A/N: So, you might be demanding an explanation. Well, this chapter was getting way too long, so I broke it into three. Thankfully for all you lucky ducks, I'm posting all three chapters at once. Now, who's ready to find out why the hell BB is in a wedding dress? I know I sure am~
Chapter 22.2 Outrun, Outlive, Outlast
Waylon Park would have never believed what happened in Mount Massive if he hadn't seen it himself. If he hadn't been part of it himself.
That was why he decided to write the email, to get a reporter there. If he could have it exposed, then it would stop.
He quickly sent the email as he heard a voice calling in the door, then slammed the laptop shut up and stood, heading outside. He walked as if he definitely had not been blowing any sort of whistles on the company.
Luckily, he wasn't busted. They just needed him to fix a system error, nothing to big. It was hard to ignore the patient they were bringing in, considering he kept yelling, but he had to do his job, after all. Just a bit more and then-
"Help me!" The patient's fists pounded against the wall. "Don't let them do this! Don't let them! You! I know you can stop this! You have to help me! You have to-" They grabbed him and pulled him back, and he took a minute for his heart to calm down.
He wasn't aware it would be the last time he got a chance to rest before all hell broke loose.
"Somebody's been telling stories outside of class." Oh, shit. He turned to try to run but somehow security was already there. They shoved him into a corner and he crawled back to the wall.
"Mr. Waylon Park," Blair continued, standing up and carrying the laptop over. "Consulting contract 8208. Software engineer with a level 3 security clearance. Graduated cum laude from Berkley, but still somehow not smart enough to realize that the last thing a fly ought to do in a spider's web is to dumb enough to think that a borrowed laptop, onion router, and firewall patch would be enough to fool the world's leading supplier of biometric security." The man looked up at him, and a smug grin stretched over his face.
"Stupid, Mr. Park. More than stupid, in fact, that was crazy." He could feel the blood draining from his face. He knew where this was going. "I'm afraid that we're going to have you commited. Mr. Park, will you willingly submit to forced confinement? Did you hear that, agent?"
"He said yes." Waylon couldn't blame him for agreeing. He could blame him for the note of sadistic satisfaction in his voice, though."
"I didn't-" One of the guards stepped on his leg and his speech cut off into a cry of pain.
"Did I just hear Mr. Waylon Park volunteer for the Morphogenic Engine program? That was brave, indeed, Waylon. The Murkoff Corporation and the onward march of science both appreciate your bravery and sacrifice. Maybe you could administer Mr. Park here a light anesthetic?"
The security officer that had stepped on his leg punched him, and everything spun. Another punch and everything went black.
He woke up the the Engine.
Immediately, he tried to turn away, but a device kept his head in check. He was dimly aware of people talking around him, but the images from the screen burned themselves into his eyes, into his mind. He tried to close his eyes, but he could still see it in his head.
And then the cuffs on his arms and the device on his head unclipped and he pulled himself out of the chair, stumbling forward. It was dark in the room, almost too dark to see, and in a desperate bid he grabbed the camera they'd been using to film him.
It had a night-vision mode, much to his relief, and he used it get himself out of the room. The Variant in the room to the right was. . . dripping off of the wall. Oh God.
The room to the left had been closed, and it was opening as he glanced at it. He'd been part of the project, he knew what the engine did to people, and he began to stumble back. He didn't want to die, and the odds were the Variant was going to be hostile.
The figure walked out of the cell and he started to turn to bolt when the Variant said, in a very rational sounding and oddly feminine voice, "What the flying fuck is going on?"
To say BB was furious would be an understatement. She was royally pissed, and she'd spent the entire time she was awake trying to get out of the chair they'd strapped her in.
Unfortunately, the only progress she'd made was minimal. Her wrists were scraped raw, and she was exhausted, but she wasn't going to give up. She was going to get out of there, find Faye, and then fuck up whoever put them in there.
Then there was a sudden loud siren, and then the shackles popped open. She'd been about to try, yet again, to break free and the sudden lack of pressure ended with her on the floor. She gave an annoyed huff, then stood up, taking a second to stretch her legs before she looked around, avoiding the screen as she did. It was small, and there was a glass door behind her, but the part that stood out to her most was the camera.
They'd been filming her? Oh, no, she was not putting up with that. The girl grabbed the camera, then turned and walked out of the room. Time to get out of there. Step one.
She walked out and her gaze was immediately drawn to the rather frightened looking man trying to back away from her.
"What the flying fuck is going on?" He seemed confused, but at least he didn't turn and run.
"I-" A strange sound filled the air and the man suddenly went pale and glanced around, then quickly waved her to follow him into a room. The only reason she followed was the sound of screaming from down the hall.
"You still need to explain what the hell's going here." She stated, once the door was closed. She didn't even look at the blood and guts on the floor, she just folded her arms and stared at him. The man shifted a bit nervously under her gaze, then started to speak.
"It's called the Walrider."
"The Walrider?" Waylon had sat in the one corner of the room that wasn't covered in blood, and he was chewing on one of his nails. At the question, he nodded.
"The Walrider. It's. . . the whole point of this place." He glanced up at her. "I didn't know about it until after I started working here. The basics of it are just. . . keep away from that cloud thing. It's dangerous, and there's nothing you can do to stop it."
BB had been standing while he spoke, and at the last comment, she raised an eyebrow. "Nothing? There's gotta be someway to stop it, or slow it down. And what makes it dangerous? Does it have any motive for what it does?" The only response he gave was a shrug.
