|Behemoth|| The e-mail comes from an anonymous sender. How it got Emma's address is unknown; how it knows who you are is unknown. It lists a series of GPS coordinates placed deep in Beauce in northern France, between the Seine and Loire rivers-- a highly productive agricultural area. The coordinates are accompanied by one note:
SILO 14. XDCY-4000. WE MADE A MISTAKE. BE QUIET. THEY LISTEN.
The drive to that region is long and dull; following the coordinates leads to a late-night stop at a field of wheat, burning pale gold in the moon's silver light and rippling in the breathing winds. The main road breaks off into a gated-off side path covered by a metal fence, cutting through the tall stalks and vanishing. There are a handful of storage silos in the area rising up like the fingers of dead men. Emma is forced to continue on foot with whatever equipment she might have and a printed out copy of the e-mail stuffed into a pocket like a surprise cookie.
It is quiet. There is no one around. The full moon gleams.
|Emma||Emma has been looking into anything Umbrella related for some time. Going at it alone. At this point, who can she trust. The list is small, and even knowing that hurts. It's in her nature to trust, to want to.
This email perked her interest, yet she told nobody when she left, hell Shaemus wasn't even brought. If this were a trap there was no way the lass would get anyone hurt, let her life be at risk, it's simply a small one.
The car driven here was a beater, and it rattled it's way here to its final destination. Turning off the gps and stepping out of the car, the red head looks up and around, with eyes settling on the field. For some reason, she feels uneasy.
|Behemoth||Emma's wound tight as guitar string, and all it takes is a plucking finger to make her sing-- she hears rustling in the fields of wheat that surround and blind her on all sides, sounds like whispers; but perhaps it is only the grains rubbing? A moment of silence, breath held without noticing it.. and there's nothing. Truly, she is alone here. Besides the distant silos and, off to the side, the barn that stores the equipment, there is nothing. She may as well make her choice now: push on or go home.|
|Emma||There is a shiver down her spine, one that hits deep to her core. So Emma stands there assuring herself that she can indeed, do this. Having started her meditation classes, what basics she knows are used - breath in through the nose, out through the mouth, slow the mind, calm yourself. Luckily, this half works. Though nervous, hell scared, the decision is made to move forward.|
|Behemoth|| The path through the fields in the moonlit night is out of a horror movie; the wheat stalks rise taller than the girl by far, and as she follows the path's curve she winds up deprived of the sight of her car. Getting lost out here would be easy for such a shortie in the dark; luckily, following the path is sufficient to make one's way.. even if, now and then, there are moments of alarm as it seems to disappear, only to return a few steps later. Her skin is caressed and teased by the little leaves and branching stems that ghost along her nervous system, making her itch and shiver.
Eventually, she makes it through to the end of the field nearest the silos, arranged in a domino line. She can count four, each having a numbered label: 1, 2, 3, 4.
There is no silo labeled 14 like the email suggests.
|Emma||Well, Emma was never a horror buff, but when you lived in Racoon and saw zombies, you learn to expect the worst. Once facing the silos there is a frown, no number 14. Right away her mind goes to the fact that the email was a rouse, but wait, what if it was a typo. Now she needs to make a decison. Thinking back to the email and moving a bit to get a look at them there is a quick decision being made. After all, no sense in standing in the dark and open. Hoping the puzzled was figured right and with a quick look over her shoulder, the lass makes her way to silo 4.|
|Behemoth|| The door to Silo 4 is unlocked. With a little push, Emma makes her way in; the interior is dark, dark, darker yet, the internal lighting off. She's lucky she brought a flashlight, which turns on with a click and splits the shadows with pale beams. A quick scan reveals a rather standard silo setup. The silo is empty; a ladder leads upwards to the top of it, built into the concrete and metal, and on one wall is a keypad. It is numbered 0-9.
Should silos even have doors? That thought briefly flickers through Emma's mind. So does a moment's curiosity about the bloodstains near the keypad.
|Emma||That was easy, to easy. Why was it unlocked already? If this were something important, something hidden one shouldn't be able to walk right in, right? Emma looks around using her flashlight to see, and spots the blood. Of course, hers runs cold, it's dried and near keypad getting in. Well, no turning back now. Scared as shit, a try is given. That code in the email, well she tries to input it.|
|Behemoth|| The e-mail code does not work for reasons which become obvious: it is a mixture of letters and numbers, and this keypad only has numbers. That's when the light goes off in Emma's mind-- she rushes back out and makes her way to the other identical silo marked 1, and finds an alphabetical input panel masked against the interior walls. The entrance was clearly designed to be activated by two people, but perhaps, if she's lucky, there isn't a strict timer at play..
