After some effort, the tumblers of the rusted lock align and you hear a satisfying click. Taking a deep breath, you grip the lockpick in one hand, turning the door handle in the other. Slowly you push the heavy metal door open with your foot, the pick pulled back and ready to plunge into Lowell. You peer through and can just make out the shadows cast by moonlight creeping through cracks in the building’s roof. Easing past the threshold you squint, scanning the room for Lowell or the others, but you can’t see anything moving in the low light. For now you’re alone, which somehow makes you even more uneasy.
With your arms outstretched you feel your way around, blindly looking for an exit. Crossing the room, you bump into a table and quickly search it with your hands, finding an ashtray, a pack of cigarettes, an empty bottle, and a lighter. You pocket the lockpick, grab the bottle as a slightly more dangerous weapon, and flick on the lighter. The light doesn’t travel far, but you can make out the dark outline of a long and narrow corridor.
You hear a faint call, almost like a whisper, and freeze to listen, cutting out the lighter’s flame. “HELP!” The girl’s cry echoes quietly through the building. “Please, is someone out there? I’m here! Somebody!”
You head into the corridor checking door after door, but they’re all locked or rusted shut. Pausing now and then to listen, the girl’s voice becomes louder and clearer the farther you go. Your breathing intensifies as you progress down the hall, anxiously flicking on the lighter in short bursts. You nearly ram yourself into the wall at the end of the corridor, ending at a T intersection. The small flame from the lighter doesn’t reach far enough in either direction to be helpful, but you notice a weathered and torn piece of paper stuck to the wall, a hand drawn map of the building.
Tracing your finger along the lines of the map, you find the cell you woke up in, the previous room and your current position. You rip it off the wall and focus, trying to determine the best route to travel in this maze like building. A sudden BANG, a bass hammer strike rings out behind you. You spin, lighter raised, the sound of rusted metal grinding and a laboring grunt bringing terror to your soul.
“Hey there, Agent. Let’s talk.” Lowell steps into the edge of the light cast by the lighter, too close for comfort. Another shape appears next to him, Kline’s slender form folding in from the shadows. Tightly gripping the bottle you stand in fear, but will not go down without a fight.
“Ring ring!” The sinister squealing voice comes from the right and you sweep around to find Charming Bear skipping on his toes in excitement. The light flickers across his face, exposing it more clearly than the others. Deep set eyes and thin, broken nose in the dim light renders him a monster.
“I think the call is for you!” He mimes handing you a phone, and you jerk back in reflex. The fear in your eyes sets the corners of his mouth into a wide grin. “911, what’s your emergency?” The sudden change of timbre in his voice is almost as startling as his appearance, the serious, professional sound taking you by surprise.
“HELP ME!” The girl calls out again, closer than ever, coming from the hall behind Charming Bear. Without hesitation you rush forward swinging the bottle and shattering it across the crazed man’s jaw, sending him spinning like a top onto the floor in a fit of dazed laughter. You race down the corridor as hard as you can, not looking back.
“Go ahead and save her, Agent. We’ll talk after.” Kline’s even keeled authoritative voice calls out while Charming Bear continues to laugh. Lowell remains silent and starts moving forward.
You pull your map out and try to follow it at a run, the girl’s cries echoing with the sound of laughter in this nightmarish place.