"They put in airtight decontamination chambers that it shouldn't be able to get through. It's dangerous because it's made of nanoparticles. We've ran tests and they can get into the skin with no trouble. And. . . Well, did you see what happened to the guy in the other cell?"
"He exploded. So nanoparticles in the skin is a bad thing. But what about a motive?" Again, the man shrugged.
"As far as I know, it doesn't have any reason. We've seen evidence that shows it's host can control it, but other then Hope suddenly wanting everyone here to die, that can't be it. I guess he might want some people to die, but I'm not sure what the Variant in the other cell could have done to him, so. . ."
She took a deep breath and nodded. "Alright. So we keep away from Wally. Easy enough.'
". . . Wally?"
"You said it was called the Walrider. I'm calling it Wally." He didn't question the logic, merely nodded and leaned against the wall.
"It's probably not going to be as easy as you think to just avoid it. Plus, that's not a good long term plan. There's a lot of stuff in here that's dangerous."
"I've met scarier. Anyway, that's not the long term plan. The long term plan is obviously to get out of here. We just have to find my friend, Faye, and then we'll figure out a way to get out. I don't think Wally can get too far from his host, right?" The man considered that, for a moment.
"As far as we know it doesn't have a range, but considering it is dependant on the host, odds are that no, it won't go far." BB nodded.
"Alright. So once we get out of here and get away, we should be fine. Unless this Hope guy tries to track down everyone who was here."
"No," Waylon stated, "that won't happen. Billy Hope is on life support. We're. . . the only thing keeping him alive right now. If he even tries to get out of his bubble, odds are he's going to die before he makes it out of the room, let alone out of the asylum."
"Good. That's the plan then. We get out of here, get out of range, and we're safe. And since you work here, you can lead the way." He shook his head, quickly.
"Oh no, I'm not going anywhere, not until those Variants all kill each other or leave. They're dangerous."
The girl crouched down in front of him. "So am I. And I say that we get out of here. I'll protect you from the big nasty Variants, and all you have to do is lead the way. Got it?"
What other choice did he have? The man sighed and nodded, then stood up.
"Fine. Let's go. I think for now we just. . . follow the path in front of us. There's only one way out from this area." He walked over to the door and, after verifying that there was no Walrider about to murder them, stepped out. "My name is, uh, Waylon, by the way. Waylon Park. And you're. . . Well, this place has only ever had two female patients, and you already said your friend was Faye, so you must be-"
"BB," she responded, along with a look that told him if he used the name that had been on the tip of his tongue, he wouldn't have to worry about the other Variants for very long. He made the very wise decision to bite his tongue and nod.
"Well. . . Alright, BB. It's this way."
Everything was clear for about three minutes, and then they walked straight into a room with a large group of people that could only be Variants.
"Our peeping Toms," the one next to the table stated, glancing down at the dead body of the doctor in front of him. "Come to join our therapy session. Here - Take the blade." He twisted the knife, holding it out hilt first. "Dig around in our friend here, get a little red on your hands. It's always healthy to express yourself. You keep it bottled up too long and you might do something you regret."
Waylon started to shake his head, and he backed into a Variant guarding the door they came into, only to yelp slightly and move back to standing behind BB.
BB, on the other hand, was staring at the knife, at the shiny metal and the blood coating it. The Variant didn't say anything else; he could probably see the look in her eyes, and knew that it was only a matter of time.
She stepped forward and took the knife by the hilt, then slammed it into the body on the table with as much force as she could, burying her hand up to her wrist in innards.
And it felt good.
BB didn't stop at one stab. She pulled the knife free and brought it down again and again, the squelching sound sending pleasant shivers down her back.
She finally let go of the knife after she lost count of how many stabs she'd done and the Variant chuckled at her, then raised his head to Waylon.
"What about your friend there?" The girl glanced back at him, idly wiping her hand off on her shirt to get rid of the blood. There was a very clear look of not wanting to do it on his face, and her head was starting to feel clear.
Clear enough for a lie.
"He's allergic to metal. Can't hold a knife. Maybe if you let us through we can find a piece of glass. . ." The man nodded and waved at the person blocking the door they needed to go out of, and BB grinned. Perfect.
The moment the door slammed behind them, Waylon turned to stare at her.
"You stabbed the guy." Perhaps if she'd detected accusation in his tone, she'd have told him to go fuck off and found her own way through. It just sounded scared, though.
"Look, he was already dead. He barely bled when I stabbed him, and if he was still alive, he'd have moved. Plus, you saw them. Odds were if we didn't join stab therapy, we'd have been part of stab therapy, and not in any way that we could have escaped from. Did you want that?"
"No buts. If you want to get out of here alive, you're going to need to listen to me, and if it comes down to stabbing a dead guy, then I'm going to stab a dead guy. Is honoring the dead really worth becoming one of them?"
Waylon had to admit, it wasn't.
The new found agreement was a step in the right direction. It would help them deal with potentially hostile patients that wanted them to do something like join stab therapy, at least.
It did nothing, however, to help them deal with patients who were hostile just because.
Running managed handle that enough, though. BB had realized pretty quickly that her razor was gone, a fact that did nothing to help the desire to beat the hell out of whoever put her there. If she'd still had it, it would be so much easier for her to handle the other Variants.
For now, though, they had to run.
It was lucky that the other Variants seemed to have bulked up. It made it harder for them to get into spaces, such as the vent that BB and Waylon were currently crawling through. Of course, she'd expected the man to have knowledge of the place, but knowing where the vents lead to? It sounded like he'd been planning on getting out of here anyway he could before things went to shit.
At the sound of voices she halted, glancing down to see two employees that, somehow, hadn't been killed yet. The voices carried well, causing Waylon to stop as well.
