With Carl zoning out, now’s your chance! You quickly reach down and grab what’s left of the plastic bag of yellow powder from his limp hand. Then, without looking back, you race to the trap door and slide it aside as quietly as you can.
You swiftly peek your head outside to make sure there’s nothing waiting for you and then scramble out of the hole. As you turn around to shut the trapdoor behind you, you hear Carl giggle and say something that sounds like “See you later.” By the time you’re fully turned around, though, the compartment that you and Carl shared is completely empty, with only the spilled yellow powder on the ground as testament to the fact that Carl was ever there.
Shuddering, you close the door behind you, mind awhirl with possibilities (and impossibilities). Did he scramble out through another door while you weren’t looking? You cast through your memories for images that might help explain this phenomenon. The closest you get is an image of a man dissolving into yellow sand from the head down. The sand is blowing away in what appears to be the wind, although you can’t make out much behind the image so it’s possible he could be indoors. Perhaps this yellow powder made him disappear. If so… where did he go?
You’re so lost in thought that you almost don’t hear the growling noise coming from around the corner. You glance up quickly and see the shadow of what appears to be a massive dog cast against the wall nearby. You begin to back away from the shadow and it darts forward around the corner… but you see nothing. The shadow continues to advance on the wall, but nothing (that you can see anyway) is casting it!
You turn around and stumble out of the backstage area, knocking over props and set pieces behind you with reckless abandon. Before long, but after what seems like an age, you make it to the door leading into the hallway, with the sound of something crashing through your roadblocks close behind you.
You throw open the door and cast yourself into the hallway, disparately swinging it shut behind you as fast as possible. For a moment, the door closes hard on something invisible and you hear something squeal in pain and feel it withdraw itself from the crack of the door. Then the door slams shut.
It would seem you barely made it out in time.
Breathing heavily, you turn to advance down the hallway and your stomach finally rebels against what you see there and it’s all you can do to keep yourself from vomiting where you stand.
Corpses litter the hallway in both directions. All of the actors and actresses that you saw, including Sam, lie dead in pools of their own blood and bodily fluids. Their wounds seem to have come from a blade, though, which indicates to you that they were not killed by whatever was just chasing you. Some OTHER horror did this.
Cautiously, you pick your way through the carnage and stop cold when you hear a coughing sound come from one of the bodies near you. The actress lies, like everyone else, covered in blood. Her throat seems to have been cut, and as she attempts to speak bubbles froth forward from the wound. She’s not dead yet, but from the pain in her eyes she looks like she wishes she was.
After a few seconds, her rasping wheezes start to sound like a word. “Benziah.”
Out of pity, you stoop by her body and administer an enormous dose of the sedative that you stole from the medicine storeroom. Eventually, she stops moving and ceases to breathe. You cast the empty bottle aside, sigh deeply, and stand up.
“She’s right, you know…” an eerie emotionless voice from behind you drones “it WAS me.” Benziah stands about ten feet from you down the hallway, his hands open at his sides.
And he’s smiling.
You barely made it out of the room in time, but fortunately you’re a little faster than those things are.
While you don’t have any wisdom images specifically about Benziah, he does make you feel very uneasy — almost a slow burning terror. You’re not sure, though, if it’s a premonition or the fact that he seems to be happy about killing so many people.
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4 thoughts on “Ward 32 – Episode 20”
I was considering presenting a choice about whether to administer the sedative, but I figured the choice about Benziah was a bit more pressing — plus it would have made for a rather short next episode to just turn around and see Benziah.
Damn, now I wished I’d voted for waiting in our happy place…
Good call on the sedative, though.
Well… I hope your all happy now… they are all dead because we decided to go off with Carl and shirk our responsibilities to end this horrible bloodshed… now it is just us and the madman… If we run, we learn nothing, if we fight… we learn nothing, if we talk… we hope spills his evil plans like any villain would given the chance to talk down to the hero.
I’m down with provoking a tell-all monologue.
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