Enter the code. Make her way along the edges of the field again beneath a slowly reddening moon. Enter the fourth. There is the code pressed. When it finishes, the wall shifts and rattles and a cover slides over the panel. There's a rumbling felt in her feet that rocks her bones, and the grinding sound of something heavy lifting from an adjacent silo. One final trip, and she enters number three.
The floor beneath the domed roof has split open, revealing it false-- it's metal, opening like a hungry mouth, the halves sliding apart as a lift rises. There is a small controller mounted on the lift's railing to trigger the descent. Emma steps upon it, swallows, and descends into the darkness.
|Emma||Emma, once figuring it out, steps into the lift. Oh that scared feeling in the pit of her stomach, it's enough that her body trembles a little. What will she see, will there be zombies? Or something worse. Is there something worse? Again going to that deep breathing eyes close for a second, to summon all the nerve she has to continue on. Which, she does.|
|Behemoth|| The few shimmerings of moonlight Emma can see vanish as the lift descends and the ceiling above closes in on her. She has been devoured; down it goes, with that lifting feeling in the stomach, down and down again, until she's lost all sense of scale. How far beneath the ground is she? The only way to mark the passage is taking note of the intervals where small blue lights flicker to life, disappearing when she moves past them-- but they briefly illuminate the metallic walls of the shaft.
Finally, the lift slows and stills with a pneumatic hiss. Her eyes can make out the silhouette of a door in front of her, and her flashlight reveals in large red print LAB-A1 above it.
In the darkness, with the misty-haze optical illusion of the dust specks floating infinitesimal in the beam, the letters look wet and bloody. The door opens with a subdued whush horizontally. Stepping in, swallowing down the fear - though it lingers! though it lingers - she steps in.
The door closes with a slide and a click, the air brushing the back of her neck. Blackness, blackness, all around, and in the tomb not a sound. Shapes, outlines, as her eyes adjust. The main power is out. It's a blessing the backup power still drives the doors.
She can continue forward or investigate the current room.
|Emma||Emma wonders if who sent her this knows anything about her, anything at all. Small girl in the dark. It's the makings of a horror film now. So unsettled, but so determined the flashlight is brought up, eyes peering at what may be. There is a room, her breath catches. All thise video games the lass use to play comes rushing back, but this is no video game, there is no saved lives to start over.
But with having gone this far there is no point to turn back bow. So into the room she goes.
|Behemoth|| Careful exploration of the room reveals this to be a receptionist office. People entering from the surface would step in and be required to sign in and pass through certain security measures-- Emma deduces this from the hand-written visitor log pinned next to a black-screened computer located in a small adjoined room that faces this main one with a glass-sealed counter. It resembles a pharmacy, really -- indeed, in the little booth Emma's in, where no doubt once stood a bored security guard, she can find a handful of pill bottles, half-eaten snacks, and a newspaper dated three months ago. The front page story is about a power outage in the region.
Emma's footsteps are the loudest thing she hears, her shoes clack-clacking like wooden stilettos against the white-gold tile floors. Everything shares that color, a mix of sterile and lustrous, save for the occasional red lines or arrows accompanying signs leading elsewhere.
There are two exits. One arrow and sign leads to marked unisex bathrooms, and another says MAIN LOBBY and points forward down a small hallway.