"-bad idea. We get out of here through reception and let Murkoff Tactical clean up." The first voice was more stern and in control. It sounded like he had an idea of what to do.
"If they get here in time. We need help now. If we get them on the radio, the national guard could be here-" The second voice was a bit quieter and sounded more scared then the first. The mention of the radio brought a slightly excited noise from behind her, and she made a small shush in the man's direction.
"We don't even know if the radio works." Which meant neither did they. Shit. That had been a way to at least try and get some people in there, which would have at the very least distracted the variants.
"It's short wave. If the prison's got electricity, they've got signal, and the lights are on." Okay, it did work. Still, she wasn't sure how long the electricity would be on, all things considered. If this was going to be viable, they'd have to work fast.
"Murkoff has it under control." It was almost amusing to her that he could say that with a straight face. Denial could hit hard.
"Yeah, I noticed. We need to get that radio." Not if they got it first. Besides, they were both dressed as patients. That bought them immunity from at least some of the Variants, and right now the Variants were winning.
"Outside help doesn't come without outside attention. Do you really want to be held accountable for every legally shaky thing you did on a Murkoff company payroll? I know I don't." BB glanced over behind her shoulder, be the vent was slightly to dark to see Waylon's face. Better to just turn back to two below.
"It's too late to worry about that! This has to stop." This one. . . was probably going to end up dead, if he kept going at that rate.
"You're scared. You're not thinking straight. Let me make something perfectly clear. You try to radio outside for help, and I'll give you a whole new something to be afraid of." It was a good thing they were listening in the vents, then. This guy had no idea they were there, so there was nothing he could do to them.
"Are you threatening me?"
"Yes." And with that, they fell silent.
"Where's the radio?" Once they got out of the vents and into a quiet and lit area, BB turned to the man who knew the place. "We could make use of it."
"It's in a tower in the prison," he said, glancing at the slightly darkened corridor that let out of the room, nervously. "It's possible to get there from here, I think, but it'll take a while."
"Right now, that's the best bet we've got. With any luck, if we play our cards right, we can get some help in here." She grinned. "Lead the way."
The sound of screams startled Waylon, and the sound of a buzz saw following it made him start to suggest they turn around and find another way out of there.
BB, however, had been keeping her eye out. So far there hadn't been any other routes, which meant they were on the only one available.
"Look, we'll be fine. We can avoid the whoever has the buzzsaw. It sounds like they're a bit ahead, so let's just keep our ears out. And if we do run into him, then. . . Well, buzzsaws are heavy. We can outrun him."
She glanced toward the doorway, the only one that they could get through, then back at him. "I'll go first."
It was the smell of cooking that made BB realize she hadn't eaten anything in at least a day. It smelled familiar, and her stomach gave her a sudden painful reminder that it really needed food.
The sight of bodies dangling from the roof of the freezer didn't phase her much. Waylon, on the other hand. . .
It sounded like he was getting close to hyperventilating. He'd never wanted this to happen.
The only reason he'd accepted the job was because he needed the money, badly. Murkoff paid well, and with one child getting ready to go to school, and another on the way, it was the best option.
Did the fact that he tried to stop it make what he did any better? Was he the same as all the rest of them? After all, he'd still worked for Murkoff, still programmed the devices that allowed the Engine to work.
Now wasn't the time for musings, though. BB had managed to get a bit of head of him, and while the Variant scared him, she hadn't tried to kill him yet, after all, and since they both wanted the same thing, a way out, it didn't seem like she would. There was only one way to go, and that was out of the freezer, so he walked around and-
BB had a confused look on her face as he screeched. She lifted her sleeve and wiped the blood off her mouth, setting the cooked arm back in the pot.
"What? I was hungry."
It took almost ten minutes for Waylon to calm down. If by 'calm down' one meant 'would let BB get within ten feet of him without screaming again.'
"You said nothing about eating people! I never agreed to have anything to do with cannibalism!" The girl sighed and shook her head.
"You don't have to. I was hungry, it was already cooked. Either way, I'm not going to hurt you. Stop freaking out, before you get buzzsaw guy down here." That was the comment that made him stop screaming. "Plus, if you've forgotten, I need you to get out of here. Eating you won't help with that, at all."
". . . Can you at least wipe the blood off your mouth. Please."
"Huh. Thought I got that." She reached up and wiped her face on her sleeve. This didn't help, considering her sleeve was also soaked in blood.
Waylon wasn't about to tell her that, though. He just smiled nervously and gave a thumbs up. Everything was fine. Everything was totally fine.
Waylon's face, as he watched a man's brain explode in a microwave, could only be described as horrified. His traveling companion, on the other hand, just looked. . . interested.
"A bit messy," was all she said before she turned and began making her way to the door. Waylon glanced at the mess one more time before he followed along after. At least she wasn't going to try to eat him. That was good. And maybe it'd be better for one of the actual patients to take an interest in him. At least then he'd have a somewhat better chance at survival.
"So," BB began, once they were out of range of the bonesaw guy, who Waylon had muttered was named "Frank."
"What was that thing, anyway?"
"I think the term is canniba-"
"Not the guy eating people." She sent a scatching look at him. "I know that term. I meant the cloud. The swirling cloud of death. What exactly is it?"
". . . The Walrider. It's, project Walrider anyway, but that thing. That's gotta be the Walrider."
"Wally. We've been over that, but what is it?"
". . . Nanoparticles. It's a cloud of nanoparticles. That's how it digs into people and- Can we we please not talk about this here?"
