2019-03-23 - Landslide Revelation Part 2


Our heroes boldly descend down the shaft to find out what lies beneath the shifted pile of rubble.

Log Info:

Storyteller: Clockwork
Date: Sat Mar 23 00:05:25 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

Related Logs

The Disaster Zone

Theme Song



At the bottom of the landslide of debris, Halgrim, Elmo, Huntress, one frightened n'er-do-well, a Dead Girl, and Ian have found themselves near the lip of a hole that seems to open up further down into a shaft with a ladder it in, a more purposefully placed hole than the one they slid into. WIth the aid of a flashlight, one can see the ladder descending into the unknown. The guy who had the bag seems to have no interest in going into the hole, and begins the slow tedious scramble back up the debris to head out again.

Halgrim eyes the hole and the ladder descending into it, using his flashlight to check the ladder's sturdiness. He's not interested in apprehending the man fleeing with the money (what does he care about some bank or wealthy person's stash being raided). "Can I safely assume you want to go down there?" he asks Elmo, sounding resigned to this fate.

There's probably a reason Huntress shows rather less interest in the hole than the others: probably because her prey is going elsewhere. Intending to, anyway — the masked women spins after him. She's aiming to be quick and efficient about it — nothing overtly showy — intending to trip him up, even as her other hand is reaching for handcuffs.

The Huntress looks like she's kind of enjoying herself. Sure — seeing a ghost girl float down into the darkness is pretty cool, but… priorities.

Craning dangerously over the edge, Elmo says, "You bet yer ass I do!", shining around his absurdly overpowered flashlight. He wriggles back from the crumbling ledge. "And I got just the thing. You didn't think I came here without equipment didya?" The thing he pulls from his satchel is just a bundle of metal rods, but he clamps it to the ledge, shoves it over, and—it's a self-deploying ladder, deceptively spindly. "C'mon, it'll hold ya." Elmo climbs on down.

Huntress' prey seems pretty settled on trying to get up and out of the hole and away from whatever craziness is going to go on down that deeper hole. He stumbles and has some trouble getting toward the edge with Huntress actively attempting to trip him up, like amouse trying to avoid the playful paws of a hungry cat.

Elmo's ladder deploys and allows them enough leeway to descend toward the shaft with its sturdy more heavy-duty metal ladder awaiting.

"I can't even say I'm surprised," Halgrim mutters at the sight of the self-deploying ladder. He half-turns to watch Huntress scramble after the man formerly in possession of a lot of twenty dollar bills, sighs and shakes his head. Well, it's not his business, and he's already resolved to stay out of the way of vigilantes. He makes a face at the ladder, tucks his flashlight away, begins climbing down. "What sort of power source would be all the way down here?"

Huntress hears the 'tink' of metal — it's instinct, probably, that turns her head — but the last thing she probably expects is a self-deploying ladder. The gleam of flashlights as the others begin to descend makes her make a noise — and turn her head back towards her prey — already scrambling to the lip of the debris. Her fingers clench for a moment around the handcuffs, before her hand touches the pocket she tucked that photograph earlier. "I'll come for you later, friend," she warns, playfully, though the expression on her face suggests the threat is intended as that. A moment later, she's at the top of the hole, listening to the others, before following in their wake.

Elmo is now in possession of a double handful of those twenties, tucked into one of the many pockets of his long coat. Why let 'em go to waste, right? As he lands, he's saying excitedly, "I dunno! That's why we gotta find out." To Huntress, as she follows, he looks at her curiously from behind his old-fashioned welding goggles. "So, Huntress, ya said?" Then without really bothering to wait for a reply he's down the other ladder, pausing to swing the flashlight beam around and see what the hell is going on.

As Elmo flashes the beam down the concrete shaft, he can see that it descends for some ways, and at the bottom there seems to be a doorway that opens into whatever lies beyond. The sound is there, barely loud enough for him to hear, that electric hum. It's down there, pulsing dimly. But the shaft itself seems both intact save for a small pile of rubble that fell in from the opening they came through a long time ago, and the ladder that leads down.

Halgrim isn't sure how he feels about Huntress joining them, and it's plain on his face as he watches her getting on the ladder. He gives her an assessing look yet makes no comment to her, instead murmuring, "Yes, obviously we must…" in response to Elmo.

He climbs down the two ladders with the ease of familiarity, peering about as they go for anything else interesting or notable, such as how old this shaft might be.

