I’m in the room where the reception desk is, the one I when passed before.
Everything is a mess, papers everywhere and a few bullet holes on the walls nearby, and the receptionist is gone. Dead or hiding, I do not know. No time to wonder as I just keep going towards the hallway for the cell block room. I know where I’m going, the memories of my first time here guiding me as a map would.
As I go down the hall, I pass by the doors to the different offices of the doctors. Some are closed, some are open and no one is inside, some are open and what’s left of someone is inside, and one with a closed door and a large bloodstain on the glass from the other side. I even pass a few bodies as I keep going, making the few turns I need to get to where I’m going. I’ve seen so many dead people along the way that it’s become so commonplace to see them....can’t help but feel how wrong it is to say that...
I reach the start of one hall and I can already see it: the cell block room. I hurry towards it before seeing the office booth overlooking it and the electric barriers blocking it are down, just like the one on the other side. I poke my head in there just to see if the doctor or whoever it was is inside, but I’m wrong. I then run into the middle of the cell room...and still no one is around.
I look in the cells. Nothing. I check to see through the window of the booth, from where I’m standing. Nothing. Dammit. I’ve missed them. No telling where they could’ve gone. Maybe they went in the other way where the cell room goes. Or maybe they went back and went through some other hallway I passed by. No really way of knowing until I check for myself.
Before I do though, I stop and look at one of the cells. It’s the one I was left in for an hour before, earlier tonight. Being in that cell. Trying to make sense of all that’d happened. Trying to think of what to do next, given my position. Needing to change with some crazed animal trying to look in the opposite cell. The whole time thinking if I’d be able to get out of this alive or in a body bag. Only hours ago. Hard to believe what with everything that happened.
Before I know it, there’s odd smell in the air. It’s not like anything I’ve smelled before. It’s a little too horrid though, making me cough a bit and needing to cover my mouth and nose. Too much has gotten into my system as it is. I need to get out of the room and away from whatever the source is. I hurry towards the other way out of the room, the direction towards the other half of the lower levels of intensive treatment.
I run up the pathway and through the door before stop where the corridor turns right. I catch my breath of fresh air after that smell and try to relax. My goals more set now. I need to find the doctor or whoever it was now. I start to walk down, passing a few empty wheelchairs and gurneys along the way, even a few knocked over I.V. stands and discarded guard equipment like helmets.
Suddenly my head starts to feel a little light. I’m...I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m just a little tired is all...yes...just tired maybe. I need to fight the feeling. I stumble and catch my grip on one of the chairs. I’m...I’m fine. I can stand straight now. I guess...must’ve been a momentary thing...
I need to keep moving. I turn right again at the end of this corridor and find a fork. There’s another picture of Warden Sharp on the wall in the middle, looking ahead.
But...wait it’s...no...the Warden’s face...it’s looking all...all horrid and monster like....he’s smiling and he looks like he’s looking right at me with....evil eyes. I shake my head, thinking it’s not real. I look again...the pictures normal I’m not sure what that was just now. Maybe...maybe my imagination getting to me.
“Samantha....” I hear a whispering voice say. “Samantha....”
I recognize that voice. Emily? It’s...her voice is coming from the right. Did she make it here with Jason? Or on her own? I don’t know but I need to find her. I head down the right path and see signs reading “Patient Pacification Area” as I go further on.
“Samantha....Samantha, I’m here....”
I keep hearing her voice. It sounds so far away and yet it sounds like it’s in my head. I can’t stop though...can’t leave Emily behind. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I reach a door which opens and I find there’re two ways to go: forward leading up to a higher level of the room and left to some other room.
Then I hear her say again “Over hear....”
It’s coming from the left. I walk over and see it leading into some sort of small path leading to another room. I reach the end of the path and see this room, a small platform in the center, a glass covering the front of it and one for each side, the only way up to it a small path from behind with no glass cover, a few monitors set on the wall an three chairs on the platform, all connected to wires going down from them and to the walls.
The glass covering the front is all fogged up, but I can see the silhouette of one of the chairs and someone sitting in it. I walk around to reach the other end.
“Emily?” I ask, trying to see her better. “Emily is that you?”
I reach the other end and see the chair is, in fact, an electric one, hence the wires connected to it. But I can see someone sitting in it. Given the look of the hair and the clothing I can tell. It is Emily.
“Emily.” I say, walking towards her. “Thank God I found you.” I touch her shoulder. “I was so worried I...”