"Alright, looks like we have to find a key." She paused in front of a body, handcuffed to a door to keep it locked. "It'll probably be around here. . . Come on, up here."
BB climbed onto a desk and over the door, landing easily on the other side.
"Come on, it's not that hard." Waylon stared through the glass, and after awkwardly tucking the camera under his belt, climbed over after this, wondering exactly how long it would take for shit to hit the fan.
Less than five minutes.
In that time, he'd managed to get separated from BB, catch the attention of Frank, and get chased down a long hallway until he was cowering under a bed.
He supposed it could always be worse. There could be a cannibal with a bonesaw hacking down the door.
He watched with green tinted vision as the man moved around, checking under beds that weren't his, and finally giving up. It wasn't until the footsteps faded and he counted to fifteen that he rolled out from under the beg and got moving.
The next room had a ledge, somewhere he could climb over, and anything to put distance between him and the man with the saw seemed like a good idea. A patient was there, but he only muttered about itches, and how silky Waylon must be, and. . .
It was a good thing he found the key quickly.
The man chased him, and he almost swore he could feel the heat of the saw against his foot, but he hopped back over the door and practically collapsed on the other side when he realized the other man wasn't going to chase him, at least not over the door.
Great. Now all he had to do was figure out where the patient went.
BB had wound up on a short cut back to the kitchen, and considering neither Waylon nor Franky were there, there was no reason she couldn't stop for a bite. She was hungry, and there was no point in trying to run around on an empty stomach when food was right there in front of her.
Besides, she had another reason for going back. Her razor was gone (much to her fury), and she wasn't going to just wander around a place like this without some sort of weapon.
The problem was that variants were strong, from what she'd seen. She'd have liked to take the stab therapy knife, but they'd needed it, and she didn't want to end up on the other side of said therapy.
Boards wouldn't work. They'd just break. Knives would probably all be taken if any had even been there in the first place. What could she use?
She opened shelves and her eyes lit up. Oh, that would work. That would work nicely.
He knew the layout of the place, something he'd felt like it was a good idea to memorize. Granted, he never thought he'd need to use it quite like this, but he was glad he did.
There was a way to the main buildings around the furnace. All he had to do was get there. That, of course, meant being near them. The heat radiating from them was uncomfortable in his patient outfit.
Of course, being near them was a lot better than being shoved into them by a cannibal. He panicked as the flames lapped at him. He had to get out of there, quickly, or he'd be cooked. He twisted around, a slight drift of cool air brushing him.
He crawled forward, wincing at the burns on his hand. A small shove revealed the bricks were somewhat weak, and he wasted no time in smashing against it. The bricks finally crumpled under him.
"No! You were mine! Mine!" At least he was safe for the moment. He picked himself up and glanced around and then glanced up. The way.
Parkour had never been a strong suit of his, but he could at least do his best to climb up there. Thankfully there wasn't any jumps that were too far from him to jump. He slipped through a vent and down to land on a pile of boxes.
He smiled at the brief respite, and then the sounds of a saw rose up and he had to run, again.
At this point he was growing to consider the decontamination chambers a necessary evil. Oh, sure, they kept the Walrider away whenever it's interest was drawn to him, but this one was busted, and it was the only way out.
What was standing between him and the shut off valve?
Frank. Of course he was.
Honestly, he was almost thankful his shoes were gone. It allowed him to move around quietly, and he managed to hop the gate that led to the shut off valve. He turned and headed out to the main room. Now all he had to do was get back, and he could go through the-
A hand grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. The man looked at him with angry, hungry eyes and brought the saw forward. He could feel the heat from the blade.
A sound made him pause, though, and he cocked his head. Waylon should have tried to escape, but the noise caught his attention too. It sounded like singing, singing that was quickly getting louder..
"Ding dong I know you can hear me
Open up the door, I only wanna play a little
Ding dong you can't keep me waiting
It's already too late for you to try and run away,"
And then what seemed like a cast iron skillet connected with the side of the other man's skull and he dropped. Waylon glanced up at his savior.
BB smiled at him, an expression that was almost as terrifying as Frank had been.
"Pretty sure he's dead. Where to next?"
The frying pan was heavy, but it was useful enough for the time being. Besides, the weight didn't bother her as much as it might have before, and the feel of bone shattering under it had satisfied a deep craving within her that she'd only been mildly aware of before.
Waylon was looking at her like she'd swing at him next at any moment, and while his lack of faith was moderately irritating, there wasn't much she could do about it.
The man was leading the way, since he knew where things were.
And then they got to the end of the stairs, and the whole area was shrouded in fog. BB could just faintly make out the man in front of her as they walked.
"Uh, stay close," he stated, glancing over his shoulder. "It's really foggy, so it's hard to see-"
"I have a camera too, you know. I'm just trying to conserve battery." Right, she'd gotten hers as well. "Besides, if we get lost, just follow the singing. You'll find me."
"I'm a bit worried about what else I'd find."
"Nothing worse than anything anyone else has done." He seemed to accept that response, at least.
". . . Why do you sing, though? I mean, it's working, but how'd you get the idea to sing at them?"
"Oh, that? Well, see. . . there's this other Variant here. I saw him in the hallways, kind of - he was in the shadows. He was just standing there a second and then he started singing - some song about wanting a girl? - and this other Variant, he just took off like a shot. Of course, then the first one ran off after him but it gave me the idea. If that guy could scare them by singing, maybe I could, too. I mean, they don't expect a female voice, right? Who knows what they'd think it is? It's worked so far. They've been scared off since I started."
It made more sense then he wanted to admit, but he decided to accept it.
"Alright then. Well, let's get going. The sooner we get there, the sooner we get out."
