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2009.09.27 19:23 Yelly Dreadlocks

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2023.04.02 00:27 RaynaClay The Last Resort: Angels and Demons

I have written here before about my job at Ultima Resort (1,2,3,4,5). It has been an uneventful couple of weeks at the resort, so I haven’t really had much to chronicle, lately. I truthfully prefer it that way. Interesting isn’t generally good thing, around here. When there are no guests for a time, we get a bit of a break. We still need to do the cleaning, gardening and lay out meals, but that is a pleasant rest, compared to when guests are around. Unfortunately, it couldn’t last and recently, the streak was broken.
I was cleaning mildew from the shower grout with a toothbrush. I scrubbed carefully around the faucet and along the edges of the tub, leaving it gleaming white. Despite everything, there was satisfaction in doing a job well and in hard work…
Oh, come on, you don’t believe all that garbage, do you?
I jumped, dropping the toothbrush, which clattered against the bottom of the empty tub. I still wasn’t used to the voice suddenly speaking in mind. It seemed to prefer that, speaking at irregular intervals after long periods of silence. Irritated, I bent to pick up the toothbrush and resumed my scrubbing,
“Of course, I do. You don’t find any value in a task well done?”
The disdainful scoff echoed through my head,
Must be a human thing. I do not find any pleasure in tedium or monotony. In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid it.
“Is that what this place is, then, entertainment?”
Among other things, I could feel the smile. Though sometimes there are unfortunate lulls.
“Well, I will try to be more interesting for you, demon,” I rolled my eyes.
Must you call me that? Demon is such an ugly label, invented by the ignorant.
“What should I call you then? You refuse to give me a name.”
Names have power, my dear.
“Maybe I could give you a fake name, then,” I mused. “How about Buttons? Peanut? Sunshine?”
You seek to aggravate me by naming me like a pet. It will not work.
“Really? Because you seem irritated, Muffin,” I grabbed the toilet brush and started scrubbing. I couldn’t let him distract me from my work. I still needed a room, after all, and he certainly wasn’t going to help with that.
You will treat me with due respect.
“I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m doing,” I flushed the toilet and stood to wash my hands. In the mirror, blood covered my face, dripping down my chin. I ignored it, he has just being a jerk.
You shall address me as Alloces. That seems appropriate.
I snorted,
“Ars Goetica? Really? I’m not calling you that. How about we compromise? I’ll call you Al.”
I took his petulant failure to answer as agreement. I headed out to the hall to retrieve towels from my cart.
I don’t see why you resist me. What about this existence is worth holding onto, exactly? The guilt, the pain, the boredom, the menial labor, the servitude? What is it you press on for?
“As long as I am alive, it could always get better.”
It could also get worse. Why suffer any more than you have to? I could help you, if you let me.
“You need to work on your pitch, honestly. It is pretty obvious you just want my body, so that you can leave this place and do whatever your kind do, out in the world.”
Of course I want that, I never denied it. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be any benefit to you. I am open to negotiation. There really are things I could help you with. We could even leave here together, if you wanted. There is no reason we couldn’t share your body, equally.
“Why are you bothering with this? New people come in all the time. You could get a body, free and clear, no negotiations.”
Perhaps. But do you have any idea how long I have been waiting? How long I might need to wait? There are many thousands of us here, searching for a host. More come all the time. It is a matter of luck who claims a host. If I give up this opportunity, it might be decades before I get another chance. So, you are stuck with me, until we come to terms. Might as well just accept it.
“Well, there is nothing you can offer me that is worth giving you even part of my body, permanently. So, I suppose we are at an impasse.”
I think you just lack imagination. There are many things I could offer. We will work something out, eventually.
“Look…” the sound of the bell in reception interrupted my thought. “We’ll have to continue this later,” I muttered, heading for the stairs. “I need to greet our guests.”
I arrived at the desk to find a young man with sandy hair, carrying a bag. He studied my face as I approached the desk, and his lip curled up in a look I could only interpret as disgust.
“Is your manager here, honey?” he asked.
Confused, I raised an eyebrow,
“I’m sorry, I’m the only one working the desk right now. How can I help you?”
He frowned,
“I suppose if you are the only one here, it will have to do. Fine. I have a reservation. Quinton Pryce. Do you need me to spell that for you?”
I shook my head.
“Now, I have someone joining me tomorrow. Her name is Melanie Tyler. I have very specific instructions for how I want her greeted, when she arrives,” he stared at me expectantly.
I nodded,
“I’ll be happy to help with whatever I can, sir.”
“Then get out a piece of paper, you are going to need to write this down, you won’t remember.”
I sighed, then searched my drawers for a pen and notepad. Holding them up so that he could see I had followed his instructions, I poised the pen above the pad and waited.
“Very good. See, take my advice, if you get better organized, it will enable you to offer your customers superior service. In the future, I shouldn’t even need to ask. Anticipating my needs like this is basically a requirement in your line of work. Make sure you always have that notepad ready, in case I have more to ask of you.”
I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I couldn’t hit the customers, and nodded.
“Of course, sir. I apologize for the inconvenience. Now, what can I do for you?”
“She will be arriving in the morning. She doesn’t know that she is meeting me, it is a surprise. She thinks she is meeting a client named ‘Joel Smith’, who wants to plan an event here. You will not contradict that, do you understand? If you want a tip at the end of this, Mel must not be suspicious at all.”
I nodded slowly; I was beginning to get a bad feeling about this.
“Just tell her Mr. Smith is waiting for her and send her to my suite. I will handle the rest.”
He must have noticed the uncomfortable look on my face, because he hurriedly explained,
“It is a surprise for our anniversary. I am planning to propose, and I want this weekend to be perfect,” he pulled a box from his pocket and proudly displayed the large diamond ring inside. As I glanced at it, he snapped the box shut, “Don’t tell her about that, obviously.”
“Of course not, sir.”
“Write it down,” he rolled his eyes.
I made a show of jotting it down on my pad.
Perhaps you were right, Al purred in my mind. I am missing a golden opportunity with this one.
I wanted to tell him to take his shot, then, but talking to myself in front of other people would only make me look nuts. He seemed to know anyway, though.
Don’t worry. I would never really abandon you. We are partners now.
I grimaced involuntarily at that news.
“You have a problem, sweetie?”
“No, sir. Apologies. Do you have anything you need taken to your room?” my finger hovered over the call button.
“I have a few things in my car, but I don’t want anyone touching them. I will go back for them later.”
“Very well, sir,” I lifted a key from the rack. “Follow me and I will take you to your room. May I carry your bag?”
I reached for the bag, but he yanked it away, covering it protectively with one arm,
“No! I’m fine. Besides, it’s heavy, you couldn’t manage it anyway.”
I nodded and I led him up the stairs to room 308.
“I don’t want to be disturbed. No one is to come into my room,” he instructed, standing at the threshold.
I dutifully pretended to write a note about it.
“Good girl, now you are getting it,” he smiled indulgently, for a moment I was worried he would pat me on the head. “You see how much this improves your ability to do the job? You will thank me, later.”
“Of course, sir,” I smiled through clenched teeth. “Dinner is available until 8pm, or you can call for room service until 11.”
