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In the Heat of the...Tunnel?
"I've been dreaming for so long,
To find a meaning
To understand.
The secret of life,
Why am I here
To try again?"

~Within Temptation, Jillian

Thin, ivory coloured fingers swept through tousled, raven black and blue hair, as a small woman ran through the dark Underground city of Moscow. Never had she thought she would be overseas, and Moscow? No. Although, it didn’t seem to matter where she went, it was always the same. Her wanting, sickly needing, for something more, and the landscape? Not surprising that the best place she fit in, was far beneath the well-to-do, and hustle and bustle of another yuppie city. Granted, she had heard that under President Brandon’s rule, things were better here, possibly better opportunities.

Breathing heavily, her chest burned, and she winced. Her new thought had been to try and engage in some type of new physical activity to get her mind off of her addiction; however, just as moving to the other side of the world had not helped, neither did running from it. Abruptly, she came to a stop, furrowing her dark brows at a gaping hole in the wall of the caved sides of the Underground city. Glancing quickly over her shoulder, to make sure her new “neighbours” weren’t following her again, she raised an eyebrow and tilted her head to the side in wonder.

Possibly, it was just another old subway tunnel...or maybe, it was something more. Inhabitants of the “city”, ranted and raved about the things they had seen in these parts: Reptilian-like creatures, cloaked monks, monsters, altars to Gods unknown. When stories like this crossed her ears, she often smirked, titled emerald eyes glittering, and said something like,

“Yeah, I’ve seen weird shit in my life too.”

It wasn’t that she didn’t believe, her early life had been based around mythology, but hearing it from one drug addict to the next? Her sources weren’t reliable.

Pursing her lips, she studied the entrance to the tunnel, and ran her fingers along the dirt encrusted wall, her wan fingers began to shake slightly and she pulled them back from the wall. Biting her lower lip, she shook her head, and looked back at the tunnel.

If there IS something down there, I HAVE to know what it is
Her lips quirked in a half-smile, and she slipped into the tunnel. The rustling of her long, tight-fitted blue coat was all she could hear, and she suddenly began berating herself for not bringing a source of light with her. The heels on her boots clicked loudly on random pieces of what she thought must have been metal.

Gods, I’m stupid, coming in here alone.
She felt like a rabbit climbing into a fox den. Serena closed her eyes, as she suddenly felt the tightening of her chest grasp at her lungs. No, no, no. Not now..You idiot, Serena. Keep it together!
But she couldn’t, sweat began to bead on her brow and upper lip, her knees locked as her calf muscles cramped. The large, steel-toed boot of anxiety crashed into her chest as she hit the ground.

She yelled in frustration and self-hatred. How long had it been since she had used? Surely, she had something left, something hiding in the small secret pocket of her coat. Tingling fingers fumbled into her jacket, only to find her pocket empty. The familiar tightening in her throat, the thick ball of tears that would never come, threatened to cease her breathing.

“Right here? Right now?”
Her eyes opened to reveal the same darkness that had hidden behind her lids. She felt utterly alone, yet...the fear of the unknown clung to her like a thick fog in the heavy darkness.

Panicking, she shook, and reached within, grasping at whatever she could, she needed help!

And there it was, flowing swiftly through her. The same powerful, euphoric feeling that made her feel more alive than anything artificial. She latched onto it, somehow pulling it towards her, trying to will it to do something, anything!

Light! I need light!

What she got, was a fire. Near by debris, burst into flames, and Serena screamed.

Edited by Serena Morrigan, Jun 28 2014, 11:05 PM.
Drayson did not appreciate having people 'given' to him. No matter how well recommended an officer was, it rarely worked out well when they were sent to him with the expectations that they would be of use to him. That they weren't some corrupt yes-man or someone's cousin, or son. He had been saddled with such 'recommendations' in the past, and it had always been an unwanted headache to find a place to squirrel them away where they couldn't do any serious damage.

Ivan had, so far, proven to not be one of those sorts. Maybe, just maybe, the stars had come into alignment and the man had been selected because he was actually good at his job, and would actually be of use to him. Well, if what he had been told of the man was true, then maybe his task force had a chance of doing it's job. Fight magic with magic.

So the man had proven skilled in training, and had a good record. And, apparently, had a few tricks up his sleeve. But could he handle the things Drayson was saddling up the new unit for? Well, the best way to find out was to see how he managed under pressure. Of course, Drayson wasn't just all killing monsters and stopping witches and warlocks. Moscow might have been the greatest city in the modern world, but it was a dangerously thin facade draped tight over an abundance of ugly truths.

