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AN: Finally, the next chapter. Disentangles self from pile of Lord of the Rings helmets, armour and spears. Something tells me that after this chapter, a lot of theories may change… or maybe not. Please read, review and guess!

The Key Room

She was lost.

Lola had been wandering around the identical corridors for what seemed like hours. She had gone from room to room to room and got nowhere. She knew there had to be stairs around here somewhere, but she just couldn’t find them.

The situation was hopeless.

After reaching the end of a corridor and finding it was a dead end, Lola finally slid down onto the floor in defeat. Miserable defeat.

The situation couldn’t get any worse she thought. How quickly she was proved wrong.

With a load clunk the power turned off, throwing Lola into pitch black.

She let out a high pitched whimper. If there was one thing that frightened her it was the dark.

Lola drew her knees up in front of her and put her arms round them, this movement made her feel that small fraction better and she started thinking through what she had to do.

If she just waited for a little while the lights will come on, then she could find the stairs- she just had to backtrack and take the other turning and surely they’d be there- then she could find Lupe, who would be able to show them both the way out.

Easy. Easy as pie- well except she couldn’t make pie…

Back down the corridor, to her left, Lola thought she could hear a noise. She listened hard but could hear nothing more.

Still, the noise had brought her attention to the fact that she was alone. All alone.

Vulnerable.

Lola took a sharp in take of breath and tightened her grip round her knees. She just had to sit tight, stay where she was…

The noise came again.

This time she could just about make out what it was- a click of a door closing.

Lola listened for it again, did not move, didn’t even breath… but there was only silence.

Everything was alright; everything was going to be O.K…

But it wasn’t.

The noise came again, closer this time, close enough for Lola to hear a few hurried footsteps after it.

Was it Domino? He was the only soul she had seen…

The sound of more hurried footsteps drifted down the corridor.

No, it didn’t sound like the swagger of that arrogant pig Lola told herself, these footsteps seemed nervous and rushed. But then who could it be?

Another click of a door- even closer.

Was this soul just another innocent like herself or were they the… Lola didn’t want to even consider this option.

The footsteps were echoing louder than before, they seemed to be in the same corridor now, a note of purpose in each panicky step.

What should she do? Wait and hope she goes unnoticed or run away and hope that he doesn’t follow?

Lola was never good at making decisions, but she didn’t want to be found by this person, innocent or not. So her only option was to leave this corridor and quick.

Placing a hand on her camera, Lola quickly made her escape into a side room, the door luckily not making a sound as she burst through.

She couldn’t see a thing inside this room either, but then she was struck by a solution to this problem. She took a photo of the room, her camera giving out a flash of light that lasted about a second. Long enough to locate a cupboard on the right wall.

The footsteps were still coming down corridor louder than ever before.

She let the photo drop to the floor and quickly (and what Lola hoped to be silently) she crawled into the cupboard and shut the door almost completely.

She sat there, for what seemed like an eternity, listening for the footsteps.

But they never came.

Lola let out a sigh of relief. Whoever it was seemed to have gone.

She slithered out of the cupboard, still not making a sound and tried to remember where the door was.

She tip toed across to where she thought it was to find a solid brick wall. She followed this round silently to a shelf. Still no door.

Well, this was easily solved by a flash from her camera. She turned to the middle of the room and took a photo, revealing once more the contents… and one other skeletal being.

BANG!

One shot and Lola was no more.

---

“If she couldn’t get us there in the light, what are the chances that she’ll get us there in the dark?” Olivia asked, as they slowly walked down another pitch black corridor.

“I was so sure…” Lupe started, tracing her hand along the wall, trying to find a door.

“Weren’t you supposed to fix the electricity problem anyway?”

“They already had some electricians try and fix it; if they couldn’t do it, I really doubt that I could,” Nick replied irritably.

At that instant the power came on revealing a door just a little further on.

“There it is! That’s the key room!” Lupe called out excitedly, rushing to the door, throwing it open and bounding inside.

Nick and Olivia followed (a lot more calmly than Lupe) to find a black and white room with rows upon rows of keys covering every inch of every wall. The walls stretched metres upwards and on each wall was a ladder to take you up to the walkways above and to even more keys.

After a few seconds of gaping at the amount of keys the Vertigos Tower staff managed to hang up in one room Nick finally said: “I thought there was only one door to take you to the outside?”

“There is, but there are lots of doors in the tower that just lead onto more rooms and they all have different keys,” Lupe explained.

Nick and Olivia waited for her to go and fetch the key, but instead she hesitated, standing in the middle of the room. Sometimes about to move to left, but holding herself back and other times she looked as if she was about to move to the right, but still she hesitated. This went on until finally Olivia said: “You do know where this key is, don’t you?”

Every hook had a small white label and on the labels, in an incredibly small and almost illegible font, read where each door led. But it would take hours to go through each one and Lupe’s reply wasn’t very reassuring.