She falls back and I see...her whole face is brunt. Her skin...it looked black and charred...even her hands...I can see enough skin gone on a few fingers....there’s bone....her eyes...gone...burnt to nothing.....she’s...she’s....dead...
No....not her....not her too...I can’t help but start to gasp with breath. I can’t believe it....I...I thought she’d be safe...she was with Jason...how did this happen? I collapse to my knee next to the chair...my hand’s resting on her arm, still covered my her coat....I didn’t want this....who would want to see this happen to a friend? She did nothing wrong....she didn’t deserve this....there’s no one around to comfort her...or me....
Suddenly I feel a hand over mine. And her vice again speaks......
“There, there. Everything’s alright, Samantha.”
I look up....she’s looking at me....Emily’s corpse....looking at me with those empty sockets....smiling....I scream....she can’t be doing this...she’s dead....I stand and back away, she keeps looking at me...following me with her sight... It’s...it’s not possible...I need to get away...
I run out of the room....don’t look back....if I look back...might be something else....something worse. I’m back in the hallway. I’m going towards the other pathway. I need to get away. I can hear it. Emily’s voice in my head. She’s laughing....I’m heading down the other path now.
Bodies....bodies all along the way. A long corridor with another few turns. So many ...bodies ...guards... doctors... orderlies .... patients....people...normal people.... animals ....children...NO! None of it’s real! But then I feel one body grab my ankle and make me stop. I look down....
Oh god.... It’s Jason.... his throat ....it’s been cut open .....there’s blood leaking out ....but he’s looking up at me ...he’s smiling .....
“Where are you running to, sweety?” he says. “Why run away when you can be here with us?”
I give another scream before kicking his hand off of me. None of this can be real ....but why does it feel like that? Can’t let anything stop me. Must get away from it ..... all of it... another door ...another sign on the wall.... “Decontamination” ...not sure what I’ll find, but as long as it’s away from all those bodies ...all those faces.....something ...something that I know is following me .....
Another door. Another turn right. I reach a wall with a window showing the decontamination room. It’s a long room with a bunch of shower stations. I can see them all. At least three on the right, two on the left, along with an operation station as well. I can tell hat on by the medical sign hanging above the door. All the way on the other side. Another door.
I run through the door to the left of me. Into the room....safe from everything else. I’m inside now. I still find myself walking fast through it. I reach the middle and finally look back. There’s nothing there. I’m safe. Safe from all the horrors outside the room.
I feel exhausted and rest against one of the shower stations. I don’t realize until it’s too late, but my arm was against one of the valves. I accidentally turned it when I was about to stand straight. I jump before seeing the water one of the shower heads squirt out. I take a breath to relax... but then it starts to change...
It’s not water ....It’s...it’s blood... Oh god... a pool of blood is leaking down from the shower head. I back away from it. I don’t see it, but I bump into another valve on another station. I jump again and see... not blood spilling out ....it’s....it’s bugs .....worms .....roaches....spiders.... beetles.... no...it’s not real ....it’s not real!
Got to get out of here. Need to get away. I run....for the door on the other side. I pass a large fan on the side of the wall....no not a fan ....it’s a giant mouth of a monster.
It’s trying....trying to eat me! Just keep running. Running. Getting away from whatever wants to kill me.
I’m in a hallway now, but I don’t k know which way to go. I can’t tell where I’m going. Which direction next. They feel endless...it’s like a maze... and all of a sudden... I can hear voices ...so many voices talking to me. There in my head...around the corners ....I can’t escape them....
Emily’s voice... “There’s no need to run, Sam.”
Jason’s... “We’re all here for you.”
Croc... “Tick tock...”
Zsasz... “We want you with us.”
Sabantino... “Because we want to be there for you.”
Harley Quinn’s... “Why try to fight the facts, Sammy?”
Scarface... “You can’t hide from it.”
Mr. Freeze... “And we’ll never let you get away.”
“Feed the CROC!”
Joker... “We’ll always be here because...”
....my parents... “We love you, Sam.”
NO! None of it’s real! I won’t believe it’s real! I just need to get away from it. There’s a door, at the end of the hall I’m in. I can get to it. I can reach it. I start running, but the hall....it feels ...feels like it’s growing longer ...it doesn’t want me to reach the door.... but I can’t let it win.
I can hear flapping of wings behind me...giant wings. It’s Man-Bat ....he’s after me .....I can’t let him get me. I won’t let him. The door’s right there. The end of the hall ....it’s closer... but so is Man-Bat. I can feel is breath down my neck.... he’s that much closer.... oh god ....help me....