One such truth was, as it had become known to those aware of it, the undercity. A huge population of poor illegal immigrants eching out a living beneath the city. The place was rife with gang crime, smuggling, illegal drugs and slavery and worse. And there were things down there, lurking in the shadows. Of course, it was the abundant population of forgotten and ignored that kept those things in check; they didn't need to wander to the streets of Moscow for food, it seemed.

Drayson's arm should have been in a sling for a few more days yet, but he had opted to leave it behind for the day's activities. He was in good shape, and recovered quickly, and a dislocation wasn't all that serious an injury after all. He was dressed as he often was; nice, albeit not terribly expensive, wool suit, the tie pulled a little loose after two hours wandering the tunnels beneath the city.

They had already visited two small squatter camps, populations of no more then a few dozen each; migratory ones, their populations mostly Chinese, which would have made conversation awkward except that Drayson's Wallet had various translation programs in it now. He'd learned his lesson and forked out for the expensive apps. All the while Drayson spoke with Ivan, trying to get a good bearing on the young officer. Opinions on Moscow, of the undercity, of illegal immigrants, of ghost and goblins and the myriad of unsolved cold cases. The reason behind those unsolvable cases were becoming clear to Drayson; they had not been solved, no murderers or abductees found because it hadn't been a human behind them.

He'd started the day with both himself and Ivan carrying dufflebags, in which were a handful of blankets, a few pairs of shoes sized for small children, and a pair of emergency survival batteries, the sorts that could be charged by handcrank. One had been given to either group, in exchange for information about trouble that might be brewing, and by now their bags were mostly empty.

Most of what they learned was mundane; gangs snatching children and teenagers, drug smugglers, the usual. But the second group had mentioned that they stayed well away from a large underground chamber; it may have been intended as a deep line metro station at one time, but the place was pitch black.

The place was filled with debris, the most valuable of which had been wooden pallets and lumber, left untouched even after all these years. The wood was valuable for building shelters, or for cooking fires, yet no one had salvaged any of it, out of fear of something that lurked there in the darkness.

Drayson had enlisted the help of a city worker crew chief, a man he had ventured into the tunnels with a few times now. The fellow was knowledgeable of the tunnels, and never seemed to get lost. He had a good head for directions underground. So after a short discussion, they agreed to go check it out. None expected to find anything, but the description of the place made it sound like debris had fallen from the ceiling over the years, an alarming thought to the crew chief who feared the possibilities of cave-ins. A likely reason why the place was untouched of it's abundant wood.

Each man carried flashlights, but the crew-chief favoured a long-life electric lantern instead. It cast a bright glow around them, and he carried it high over his head in untiring arms; he was well used to holding the weight of it over his head for long periods of time, although he did switch hands routinely.

The three men made their way through tunnels and chambers, occasionally muscling open old service doors and passing through rooms long emptied of anything useful, until they all stopped. A sound echoing from ahead; a scream, perhaps, but whether it had been from a throat or old protesting metal was hard for Drayson to tell. A glance at the crew chief told him which of the two the man thought. He seemed worried, bordering on spooked.

Drayson was a large man, and carried with him an abundance of raw strength. His good shoulder was planted against a resisting old metal door, and the metal let out three brief squeals of protest before it was forced open far enough for them to pass through. A short corridor, another door, and soon they entered a large chamber, lit by the flickering grow of a fire near the far side.

The place had a high ceiling, and was longer then it was wide, lending to the idea that it may have been intended to be a metro station. But there were no tracks, no tunnels leading off. The walls were raw brick, from what their lights and the fire could illuminate, and mounds of fallen, rotten, brick and concrete dotted the floor where it had fallen from the ceiling.

"Mr Mikhailov. What do you make of this?"
Drayson shined his flashlight towards the ceiling, but even it's powerful light didn't do much up there, lost and broken up by the girders and supported that held it, and a wide variety of old pipes and such in place.

The old crew chief glanced around, and thumbed the bricks of the wall adjacent the door, before brushing his hand clean of the crumbling red brick, "Early 1900s probably. Who knows what those neanderthals wanted something like this for. Probably a supply dump."