And likewise, Huntress regards Elmo — probably because he's looking at her — and then at their surroundings. She gives a wordless nod at Elmo's statement of her name — and then responds not with a confirmation, but: "A power source?" Her eyes flicker to follow Halgrim for a moment, and then narrow to focus on the steady hum that grows as they descend, head tipped to one side. "Something someone wanted to hide. Something dangerous, perhaps." Which might explain why she's following the others down. As much as it's clear Halgrim isn't sure of her, the reverse is also true in the Huntress' ever moving gaze.

"What'd ya want with that guy?" Elmo says, but half-absently, like his mind is really on whatever power source sings its electric siren's song to him. Because it is. "…Where'd he find all that cash in the DZ, anyway, thought that was the first thing anybody picked out, read this article about it. Unless I guess he didn't get it here and was just tryin' to escape through the DZ…" He goes the rest of the way down the ladder, head tilted, listening and feeling and just all kinds of sensing. "There's a doorway or somethin' down here, it's through that, I think."

Could be from the fifties by the looks of it. But it's a concrete shaft, and aside from the wear of age on the ladder and all, there's nothing particularly noteworthy about it to give it a definitive age. It's a cylindrical hole in the ground.

All three reach hte bottom without incident. It's actually not a particularly treacherous climb. When they reach the bottom they are met with a locked metal door with a small square glass window run through with metal that forms a diamond pattern, to prevent it being broken and an arm reached through.

"The disaster zone ''would'' make a prime hiding spot for that sort of thing," Halgrim says somewhat absently. His attention is now focused on the door. He shines his flashlight around the door, inspecting it as best he can, though of course he knows a door that he himself can't get through when he sees one. He peers through the glass, trying to get a look inside.

"He's a bag man," Huntress says, simply, in response to Elmo's speculation. "He is also irrelevant." It's hard to tell whether the sharpness of her tone is intended to dissuade further questions or as a lead in to the question she turns back: "And you don't often find people traipsing around the DZ looking for… things… either," she says, with a flicker of glance between the other two. Her gaze settles on the locked door with an interest, but she prowls the tiny space first, keeping distance from the two, as if waiting to see what they'll do.

This is exactly the kind of thing Elmo selected his loadout for. Awww yeah, planning ahead. "Man, I didn't think I'd get to use half this stuff," he says happily, pulling out another little device. As he's fussing over it, fitting it to the lock, he grunts in response to the Huntress. "Bag man for who?" Her tone is forbidding, but Elmo doesn't pick up on it. "I mean, do I care? Not really, but it's interesting?" He glances over his shoulder at her and Halgrim, and flashes them both a crooked grin. "That's why we're out here. It's interesting. Okay, it's why I'm out here, and he wouldn't let me go alone, because he's a good guy like that."

*Click-clunk*, he triggers the lockpicking mechanism.

It takes Elmo no time at all to get the door unlocked, his mechanism easily opening it up. Whatever security this place seems to have had was mostly through obscurity, rather than any actual attempt at protecting whatever's in here. There are no cameras. There are no card readers, biometric scanners, just one lock on the door, and then it opens into a hallway. The hallway goes back for about thirty feet, with two doorways on each side, and one at the far end. All the doors are closed, but there is light here, and it flickers to life dully when they open the door. Well, it's new enough for there to be a motion sensor to turn the lights on and off, anyway. The lights themselves give off their own sort of hum. All five doors are identical plain flat metal doors without any markings on them whatsoever.

"I'm surprised they don't have more trouble with people running around here, after the war this kind of place was always crawling with people looking for things." Halgrim stops suddenly, realizing he's said something he probably shouldn't have, shrugs it aside. "And yes, there was no way I was letting him traipse around in here alone. Also," he shines his flashlight around them at the tunnel, "this is the sort of work I used to do." He returns his attention to Elmo as the door opens, follows him into the hallway with extreme caution.

For Huntress, gadgets are a part of who she is, and yet — her expression — raised eyebrows, a tilt of head — suggests she's surprised by Elmo's ingenuity and forethought. Perhaps that's why, despite the forbidding tone, she adds: "For a very bad man," with a twist of lips. She takes a step closer to the door — not so much in solidarity but out of curiosity. That reasoning — because it's interesting — clearly resonates with her as well. She makes a noise that might be approval as the door clicks unlocked — but there's still that edge of wariness that means she watches the others pace ahead. "Used/ to?" her hushed whisper echoes towards Halgrim as she edges in after the two.

