It all began when I drove out to visit my sister. I was sure she'd want to know all about my date Tuesday night, and that I'd reluctantly tell her how badly it went, and that she'd laugh and joke that even a crazy girl like her would be better in a relationship than me. Then we'd laugh, and she'd tell me how life had been for her over the last week in her 'new' home. That was how a typical Saturday afternoon visit would go, and for the past three years the process had not deviated much in terms of normality. Every so often she'd have an 'incident', and the medics would have to take her back to her room and administer medication to treat the severe schizophrenia she suffered from. In three years, she'd made good progress, and while she still had bouts of memory loss and the occasional hallucination, those were becoming less severe and less frequent. As her only living relative, I'd taken it upon myself to keep some of her more treasured personal belongings safe on the chance that someday she might be released: a sketchbook, a few stuffed animals, photographs, and the like. The rest of her worldly possessions were sold to pay for the medical care costs, save for a few items she was allowed to have in her room. Meanwhile, I went about my own life, going from job to job around Uptown Khazan, working to pay the bills, trying to find a steady relationship, hanging out with a few close friends I'd known since high school... and visiting my sister every Saturday. I pulled up to the clinic, noticing the large crowd of people outside. The police were there, as were a few members of the Sentinels of Liberty and Justice, as well as many doctors, nurses, and even a few mental patients. Paramedics were attending to one nurse on a stretcher, one arm covered in blood. Getting out of my car, I told an officer my name and asked her what had happened. She looked me over suspiciously, "So, you're Leslie Reed's brother? I guess they weren't able to reach you to tell you what happened before you got here..."
It was about three years ago when it happened. Leslie hadn't shown up for work for two days, hadn't returned any phone calls, and none of her friends had seen her. When the police went to her apartment to check on her, they found her sitting in the middle of her apartment, holding a ceremonial dagger to her chest. They managed to stop her from killing herself... and finishing whatever ritual she was apparently in the middle of. On the floor where she had been sitting were strange symbols written in blood, with more blood in spatters all over the walls and floor. Various other bizarre implements were strewn about everywhere. She never recognized the police, even after they'd taken the knife out of her hands and were escorting her to the hospital to make sure she'd not done anything else to herself, and for a long while she'd talk to thin air, her words akin to some kind of strange prayer... neither of us had ever been that religious, and as far as I knew she'd never been to church since our parents forbid us from going when we were kids. Still, sometimes I wonder if she had been mixed up in some kind of strange cult... I tried not to think about that too much, but it was something on my mind when I listened to the policewoman's explanation of what was going on. No one could figure out where she'd gotten it from, but Leslie had come out of her room that morning with a dagger in her hand, like the one from three years ago, and had subsequently begun dissecting and disemboweling anyone who came near her. Tranquilizers hadn't slowed her down, and even the armed police that had been sent in hadn't returned. There was some talk of simply destroying the building if the Sentinels currently searching for her didn't come back. What I did after that... I guess it was because she was my sister. I myself had occasional bouts of mild depression, and with few friends and little social life, she was one of the people I held dear. Whatever the reason, I knew I had to find her before they did, to try talking to her; perhaps she would listen to me. The police tried to stop me, but I ran through the open front doors before they could. What I never expected was that the doors would close behind me on their own.
Bashing Attack: Superior
My guess was that it used to be a piece of one of the sturdy bars that kept the higher security cells locked. More important was that it was useful in driving back the... people... coming after me as I searched for my sister. Most of them had been cut open to the point that they couldn't possibly still be alive and walking, yet onward they came, and I didn't wish to find out what they wanted with me. She wasn't at the visiting room where I usually met her, so I slowly, carefully made my way across police corpses and bloodstained hallways to her cell, number 426. The door was open, and I could hear laughing inside. I cautiously pushed the door open, but the only thing I could see in the darkness was my own reflection in a mirror on the other side of the room. "Your blood for the resurrection, heathen!" The next thing I saw was a sharp blade stopping just short of my neck. I heard Leslie's voice again in the back. "Oh... it's you... you should have told me you were coming... I almost killed you by accident! Come, help me prepare the ceremony... it is almost time..." The knife fell to the floor, and the sudden light of the room blinded me momentarily. Then, I saw the room; it was just like her apartment, three years ago. Only, this time, other bodies littered the floor, gruesome and disfigured. A couple of them still writhed in agony. "Leslie... what have you done... what are you doing? I... this..." I gripped the metal bar tightly in my hand, disgusted and terrified. "... my dear brother, are you still lost? It is a pity... you're just like mother and father, you don't understand..." Then she saw the weapon in my hand. "Or have you come to stop me as well? Then join our parents in damnation!" She leapt at me, another knife in hand. I fell back, swinging instinctively, defensively. Wasn't it defensively? The bar connected with the side of her skull, crushing it. She staggered backwards, the knife joining its partner on the floor. "No... I... should have... I must..." She fell onto that strange symbol written in blood on the floor, dead.