It would certainly explain the hundreds of old wooden pallets stacked against the walls, and the wide doors and ramps that lined one wall. Probably had elevators of some sort behind them. Likely manually operated ones, rather then electric. Drayson nodded slightly and tossed his gaze towards the fire, partly hidden from view by piles of debris or old wooden beams and pallets, and started walking deeper into the chamber, "Hello? Anyone here?"
<small>[[continued from Here's to forgetting]]</small>

Ivan was pretty excited about his new assignment. The opportunity to both do his work as a cop and also to use his abilities in an official capacity was, to say the least, unprecedented. At least he'd never heard of it. Though of course that didn't mean anything, he supposed. But he was happy.

And he had to say that it was nice working with a superior officer who wasn't a pencil pushing, rule following moron. He'd seen a lot of those in the few years he'd been on the force. Guys with guts that said that they hadn't run down a perp in 10 years and if they had to right that second, well they'd take 10 steps and then he'd be stuck having to decided whether to call for an ambulance for the heart attack going on or to continue the chase and then have to fill out a bunch of paperwork explaining why he had left a fellow officer when he was hurt. Which was to say, he disliked working with superior officers who seemed to forget how to actually police.

But Drayson was another story. Pretty much top cop in the city, and yet somehow made sure that he spent plenty of time on the streets doing actual police work. They were the same height and the same build, which he appreciated. Good to know that if it went down, there'd be two guys like them to make sure things didn't get out of hand. More than that, though, was that the man cut through a lot of the procedural and bureaucratic crap and got down to business. Not that Ivan hated paperwork. He saw the point and did his job. But the day that my job is just filling out papers is the day that I shoot myself int he head. That was not why he became a cop.

Apparently, Drayson meant to test him because that day's job was to head down into the undercity. What they were looking for, exactly, he wasn't sure. He'd never been down there himself, though of course he'd heard of it. As a cop, how could you not? The idea saddened him. He was not naive. You didn't grow up the son and grandson of a cop with a disneyfied view of the world. You knew what it was like. There were no thieves with a heart of gold down here who'd rescue a princess and live happily ever after, no sassy squirrels to help a plucky young girl out of trouble.

Life down here was ugly and hard and that was the cold reality. But that didn't mean it didn't make his heart hurt or make him wish that Ascendancy could somehow make the problems go away. But he, more than most, understood the limitations of that power. No matter how much you had, you were just one man. You needed other men and women to help you, to stand beside you, to shoulder the responsibility. Thing weren't gonna get better until people started working together.

The living conditions of these people were horrific compared to topside. He knew the duffels they carried with supplies for information trade were critical. But he didn't kid himself. More would have to be done to solve the problems down here than just provide material supplies . The fact was, what was down here was not any kind of social order like up top. There were no elections or officials or anything like that. It was much more primitive and prone to abuse by those with might. That wasn't going to change with a few batteries and blankets, not really.

As they went from small group to small group, flashlights illuminating paths to glowing lights of fires in distant tunnels and alcoves and overhangs, they heard tales that were far too common. Smugglers, children being snatched from their families, gangs fighting each other. It was depressing, made all the more so by the fact that they were deep underground.

But amid those terrible, but unfortunately all too common mundane problems, were stories of a darker nature. Tales of monsters and other things in the dark. Places that they dared not go. He wasn't sure how seriously he took them. People always told stories. Ivan was reminded of Zoya. Strangely, despite their surroundings, he smiled and looked at his shoes. It had only been a bit of puke, but still. But he'd stepped in worse, he supposed. Then again, those had been shoes for going out, not standard work issue.

He wondered if she was ok. Probably getting in trouble again. He thought about giving her a call. He had her number and it was worth the shot. She had called him, after all. Maybe that was just because she thought he could help her. But who cares. You gotta take chances. Maybe they'd have a fun normal date. Strangely, that thought wasn't as appealing to him, the normal. He rather liked her impetuous side.

But anyway, monsters. As they made their way through tunnel after tunnel, Ivan watched carefully. He didn't actually believe in them. Well sure, there were things out there that he was sure he didn't know about. But monsters? He'd not really been afraid of them as a kid. When your dad was packin' heat and jokingly ordered the 'monsters' you thought were in the closet to “come out with their hands up” before he pulled the door open and 'cleared' it...well, you kind of lost your fear of that stuff. Pops was like that. Reality was real. So Ivan was tense. But not about monsters themselves.

