.
We ran to the door, our footsteps bouncing off the walls. My hand reached for the handle but it turned all its own and opened, a darkened face of a white coat stared down at us. Another orderly. "@#%&*%&$?" He questioned my name; I paled staring up at him. Mystery yanked me back; I raised the bat and shouted for him to get out of the doorway. "What are you doing here again?" He asked side stepping around us, Mystery scooted towards the doorframe and I covered her, never taking my eyes off him.
"Again?" I bit out impatiently.
"You still don't remember, it's been years and your memories haven't come back?" The man sounded surprised and I threatened him with a heated glare that promised a skull fracture. "Your mind was supposed to recover after you were accidentally overdosed by one of our staff members, but that was years ago."
I sneered at the way he phrased it, "How the hell does someone accidentally overdose?"
"One of our old employees administered a dose that you were already given because he wasn't informed otherwise."
"Who was he." I demanded, glancing briefly at Mystery who was leaning against the doorframe, whimpering briefly as she shut her eyes from the stain on the ceiling.
"Give me a fucking description, now!" I interjected for the sake of getting her the hell out of here.
"Tall, big guy, dark hair, brown eyes-"
He looked at me like I was crazy, "Uh-had a tattoo on both his wrists that read 269. Guy never explained it when we asked. Kind of kept to himself. Made some paper mache masks for some patients but they were all destroyed when he quit."
I was looking at Mystery by then, the bat shaking in my hands. She was speaking, I could see her lips moving as she looked me in the eyes but I couldn't hear her over my heart beating. Her expression quickly changing into sudden alarm, her hand grabbing my forearm and pulling me back towards the doorframe. I looked over my shoulder as a dark figure passed by and knew who it was. The man I was speaking to screamed as he was knocked to the ground, I pulled from Mystery's grasp with the intention to save him.
"Stop! He knows! He knows something!" I screamed at Victor, arms grabbed me and dragged me back through the doorway as the sledgehammer fell. The sickening crack removing the only firm lead I had from existence. I hit the wall as Mystery slammed shut the door and locked it; I rubbed my face before kicking off the wall. At one another's side we ran to the exit just down the hall, past security guards that lay disemboweled. We exited the bleeding building and raced down the long driveway. The farther from there the better. No sounds came from the woods; the only thing that could be heard was the Oracle's mad laughter that echoed through the night. Getting into the car I peeled out, a figure catching my intention in the mirrors. It was Him, standing at the bottom of the driveway, facing our direction. Mystery was panicking as was I, slamming on the gas we headed straight back for our protected home. There wasn't much that could be said, I was stricken with silence and Mystery... She needed to rest. We needed to think and then talk or something like that.
I don't know. Writing this just... Pisses me off. I'm supposed to be solving the missing pieces but all I seem to be doing is losing more and more of what's left of me, of the control I've come to have.
Mystery, I'm so happy she's back and starting to recover. So happy this is done with, that this post can just be done with and we can move on from it. So happy. So fucking happy. And yet not at all.