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There was nothing but groggy swirls of illusionistic euphoria. The drugs they had administered to him were too powerful for anything else. His senses were obstructed, and he was alone with the cackling voices inside his head. They grew louder and louder until he could no longer bear it. He tried desperately to claw at his face, to do anything to hush the dull roar. But it was in vain, as his arms were strapped securely to his chest by the straight jacket that subdued him.

He collapsed onto the doughy floor beneath him. He had been in this miserable cell for who knows how many days now? Perhaps even weeks or months, God forbid, years. He had long since lost track of time, yet he did not care.

Those damn fools. Who the hell did they think they were? Locking him up. HIM. A man of science. A bringer of societal advances, and hero to mankind. They would regret this. All of them. If they would not have him as their savior, they would have him as their end maker.

His brow twitched for a moment as he willed away the powerful headache that always seemed to follow the voices. It was agonizing, yet he was glad for it. The pain seemed to flush his mind of the heavy psychotropic drugs that the nurses had given him in an effort to keep him from harming himself. Ha. Funny. Because it wasn't his own safety that they would need to fear for.

As the pain subdued, and his vision began to clear, he laid quietly in his cell. It was dark, and the only sound was that of his own shaky breaths. Shaking off the last of the grogginess, he tried to focus. Yes. Today would be the day.

Now that his mind was free from the iron grip of the drugs, it all came rushing back to him. It had indeed been months that he had been locked up in this damned place. He had been captured inside the home of one of his patients. He couldn't for the life of him understand why the police had busted down the door and taken him away by force.

It had to have been the work of an enemy, or a rival practitioner that would benefit from his absence. That was the only logical explanation. In all his years of service to humanity, he had only ever striven to help people. He cared a great deal for his patients and they certainly were far better off with him in their lives. So why this?

For a moment he thought back to a previous patient. A sweet little girl named Anna. She was no more than seven years old. He remembered how weak and sickly she was before he began treating her. Her lungs were weak, and she could barely walk on her own. Without treatment he assumed she probably would not have made it to eight.

Tragically, no matter how hard he willed it, he could not picture her face. Those vile bastards would pay for robbing him of his precious memories. Had he been able to finish her treatment? Was she now strong and healthy enough to play with the other little girls? It was killing him.

Just then, he heard the rusty creak of the door to his holding cell. As if snapped from a daze, his mind began rapidly buzzing over the details he had prepared over the previous months during his short periods of consciousness between medication doses.

This would indeed be his last night in cell 399.

***

Consciousness rushing back to him, he dove to the wall directly to his left. He could just barely make out the familiar circular shape of one of the buttons attached to the padded material that covered the room. He swiftly leaned forward, and gingerly wrapped his teeth around it, pulling as quickly as he could manage without snapping the feeble string attaching it to the plush white fabric.

This night had been a long time coming. Over the last month he had slaved away in secrecy to bring the fruits of his efforts to harvest. His plan was ingenious, and if his hands weren't strapped firmly to his chest, he would have given himself a pat on the back.

He froze for a moment. The creaking of the door handle stopped. He could hear muffled speech outside of his cell, followed by footsteps that gradually grew fainter. A lucky break. Another patient had likely begun to make a fuss, buying him more time before the night nurse came to check in on him.

He resumed gently pulling on the button until a carefully carved square of the plush fabric came popping out. He spat it to the floor and peered into the newly revealed crevice to reveal what would be the master key to his escape.

Weeks ago, in one of his brief moments of consciousness, he had been struck with a brilliant idea in how he could finally be free from this torturous stronghold. Thus, for the following weeks he began to prepare.

During one of his feeding periods, one of the only times he was let out of his cell, and had the majority of his restraints removed, he had managed to nab a fork. (He would have preferred a knife, but these people were not complete idiots, and only allowed blunt butter knifes in the cafeteria, which were quite honestly less useful than a fork.) He stealthily slid it down through the collar of his shirt while the security staff was preoccupied with another patient who had refused to eat and had begun harassing another patient.

He made certain to be extra well behaved on his way back to his cell, and didn't even fight as they fitted him back into his straight jacket. This worked well as because of his willingness to cooperate, they didn't feel the need to search him as thoroughly as usual. He then patiently sat in silence as he waited for the lights to go out for the night.

Once he was in total darkness, free from the prying eye of the security cams, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. Once he could see a foot or two in front of him, he got straight to work. He knew that the padding was about three inches thick, and if he were to carefully carve a portion out, it would leave a handy little compartment for storing a tool for his escape.