Drayson was cool to watch though. The guy just seemed to go from encampment to encampment, no nonsense, listening empathetically but also with a purpose. He was hunting something. It made Ivan alert. He had rounded up a city worker crew to join them, evidently because this guy knew the layout of the tunnels. They made their way into the maze and eventually came to an abandoned section that still had stacks of wooden pallets and lumber. Drayson commented on it and Ivan had to agree. It was odd. That kind of resource should have been used long ago.

At one point, he heard what might have been a scream. He wasn't sure though. A look at Drayson confirmed that he wasn't sure either. Drayson muscled his way through a door and again Ivan smiled. The man was not afraid to use physical force. He was growing to like the guy. Definitely not a desk jockey afraid to get his hands dirty. They entered a large chamber, the size of which was only dimly illuminated by their flashlights and the workers lamps. The weight of the ceiling was palpable, as the contours of the of the cavern was discernible. Hundreds of feet of rock and concrete and road sat over their heads, not to mention whatever cars and buildings were above. It was an incomprehensible amount of weight to be held up. Irrationally, he felt as if the whole thing could fall in on them.

In the distance they saw a flickering orange which might be a fire. Drayson questioned Mr Michailov, but Ivan only half listened. He extended his senses. The weight of world above pressed in on him, spiking the fear...there was something out there. And they could be buried at any moment. In the distance of his mind he perceived a light, the power, and he seized it. Suddenly the room flared brightly in his mind, the darkness becoming full day. The sound of their movement and breath reverberating palpably against the walls, like some bat's sonar, telling exactly how many meters the cavern is, the air pressure indicating the depth.

The claustrophobic feeling was powerful, but Ivan swallowed it down. He drew in enough of the power to feel his skin prickle, but it helped. Part of him wanted to run for the surface, but he refused to let himself flee. He took a deep breath, focused on his breathing, and relaxed. He watched Drayson, ready to follow his lead. He would not let this fear govern him. He had a job to do.

Edited by Ivan Sarkozy, Sep 7 2014, 09:39 AM.
After the initial fear that she, too, might go up in flames, surpassed, the small woman smiled and breathed in deeply. Whatever it was that coursed through her veins, she could see more sharply, almost every speck of dirt and the small particles of dust that floated past her field of vision. Her ears seemed to perk up slightly, almost like an animals. She was sure she could hear droplets of water dripping into a stagnant puddle in the distance, and perhaps small rocks or pebbles falling from their once secure homes in the tunnel roof.

Leaning back against the cave wall, she breathed in deeply, as if she could taste each breath, savouring it. Yup. This is definitely better than any trip I’ve ever had.
Her thoughts seemed to dance over fond memories of certain events in her life where she had been intentionally hallucinating. Glorious, magical moments, where she had been a glittering, dancing queen. Her wings extending over her shoulders and above her head, electric blue hair shining in the limelight.

Full red lips quirked in a smile as she shook her head. Acid, hell of a drug, but it’s got nothing on this.
She giggled momentarily to herself, not caring that she was just a mostly dark Moscow.

Her momentarily heightened sense of sound snagged her attention, and shoved the ball of fear back into her chest. Sitting forward, pulling one knee up to her chest, she leaned on it with one elbow and moved slowly, carefully, as she attempted to peer past the little fire she had created. Beyond the dancing flames, lay an opening to a greater cavern, but she couldn’t see past the light. Her emerald eyes searched for the source of the sound, but the darkness of the cavern seemed to wrap around the fire light.

What it sounded like were…Footsteps...Precise, calculated, footsteps.

"Hello? Anyone here?"
The voice came out of the dark. To her, it sounded loud, abrupt and commanding.

Just like a...

Serena scrambled to her feet clumsily, and her wonderful, euphoric feeling slipped away from her.


Cursing herself for wearing heeled boots while she decided to stupidly go “spelunking”, Serena slipped lightly on some fallen rocks, and smashed her knee onto the ground. Well, so much for pretending like I wasn’t here.
However, instead of doing the smart thing and coming into the light so whoever it was that called out could see her, she pressed herself up against the side of the tunnel. Her once royal blue coat was probably caked in dirt, and now she most likely looked like the rest of the folks in the undercity; but, there was no way she was just going to come out with her hands up and expose herself. She hadn’t really “met” anyone, other than some pimps, prostitutes and dealers. Smirking to herself, she thought, At least I found the last one, though. We certainly can smell our own.
She snickered to herself again without even thinking of the newcomers in the chamber.

Tilted emerald eyes went wide, and she smacked herself in the forehead with the palm of her hand.

