The florescent bulbs of the museum basement whined overhead, the omnipresent noise buzzing and grating in his ears. The lights were dimmer than usual, struggling between blinding bright and dying entirely, rarely achieving either. What remained was a shadowed hallway, the light just dim enough to hurt his eyes, the uncertainly of the flickers enough to play tricks with his mind. On occasion one would flutter violently, threatening to plunge the entire hallway into darkness. ||
(5:34:30 PM) The Storyteller: From their nest in the room beside the security office, the two changelings and their lupine friend could hear echoing footsteps coming down the hall. They came closer, ever closer, and then you could hear the door creak open. ||
(5:52:21 PM) Erin: The door swung across something, viscous and deep red. There was a dragging sound as it smeared the color across the floor, painting a broken arc of crimson across the entryway.
The fluid led back toward the center, gleaming in the static glow of ten television monitors. There was no other light in the room, or little enough to matter. It was only by the anemic white light that he could see the giant, seven foot clock, towering in the center of the room. The frosted glass hung open, splattered with bloody handprints. Blood was pouring from the bottom, leaving a waterfall of crimson to pool across the floor. And there was a woman hanging brokenly, half inside the clock, half out.
(5:52:22 PM) Erin:
Cruel, leather straps locked her petite form into the clockwork prison, holding her slumped, in ways no living human could move. Her blank, porcelain face stared forward emptily, her white eyes hollow and dead. Blood had been smeared across her white lips in a mockery of her lipstick, and her red hair stood out against the deathly white of her cheeks - all save for where it had been carefully cut away, to reveal the clockwork brain in her sawed-off head.
(5:55:49 PM) Erin: All ten television screens blared the Shafer Movement on their screen, the static warping the picture just out of sync with the abominable ticking sound, which seemed to echo from everywhere. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Words lay scrawled across the floor in blood, broken by the pools and rivulets that gushed forth from the towering clock:
(5:55:51 PM) Erin: ||
(6:04:06 PM) The Storyteller: There was a single moment of awful silence, and you could, by twisting, see Sergei's feet and lower legs quite clearly. He was a scrawny man, easy to overlook. There was no motion, and you didn't think he was breathing. Then, as though a trance were broken, he stepped back and you could see his right hand dived into a pants pocket. It emerged with a nasty little automatic pistol.
(6:04:09 PM) The Storyteller: Barely a second passed before the silence was broken the staccato roar of bullets. They tore into the clock, into the woman, causing a series of cracks to radiate from her forehead. Sergei screamed wordlessly, whirling and putting more bullets into the videomonitors, causing them to spark and fall dead. Bullet casings rained to the floor, and one rolled till it was a few centimeters from Erin's nose.
(6:04:46 PM) The Storyteller: click. click. Sergei was out of ammo. He stood, still silhouetted in the door, breathing as though he had run a mile and staring at the horrid vision in front of him. ||
(6:12:52 PM) Erin: The monitors sparked wildly as electronics exploded and died, hissing and popping. The porcelain doll shuddered and twisted as bullets ripped into it, jerking as if in agony. And nothing could stop the terrible ticking that seemed to come from the very walls, echoing ceaselessly throughout the entire room.
Outside, the lights fluttered, and then suddenly the room was pitch black. There was nothing, no light, no sound except for the echo of ragged breathing, and the incessant and unstoppable sound of the ticking clock: Tick. Tock. Tick...||
(6:15:30 PM) The Storyteller: There was another wordless scream, and Sergei pelted away from the room. A few moments later you could hear a crash as he tripped and fell, then more hurried footsteps as he scrambled to his feet. Some seconds later more shots ran out, hitting you could only imagine what, and then he disappeared from your hearing. ||
(7:26:42 PM) Erin: There was a particular habit Erin had gotten into when eating at fast food places, which was something that happened distressingly often, as she was a poor as dirt. She'd eaten enough fish and chips to wonder that she hadn't grown gills, or more appropriately, grown about fifty pounds heavier. This particular habit did not help her health any.
(7:27:23 PM) Erin: Firstly, she would go and order two desserts, and the largest strawberry shake on the menu.
(7:28:42 PM) Erin: Then she would go and sit as close as she could to either the register or the children's play area (if there was one), and eat her ill-considered meal with childish gusto.
