The Flame of Time
Brighton Asylum Continued
Leomourn wakes up in a white room, vertically and constrained. A door is opened behind him, the flickering light from a burning hall reflected on the marble floor at his feet, a figure stood in the doorway casting an ominous shadow that stretched the length of the room. A deranged figure slowly crept in with greasy hair that covered his face. The figure turned to look at Leomourn; cackling disturbingly, and his hands held before him in an odd fashion. The tips of his yellowed, disgusting fingers were elongated to a stiletto tip and dripped with blood. Lorcan the Lasher laughed as he looked Leomourn in the eyes and started ripping his stomach into ribbons. His innards fell to the floor like so much ground meat. Leomourn felt his body grow colder as he looked out confused on his attacker.
“Where did Leomourn go?” Amarella said as she looked around the Solarium.
“He was just looking out the doorway into the courtyard.” Darella said as she walked down the Solarium looking at the many gurneys that lined the hall, some empty, some filled with patients barely qualified to be called living. Amarella looked at Clara.
“The real Leomourn is that way, but she just ran outside.” The young girl said calmly, pointing down the hall.
“What?” Delgen asked.
Leomourn felt his last lights fading as Lorcan tore into his flesh and pulled his organs out on to the floor as he laughed hideously. In the midst of the horror Leomourn glanced away from his attacker and saw a second shadow that crept from the doorway, it was the shadow of a much larger figure. Leomourn’s vision faded as he looked down upon the charnal mess below him. A tall bald broad-shouldered man walked in silently and grabbed Leomourns attacker and threw him effortlessly through the window. The sound of broken glass and broken bone against barred windows was quickly drowned by the sound of heavy rainfall. Leomourn’s eyelids felt heavy as the tall bald man came and put his hands infront of Leomourn’s torso.
A small translucent-green boy darted down behind a gurney as Darella paced down the Solarium. After some coaxing he admitted to being lost and being called Joen.
The man silently untied Leomourn from the upright shackles in which he was held, releasing him to the cold marble floor for what felt like the first time in a very long while. Leomourn’s knees were weak, unable to support his weight, he fell forward. The man steadied him.
“How?” Leomourn asked looking down at his previously spilled guts, which were now safely and snugly within his body and working properly.
“I fixed you.” He said simply.
“Thanks.” Leomourn shrugged.
“So that was not Leomourn, but someone who looked just like him?” Amarella asked Clara.
“She wore Leomourn’s skin for you to see, even I could not see her real form. I should have seen…the real Leomourn is there.” Clara said, pointing. The trail of patients advanced down the Solarium.
Leomourn stepped out of the room, looked around and walked out towards a doorway with glass panes. When he looked through he saw what looked like a floating elf dressed in burned crimson. Who appeared to be in a trance, going through the halls burning the walls and ceiling randomly with plumes of flame that danced off her fingertips. Leomourn whispered: " Amalyn."
Delgen, Amarella, and Darella lead the group of kids through the end of the Solarium. In the same instant, Leomourn walked out into the same foyer, followed by a tall silent man.
“Where are we?” Leomourn asked, as he saw his companions.
“Where have you been?” Amarella asked, angrily.
“I don’t know! I just woke up like five minutes ago and got attacked! M’guts were on the ground, and everything! Where were you?!” Leomourn said, confused.
“What?” Darella raised an eyebrow.
“I’m fine now, he fixed me.” Leomourn pointed to his companion. Before anyone could as anymore questions, one of the kids spoke.
“The Krown Files are up there.” Nara said, her suggestion was reinforced by the burning ceiling crackling above them everywhere they stepped. The building had been on fire for the better part of a night already and the constant rainfall seemed to not stifle the inferno one bit.
“What is this thing?” Leomourn asked as they decided to leave the room and go upstairs. He was looking upon a large metallic structure that looked like a large caged room with levers and cranks.
“That leads below, they use it to move the dead.” Nara said to Leomourn.
“So the crazies don’t go crazier.” Leomourn said.
The party advanced upstairs led by Darella. They found the room numbered 332, and found a folder that was labeled The Krown Files, a thick folder with years of patient records and reports. They fled the room quickly as the beams fell burning to the floor, pushing them out into the hall.
“Tristan!” Clara called out.
“What?” Darella asked, Clara pointed down the hall into the darkness. Darella looked out into the black and saw that where not obscured by darkness everything was covered in thick web, the very same that closed off the stairway on the other side of the asylum.