Today, being sneaky, was NOT in the cards.
Edited by Serena Morrigan, Jun 30 2014, 10:13 PM.
There was the faintest sounds of movement from somewhere near that fire, but with the echo, the size of the room, the sounds of their own movement, Drayson couldn't really make out much of anything. Probably just a few squatters, moving into a new area. He often wondered how they were able to feed themselves; the CCD was a capitalistic power house, not necessarily noted for it's generosity or abundance of philanthropists.

He glanced at Mr Mikhailov, and the other man shrugged, probably thinking the same thing as Drayson. Maybe a couple illegal immigrants at most, hiding away out of fear and suspicion. More of the same, really. He couldn't blame them; even the crew chief wasn't a small man, although perhaps a bit more round around the middle then Drayson or Ivan.

He moved deeper into the large chamber, and waved his flashlight side to side slowly, watching for any signs of trouble, and so that whomever was hiding didn't think they were trying to storm their hiding place. "You don't need to be scared. I'm here to trade, that's all."
He said the same in Chinese; he couldn't speak the language, but knew a few key phrases at least.

His tone was calm, confident, and friendly. Despite his size and build, he was often seen as an approachable and friendly man, something well conveyed in his gaze and tone. He indicated for Ivan to pace himself out a bit but stay back; a good spot to observe the room and provide cover if trouble brewed, hopefully without spooking whoever was in hiding.

Mr Mikhailov stayed a few steps behind Drayson, holding his lantern up, and spoke in Russian and English, introducing himself and claiming the same purpose as Drayson. The two men were rather familiar with folks being spooked by their presence, and were often careful about how they approached the groups that formed in the undercity. Some were less reasonable then others.
Continued from:The Strong and the Weak

Giovanni hobbled through the tunnels with his makeshift cane. He could walk fine, but occasionally, his balance would be thrown off. To that end, he kept close to the walls, using both the wall and the iron bar to keep his balance.

As far as Giovanni could tell, the makeshift shirt-bandage had stopped the bleeding, but some blood had hardened on his chest and stomach. Giovanni was glad that the tunnels had some warmth to them and had no idea what he would do when he reached the surface to stay warm in the Russian winter.


"Yes, Ordine, we are going to get help,"
Giovanni said, his voice raspy from the dryness in his throat.

Giovanni hadn't seen a soul since he had departed from Aramand, and more importantly he hadn't seen any strange creatures that wanted to eat him. Anytime Giovanni closed his eyes he could see the face of the bloodsucker that had attacked him. The completely dilated eyes made him shudder.


Giovanni sighed at the repeated idea and kept moving forward. Regardless of whether or not the wound was still bleeding, he' have to go to a hospital to close the punctures in his shoulders before they got infected. Giovanni doubted he would find anyone that would care enough to help him reach the surface, but hoped that he would. He wasn't sure he'd make it there before passing out.

He passed by a door and thought he heard some faint echoes of sound emanating from it. A sound of something falling and then a voice. He couldn't make out the words, but there was clearly someone talking on the other side of the door. Giovanni moved to enter the room slowly and silently to figure out if the owner of the voice was friend or foe.
The air under here was cool and dank, a myriad of odors- trash, decay, mildew and others not identifiable- assaulting his nose. With the power pulsing in him, roaring through him, all his senses were enhanced, the room seeming much lighter. He might have enjoyed that enhancement if he were out hiking or maybe with a girl or something. He smiled to himself at the thought. Now that'd be a thing to try. Better not let Ascendancy know, though. No telling what the man might think about his ascendants, or whatever he had called men like them, using the power for...extra-curricular activities. But it was his power too, after all. It wouldn't interfere with his work. But down here, deep in the tunnels with all this decay and human suffering, well, he coulda done with out feeling all that up too close. Most of the time, anyway. Now, he guessed, was as good a time as any to have your senses be power-fied or whatever. So the room was lighter to his eyes, but aside from the flickering orange up ahead, the only sources of light were their flashlights and the worker's lantern. And their flicking about created false impressions of movement. Not too helpful.

Ivan's eardrums felt pressed in upon, the pressure down here palpable, and he looked up again. Relax. Just cuz you can feel the weight of the roof compressing the air down here doesn't mean it's gonna fall. You'd have to have some real shit luck for that to happen now that you're here, when it's been up for what looks like since the days of Lenin or whatever Mikhailov had sad. Taking a breath, he kept going. He was not going to leave his CO out there on his own just because it turned out he had a bit of claustrophobia. He was better than that. In the distance he hear some sort of scuffling- a slip maybe, and then some other unidentifiable sound. Despite the echoes from various directions, Ivan knew that it was up ahead and to their left.