Pryce slammed the door in my face. I sighed and turned back to the stairs, to find Manny just reaching the third floor.
“New guest?”
I nodded.
“I thought Vincent was going to help you with check-ins?” “He said he would, but he never came. Maybe he didn’t hear the bell,” I shrugged.
“You can hear that bell in every corner of this building and on the lawns. He’s in the woods again, isn’t he?”
“Probably,” I admitted. “I warned him against it, but he won’t listen. He thinks if he can find that diamond, all his problems will be solved, and he will get to leave.”
“That isn’t how this works. It is dangerous out there.”
“I told him that.”
“So, this is just another form of gambling for him, then,” Manny sighed. “It won’t end well.”
“You never know, he could figure things out, before anything happens.”
“He could, but we both know he won’t,” he ran a hand through his greying hair. “Just, be careful around him. See he doesn’t drag you down, too.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but Manny was already walking away. I pinched the bridge of my nose.
He’s right, you know, Al piped up. Smart guy, Manny. It’s how he has lasted this long. You should listen to him.
“Ugh, when I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it,” I muttered under my breath.
Alright, if you don’t want my opinion on the new guest, I’ll keep it to myself.
I paused,
“What about the new guest?”
Oh, so you are asking, now?
“Yes, I’m asking.”
Well, he certainly won’t be here for long, Al chuckled. He has already decided what he will trade his life for, and once the trade is made, he will belong to us. If my brethren are clever, they might even get a two for one deal out of this one.
“What does that mean?”
His only response was a low chuckle that set my teeth on edge.
“So, you know why he came here? Why all of us came here?”
Of course. Your kind all stink of your desires, your fears, your regrets. I have often wondered how you don’t notice.
“Must be a human thing. So, why is he here?”
If I told you that, it would ruin all the fun, he smirked. You’ll see soon enough.
“That reminds me,” I continued, walking back to the fourth floor where I had left my cart. “You said something about the bride a while back that I meant to ask about.”
I did?
“You said ‘they don’t want her’. As if it was obvious, she wasn’t going to be possessed. How did you know? She had certainly done worse than many of the people here.”
What do you think this place is? Al chuckled. Do you think we lure and punish the guilty? The wicked?
“Well, it does seem that the people here are often guilty of something.”
Sure, but it is the guilt we want, not the sin. We want a suitable host, nothing more. We cannot take a life unless it is freely given, and people with strong guilt and regret are more likely to be willing to give up their lives, with the right motivation. If we orchestrate things correctly, they want us to take them, by the end. As you will. The bride would never have willingly given herself to us. Why would she? She had no shame, no regret, nothing she was fleeing from. She was, in fact, admirably self-interested. In short, she was a poor candidate.
“But the new guy is a good candidate?”
Oh, absolutely. He reeks of self-loathing and desperation. It won’t take much of a push for him.
I rolled that information around in my mind. Was this useful for me? Well, I did know he couldn’t take my mind without my permission. That was good, it meant I just had to refuse him, and there was nothing he could do. That should be easy, right? I bit my lip. Maybe. I finished storing away my cart and headed down to the dining room. It was time to prepare for dinner service.
I entered the dining room to see Vincent standing over by the wine rack, when he heard me enter, he jumped and spun around.
“Lucy, when did you get here?”
“Just now. What are you doing?”
“Just dusting the wine bottles,” Vincent rubbed the back of his neck.
“Where were you earlier? I thought you were going to come and help me with the new guests?”
“There was another guest? I must have been out in the gardens when they came, sorry.”
“Ok. Well, you want to help me prep for dinner?”
We probably shouldn’t have bothered, no one showed up for the dinner service. It was 10:30 when the call for room service finally came in. A rare steak, absolutely no vegetables. Quinton Pryce was very emphatic that there should be no plant matter on his plate. I hung up the phone and turned to the chef to request the meal.
“Hey, Vincent?”
“Yeah?” he looked up from the wine rack, where he was organizing bottles. He had been drifting over there all night.
“You want to take this up?” I offered.
“I’m sort of busy here,” he shrugged. “I’m trying to finish organizing these chronologically.”
He lifted a bottle, dusted it off and studied the label in a way that seemed a little performative.
“Alright, I guess I’ll go, then,” I sighed and grabbed the cloche.
As I headed up the stairs, Al piped up,
He is hiding something, you know.
“Gee, I hadn’t figured that out. Thank you for your insight,” I rolled my eyes. “If you are going to talk, you could at least be useful.”
Oh? He perked up at that. How can I be useful to you?
“I could use some advice on getting rid of an irritating roommate,” I muttered.
He laughed,
I could help with that.
“You know I am talking about you, right?” I raised an eyebrow.
Of course I do, his tone was saccharine sweet, putting my teeth on edge. And I will tell you how to get rid of me, if you want.
“Alright, I’ll bite,” I had a feeling I was going to regret asking, but maybe it was some sort of reverse psychology, and he would actually say something I could use.
Help me break the new guest. I will take him, and leave you to your own devices, I felt his grin behind my eyes.
It’s very simple. All I want is a host. It doesn’t have to be you. Help me obtain another and you are free to go, without me.
“I’m not going to help you shatter and person’s mind and possess their body.”
You wouldn’t be so quick to say that, if you knew what I knew about why he is here, about his desires, Al laughed.
“Maybe I wouldn’t be as quick, but the answer would still be no.”
Suit yourself. I wasn’t really planning to leave you, anyway, Al chuckled, unbothered. I told you, you are stuck with me.
“Unless I manage to escape.”
True, true, he replied good naturedly. I can’t leave this place, as I am now. But you won’t, either. Not without my help. And I will not be giving that, unless you agree to take me with you.
“Not happening.”
That is what they all say. Give it time. Everyone has a price, and I will find yours, eventually. Why not save us both some time and trouble and at least make a request.
“That would imply I want to save you trouble,” I fell silent as I reached the door for room 308.
I knocked briskly, eager to get this over with and get to bed. As the door opened a crack, the smell of oil paint wafted from the room and Pryce poked his head into the hallway. His eyes landed on me and narrowed.
“You again? Does this hotel not employ anything but females?”
“I’m sorry, sir?” how else do you respond to that?
“Look, I don’t want you to get upset, but I really think I would prefer a man serve me, from now on. I don’t need anyone female coming to my room late at night. It isn’t appropriate.”
I blinked, staring at him silently for a long moment.
“Maybe this is hard for you to understand,” he continued, speaking slowly. “I know you are probably looking for some rich man to marry, to take you away from all of this, but I am not available. My fiancée is the only girl I am interested in.”
“That’s great for you,” I held out the cloche. “I’ll get out of your way, then.”
His nose wrinkled in irritation, but he took the dish and spun to head back into his room. As he did, his door opened a little, exposing a large, partially finished painting of a young woman propped up on an easel in the middle of the room. The pallet and brushes indicated that he was currently working on it. The woman depicted was pale, with long, flowing straw-colored hair and dark brown eyes. Feathered white wings burst from her shoulder blades, but she was fettered, wings and limbs wrapped in chains. Despite this, the expression on her face was… ecstatic; absolute, rapturous joy. As I stared into the shining eyes, that cried tears of blood, the door slammed shut.
