Ok people: here is the final part of this challenging tale:
"THE MONSTERS WITHIN" : Part 4
As the Professor issued his warning several of his assistants, wearing lab coats and carrying guns, entered the room. Ben was led out into the hall and down a flight of stairs to the underground laboratory while Kyle and Katie remained in the drawing room with Professor Garson, who held a gun in one hand and a cognac in the other. Ben saw, on entering the lab, a much larger apparatus than the other machine.
"You will sit in that chair and let me strap you down", one of Garson's assistants, who physically resembled the actor Boris Karloff, instructed. Ben frowned:
"I am not in the habit of being strapped down by strange men I'll have you understand", Ben wryly stated. The assistant laughed coldly:
"That will disappoint the Professor I'm sure. However enough of this nonsense, we are here to test this machine. The professor is certain that your unconscious mind will be of great experimental use."
The other assistant pushed Ben violently down into the chair.
Meanwhile, back in the drawing room, Garson sipped his cognac and smiled sinisterly at Kyle and Katie:
"You must surely admit that it will be fascinating to see what monsters Ben's unconscious mind will dredge up this time. I should draw back the curtains so that we have a good view of the action." Katie gave him an icy stare:
"What you mean to repeat that horror we witnessed earlier when those wolf things killed that farmer? You really are a piece of shit."
"Oh no MIss Ryan. That was an accident, this will be a real experiment. My assistants are right now guarding a group of children from the local care home down the road. We bunged the manager ten grand to let us have them and they're unlikely to be missed."
"Ere, you mean your gonna let them things loose on a bunch of bleedin' kids?" Kyle exclaimed. Garson chuckled and went over to the curtains, drawing them back to reveal a group of children being led out into the garden and given rounders bats and a ball to play with.
"There is no need to be emotional about this. There have always been sacrifices in the name of science." As Garson spoke the electric side light dimmed a little then came back on:
"Ah, I see my assistants downstairs have flicked the switch so to speak. Ben is now creating from the depths of his unconscious mind."
Kyle leapt up from the sofa with such rapidity that the Professor had no time to raise his gun before Kyle punched him in the teeth, before grabbing the gun:
"Katie you try an' 'elp Ben, I'm gonna get to those kids."
Katie ran out into the hall, grabbing a large poker from the fireplace first. She saw the staircase leading down to the lab and strode feistily down it. As she entered the lab, one of the assistants went for his gun, however Katie jabbed the poker into his left eye and he fell to the floor, writhing in agony. She grabbed the gun and pointed it at the other assistant:
"Turn off that machine and take that headset off Ben now".
"It is too late, once the process has begun, to halt it early could be fatal", the assistant stammered.
Out in the garden, the children were screaming as a large creature, like a cross between a wold and a bear came out of the bushes. It had already caught a rabbit and it bit the head off before tossing the carcass aside. It growled and went for one of the children. Kyle shot it three times in the head and it collapsed to the ground. He herded the screaming kids into a conservatory and shut the door. More creatures appeared out of the woods and they started sniffing around the carcass of the dead animal. Kyle gestured to the children to crouch down low, however the creatures' attention had been grabbed by the sight of Professor Garson staggering to his feet within the house. The frenzied animals ran towards the house and the first one launched itself at the large window of the drawing room, the glass shattering and shards flying everywhere. The creature grabbed Garson's throat in its jaws and bit into it, blood spurting out in a fountain. The other creatures clawed and ripped the room apart before bounding into the rest of the house. Kyle turned to the terrified kids:
"Right' I've gotta leave you 'ere ok. Them things could be about to kill everyone in the house."
In the lab, Katie heard the sound of banging and animalistic howling from upstairs. She scowled:
"Ok shitface you need to hut down that machine now, whatever ben is conjuring up is in the house. Just do it."
"But he could die". Katie paused for a moment in reflection then held up the gun:
"Ben will not die. Ben is resilient. Do it." The assistant flicked down the switches and pulled the headset off Ben's head. Ben gave a scream of agony and slumped down into the chair, limp and cold. Katie grabbed his arm and tested for a pulse:
"Come on Ben, don't give up on me now. You can make it through this Ben, come on."
"I'd give up if I were you miss", the assistant stated.
Upstairs the creatures faded and vanished. Kyle glanced round at the dismembered pieces of Professor Garson that were strewn around the room then went into the hall and down into the lab. He found a distraught Katie whose usual hard composure had melted in the face of her concern for Ben. She shook his limp body, tears welling up in her eyes:
"Come on Ben, don't give up *to the assistant* fucking do something, don't just stand there."
The assistant gave Ben an adrenalin injection:
"This might help."
Kyle rushed down and lifted Ben's arm:
"Ere I can feel a pulse. Cam on Ben...."
Slowly Ben lifted his eyes open. He looked at Katie and Kyle and sighed listlessly:
"Oh well, this vale of tears called life has dragged me back into it."
Later, Ben, Katie and Kyle were discussing recent events in the Mermaid Wine Bar in Cambridge:
"So how come those creatures like vanished so bleedin' quick?" Kyle asked.
"Clearly because the process wasn't complete unlike the first time. Katie was quite right to stop the experiment even though it risked my life. Thankfully I'm completely fine now and not some dribbling, brain-damaged cabbage. Unfortunately this just gives people yet another excuse to tell me that I should count my blessings or be optimistic about myself or some such nonsense." The others laughed:
"Oh Ben, how could we exist without you. Don't ever change will you", Katie said with a laugh, hugging Ben.