A few miles north of Sacramento, I spot an odd bunch of hills in the distance. Something is off about them. Not scary off, but weird. And since I don’t really have any idea of where to go, weird hills in the distance are as good of an idea as any.
Besides, I’m exhausted.
I may not be able to do anything about the food situation, but at least I could get some rest. And whatever is going on over there might just happen to be the place for me to hide, so I can rest… maybe.
Of course, with how tired I am, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to get back up.
I reach the hills to find out they’re old, broken down airplanes. Dozens of them.
It’s an airplane graveyard! Many of these things are in shambles, some of the ones which are still recognizable as planes are tipped over completely onto their sides.
It looks like scrappers have come through and taken random bits off of each of them, meaning their wings are all broken off and destroyed.
I wander around until I find a large airliner at the edge of the property. I climb up inside to find there are still a number of rather comfortable looking seats.
I sit down in the cleanest looking one, put the headphones on, and do a search on my music player. It’s corny, but I know the exact song for a situation like this.
Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver.
Now that I’m inside and having the opportunity to look around a bit, I’ve decided the label of creepy house doesn’t do this place justice. First of all, there aren’t any lights in here, so everything is lit by the tactical flashlights these SP guys have attached to their Kevlar vests. Secondly, it looks like no one has been in here for ages. There are cobwebs everywhere, creaking noises as the building sways in the wind, and the room they have me in is circular with no windows or anything. There was obviously a door that brought me in here, but it disappeared when they closed it. It’s probably simply too dark in here for me to see the doorknob, but I still think creepy is an understatement.
I absolutely don’t like it.
The two guys they have guarding me have taken to sitting against one of the walls of the room, leaning against it and talking about the “good old days”.
“Where did you go to academy?” Kowalski asks.
“Jackson,” Banner answers. “You?”
“I went to Jackson, too!”
“No way! We must have just missed each other by a year or two.”
“Did you have Nerthal as a teacher?”
“No, but I heard he was a real hard—“
A static crackling sound fills the air, causing the two to shut up and figure out what’s going on.
“—elcome, f—ortal—,“ sounds over an unseen PA before finally giving out and playing just white noise.
“What the heck is that?” Banner asks.
“I don’t know, but I should probably go check it out.”
“Alright,” Banner agrees, appearing visibly shaken in Kowalski’s light.
Kowalski stands and feels around the wall for, I’m guessing, the door. A loud click sounds and the floor shakes.
“I can’t find the door!” Kowalski screams.
“Well, it’s not like it just up and left us, is it?”
“I think I found the handle, but it won’t pull open!”
“Are we going down?” Banner asks.
The cracking sound returns and lights flash throughout the room, followed by a distorted scream coming through the busted speakers. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t put me on edge, but looking at Kowalski and Banner, I feel almost cool-headed about the whole thing.
Kowalski raises his assault rifle and aims it at the wall before unleashing a fury of bullets. I’m not entirely certain what he intends with the act, but I cover my head all the same.
A hand covers my mouth and I am pulled across the floor. I try screaming, but it’s muffled by the hand. Of course, the deafening gunfire does more than cover any noises I might be making anyway.
I kick and claw at the arm around my face but can’t manage to free myself. And I’m pulled deeper into the darkness. Away from the lights of Kowalski and Banner. Further into the creepy house.
Go to Chapter Twenty-Two