I just stood there for a moment. The painting had been good, amazing, even, but it left me feeling disturbed, somehow. A creeping dread clawed at my stomach.
So, are you sure you don’t want play with him, just a little? Al wheedled.
The interruption broke me from my reverie.
“I’m going to bed.”
I turned on my heel and headed off down the hall. It was getting late.
The morning was uneventful. I did my chores, worked on balancing the books, set out breakfast that went uneaten. It was a shame; the cinnamon rolls were pretty good. The only odd thing was that Vincent was being unusually solicitous. He followed me closely around the dining room, asking if there were any jobs he could take on. I assumed it was because he blew me off yesterday.
“So, what do you think the new guy is here for?” he asked, mopping the floor to remove the red brown pawprints in what I chose to believe was mud.
I shrugged,
“Hard to say. He said he is waiting for someone, so I think that when they arrive, things will probably begin.”
“When is that supposed to happen?”
“He said this morning…” I was interrupted by the chime of the bell. “Speak of the devil.”
That elicited a small chuckle from somewhere inside my ears. I wasn’t sure if it was good that I amused a demon or not. I shook it off.
“Are you going to help me check her in, this time?” I asked.
“Look, I am sorry about yesterday. I’m here now,” he put the mop in the dark red water and headed for the lobby. “Let’s go.”
I pushed through the door behind him to see a young woman in a sharp pantsuit at the desk, looking down at a large binder of photos and swatches. She must be the event planner that was expecting to meet ‘Joel Smith’. As we approached, she looked up and I froze mid-step. I knew her. The hair was different, dyed a pale blue and long on the top with a modern undercut, and there were no wings, but the face and eyes were unmistakable. She was the woman from the painting. I stared for a moment, wondering what that meant, before realizing I was being foolish. Pryce had said he was planning to propose, so obviously he had painted it for her, perhaps as a gift. The chains had unsettled me, but who was I to judge? He was an artist, maybe it was symbolic. Vincent cleared his throat from behind the desk, startling me back to reality.
“Welcome to Ultima Resort. Do you have a reservation?” he asked, politely.
I needed to remind him to smile more, it would help to hide the apprehension he was currently displaying.
“Actually, I am here to meet someone on business,” she demonstrated a broad smile for him. “My client, Joel Smith, said I should ask for him at the desk, and you would point me to his room.”
“I don’t think there is anyone here named…” Vincent began.
“Of course, ma’am,” I interrupted quickly. I had forgotten to tell him about the false name. “Mr. Smith is waiting for you up in room 308.”
“Thank you. If I may say, this is a beautiful resort. I am so glad that Mr. Smith decided to plan his event here. Perhaps you would be interested in setting up a partnership?” she drew a gold-embossed card from her purse. “You see, I am an event planner, and I am looking for new venues to book events. I am trying to avoid the usual venues in my town,” she shuddered slightly. “But finding new places and rebuilding those relationships is so difficult.”
“Is there a problem with the local venues?” I knew better than to ask questions, but sometimes I couldn’t help myself.
“Oh, no, they are great. It’s just that I always use the same 4 or 5 venues, and it has gotten too predictable. It is safer to adjust my routine, until I have saved up enough to move.”
Mel laughed uncomfortably,
“Did I say safer? I just meant that falling into a routine gets boring. Clients want things that are new and fresh, you know? You have to have variety.”
I nodded, letting the matter drop.
“Well, what kind of partnership did you have in mind?”
“I thought perhaps I could leave some of my cards and you could point guests in my direction, and I could, of course, steer my own clients here, for their events.”
“Well, I will have to consult our owners, but I will certainly take some cards,” I replied, knowing that this was never going to happen.
“Thank you,” she beamed. “Now, I should get up to Mr. Smith’s room. It wouldn’t do to be late.”
Mel grabbed her rolling case and her sample book and rushed for the stairs.
“Do you need help with the case?” Vincent asked.
“Oh, that would be lovely, thank you!” she paused while he caught up and lifted her case, then they both headed up the stairs.
I returned to the dining room and resumed mopping.
Vincent returned a short time later, looking uneasy.
“You didn’t tell me about the new guest’s face.”
“What?” I looked up from the now gleaming floor.
“His face. It was all wrapped in bandages, and his voice was all raspy. He said he had been burned in a fire.”
“Are you sure you took her to 308?”
“Of course I did, I know how to count,” he looked offended.
“I only ask because that doesn’t sound like the man I took up to 308 yesterday. He was pretty ordinary looking. Definitely no bandages or burns. What did the planner say?”
“She seemed to be expecting it, greeted him as Mr. Smith right away and went into the room.”
“Huh. Well, perhaps it was a disguise.”
“Why would he be wearing a disguise?”
“Pryce said he made an appointment with her as ‘Joel Smith’ so he could draw her here for a surprise marriage proposal. Maybe he didn’t want her to recognize him until they were alone in the room.”
“A marriage proposal?” Vincent raised an eyebrow. “That’s odd. She gave me the impression that she was single.”
“Oh? You weren’t with her for that long, how did that come up?”
“She asked when I got off work and wanted to join me for a drink after her meeting.”
“What did you say?”
“I let her down easy, she isn’t my type, after all. She was nice about it, said that was about her luck with men, lately. She hasn’t been on a date in months because she is too afraid to make a date on any of the apps.”
“Well, apparently, she had a really bad first date a while back and now, no matter which app she uses, she keeps showing up to dates and finding the same guy. He has been using dozens of fake accounts, following her at work, chasing off anyone else she meets. I felt bad for her, she seemed really spooked by the whole thing.”
I stared at Vincent,
“So, you are telling me that she is single, and she has a stalker who uses false identities to lure her into meetings?”
“That’s what she said…” he trailed off as he realized. “We need to get back up there.”
I hesitated for a moment. We weren’t really supposed to interfere in these matters and it never ended well when I tried… but I couldn’t shake the thought of the painting, the chains.
See? I told you he didn’t deserve your pity, Al noted.
“You knew about this?” I asked under my breath.
Of course. I said that he already decided what he would trade his life for. So, we brought her to him.
“You can make her love him?”
Of course not. We don’t change people’s emotions, only enhance what is already there. She loathes him, fears him. We cannot change that.
“So, what happens when he learns that?”
Who knows? That is the fun part, his enthusiasm was clear. What will the two of them do? How will she react? How will he? Whatever happens, it won’t be boring.
“Boring?! Does that matter right now?”
Of course, Al sounded puzzled. What else matters, beyond alleviating the constant, crushing tedium of existence?
“Why am I even talking to you about this?” I shook my head and ran for the stairs, trying to catch up with Vincent.
I took too long, because by the time I reached the third-floor hallway, he was already gone. The hallway was empty and silent, though nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I hesitated for a moment, debating what to do next. I thought perhaps Al would chime in, but he seemed content to just let this play out and enjoy the show. Finally, I reached out and knocked on door 308. There was no response, but I could hear a muffled voice from behind the door. He was ignoring me. Vincent was missing. I pulled out my keys and opened the lock. The door swung open to a completely dark room. All the lights were off and blackout curtains were covering every window. Whoever had been speaking a moment ago had stopped, and eerie silence fell over the room. I took a few hesitant steps forward in the beam of light from the hallway, then, the door slammed shut behind me. I spun around, but couldn’t see anything in the now total darkness. Knowing that Pryce must be by the door, I turned and tried to move away, towards the windows. If I could get one uncovered… my thought was interrupted when my foot caught something and I tumbled to the ground, only a few feet from the nearest window.
