- It’s been three weeks since the cell killed Matthew Borgia and managed to safeguard Annie Singleton. Convinced that the larger storm is over, each cell member has now settled back into their normal routine. Few supernaturals have popped up on the radar and the group hasn’t really met together in that near month’s time.
- Flynn comes home to the gym, to find the place quiet and barren. On the kitchen counter, he discovers an envelope sealed with wax. The letter within reads: Flynn, I have your mentor. Come to St. Christopher’s Hospital conference room at 10:00pm. If you do not, his blood and flesh are forfeit. Do not fuck with me on this.
- Elijah is at home when someone knocks on his door. He grabs his gun and opens it, finding only a small envelope on his doorstep. Opening the letter he reads: Elijah, I know about the Red Lady. I know what she holds over you. I know how to free you from her. And from your curse. Meet me at St. Christopher’s Hospital conference room, 10 00pm. Bring no one. Tell no one. Or I won’t be there to help you. He’s familiar with the condemned hospital. And more than a little curious how this person knows about the Red Lady.
- Sebastian stops by his manse after checking in on A Cut Above. Grimes brings him a letter that showed up that morning. Sebastian breaks the wax seal on it and reads: Sebastian, i know what you are. And what you do. i’ve known for years. All this time I’ve seen you when you thought you weren’t being seen. Hee hee. You’re so nasty. These pictures should prove to you i’m not lying. i could tell the world. I could anytime I want. But i won’t. My silence, though, has a price. Bring $50,000 to St. Christopher’s Hospital conference room, ten p.m.. Bring no one. Tell no one. Or your secret, and all the dirty little things you’ve done, will be out. Sebastian’s paranoia is now fully triggered.
- Mr. Allison, back from a recent mercenary job, returns to his anonymous apartment and discovers someone has placed a letter on his doorstep as well. Mr. Allison, I pray this is a secure means of contacting you. I’ve been following your exploits for some time. And believe that I can help. If you have ever wanted to be free of the monster in your skin, come find me. St. Christopher’s Hospital conference room, 10:00pm. Tell no one, lest they discover the beast within you.
- Shachar is in Nederland, handling an emergency paramedic call and delivering a patient to the ER. As she’s chatting with her co-worker, a Nederland cop she recognizes tells her he just got a radio call about her house. That there’s something wrong. Shachar, panicked, bolts off to her truck and races home. As she approaches her neighborhood, she notices a thin plume of smoke and as she gets closer to home, sees her entire house up in flames.
- She quickly skids in front of the fire trucks and darts towards the house, screaming for her dogs and her memories. It takes two firemen to keep her from the blaze. Fighting until she exhausts herself, she pulls back crying, aghast at it all. A fireman approaches her and after talking with her about the fire, assures her that they will try to find her dogs and her fireproof safe. Over the fireman’s shoulder, she sees Sewer Billy hiding in the woods, beckoning her to meet him away from everyone else. She steps away just long enough to talk to him. Sewer Billy’s face is a jigsaw puzzle of bruises and cuts. He tells her that some men came to her house and beat the shit out of him. And then told him to deliver a letter to her. The letter reads: You have interfered in my affairs. And have consorted with the wrong people. Bad choices, little devil-child. Bad, bad, bad. But that’s okay. I believe in second chances. Come to St. Christopher’s Hospital conference room at 10:00pm and beg for my apology. Or I will destroy everything you own, one piece at a time. Come alone, and do not be late.
- Distraught, Shachar contacts Elijah. Before she even has a chance to speak, he asks her if she got a letter from a sadistic stranger. She replies in the affirmative and Elijah asks her to come pick him up, that they’ll meet this sonuvabitch early. She tells him she will just as soon as she’s sure her dogs and her fireproof safe have survived the inferno.
* Elijah then calls Flynn and asks him the same question of Shachar. “A letter too” Flynn tells him. Elijah tells him to gather up as many of their group as he can and to meet at the hospital. Mr. Allison, Ruth, Conrad and Fae are unable to be found.
- Eventually the group meets outside the abandoned St. Christopher hospital in North Boulder. There they discover Mr. Allison, already ahead of them. Knowing full well this is a trap, they manage to break into the front lobby and find the place littered with dust, trash and abandoned and broken furniture. Among the debris and garbage they find another letter, this one addressed to Ruth. Worried she might have arrived earlier and been captured or killed, they begin to explore the hospital.
- They come upon the hospital chapel, a small room that, while inaccessible due to debris, is in remarkably good condition compared to the rest of the hospital.
- Sebastian, at the back of the troop, turns around to see if anyone is following them. The moment he turns back around, the group is gone and he is alone in the hall.
- Flynn takes point and begins scoping out the hospital’s various halls. As he turns a corner, with the group right behind him, he immediately notices their conversations silenced. Going back around the corner to find them, he finds they’ve completely disappeared. And the farther back he goes to the original starting point, the more he realizes he’s alone in the hospital.
- The group notices, when it turns the same corner Flynn did, that Flynn has disappeared. No sight or sound of him. The panic rising, they go back towards the main lobby, in an attempt to scope out a different path. Occasionally they hear whispers or disembodied speech.
- Sebastian, alone in the hall, comes upon a large mirror. And immediately notices he’s lost his hair. Freaking out, he begins to frantically search for a way out. But there are mirrors no matter where he goes.
- Flynn, also, begins to visited by horrors. For a moment he thinks he hears the voice of his abusive father. But when he raises his fists to attack, he finds that his arms end in nubs. That his hands are gone. Fear begins to overwhelm him.