Elmo stands still a moment, his near-daylight-bright flashlight showing each of the doors in turn. He makes a funny wordless sound in his throat of pure glee, grin getting wilder. "There might be so much STUFF!" he rasps under his breath.

The power source is still his goal, and he slinks along the corridor, his hand spread palm-down, a sort of dowsing rod.

Elmo can feel the slow pulsing, and it seems to get stronger as he moves further into the hall. The door at the end would likely be the place, or beyond it, but certainly in that direction. There's no more need of the flashlight, at least in the hall, as the area is lit. There's power down here. Perhaps the wiring was protected enough during the four years to remain hooked up to the grid somewhere. That seems the most likely explanation, anyway.

"Retired," Halgrim says to Huntress. He follows Elmo at a slow, steady pace, pausing to listen beyond the other doors as they pass them. "I was an archaeologist." His eyes settle on the door at the far end of the hall. "Just be careful, Elmo, whoever this belongs to might still be here." Fifties construction or not. Halgrim has personal experience with living to improbable ages.

Clearly, Huntress was expecting a far more esoteric answer from Halgrim than 'archaeologist' to judge by her slightly disappointed expression. "So — mummies, dead civilizations more your thing? Those skills seem particularly apt for the Disaster Zone." Huntress isn't drawn by the same drive that seems to lead the others towards the power source at the end of the hall, her gaze skirting over them. Instead, she stops at the first door they pass, reaching to push it open while standing to one side like someone well-used to unexpected welcomes when opening doors. That it's an acknowledgement to everyone else that she's not actually indestructible doesn't really seem to occur to her.

Elmo listens to Halgrim for once, and pauses to think it over before he goes charging in. (Electricity joke!) "Yeah, I guess they might be." So he does the logical thing and he knocks. "Hey! Anybody home?"

When Helena pushes open the first door, it opens into a dark room. Lights flicker on inside and the room is filled with metal racks. They stretch from one side of the room to the other with a narrow aisle at one end to access the spaces between them. They appear to contain film canisters.

When Elmo knocks, there is no answer from beyond. If anyone is there, they aren't replying.

Halgrim gives Huntress a wry smile. "No mummies for me—I specialized in Scandinavian archaeology." Then she's going into another room, and he's joining Elmo at the other door. Since nothing leaps out at Huntress, Halgrim says, "Abandonned, then." He nods for Elmo to open the door they're in front of, still on the alert.

The Huntress has far less respect for other people's property. What she finds is clearly not what she expected of a locked, underground bunker. She lifts the nearest film canister off a rack, looking for a label or notation as to its contents, as her gaze wanders around, seeking something to play it with. "Someone's a film buff," she notes — probably an observation on what she found rather than a direct response to Halgrim's clarification.

That's as good as permission! Elmo opens the door. "Gotta be in here," he mutters, and he goes right in.

There is nothing to play the film with in the room that Huntress occupies. It seems to be storage. The cannisters are each marked with some sort of a letter/number combination, but what they mean is difficult to tell. There are no words written on them, and no indication of what the contents of the films themselves might actually be.

Elmo walks into the room at the end of the hall and finds himself in what appears to be an operating theatre. There's some medical equipment in the room, as well as an operating table in the center of the room. There is an observation room off to the side and up a set of steps, and a large old film camera pointed down to capture whatever was going on inside. The hum seems to be coming from a large metal box at the opposite end of the room, looking to be old, tech from the fifties maybe, but advanced for the fifties, in its way. It appears to be some sort of a chamber, and the readouts seem to be monitoring vital signs.

Something is in there, and by the readings, it's alive, if unconscious.

Halgrim swallows, whispers, "Javla helvete," as he sees what he and Elmo have found. His eyes roam the room, taking in the sickening reality of what it might be, land on the chamber. He walks over to it almost as if on auto-pilot, looking for a way to peer inside. "Vi tar dig ut harifran…" he murmurs, examining the device. Huntress' comment doesn't even register, despite the obvious recording equipment.

Apparently Huntress is not only has questionable motives about ownership, but also about cleaning up after herself. She leaves the canister she was inspecting on the floor, walking back out into the hallway. A glance to the end where Halgrim and Elmo were shows it open — but she can't see much from here — and pushes on into the next closed room instead.