But then I do it. I get through the door. I’m in a new room. A room that’s a dead end.
It’s a small place with two security booths on both the left and right and the end of the available walking space in this room. There’s nothing but a large drop at the other end of the room. Beyond that is a a large steel door with small signs reading “Intensive Patient Transfer”. The only thing between where the floor ends and the drop begins in a guardrail with very few bars holding it up.
By the time I reach the middle of the room, I look back. There’s nothing there. Just a closed door. I can’t run anymore....I only half walk and stumble towards the railing. When I reach it I just collapse onto it.
I can’t run anymore. I feel like I ran through a maze and still haven’t found the way out. I can feel a sick sensation in my stomach. It creeps up my throat. I can’t it back. It goes out of my mouth and over the side. I can hear a splash of water when it hits.
I just fall to the floor on my ass at this point....too much ...it’s all too much. My head....my mind ...feels like something crept in and poked around with everything it could Everything to get a horrified reaction out of me. And it worked. I can’t...I’m trying to keep it together but I can’t.... I’m crying again.... I know I need to be strong ....but my strength is almost gone now. After something like that ....how can anyone? I’m not going to survive ....I can’t survive ......I know it now ....I truly know it now....it’s all coming to it... my end... my death...
I don’t hear when the doors to the room open again... but I do hear when a voice talks to me and I can see a shadow on the floor next to me...
“Aw.” He says. “Poor thing. You look as if you’ve been through hell and back.”
I look and I can see who it is. It’s someone wearing a lab coat, the one I saw before. Given the lighting of the room, I can’t see his face. It’s too dark around his face to fully see and his coat is closed.
“Please....please...” I say, getting to my feet with what little strength I have “...help me...I need help...”
“There’s nothing to worry about, my dear.” He says. “Everything will be alright. You systems are just doing their best to fight the effects off before your mind collapses. Nothing to worry about.”
“Just...help me. Please. I need...I need...”
“Shh. Just relax now. You’ll be needing another douse of the toxin if we want to experiment to continue.”
“Ex-experiment? What...what are you talking about?”
“Oh didn’t you figure by now? You’re experiencing horrible hallucinations from your mind, all thanks to my toxins I pumped into the cell block room. While you stood there, contemplating on whatever it was you were, you slowly breathed it in.”
“You...you did this to me? Wh-what kind of doctor are you?”
“Oh of course. How rude of me. Perhaps more proper instructions are necessary.” He starts to button his coat. “I’m a very special type of doctor you see. Some refer to me as Dr. Crane. Other simply Jonathan. But you may call me...” he fully removes his coat and reveals himself “...the Scarecrow!”
Now he steps closer into the light and I can fully see him. His clothing is all stitched together with brown leather or just rags, even down to the shoes on his feet. His hands both hand gloves that almost look like they have claws on each of them, given the small sharp points they have. Around his heck is a small rope, like a noose. His face is covered with a burlap sack with stitched out eye holes and a smile. I can tell there’s a gas mask underneath that because of the two nozzles sticking out of the smile. The way the eye wholes are, they look sunken into his sockets, almost as if he has no eyes at all and all it is a skull of a mask.
I back up, as little as I can because of where I’m standing, as he simply laughs while I’m gasping in fear.
“What’s the matter, my dear?” he says. “Feeling a little....frightened?”
“Get.....get away from me.” I say.
“How can I? You’re the perfect subject! I’ve been following you for some time now, Samantha. I saw as you dealt with Zasaz and Harvey Dent and the others. That’s why I came here, and killed all the survivors. I wanted to see how far your mind could go after being exposed to so many horrible things. Your will and mind is rather strong to have come this far and not full broken down. But now I think it’s time to push you to the limit!”
“No...no get back! Get away!” I yell at him.
Suddenly my vision gets blurry. Scarecrow....his face is it’s looking more and more monstrous. No. It’s happening again! The ground ....it looks like ...like dirt. I can see ....headstones .....they have... they have my parents’ names on them...
“No....not....not real...none of it real....” I try to say.
I can tell Scarecrow has stopped and is talking to himself, saying “What’s this? A delayed reaction? Interesting.” While I’m still fumbling with my hallucinations, he pulls out some tape recorder says “Patient seems to have a secondary reaction to hallucinogenic properties of the toxins. Most cases seem to show the patient suffering from different aspects of Nercophobia. Fear of her own death. Fear of friends death. Needs further investigation.”
