This is a companion piece for my post “Eight Points of View – Objective Third”

Professor Ellar, Garrett, and Dora entered the room at the center of the warehouse. It was dimmer and warmer than the rooms they had wandered through. Human skulls stare back at them, stacked one on top of the other along three walls. The far wall was covered with a thick, red curtain. A large pentagram was drawn with chalk in the middle of the floor.

Dora shivered, her arms crossed tightly over her chest, her eyes wide.

“Dora?” Garrett asked her.

“Are you alright, Ms. Marcel?” Ellar asked.

“We have to find Dr. Allen,” she said. “We have to get her out of here now.”

Silent, the three split up. Dora remained frozen, staring up at the few dozen bare lightbulbs that hung from the ceiling. Ellar examined the pentagram and the collection of symbols around the outer circle. Garrett walked along the stacks of skulls. He saw numbers carved into each skull’s forehead – 331, 573, 646.

“Don’t touch those. Old bones are awfully fragile,” Niles Vasco said as he entered the room. He wore an over-sized shirt splattered with dark stains.

“You!” Garrett exclaimed, drawing the others’ attention.

Vasco walked forward and unrolled his sleeves. “Professor Ellar,” he began. “I’m not surprised you’re here. Unfortunately, you’re too late.”

Dora asked, “Where’s Dr. Allen? What have you done to her, you monster?!”

Ellar and Garrett stepped in front of her. “I know you are behind the kidnappings, Mr. Vasco,” Ellar said. “What I don’t understand is why. What is this place? Why did you bring your victims here?”

Garrett added, “Why are we too late? And what about these?” He pointed at the skulls. “Are they your victims too? Do you keep their bones as some kind of sick trophy?” The more questions he asked, the more his voice cracked.

Vasco chuckled. “Those people are long dead, kid. I simply gathered them here to witness tonight’s ritual. My victims, as you call them, have an important role to play.”

“What kind of ritual?”

“You’ve seen how divided this town is. How it hides its rotten soul. That ends tonight.”

Something clicked beneath the floor. The door Ellar, Garrett, and Dora came through slammed shut. A metal grate dropped in front of it.

“No!” Dora screamed and ran to the door. She touched the grate, and bolts of blue electricity converged on her with a loud zap. She fell backwards.

Garrett rushed to her side. He called her name and tried to shake her awake. No response.

Ellar turned to Vasco. “What is the meaning of this? Why are you locking us in?”

“I can’t have you calling the police,” Vasco said, smiling. “You know too much.” He checked his watch, and his smile disappeared. “Excuse me. I have a lot of work to do.” He quickly left.

Ellar slowly followed him.

“Professor?” Garrett asked.

Ellar said, “Stay with Ms. Marcel. I’ll come back.”

“Be careful.”

Ellar nodded then walked through the door.