Getting through what was left of the fence was no challenge for Sam and Bobby; a stiff breeze could have blown it down, and they later realised that large parts of it were missing on one side of the building anyway.
As they picked their way across the crumbling asphalt of the deserted parking lot, they could see flat skylights dotting the ground around them, which pretty much confirmed their suspicions that the larger part of this building existed underground.
Sharing a glance as they reached the locked door to the office building they knocked and waited expectantly for a moment. Neither of them were bowled over with shock when no answer was forthcoming.
A second, louder knock gleaned no more success, and within a moment, Sam found himself keeping watch on the doorstep while Bobby coaxed his aging knees down into a position from which he could pick the lock.
After a few moments huffing and cussing, Sam heard the tell-tale click of the lock giving way under Bobby's expert fingers. He wasn't sure if the pained squeak that he heard came from the slowly opening door, or Bobby's straightening knees, but either way his musings halted in their tracks as, along with Bobby, he stepped into the building's gloomy interior.
This truly was the building that time forgot.
It looked like the office had barely been touched since the day the newspaper closed. Dust-coated desks stood like islands on a sun-bleached carpet; their surfaces laden with obsolete and comically massive computer equipment. A faint gauze of cobwebs fluttered over noticeboards covered with yellowing memos typed and dated back in the nineties; their print faded to a faint, shadowy grey.
Sam's eyes widened in awe, he almost regretted they were on a job; he would have given his eye teeth to explore this place – and they hadn't even made it to the basement yet.
It was only moments before Dean was crashing back into the room with the journal Tom had requested.
"This the one?" he asked.
Tom nodded; "that's it," he replied, reaching for the book.
"Dean, you're really sure about this?"
"Yes," Dean snapped; "c'mon Tom, less fretting more reading."
Dean laid a hand over Jimmy's chest, trying to reassure himself that the stricken man was still alive; nervously sucking in a sharp breath at how cold and still he was.
"Even if I can't heal him," Dean muttered absently; "perhaps I can just buy him time until Sam and Bobby get back." He glanced up hopefully at Tom but received no response from the Doctor who was immersed in the journal; "kinda like a supernatural life support?"
Dean tried for a cheesy grin, but it was clear Tom wasn't in the mood for jokes.
"Dean …" Tom sighed.
"Do it," Dean interrupted, the hint of steel in his voice brooking no argument.
Tom dropped heavily into a chair at the side of the room and scraped a hand over his face.
It was Bobby that found the door to the basement, while Sam was distracted by an antique telex machine. It was protected by a keypad entry system, seemingly the only piece of modern technology in this whole place, and although it held the secret of one out of a hundred trillion possible combinations, it was no match for Bobby's trusty screwdriver, Sam's IQ and two combined lifetimes' experience of breaking and entering.
They drew their guns as they cautiously made their way down the unlit staircase, and eventually found their way into a large, dim space.
Sam fumbled behind him for a moment, his flashlight scanning a plain wall and eventually illuminating a light switch. He flicked the switch and the two men stood watching as banks of fluorescent lights sputtered into life.
Blinking wetly in the stark light, they glanced around, rapidly trying to find their bearings in the massive room which was clearly a laboratory of some kind. It didn't take long for their eyes to fix on something lying in an empty corner.
Bobby groaned, "oh shit."
"Okay," Tom sighed; "I've got the incantation here, it's gaelic and it translates as:
Pass upon this child of my blood the gift of my life,
Let the tree of life burst into bud within him,
Let the tree of my life lay bare."
He looked up at Dean as he finished reading; "and there's a sigil," he added, turning the book to face Dean. He pointed to the diagram below the scrawled text he had just read. "Apparently I need to paint this over your heart in his blood, and over his heart in your blood."
Dean nodded and, without hesitating, pulled off his T shirt, dropping it on the floor behind him as he stepped across to help Tom lift Jimmy's lax shoulders and work his shirt off.
"Pull the spare couch from under the window over here so that you're lying right next to Jimmy," Tom directed as he readied his kit.