As I fell, I felt a sudden breeze and the whistle of something moving through the air, then a crunch as it impacted a wall next to me. I scrambled to my feet, ignoring my sore knees, and ran the final few steps, yanking the curtain open. The burst of sunlight revealed a horrifying scene. The first thing I saw was Quinton Pryce, standing near where I had fallen, pulling on a fire poker that was embedded into the wall. The fact I had tripped was the only reason it wasn’t currently embedded in my head. I looked for what had caused me to fall and saw a single raised step in the center of the room. It was just one step and it led nowhere. It didn’t seem to have any reason to be there, but it was lucky it had been. Vincent hadn’t been so lucky. I spotted him lying on the ground by the door, a large bruise forming on his temple. At least he seemed to be breathing. Finally, my eyes alighted on the event planner. Mel was lying on the bed, bound in fine, silver chains. He had redressed her in a flowing white gown, and she seemed to be wearing a wig, long and blonde, like in the painting. She was gagged, but awake, her eyes wide and frightened. Pryce yanked the poker free and turned to me,
“Why are you here? Why did you have to interrupt?” he screamed. “Everything was perfect! I just had to finish it, and they promised we would be together forever.”
I backed away, deeper into the room, as he advanced on me, swinging the poker.
“You sent the white knight too, didn’t you?” he glanced back at Vincent. “I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you. Women always ruin everything. Even her! My beautiful angel. Did you see what she did to her hair? How she spoiled herself? Disgusting,” his lip curled. “I warned her not to, but she didn’t listen. Now I’ve fixed it. And when I am finished, she will be perfect, like she was always supposed to be. Like I knew she could be, the moment we met.”
He took another step towards me.
“What are your trying to finish?” I needed to distract him until I could figure out a plan.
“It came to me in a dream, last night,” his eye gleamed manically. “I know how to make her mine, how we can be together, forever.”
As he spoke, he pulled a knife from his waistband, it gleamed in the light from the window.
“When we die here, together, wrapped in shared chains, the blood from our veins mingling, we will be bound together in the afterlife. And she will finally be the perfect angel I need. Kind, sweet, compliant, and by my side forever. We’ll both finally be happy.”
“Melanie doesn’t look very happy,” I blurted before I could stop myself.
“Of course, she doesn’t!” he whirled to face her. “She doesn’t understand. But it isn’t her fault. Society has ruined women. They don’t understand that their true purpose comes from belonging to a man. I tried to show her, to explain to her that she would be fulfilled if she just listened to me, obeyed me, like she was meant to. But she has been corrupted, so she rejects the truth, fears it. Once I have cleansed her, once we are joined by blood, she will finally see my truth. We will both be ecstatic, together.”
Mel struggled against the chains on the bed, but they seemed sturdy, she was barely able to move. Tears streamed freely from her eyes, which were impossibly wide and frightened, seeming to plead with me for help. I wasn’t going to be much use to her. I was nearly backed into a corner and Pryce was now advancing on me again, poker in hand.
“I wouldn’t ordinarily hit a woman,” he seemed almost apologetic about that. “But I can’t let you interrupt.”
I took a few more steps back, now I was pressed against the wall. Nowhere left to go. He raised the poker above his head, but before he could bring it down, a small loop of chain slipped around his neck, and his head jerked backwards. His hands reached for his neck, clawing and groping, but the chain only pulled tighter. I saw a line of blood appear, but the chain continued to tighten. His eyes bulged for a moment, then, with a final, sharp tug, the chain sliced through his neck and his body dropped to the ground, a ragged wound where his head had been. Behind him stood Melanie Tyler, face streaked in blood that dripped down her cheeks like tears. Her eyes were black as ebony. She licked the blood from her lips with a small smile, then raised the head, so that she was looking him in the eyes,
“Is this what you wanted? Are we joined now?” she laughed and dropped the head onto his corpse.
She closed her eyes for a moment, wiping the blood from her face with the hem of her dress. When she turned back to me, it was with brown eyes that twinkled with mirth. Mel grabbed her purse from a table and searched around inside a moment. Finally, she offered me a little stack of cards. When I didn’t reach out for them right away, she explained.
“My business cards, remember?” she placed them in my hand. “Don’t forget to give them out. And don’t worry, I will be sending plenty of business back here. I think this is going to be a very beneficial partnership.”
She gathered the clothing she had arrived in and began to remove the bloody dress. As she did, I heard a groan from the doorway. Vincent stirred and struggled to sit up. I hurried over to him.
“Are you alright?” I knelt.
“What happened?” he asked.
“It was probably a fire poker.”
He gently probed his temple with a finger, wincing.
“My head hurts.”
“I bet,” I helped him to his feet, he leaned heavily on my shoulder.
“What happened to Melanie? She was on the bed, just over there.”
I followed his gaze to the bed, which was now empty, except for a pile of chain, some of which looked warped and melted.
“What a sweet boy, worrying about me, even now,” Melanie purred, now wearing the pantsuit again. “I am better than I have ever been. I am free. Now, I have to go, but you two take care of yourselves. Expect to see some clients of mine shortly.”
With that, she brushed past us and slipped out into the hall.
“Was she…”
I nodded. He shook his head sadly.
“We should probably go back to the kitchen and find you some ice,” I looked at the lump on his head, it was growing by the moment.
Vincent nodded and we headed for the door.
We managed to find ice and painkillers in the kitchen, and I hoped it would be enough, because we weren’t getting to a hospital. As Vincent sat on a stool, icing his head, I slipped into the bathroom. There was something I needed to know.
“Hey, Al, are you there?” I wasn’t sure if he would even be listening. I apparently shouldn’t have worried.
I am always here, my dear, his voice came immediately. What do you need?
“I just had a question,” I had been thinking about this since the moment I opened the curtains in room 308. “Did you save me?”
Whatever do you mean? he smirked.
“I mean that step, the one in the middle of the floor, going nowhere. It shouldn’t have been there. Did you trip me?”
Of course I did. If you died, all my efforts would have been wasted. I am not about to go back in the queue and start all over.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about that, he had protected me, but it didn’t seem like I should be grateful for that. So, for the time being, I moved on.
“Why did Melanie end up possessed? I thought the target was Pryce?”
He was one target. He may have been willing to do anything to possess her, but she was willing to do anything to stop him, and Tyler made her deal first. Now, he will never hurt another woman, just as she wanted. I could do something similar for you, if you are ready for a deal of your own.
I shook my head,
“No chance.”
We’ll see. The kind of trouble you seem to get yourself into, I suspect there will come a time where you don’t have much choice.
“I am going to back to check on Vincent.”
I turned and left the bathroom.
