Having resolved to save the one person who may be your friend in this horrible place, you dart back towards Harold’s unconscious (you hope) form.
As you near Harold, the monster takes notice of you and, with a roar that you remember all too well, lashes out at your face with one of its oily tentacles. You see it coming and manage to partially dodge the attack, but the monster corrects his aim at the last moment, delivering a vicious blow to your chest that simultaneously takes your wind and knocks you backwards through one of the tables lying on the floor. The table shatters at the impact, and you think the thing might have broken a rib or two. All in all, though, you’re glad it missed your head.
More out of instinct than anything, you stagger to your feet and cast around for a weapon. Grabbing up one of the splintered table legs (you’re starting to get used to this), you charge forward at the beast, screaming incoherently. Dodging through the weaving mass of tentacles (no easy feat with your injuries) you manage to reach the creature and thrust the table leg into the center of its mass.
The beast screams, and you have a moment of respite as the tentacles all move towards the center to pull out the leg. Using the time wisely, you scamper over to Harold and grab his shirt. With a feat of strength born of absolute panic, you heave him up onto your shoulders and start to run towards the door to Ward 32.
About halfway to the door the beast lets out with another massive cuff that sends you flying, and sends Harold’s body sliding through the doorway. Pain, white-hot and blinding, clouds your senses and threatens to overwhelm you — and the world is, for a moment, only a mass of blurry shapes drifting through a rippling sea of nothingness. Sensing somehow a movement in that sea, you roll to your right and feel a dull thud, as one of the thing’s tentacles crashes down beside you.
Blinking away the pain and the blur, you manage to stagger the last few feet into Ward 32 and fall to the ground next to Harold. Your last sight is the door to Ward 32 slowly closing behind you — and you hear the frustrated scream of the beast echo in your mind.
And then all is blackness.
When sometime later you awaken and open your eyes, your first fear is that the damage from the monster has blinded you. The darkness stretches away infinitely, and you see nothing. After the moment of fear subsides, your reason returns and you fish your cigarette lighter out of your pocket and light it.
You’re standing in a sparse room that serves as the entryway to Ward 32. The door that you came through is still closed, and there are two hallways leading out. Harold is lying on the floor next to you, still unconscious. You check his body for blood, but find none. You make a few brief attempts to awaken him, but are unsuccessful. Doing so, however, reminds you of your own injuries, which flair up and threaten to overwhelm you again. You pop a few painkillers and attempt to bind your ribs with some fabric you cut from the jacket of your uniform. That’ll be the best you can do until you find some help.
Down the hallway to the left, you hear what sounds like a party in the distance. Faint strains of music echo across the distance and the incoherent sounds of many people conversing bubble through as well. The dark of that hallway extends beyond the reach of your flame, and you don’t see any light coming from that direction.
The hallway to the right is dark and empty. As you stare down it, though, you see a small square of light snap on in the distance. It would seem that someone is in one of the rooms down the hall, and you’re seeing the light come through the small window in the door. The light makes a small pool around the door, but you can’t see much else in the corridor.
Movng towards Harold provoked the beast to attack you. It missed its first attempt, which allowed you to get to Harold. It hit on its first and second attempts, which did a tremendous amount of damage to you. Your one attack succeeded, although barely — so I allowed the attack to divert the monster’s attention for a moment. That gave you time to grab harold and drag him. Fortunately it missed on its last attack which allowed you to get through the door right before it closed.
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