|Emma||Emma looks all this over, luckily the lass brought her camera. Pictures are taken, of the guest book, pill bottles (with name of meds). Normally light on her feet any sound here seems to echo. For a second eyes fix on the glass, wondering how used it was. But there is no time to think that over. For now, she will head into the bathroom.|
|Behemoth||The unisex bathroom has a series of stalls for those who like privacy. They are completely walled off with no gaps in the bottom or top to peek through like typical American restrooms. A few urinals line the wall, and opposite them is an automated sink with no handles and a hand-cranked soap dispenser. It is one long horizontal mirror that rests over the sinks, and it has been shattered, glass shrapnel all over the counter top and scattered over the floor. A few bullet casings are sprinkled amidst the broken glass, and a streak of blood leads from the sink to a closed stall. A profoundly rancid smell emanates from there, the torn-open ventillation shaft in the ceiling doing nothing to evacuate the stench.|
|Emma||Oh, that smell, it's awful. So awful. Emma is a budding doctor sure but this is revolting. Still she needs to know, even if the blood ia dried. Slowly steps lead to the bathroom stall door, and as if she were a sucker for punishent, slowly, with a foot, the door goes to be pushed open.|
|Behemoth||The door resists. It's been locked from the inside. This is a blessing in disguise; the smell is enough to tell Emma what lurks behind that door, a corpse rotting over an ancient bowel movement, decomposing and bloated with gas that chokes and a smell so thick it can be chewed. Coming so close to it, though, Emma can see the blood trail from another angle.. perhaps it wasn't leading from the sink to the stall, but from the stall to the sink? A peer of her flashlight, following that train of thought, reveals that the ventillation shaft has claw marks and bits of clothing caught on its edges.|
|Emma||Happy that this isn't a body she gets to see, Emma turns to follow the blood. Eyes fix on the vent, breath catches. Slowly she goes to head to it and taps it with a toe, to see if it's still attached.|
|Emma||Happy that this isn't a body she gets to see, Emma turns to follow the blood. Eyes fix on the vent, breath catches. Slowly she goes to head to it looking up into it. Her stomach drops, but without the ability to get up there the decision to move on is made, she'll go to leave the bathroom and pres on.|
|Behemoth|| The bathroom, and the damaged vent, is left for now. Emma passes through the entrance room again and moves down the short hallway leading toward the lobby. The hallway is clean and quiet; the lobby is a sprawling recreational room, adorned with couches, tables, a few arcade machines one enterprising researcher had brought in, drawings from home, and all sorts of other things. Wilting flower pots, vending machines, and an enormous bloodied pile in the center of it filled with writhing maggot-infested limbs and torsos and severed heads. They all look partially eaten and in varied states of decay.
To the north, west, and south are entrances to other areas.
|Emma||Lovely. Whatever has enjoyed that decayed body has made her never want to eat again. So disgusting. Holding down what wants to come up from her stomach Emma looks to the three options, and heads west.|
|Behemoth|| As Emma passes through the room, she's forced by the lay out to pass near the necrotic pile; she shudders, revolting at the sight, and carries on. She doesn't notice the hand that reaches through the pile and grabs her by the ankle, pulling her off her feet. There it is, trapped beneath the weight of the dead! Half its face missing, sunken milk yellow eyes, its lips sore and cracked and blistered and its tongue flopping uselessly, dripping blood and spit and mucus.
A zombie. Trapped. Able only to reach out, unable to approach, the rest of its body hidden in the mass of flesh. Its fingers claw at her and dig into her calf. She's trapped, and who knows if there's more in the pile!
|Emma||Before her mind can even begin to understand what happened, she is on the ground with smack. That hurt. The flashlight tumbled from her hands, the light half on the face. That awful, frightening face. There is a bit of a scream, Emma can't help it. It's with everything she can musyer that she pulls her leg away as blood drips down her calf from the grip. "Fuck off! Fuck OFF!" It's a cry of despiration. Grabbing at her flashlight butt ends used to thwak at the arm so the grip is released.|
|Behemoth|| Emma screams and struggles. Her flashlight batters at the zombie's trapped head, but it doesn't even blink; it just pulls, and a horrible gurgling sound comes up from its rotting, torn throat, the sound leaking from the missing jaw. She can *see* its vocal chords vibrate. The sound awakens other pinned undead, the lot of them too uncoordinated to free themselves-- and, she'll note, too injured. There is not a single whole zombie in the pile; she knows this because as she's dragged into it, time slows, and she has a horrifying moment of lingering exposure. Nails and claws dig into her leg and lower body; she's turned around and her hair is pulled, cuts opened on her limbs and her pretty face. The dead are all ripped apart, torn asunder-- there's not a single torso connected to legs available, merely crawling monsters, many of them missing their arms.
Indeed, before she kicks herself free, there's a face snarling and chattering its rotten jaws inches away from her own, trying to bite her. And entirely unable to move.
When at least the girl escapes, and dashes away from the pile, she's injured but not incapacitated. Making sure to stay far away from the awful tangle of broken things, she continues west, into the laboratories.
She might expect more danger. But, queerly enough, there's nothing-- behind the glass panes of the lab rooms, there are all sorts of computers running in low-power modes, experimentation rooms. The doors are open, unlocked, unsealed. The rooms are messy. There's broken equipment, shattered vials, fluids oozing into grates. But there aren't body parts. There aren't undead. She has total ability to waltz around and take or record what she likes.
|Emma||It's a living, smelly, rotting piece of hell. There is nothing but absolute fear within her. This moment lasted a lifetime yet also happens faster her mind can process. And that face, will forever be burned in her memory. Ignoring the cuts, and the bleeding across her body, focused on the mission as she trembles with fear as its realized that these computers are on. Wiping blood from her face, but smearing it while doing so, going to the closest room any information that can be gathered via computer or paper work, is what she would go for.|
|Behemoth|| A searching of the computers reveals an awful mess of scientific and medical terms Emma doesn't recognize; even with her research, the peculiarities of viral engineering are beyond her. A few keywords stand out: 'Licker modification', 'organic disposal', 'minor sub-variant', 'extreme sloth', with that last one mentioned in one open text entry as a problem they were trying to correct. She also finds, in shelves or drawers, or scattered around, handfuls of papers; she doesn't have the time yet to analyze them in depth, but they're easy enough to store.
