The hospital floor was quiet and calm, and outside all was chaos. At least for the time being. Jack and Fi stayed low, creeping toward the exit doors. The demon had found them, as Fi had seen, and the pair needed to escape.
They made it footsteps away from the exit when Fi flinched. Clearly weakened, Jack helped her regain her balance and urged her onward. She took a deep inhalation of breath and doubled over. A look of worry washed over her face.
"There's too much death here, Jack! I can't take it!" Fiona shouted, drawing unwanted attention. She held tightly to her skull and struggled to propel her body forward.
"What do you mean?" Jack pleaded.
The older nurse behind the desk jumped to her feet. "Excuse me! You two, back in your room!"
"Don't make me do this!" Fi shouted again.
"Fiona!" Jack looped an arm around her waist. "You aren't making any sense. Take it easy."
The nurse was on their heels. She was waving the male nurse over to them, as Jack and Fi hurried toward the exit.
"Sir, step back, please. We need to return your sister to her room," the male nurse called out. "How many times do we need to tell you?"
Jack was too concerned for Fi to take direction from some nurse. He continued toward the double doors.
"The locks are still engaged," Fi groaned.
"Open this door!" Jack demanded to the male nurse, now in an arm's reach of the pair. "It's an emergency. Open the door!"
"Jack, look out!" Fi suddenly warned.
Jack darted his eyes around the room, anticipating a threat. Nothing.
"No… no… no…" Fi rambled.
"Tell me what you see," he begged her. "Fiona, please."
"Sir!" the nurse repeated. "Get the patient back to her-"
"Death! So much death!" Fi cried. She lowered herself to the floor and placed a palm to the tile, as if checking for a pulse. Jack followed her down.
"Talk to me, Fi. You're scaring me."
"So much… death," she shuddered, her voice wavering. "Here."
The nurse grabbed Fi's arm forcefully. Jack was quick to peel it away, but before he could get a decent grip, the nurse was flung over the desk, sending a computer monitor crashing to the ground.
Jack got to his feet in an instant. He surveyed the lobby for the force that knocked the nurse away. He fixed his focus on Fiona, who hadn't moved from her place on the floor.
"Here," she repeated, this time through gritted teeth. She arched her back forward, causing her long hair to conceal her face.
Jack moved away from his sister, frightened. He had sensed she was different from the moment she had woken up. His mind raced. She was acting strange, almost like… she wasn't human-
He couldn't even think it. But subconsciously, he was making a choice: whatever had become of his sister, she would either need to be helped, or hunted.
While Jack stood back, conflicted, the male nurse had seemingly recovered. He was fast to get back to the pair, triggering Jack's protective instincts. He stood tall between the nurse and Fi, ready to fight. As the man approached, he noted a strange darkness in his eyes. And the other nurses, they had started to gather as well, stretching and contracting their hands hanging at their sides.
Something wasn't right. Jack couldn't place it, but his gut told him to run.
"C'mon, Fiona," he urged, turning and cupping her shoulder. The moment his hand made contact, Fi whipped her head in his direction. Through her hair, he caught in her eyes an animalistic glare he had never seen from any human, let alone Fi.
"Get back!" she growled.
Jack back-peddled away in shock. The nurses got closer. Jack could finally see that their eyes were not just dark, but pitch black. Demons. All of them.
Jack went straight for the exit, ramming the double doors. They didn't even shake under his weight. He and Fi were trapped.
In the same moment, Fiona stood slowly, her hair still masking most of her face. Her hands shook as she raised them up, then outward. Her fingers stretched, and stretched, until they appeared as if they would break. The nurses kept coming. Fi lifted her head, revealing a twisted grin.
Suddenly, a force radiated from her palms, ricocheting the possessed nurses in every direction. The older nurse's body went straight through the glass leading to the hallway.
Jack watched on wide-eyed, clutching his necklace and chest as if reminding himself to breathe. Fiona had terrified him with her new "talent". He needed time to process what was happening. He needed answers.
Hesitant to lay a hand on Fi again, he yelled out to her, "Fi! The window! Let's go!"
"Not yet," she smirked, making Jack more uneasy than before.
In a moment of bravery, he confronted her, demanding, "What are you?"
"Move aside, Jack."
"You aren't my sister. What are you!?"
