Friday, October 31, 2014

Night of the Haunting - Part 3

Happy Halloween! The conclusion of the three part "Scream meets Eve" horror story that has been leading up to today! Escape pod here if fiction isn't your thing.

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

Night of the Haunting - Part 3

The six remaining students stood at a crossroads in the corridor. Setta glanced behind them. The corridor behind was pitch black but she knew the body of Ylamaa was back there, impaled on the metal beam. Torch beams flashed ahead of her, illuminating the three corridors that branched off ahead.

"So do we split up?" Jark asked peering down one of the corridors.

"You got a black-tie function you're late for?" Chigas asked peering down another corridor "Be safer to stick together."

"Tell that to Zarisri and Ylamaa" Jark said. "If we split up, whatever that thing is, it can only go after one couple."

"He's got a point." Matilhelm agreed. "Chances each of these corridors leads to an exit but if we split up we put some distance between us and... it, we might have a better chance. Come on Nerwolfur we're going this way." she said walking straight ahead.

"Wait...." Setta said but Matilhelm ignored her, purposely striding on. The group watched her suddenly drop as the deck plate under her feet gave way. The five rushed over and carefully looked over the edge. She was in some sort of pit around ten feet deep. She looked up from the bottom.

"Get me out of here!" she screamed, obviously unhurt.

The boys started to hunt around for something they could use to lower down and pull her out. Setta and Ariken were on their knees leaning over. Setta looked at the bottom of the pit and saw it wasn't a deck plate Matilhelm was stood on, but what looked like a hatch. The line in the middle indicated it opened in two halves. She glanced around for more clues and saw that near the top written in Caldanese were the words 'Fill line'.

"Guys, you need to hurry, seriously." she whispered.

"Whats the rush, we're getting some peace and quiet with her down there" Nerwolfur joked.

"I don't think this was an accident." Setta whispered back. Nerwolfur looked back suddenly concerned.

"What are you whispering about! Get me out of here!" Matilhelm shrieked from the bottom of the pit. A single metallic clunk followed by a second of silence made everyone freeze. A motor could be heard starting up a few seconds later. A high speed whine emerged from the bottom of the pit. The boys rushed back and looked down to see the floor below Matilhelm's feet start to open. Matilhelm screamed as the two sides of the hatch started to pull away in opposite directions. Jark and Nerwolfur shone their torches down. As the gap widened movement could be seen below the opening hatch. Two huge drums with sharp metal teeth could be seen rotating at speed through the narrow gap.

"Oh shit!" Jark uttered "A garbage shredder!".

Matilhelm was practically dancing as the floor below her started to vanish into the sides of the pit. Nerwolfur pulled off his belt and lowered it. Matilhelm desperately reaching up to try and grab it but it was just too high. Nerwolfur stretched deeper into the pit, Jark grabbing the waistband of his jeans to stop him falling in.

"Lower! Quickly!" Matilhelm screamed, there was only 30cm of hatch left supporting her. At the last moment, before the hatch vanished into the side wall, she jumped for the belt, but missed by a good foot. Matilhelm landed dead centre of the rollers. A sickening crunch resonated up from the bottom of the pit followed by a scream of agony and terror milliseconds later. Setta couldn't avert her eyes at the horrific scene below. Matilhelm's arms where still outstretched and shaking, raised in desperation at the faces peering down at her from above. He scream was inhuman as she was slowly pulled down, the teethed rollers making mulch of her feet, calves and then thighs. As the machine ground through her pelvic region and into her stomach, blood gushed through her wide-open mouth and she stopped screaming. Setta watched as eventually her hands vanished through the one inch gap. Ariken threw up as the two boys leaned against the corridor wall in shock. Setta couldn't move. She just lay there looking down the black pit.


They had stopped there for five minutes. Nobody able to move or say anything. Finally Jark had helped Setta from the floor and led the five survivors down the corridor. He had found a metal pole which he now used to probe the decking in front of them to ensure there were no other garbage shredders rigged as traps.

"If he's a ghost or a spirit or whatever, why is he using traps. Why not supernatural powers?" Chigas muttered.

"There are no such things as ghosts." Setta replied.

"You saw it!" Chigas snapped back.

"I don't know what I saw! The ghost of the Jita Ripper is not haunting this derelict ship. Its a sicko copycat or someone!"

"Oh thats OK then, a madman has burnt himself all over and is wiping us out one by one. That makes me feel so much better." Chigas moaned.

They walked on in silence eventually coming to a door that blocked their way. A 30cm circular hole had been blown out of the middle.

"What the frack happened here?" Jark asked as he looked at the door. "Someone attack the inside of a Drake with a cannonball?"