The cemetery.... I’m in the cemetery .....but my parents graves are there. The ground below my feet moves ....hands .....dead hands reach up and grab my ankles ....now dead figures emerge ....no ...it can’t be....they look ....like my parents ..... zombie versions .....
“Mom.....dad..... NO! You’re not real! You’re dead! You’re not real!” I scream.
“Hmmm.” He says. “Patient seems to have suffered some sort of tragedy that caused the death of her parents. Seems to add to apparent fear of death, not only for herself but for her loved ones as well.”
I kick the hands away and look back, back to the dark drop. But inside the darkness....I can see faces ....faces of people I know. My parents .... Jason... Emily... so many. I need to get away from it. There’s only one way out. And that’s .....that’s through Scarecrow.
“Get....get out of my way.” I say, trying to bring whatever courage I have left.
“Trying to leave already?” he mocks before giggling. “But the experiments not over, my dear. It hasn’t even truly begun!”
He starts to laugh now. It’s both horrifying and annoying at the same time. I don’t know what it is now, but I’ve had it. I’m tired of being scared. I’m tired of hiding. And I’m tired of this damn freak trying to break me. No more, dammit. No more.
“Get the hell out of my way!” I say, a more angered tone now.
“Oh? Trying to fight your fears now? Making you angry? Am I?” he says before chuckling. “You want a fight? Then You’ll get one!”
I see him pull out a sickle he’d been hiding behind himself. He holds it in his right hand and pus the recorder in a pocket of his pants. I’m afraid. But I’m not going to cower in a corner anymore. He comes at me, sweeping his weapon towards my chest. I dodge it, finding an opening to hit him on the right side of his face.
He stumbles and holds his face before saying “You little bitch! I’ll end you!”
He tries to bring it down on my. I grab his hand before he can. He uses both his hands to try and force it down on me. I use mine to hold him back. We both struggle before Scarecrow kicks me in the stomach, forcing me back and down to the ground.
I seem him hold the sickle over his head, about to bring it down. I roll out of the way, hearing the clang of metal against the floor as he missed. I get to me feet and turn, just in time to see him swing at me again. I move away before his sickle takes my head, but he manages to leave a small scratch on my left cheek when he does. I feel it for a second. A bit of blood, but nothing horrible.
He comes at me again, this time I manage to catch it before he can cut my throat. He backs me up against the railing of the room and pushes the blade close and closer. I’m staring him straight in the eyes as I try to hold back the sickle from cutting me while he keeps pushing it closer.
“I guess this experiment’s over.” He says. “You’re a poor subject anyway. Foolish girl. You could never survive here, in Arkham.”
I suddenly find an opening, grab hold of his shoulder and use my body strength to lift him while tripping his leg of balance.
“Wanna bet!” I say before lifting him over me.
He’s lighter than I thought. I feel as he goes over my head and down the other side. Down into the drop. I hear a sharp scream as he goes over. I look towards the door and try to run for it. But then I feel a hand grab my ankle and trip me to the ground. I look back. Scarecrow still has me.
“I’ll kill you!” He says, raising his hand with the sickle in it.
I can feel it. The toxin’s starting to affect my mind again. Everything’s starting ....starting to look dizzy. I can see the sickle. No. I need to fight it. Need ....to fight the effects!
I use my free leg and kick the weapon out of his hand. He looks as it goes down and then grabs m ankle with his other hand. I can feel his tight grip on my ankle and foot. I need to get him off.
I rear my leg and kick his face. One to the face. Still holding on. Another. His one hand comes loose. Another. His grip’s starting to fail. I rear it again and for a moment I see his eyes again. For once, since the whole time I’ve seen him, he actually looks scared.
“Go. To. Hell!” I yell before giving the final kick.
He lets go. I can hear him screaming the whole way down. I hear the splash of water. It’s over... he’s ....he’s gone ....can’t... can’t stay awake ....feel ....feel dizzy again .....I can’t ....can’t.....need ....help...
My mind....feel like ....I’m in and out ....can’t tell what ....where .....hear door open ...everything starting to get dark.... someone ...someone’s with me .....three people.... can’t ....see who.....
“It’s her! Oh yes, oh yes. It’s really hear.” one says. “Is she alive? Oh please oh please. Not another one gone?” they lean down and look. “She’s alive! Oh caloo callay! Oh joyous day! they turn to the others. “Hurry now. Get her up and about. We need her ready. It’s almost time...for tea.”