“Yes…roughly…I think it’s on the right wall…somewhere…”

“Well why don’t you look then?” Olivia said impatiently. Finally Lupe made a decision to go up the right ladder, leaving Nick and Olivia, as she climbed onto the first walkway.

“At last we’re alone,” Olivia said walking behind Nick, “No coat check girl, no Max…”

“No Hector.”

“Just you and me,” she whispered, massaging his shoulders; caressing his back. “You’ve got me all to yourself,” she said slowly strutting back round to face Nick; placing her hands around his neck.

Nick snorted: “I’ve got you all to myself until the next man with a truck full of cash comes along,” he said bitterly.

“That never bothered you before.”

“Great evening entertainment, I know, but…” his gaze wandered up to where Lupe was foraging around for keys, “Is it enough?”

“Huh? What do you mean: Is it enough?” Olivia said taken aback, her voice becoming hard. Realizing it, she quickly changed it back to the low, husky temptress: “Of course it’s enough.”

---

“Corridor three; room 74… no… Ground floor; red room…no, no, no…” Lupe muttered to herself scanning her eyes over the labels. That key had to be up here somewhere.

“Dining hall 11…no…Corridor 64; room 235…no… Ground floor; entrance… YES!” Lupe called out triumphantly, snatching the key off its hook and turning to look down at Nick and Olivia…

What see saw dissolved her triumph and replaced it with a mixture of dismay, envy and an overwhelming sense of loss.

Nick and Olivia were in lip lock, her arms around him and…his arms around her. Lupe had been stabbed with the cold, piercing blade of reality.

Oh, why hadn’t she said something or done something sooner? She had been alone with Nick for what must have been at least four hours. Well, I had only just met him, she thought and I didn’t want to go flinging myself at him like some kind of lap dancing prostitute! But… Olivia had only been with them for about half an hour and already… ugh!

Lupe turned away from the sickening sight, hoping that they had not spotted her staring from the walkway above. Looking at the rows of keys she let out a sob… “No,” she whispered suddenly and forcefully to herself. She wasn’t going to let Olivia… or Nick have the satisfaction in knowing she was hurt by this.

Taking a great steadying breath, she turned back around to find them still at it! That did it: Taking back her arm, Lupe hurled the keys at Olivia, missed, and hit Nick instead.

“Ouch!”

“Found the key,” Lupe said shortly, climbing back down the ladder.

Glancing at Olivia, she saw a callous smile appear on her skull…

---

“There you are Hector, did you miss me?”

Domino strutted into the dining hall and sat down on a chair next to the giant shrubbery that used to be the crime lord: Hector Lemans.

“No? Well, believe me when I say the feelings mutual,” Domino continued, stamping down on Hectors’ hat that he so prized.

“I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” Domino grinned kicking the flat piece of material across the room. It felt good: really, really good.

“You’ve got a few things that I’m gonna need if I’m going to take over, if that’s okay with you?” Domino paused for a moment, “Of course it is,” he answered himself, chuckling.

“Let’s see what you’ve got…” Domino bent down; unperturbed by the vines and flowers, he’d been around sprouted souls so much that he didn’t care anymore, and started tearing away at the plant life until he could get to Hectors’ pockets.

Inside he found what he was looking for: Keys and swipe cards to all of Hectors’ private files and access to rooms that even Domino, second in command, had not been allowed into.

Domino checked Hectors’ other pocket to find a wallet stuffed with cash. “A nice little side benefit. Well, Hector it’s been nice doing business with you, but now I’ve really got to leave, heh, heh.”

Hector used that pun so many times and never got tired of it and now Domino was in his position he was starting to see why it was so funny.

“Leave… heh, heh… I’m such a comic genius,” Domino was about to go back down the stairs when…

“Ping, ping, ping,” the sound of the lift rising up past floors nine, ten, eleven…

Domino stopped, who would want to be coming up the tower? Unless, of course… No…

“Ping, ping” floor nineteen, twenty…

Domino took out his sproutella gun: Just in case

The lift wasn’t stopping: “Ping, ping, ping,” floors twenty five, twenty six, twenty seven…

Domino watched as the numbers above the lift door lit up one by one. He walked closer, his finger tensing around the trigger.

“Ping, ping,” only two floors away now…

“Ping, ping, crrrreeeaaakkk!” The lift ground to a halt at Domino’s floor.

The doors opened… and…

Empty.

“Ha!” Domino laughed, stowing his gun back in his jacket. At least now he could get a free ride down to the first floor, he’d be out in no time!

Little did Domino see the open hatch in the elevator ceiling. The open hatch with a figure crouching just above.

A figure holding a gun…

AN: MWHAHAHAHA! Finally Lola is dead dead! Ahem, I mean what a shame…

P.S I apologize to Glastea.



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