Illusion Creation: Ultimate
I cried. I vomited, at least twice. I couldn't bear the ghastly sight. I stumbled, still clutching the bar in my hand, back towards the entrance. It seemed like an eternity getting back to those doors, which were now wide open. The fresh air outside didn't help. I made straight for my car; the fact that no one stopped me seems strange now, but at the time I didn't notice. I realized the bar was still in my hand and I dumped it into the front passenger seat. Like every Saturday before, I started driving back to my house in Uptown Khazan, but now it was done more out of habit. All I could think about was getting away from that scene, that vision in my head. None of it made sense, and now Leslie was dead, or at least I was pretty sure that she was. I wanted to go home and curl up in a ball and escape the madness of what I'd just been a part of. I almost reached the driveway when I saw it. Her car, the one Leslie had had three years ago before she... it was in the driveway. My driveway. I looked up and down the street. No one, not even the kids who always played ball in Mrs. Larkin's front yard on Saturdays. I drove past my house.
I drove around, aimlessly, for a while, trying to think of what to do next. The streets I drove down were all deserted, and my unease grew every time I turned down a different street. I passed by a church, the Sanctuary of Lady Lanikas. It was the one my parents attended, years ago. My sister and I went a few times as kids, then my parents stopped going and forbade us from going as well. Leslie complained, but I didn't really care. I was reminded of Leslie saying that I would join my parents in damnation, and pulled into the church parking lot. I grabbed my makeshift weapon from the passenger seat; I thought I might need it to pry open the door, but the church doors were unlocked. I entered an empty chapel, save for one person huddled in a pew near the back. Upon approaching I found it to be a homeless man, asleep and taking refuge in this sanctuary. I passed him by and moved towards the front, noticing a bulletin on the front pew. Casually flipping through it, I was shocked to see what was on the last page. A list of prayer requests for members, and at the bottom read, "Leslie Reed, East Khazan Mental Institute." In pencil underneath it was written, "Also her brother, a former member." A mechanical pencil fell out of it; it was the same kind that Leslie always used to draw with... In three years, or even before that, she had never mentioned that she... I was startled by the church doors opening. I turned to see that the man was gone, and a trail of blood lead from his pew out through the open doors.
I ran out into the street, unable to determine what happened to the poor man. I had nearly given up on him when I heard a crash come from a diner across the street. I approached the diner, quickly at first, then cautiously, paranoid at whatever might happen. The noise had long stopped, but as I entered I nearly retched again. They were bodies, humanoid but absolutely appalling. One's 'head' was crushed by a cash register, another looked to have been beaten in with a nearby bloody bar stool. Some were horribly burned, charred almost beyond recognition as anything more than a charcoal lump. I heard crying from behind the counter. Before I could reach it, a young woman leapt up from behind it, fire flying from her fingers. I narrowly avoided a singing, ducking out of the way. "You! You're... not like them... oh god..." She put her hands down to support herself, her eyes tearing up again. "Those things... they're monsters... what is going on here..." Suddenly, one of the less-charred... things... stirred, pulling itself off of the ground, its horrific maw gaping. I raised my weapon in defense, but it seemed less interested in me, and more in the girl. Screaming, she burned the freakish thing nearly to ashes. It collapsed, and she began sobbing even more. "It never ends..." I thought of explaining who I was, or where I'd been, or what I'd done, but then I doubted that it would really help her right now. Instead, I simply offered help. "I don't know what's going on myself... but, if you'll come with me, I have a guess as to where I might find some answers..." I gestured to the church across the street. "L-Lanikas? T-That's..." She stammered and sobbed even more. I could hardly blame her, for I felt like doing the same. "Yeah... ahh, if you'd rather you could just stay here. I'm gonna go, though..." "Wait... wait, I'll go... I'm not staying here anyway... let's get out of here before those things get back up again..."