I guess that is where I will end for today. Nothing too interesting happened after that. Manny took a look at Vincent and said he will be alright; he just needs rest. Hopefully, he knows what he is talking about. Manny, never says much about what he did before he came here, so I suppose he might. We all decided to turn in early, and this seemed like an ideal time to finally write up this entry. I hope we will get another period of quiet, but I am concerned the Mel will keep her promise and send more guests. Either way, I should probably get some sleep while I can.
Until next time,
submitted by RaynaClay to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 00:14 Shadyx94 I will Isekai you with my truck!

Chapter 1
It was a long day for Mike. Being fresh out of college and spending all day online checking his job applications, he found the lack of replies depressing..
His black hair was all messed up and unkempt from staying up all night tailoring his resume for each job posting. His brown eyes blankly staring at the ceiling contemplating the existential dread of needing to get experience to get a job, but in order to get a experience he needed a job and all the entry level jobs available to him required some prior experience.
A vicious cycle for a young man to find himself in.
He groaned in frustration as the tiredness from his sleepless nights caused by his incoherent thoughts smashing together started hitting him all at once.
A notification bell rang through his phone suddenly waking him up from his unwanted, but necessary, slumber. Barely conscious, he squinted his eyes due to the brightness of his phone's screen. With a clumsy adjustment he managed to dim the brightness enough to where it didn’t feel like the light of God was punching his retinas.
**[Dear Mr. Mike Ramirez
We at Universal Manpower Distributions, LLC,. Are glad to inform you that your application has passed our initial screening and we are confident that you meet the qualifications we are looking for in the position we are offering. We would like to schedule an interview today and would like for you to come to our office as soon as possible. Our address is located at the bottom of the attachment on this email.. We look forward to your interview.]**
Mike felt energized: someone actually responded to his application and wanted to interview right away! Quickly tidying up his room and appearance, he took one last look in the mirror before heading out the door and to his, hopefully, new job.
As he made his commute to the address in the email provided, warning bells started ringing in the back of his mind; he forgot what job he applied for due to the dozens of applications he sent out as well as the immediate hiring, or at least his hope for immediate hiring, without going through the hoops that today’s hiring practices required you to jump through..
As he arrived at the destination it looked more like an abandoned warehouse.
“Something just doesn't feel right.,” he thought to himself, “Where’s the sign or company logo?”
"I might be getting mugged or some shit," Mike uttered to himself. "Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose".
Mike knocked on the gated entrance and stood back as the gate opened by itself. the door leading into the warehouse slowly opened as well, revealing a dark room that Mike could barely see inside. He cautiously walked in and was greeted by a woman wearing earmuffs. The woman had bright blonde hair with bright green eyes, fair skin, and a petite frame. She looks at Mike and smiles.
"Ah, you must be Mr. Ramirez. I'm Elune, the company's liaison have been waiting for you,” she gestured to a chair next to the door, “please come inside and grab a seat. The interview will begin shortly".
Mike felt unease at the woman’s demeanor, but still listened to her instructions and took a seat. The reception room was dark with the only visible light being the small lamp on the reception desk. The receptionist spoke with an accent that Mike couldn't make out.
As Mike made his way to the interview room, he took a quick glance at the receptionist wondering why she was wearing earmuffs only to realise that the earmuffs barely cover her ears! However, what was more confusing was that her ears appeared to have pointed tips. Almost like those ear things used by people doing elf cosplay.
"Huh, odd." Mike muttered to himself. He didn’t see it, but the woman's ear twitched at his private comment.
Mike just entered the Interview room and didn’t have a chance to sit down before the door behind him slammed shut. In a panic he looked around but couldn't see his surroundings. It was as if he stepped into the void.
As he took a second to process his situation, his eyes adjusted enough to where he could see a table and a chair in the middle of the room. When he looked down, he could see a reflection of his body but not the floor. He scanned the room and noticed that there were no light sources, yet he could see himself as plain as day. What’s more; he noticed the furniture didn't cast any shadows either.
He nervously walks his way to take a seat and a new woman wearing what looked like a white toga suddenly appeared in front of him in a bright-but-subtle aura of white light.
"Hello, Mr. Ramirez, and welcome to Universal Manpower Distributions, LLC,.. I'm Gaia, the founder of this company. I thank you for arriving on such short notice." she greeted him with a smooth voice.
Mike was flabbergasted at the situation he found himself in., Trying to keep his cool and not point out that the woman in front of him, Gaia, appeared to be glowing, he greeted as best he could. "Thank you Mrs. Gaia for giving me the opportunity to work for your company".
She smiled. "So, Mr. Ramirez, to get down to business let me give you a bit of this company’s history first. This is a startup company and I believe you are a good fit for our current job opening. To start, tell me what you know about the multiverse?".
Mike paused for a moment trying to formulate a response. "Well to my understanding, it is something where, with the universe being infinite, there are variations of this world out there, or that there are different worlds or realities running parallel to ours." Mike answered. Gaia nodded, then snapped her fingers.
Suddenly the dark room lit up and he found himself floating above the earth. s Mike looked around the new area he was floating in, he noticed they were in space, but instead of the sun far off in the distance, it was on the ceiling, the earth was below them, and the stars and planets made up the walls. The sheer scale of the universe being compressed to the size of an office space almost broke his mind.
"I am the Goddess of your world, one amongst the many other gods and goddesses that govern their own. Our universe, which we shall call Earth Prime, has resources that are unique compared to the other worlds;Humans". Gaia leaned forward, staring deeply into Mike’s eyes. "Tell me Mike, are you familiar with what your world calls Warhammer 40k? Specifically, the Orks?"
"Uhhhh...yes?" Mike said timidly
"Humans, humans are basically space Orks. Originally, this world was the only universe, hence called Earth Prime. Humanity had always been a creative bunch, its my fault really. It's a quality that i've given to the species in order to survive, but with that creativity comes a collective consciousness giving way to the power of belief. Be it through storytelling, religion, arts, literature, etc. the power of belief humanity holds created multiple great and terrible concepts. For example, me" She pointed to herself.
"I'm basically a manifestation of human consciousness ‘Mother Earth’ personified. I know it sounds complicated given that I have several names and I am the origin of all the gods in this world you Humans thought of. But Gaia would be best for now." She said with a wave.
Mike nodded along. "I understand."
He does not, in fact, understand. But by God er…Gaia, he thinks he’s doing pretty damn well.
Gaia sighed. "Well, to put it plainly, the concepts humans created, concepts of different worlds with their own lore, different species, culture, and even their own gods, had turned those fictional concepts into a reality. Though those new worlds are on another plain of existence, those infinite worlds created by humanities consciousness do not meet each other in your reality....until now, that is.”
“With humanity's concept of the multiverse, combined with the concept of Isekai, Humanity managed to break that once invisible barrier".
Mike could only stare blankly given the information overload.
"This is a lot to take in. Let me know when you’re ready for more.” Just like her position of being earth’s “mother”, Gaia smoothly switched over to a motherly tone, gently taking mike’s hands in her own and waiting until he was ready. .
"Since humanity created the Isekai concept, a celestial like me is no longer lonely as I’m able to mingle and interact with the gods of the other worlds. A gift Humanity has given me for which I am immensely thankful for."
