Once they not only heard the jarring fire alarm, smelled the char of smoke and heard the panic from below, the pale students on the fourth floor of Hamilton Hall silently yet bravely accepted their doom.
On the wall of the classroom several diagrams explained exactly what route to take out of the building in the event of such a crisis, but it was readily ignored by the students. While memories of drills flooded their minds, and even though the emergency plan explained by the teacher sounded convincing at the beginning of the year, the students knew better in the face of a real crisis. With all the mass panic, disarray, screaming and suffocating smoke – as well as the fact that the students were on a high floor – the students figured that nothing but prayers or a miracle would save them.
“Shit, why’d it have to happen to me,” sadly murmured junior Chemistry major Jared Shirt as he wrung his hands anxiously. “Well, I accepted that I was never going to make it if there was a real fire, so I guess I should take it like a man.”
Many of the students started to shed hot tears and some even embraced each other as the teacher tried to shed light on the grim and hopeless scenario.
“Oh, it looks like this isn’t a drill this time,” said biology professor Vivian Krueger, who kept a courageous aloofness in such a sad state. “Alright, guys, let’s go.”
However, cruel fate would expect more from these forsaken souls. Soon, the teacher, still calm within the storm, realized that the fire – “a little chemical outburst,” according to the heroic professor – was located on their floor, meaning that they would have to face their deaths even sooner than expected.
“Okay, guys, you’re going to have to be a little careful when we start to leave,” Krueger said, still managing to hide her deep terror stalwartness as her students started to falter. “There’s a little smoke, so just walk quickly and try to hold your breath [and remember that you lived a good life].”