With an open palm she gently moved Jack aside. He felt the rubber of his boots drag across the tile.
"What the hell are you!?" he roared.
Ignoring his outburst, Fi balled her fists. She eyed the demons, now crawling around the room. She threw her head back and screamed. Jack watched on in horror. All around them, the nurses collapsed. Black smoke emanated from their mouths. In the surrounding rooms, patients and guests did the same.
And then there was silence. Fiona got very calm. She lowered her arms and hugged herself. She apprehensively turned to Jack.
She was met by the barrel of his handgun.
Jack bent back the hammer and returned his aim to her forehead.
"It's me!" Fi shrieked.
Jack didn't flinch.
"You're not my sister."
"Jack," she softly pleaded, "It's me. I swear."
"Don't move," he commanded.
His hand tremored. In a swift movement, he retrieved the vial of holy water from his jacket pocket and popped the cap. He extended it to Fi, keeping the gun raised.
Fi took the vial and drank. Jack eyed her intently.
He analyzed her, frowning.
"I don't understand it either, Jack. But you need to trust me. We need to leave, now. The demon is here. He knows where we are, who we are…"
"Okay. Right," Jack folded, lowering his gun. He had vowed to protect Fiona no matter what, though the current circumstance wasn't close to the "what" he had anticipated.
"Do we have time to help these people?" he questioned, surveying the bodies.
"We're too late," Fi replied grimly. "They're all-"
Fi was cut off by a nearby scream. Her heart pounded.
"The window, c'mon!" Jack shouted.
He helped Fi over the broken glass, and the two hurriedly found and descended the staircase.
"Jack, the body in the parking lot, the woman," Fi huffed between steps.
"Not now. Hurry up."
"Wait," she paused, grabbing him by the arm.
Jack attempted to pull her along, impatient. She wouldn't budge.
"The demon - it killed her because she was helping us."
"Let's go," he insisted. "We're almost at the bottom. Walk and talk."
"The woman with the dark hair. The one who gave me this," Fi continued, exhibiting a small charm.
"Kayla?" Jack halted as though the wind had been knocked out of him.
"It was to weaken you, Jack. You can't let it, okay? We need to stay focused."
"How do you know… Are you sure-" he started to say, but somehow he knew it was true. His chest sank. Feelings of guilt and defeat knotted his stomach. He fought them off and took the remainder of the staircase in a few great strides.
Fi eyed the emergency exit from the landing at the bottom of the stairs.
"This is going to sound an alarm," she informed Jack, as if she hadn't just delivered such devastating news a moment before. "We'll have about ten seconds to make it around the side of the building and down the closest alleyway." Jack simply nodded in response.
"If we need to get desperate," she continued with both hands on the exit handle, "look out for-"
Before she could finish her thought, she locked eyes with a figure, staring straight at her from the small glass window that looked out onto the parking garage; a tall man with light hair and a toothy grin, made more chilling only by his piercing yellow eyes.
Fi froze. The man with the yellow eyes gave her a friendly nod, a gesture that Fiona could only interpret to mean, "Soon."
Just then, Jack flung the emergency exit door open and pushed her through it.
Their legs pumped through the street. Red and blue lights bounced off of every surrounding building. The pair took the first dim corner, ducking out of sight.
Jack motioned toward an adjacent street, and they ran faster. The sound of sirens came screaming from the distance, nearing closer by the second. Jack pulled Fi around another corner, where he was met abruptly by a bump to the chest. A male figure fell to the ground, clutching his arm in pain.
"Clu?" Jack breathed, quickly helping the man to his feet.
"I came here as soon as I heard-" he started to explain. Before he could gain his balance however, Jack pulled him along with Fiona, continuing their sprint.
"Get us to your car!" he demanded.
"This way," Clu responded, sensing his friend's urgency. "Couldn't get close," he panted. "Hospital. Lockdown."
"We know," Jack and Fi said in unison.
The three reached Clu's sedan and piled in.
"Drive," Jack demanded, pounding on the dash.
"Working on it," Clu stuttered, fumbling to get the key into the ignition. "Got it!"
"Go!" Fi yelled from the back seat.
Clu peeled out of his parking space and drove as fast and he could manage in the opposite direction of the hospital.
"Where to?" he asked in a panic.
"Home," Fi quickly responded. "We're going home."