Drayson and Mikhailov started calling out, letting whoever was out there know that there was no danger. Ivan heard no further sounds, which meant that whoever it was didn't believe them. Ivan couldn't blame them. All three of them were big guys, though Mikhailov should probably think about laying off the doughnuts that they put out where ever he worked. Maybe hit a gym too. At least more than once a year, anyway.

Drayson nodded to him that he should cover their back, which he did. If someone did jump out or was a danger, Ivan would be in a better place to respond. He did angle to the left though, murmuring "On your left"
to Drayson. He prepared a weave of air just in case, watching ahead very carefully, stretching out his senses to their limits. The room seemed to come alive to him as he was alert to every changing variable.

As they approached the the tunnel entrances where the flickering orange light was, Ivan heard a slight scratching of something being opened. It too was ahead of them, but not on the left. There were two sources to track now. "Ahead too,"
he whispered to Drayson, his voice loud in his ears.

Hope he's ready.

Edited by Ivan Sarkozy, Jul 1 2014, 10:22 AM.
Things hadn't gone well with Dane. Aria pushed it away as she did everything else. She didn't want to deal with him, didn't want to deal with anything for that matter. She wanted to hunt, more precisely she wanted to extract her own anger on someone, or something. What was left of her humanity tugged at her from every direction.

It was nothing now, there was only anger. At herself, at him, at the world. It was done. The line crossed, there was no way back. Four souls dead at her hand.

Aria stalked through the streets during the day. The sun was bright in the winter sky, but it held little warmth, it just meant snow was not falling. It didn't fit her mood, she descended into the Undercity in hopes to find something dark and dangerous to fight.

Anger, hate, fear, pain, frustration, sadness. It all coursed through Aria's body, her own emotions returned with the anger, the frustration of the moment. It pounded her soul. Tears fell for the first time, but Aria moved in the shadows of the first level. Her senses stretched wide. Aria checked the sword at her hip to make sure it was clear, the soft sound of metal on metal made her heart sing.

There was only one things to do. Something had to pay. Something had to take the anger, the hate. She had decided to pursue her goals, before ever meeting Dane. But there was no turning back, her life was forfeit, it meant nothing now. It wasn't the Atharim she strove for, but for the eradication of monsters. To preserve humanity in all its incarnations. Eradicate those truly worthy of death, someone like herself. Redemption was not possible. But the pain and suffering of those like her was.

Aria wandered the tunnels avoiding people. Which to say the least was not very hard, they avoided her as much as she avoided them.

The tunnels were dark and dank, it fit her mood perfectly. But there was hide nor hair of monster to be found. Aria went deeper in the tunnels. There had to be something to fight, something to kill.

At the far edge of her senses, Aria found a hulking creature, something she'd only felt once, just before it's death. She could feel the massive hunger, the feel of the monster's prey. Aria drew her sword, it was still far away. She moved quickly in the shadows. The creature getting closer, its prey reaching the edges of her senses. Three souls in front of it. But she couldn't read more than that.

Aria took alternate tunnels to get in front of the beast. There was a large cavern in front of the Oni. Aria glimpsed it's huge hulking form in the shadows. She wanted to stop it before it reached close to the flickering lights inside the cavern. The three others would likely hear the commotion, but hopefully they would scatter. One could only hope. It was a good day to die. Oni were fast and strong and known for their ferocity. Legends said they were invincible and undefeatable, but there really was only one way to find out.

Aria picked up a large rock and tossed it into the tunnel in front of her. The Oni turned and saw closer prey. It smiled its gnarled teeth at Aria and she smiled back. It would definitely be a good day to die. Aria didn't wait, she struck first, her sword whirling and catching the beast its left arm, and the fight was on...

((In terms of location, Aria's in another branch off the cavern Serena's in))

Edited by Aria, Jul 1 2014, 02:02 PM.
Squinting, trying to differentiate the shadows behind her fire, and attempting to use her periphery at the same time, Serena bit her lower lip as she thought. Gods, this is worse than being up for five days and seeing shadow people.
Hallucinating from sleep deprivation, and running from things that may or may not be there was quite different than hiding in the shadows from things that actually were there. Although, it wasn’t like these were the strange creatures the people of the Underground had mentioned. From what it sounded like, they were human.