He had never before been so thankful for his skillful career as a surgeon than when he slowly retrieved the fork from his shirt with his teeth, and began the agonizingly slow process of carving out a neat and minimally noticeable line in the padding. He worked through the entire night, and by morning, he had only completed the first of four sides. He was just able to stash the fork within the slit of fabric before the nurse came to retrieve him for breakfast. He was agonizingly tired, but the thought of his imminent escape sustained him.

Over the following week, he had completed the carving. The following feeding period, he was able to discard the now horribly mangled fork without being noticed. Tonight would be one of rest, but soon he would be enacting the second step of his plan.

Every day, at precisely 2:00pm in the afternoon, he would have a check up with his regular doctor, who would check his vitals, and then administer his daily dosage of sedatives. He made his best effort to be pleasant and obedient around this doctor. He had done such a good job of this that eventually the doctor began calling him his star patient, and began decreasing his dosages. He even became comfortable enough to leave him alone in the exam room to fetch things or check in on other patients. This was an irreparable mistake.

Over the course of the following weeks, during the periods of full cognitive function before the doses of drugs, he would make careful mental notes of the layout of the exam room. One day, to his extreme delight, in the corner of his eye, he spotted the contents of the drawer that the doctor was grabbing a syringe from. Next to the sterile needles were a plethora of sharp, clean scalpels. Now THAT would do the trick.

The next day, as he sat waiting for the doctor to administer his daily dosage of mind numbing drugs, there was a shriek in the hallway. One of the nurses burst into the door, covered in blood, and began screaming for the doctor to assist her. Apparently the patient next-door had managed to break free from him restraints and had plunged several sharp surgical instruments into his eyes.

This was the perfect opportunity. The doctor turned to him and said, "There's been an emergency. I'll be back in a moment. I don't think it's necessary for me to tell you this, as you're always such an exemplary patient, but would you please be a good boy and wait here for me?"

He plastered on the most innocent smile he could muster up, and in a sugary sweet voice responded, "Why of course doctor!". And as soon as the doctor closed the door behind him, he promptly got up from the exam table he had been seated on, and made his way over to the drawer of scalpels.

Thanks to his weeks of excellent behavior, he was now only wearing a pair of handcuffs. That allowed plenty enough flexibility for him to quickly slide the drawer open, grab a fresh scalpel, and once again, slide it down his collar. He then drifted quietly back to the table, and took a seat as if nothing had happened.

A few minutes later, the doctor returned, also covered in blood. "The crazy bastard must have given him hell!" he silently chuckled to himself.

Once again he resumed playing the good boy, and did exactly as he was told, all the way back to his little cell. He then waited in silence until, once again, the lights went out. He then removed the carved portion of the wall with his teeth, and in the same manner with which he removed the fork, he grabbed the scalpel from the inside of his collar, very glad it still had its little cap on, and tucked it away into the cushy little chamber before tucking the carved portion back in place once more.

It would only be a matter of days now before he made his move...

***

He jumped at the sound of the holding cell door beginning to creak open. Whatever fuss the patient next-door had been making hadn't lasted long enough. He wasn't ready! Damn whoever caused the stir and gave him a false sense of security!

But he had no choice but to go on with the plan. Tonight was the night. It had to happen tonight, or it wouldn't happen at all. The normal night nurse, Gertrude, was an ox of a woman. Even if he weren't still slightly sedated, or in any restraints at all, he knew better than to try his luck against her. She would make quick work of him, snapping him in two like a twig.

However, tonight was different. For the past month, every third Friday, a sweet young woman named Emily would shadow Gertrude, training to become a fully fledged night nurse herself. It just so happened that tonight was her very first night on the job, all by herself. She was the only one on patrol on both floors three and four. That is, unless you count Ernie, the security guard- if you could even call him that. He was heavy man, to say the least, and had grown a little too accustomed to letting Gertrude take care of all the muscle work. He wouldn't be a challenge in the slightest. How fortunate for him that his good behavior had gotten him moved to a low risk ward.

Poor, sweet Emily was a lovely young thing. Slender, elegant frame. Soft skin that looked as though it could be made of porcelain. Not to mention her lovely auburn curls. Why, had fate not been so cruel, and circumstances been different, he figured he very much may have fancied her.

But fate hadn't been kind, and these were the circumstances. And though they would never be together, she would be his savior. Her delicate frame and lack of experience would pave the way to his escape. For that he would make sure she wouldn't suffer.

As quick as he could, he dove for the crevice in the wall. He clenched onto the scalpel with his teeth, and once again slid it down the front of his collar. He hurriedly shoved the square of padding back in to place, and with barely enough time, he rolled over onto his stomach, and lied still, as if the sedatives were still active, and began moaning pathetically.