(7:29:52 PM) Erin: There were perks to being an adult, it seemed, and that was getting to eat whatever you wanted all the time. Provided, of course, what you wanted came off the dollar menu at a greasy fast food place.||
[trying to get that last point of glamour. :P]
(7:30:53 PM) The Storyteller: [Roll Wits+Empathy at a -2]
(7:31:23 PM) Erin: [aaaand there you go from the chat]
(7:32:37 PM) The Storyteller: [Reinvite!] Robert Hammond had begged off the meeting, partially because he'd wanted to look around the museum some more to figure out what Isengrim had done, and partially because he'd seen Erin eat before.
(7:32:44 PM) The Storyteller: Rakesh did not order food.
(7:33:27 PM) Erin: [crumbs, now i remember. i was considering having rakesh tail the mobster. oh wells.
btw, before we leave, did sergei drop anything besides bullet casings?]
(7:33:46 PM) The Storyteller: [nope]
(7:33:51 PM) Erin: [drat]
(7:36:33 PM) The Storyteller: So it was that the changeling and the werewolf sat in the fast food resteraunt when Whim arrived, quickly acquired a soda, and sat down opposite the two. She had, since Erin had last seen her, traded her leather bomber jacket and miniskirt in for something slightly more capable of blending in, now sitting front of Erin in cargo pants and a black and green striped shirt. Her hair was still a vivid, acid green. Slightly more capable of blending in. Slightly. "Hello you two." She said as sat down, taking a drink. ||
(7:37:25 PM) The Storyteller: [Just so you know, talked to Kiwi, RP will be done to-morrow, we hope. So we can keep going as long as you like.]
(7:39:56 PM) Erin: "Hullo, Miss Whim," Erin said politely, sipping heavily on her sickly sweet strawberry shake. She popped the plastic top off and started jamming the straw through a particularly large lump of whatever the heck they made this stuff out of.||
(7:43:16 PM) The Storyteller: "Greetings Whim." Rakesh said politely. "What have you learned?"
(7:43:17 PM) The Storyteller: "Erin had the right idea. I found a few hairs, put a tracer on them." The Mage smiled briefly. Now that she had divested herself of her mask, it emerged that she had rather nice, hazel eyes. Her smiled faded. "I may be wrong, but near as I can tell the bodies are halfway across the world by now. Somewhere in Russia, at a guess." ||
(7:48:19 PM) Erin: "Russia?" is what Erin meant to say, but it came out as something more like "Mruush-aa" due to her mouth being full of chocolate cake. "Whaa-" She wiped her mouth with a napkin and then swallowed. "It's been two days, they've been busy," she replied, scratching her head.
"But really, why send them to Russia instead of incinerating them?" she wondered aloud.||
(7:49:21 PM) The Storyteller: "Presumably because the proprietor isn't done with them." Rakesh murmurred. ||
(7:53:16 PM) Erin: "Jeeeeeeez. They've already carved out their brains and fed them to a ghost," Erin grumbled, picking up a chunk of cheesecake with her plastic fork and shoving it in her mouth. "Ammmnnn... we shtill don't know why they did that either. Or what the deal was with that girl. This sucks."||
(7:56:13 PM) The Storyteller: "No. We don't." Whim said quietly. "Research is my best guess, but... I just don't know. I did a few sweeps, but it doesn't look as though any of the three victims left a ghost." ||
(8:01:20 PM) Erin: "Mmrmmmf... you could always try catching one of the Russians? Iunno if they'd know either," Erin said, trying to gulp down enough of her desserts to manage to speak again. Strawberry shakes didn't really wash down sugar effectively. "Tapping a brain is pretty easy to just tell them to do without explaining it. Though I think they musta messed it up at least once or something."||
(8:02:08 PM) The Storyteller: "Why so?" Whim asked, her eyes going distant. She was thinking of something even as she listened to Erin. ||
(8:05:15 PM) Erin: "Coz Mr. Sergei regretted it. One of them, at least," Erin replied, kicking her feet as she prodded a morsel of cake. "He really did a number on poor Mr. Rakesh's mannequin. And he shot up my clock! That retard." She bit down too heavily on the fork and got a plastic prong in her mouth for her trouble.||
(8:10:10 PM) The Storyteller: "Shot?" Now Whim was listening very closely. Rakesh was tapping his fingers on the table. "It would certainly be helpful to try and catch one of the Russians. Though it may tip Wormwood off, so perhaps not." ||
(8:15:26 PM) Erin: "He probably knows we're coming... or at least that we're around. They must have seen us shoot the ghost," Erin mulled, folding her fingers beneath her chin. "Though they hadn't fixed the cameras when we arrived in the morning."
