Bartleby was strapped to a table, being rolled down a long, dark hallway. There were no lights in the tunnel, save for one at each end of it. From the dim light available, he could see a decayed, mindless zombie pushing the table, and body bags lined up along one of the walls. He realized where he now was. The stench should have given it away sooner. He was being taken down the body chute – the tunnel where those who died in the asylum were carted down to be taken to the incinerator. This did not bode well.
He struggled against his restraints to no avail. And then he felt it – heat. He turned his head around and realized he was now in the incinerator room. In the far corner of the room, the incinerator roared, like a giant metal beast, its open mouth ready for fresh corpses. The white tiles along the walls had long since cracked, most shattered and lying in dusty piles on the floor.
Bartleby knew that he could overpower the zombie if he could get free, and was preparing himself to make his grand escape, but soon realized they weren’t even heading towards the incinerator. He lifted his head up as much as he could to see that the wall in the side of the room had been torn down. The table he was strapped to shook violently as it rolled over the rubble, and into what appeared to be an old train station.
Large brick pillars looked to be barely holding up the decaying ceiling, which was actively crumbling, large chunks of rock falling to the ground around them. From the little that he could move his head, Bartleby could see a flurry of activity – zombies picking away at rocks at the far end of the tunnel, and scooping up bits of rock and shoving them to the side. As the zombie pushing him turned the table, Bartleby saw that on the train tracks sat a large black train. It looked like a giant hearse with large train wheels, sitting idle, waiting to be unleashed.
Two more zombies approached and started to undo Bartleby’s straps. He waited for the click of the release of the straps and lunged forward, trying to jump to his feet. No sooner than he jumped from the table did a hand grasp around the back of his neck, holding him tight. He was lifted into the air by humongous, stony fingers. A large creature, made entirely of rock, with giant black eyes stared at him.
“Where do you think you’re going?” the creature asked, and his breath smelled like dust.
He carried Bartleby towards one of the train cars, its windows painted black and a strange green glow emanating from beneath its entrance doors. The rock creature opened the door clumsily with its giant stone fingers, and tossed Bartleby in. He fell to the ground and rubbed the back of his neck, sore from being rubbed with stone.
Though the room around him was dark, Bartleby could see the source of the green light – a pulsing orb floated above a dark wooden table that looked like a claw reaching up from the ground. Tables around the train car were covered in tattered paper and worn scrolls, tossed about carelessly. A purple robe hung from a hook on the opposite wall.
“Ah…Detective Anduzsky, I presume?” a deep voice asked. Bartleby looked around but saw no one. He reached into his jacket, but his gun was gone. From the darkness at the other end of the cart, a man walked into the dim green glow of the orb. It was still hard to see him, as he was wearing a fancy black suit, and his skin was entirely pitch black, save for small red cracks, but Bartleby knew instantly who it was.