Elmo whispers, "Holy shit," and shoves his goggles up to rest in his hair. "Grim! Grim I think there's somebody in here after all!" A thousand hours of science fiction movies have prepared him for this moment. He dashes to the chamber, frantic to find some hint of what person — maybe! — rests within. "Those readouts, they say there's somethin' alive in there." Paperwork? Monitors? Something? Anything to tell him what being might be held in that metal coffin?

The next closed room that Huntress goes into contains a more grisly discovery. There, piled up against the wall are three long-dead bodies in lab coats. Each one of them has been propped up against the wall, and apparently died sitting there. The pools of blood around them indication enough that they suffered some heavy wounds, even if they weren't pretty torn up. The corpses are decently preserved, having been closed in the room for a while, but it looks like they've been there from likely before the attacks, despite their preservation. The rest of the room looks to be a standard office with desks and computers on them, their models circa the early 90s. It's a weird hodgepodge of tech down here, as though the place had been used and reused, or only partially upgraded over the decades.

The readouts themselves don't seem to indicate who is within. There's blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels, respiration, and various other vital signs present but none of them are particularly illuminating, and there's nowhere to see inside. There is a clipboard attached to the side of the chamber with a pen tied to it with a piece of string. It looks like there are some notes, but they are in a scribble that's nearly impossible to read. There is a name printed at the top, however. Dr. Ellen Winters. Whether that's who is in the tank, or who was updating the log is unclear.

"Inte saker p—" Halgrim stops, realizes he's not speaking English, shakes his head. "Not sure if we should open this, someone who's been in an extended state might not react well to being released." He's quite familiar with that, unfortunately. He takes up the clipboard, scanning its contents with a frown. "Ellen Winters," he says, committing the name to memory for some searching later. (And maybe a request to John to search for him.)

The Huntress has seen death before, and yet this — the cold callousness of what she sees — implies a story that makes even her rock back on her heels for a moment as if reconsidering, mouth thinning and nose wrinkling. Preserved or not — dead bodies inevitably have an odor about them. It takes a moment before she steps in, crouching down to inspect them briefly, and their wounds. Her familiarity is mostly with utterly human, non supernatural wounds, but probably enough to differentiate between the two. "Dead bodies here," she calls in a low voice that might well travel. "Three. They look like scientists," she warns the others.

Elmo is already clipping things to other things and fiddling with controls and he is going to get this metal box open. Excited, his hands are busy. "Huh?" he says, looking up blankly, when Huntress calls. "What'd she say? Did she say somethin' about scientists?" And he hits a button on a console. Oh, this is a very bad idea, and Elmo just loves bad ideas.

As Huntress examines the bodies, she can read off their nametags. The names are entirely unimportant. Just some very smart, but not smart enough, dead people. They do seem to be Doctors of some sort though, from the titles on the nametags. And their wounds look like they were sliced to ribbons by someone armed with a set of ginsu knives. And yeah, it smells pretty rank in there.

When Elmo starts fiddling with knobs and buttons and attempts to open up the chamber, there's a loud buzzing that begins, and then a clanging, and then some beeping in various tones. The vital sign display begins flashing, and the heart rate monitor suddenly spikes. There's a strange vaguely squishy sound that comes from inside, and then the end of the chambe opens and a rush of thick viscous purplish liquid comes oozing out all over the floor.

Halgrim looks up from his clipboard when he hears Huntress. "Dead people?" he calls to her. He sees Elmo doing something out of the corner of his eye, looks back to him and starts. "No, Elmo, don't—"

But he's too late, and there's, that, getting everywhere. He grabs Elmo by the arm and yanks him away from the ooze as quickly as possible.

Now knives — she's familiar with those. It's why, when the Huntress rises, there's something entirely more wary, careful — in her movements. Her gaze flickers over the ancient-looking computers — probably too old for her to figure out — and moves out into the hallway. The crossbow is in her hand as she begins down the hallway — just as she hears Halgrim yelling — and then she's running — coming to a halt in the doorway.

Her first reaction isn't to attack though. Just this: "Ugh, gross," her eyes flicking towards the other two to see if they're okay.

Elmo yelps twice, once as purple goo comes gushing out of the coffin, and once when Halgrim grabs him like he's a toddler set on racing into traffic. He tries to scrabble up some random high point. "Augh GROSS!!" He echoes Huntress. "…Now that I think about it, probably shoulda expected something…biological."

