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Old 06-18-2017, 06:07 PM   #52
Nerd Violence
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Originally Posted by deoxys View Post

After wiggling the latch a bit, the mechanism released its tight grip on the sealed door with a heavy creaking noise. The door itself wasn't too difficult to lift, though, it was a bit heavier than it appeared to be.

You grabbed hold of the rusty handle that protruded from the back of it, pulling it upwards until the door swung open and rested carefully on its decrepit hinges. A short, brick staircase led downward, appearing to be only about ten to fifteen steps deep. With your mind made up, you descended the staircase to the bottom, Pouli lighting the way alongside you.

The platform at the bottom led forward in what was essentially a small brick hallway, about twenty feet deep at most. Aside from large, wooden double doors embedded into the wall at end, the corridor was empty. As the light of the Wisp slowly revealed the closed doors as you approached them, you realized they were not only much taller than you had thought upon first glance, but that they were also engraved with beautifully detailed carvings.

On the left was what appeared to be two large, thin, cat-like figures, sitting still with several smaller, similar looking figures surrounding them. They stared downward toward the metal lock that spanned the crevice of the two doors, except for the two tall ones - one of which had its head turned backward, and the other facing straight across to the other door. On the opposite side was - nothing. The door was completely blank, devoid of any carvings, which was extremely odd as you were certain that you had noticed that both doors were engraved - though perhaps it was just the way the shadows played upon their wooden faces that had initially left you with that impression.

There was no grime, dust, or cobwebs collecting or caking anywhere on either of the two doors. They looked clean, and were extremely well preserved, to the point where it almost seemed as though they had been taken care of on a regular basis. With nowhere else to go but back or forward, you reached your hands down to grab the handles and...

They wouldn't budge, both doors locked tight. This didn't come to much of a surprise, as there was a fairly large, steel panel that sat centered between the two doors with an oddly shaped keyhole fixated in the middle.

"Excuse me, can I help you?" A stern voice suddenly boomed from behind you. You released your grip on the doors, turning suddenly to see an elderly man staring at you only a few feet away. Pouli jumped backward and immediately began to growl, having not noticed the man's approach. The man was stiff, and grimaced, his eyes staring daggers. His clothing looked like something a last century butler would wear, and his hair was long and graying, tied back in a ponytail, and his beard was rough and short, covering the majority of his face. "I am the groundskeeper of this facility. I heard you fall through the floor earlier and rushed down here to help. However, this area is off limits. If you would be so kind as to follow me, I can treat your wounds upstairs and offer you a drink." He turned his back to you and began to walk forward, his stern voice inflecting more of a demand than a request, despite how unnatural it sounded.
"Oh, uh, I don't drink," Tate says, a bit awkwardly, glancing back at the doors with a pang of curiosity. The trainer knew the story of the woman of the manor and her two pets quite well, and was intrigued by the motif, but was too meek to challenge the man's apparently authority. Placing a hand on Pouli's head to sooth her unease, the tired and scraped trainer decided to leave this mystery for now, though it gnawed at the back of the scientist's mind, as questions were wont to do. Casting one last glance back at the doors -- admiring their beautiful and ornate carvings -- Tate nodded at the caretaker. "First aide might be nice, though, I think I scraped my elbow."

Following the supposed staffer, Pouli keeping close to her trainer, Tate prattled on, almost ceaselessly, apparently quite trusting of this strange man. "Those, um... those doors were quite pretty," said the Johto native, in genuine admiration. "I don't have much of an eye for art, you know," -- there was a pause, as Tate tapped the glasses perched on the bridge of a scuffed nose -- "but I love wood carvings. Were those reliefs meant to be Purrloin, or-?"
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