Chigas went up to the door and pulled the manual release.

"Locked from the other side. But I can reach through that hole....." he said as he put his head through the hole to see where the lock was. Setta was about to scream for him to stop but it was too late. There was a metallic clink and Chigas's headless corpse fell backwards into the corridor. The stump where his head was spurting bright red blood in a high arc as he fell.

"FRACK!" Nerwolfur screamed dodging back. "Nobody do anything! Assuming everything is a trap!"

He shone his torch in the hole in the door. A bright silver blade, coated in red blood, was slowly swinging backwards and forwards. Jark took his metal pole and shoved it through to block the blade before reaching around and releasing the lock on the otherside. The four stepped over Chigas's body as Jark led on, Ariken had to be held as she was in some sort of a daze.


As they went further, the condition of the ship deteriorated. The damage was heaviest on this section of the ship. They found the corridor ahead was blocked by collapsed deck plates but a hole had been punched in the floor by some large explosion. The four started to climbed down the debris to an identical corridor on the next deck down.

"Light! Its a way out!" Nerwolfur pointed down the corridor and ran.

"Wait!" shouted Jark and Setta together as they were helping Ariken down the last of the climb.

"Shit he's not thinking!" Setta swore as they took off after him. They advanced much slower with Jark taking the lead and the two girls behind him, sight of Nerwolfur had been lost a minute before. Their torches scanned ahead looking for any traps as Jark swept the metal pole not taking the chance if there were any Nerwolfur might not have set them off. Setta's torch beam swept across the floor and illuminated a shoe. They stopped suddenly. Nerwolfur's other foot was the other side of the corridor, too far apart to be still connected. For the second time in half and hour Ariken threw up. The touch light showed Nerwolfur had been carved in two. Jark carefully advanced swinging the metal pole. There was a clatter as a 10cm piece of the pole fell to the floor. Jark shone his torch and noticed a drop of blood seemingly hovering in the air.

"Nano-wire" he stated. Setta who was comforting the distraught Ariken looked up questioningly.

"The asshat strung a nano-wire in the middle of the corridor from ceiling to floor. Its like a wire but only one atom thick. It is extremely strong and obviously the sharpest thing in existence. Nerwolfur ran through it and it carved himself in two".

He help lift Ariken to her feet, she wasn't coping well now. "Don't look down and keep to the edge" he said as he guided her down the corridor past the two halves of Nerwolfur and the deadly wire. They continued down towards the light. As they neared they could see it was an airlock door. The bight lights of the hanger outside shining in through the plexiglass viewport set in the centre of the door. Jark tried the manual release handle.

"Locked, but there must be..." he stopped speaking as a loud hissing started.

Setta was about to say run when she, along with Jark and Ariken, collapsed unconscious.


Setta started to come around. She tried to sit up but she couldn't she was tied down, her head flipped from side to side. She was still in the wreckage of the Drake she was strapped to some sort of table. She could see Jark slumped over in the corner, his ankles bound and his wrists tied behind his back.

"Jark!" she hissed quietly, no response. She repeated it a bit louder trying to wake him but not to alert whoever, or whatever, was out there. She hissed at her boyfriend a third time, he stirred.

"Come on Jark. Wake up!" she pleaded quietly.

Jark's eyes snapped open and he looked confused for a second. He then came fully around.

"I cannot move." Setta whispered. Jark nodded and she saw him wriggle. After a minute of trying to move he started to move his hands up and down. She saw by the way his arms were moving moving that he must be rubbing his bonds against something. After a few seconds there was a snapping noise and he pulled his hands from behind his back. He quickly untied his feet and rushed over to Setta who was secured to a table top. She saw the jagged metal Jark had used to cut through his bonds. Their first bit of luck in a long time she thought. He unsnapped the clasps of the fasteners holding her down and lifted her to the floor. They quickly moved out to the next room. There they froze. Ariken was strapped to a table as Setta had been. Setta let out a sob as they neared. Ariken's naked body looked like she'd been through hell. Immediately Setta thought back to the news stories detailing the acts of the Jita Ripper. She saw Ariken's body had numerous fingers and toes missing, those few remaining were missing their nails. Her lips had been hacked off and one of her eyes was missing. The other looked blackened like it had a flame held against it. It was just like she'd read in the the more graphic news stories of the Rippers acts. Shallow cuts crossed her body, indisbursed with black lines where she had been burnt with a blow-torch or something similar. She noticed the small trolley next to the table, she'd been right about the blow-torch. Along with the small hand-held blow-torch there were various knives, scalpels, pliers, metal-snips and skewers laid out on top. All covered with blood, small bits of flesh and clumps of hair. Setta placed her hand over her mouth expecting to be sick. Jark pressed his fingers to her neck and shook his head slowly when he found no pulse.