Not a second later and Emily had made her way into the cell. Sympathetically, she reached down and put a comforting hand on his back.

"What's the matter dear?" she said in a sweet voice. He nearly reconsidered the whole plot right there and then. But her innocence would not be enough to save her.

"My... My arms. I can't feel them!" he wailed.

"Oh dear! What medications are you on? Let me get my chart!"

"NO!" he gasped. "No please, I beg of you, just look at them. They burn like fire, and I cannot move them!"

She frowned for a moment, but he just laid face down on the floor, howling in agony. Her heart ached for him, and after a moment's hesitation, she began to undo the straps. He lay there whimpering, not moving a muscle.

She knew better than this, but this was Doctor Harrison's star patient. If she could afford to bend the rules for anyone, it was this man, whom during her entire time working at the sanatorium, was so well behaved, he never gave anyone trouble. So gentle, that he wouldn't dream to hurt even a fly. And who knows? Perhaps the treatment really was working, and this man was nearly cured? It would just be inhumane to stand there and watch him writhe in agony!

His breathing slowed as the last of the buckles were undone. He gave a slight shiver as Emily heaved with all her might to sit him upright once more, where she began to examine his arms. She went slowly up and down, pressing into different points, asking whether it hurt more or less.

He sat quietly and well behaved until she released his arms. She scratched her head in confusion as she tried to figure out the cause of his mysterious ailment. Finally, she gave a sigh and said, "I'm just not sure what could be causing this. I'll have to go get that chart. Perhaps it's a reaction to a new medication."

Just as she turned her head to the door, he slipped his hand down the collar of the straightjacket. His arms were still in the pointy little sleeves, but he was able to get a firm grip upon the handle. He popped the lid off with his teeth, and then, faster than the poor girl could glance back at him, he had pounced.

He held her crushingly tight with his left arm and pulled her close. She struggled with all her might, but still his grip did not break. Her screams echoed in vain, as the closest help was two floors away.

He tried to hush her, whispering gently in her ear. "Hush now love, you won't feel a thing". And with one swift motion, he brought the scalpel slicing deeply from one ear to the next, severing her carotid artery, turning her panicked screams into gurgling whimpers until they faded away completely.

He held her limp body in his arms for a moment. "What a waste" he thought to himself somberly. He held her until his straightjacket was entirely saturated in her warm, sticky blood. He then sat her down ever so gently before removing his restraint. After freeing his arms, he gingerly plucked the card key from the front pocket of her scrubs. This would be most useful.

He looked down at his own blood soaked flesh and reflected for a moment. He would need to find some new clothing on his way out. Perhaps he would find some in the storage unit in the basement where his personal effects were being held.

Giving Emily's corpse a final glance, he exited the cell, closing and locking the door, so not to alarm Ernie, should he actually make it down to this floor. With great haste, he sprinted down the hallway, careful not to make too much noise.

When he reached the enormous door at the end of the corridor, he pulled out the card key and swiped it through the reader. He waited for a moment, then there was an audible click. He gently pushed, and the door popped freely open. Now he would have to be more on his guard. In this portion of the hospital, there were far more nurses on duty.

He sprinted down the hallway until he saw what he was looking for: an elevator! Praising his good luck, he pressed the button, excitedly waiting for the elevator to whisk him to freedom. However, he celebrated too soon.

Just then, he heard talking. Two voices, right around the corner. He threw himself away from the elevator, and wedged himself between a nearby vending machine and the wall. The two nurses did not see him, and kept talking as they came to a stop in front of the elevator. However, they went silent as one of them reached for the button, seeing it was already lit. They glanced up and down the hallway, but before they could say anything, the elevator let out a ding as is arrived on their floor. They simply shrugged and said "We have GOT to get the maintenance guy to look at that this old thing. I'm surprised it's still operating!" as they boarded.

He let out a sigh of relief as the elevator doors came to a close. Though now he had to find a different way down. He pried himself out of his hiding place, and peered around the corner. Fortunately, the stairs were straight ahead. He made a dash for the door before any more nurses had a chance to make their way through the busy hallway.

He soon tucked out of sight into the drafty stairway. It was dim and the lights flickered ominously. He thought for a moment that it built quite the frightening atmosphere, but then chuckled, because, he supposed, HE was the monster lurking in this dark place.

His footsteps echoed lightly as he made his way down. Two, one, and then basement, just what he needed. He pulled out his card key once more and swiped it to gain entrance to the door. It clacked open a little more stubbornly than the last door.