"He looks nervous."
"I would like to kill him."
Waylon backed away from the twins, while BB steadied her frying pan.
"This one has a pet too," and she narrowed her eyes. Had that man just said what she thought he said?
"No. . . not this one. Look at her eyes."
"She's one of us."
It was at this point that Waylon hesitantly grabbed the girl's sleeve, and her attention snapped to him, mismatched eyes drilling into his.
"Let's go," she muttered, brushing past him and into the next room. "I'd prefer to find some people who actually know how to wear clothes." He didn't glance back before following after. Well, she was going the right way, so might as well let her lead.
"I think," she added as she walked through the chain path, "they've seen my friend. And I swear, if they've hurt her. Ts. Calling me a pet. Can you believe that-"
She had opened the gate, knocking a head down that had been flying. Waylon winced, but at the calls of disappointment and spoilsport, she figured it out and, much to the man behind her's alarm, scooped up the head and tossed it back to them. One of the men caught it and she started for the door out.
"Sorry we can't stay and play, but I gotta run. Maybe later." They didn't bother the two, instead going back to making baskets.
"Heh," BB chuckled quietly as they walked, "Headsketball. They seem like they know how to have a good time. Anyway, where's that radio?"
He was in for a long day.
"There's a lot of people around, I can hear them," Waylon muttered, glancing around. I'm kind of worried about-"
"I've got this," she stated, and took a deep breath.
"Ding Dong I know you can hear me
Open up the door
I only want to play a little
Ding Dong You can't keep me waiting
It's already too late
For you to try and run away
I see you through the window
Our eyes are locked together
I can sense your horror
Though I'd like to see it closer."
Throughout the song, there were shrieks, and the hallway in front of them cleared. BB shifted to turn to him. "There. Now nobody's around. The radio is just up ahead, yeah?"
He nodded and led the way, sighing with relief as he picked up the receiver. BB watched while he set it up, stretching out from where she'd been leaning over thanks to the weight of the pan.
The pan had been resting by her side. That was the only reason Blair managed to get a hold of the radio. He smashed, and turned to Waylon. She was on him before he could managed to do anything, digging her nails into his arm and shoving him away. She grabbed the pan again, but before she could take a swing, the sound of chains approached.
Blair glanced at the door as he scrambled up, then glanced back for just enough time to yell, "Do me a favor and die!" Before he was gone.
A door slammed off it's hinges and a body flew in, followed by a figure that reminded BB of Jason, but bigger and angrier. She glanced at Waylon, then rolled her eyes.
"Go. I'll be right behind you." She glanced at the chained man and then grabbed a piece of debris and threw it at him.
Oh, it was more than enough to get his attention on her, and she could see Waylon making a hasty retreat. Out of the corner of her eye. That was fine. Her grip tightened on the pan as the hulking figure darted at her, and she hoisted it and smashed against his head.
He didn't collapse, but he did stagger back, and with that, she turned and ran. All she'd needed to do was get him to back off a bit, and then she was running forward. The pan was heavy, though, and he could move quickly. She paused at the corridor, eyed him, and threw the pan.
It hit him straight in the chest and he actually staggered back. Whatever happened next, she didn't see. She was back to running.
"Another poor soul. Don't be afraid, you're doing His work, whether you know it or not." BB glared at the priest as they walked by and jumped down the hole.
"I don't trust him," she muttered. Waylon glanced at her as he changed the dying battery of his camera.
"You don't seem the type to judge if someone's writing in blood on the walls."
"It's not that," she said. "I just don't like people telling me stuff like that. Anyway, what now?"
"Now. . . I think we can leave through the administrative block."
"Alright, lead the way."
"Well, we're not going anywhere until we take care of that." The fence buzzed and hummed with electricity, and she had no doubt that it would be painful to touch. "How do we take care of this?"
"I think that there's a breaker around here. If we shut it down, we should be able to go through." She nodded and glanced around. Unfortunately between Chris and having to take a trip out a window, her pan was gone. Eventually she'd find another weapon, but she hoped that would come sooner than later.
"It's back here," Waylon said, gesturing to a building. "Down stairs, and to the left." Huh. For once it wasn't something that needed a lot of side tracking.
Something was probably going to go wrong. Shit, she wished she had her frying pan.
They got down to the room and Waylon checked the panel and pulled the lever down.
"Alright, that should do it. Let's go." BB paused, then picked up a wire and tied it in place. She tugged on it, to make sure it was was tight, then nodded.
"Now that'll do it. Alright, come on."
"Why'd you tie it down?" He asked, as they walked back to the fence. The door swung open easily without the electricity passing through, and slammed shut behind them. A few seconds after the tower started to glow again and electricity sparked backed to life.
"That's why. I wanted to get through it before they turned it back on." He jumped away from the fence.
"How'd you know they'd turn it back on?"
"It was too close. Too easy. Sometimes you just know when things are going to go wrong."
"Why are we going up five flights of stairs?" BB asked as they finally got to the top. "I imagined the administrative block would be on the bottom floor."
"There's no other way there from here. It'd be locked up." He walked along the balcony, soon reaching a ledge with a board sticking out of it.
". . . So we jump?" She sighed and stepped forward, testing the ledge. "Great. Alright, stand back." He complied easily enough, getting out of her way to let her get a running leap. The girl landed and stepped back, shooting a thumbs up towards him.
Waylon nodded and tucked the camera into his uniform, then copied her.
Instead of landing on the ledge, though, he grabbed the edge. The wood creaked under him as he tried to pull himself up, and when BB when to grab his arm, it collapsed.