"Come on." he whispered quietly.

They continued through the wrecked ship however they were much slower now. Without their torches they were reduced to feeling their way along the corridor. After a few minutes they saw a light at the end of the corridor. Remembering what happened the last time, they took their time, sticking to the edge of the corridor to try and avoid any other traps. The corridor opened into a large, well lit room. Racks of drones where stacked against the wall and hatches lined the back wall. One hatch was slightly open, not a lot, but the light from outside was visible.

"Stay here, it must be a trap." Jark whispered as he stayed close to the wall and slowly worked his way around the drone bay to the hatch. He kept an eye on the drones, fearing one might activate at any minute and attack them. Setta watched intently as he appeared to stop and read something on the side wall in the alcove of the partially open hatch. He suddenly pulled his sleeve up and intently looked at his arm left. She was utterly confused. He finally waved her over indicating it was safe. As she approached he turned his back on her and picked something off the lip of the hatch.

"What's happening....."

Jark span around and backhanded her hard across the face. She screamed in pain and shock, falling to the floor. Setta looked up as Jark stood over her, a large Matari style hunting knife in his hand. It glistened in the light as he waved it in her face. He looked up and she followed his gaze. High above them, on a grey metal catwalk, stood the figure. She could see him clearly now. The horrifically burnt skin covered his entire body. His head was almost featureless, the nose, lips and ears having burnt away. Only the cold blue eyes remained. She knew it was impossible for anyone to be still alive and look like that.

"Apparently he says I can go free if I make you make enough noise. He tried his old hobby on Ariken. I'm guessing having his dick burnt off means he couldn't do a proper job on her. He wants me to do a proper job on you. Sorry babes but given the choice between you and me, well, I choose me!" he snarled as he dropped on top of her and started ripping her clothes off. She fought back with all her strength as he tore her blouse open and pulled her skirt up.

"Come on bitch, scream! He wants he hear you scream!" he snarled as he slapped her hard across the face again.

Setta was doing her best to get him off her but he was far too strong. He took the knife and drove it into her shoulder, twisting it as he did. Her scream reverberated around the drone bay.

"That's more like it. A few more like that and we'll start with the fun stuff!" he sneered. "I cannot wait to..."

He never finished his sentence. Setta had worked her right leg free from under him and brought her knee up with all her strength between his legs. Jark somersaulted over her head and landed groaning in agony, his hands cradling his groin. With a scream Setta pulled the knife from her shoulder and rolled over, sinking the blade deep into his exposed leg which brought a scream from the prone man. She rose and quickly staggered over to the hatch that was slightly open clutching her wounded shoulder. Her blouse was ripped open and blood ran down her pale skin staining her white lace bra crimson. When she neared she saw the writing on the wall that Jark had been reading. It looked like someone had wrote it in blood with a finger.

"Look at your left forearm. See the needle mark? You have been injected with a pathogen and have less than an hour to live. There is a knife by the hatch. Take the girl and make her scream louder than that Caldari slut I spent the last few hours working on. If you put on a show worthy of me, if she suffers greatly before you kill her, if her screams are music to my ears, I will give you the antidote and your freedom. I am no longer able to make them enjoy the experience as much as I could before the fire. You must do it. Make it a good show, I am watching. Make her suffer and you will live. TJR."

"Come back here you bitch!" Jark growled. He was struggling to his feet, the Matari hunting knife still buried deep in his inner thigh.

Setta glanced at the hatch. She might be able to squeeze through, but it would be tight. It might also be set to snap shut when someone tried crawling through it, similar to the traps they had previously discovered. However if she didn't, she would need to face Jark. He was too strong and she'd not be able to take him by surprise again.

"I'm going make you scream so hard you'll snap your vocal chords!" he snarled as he pulled the knife from his leg bringing a hiss of pain through his clenched teeth. A bright red jet of blood shot out. He limped menacingly towards her, bloodied knife in hand. Setta bent down and started to squeeze through the waist-high tight gap in the hatch. Jark picked up the pace but was limping badly, a bright trail of thick, red blood marking his path. Setta breathed in as she tried to push herself through the narrow gap.

