“ That, what just happened to you there, that was nothing. You've just been playing with the ghosts. Wait till somebody lets out the real darkness in this place, that's... that's a whole new bunch of crazy shit! You'll hate that shit!”
--House on a Haunted Hill, 1999
Helene was unsure how they had ended in this particular closet room. It had been a blur, all she remembered was running for a brief moment. Then Waylan burst open the door before dragging her in along with him. The door had slammed closed behind her, snapping her from the headache that had occurred during this kind of blackout moment. Would these blackout moments happen more often? Was it due to that strange test she had been used for? She felt as if her mind had been raped by that damn test...well it was more or less a sense of rape. Being strapped to a chair unable to move, forced to watch the images...mind rape. Not only had she almost been physically raped by Trager but now she had been in fact mind raped by a fucking Rorschach test on screen. Fucking...great.
She snapped out of her thoughts once more when she saw Waylan jumping up onto a rickety desk. “What are you doing?” Helene asked him as he pushed this video recorder into the vent first.
“You want to run into another wacko?” HE asked as he was preparing to jump up into the vent.
“Excuse me some of those “wackos” are my patients.” She declared without any hesitation as she gazed at Waylan. He sighed as he jumped up into the vent. Helene stood up on the desk as he offered her a hand to help her up inside. The angle that Waylan was at made it difficult to pull her inside. Waylan’s grip slipped causing her arms to drag along the exposed edge of the vent. She hissed and cried out softly as the metal grazed against her skin. Waylan silently cursed before finally helping her inside. Helene glanced at her forearms and saw the red abrasions with small bits of blood-forming where bits of skin had been torn. It stung but was not too troublesome. She did need to find a first aid kit.
As quietly as possible she followed Waylan through the claustrophobic inducing ventilation ducts. Even as quiet as they could be their hands and knees still thumped against the aluminum. “Bad idea. We get out of here through reception and let Murk Tactical clean it up.” She heard a man say as they got closer to an open vent. Looking over Waylan as much as she was physically able to, she saw two men. Personnel, she instantly recognized them from their uniforms.
“If they get here in time.” The second man replied. “We need help now. If we get on the radio, the national guard could come here within--”
“We don't even know if the radio works.” Helene couldn't help but see the look Waylan was giving her out of the corner of his eye. A radio!
“It’s a short wave. If the prison’s got electricity they’ve got a signal, and the lights are on.”
“Murkoff has it under control.”
“Yeah” the other scoffed, “I noticed. We’ve got to get to that radio.” Waylan signaled for her to follow closely as they crawled through the ducts trying to keep listening to the conversation. The two men moved beneath another vent.
“Outside help doesn’t come without outside attention. Do you want to take responsibility for every legally shaky thing you did on the Murkoff Company payroll? I know I don’t.”
“It’s too late to worry about that. This just has to stop.”
“You’re scared. You’re not thinking straight. Let me make something clear. You try to radio for outside help, I’m gonna give you a whole new something to be scared about.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“Yes.” The two men left leaving Helene and Waylan in the air ducts now encased in silence. Waylan took a breath once the door was shut.
“We have to get to that radio.” He said softly before continuing along the duct with Helene following close behind him. Waylan found the nearest open vent and was able to get out with a soft thud into the darkroom. Helene followed trying to see in the darkness. Waylan used the night vision on his camera to see around the room. There was a metal cabinet blocking the door, and a man hiding in the farthest corner. He was curled up with his face between his knees and shaking in fear. Yet, he made no sound when they had jumped down. “Hold the camera...” he said to Helene as he went to push the metal cabinet out of the way. The small room was filled with the sound of metal grinding on cement. A sound that made Helene wince as it pierced her ears. With a few grunts and huffs, Waylan was able to get the cabinet out of the way of the door.
He sighed heavily and bent over for a moment before he took hold of the doorknob. The light of the hallway now illuminated the room. Waylan turned as he stood in the hall only to gasp “Helene!” She jumped and turned as she now noticed the man was standing behind her. She gasped as he blankly stared at her face. Stepping back he did not follow. He continued to stare at her and Waylan both before he slowly closed the door encasing himself and the room back into the deep blackness.
“I think we should keep moving...” Waylan said as he took her wrist in his hand. He gently pulled her along down to the right. As they continued walking the sounds of the wind echoing...they had heard that eerie sound before. It made Helene's heart race again as the figure's face appeared in her mind once again. The skeletal features glancing at her through the glass...almost gently. The almost invisible eyes seemed to stare into her soul...