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 15

|ROLL| Helena +rolls 1d20 for: 15

|ROLL| Halgrim +rolls 1d20 for: 9

It's probably wise that Halgrim dragged Elmo back and away from the chamber, because what comes out of it next is a delicate feminine form with large eyes, elfin features, and a whole lot of tentacles that end in very sharp blades extending from her shoulders and back. She lets out a shrieking hiss, and bumps against the top of the chamber, and then against the wall as she scrambles up and across the ceiling, making a break for the doorway, moving at nearly impossible speeds. Small sensors are still stuck to her in places, their readouts still visible on the display on the chamber.

She is out the door before anyone can react. The sheer sight of her, however, is a little much for Halgrim.

Maybe it's the knives, or the hiss, or the part where she moves so fast, or the tentacles. Maybe it's just all of the above. Instinct kicks in, and Halgrim makes an entirely inhuman sound, a snarl that grinds against the ears, and in a strange rush and warping of his shape, he stops being there and something elsesomething hugetakes his place. Fjorskar is eight feet tall the way she's hunched over in the room, tracking the movements of the knife-tentacle wielder even as they flip to the ceiling and try to escape. She growls, a sound felt in the gut, shoves Elmo behind her and swipes at the fleeing…whatever it is.

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 17

"What is that stuff?" Huntress' tone implies a what did you do?, especially since her gaze flickers back towards Elmo, assuming — based on their limited interaction to date — he's probably the instigator. That question might go unanswered given the goop is followed by a… a…

Well, sometimes words just fail. Some part of her brain is undoubtedly doing a, ahhh, connecting the dots of the dead, sliced-up bodies and the thing that's before them. The other part of her brain — well, the part not going ohshitohshitohshit — instinctively lifts her crossbow, aiming it directly at the things head as it scrambles towards her — over her head — and fires.

Sure, it might be friendly. It might just want to shake hands. But odds are low. Plus, there's now goo in her head, a thing that has her reflexively jerking backwards as she realizes. Double-gross. She hasn't seem Halgrim yet — but the growl registers with a puzzled furrow of brow — not daring to take her eyes off the tentacled-knife-sharp monster just yet.

Elmo's eyes get so big he might strain something as the feminine being rises out of the tank (that he opened, on purpose). A lot happens very fast. Before he can react to anything he's sprawled on the floor behind Halgrim — ACTUALLY not Halgrim! — with purple goo all over him and some really amazingly horrifying shit going down in front of him.

"GRIM! GRIM WATCH OUT!" He doesn't know where Halgrim went, but he's yelling for him anyway. "SCARY LADY, HIT THE DECK!" Huntress really needs a name easier to scream in warning.

Elmo spreads his hands and just like earlier, lightning flares all around him. *Crackle!* Electricity crawls and hisses and pops as he holds it, ready to let it lash out.

The purple goo covered tentacle knife creature is out the door over Huntress' head before the crossbow even goes off. She moves that fast. She's gone before any of them even recover, making an escape out the door, and likely up that now conveniently open access shaft, which leaves our heroes covered in purple goo which is fortunately non-toxic, in a room with an empty chamber, in a bunker with some film, some dead bodies, and some medical equipment.

The creature is too fast and eludes Fjorskar, bolting out the door. Which Huntress is blocking. She pulls up short, not intending to barrell into her, particularly not with her wielding a crossbow. Her ears pin back and her lip curls. The growl she makes is deep and heavy, and claws at the hindbrain. "Move," she snarls. It's very much not a request.

Huntress may not know the people she's with — at all — but that they haven't tried to kill her yet gives them some grudging measure of transitory trust. Enough that, when Elmo yells — she throws herself downward. She hits the ground, rolling, taking a moment to take stock of everything.

A… wolf thing? A big fucking wolf thing. A bright ball of… someone? Bright enough that she has to squint. Yeah, and the tentacle-knife-monster that just escaped out into the city. Gonna be one of those days. She expels a long, low breath. When it's safe, she picks herself up reaaal carefully, and starts backing away out the door. Sure, there's probably answers in these rooms — undoubtedly creepy home movies to watch — but between the tentacle monster and the wolf monster and the ball of electricity?

The Huntress is out. Peace.

Elmo slips in the goo, trying to get to his feet. His dry-cleaning bill is going to be brutal. "Grim!" He still wants to find his friend. The monster and the other monster and the goo and the everything is bad, okay, it's bad and it is 100% Elmo's fault. He stands finally, letting the electricity die around him and sizzle out in the liquid. "…Grim? Shit. Oh, shit."

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