A shy boy walked out from the shadows coyly. He wore tattered and stained patient’s clothing and also had two extra arms that hung from rips in his gown, he seemed scared but relieved to be reunited with his friends. His all black eyes bore honesty, trust and fear.
They all marched down and towards the room marked Theatre.
The group came upon large metallic double doors with a large sign above that read: The Theatre.
Leomourn kicked down the door. Opening up a large atrium lit in pale moonlight and harsh stormlight. Many apparati and experiments lay about the room on tables, on the floor and on wheeled cold steel carts. Other tables were cluttered with alchemical reagents some inert kept corked tightly while others bubbled and frothed, forgotten or ignored on an open flame. At the opposite end of the atrium was a raised balcony that curved the length of a large bay that looked down upon an operating theater. The hideous secrets that were performed upon that table somehow reflected in the white flashes of lightening, more like a profane altar than a doctor’s table.
The balcony luckily held no audience, the whole atrium was cold and dark save for many tubs of sewn together twins, frozen children, unconscious children and writhing children with stitches, extra organs or limbs that were rotting as their young bodies rejected the unnatural experiments done to them. At the northern end of the room was a tall man in white leather standing over a tub with a figure submerged in a liquid.
Our Heroes quickly dispatched the deranged Doctor and his guards. They grappled the odd doctor and held him fastly to the cold floor.
Dr. Miklos was tied and per Leomourn’s order, put under the supervision of his new silent companion. The weird Doctor spoke a foreign language and either did not know or pretended not to know how to speak vernacular. Amarella examined the tubs of icy water and found two young children within two of the alabaster tubs.
“Alexei!” Clara called out. Delgen looked down into the tub and saw a young boy, blue with hypothermia with tubes coming from his veins.
They gathered around the two children in the tubs, Delgen applied his spectacles and examined the boy. Heavy bruising tarnished the alabaster skin of the boy’s arms and body. Delgen gently gripped the boy’s arm and closed his fingers around the needle within Alexei.
“Don’t…he’s sick. Be careful.” The other child in the second tub muttered through a groggy trance.
“It’s okay, dear. You said he’s sick?” Delgen said soothingly.
“Haemophilia…” The young girl breathed and said nothing more. There was a sudden crack of lightening and the burning ceiling started to pop and fall around them.
“Let’s move them out of here.” Darella said grabbing up the young girl from the tub and headed out of the large chamber. As she stepped out into the hall, in the corner of her eye she saw a figure step through a doorway. Darella could have sworn it looked like a female elf.
“What happened here?” Leomourn said has as stepped out into the hall and looked the other way. At the end of the corridor was a solitary room whose door was blasted off, and in the same explosion it seemed the very floor and foundation of this side of the Asylum was fractured and charred. Compounded with the slowly burning walls and the explosive force that cracked the very foundation of the building, it seemed that this side of the Asylum was going to come down at any moment. Delgen brought out Alexei gently in his arms.
There was a second room in the hall whose door was open and seemed to be the origin of all the fire and smoldering walls in the Asylum. “Amalyn…” Darella read from the patient record sheet on the door.
“Where do we go now?” Leomourn asked.
“Well the front door was looked, the only other exit I saw was out into the courtyard from the Solarium.” Darella said.
“To the Solarium then!” Delgen said, as burning debris fell around him.
Our heroes peered into the Solarium and what they saw perplexed them even more that the rest of the evening.
Amalyn was in a red dress that was torn and charred and still burning in some places; dancing in a trance-state with a tall slender man dressed in dark clothes. Flame jetted from her hands as they moved, dousing the Solarium in a random design of liquid flame. Glass turned black and gurneys caught fire, the moans of those immobile patients unfortunate enough to be caught in the dance of fire were lost in the din of storm and flame. A single pane of glass broke above the dancers, rain fell down around them. The metal wiring was red hot above them and caused the rain to steam.
“Who are you?! And what have you done to Amalyn?!” Leomourn called out.
“So you are The Hand.” The man said calmly, stroking the female elf’s throat slowly.
“Leave her alone!” Amarella screamed.
“When all you have is time, you think. When you have thought all there is to think, you listen…and I heard them.” The man said in a far off tone.
“What are you talking about!?” Leomourn screamed.