He cautiously pushed through, just enough to peek in. There wasn't a soul to be seen, so he merrily made his way down the corridor. He glanced at a laminated map of the floor plan that someone had stapled to the wall. The storage room in which the personal effects of patients 300 to 399 were kept was just a little further ahead.

With a quickened pace, he soon found the room. Once more he pulled out his trusty card key. He swiped it, waiting eagerly for the door to pop open. But something was wrong. There was no click, and the door stood just as stubbornly firm as before.

He began to panic. He hadn't accounted for this. He would have to find another key, kill another nurse, and spend even more of his precious, dwindling time. In a wave of frustration, he violently swiped the card once more. To his immense relief, this time, he was met by the welcome click of the lock. He quickly pushed to door open, and slipped inside.

It was a fairly large room, filled with locker after locker from floor to ceiling. He looked about, trying to find a map of the room so as to pinpoint the location of his locker. He then noticed a desk at the opposite wall. It was cluttered with some old files and what looked to be a broken old computer. But there was also something else. A thick old journal.

Despite the fleeting time, his curiosity overcame him and he moved in to pick it up. He thumbed to the middle, and found it to be notes about another patient. Number 355. He knew that guy; he was there when he was first brought in.

Intrigued, he flipped through the pages until he came across "Patient 399". He leaned in a bit closer to attempt to read the chicken scratch the author had left there. Terrible handwriting seemed to be a common trait among all doctors.

He froze upon what he read. It couldn't be true. There was no way! He tossed the journal to the side and began digging through the old folders until he found his own. As he opened it, photographs came spilling out onto the desk in front of him. His eyes widened at the horrors that laid before him.

So many bodies. Neatly lined upon gurneys, yet so thoughtlessly mutilated. Torsos ripped open with rotten entrails leaking out, bloated and sour with decay. All missing body parts. Some had clearly had their eyes torn out, with nothing but hollow, decaying sockets in their place. Others were missing important internal organs. It was a baffling sight. All the missing organs had clearly been removed with delicate care, yet the rest of their bodies were violently mutilated, as if in a fit of immense rage. There was photo after photo of these horrors.

In disgust, he threw them to the floor and then snatched what appeared to be a copy of an old police report. He then began reading it with shaking hands. As he read, his mind was flooded with memories.

The report read: "On the morning of Saturday the third of February, the suspect Dr. Evander Locklear, was apprehended from within a patient's home. The night before, detectives discovered the horrors that lied in a secret workshop that lied directly below his clinic. It is believed that he is responsible for the grotesque experiments, mutilations, and murders of an estimated 30 - 40 individuals. We believe that the "Doctor" was abducting individuals, and was keeping them hostage in his underground chamber, where he later performed his gruesome operations. It appears that he was holding them with the intent to harvest their vital organs. Over the course of two years, he treated approximately 20 patients, in which he transplanted the stolen organs into. One said case is of minor Anna - last name withheld, whom received a lung transplant. Upon further testing, it was determined that the lungs she received had previously belonged to Paul Kenneth, a recently released sex offender. Kenneth went missing from his home January 15th, three days after he was acquitted of the charges held against him. His body was discovered in the underground chamber Saturday the third. His lungs had been removed from his body. Autopsy results showed that they had been removed while he was still alive."

He stopped reading and set the report down as he began to remember.

"That's right..." he stuttered to himself, "My work... My good work..."

He had been the savior of the good and innocent, those who were refused treatment, and sentenced to death merely because they were too poor to afford proper treatment. Because of him, they could live. The tradeoff was minor, in fact, it was good work within itself.

All those filthy criminals who have done nothing but harm and defile others, those bastards who get away scot free simply because a hiccup in the court system. Why should they get to live, while sweet little Anna Lu should die, slowly drowning to death in her own bodily fluids? It's just wrong!

I became a righter of wrongs. I saved the lives of countless good people, and I gave those filthy criminals the first opportunity to do something good in their entire lives. Perhaps by sacrificing their own lives to save the innocents, God will have mercy on their souls.

But my work is not done! Oh far from it! The cities get more and more evil each day, filling with corrupt and wicked people, while the good die young. I'll need to work in double speed now! And this time I won't be stopped...

From there he slowly wound his way back through the lockers. He stopped in front of locker 399, and popped it open. From within he found the clothes that he had been arrested in. A long, dark burgandy hooded cloak, and a blood covered plague doctor's mask.

He quickly slipped them on, and without so much as a glance, he left the storage room, and went out through the emergency exit. This sent the alarm into wailing, but it was of little concern to him. He slipped out into the cold crisp air and vanished into the night. He had much work to do.

Doctor locklear


Credited to xMadame-Macabrex