It’s totally a cop, Serena. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...prooobably not an elephant.

Breathing heavily, trying not to make more sound than she already had, she reached out shakily with her hands, grasping the edge of the tunnel with her fingers.

“You don’t need to be scared. I’m here to trade, that’s all.”
The voice was calmer this time, coaxing the rabbit out of it’s hole.

Serena snorted. “Bullshit.”
She whispered as she used her hands to pull herself slowly towards the mouth of the tunnel, attempting to merely peer over the edge. She needed to know what she was dealing with, how many there were. Surely, he hadn’t come down here alone like an idiot.<big> Like me.

Firelight danced in her eyes, most likely revealing herself and her position. Before she ducked back into the tunnel, she caught a glimpse of three large men, one a little plumper than the rest. No doubt she could outrun THAT one, but the others? Not so much.
Hunkering back down in her position, she shook her head, and wrung her hands before aimlessly playing with one of the buttons on her coat. Without thinking, she grazed her hand over her secret pocket. What was her plan of action? There was no way in hell she was just going to come out there. Surely, they’d pounce on her, or cuff her, or interrogate her with a barrage of questions. Her breath came shorter, and her chest tightened with anxiety again. Why did she always get herself in these predicaments?

As she was pressing her lips together, thinking of her escape, the sound of what could have been a heavy door interrupted her train of thought. They have doors in the dirt?
Feeling ridiculous, her eyes darted in the direction of the sound, it seemed to come from just ahead of her, out in the cavern. There, another shadow upon more shadows, was a figure of what appeared to be another man.

Oh, for the love of the…

Her silent curse was cut short at the echoing sound of a large rock hitting the tunnel floor behind her, which was closely followed by an inhuman snarl, and a strange “schlick, schlick”. The only thing that sounds like that is...cutting meat..
She furrowed her brow, and tried to focus further down the tunnel

The small woman’s heart jumped into her throat, and if she had been asked, she would have sworn she could feel it beating in her forehead and fingertips. Legs trembling, she watched the shadows on the tunnel wall. No longer did she care of the men that were now behind her, what she was concerned with was what the hell was further back in the tunnel. A large hulking shadow seemed to wrestle with a smaller, quicker one. Every so often, the smaller shadow raised something thin, something much too long to be an arm, and that’s when the strange sound came, followed by more snarling.

It was then, that she realized what was happening. The large shadow WAS something inhuman, something she had been told about, but never could have believed to actually SEE one. Serena’s breath came quickly, shaking in her chest. She didn’t know whether to run back to the cops, or just risk trying to find a tunnel to shove herself into. A trembling hand rubbed at her forehead, Now, would be a great time to just have<em> something. Just numb this and run! Forget I ever saw it. </em>

Instead, she just yelled to the men in the cavern. Biting the bullet.. “Hey! I don’t care who you are out there, or what you think I’m doing here! But there’s something freaking crazy goin’ on down here!”

Giovanni dropped his walking stick with a clang to the floor when he heard the inhuman snarl coming from farther back in the tunnel. He began to breathe faster seeing only the image of the bloodsucker in his mind. They were tracking him. He knew it.


Giovanni moved into the room as he heard a feminine voice yelling, "Hey! I don't care who you are out there, or what you think I'm doing here! But there's something freaking crazy goin' on down here!"

Giovanni stumbled into the cave at this time, falling down and then standing up again. He stood slowly so the room would stay level and found himself amongst a group of three men.

One was older, probably about ten years older than Giovanni. He was tall,and he carried himself with a confidence that Giovanni himself once had. The second was stocky from a lot of manual labor. He was less fit than the other two and carried a lantern lighting the way. The third one caught Giovanni's attention more than the other two. He was younger, possibly younger than Giovanni, was wearing a suit, and more importantly, was holding the power.

Giovanni could sense the malice that made him feel threatened. Giovanni stumbled back, finding the wall to keep him up.


Ordine thought these men would help him, and given his dramatic entrance, they hadn't moved to hurt him. As he hit the wall, dust flew off it, causing Giovanni to cough.

Through the coughs, Giovanni spoke, his voice raspy and dry from thirst and looking straight at the younger one holding the power, "Help...monsters."

Giovanni gesture farther back into the tunnel towards where the sound had come from.

Edited by Giovanni Cavelli, Jul 2 2014, 09:24 PM.

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