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Chapter Four: Trapped
MacInnes was trying to find his way around the current floor. It had been at least nine hours since the breakdown. He hadn't seen Hiddleston, Wilson, or any of the squad. He had moved up several floors previously, and made his way to the sixth floor of the hospital. He had snuck around the infected patients, conserving his ammunition. The hospital emergency lights were on, but other than that, the power was deactivated. No lights, no water, and the only way to turn them off was down below. On the ninth floor, Fireteam One had made their breach through the skylight. He could only assume they were all gone. What really blew his mind was why they never sent anyone else in. When the place locked down, contact couldn't be made. Surely they would've found a way in by now. He knew there was more at play.
He entered a hall with a desk and lobby. He was looking for the next set of stairs. In his mind, he cursed the architect in charge of designing the facility. Two-floor stairs located separately between each intersecting floor. It was infuriating and frustrating. He feared the worst for his squad. On the chance that they were even alive, they'd be well hidden on the lower floors. There was no way, as he discovered, to simply wander the halls. At least, not without interfering infected. Lots of interfering infected, he thought to himself. Instead, he went cutting through each room. He only had to deal with the infected that were too weak to get out of the rooms. They would attempt to cough out cries for help, for their more "active" infected comrades, but he simply slit their throats. He began to grow accustomed to the sound his knife made. A sllliiiick sound when he sliced their necks open. They didn't bleed, which either meant that their blood had grown thick and coagulated enough, or that their hearts had ceased to function. He didn't quite care, because slitting their throats seemed to work. Perhaps it didn't kill them, but it prevented them from speaking. He turned the corner of the lobby towards the next stairwell, shotgun pressed firmly against his shoulder. On his previous run-in with the infected, he was lowered down to fifteen shells, one final pistol clip, and a magazine and a half for his SIG. He couldn't afford to waste ammo, but the fire axe he carried seemed to dispatch them quickly if he swung at their skulls. He stepped down the hallway, shotgun raised, relieved that he made it another floor.
A cop appeared from the corner, less than ten feet away from him. He was stumbling, his head slumped over on his shoulder, gun in his hand. When the cop passed the corner, MacInnes saw a syringe in the back of his neck, half-full of the green liquid previous infectees had tried to 'administer' in the form of syringes. The cop raised his arm, gun slipped between his loose fingers, towards MacInnes. MacInnes, in a move of instinct and reflex, simply pulled the trigger of the gun before the cop could fire. When the cop's head collapsed and fell apart, it occurred to MacInnes that the sound would attract anyone in the vicinity. He was right. The running footsteps came from the hall, along with the screams and laughs. He picked up the USP. 45 from the cop's hand and was about to open the stairwell door, when he realized it was locked.
He pulled the Axe from the strap on his backpack and attempted to bust through the window. The footsteps grew louder, along with the growls. He tried to reach through the door window, just inches away, pressing his arm down hard enough into the broken glass window that it punctured his arm. Blood began to seep from his arm and down the door. He was only inches away from the locked knob, reaching farther... "I hunger..." a voice called from behind him. He didn't look back, stretching his fingers towards the locked knob. He was not able to reach it. He attempted to pull back, swinging the glass on the door back and forth in his arm. His sleeve was caught on the door. He pulled his sidearm out, turned his head, and aimed down the hall at the group of infected stumbling towards him. He began firing rounds, aiming for the head, bullet after bullet. He watched as each infected charged towards him, a bullet passing through their skulls. His eyes rode the bullet to the point of impact. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. The infected began to pile up on the ground. He did not miss. The infected just kept coming. For every one that dropped, another was charging closer and closer again. The shattered head of an infected patient dropped, slid, and hit his foot. The next infected was but a foot away, and MacInnes fired his next bullet at point-blank range. He fired the next shot, greeted with a click from his gun.