Helene had to physically shake her head to clear the thoughts from her mind. She had to focus...she had to...there was no time to ponder. Continuing along the biohazard plastic corridors, Helene and Waylan were noticing the constant bloodstains. How had this place fallen into such chaos in mere hours? It reminded Helene of some horror movie. House on a Haunted Hill...Marat/Saude. Asylums and hospitals that had been taken over by the patients. The staff and patients murdered. Before this they were only stories...but now, Helene was living it.
Waylan tested every door, every time the knobs refused to move. All the doors were locked and even more blood splatters could be seen. Finally, the two found a door that would open. Walking inside they saw a man trapped in a decontamination chamber. His hands were banging against the thick plexiglass window. “Help me! Please!” He shouted desperately “I’m a doctor! I need to get home to my--” The man noticed they were not dressed as doctors or staff. Helene noticed his story quickly changed. “You’re not security. I was...I am a patient, like you! I stole these clothes from..a dead body I found. You gotta let me outta here. Please, just push the button, open the door, then we can get out of here together.” HE said as the desperation in his voice increased.
Waylan gave Helene a look before he pressed the button. The instant the button was pressed the doors opened followed by the quick expulsion of the decontamination gas. Stepping through the gas was a patient, he laid eyes on the man and became enraged instantly. “Doctor!” He shouted as he pointed to the man.
“No! No!” The man begged and pleaded as the patient charged at him. The large hands grabbed a hold of him around his head. Waylan quickly shoved Helene behind him as the patient began to feverishly bash the man's head against the plexiglass. The muffled sound was heard only followed by the patient’s rage-fueled shouting.
“All of you!” He shouted as blood splattered on the glass. “Doctors and liars!” He screamed letting out all the rage and raw emotion he had felt. The man’s face was now caved in around the forehead. A large dent of the shattered skull could be seen from the relentless bashing. Waylan could see it as the body fell and the blood slid down the glass. The patient gave them one look as before he walked off. Helene felt Waylan shaking as the gaze of the patient seemed to make him very afraid. He almost lost the contents of his stomach right then and there. Helene’s hands gripped the back of his jumpsuit. She was thankful she did not have to see what had transpired.
“C-come on...” Waylan said softly as he quickly ushered Helene out of the room. They moved quickly back into the hall. But that eerie wind sound reached their ears. “Fuck” Waylan panicked before he dragged Helene into the decontamination chamber. The fresh dead body greeted them as the doors shut them inside. The gas hissed around them as it covered their bodies briefly before the opposit door opened. However, the moment they exited the chamber they saw a doctor running.
“Another one’s coming!” he shouted as he ran away from them. He must have been referring to the patient that came before them. “They are one of them. Lock it down. Now!”
Helene broke from Waylan running towards them. “Wait! I’m a nurse! Nurse Helene--” her voice was cut off when she saw there was no doctor in the room. The only thing that greeted her was the blood-splattered dead bodies. She sighed heavily as her hands gripped her head feeling a headache coming. The smell of the blood was so intense. The images flashing before her eyes. She felt as if her head was splitting open from the inside. Like hands crawling out of her brain as they tried to separate the two halves. Slowly...slowly...making sure the pain was too much on purpose. The long hands with the long claw-like fingers trying to break apart her skull to reach the outside. Prying, prying...pain, pain. Her knees started to give out as the pain in her head was too much. It was driving her...to insanity.
“Don’t worry Helene,” Waylan said as he gently placed a hand on her shoulder trying to comfort her. We will get out of here. I promise” he said watching her as her hands were trembling. The shaking started to go up her arms...till her whole body was trembling.
“You...promise?” she said softly before she shoved his hand off of her. “You promise?!” Her voice echoed in the room followed by a loud clap of thunder. “How can you keep that promise, Waylan?!” Everything up to this point, all the anguish, nearly being raped, the experiment...seeing the madness around her, was all coming out in her screams. “The hospital is overrun. Everywhere we go there is an obstacle!”
“Helene!” Waylan shouted, grabbing hold of her shoulders and giving her a shake. This seemed to jerk Helene back into reality. “Calm down,” he said as another clap of thunder echoed over Mount Massive. “We will be okay. We will get out. Now breathe. Please Helene breathe.” Waylan started breathing with her slowly. Helene’s mind was still racing. So many things were in her head. So many emotions. Despair, anger..hopelessness...hatred. “We can’t lose ourselves now. We have to stay strong.”
Helene nodded slowly. He was right...she couldn’t give in. She felt as if she was slipping slowly with each passing minute. Ever since that room...with the flashing images. Waylan placed his hands gently at her shoulders. “We are in this. Together. We will get out. Together. We will go home.”