"Where you going? You aint going to fit through there you bitch!" Jark was nearing now but was also slowing. Setta watched as he dropped to his knees. He pulled himself towards her with his hands, the knife scraping across the deck plates. His face was deathly white now from the blood loss but her was still coming. Finally she managed to squeeze through and out onto the narrow ledge the other side. She was out of the Drake class battlecruiser now, but the ledge which she stood on was less than 50cm wide. It was only a drone launching platform and there was no way down. The hanger floor loomed up at her, some 20 metres below. She looked side to side but there was nowhere to go. She was trapped. Suddenly she felt a burning sensation and glanced down. The tip of the hunting knife protruded through her midriff. The bright silver tip bursting out of her pale skin.

"SCREAM! SCREAM YOU BITCH!" Jark yelled through the narrow hole, his arm poking through the narrow gap where he had reached through to stab her. "Scream!" He sobbed quietly before he collapsed down behind the hatch, blood still pumping out from the severed artary in his leg.

Setta refused to scream despite the pain and despite the fact her legs had given way and she was now falling through the air, the ground rushing up to meet her.


"Good morning Chief." the detective said unhappily as his uniformed superior stepped out of the unmarked police vehicle. Various police and emergency medical vehicles blocked the road. Men both in uniforms and bright white crime-scene overalls were milling about doing their duty.

"I'd hardly call it good. Deuverin. Frack me, the media is having a field-day. Eight teens murdered, on the Night of the Haunting, whilst camping out in the Jita Ripper wreck! The Scope has been onto the press department all morning. Other rags aren't either bothering to wait to get any official facts and are publishing every rumour that is leaking from here."

"Not that it makes a huge difference sir, but it is seven dead so far. One is critical and they are bring them out now. The medics needed nearly an hour to stabilize them before they could be moved."

The Chief rubbed his head.

"We got any idea what happened here?" he groaned.

"Looks like the interior of the ship was booby trapped. There is all sorts of high-tech shit installed all over the wreck. We've got bomb-disposal still working on a dozen traps that they didn't get triggered and those are just the ones we know about. Someone lured these kids her and then locked them inside a fracking house of horrors from what we can tell. Its got to be a lunatic sir, but one with a high IQ. Some were very simple traps like a container of acid in the suspended ceiling or a nano-wire stretched across the corridor. Others were very different needing portable power-systems wired into the Drake and all computer controlled. We've even got one vic that was knocked out with gas and then sliced and diced like the ripper did to his victims. Exactly same MO done on her as one of the original Ripper vics right down to which fingers and toes he cut off and the cut and burn mark patterns on their body. Whoever did this had access to, or hacked into, either the original police files or the medical reports."

"You sure about the perp being a man and hacking our systems? We got other theories floating about you know!" The Chief said with a sarcastic tone rolling his eyes. He produced his datapad and passed it the detective. Deuverin read the headline on the news site and groaned loudly.

"Seriously? We have real-life, serious news outlets running stories about, what was it?" he paused looked at the datapad again "The vengeful spirit of a dead serial killer re-enacting his murders? Thats balls, some sicko did this and we'll catch him sir."

A group of police came through the small door in the massive wall with a number of evidence bags they had filled from the scene. One pealed off the group and approached the two senior men.

"Detective. We found these in some kind of control room inside the Drake. They where a bit out of place so I thought I'd bring them to you direct." he stated holding up a pair of clear plastic bags. Deuverin took them and inspected the contents through the clear plastic.

"What in Divinities Edge are these? " he asked with a puzzled expression at the same moment the door swung out again. A medical gurney was pushed though. Setta lay on the gurney on her side with a oxygen mask over her face. The three men turned.

"She going to make it?" Deuverin asked the medic pushing the trolley.

"Touch and go. She was stabbed through the kidney and she'd shattered her spine, both legs and pelvis in the fall. She's stable for now. We think she's unconscious but with the massive damage to the spine we don't know."

The men fell silent.

"Her eyes are open. Can she see us?" the Chief asked bending down to look into Setta's face.

"We don't know. Her spine is pretty much wrecked, she'll need a new one. She could be just paralysed and can see you, she could also be higher-function brain-dead and its just the stem keeping the heart and lungs going. She's technically alive and thats as much as we know until we get her in for a scan." the medic replied pushing the trolley towards a waiting ambulance.

Setta just lay there on her side. She could indeed see them all and hear every word. Her wide open eyes were taking everything in. She just couldn't move anything, not even her eyes, but she was aware of everything around. She could see the street that they first arrived in where the limo had dropped them off. She could see that the small security booth next to the door had vanished, a light coloured square on the floor where it once stood. She could see the emblem on the door was not the large Federal Police crest that she saw when they came in but a company called "JP Ship Reclamation", but most of all she could see the one-piece 'burns victim' latex costume and the security guard uniform in the clear plastic evidence bags in Detective Deuverin's hands.

The end.