In one of the labs, the one furthest at the back, she finds what looks like a shipping container, connected to a mass of wires and tubes. The front of it has been wrenched open and dented, flung open just enough that something inside could squeeze out. It's long been abandoned.
There's a terrible grinding sound and a serpentine hiss that comes from the darkness, in the direction of the lobby.
|Emma||What Emma can gather, she does, and stuffs it into her bag. Pictures are taken of other items for evidence. Luckily, she knows people who know virology and such. Feeling like she got all she could the container is spotted the moment the hiss is heard. A chill runs down her spine, it doesn't sound like anything else that was heard here. Unable to hold back her trembling, a fallen pipe would be grabbed. There is only one way out, the way she came in, and it hits her, this is likely a fight for her life.|
|Behemoth|| A sweating palm wraps around a broken pipe and holds it close; it is the only bit of protection Emma has, down in this dark and dead grave. Her pack is bulging with swiped files, her camera is full of pictures, and while wounded, she's still able to move without issue..
Hopefully, that will be enough. Surrendering to instinct, she drops and quiets, killing her flashlight. The grinding sound grows louder, like nails on a chalkboard, but now a secondary sound supplements it, a wet dripping squish with footstep rhythm. Squish-smush hiss, squish-smush hiss, the pattern goes. The pattern goes. It slows. There's an intake of breath, and she huddles under a desk, pressed to the wall, silent. Something breathes above her. It's not a human breath, ragged and rasping, closer to a frog's croaking than a human throat-- and the breath becomes a groan, and the groan becomes a scream, visceral and angry, and whatever the shadowed thing is it goes into a frenzy. It batters the glass wall of this particular lab again and again, until it cracks and shatters; that grinding sound intensifies as it moves and hurls itself this way and that, smashing whatever it encounters.
It comes closer to Emma. She can see nothing. Shh.
|Emma||This is just the worst. Emma even closes her eyes out of fear, in her head praying to not cry out, or cry. Hands clutch onto the pipe for dear life, in her head she prays. But it's in the room, slowly eyes open to see what's there, or if maybe she can run out.|
|Behemoth|| Spittle, thick like syrup and warm, drips down in front of Emma. She can make out faint details in the dark-- movement, a silhouette. It's the size of Shaemus, thereabouts. The way it moves suggests four legs. It crawls on the walls, on the ground, like a spider; but further detail is impossible to discern. It is large, it is breathing, it moves in jittery unnatural fashions, and its breath is a croaking hiss, spilling drool in heavy rancid puddles as it goes. She does figure out the grinding sound when the thing jumps and then crawls in front of her, mere meters away-- she can see it, a claw, dragging along the floor, cutting into it with an awful keening.
Quiet. Quiet. She feels the wall shake as it climbs up, hears it noisily hit the ceiling, and disappear into one of the ventillation shafts. She hears its thumping clawing crackling passage as it vanishes to another section of the facility.
|Emma||Her head runs faster, praying with hope that she won't be spotted. Every inch of this thing is taken in, it's not a natural creature, it's something created from the depths of evil minds. This feels so unreal, how could people do this. Hidden in her little spot, unmoving until it is gone eyes follow where the sound goes, making sure that it's gone. Once the lass feels a little more confident, she slowly standa, shaking, and would head to the doorway of the room, creeping slowly with pipe in hand, aiming to make her way out.|
|Behemoth||Emma creeps. Quieter, now, slower, knowing something lurks in the facility with her. Every creak in the walls, every sound, could be the thing come back; it forces a torturous pace, slow and awkward, listening for every minute detail. She exits the lab. She makes her way toward the hallway. She creeps back toward the lobby. Once again, that pile of broken undead is laid in her way, but this time, she knows to give it a wide, wide berth. All she needs to do is make it through the lobby, back to the lift, and leave. She got enough.|
|Emma||Emma is creeping out of here as best she can, every sound makes her near jump. Remembering the pile of bodies - well, zombies, the red head moves to avoid them. Pipe is still in hand, knuckles are white. The exit isn't all to far, and for a moment she recalls that there was fresh blood. Making a mental note to get a sample, with another look around to make sure all is clear, the exit is aimed for.|
|Behemoth|| Silent. Just like the e-mail said to be. The cautious movements, that still whenever there's a noise, slowly pull Emma out of the lobby and into into the reception area. The bathroom is nearby. The small office room remains, searched and ransacked. And ahead is the entrance to the lift that will bring her back out.
