Chapter 53: Search Parties
The warrior put Janet and Andrea into a search party with Marko and the physician. They were assigned to check the basement. Andrea took offense to the assignment and complained loudly, as the group trooped down the steps.
“You know why they gave us this crappy assignment. It’s because they don’t think we know what we’re doing. Can you believe those bastards? All the times we saved their asses and they have the nerve to treat us like a bunch of noobs. They even stuck us with the doc, because he’s dead weight!”
“Andrea, that’s very rude! Don’t talk about Doctor Manfred like that,” lectured Janet.
“What? I didn’t lie. He is pretty much useless. He’s the one who let this demon, or whatever it is escape in the first place. Don’t look at me like that Janet. The man admitted that he knows nothing about magic. If we find the…what did you call it Marko…entity, we’ll have to battle with it and worry about keeping him out of harm’s way.”
“Yeah right, if we’re the ones who find the entity, then you’ll need someone to protect you Andrea. The warriors are right. We don’t know what we’re doing,” argued Janet.
“Will you two shut up? I think I heard something,” Marko snapped.
“I don’t hear…” Andrea began.
“Shh, shut up,” hissed Marko waving his hand fiercely.
The four of them stood silently straining their ears. Andera was about to make a snarky comment about him imagining things, when a faint thud reached their ears. Marko took off running in the direction of the sound. Andrea reacted next, followed by Janet. The physician hesitated, looking behind him. He contemplated running in the opposite direction.
He had keys to several of the rooms. It would be easy to hide, until they found the entity. If anybody asked where he had been, he’d just pretend to have gotten separated from the others in all the excitement. His hand was closing around the row of keys in his pocket, when a row of overhead fluorescent lights suddenly flickered and dimmed. The hall was filled with ominous looking shadows.
What if the entity was actually in one of those rooms, biding his time in the darkness, waiting for a body to snatch? He would be locking himself in with it. No one would hear his screams, until it was too late. A small noise decided Dr. Manfred. The trio was gone, when he started running after them.
Dr. Manfred ran faster than he had ever run in his life, imagining that the entity might spring out of a room and drag him off. He caught up to the others, so quickly they didn’t notice his prior hesitation. They ran for several yards, past countless closed doors with the names of various departments painted on their pebbled glass windows.
The thudding steadily grew into echoing crashes, as they approached the source. Marko abruptly stopped at the end of a corridor and held up a restraining hand to the others. One-by-one, they came to a skidding halt and complied with his signaling to press their bodies against the wall behind him. Turning his head and eyeing each of them, he put a finger to his lips to keep them silent and then turned to peer around the next corner in the direction of the deafening crashing.