Burnside sat inside another baricaded room, this time on the bottom floor. He and the doctor had checked both entrances. They were locked. They attempted to check the sewers, which had collapsed. Burnside recalled the breach entrance in the parking lot, and that was when they were ambushed, yet again. Burnside and the Doctor had barricaded themselves inside the security room on the bottom floor. They could be watching the whole building, if the power was on. They could figure out where MacInnes, Hiddleston, Rico, and Richards were, if the power was on. Instead, he listened, with his one ear, to the infected outside, struggling to open the door.
Burnside had lost an ear and two fingers on his right hand to the blind psycho. In addition to losing half his right hand, his MP5's grip had been sliced and so was his clip. Not that it mattered. No bullets spilled out and that was what saved him, realizing his gun was empty. Instead, he jumped off the railing and ran down the stairs, with the doctor following him. The blind psycho chased after them, the infected following more slowly behind. They ran towards the staff entrance, which had been locked down. Upon turning around, the blind psycho had been right behind them, slicing into Burnside's helmet, slicing a clean piece, and the officer's ear, right off. They ran past it, trying to run to the main entrance. This was a bad move on their part, attracting several infected on the way. They didn't bother to try lifting the wreckage away, they simply ran, with at least three dozen infected following them, seemingly able to outrun them. They took the first door they saw and slammed it behind them. While burnside held it against the piling infected, the doctor moved tables and cabinets against the door. They didn't take the time to notice the dead officer in the room with them until they actually looked around the room.
They were stuck inside a small security room with a security guard inside, several syringes stabbed into his back. It didn't occur to Burnside to terminate the fallen officer, before he could awake. As far as the SWAT commando was concerned, the man was dead. The doctor knew, though. The doctor didn't bother to mention it, though. He knew what happened to people, live or dead, once they got the serum. Once they had the serum, getting any infected blood into the bloodstream of a non-infectee would have the same reaction, but they were generally slower and tended to be weaker. It was those who were infected with the serum that were generally stronger. The doctor himself was curious to see the results of several syringes. They didn't expect the patients to have a desire to infect others. They didn't not expect the patients to retain any form of consciousness, let alone a collective mind, able to operate as one. They certainly didn't expect the breakout. The PMC made a mistake coming in. If the doctors had died inside, they would've been meaningless casualties. They all knew what they were getting into and were paid very well because of it. Instead, the doctors took up arms and so did the PMC. They should've sent professionals. The PMC simply shot the whole place up, and killed specimens. They were not soldiers, they were mercenaries. They were *supposed* to get strands of the serum.
Burnside concerned himself with getting out. The patients' moans about food and assimilation had subsided, and he wondered if that was simply a ruse to lure him out, or if they had lost interest. There were no windows where he could look out. If the security cameras worked, then he would know, but he didn't.
Hiddleston and Wilson had ran back to MacInnes, who was already missing by the time they had arrived. Hiddleston had attempted to open up the elevator shaft, and climb up the shaft, realizing that the elevators only covered two floors. They had managed to get to the third floor, encountering moderate resistance. They moved steadily up the halls, finding their way to each set of stairs. They had passed MacInnes, unknowingly, and were on the ninth floor. It was there they had discovered Fireteam One. Fireteam One was greated with booby traps. Bombs had gone off, bombs set up by the Mercenaries. Those who weren't killed upon touching down, or rappelled afterwards were greated by the ambush of a few dozen patients. They weren't ready, and were outnumbered and eventually overpowered. Fireteam One was infected with several syringes of the serum, becoming very able, active infected. Initially, Hiddleston called out to them, thinking they were still human. Upon the sight of both men, they fired upon the officers. Fireteam One had pursued them into a laboratory.
Hiddleston had covered the door and windows with his shotgun, and Wilson explored the laboratory, discovering an entrance at the other end. It was quiet, and that was when Hiddleston heard them counting down. He screamed to Wilson "BREACH!" and the doors on both sides busted open. Flashbangs popped and blew, Hiddleston fired where he was aiming. He fired every round in the shotgun. Wilson hesitated.
