Minh Thi Phan (Mark/Pete/Preston)
“Another thrilling adventure awaits, my friends!” Preston said, resting his scepter over his shoulder like it was some kind of riding cane while we walked down the hallway to the West Room.
“You’re in awfully good spirits, given the unusual circumstance of people dying all around us, Mister Fairmont,” I said, clasping my hands close to me and keeping my head down.
“I was scared like you too, Miss Phan,” Preston said, cheerily. “Then I realized there’s simply no other way to be but bold as an ox.”
“Bold as an ox?” Pete muttered. “Are you just makin’ stuff up?”
Preston laughed. “Oh, Pete, you crack me up, my good sir.” It was strange. I knew Preston Fairmont as a powerful businessperson, fair above me in the company. And yet, here we are, in a temple in some other dimension, having what seemed like a jovial, light-hearted conversation. And at the same time, also all around us… death and terror. An unbelievable turn of events to be sure.
This will be a truly amazing story to write down when I get back to the office.
Mark interrupted us with a wave of his hand. “We’re here.”
A hush fell over our group. Pete and Duke walked ahead of Mark and Duke began to sniff around. Mark, Pete, and I were all together in the Wrath Room, and we all survived, so it made sense for us to do exactly what we did before.
“Preston,” Mark said. “I recommend staying close until we figure out what this room has in store for us.”
Preston walked up to stand beside Mark and did a quick scan of the room. “It’s obvious with this room, Mark,” Preston said. “You’ve never seen one of these before?”
We all stopped and looked at Preston.
“It’s a stable, my good sir,” Preston said, a smile breaking out across his face. “See, these doors all over, with the locks on them, and the slits? No doubt, you will find all manner of creatures behind each one of these doors!”
“Creatures that’ll kill us before we get the chance to even see ’em coming,” Pete spat. “Let’s just turn around now.”
“No,” Mark said. “It’s our duty to explore these rooms and figure out what to do next. What if the secret we need to save Arkham lies behind one of these doors?”
“And what if it doesn’t? What if we open one of these cages and some beast kills us all?” Pete said. Pete whistled and Duke returned to him on cue. “We’re leaving. Too many people have died today.”
Preston looked from Pete to Mark, from Mark to Pete. “Is he allowed to do that?” Preston asked. “You can just leave?”
“Preston, Minh – we’re searching this area,” Mark said firmly. I gulped. Duke was what saved us last time we faced a monster, and now he was gone. But, I guess Mark had a point. We had to explore further, didn’t we? And we had to do it whether Pete was with us or not.
Mark tapped on each cage. As he did, rustling noises and low grunts could be heard behind the doors. There definitely were creatures of some kind behind each one. The sounds weren’t high pitched like the byakhee screams. Definitely no flame demons here either. I wondered how many different monsters this temple might hold.
“This one,” Mark said, stopping in front of one of the doors. “Dead silence behind this one. Preston, see if your scepter opens it.”
Preston nodded and tried aiming the scepter at the door. As if by magic, the door slowly swung open.
Mark nodded. “Good job, Preston.”
A huge smile broke out over Preston’s face. For a moment, I too felt happy for him.
“I’ll lead the way,” Mark said. “Don’t come in unless I say it’s safe. It looks empty in here, so I’m expecting it’ll be fine but I’m closing the door, as a precaution. Got to keep you two safe.”
Mark stepped in and carefully closed the door. Preston and I stood outside, waiting.
“I hope he’s okay,” Preston said, a hint of nervousness in his voice.
We could hear the soft steps of Mark’s feet and nothing else. At least, if there were no other noises, that was a good sign. Everything was calm.
“AHHH! IT’S BURROWED UNDER THE GROUND!”
A crunching noise, like the shattering of bone, followed by Mark’s piercing cries.
“Do I open the door?” Preston yelled, waving the scepter around. I grabbed it and pointed it downwards to keep him from accidentally opening any other cages.
“NO!” Mark yelled. I was surprised he was still lucid. “YOU CAN’T LET THIS ABOMINATION GET OUT OF HERE. RUN!! RUN NOW.”
Mark rarely spoke, and when he did, his vocabulary was limited, so to hear him call something an abomination – it must truly be something awful.
“Minh! Let’s escape while we have the chance.”
“JUST RUN AWAY ALREADY, DAMNIT!” Mark screamed.
We didn’t need to be told again. We ran as fast as we could down the hallway, as Mark’s screams faded behind us.
June 16th: MARK, devoured by an abomination in the West Room
June 15th: SILAS, succumbed to earlier poisonous gas exposure while in the Book Room
June 14th: AKACHI, succumbed to poisonous gas in the East Room
June 13th: RITA, woke up alive in Arkham
June 12th: LEO, shot dead by Finn in the South Room
June 11th: REX, torn apart by byakhee in the North Room
June 10th: MARIE, fell into the chasm in the South Room
June 9th: CAROLYN, head smashed by Lola in the Button Room
June 8th: JOE, shot himself in the Lust Room
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
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