The Endgame ContinuesEdit
What happened next is a little blurry. By this time I'd lost a significant amount of blood (and I lost a lot more afterwards) which really does a number on the memory.
We did.. something. Might have got some hedge fruits. I remember hearing the news on the radio. London was in chaos. The Old Bailey, the concert at the Olympic Stadium, and old Bethlem Hospital, all swirling with riots and unexplained dissapearances. The three points on the triangle, where the lesser gentry stood to let Jack through.
Rake had business of his own to tend to. Maybe. We got seperated, anyhow. Azrael chose our target: Bedlam hospital, inevitably the location of the Good Doctor - the fae who made Azrael, in a manner of speaking. Take down one, and Jack is vulnerable.
We drove there in the van. The streets were quiet, people either fleeing the chaos or caught up in it elsewhere. Azrael gripping the cold-iron knife hard. Felt it tug, pushed aside by invisible forces. Almost pulled the van off the road, the force was so great. Repelled by an invisible line drawn between two of the points of the triangle. We changed our route, avoiding the line as much as we could, even as we moved towards the hospital.
A barricade blocked our way. Not much of one - just one police car turned sideways across the street, with an obvious cadet standing guard. The police never leave just one man on guard - something's definately gone very wrong. We knew that already, of course.
Azrael tried to bluster the kid into letting us by. No dice. Ballsy little tyke, if nothing else. He kept trying to call. I had a plan. Let my bag hang open, sci-fi glimmer of the plasma rifle plain to see.
"We're with Department 13, responding to a Class K exigency." Might have been the future tech hanging from my shoulder strap, or just the tone of voice - or maybe, like everyone, he always suspected the government ran a secret alien-hunting agency. His brow furrowed as he pondered this. "May I see some ID?"
"No, you may not."
".... y-yes sir!" Months of training had ingrained the unquestioning following of authority, and worked in our favour. The cadet pulled his car to the side of the road. "Keep up the good work," I called as we drove by, the cadet driving the car back to form the barricade as we went out of sight.
I hadn't been to this part of London, but the thick forest seemed out of place. Bright and verdant - thinner than the hedge, but definately kindred. We came upon a pair of police vans. One was completely overturned. Inside, stunned - or dead - riot police. They weren't using their riot gear. It became ours. CS gas. batons.. and we swapped my van for one of theirs.
The road lost itself, shattered by the unexplained growth, and I had to weave the van through the trees. Tough work, but not impossible. Eventually, the hospital loomed. Figures walking almost blindly through the trees - like zombies, but with vines growing from their heads. Four more of them standing on each corner of the roof - like sentinels, arms outstretched. Azrael shot, clubbed, stabbed the vined ones. I pulled the van directly adjacent to the door, so we'd be covered by it as we entered. We strapped our shields to our arms - Azrael with one of the riot shields, I with my own Basilisk creation.
Inside, strangely quiet. Just a normal healthcare facility, not the chaos we expected. Reception was empty, but we looked up places the Good Doctor might be found. "Surgery," Azrael pointed. Slowly moving through the building, seeking out first aid kits. Found something unusual - like a horse's harness in lifejacket orange, inner collar lined with needles, attatched to a large tank. Marked with a part number.
On a whim, I checked my phone. Still got signal, bizzarely. I googled the item - an automated transfusion of synthetic blood, crafted with increased oxygen capacity. Designed to keep the brain ticking even in the direst of situations. I hoped we wouldn't need it. I feared we would.
A figure appeared out of nowhere before us. Straitjacket, arms untied. A woman. One of the Good Doctor's poor lunatics. "I see you!" she said, then put her hands over her eyes - and vanished. We put down the visors on our riot helmets.
Just in time, as more of the figures appeared. There was a scuffle. I chopped one's arm off with the Pocket Knife Blade, but she kept coming, ignoring blood and pain. Ducked under my shield and bit right into the helmet. Teeth like scalpels, cracked it right in half, but kept the teeth from my skin. She wriggled closer as I tried to fight, bit me in the chest. The riot armour's chestplate was shredded, but held. Azrael stomped over and put her lights out.
A thud. One of the vined men had jumped from the balcony, burst, showering spores. A crowd of them up the stairs, lumbering towards us. I plugged the plasma rifle into the woman's stump, tugged the firing lever. The plasma bolt sped out - and hit another viner, jumping down. Too close. Everything was white. Then everything was black.
Later, I woke. Another man was here, a paramedic, to hear Azrael tell it. The transfusion collar was clamped to my neck, needles biting in. Just serendipity that a friendly face was here. And better news - the cold iron knife worked. The lightest scratch made the Good Doctor crumple up like burning paper. The bright verdancy of the flora was draining away even now.
The Gentry could die. We had a chance..