"But, with the veil between worlds broken, the power to take people from this reality to their world, and vice versa, through various means has put an undue burden on myself and the others.”"
"Though humanity’s consciousness isn't all sunshine and rainbows,there are worlds in turmoil that the native residents cannot handle. Over time, the people of those worlds prayed and begged their gods, who in turn begged me, to allow a soul from Earth Prime to be summoned and provide assistance.”She cast her eyes down, and for only a moment Mike saw the toil this duty took on her body.
I've grown close to these gods that I can't help but feel indirectly responsible for it. When I allowed the other gods to grab a soul in this world, they can only do it by random as their god powers can only go so far and would need centuries to replenish the mana used. Multiply that with the growing number of worlds that humanity keeps creating, it can get out of hand and risk dire consequences.”
"So, i've come up with a system. Instead of having the gods from other worlds come by all willy nilly to get a soul from Earth Prime, I started this company instead to outsource in picking up specific souls suited for the gods who request specific criterias. All souls will be delivered to those worlds with their mana used as currency paid to me, you'll be compensated as well, which we'll get to later".
Mike, still trying to recover from the initial revelations, was nearly knocked on his ass by what the goddess just told him. "Why can't those worlds have their own people deal with those problems on their own?" he asked after reeling in his sanity.
"Good question Mike,” she rubbed his head affectionately, “well, to start off, the concept of magic for example has existed within humaniy’s consciousness for a long time, but it doesn't exist in this world like it does in the other worlds. Think of a person on the other world as a bottle that can store mana, eventually it will fill up, but with an Earth Prime human in that world they would be like a bottomless bag and would be powerful enough to stop whatever threat that world faces.
Her face grew dark, “Sometimes it's not always monstrous entities that are the problems in the other worlds. Humanity isn't perfect and thus the worlds created in their collective consciousness may be Utopian in theory but in practice…It's a different story Those other worlds stagnate as a society, both culturally and technologically. Stagnant periods like that is when an Earth Prime human is sent to stir the pot, so to speak, and kick progress into gear…for better or worse." She shrugged at her last remark.
"There are several ways a soul in Earth Prime can get Isekai'd; being portaled to another world is the most common, but it attracts a lot of unwanted attention.
"Another method is someone dying while displaying an act of character that shows a person's soul quality that the other gods are looking for. This is a very time consuming process given that there’s a short window to search our world and transporting the soul at the moment of death.”
"The list goes on and on, but that's where this business venture and you come in. The other gods invested heavily with this company by giving a substantial amount of their magic in the form of runes installed on the company's equipment to transport the chosen soul to their world.”
“Though powerful in their world, these runes are severely restricted in this world. There are scant few seconds of use until they’re able to be used again, but it should be more than enough to do the job and be fully recharged by the time the next commision comes up."
"The added benefit that comes with the job is that you get to visit multiple different worlds, as long as the magic is there for transport." Mike knew she did her best to sell him on the reality that if he accepts this job, he’ll be a literal Isekai Protagonist. Well, him and whomever else is chosen.
Mike could barely hold back the smile from his face.
"I really appreciate you choosing me specifically for this job, Ms. Gaia,” he watched as a small sliver of fear cross her face, “I have one question though: do I get to choose what equipment I use, or is there a standard setup?
"Well, the runes are installed on a vehicle, it is a transportation/delivery job after all. If you follow me to the garage, I'll show you".
Mike followed Gaia with a spring in his step as they exited the room.
As they exit Gaia nodded at Elune,”This is Elune. She's a goddess of the other world and one of our investors., She's also our first client.
Elune nodded back and smiled. "I see that things are coming along nicely. It was good meeting you, Mr. Ramirez, but I better get going; time may not mean much to us deities, but we run on mana and my tank is almost on ‘E’, to borrow a human phrase.. I'll be seeing you later, Gaia. This has been a momentous day." Elune slowly faded away, with Mike watching on and grinning like a child that saw his first magic trick..
They arrived at the garage entrance minutes later.
"This is the vehicle you'll be using to transport souls to the other world, Mike." Gaia threw open the sheet metal door to reveal Mike’s assigned method of transportation,
"So are you in?" Gaia said with a smile while holding a clipboard.
"To make it official, and for legal reasons, I just need you to sign this document."
Mike signed the document without hesitation then looks at the unassuming vehicle.
"So boss, how exactly do I transport souls? Do I park it at a cemetery and wait for a shining light or something? Or will you contact the selected person and have him hop in like an Uber?
Gaia looks up at Mike, revealing a shit-eating grin..
"Nope. You're going to hit them with this truck"
AN: This is my first time posting a story in HFY , special thanks to u/enviromenal-wish53 and the SSB community for editing, you guys are the best
submitted by Shadyx94 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 09:20 Lem0n_Lord Displacement - Azur Lane

I decided to go through with it, and finished my first chapter. I've posted it on AO3 'n stuff, figured I'd put it here anyway. I also wanna preface the chapter by briefly saying what it's about to avoid (some) confusion.
"Displacement" is a line of self-insert fanfics I'm writing where a random person get's "Displaced" into the universe of the series it's based on. There's no lore to the teleporting, but the teleporting does happen more than once, and it happens at often crucial times to put the character into a new scenario.
Any text with italics without " " will be the thoughts of the MC, which I'll constantly just be referring to as "you". I really should start writing in 3rd person, but right now I'm stuck in a horrible loop where I keep writing in a mix.
I preface each chapter by putting lyrics from the song it's named after, which are emboldened and put in italics.

Chapter 1 - Dead On Arrival
As dawn arrives, we still survive.
Nobody knows what's goin' on, Tearin' my town limb by limb.
Where are your mom and dad..?
Was it shocking for you?
Somethin is scaring you?
Enemies will hunt you, no matter what you do!
But we'll fight for you, to defeat them all.

If not, there's no way out.

What in the hell just happened?
You'd landed on your hands, which ached immensely from the poor angle you somehow fell from. In absolute confusion, you flipped onto your back and used your elbows as supports to lean on, looking upwards.
Above you was but a regular ceiling with lights, nothing out of the ordinary. It seems you had fallen through the ground by some contrivance and into an archaic office of sorts.
There was a total lack of memory from anything that had transpired both leading up to the events that had just occurred, and even some memories predating that.
Such simple things such as your name were somehow eluding you. Questions of who you were rebounded in your head over and over like an echo-chamber filled with nothing.
As your thoughts spiraled, you had a splitting headache. A pained groan escaped your lips as you stood up in defiance. You looked around the room, trying to assess your situation the best you could.
Multiple red banners fit with black Iron Crosses decorated the walls.
An underlying sense of dread built up as you continued exploring the room in search for answers. You approached curtains behind the desk, they seemed relatively well cleaned. With a gentle tug, you pulled them back.
Lying beyond the curtains was a view you thought you'd never see.
Just where in the hell am I?
Looking down from the window, you could see huge warships docked at a port. Some people down below, the size of pinpricks, were walking along the concrete ground. More crimson banners littered the streets away from the docks.
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no..." You whispered to yourself, backing away from the glass.
In an attempt to find out where you were, you flew open the desk drawers. Paper flew like confetti as you looked for answers.