- Mr. Allison, fed up with this nonsense, takes a stretch of rope out of his backpack and sees to it that everyone left in the group (himself, Shachar and Elijah) tie it around their waist. Now secured to each other, the three of them manage to make it past the chapel and down the hall where Sebastian and Flynn disappeared. With Elijah at the front, they continue on to the flight of stairs at the end of the floor and continue up to the next floor. Elijah opens the door to the second floor and passes through the threshold. Suddenly the door slams between Elijah & the group. In an instant, Shachar and Mr Allison are tied to rope that melds into the wall of what seems to be the 1st floor, with no sight of Elijah. Shachar, sick of all of this, cuts herself loose and tries to escape the hospital, with Mr. Allison right behind her.
- Elijah, now left alone on the 2nd floor, sees red petals strewn about his path and crimson sheets flapping along doorways. He can smell brimstone in his nostrils and in his heart he knows that the Red Lady, the familiar source of his worst impulses, is nearby. He seeks her out, determined to know if she’s responsible for this madness. In a room that is more boudoir than hospital room, he sees her, urging him forward. He fights the urge to surrender to her and loses.
- Shachar manages to get outside the hospital and is sorely tempted to just leave. But Mr. Allison insists they go back, that they can’t just leave their team members inside. Shachar begins to boil with rage, remembering what the author of the letters has done to her home, to her life. She begins to manifest fire around her, red eyes blazing and horns curling from her forehead. Invigorated with anger, she storms back inside with Mr Allison behind her, determined to bring the whole fucking place down if she has to.
- Flynn, meanwhile, notices that the sounds of his father’s cruel voice thin the closer he stands to the hospital chapel. Determined to get inside but having no hands, he begins kicking and headbutting the wall, trying to break an opening.
- Sebastian, oddly enough, hears this and comes running to the chapel. Finding Flynn busting his way into it, Sebastian offers assistance. Immediately on gaining entrance to it, Flynn finds his hands have returned and that his father’s voice is completely silenced. Inside, the place is pretty austere. A small stone fount stands behind only a good eight pews. But the water is free of any dirt, dust or material. Sebastian notices that the disembodied whispers have also stopped within the chapel.
- Elijah, lured in by the Red Lady’s flirtations, begins to fight it even more ferociously. Until he pushes himself off of her and discovers that he’s on the first floor of the hospital, hearing Flynn beating a wall. He gathers himself up and apprehensively makes his way there, discovering Flynn’s entrance and Sebastian there with him. He attempts to enter but finds himself nauseous and repulsed. The voices and visions are certainly gone. But he has no interest in joining them within the chapel itself.
- Shachar and Mr Allison too now approach the gathered group. Flynn wonders if the holy water in the fount has a counteracting effect upon ‘whatever this place does to people’ and begins dousing his head with the water, then filling up two gold goblets with it. Sebastian fills his water canister with it. Mr Allison does as well. The Lucifuge prefer to stay outside in the hall.
- Armed now with what they hope is a viable weapon against the architect of this madness, the group trudges up the stairs together, with little to no interference, until they do make it to the 2nd floor. There, at the far end of that floor, Elijah manages to see two blurry figures through broken hall windows.
- They surge into the conference room and find a woman who looks almost exactly like Ruth, holding a knife to Ruth’s throat. Barely blinking an eye, the woman cuts Ruth from ear to ear and proclaims herself the rightful vengeance of Matthew Borgia and all the other vampires the cell has killed. She tells the cell that she is Ruth’s sister, Rachel, and that she’s the reason Ruth became a hematologist in the first place. She then dramatically mocks her sister’s bleeding out. Flynn wastes no time and attacks Rachel, pummeling her with his stone-tough fists while she laughs. She swipes Flynn away like a toy and is immediately shot at by Elijah. Stumbling back, she takes only moments to heal the wounds.
- Sebastian jumps on top of a table and sprays her with holy water. She immediately reacts, repulsed by it and Flynn takes the opportunity to grab Rachel by one arm. He yells out “Stake this motherfucker!” and Mr Allison grabs Rachel’s other arm. Hissing and disoriented, Rachel attempts to fight back. But Shachar, handed a piece of long sharp wood, knows exactly where to strike and pierces Rachel’s heart with the haphazard stake, putting her immediately into torpor. Their adversary is completely comatose.
- “Guys!” Sebastian yells out and they all turn from Rachel to see flies pouring into the room in a massive swarm, spilling out of vents and windows and covering Ruth’s lifeless body from head to toe. Slowly Ruth’s body begins to stand. “We are legion” it proclaims. “Beg and your death will be brief” it shouts before throwing Sebastian across the room.
- Elijah attempts to fire upon the fly-swarmed corpse, his bullets merely being spat out by the writhing, wriggling mass. Flynn uses one of the goblets of holy water, splattering the creature with what may as well have been battery acid. Shachar goes on the offensive, stabbing it every time the holy water scatters the flies and bares Ruth’s form. It staggers back, profoundly shocked that they’ve discovered this power. Sebastian, a bit bloody and busted up, opens his water container and douses Ruth’s entire body with its contents. The demon screams and Mr. Allison takes his chance to remove Ruth’s head from her shoulders.
- With a wet rip, it is done and the flies scatter from their swarm. They have defeated a demon and its vampire agent. They are battered, exhausted and mentally worn down. But they have won.
- The ceiling above them begins to rattle and fly upwards into the sky. They look above and see a large swirling storm, the ceiling and parts of the walls shooting up into its eye. They rush to get out, Flynn taking Rachel’s staked body “for later” and Mr. Allison taking Ruth’s head in his holy water-soaked shirt.
- They quickly dash down the halls and into the main stairwell as pieces of the hospital begin to snap apart and ascend into the sky’s swirling mass. With seconds to spare, they emerge from the hospital lobby and back out into the outside to see most of the building disappear into the air, with only the chapel left behind.
Blameless In Your Ways
The Hospital from Hell