Doing as he was bidden, Dean lifted a pile of junk and papers off of the couch and wheeled it across the room, parking it next to the couch where Jimmy lay.
Without being directed, he hopped up onto the padded surface, and settled down flat on his back, looking over his shoulder and grimaced to see Tom looming over him with what he was quite sure an unnecessarily large syringe in his gloved hands
"Dean, you're absolutely sure …"
"Tom," Dean snapped; "I swear if you ask me that one more time I'm gonna pop you one."
Smiling inwardly, Tom nodded, recognising the gratitude behind the warning.
"Right," he sighed, fortifying himself for the task ahead; "gonna draw the blood now, okay?"
Dean swallowed queasily and nodded, closing his eyes and biting his lip as he reflected that he'd like to tell Tom exactly where he could stick his needle.
Working quickly and efficiently, it was barely a moment before Tom had completed his task, swabbing cool alcohol over the resulting pinprick in Dean's arm and moved on, expertly drawing a syringe full of blood from Jimmy, sympathetically muttering a quiet apology as he did so.
"Okay," he whispered, his voice shaking with nerves; "here goes."
Tipping the blood into two small bowls, Tom carried one over to the couch containing Jimmy; "okay, son, you first," he 'announced, threading shaking fingers through his casualty's limp fringe.
From his couch, Dean watched in fascination as Tom painted the sigil across the width of Jimmy's chest with his fingertip, concentrating intently as he fashioned three clockwise spirals arranged in a downward pointing triangle in Dean's blood.
By the time Tom put the bowl down he looked exhausted.
"Now you Dean," he murmured, picking up the second bowl.
Dean nodded, and lay back, taking a deep breath as he closed his eyes.
He felt Tom's gloved fingertip gliding across his bare skin, spreading with it the warmth of Jimmy's freshly drawn blood, and swallowed queasily.
"These spirals have to be drawn anti-clockwise," Tom stated almost absent-mindedly as he worked, sensing Dean's discomfort at the situation; a lifetime of doctor's training kicking in to distract his patient. "You're giving life, but Jimmy's receiving it."
He completed his work quickly and without fuss or drama.
"All done, Dean;" Tom huffed; "now, I gotta read the incantation. Then I guess, we just wait; like I said, there's no guarantee this'll work."
Dean nodded without opening his eyes; he had no desire to see Jimmy's blood scrawled across his chest. "Gotta try," he murmured.
He heard the hollow clink as Tom placed the bowl back down on the table, and a brief rustle as he picked up the journal.
"Okay, uh, right," Tom stammered, clearing his throat; "this might sound pretty bad, I've never read Gaelic before. Here goes …"
"Pas ar an leanbh de mo chuid fola an bronntanas do mo shaol
Lig an crann na beatha pléasctha i bud laistigh dó
Lig an crann de mo shaol a leagan lo"
Tom quietly closed the journal and placed it on the table.
Then he sat back and waited.
In the corner of the starkly-lit room lay a slumped body, the body of a middle-aged man. Smith, both men guessed.
The pistol laying half in and half out of his lifeless grip and the splash of blood across the wall behind his head suggested that Doc Smith was no longer going to be of any help to their enquiries.
As they crossed the room, the first thing that caught their attention apart, of course, from the dead dude in the corner, was a cellphone lying on the table, a voicemail message symbol flashing on its screen.
Sam picked it up and listened to the message, recognising the voice of a familiar young woman as soon as she began to speak;
"Hello, Doctor Smith, I don't know what's happening, but there were two guys from the FBI here in the store a few minutes ago. They were asking about that guy who came in for the clinical trial last month. Apparently he's, like, a criminal or something. Sorry to bother you Sir, I don't know how important this is, but I thought you ought to know."
Sam clicked the phone off and dropped it on the table; "he got that message and put two and two together," he sighed.
"Yeah, and made 'deep shit'," added Bobby; "he knew the game was up."
"DAMNIT!" roared Sam, kicking out in frustration at a sheet-covered box under the desk.
A hollow metallic clang echoed around the tiled room as he did so, but it was another sound entirely that caught their attention.