BB's fall was a bit broken by the fact that she grabbed for the roof on the way down and, from there, managed to drop to her feet. Waylon, on the other hand, had landed on his stomach.
"Are you okay?"
"I'll live," he muttered as he pushed himself to his feet and tried to catch his breath. "I. . . I'm not sure where we are, give me a minute." She shrugged and walked to the small gap, listening. Hm.
"Don't need any sisters. . . Maybe some girls that ain't blood."
"Quiet, you ain't old enough to be worrying about stuff like that."
"Grow some hair on your pecker Timmy, then we can talk about girls."
"Everybody just quite the fuck down for a sec."
"It sounds like there's about four people out there." She smirked and glanced back at him. "Let's see what they think of my singing."
She slipped out through the crack and he followed behind, until they got close enough that the voices were picking up. She laughed and began to sing.
"Ding Dong I know you can hear me
Open up the door
I only want to play a little
Ding Dong You can't keep me waiting
It's already too late
For you to try and run away
I see you through the window
Our eyes are locked together
I can sense your horror
Though I'd like to see it closer."
The reaction wasn't what was intended. The voices halted, and then began again.
"Did you hear-"
"Yes, yes, that singing!"
"She's here, that's got be her."
"I-it is her."
"The Bride is actually here."
She stepped back, scowling.
"The Bride?" Waylon whispered.
"Who's. . ." She frowned. "Faye's not around here, and they. . . They responded to me singing. Which means. . ."
"You're The Bride."
"The Bride for whom, though?"
He shrugged, and began to navigate through the room. "I don't know. I'm not sure, not without a name. Maybe they'll say one? Listen."
"A gift, a gift for the Groom."
"His Bride come all the way here, just for him."
"Down the aisle, and he'll be satiated, he won't want us, not with a real woman."
"We'll escort her, we'll bring her to him."
"Gluskin'll keep this one."
Waylon froze. Gluskin?
"Shit, I know who they're talking about. He, uh. . . he likes mutilating people. He was pretty bad, even before they put him in the engine, I can only imagine what he'll be like now." She nodded.
"Alright, so let's avoid these guys. They're not going to run, so it looks like we've got to be sneakier than usual. What fun." Waylon just shook his head slightly. They were getting closer, and he wasn't going to be the one to get them caught.
For a while it was calm enough. They heard the voices arguing, talking about Gluskin and they could catch the basics of what he'd been doing. Something involving that patients, knives, looking for a bride. . .
It didn't sound pleasant to Waylon.
BB stopped suddenly, picking up a folder. It had been hard to focus on them, but they were safe enough inside the walls to break for a moment.
". . . I think this is one guy. Dennis?" The name was familiar.
"Dissociative Dennis, I know a bit about him. Four personalities, and. . . I think you're right. If this is him, it'll be much easier to handle, right?"
It was small, but he could feel it. A small spark of hope. It looked like the place hadn't killed it just yet.
Dennis stopped stalking them as soon as they got to the stairs. And what did they hear when they got there?
"Here comes The Bride."
"Here comes your Bride, Mr. Gluskin."
BB glanced down the stairs, chewing on her lip as she considered. "I'm not sure I want to meet this guy. But let me guess, this is the only way out, isn't it?"
"Probably," Waylon admitted. "But maybe this guy isn't as bad as we think. After all, you managed to distract the big one, right?"
"Distract. And it looks like Dennis is more afraid of this one then of me, which is bad. Well. . . We don't have any choice."
The trip down was dark, lit by the cameras both of them had in their hands. BB fiddled with hers, shifting it around.
"How many batteries do we have left?"
"I have. . . two, I think."
"I've got three." There weren't any pockets, but the arm sleeves were suitable enough with nowhere else to store them. "Five total, and whatever's in the cameras. We need to keep an eye out, and- . . . Do you hear music?"
"Yeah, it sounds like it's coming from up ahead. What is that, fifties?"
"I'm not sure." She turned the night vision off. "There's a little bit of light, let's try and conserve batteries. It's enough to see by for now."
"Right." The man was glancing down at his camera as they rounded the corner, so he didn't see what made BB freeze until after he bumped into her. And when he looked, he almost wished for bleach. His gag reflex kicked in and he had to turn away, before he puked.
"Come on," BB tugged on his sleeve. "Let's go." She led the way, half guiding half dragging him until the stench of that mockery of a birth was gone and he could breath again.
"I see a door up ahead, let's-" She'd reached to grab for it and almost screamed, jumping back as a face appeared, right up against the glass.
"Darling!" The voice sounded genuinely happy and almost relieved, but this must be Gluskin. He disappeared from the door, going around, and he spoke in what might have been a charming voice if not for the situation.
"Did I frighten you? I'm awfully sorry, I didn't mean too. We've met before, haven't we?" BB tuned him out other than to have a general idea of where he was and motioned for Walyon to stay close by. The man nodded and she began to work her way around the room, moving slowly, oh so slowly.
Slow moving didn't matter much, however, when the ground was littered with sewing supplies. She bumped a spindle with her foot and suddenly he was on the way there.
"Darling, there you are-" But she was running, trying to get away before he caught up to them. Waylon was right behind her.
They didn't stop until the calls of "Darling," had faded out and only then did they move to a walk. Neither spoke, though, as the sound of singing replaced the speech.
"When I was a young boy,
My mother often said to me,
Get married son and see
Just how happy you will be."
BB glanced at her traveling companion, then shook her head and gestured for him to keep following. The rooms were cramped, but there was really only one way forward. And they managed to get to a blocked off door.