"If Mr. Sergei hasn't tipped the other one off, then Mr. Alexsander will be showing up at the museum at 12pm," she informed, at least to the best of her knowledge. "We could also go looking for Mr. Sergei... I don't think he was trying to cover his trail when he left... didn't seem to be on his mind."||
(8:20:23 PM) The Storyteller: "So... Wormwood knows we're coming. Hopefully no one did anything too supernatural on camera. Though having a pack of fellows with guns would still be a broad hint." Whim said. She sighed. "Not good. Well, I'll see if I can get a better fix on the bodies locations than 'far far away'" ||
(8:23:09 PM) Erin: "Ummmmmmmmm." Erin looked over at Rakesh at that mention.
"The cameras were rigged to pick up spiritual activity," she mentioned to Whim. "I don't know why they'd want to do that, beyond something happening... like what happened with us. Do you know any other reason?"||
(8:25:11 PM) The Storyteller: "Ah... there was a certain amount of shapeshifting on camera. And if the cameras were made to detect ghosts, then our new friend's spectral passenger may also have been visible." Rakesh said carefully.
(8:25:38 PM) The Storyteller: "Seventeen is gonna through a fit." Whim said with resignation. "But from the sounds of it, filming the ghost at work?" ||
(8:27:50 PM) Erin: "Ew. I wonder if Mr. Sergei watched the ghost saw that woman's head off," Erin pondered. "I'd watch out for silver bullets tonight, Mr. Rakesh." ||
(8:30:29 PM) The Storyteller: "Thank you for that thought, Erin." Rakesh winced. The memories of silver bullets did not hold well with him." ||
(8:32:01 PM) Erin: "I don't suppose any of the Guardians are good at catching and interrogating Russians?" Erin asked hopefully.||
(8:33:54 PM) The Storyteller: "We're good at catching them... Cu is our interrogator but he's busy." Whim said. ||
(8:36:28 PM) Erin: "Eventuallyeveryone will have gone home... right?" Erin scratched her head. ||
(8:37:20 PM) Erin: [i'll have to poll kage and see if he's even game before deciding to do this or not]
(8:37:43 PM) The Storyteller: [Alright!]
(8:37:53 PM) The Storyteller: [...though I think he just went to sleep. >_>]
(8:38:02 PM) Erin: [....i guess not then!]
(9:04:39 PM) The Storyteller: Once more, the two changelings and the werewolf hid themselves in the room next to the security office, behind the large table on which the now-broken monitors were located. They waited. It was strange, but given all the tic-tocking around, it was not until Rakesh pulled out a small wristwatch that you could tell the time. It was 12:14. Where was Aleksander, the werewolf mouthed silently. ||
(9:09:44 PM) Erin: Erin silently shook her head. There was no way of knowing if Sergei had tipped Aleksander off, or if he'd run into Cu, or if something else had occurred. "Start thinking of escape route," she whispered into Rakesh's ear. They didn't need to be here for this part, not really, and the trap failing was better than being shot at with a semi automatic.||
(9:11:35 PM) The Storyteller: Rakesh nodded, watching the minutes slowly tick on by. 12:15. Said the watch. Not long later, 12:26. Then 12:32. Still no sign of Aleksander. ||
(9:15:41 PM) Erin: Time to go, Erin decided. Chances are too good Sergei tipped him off.
She gestured to the others and shrugged, silently warning to keep an eye out for other traps as they snuck out. If Aleksander had been warned, there was no point in waiting, as the trap would be no good - and there was a high chance he'd be looking for them. If he hadn't been warned and was just detained, Hammond's masterpiece of horror would probably do the job just as well without the power outage.||
(9:19:43 PM) The Storyteller: Quietly, with the exception of that one time Erin managed to trip and fall into a closet, with ensuing din, the trio emerged from the museum. They met no one as they passed through the darkened corridors, and saw and heard nothing. Only the persistent tick-tock, tick-tock of a clock. But then that was Rakesh's handiwork. Hopefully. ||
(9:21:08 PM) Erin: "I have a bad feeling about this," Erin said, as they left the museum behind them. ||
[Hammond's 7 success horror scene remains in the basement.]