Boy, that sure was easy! She might as well just go.
|Emma||Well this was easy. To easy. There is no sound, and this hits Emma. Why did the sound stop? Did it go off somewhere. Not far from the lift she stops, pipe in hand. Something.. something doesn't feel right. Was something missed? There wasn't a look down the other hallways, but with a creature like that in here it may not be worth it. One decision is made, slowly her head turns, big grey-green eyes shift to look over her shoulder.|
|Behemoth|| As Emma waits and wonders, there's a crashing sound in the bathroom. The vent! That laboured breathing fills the silence, and a sound like a battering ram shakes the ground. She can deduce it's the stall being struck; it gets hit again and again and again and again, and finally there's a snapping sound as it breaks and the supports for it are torn from the walls. A squelching biting chomping sound, a shrill screaming inhuman cry, and then the sound of something being dragged along the ground as the four-limbed thing walks.
The sound is coming toward Emma, who stands in the room connected to the bathrooms. Make a decision fast. Run for safety and start the lift, or run deeper into the facility. Is there time? Will she be found? She has mere seconds to decide.
|Emma||Emma jumps, and can't help it, screams. It's a knee-jerk reaction to being scared out of your wits. So much fear that she is frozen a second while listening. A moment later there is a realization, it's heading -her- way. Trembling and stumbling back, with a hand gripped onto that pipe for dear life, there is a thud as a wall smacks against her back. There is a need to get away, and so she will dash for the lift.|
|Behemoth|| The scream is one thing. The pipe clanging against the wall when Emma steps back is another. The mix of sounds results in a primal scream, a wet slap as something is dropped, and then there's a rush of clawed feet as the girl books it. She rushes to the lift, mashes the control panel, fumbling for a moment in the dark and in her panic-- what button, what button? She can hear it. She starts it up, and with another pneumatic hiss the lift begins to rise, ascending toward a blackened sky.
The creature is on the other side of the lobby. It gives her one look in the darkness-- can it see? But it hears the lift, and it heard the human, and with another cry it throws itself along the floor, skittering like an insect. It leaps -- and gets hit by a heavy pipe right in the head, flung by the girl in a desperate last-ditch defense. The damage is superficial; it does briefly stun the thing, hitting it in a vulnerable spot by pure luck, and cause it to flop against the ground before it kick-flips up in a display of surprising agility. It jumps again, and misses the edge of the lift before it rises, leaving the beast alone.
Emma can let out a sigh of relief. Until she hears something beneath her-- the monster climbing the tunnel *beneath* the lift!
|Emma||So relieved to be out of there, there is pure shock at hearing it follow. Looking up and realising this is also the exit out, her heart sinks. If this thing gets out! The people that it would kill. Than again if it isn't out by now... well, what can she do. Trapped in a box! A small box with a creature bent of killing under her. Frantically going to to hit a button, realizing none will make it move faster the only thing her mind can come to is to press against the wall and pray.|
|Behemoth||The creature climbs, but the shaft is not built for it; it's an awkward ascent that keeps it beneath the lift during the climb. Emma remains where she is, unable to do much but listen as it comes; she can hear its clawing touch and screeches as she rises, in backwards mirroring of her earlier entrance to the facility. It is drawn out again and again, until finally she is exposed once more to the fresh air above ground, the false floor of the silo opening up as the lift arrives. With nowhere left to climb, the B.O.W. begins to hit the lift itself, thumping against the floor, clawing at it. The thing shakes with every strike.|
|Emma||The lift is shaking now, eyes close as tight as they can. Fear runs through every inch of her, if it gets in Emma is helpless. So scared now, even the fresh air isn't felt..|
|Behemoth||There's another hit, another hit, another hit... and then the creature, frustrated, seems to give up. It stops, and there is quiet again. Just the chattering of crickets and the breeze through the wheat fields beneath the fat moon.|
|Emma||Eyes were closed so tight, they are hard to open. But when they do they are wet from tears that have mixed with the blood on her face. It's quiet, it's gone. There is a needed breath, Emma rests her head against the lift with something between happy releasing tears and scared ones. Now, until the doors open, the lass remains still against the wall, continuing to hope this is the end of it.|
|Behemoth||Emma's free to go as she likes-- freedom is within her reach, and the monster seems absent. Frightened, nervous, she dashes back into the fields, stumbles around looking for the path, and eventually makes her way to her car again. Just think: beneath you, without anyone ever knowing, horror lives.|