“Wait,” Doctor Aurelius said in a warning tone, “There are some guards coming.”
We both moved to positions where we could find some cover, but the room was fairly Spartan. On the other side I could hear the security key card swipe make an accepting beep. Two guards burst in through the door, they seemed to immediately notice the cell door open.
“He’s escaped,” one of them said in a dull monotone. Suddenly, from his hiding spot, Doctor Aurelius lunged at one guard like a wild animal. Taking advantage of the surprise, I attempt to club the other guard in the back of the head with the shotgun. But he knows I was behind him and spins, grabbing me and throwing me across the room. I hit the wall hard and land on the floor. I only just open my eyes to see the guard heading straight for me hissing. The shotgun snaps back into my hand, and in an instant I squeeze the trigger. The shotgun roars, it’s payload slamming into the guard and spraying out his back. He lands with a heavy thud. I pump the empty shell out of the gun and pick myself off the floor. I walk over to Doctor Aurelius, who has finished dispatching the other guard. He is covered in the guards black blood, holding a baton.
“Good, I see you’ve finished the other one,” He says, “lets get out of here.”
We leave the room and head down the hall. The other patients are oddly quiet. “I need to know about the virus,” I say as a follow the Doctor, he moves fast, “I need to know how to stop it.”
“That’s going to be hard,” he replied, “The virus has not only mutated, but it’s also brought about other side-effects.”
“Side-effect?” We turned a corner and continued down another hall. There were two more guards there in white nurse uniforms. They were charging us. I prepare myself, but the Doctor waves his hand dismissively, “Don’t trouble yourself. These are mine.”
Doctor Aurelius threw himself at the first guard’s neck. Choking the guard fell to the ground. The second guard was upon him, swinging his baton hard, but the Doctor shifted to the side and dodged by inches. The Doctor simply grabbed and twisted his arm, held it for a moment, as if testing his strength and then snapped it. The baton released from the guards hand and fell, but seemed to drop straight into the Doctor’s free hand, like a strange magnetism. Even though his back was turned to me I could tell he was smiling as he buried the baton in the guard’s face, breaking it open. Blood splattered everywhere. Doctor Aurelius turned to me and pointed to the fallen guards with his dripping baton. “These are one of the side-effects I mentioned.”
“What do you mean?”
The Doctor turned and started moving to the hall, “Come on, do you want to get of this place? We don’t have time to chat.”
I hurried to catch up with him. “What do you mean?” I asked again, but the Doctor looked at me as if I was a petulant child.
“It had to do with weapons,” He said as a grimace spreads across his face, “Real Twenty-First Century weapons.”
We reached an intersection. The Doctor paused and looked around. “I now have a question for you. How did you get in here?”
“I came in through the sewers…” He turned and looked at me, his eyes burned. “You didn’t make a deal with them, did you? With the men that live down there?”
“No. I didn’t see anything down there,” I lied, as he stared into me. The Doctor looked at me oddly, as if he couldn’t see something, his eyes swayed as if he was trying to read a passage again and again. He gave up after a short moment, “Come on.”
Soon we were nearing the front entrance. St Anthony’s was an old hospital, built by monks who were the first to settle here. This used to be their residence. This part of the hospital is part of the original structure mostly made from sandstone with large vaulted ceilings. Here a chessboard pattern makes up the floor and there’s the occasional stained glass window. I remember that one of the Van Schaafes was a patient here. The Doctor headed towards the main front entrance. I wondered why there weren’t more guards.
The sound of the alarm suddenly stopped and the Doctor paused in front of the massive doors that were between him and freedom. “Oh Damn.”
The doors burst open and the sound of the explosion rushed into the hospital, followed by debris and clouds of smoke.
I can barely hear the words of the Doctor, but I know they are “Run!” I pick myself off the ground and chase after the Doctor. We turn back down the hall that we came through. I look back and men dressed in total black, their faces buried in skull-like gasmasks. I fire a round from the shotgun, but it only seems to stun one of them. And they are still baring down upon us. I turn to find the Doctor at the end of the hall, urging me to move faster. I pick up speed to make it through the door. The Doctor slams the door. The bolts on the door slide into place on as if under their own power.
I looked at the Doctor, “How did you do that?”
The Doctor began moving down the corridor, “I was exposed to the first generation of the virus, it expanded my horizons. And if you survive this crucible, it will expand yours as well.” He looked at me and smiled sinisterly. The man was difficult to read, like walking white noise, I wasn’t sure if he was insane or enlightened.
“Now we need to find a way out of here. Our friends on the outside have us surrounded,” The Doctor continued.
“The sewers,” I said. I knew the Doctor wanted to avoid this, but I was right. The sewers are maze-like, and the authorities would not have completely found the passage yet. There would be a chance of escape.
Doctor Aurelius looked at me sourly. There was something in that place that seemed to spook him.
“Look it’s our only way out at this point,” I said. Down the corridor behind us there was an explosion. The authorities tire of their obstacle and now we could hear them charging.
“Come on,” I say as we rush down the halls and corridors towards the entrance to the sewers. However, even at our speed, every step we take they seem to take two. We twist and turn through the complex , returning to the manhole grate that I entered through. As we enter the room, the door slams, and there is there sound of metal warping and bending, jamming the door shut.
I lift up the grate, ready to go down. I look up at Doctor Aurelius. There is a look of hesitation on his face. There is something down in those sewers. I almost encountered it, but the Doctor knows what it is…
There is a heavy sound at the door. Our hunters have caught up with us. They are battering the door, hammering so loud the room echoes like a bell. With every hit the door gives a little more.
“Come on,” I say, “we need to stop this.”
“No, you go ahead” the Doctor replies, his all-knowing smile returns across his face, “Be seeing you.”
At that moment, the door bursts open and several masked men spill into the room. They move in an insect-like fashion, stilted, yet quick. The Doctor is quicker, his fist flying straight into the mask of one of the pursuers. The blow causes the mask to curve inwards, turning the goggles into splintered glass. His second blow lands just a quick, knocking another aside. More still come. As I drop into the manhole, the last I see the Doctor one last time as he is tackled by several assailants. I land in the dark water with a heavy splash. Picking up my shotgun, I run as fast as I can into the black tunnels.