All fell silent. Eyes darted back and forth, terrified of being trapped in the dark with the residents of this place. A loud clacking sound reverberated down the hall, followed by the ticking of the mechanisms hidden within the walls that Nathan knew controlled the doors to each of the rooms here. Again, the sound came, from the distance, then repeated again and again. He prayed for the elevator, but the red down light illuminating the tiny space in which he sat was his only answer. The mechanical sounds compounded on one another now, building to a crescendo and then stopped. An unsettling silence fell upon the hallway as Nathan remained frozen in his seated position against the doors. One slow creak followed another and another, sending the bottom dropping from his stomach as the fear washed over him. Overhead fluorescent lighting flickered on and off again, chaotically. Footfalls could be heard, some slow and languorous, others more spry and still others moving with an arrhythmic gait that he knew meant the patients were free from their cells.
Out of the darkness they came, but not as Nathan expected. Though the inhabitants of B-Level were most assuredly and utterly insane, they were still human beings. What confronted him now was a horde of bodies, human-like and walking mostly upright to be sure, but in the intermittent spits of light from above, he could see their skin, shriveled and gray, encrusted with dirt, grime and decay. All of the laughter, cries and incoherent ramblings that he had come to accept as this place's strange idea of normal were gone, replaced by a low, guttural rasping sound from each of them as they filled the darkened hall. On they came: men and women, old and young, some walking some crawling, some pacing back and forth, but all of them making their way directly toward Nathan.
In the occasional glint of light, he could see their wild eyes, open wide and darting here and there erratically, but always alighting for short periods directly on him. In the crowd he could see the wild haired dwarf, all semblance of his sick humor gone, replaced by an emptiness punctuated by the black X that freshly smoldered between his eyes.
Nathan scrambled to his feet in a panic, banging on the elevators and screaming at the top of his lungs for help. Taking a deep breath, he looked back over his shoulder to see the shambling mob closing in on him as the light overhead blinked out leaving only a single red triangle pointing down from above the doors piercing the blackness. His eyes clinched tight as he screamed.