Waylon braced his shoulder to push it and BB tucked, but they didn't get far before the scraping brought the attention of The Groom back towards them. With a last tug they could reach the handle, and they were both through, down the hall away from Gluskin.
The elevator shaft seemed safe enough, and with Eddie fast approaching, they didn't have much choice other than to go for. BB jumped from the edge and grabbed onto the ladder, skillfully lowering herself down. Waylon. . .
He really had a penchant for breaking things. The ladder fell sending them plummeting down. BB was lucky, she was close enough that the fall didn't really hurt her. Waylon got a shard of shrapnel through his leg and he screamed.
"Oh god, oh god, are you okay?" Eddie looked down from above as Waylon grabbed the piece of wood and pulled. "Tell me you're okay, I can't bear to think of you suffering without me. Why would you do something like that to yourself?"
BB crawled over to examine the wound, already using one of the shards of glass lying around to tear into the sleeve of her prison outfit and make a bandage.
"You'd rather die than be with me?" The voice took on a chill. "Then die."
It wasn't actually too hard to get off the elevator. BB just had to give Waylon a bit of a shove to make sure he got down in time, and she was right behind him. The voice echoed back from the elevator.
"What? Ha! Then we continue."
Waylon gave a low moan of protest, and BB sighed and slung his arm over her shoulders.
"Come on, we can find somewhere to hide and rest, but you have to keep moving. Let's-" Eddie's voice was suddenly there, a slight laugh in it as he called out to them, mentioned there was something special that even the lunatics could see.
"Ah, shit- Lockers, come on, here in there." Waylon managed to fit in the standing one, while she ducked into one on the ground. She didn't have much in the way of vision there, but most of the variants didn't seem to check stuff like this. He'd move on, and they'd be fine.
That was what both BB and Waylon thought, and neither realized they were wrong until the locks clicked into place.
He dragged the lockers, one at a time. Each contained a potential bride, and all he had to do was try to fix them and hope it worked. One of them would take to the treatment, he just had to figure out which one it would be.
Soon, soon he'd have a darling wife with him. He could have a perfect family.
He gave the two newest potentials a dose of gas, just to keep them calm. He didn't want either to hurt herself, not so close to the ceremony. It wasn't enough, really, there was only one dose, but it would have to do. It was all he had left.
Countless tries, countless women who couldn't handle a bit of pain. Body after body moved into the cemetery until there were only those two left. One of them had to be it, or else. . .
No, one of them was it. One of them was his perfect bride, once he fixed them to where a bride should be.
The locker he opened held a lovely lady in clothes that didn't befit her. He'd fix that, he'd dress her in the finest of gowns. He'd already made a wedding dress, a few alterations and it would hug her in all the right ways where this baggy jumpsuit didn't.
First, though, he would need to fix her. Cut away the bits she didn't need. He reached down and hefted her up, over his shoulder. A bridal carry was more practical after the wedding, and besides, it would be better if her arms were around him, and-
He paused as he turned, shifting slightly. His bride shifted with him, and where her chest was pressed against his shoulder he felt. . . Could it be?
Gingerly he set her on the table, and he stared, didn't dare touch, not if she was already perfect. Yes, with her laying down, he could see it, the way her chest bulged and her pants didn't. Lovingly, he ran a gloved hand against her cheek. She was already perfect.
This was one was it. He'd get that loud girl, the one who spoke to herself and make her dress his Bride, his lovely Bride. After all, he couldn't, not until after the wedding, and then she'd be his.
All he had to do was get her ready. He leaned down, brushing his lips against her forehead, and then went off to find the loud one, his. . . secretary, yes. A bride's maid. She'd get this all taken care of.
They didn't want to do this, none of them. Timmy's hands shook every time he tried to undo the back of the girl's jumpsuit, shook so hard he couldn't actually do it. Father and grandfather, they knew Gluskin wouldn't approve of them handling his. . . very young looking bride.
Dennis, as usual, was made to handle the work they didn't want. He tried to avoid touching her as much as possible, peeling the suit off like skin and keeping his eyes more on the clothes then the body. The top came off and he couldn't help but glance down.
If the girl had been wearing something more fitted, there would have been no doubt if she was a girl or not. Underneath the one size fits all patient outfit was a figure that, if she wasn't already claimed by Gluskin, he would have suddenly been very happy to be dressing.
She even seemed to be in. . . mostly good shape for someone around here. Her skin was still mostly smooth and clean, except for the large bruise covering her abdomen, almost like someone had taken a bat to to it.
A hand, someone's went to prod the bruise and at that moment, every single reflective surface lit up red and a voice hissed from all of them.
"Touch her anymore then you have to and I will find a way to rip your skin from your bones. Dress her."
For the second time that day, a new record, they all agreed the slipping the white dress made of pieces of straight jacket onto the girl as fast as possible was the best solution. The Bride and Groom were bad enough, he didn't want a third party actively trying to kill him.
BB woke up slowly, the drugged haze taking it's time to leave. She didn't feel too hurt, but that could be the drug. She had to get up, had to get moving.
The girl pushed herself up, lifting a sleeve to wipe her eyes and freezing at the feeling. That wasn't the same sleeve as before. Glancing down, she felt a surge of panic as she realized she was wearing a dress.
What the fuck?
She grabbed a fistful of skirt and yanked it up, mildly relieved by the sight of pants. She recognized those blood stains, they were the same ones she'd been in. Good. She was in one piece, now all she had to do was get moving.