Hiddleston hit the ground from both recoil and reflex. When his sight cleared, he only saw the blood splattered against the wall and broken door. He sat up and saw the bodies of Fireteam One he had torn apart with his shotgun. he quietly reloaded before taking fire from the other side of the lab. Wilson was not as lucky. When the grenades "flashed", he was caught unaware, and was promptly shot three times between the eyes. The other four in Fireteam One moved quickly through the lab, firing upon the small table Hiddleston was pressed against. Hiddleston threw a grenade above the table, pressing more shells into his shotgun. The table shook and pushed him backwards, the impact sending him against the wall. He turned to face the side of the laboratory, looking at the two bodies he had left. The other two of Fireteam One had disappeared. He wasn't going to check the bodies, for fear of ambush. He looked to his right and saw a small ventilation shaft. He busted it open with his leg and crawled through. One officer from the fireteam called out "Where the fuck is he?"
Both officers fired into the air in frustration behind Hiddleston. He simply crawled down the shaft, taking a right down the shaft. He crawled slowly towards the end, trying to feel his way around the dark shaft. He peeked left and saw an emergency light on through a vent. He followed that, kicking the vent out and hopping through. He was in a small closet. He turned on his tactical light that was attached to his SPAS-12 and opened the door a crack to peek out.
Rico and Richards were but down the hall from Burnside, and none of the three men knew it. They had hidden themselves inside a medical room where Richards attempted to patch Rico up. Rico had fallen unconscious, but was still alive. RIchards had managed to drag him when the officer passed out. They encountered little resistance from there to the other side of the building. Richards wanted desperately to look for any more survivors. Anyone, any doctors, any of his team, any other teams, but he could not leave Jeremy in the room, alone.
Without the lights on and no light from outside, Richards had to attach his tac light to the ceiling. He removed his knife and set Rico down on a couch. He had to struggle to safely remove the little pieces of glass still stuck inside the large gaping hole in the man's body. If the idiot hadn't yanked the glass out, this wouldn't have been a problem. Instead, Richards was removing the cloth from the wound, and began sticking his knife in Rico's body, looking for the reflections the glass would make. He looked for anything inside the room more precise. A scalpel, perhaps. It was an office. He searched and searched, with no results in the cabinet. He gave up hope when he noticed a pair of tweezers on the desk. He picked them up and put them inside Rico's body, picking up the tiny shards of glass from the man's insides.
He picked up each piece and placed them on a table beside the couch. He was ready to remove what seemed the be the final piece when he noticed it was stuck. He gently yanked it back, and it was pulling muscle off with it. He stuck his knife inside and sliced the muscle attached. He poured his canteen of whiskey in around the wound, wiping it with a small piece of his torn sleeve. He pulled another strip off his other sleeve and wrapped the wound with it. He sat down against the wall, drinking the rest of his whiskey and praying that help was on the way.
It had been a few hours, at least, that Richards had waited inside the room. That was when he heard the commotion down the hall. It was enough to wake him up, at least. He had heard Burnside's voice screaming to "move into the room" and heard the patients growling, screeching, and even cackling outside. He sat and stood up, walked to the door, and peeked down the hall, looking at the six or seven infected that were attempting to break into the room. He watched them, as they began to stop struggling with the door, and simply stood still, some standing right beside the door. They were waiting for whoever was inside. They were smart. It was then that a tall infected moved past, right in front of him. It felt the wall, and Richards backed up. He stood, backed against the wall, Rico on the couch, light still hanging from the ceiling, when the infected swung the door wide open. the light swung back and forth, and Richards noticed that the infected had no eyes. Only bloody sockets remained. The light swung back and forth, revealing each part of the infected patient as it shined. Its lips were gone, revealing its infected, gangrened gums. He saw a reflection in its hands. It was a surgical saw. The patient stepped into the room, standing in the middle. It walked slowly towards the light, hitting itself against it. It pulled the surgical saw up, and sliced the flashlight in two. The noise woke Rico up, and he opened his eyes, starting to mumble. It was enough noise for the patient to hear, and he swung his saw in the air, revving it up.
"NO!" Richards screamed. The scream which trailed down the hall. The patient swung the saw down on Sergeant Jeremy Rico.
Written by scorch933