A date eventually stood out to you.
"1-1941?!" You said out loud, dumbfounded.
You continued sifting through the pages in denial, finding the very same date over and over again. After a while, you were surrounded by a sea of white sheets each imprinted with evidence of the impossible.
The drawers all lay empty with nothing more to prove.
You looked towards the multiple banners in the room and silently cursed.
Where the fuck am I? In the Führer's office?
Two doors were present in the room. One opposite the desk, and another to your right.
Testing your luck, you opened the one opposite where you currently were.
It was in the middle of a clean carpeted hallway. The walls were an ivory white, while the carpet was a bleeding vibrant red. Even more banners littered the walls.
This was no time to just start wandering around the Reichstag.
Well... Did Hitler live in the Reichstag? Was this the equivalent? The Reichstag was never built so close to the sea, let alone having a view right over a German port...
A figure turned the corner from down the hall, which you quickly noticed. After silently closing the door, you quietly opened the 2nd.
It was a relatively well kept bedroom with an unidentified blonde woman sleeping on the bed. On the bed-side table was an officers cap fitted with a rising golden eagle alongside a red and white band.
A window view facing the sea was left open; letting in a cooling breeze drift into the room.
An idea struck your mind.
If I'm were going to escape this place alive, I'm gonna need some kind of disguise. Atleast, something other than a T-shirt and shorts.
You could only imagine what they'd do to you if they'd found some random person in what you thought was the Führer's quarters.
As silently as was humanly possible, you crept up to the wardrobe.
You thought "What woman was high-ranking during World War 2? ".
Perhaps the woman sleeping was Hitlers wife or something?
The closet responded to your touch with a high pitched squeak. Despite it being an inanimate object, you motioned for it to shut up with your hand. Your head spun around to see if the woman had woken up.
She did not.
With a silent thank you to god, you looked inside for some kind of uniform. What you instead found was... Womens' apparel?
You reached further in and looked deeper. There was no men's uniforms, which was quite surprising. Further scanning the wardrobe, you came across what appeared to be her undergarments.
You would've slammed the door shut, but the sound of the woman behind you snoring left a constant reminder that there was a SLIGHT element of danger.
Instead of risking it making another creaking sound, you left it open and left the room with a blush. You dove back into the marked papers and read them more thoroughly. Mentions of... Ship girls? Wisdom cubes?
No, no, no, that can't be right.
Standing back up, you struggled to formulate any kind of plan.
If you were going to survive, you'd need a weapon. Surely you could kill one with a surprise attack, then take his gun, and perhaps find a way out of here.
The closest thing resembling a weapon was a pen on the table.
Yep, that's fine, I'll just John Wick them...
You huffed and sat down on the more throne-like chair. It was quite comfortable, but it didn't spin like an office chair. It'd be 35 years before office chairs would be invented unfortunately.
The pen wasn't a ballpoint such as the ones you were used to; instead it was a dip pen. A half empty inkwell laid next to it. Out of boredom, you opened it. The smell of ink wafted out of the glass container.
Didn't they have fountain pens by now? Weird.
Your eyes were drawn to a map on the wall to the right of you. It depicted a slightly distorted version of the world you once called home. If you were uneducated, it wouldn't be unfeasible to identify it as the real thing. Perhaps even interchangeable should you be intoxicated enough, there were only slight discrepancies which broke the illusion.
You shook your head in disbelief. Either you were truly out of your depth or what you thought were the Nazi's were just pitifully incompetent.
At that point, it felt like you were in one of those TV pranks. You started probing the room for cameras or hidden microphones. With one glance at the open doorway, you immediate ignored it and continued the search elsewhere.
With a sigh, you surveyed the room one last time while leaning in a corner.
This couldn't be some sort of prank or something. Nobody would spend all of this money just to get a reaction from someone.
Your eyes traced the boundaries of the window.
Especially with all of those battleships and the like. God, the steel alone would cost millions...
The door leading to the bedroom slammed shut due to the wind from the open window.
You snapped your neck around to look at it, terror and trepidation coiled around your soul like a knot. Well... Now that's just great, isn't it?
The noise was so loud, you unconsciously held your ears in reaction to it.
You ran towards the window behind the desk and tried to get it open. There was no handle or any sort of way to open the window unfortunately.
Panic rushed through your body as you heard rapid footsteps approaching from the hallway on the other side of the wall. Grabbing the pen, you dashed over to get yourself in a good position to stab whoever was going to enter.
By the time I kill the first guard, I'll easily be able to deal with the girl in the other room. Shouldn't be too difficult as long as I land this blow.
Eventually, a figure opened the doors.
The pen somehow deflected off of her head, even though you used all of your strength.
"Eh? "
A dumbfounded look was imprinted onto your face, and she returned the expression.
Both of you stared at each other awkwardly, both of your minds were trying to assess the situation. She had a skirt that was a mixture of a brilliant red and foggy grey. Despite the look on her face, she had quite an imposing stature. Alongside her flat chest were golden buttons fitted to the exterior; 8 in total.
The pen tip was completely bent and disfigured, unlike the persons face you'd just attempted stabbing. There wasn't a single scratch or mark from your inept strike.
You crept around the stunned girl and into the hall, almost tripping on your own feet. As you backed up, she turned around and apprehensively pointed at you.
"You! What do you think you're do-" She was interrupted by the door to the bedroom being burst open.
"That man! Hipper! Detain him at once!" A tall half-dressed blonde ordered from the doorway.
You started backing away, you knew you had to run but it almost felt like you'd forgotten how to.
The inimical woman in front of you was poised to lunge at you, but her eyes gazed at something beyond you. Eventually you had backed up into something warm.
With a gulp, you slowly turned around.
You were face to face with, yet, another female.
Why were they all women? It's only 1941, surely they're not being pushed on all fronts?
An Iron Cross adorned her neck along with two more embroidered onto the wrist section of her clothing. Instead of blonde, her hair was a chalky white that was tied up in twin tails. Something else you noticed is that they all had thigh-highs on.
"Eugen, I order you to capture that spy!"
"Whatever you say, sis~" Eugen replied with a teasing grin.
"This is a huge misunderstanding! If you'll just let me-" You squealed shortly before being picked up by your shoulders. Her strength was extremely surprising to say the least. You attempted to maneuver yourself out of her grasp, but had no such luck.
Eugen effortlessly tossed you like a speeding missile down the hall and through a door labeled "Canteen".
"Why did you- EUGH! YOU ALWAYS DO THIS!" A irked Hipper scolded before giving chase.
"Oops~ " Eugen giggled with content, following with a gait of elegance.
The blonde put on her cap, and finished getting dressed before rushing in the opposite direction.
You'd just breached the doors of the cafeteria, landing on your shoulder and tumbling into the floorboards. You released a loud groan of agony as you made a clumsy uncoordinated attempt of rising to your feet.
Your mind was briefly rendered into tomato soup for a good few seconds before you regained your bearings.
How the hell did she just whizz me around like that? And how did that other girl just completely ignore my strike? What in the name of Christ is going on here..?
As you finally stood on two feet, one of your hands instinctively reached for your shoulder. It really felt like you broke something, but you knew that if you really had broken something, you'd probably be on the floor crying.