She stood up, and headed to the door, giving it a tug. Locked. And there weren't any others. Maybe there was a key-
With a click, the lock opened to reveal the Groom. She took a step back to glance around the room for a weapon, anything to-
"Hello Darling, it's lovely to see you're awake." He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and let her back to the bed she'd been on. "But really, you should still be resting. After all, I want to to be at your best for the ceremony today.." Ceremony? A white dress, that nickname. . .
Shit, he was going to try to marry her. She had to get out of this, but it was hard to just say "Hey, fuck off," because she remembered what happened when they'd run, how easily he'd turned on them, and she was still groggy.
First. . . She did sit down, because she was tired and might as well let the last bits of sleep wear off. Next, information. But. . . How could she get information?
Playing along, maybe that would work.
"I'm not sure we should. . . have the ceremony today." He looked hurt, and she knew, just knew that he was a second from flying into a rage. "I just want it to be perfect, don't you? I need to get all my bridesmaids together, we need to plan it, right?"
The man paused and stared for a moment, and she bit the inside of her lip. Would he go for it?
And then, after a few moments, he smiled. "Of course! I've waited so long to find my perfect bride, we do have to make it perfect. And maybe. . ." He reached forward and ran the fabric over his hands. "A better dress, prettier, of a softer material. I can only imagine how rough this must be on your gentle skin."
Wow, okay. It was working, though. What next? Waylon, right, he was important. He knew the way out.
"Speaking of bridesmaids, I had one with me," she stated. He'd seemed to think Waylon was a girl earlier, maybe he still did. "Where'd she go?"
"Oh," he stated, "I know where she is. I didn't get to her, not that I need to know that I have you. She's one of yours, then?"
Yes." BB smiled slightly back at him, fitting herself into the part. "But I have more, and some of them aren't here. We'd need to leave to find them, and to do that. . . Could you help us? My bridesmaid, she hurt her ankle."
"Oh, the poor thing." He seemed to forget how Waylon had gotten hurt, thankfully. "Don't worry, none of the whores around here would dare to lay a hand on you. Let's go collect your bridesmaids, shall we darling? And of course, I'll need to make them dresses too. . . What colors, do you think?"
"Red," she stated as she stood and shook her head slightly. Alright, time to get serious again. "Let's go then, shall we darling?" The word felt strange on her tongue, and it was hard to keep the inflection from sound sarcastic. "I don't want those. . . whores to find my bridesmaids."
He nodded earnestly and moved to catch her hand, lacing his fingers through hers as he led her through the gore stained hallways. There was one other thing she thought might be good to have, and maybe it was pushing her luck. . .
"Darling, about the knife," she began. He turned slightly to peer at her. "You wouldn't happen to have an extra one, would you? Even if I'm sure you'd protect me, it would make me feel better."
Waylon had woken up in the locker. His head hurt, but at least his leg must have stopped bleeding. That, however, didn't change the fact that he was locked up.
It was hard to kick, considering one leg was damaged, but he did give the door a few punches. Nothing came out of it but a split knuckle, so he instead peered through the gap in the front. There was a torture table, stained red with blood, and bodies piled next to it.
The man gagged slightly and closed his eyes. Oh, this was not good. He'd almost started to hope that he'd get out of this alive, but this? No, there was no escape there.
Voices startled him out of his thoughts and he opened his eyes, glancing around.
"Just up ahead darling, that's where I left the locker. Forgive me for not letting her out, I was just ecstatic to have you here, and I had to go find someone to get you all dressed and out of those rags." Gluskin! Fuck, he was coming back. Maybe if he ducked down-
"It's alright," a much more familiar voice stated. It was the patient, BB. What was she doing talking to him? "But would it be okay if I spoke to hi- her, before we let her out, darling? I mean, I wouldn't want her to be confused." Where they still talking about him?
"Yes, of course. There it is." The two came into view and his eyes widened. BB was in what looked like a wedding dress, and standing hand in hand with Gluskin. She carefully removed her hand and walked over, leaning against the bars to speak with him.
"Hello, Waylon. We're going to let you out now, but I just wanted to remind you of what was going on." Well, this was it. She'd officially lost it. He was on his own.
His thoughts must have shown on his face, because she gave him an utterly done look, a mix between frustrated and tired that he'd seen a few times.
No, she wasn't crazy. She was. . . playing the part. After the thought hit him, it was almost too obvious. And now he had to play along too, or else Gluskin would-
He didn't want to think about it.
"You're one of my bridesmaids, remember? We're here looking for my other bridesmaid, Faye. I've told you about her." Got it. He smiled and nodded.
"Of course, I remember." Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to feed the man's delusion, but it was better than dying. "Could you please let me out now? It's hard to breath in here." She nodded, stepped aside, and Eddie unlocked the door with nimble fingers, opening it with ease.
Waylon limped out, and with that, Eddie grabbed BB's hand again.
"I know how to get out from here, darling, we can start from there. I'm sure your other bridesmaid will be around there."
"What's a pretty little mouse doing in the rat cage, hm?" The voice echoed to him, and Eddie opened his mouth, perhaps to suggest he go first, but then the sound of curses, angry and desperate and in an all too familiar voice.
BB drew the knife Eddie had granted her, and opened her mouth. Oh, some asshole wanted to hurt her friend? Let's see if this one heard stories about her yet.
"Ding dong where is it you've gone now?
Do you think you've won?
Our game of hide and seek has just begun!"
And she stepped out in her dress stained from laying in blood, and the fear on his face sent a rush though her mind.
"The. . . The Bride? But if she's here-"
"Eddie! Darling. There's some nasty creature laying hands on one of my bridesmaids. I think you should remove them." And then Eddie was around the corner, his own knife out and the variant almost threw Faye as he turned to run.