“They are coming and there is nothing that can stop them, no man, no god. They are nothing and they can’t be stopped.” He paused to tilt Amalyn’s head back revealing the soft elf flesh under her chin, a blue vein was highlighted in the moonlight.
“I have seen the other side, your side. I will find haven there, I must leave this place. Your side will ultimately succumb to them as well, but it will take time. Time, which we do not have on this side.”
“Why do you need the elf?” Delgen inquired.
“I will let you have your friend, if you give me something. Put out the lights, dear.” The man said, looking the elf in the eyes. Instantly all the flames in the Solarium died out and smoke started to fill the space.
“What could we possibly have that you would want? We are patients here.” Leomourn said, hiding his gun.
“Mathias Grey is my Sire, you have him. I need him back.” The man said, fingering Amalyn’s hair.
“Who is Mathias Grey?” Leomourn looked at his companions.
“You managed to purloin his body away from his…incompetent children. I intend on taking him back either with your permission, or by force.” He turned the elf’s head the other way to reveal that same sweet marble flesh, only this side was pocked with a pair of small pink marks two finger’s widths apart.
“Vampire!” Leomourn screamed, he fired his gun at the vampire’s hand and freed Amalyn of his grasp. Darella stepped forward and shot the vampire squarely in the face. The vampire reeled back as he grasped his face, the blast from Darella’s gun of Change had caused the chemical makeup of his face to transmute into mercury. Silver beads fell down his dark suit and onto the marble floor below.
The vampire stopped writhing and stood up straight with a smirk and a slight chuckle. His face slowly returned back to it’s original shape and form; far faster and smoother than any normal vampire’s healing factor, Leomourn noted.
“This will be fun.” He said. Before his face had finished reverting back to it’s normal state, Darella loosed another shot. This time it was to the chest. The vampire was knocked back a few paces as his chest exploded in a silver flash of energy that had burned most of his tunic off. He looked down, and saw that his chest and in fact most of his torso had been turned into Mithril.
Amarella took this time to run up and pull the entranced Amalyn to safety. The vampire looked down in horror, confusion, pain, and intrigue. He looked as if he was about to faint but then his lips curved upwards slowly. His chest started to heal slowly as he focused hard on the group of patients in the Solarium. Five warriors in white hospital gowns, bare feet on the cold marble floor and a handful of misfit kids of various ages, form and dimensionality against a Vampire who not only could withstand his face melting off, but his very heart turning into Mother of Silver.
A loud crash broke the awkward silent stare as something crashed through the glass between the Vampire and his quarries. Something heavy enough to break not only the glass but the metal reinforcements as well. A smooth vaguely human figure was crouched in the aftermath of the entrance. He was a clay man chiseled simply but meaningfully, there was a metal medallion over his heart. His dark eyes bore mock emotions, echoes of real feelings but all of these performances were melancoly and sad.
“Get them out! He has been splitting the water the whole time! I will hold him off! Just go!” The clay man screamed as he ran towards the Vampire.
Delgen slammed the door closed as the last of them ran out of the Solarium, and he looked in. He saw the clay man reach the Vampire just as the Vampire summoned the tiniest of flames between his two fingers and his thumb, with a smile. The air ignited around his hand and filled the whole length of the Solarium in a wave of explosive fire, the glass exploded above Delgen as he dropped to the ground taking the two onlooking kids with him.
“Move!” Delgen commanded, as they all crawled and stumbled away.
“This way!” Nara said from within the rack lift, she had gotten in and had her hand on the crank that would take them down below the Asylum. They all scrambled in as the wave of fire continued out into the hall. They descended just as the blazing inferno passed the lift room doorway.
They huddled together as they walked down a long dark hallway; a morbid, dank, decrepit version of the Solarium above, though no sun filled this hall. There were wet gurneys strewn about and knocked over, chamber pots and refuse cluttered the floor. Tobacco ash and other paraphernalia was forgotten in the dark corners. They walked down the same path so many of Brighton Asylum’s patients had, only this time not dead on a gurney.
They came to a door that was marked Morgue.
“It’s cold.” Clara said.
They walked in and silently walked onwards to the next door. There were faint blue runes around edges of the wall near the ceiling and the floor. There were stone doors in the walls and gurneys wheeled in at all angles, some empty some full.
“This is the way out.” Nara said. They all walked towards her, but one.
Joen stood in the middle of cold room staring at a shape on a gurney.
“I’ve already left.” The ghost-boy said.