About an hour later, a ‘code blue’ was broadcast over the PA system. It meant that an urgent emergency was in progress. All available medical staff were immediately summoned to room 723. Howard’s doctor didn’t recognize the room number as significant because he was also the attending physician for many other patients. Once he entered the room, he was stunned to see more than a dozen bodies scattered around the floor! The victims were Howard’s family, the attending nurse and two orderlies. A security guard was also sprawled on top of Howard himself. It was as if everyone had simultaneously fainted or died. Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s massive ‘book of dark thoughts’ was still spread open at the foot of the bed.
The doctor quickly checked the pulse of the security guard, the nurse, and the other victims. They were alive and physically unharmed; with the notable exception of a few minor bruises and contusions. Their recent head and face injuries had obviously occurred from the sudden loss of consciousness and tramatic fall to the floor. Another nurse ran in and tried to help with the chaotic scene but just ended up adding to it. She inadvertently glanced at the open page of Howard’s grotesque book and immediately fell like a stone to join the others. She was just the latest victim of a particularly potent strain of ‘locked-in’ syndrome.
The doctor soon realized what was going on and quickly barred the door. Other staff members and security officers showed up but for their safety, he physically prevented them from entering. Resisting the maddening urge to glance at it, he carefully closed the deadly volume and dropped it into a sterile organ-transport container. There was going to be many questions asked once the smoke cleared on the chaos in room 723 and he wasnt looking forward to it. He was the sole conscious human being in a room full of catatonic individuals.
Hospital security tried to determine if there was a contagious disease, gas leak or biological epidemic present. Police detectives also demanded to know what happened to the visitors and staff. Faster than he would have thought possible, officials from the CDC also showed up to conduct an internal investigation. To avoid having to repeat the bizarre details over-and-over, he insisted on explaining it to all of them at the same time.
“To answer your question sir; yes, there ‘was’ an earlier contagious epidemic at the hospital but the immediate danger is gone is now. I have the source of illness contained in this sealed organ-delivery container. It isn’t gaseous or biological in nature. It’s absolutely unparalleled in modern science and medicine. The source of the ‘mass injury’ today in room 723 was an intellectual-based ‘thought plague’.”
The room erupted in annoyed confusion and calls for clarification from the doctor.