“Bartleby!” a man called out from a nearby cell. “Bartleby!”
Bartleby swung around, the door behind him pounding loudly as the creatures on the other side tried to barge their way in. Bartleby looked down the hallway, trying to find the source of the voice. A hand jutted out from behind the bars of a nearby cell.
“Over here! I’m over here!” Bartleby recognized the nasally resonance of the man and, even before he saw Thomas Blackthorne, knew who it was. Blackthorne looked tired, his eyes bloodshot, wearing the garb of an inmate that looked dirty. He wasn’t wearing his glasses, and the jumpsuit was too large for him, the sleeves extending past his hands and hanging down carelessly.
“Kind of sucks from the other side, don’t it?” Bartleby asked. Blackthorne rolled his eyes in response.
“You have to get me out of here.”
“The inmate made of stone – he has the keys.”
“Well, you’re going to be stuck in there for a little bit then. What’s going on here? I don’t remember much about how I got here.”
“I just told you all of this last night. You don’t remember?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I helped you get out of your cell last night.”
“That was you?” The man from last night had no eyes and grossly yellowed teeth – even Bartleby had to admit to being somewhat relieved that Blackthorne was back to his normal looking self.
Blackthorne looked at him confusedly. “How did you not know it was me?”
“I’m not sure. Things are…not going too well for me. I keep flashing back and forth to another place, like a hospital or something.”
“You’re jumping back and forth between Otherworld and Second World. Carnage must have put a curse on you that had you flipping back and forth between this world and the other. After all, this asylum is a bit of a hotbed of entrances between the worlds. What you saw was an apparition – a glimpse of me through the thin veil between worlds. That must be why you didn’t understand, or even know, that it was me.”
“In retrospect, that was pretty obvious.”
“You’re not a very good detective, are you?”
“Carnage is trying to escape from the asylum, but he knows that it’s impossible…above ground. The Scarecrows are impenetrable. What he found out is that an old, abandoned subway system existed beneath the asylum. He’s going to try to escape from underneath it all.”
Bartleby looked up and down the hallway. “How do I get to your office from here? Do I have to go back through those doors?” He pointed at the set of double doors. He hadn’t noticed, but they had stopped pounding. Either they had given up on him, or something else had gained their attention.
“You shouldn’t have to. If you make your way down this tunnel, it loops around back to where my office is.”
“Cheers,” Bartleby responded, and started to walk off.
“You’re just leaving me? Where are you going?”
Bartleby didn’t turn his head and continued walking. “Where do you think?”