"Who is that?"
Your eyes widened as you realized you were in a room full of women draped in all kinds of modified Kriegsmarine uniforms. Some of them forewent their uniforms entirely, wearing skimpy, very revealing clothing for god knows why.
They were of all shapes and sizes. Though, putting it like that makes it sound like they're abnormal godless creatures.
It wasn't too far from the truth, some of them had what seemed to be horns. A good number of them also looked like children.
You struggled to get some words out in a very poor attempt of deception.
"I-I, uh... Für den Kaiser? " You stuttered in a horrible German accent. Everyone was silent. "No? Too early? Damn..."
A feminine voice crackled in from the P.A system, a ringing alarm repeatedly blared.
"Intruder alert! Spy in the base! Prevent him from leaving at all costs!"
Chatter erupted all over the room.
"There's a spy in the base?" Someone repeated.
Only fragments of conversations were intelligible from the mess of different voices and German. The talking slowly died down until the room was in absolute silence. Every single one of them were staring at you.
Your eyes went from face to face, they were innumerable.
You immediately turned you back on them and began your great escape.
It started with a thundering of rushing and mangled cries of "Get him!" and other variations of apprehensive phrases. Multiple lunch trays clattered to the floor. The flat blonde you'd met before burst through the doors, using her arms in an X fashion as a brace.
Hipper didn't see you slip out of her way and slink back into the hallway before continuing into a sprint.
"W-where did he go?" She sputtered in a blunder. Her breath was raggedy and frequent.
They all pointed behind her, some of them started running towards her which prompted an annoyed groan from Hipper, who began to give chase to the human.
A look of steely determination was imprinted onto your face as you ran with all of your might. Crimson banners, vanilla wallpaper, and the wall-lamps all whizzed by in a amalgamated blur.
You looked behind you to see how much a lead you had.
They were gaining, Hipper was still leading the charge. In a panic, you hurriedly chose a random door flying by.
Eenie, meenie, miney, mo!
You braced and charged through the wooden pair of doors. What you saw in that room was interesting to say the least.
Yet another woman was sitting on some sort of throne. The masonry itself was crumbled at the edges, armrests draped in light amethyst hair.
The woman herself was crossing her legs with her hands joined in her lap. Behind her was a large cathedral-like window showering the room with light, unveiling the darkness. Unlit wax candles ran along the walls with two golden chandeliers hanging above.
She cocked her head slightly to the right, intrigued by your form. Her presence alone sent chills up your spine. Something about her gave off an incredibly ominous vibe.
As you stood there, stunned, the girls behind you had finally caught up. But instead of entering the room and apprehending you with shouts and whatnot, they were quietly gossiping behind closed doors.
"... Think he'll come out alive?"
"August is scary!"
"Quiet, morons!" Hipper hushed them with a quick strike to their foreheads. Muffled whimpers of pain came from the other side of the wall while the figure in front of you stared you down.
There was a profuse silence that was eventually broken by the woman speaking to you.
"It seems you're this Spy. "
She spoke with an air of sophistication and superiority. More silence followed before being broken up yet again. with a sigh she stood up, albeit slowly.
"I must admit, you caught me off guard. "
You watched in a combination of wonder and horror as a mass of azure cubes passed through the floor and walls, amassing themselves into a metal dragon. Instead of wings, it had half of a deck of an aircraft carrier on each wing.
"Your bravery is worthy of admiration, although whether it is folly or valor..." The dragon took a thunderous step towards you, turrets on the deck seemed to be locked onto your head. "I shall decide."
Each of the steps towards you made you flinch.
"You... Want me... To fight... That?" You said while backing up against the door. "What in the name of Christ..? "
What kind of world was this? A world where dragons just... Exist? A world where someone can just pick you up and hurl you without any effort?
This was but another wake-up call to where you had been thrown into.
"Will you falter in the face of such trials?" She ignored your very obvious indirect plea for mercy.
Your hands wrapped around the knob of the door and turned it violently. The door did not open. In a desperate escape attempt, you rammed your shoulder into it repeatedly to no avail.
Seeing how it wasn't working, you backed up towards the dragon and prepared to ram the door down one last time with all of your might.
"Have you given up already?" The woman sneered, a hint of disappointment rang in her voice.
You ran at the door and made one poor excuse of a dropkick while closing your eyes.
It felt... Warm. Your body impacted the ground without ever hitting anything with your feet.
For the second time that day, you were dropped onto the floor. Hard.
You let out an exasperated gasp after opening your eyes. Sunlight hit your body from above, no longer held back by a structure.
You were now in a street, occasionally people would pass by. Some looked on with concern, but without the courage to assist. Wooden buildings lined the busy streets, the archaic stone pathway was littered with the tapping of footsteps.
It was just like when you had first arrived here. Though this time, you remembered.
With a silent thank you to whatever deity might've saved you, you stood up with a grin.
"Where did he go?!"
"I'm afraid that's not something I know."
"B-but... How?! He can't just vanish! Unless..."
Hipper scratched her chin, her right eye twitching in increasing frustration.
"He must be a submarine! He might have some... Some sort of camouflage! Yes, that must be it!" She whipped around to the crowd of startled onlookers. "Scour the base! I want no stone unturned! Every cabinet, wardrobe and desk!"
Most of the ships saluted with a coordinated "Jawohl!" before dispersing in different directions. Some merely nodded in a sultry state, upset that their lunch had been ruined.
The ones remaining infront of her were none other than Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.
"I just got my rigging on too! Damn him!" Admiral Hipper raised her shaking fist to the sky in rage.
"I'm sure you'll get him next time~" Eugen jokingly assured Hipper, slinging her arm around her sisters neck.
Already teetering on the edge of rage, she had an outburst.
"IT'S YOUR FAULT ANYWAY!" She flew Eugens arm off her shoulder. "I-if you didn't toss him like you did, we could've easily-"
"Eugen, don't go overboard on your games. What is done is done, though do expect to hear from me in the coming days."
Eugen let out a "Hmpf. " and walked away.
Bismarck approached Hipper with a serious gaze. She immediately got the message and composed herself, straightening her posture.
"I believe you were closest to him. Can you describe his face? Eye color, or anything of the sort?"
Admiral Hipper profusely nodded.

And that ends the first chapter. As you can probably tell, I'm a novice writer, and most of you are probably twice my age. (Surprisingly, most of you seem to be above the age of 20.) I'm also very new to the fandom, and am looking to improve my writing of dialogue and vast amount of personalities (most of which are tropes), and I'm quite afraid I wrote August/Eugen wrong.
I also have a few questions for any hard-core Azur Lane fans that I'd appreciate if you could answer:
1: Is the German language just called "Ironblood"? Is Japanese called "Sakura" or something? 2: Does the game or anime happen first? Or, are they in separate timelines? I haven't seen Crosswave myself, so I don't know. I was going to follow the events of the anime, then maybe into the game, then into Slow Ahead.
3: (most important one) Are men just... Really rare? Is there a reason why all the ships are females, or why we never see any men, anywhere?
If you've somehow read all of this, thank you, I appreciate people reading my work. Cheers from Australia.
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