The new players were surprised by the message, the old players were alarmed and looking around for some sort of danger, something that would turn this mission into an early nightmare.
"So all we have to do is find where this Aidan character lives?"
Chris was the most confident, since he had a small fairy that could hack practicaly everything electric.
"It's not so simple! we have to reach the location physicaly, meaning that it might be miles away from here"
Tian explained while breaking a ringing phone to bits irritated, they had been ringing non stop, there was one for every person there.
"All I need is to get a pc with access to the internet and I can find him"
Chris said as if the A.I. was part of his abilities, making everyone discard this idea as redundant, there were better ways to find the person in question, the first being a phone catalogue, but more importantly they had to find out where they were.
The surroundings were dusty and by all means the place seemed to be abandoned. They were in a huge mansion that was however ruined, the monitors and multiple phones weren't even plugged and yet they showed the cursed tape, which was inside the video player. They had 7 days to locate this "Aidan" fellow. Problem was that if they took their sweet time, some of them might die from the curse, thus it was necessary to move fast.
"We have to split up and regroup after inspecting your surroundings, we're looking for an escape vehicle, a car or a bike anything that can help us, even some landmark is important"
Tian said as he divided them into groups and they begun to move, leaving Chris and the survivors behind.
There were 4 groups.
Tian and Xiao were a group of their own, they would go downstairs to see if there was a garage or if it was just a basement, it wasn't some insane mission and truthfully they didn't expect much from this edeavor.
George, David and Sydney were sent upstairs to see if there was anything like a car key or maybe a helipad or something that could help them, anything would do.
Jason and the twins, Thanos and Thany, were tasked with searching the main hall and surrounding area around the house.
Jonas, Samson and Panos were tasked with scouting the outsides of the house, they had to find any landmarks or outside buildings that might be of some use, even an old tracktor left outside would be of big help or a forgotten bicycle, anything would be of use.
"What are we going to do?"
Christin asked Chris, whom was checking his bag to see if anything disappeared.
"We're getting out of here after scavenging the place for some supplies"
Chris explained, while taking out of his bag an old cell phone, which was ringing.
"Seven Days" The voice said, but Chris laughed at the notion as he found it hilarious and rather cute instead of creepy or frightening.
"What are we going to do?"
The survivors asked Nick, confused and panicked, since Nick didn't seem to even budge, all he did was lifting up and listening to all the phone calls, one by one, but they never stopped.
"Please everyone take the phone call one by one, then we will form groups to scavenge the mansion for food or an escape vehicle, we only need two groups, one goes up, the other goes down"
Nick said to them, but it didn't help much with lifting their spirits, since they would be dividing in two as well, one group would go with Nick and the other wouldn't. The people that were on the survivor group were mostly women and Nick and Mike were the only males, Mike however was just a rich playboy that wasn't trustworthy at all, the leader of the second group was in fact Chrysa, whom had changed a lot from her first mission, not only in her looks, but also in her character.
"As the leader of this group you all do what I say, we are responsible for this floor and the basement, we are looking for food or anything that can be used as a weapon for self protection, if you see anyone that's not part of our group scream and run away, that way you will alert others to the threat, you have to know that you're part of this group want it or not, anyone that is not part of this group is a hostile"
Chrysa said with a serious tone, her words were an assurance to her group that she knew what she was doing and that the group wouldn't be running around like a headless hen.
Christin was shocked to find that they now had serious competition in finding supplies, but Chris didn't seem to mind them as he was already heading towards some random direction and she run behind him, just to keep visual since the fairy had dissappeared, it would have been useful to light the surroundings, but her place had taken the old bulky cell phone, from where they could hear her voice.
"This world is too primitive, I can't help you in any substential way, all I can do is tell you where you are at the moment"
The fairy in the cell phone said seriously, causing Chris to rethink his prior suggestion, this world didn't even have Cell phones yet, all it had were those bulky military Cell phones, that were too big to fit into a pocket. Chris had bought the most cheap cell phone, it didn't even have a camera or touch screen, it couldn't even send sms, it was that old and its size barely fit in your pocket, that was why he put it in his bag of tricks, he had originaly bought it in case he wouldn't be able to speak with the Empress like in the safe zone after the mission, it was one of the survival tools the Empress had him spent his remaining points on, but it didn't have internet capabilities.
Little he knew that this was an age that internet was still in its infancy when search engines didn't even exist and people had to note the sites they wanted to visit on a piece of paper. Chris wanted to scream "No!" but he wasn't the sort of person to scream in the first place, his only hope was finding supplies or something that would help them last for 7 days, could they even survive for 7 days in an abandoned mansion?
Tian and Xiao spent most of their time searching for the entrance to the basement, but could only call it a disaster since they had no searchlight with them and the makeshift torch Tian made out of available materials was crap. The basement wasn't even that big and all they found there was a cracked floor with a well in it, a complete waste of their time. On the bright side, there were some gardening tools there and an old oil lantern.
As there was nothing else they begun to make their way up only to be spooked by Chrysa and the others whom had made their way there in search of provisions, they were happy to find two sacks of corn seeds and oil, which they seemed keen on taking with them upstairs.
Jason and the twins, searched the main hall and the rooms around, there was a perfectly kept kitchen, but with no water or electricity, after looking around they begun opening up the windows one by one to let some light in. Only to find thick rain clouds gathering above them and a shed of some sort outside the house, probably a stable for horses.
"What do we do now?"
Thanos asked Jason, whom was the leader of their group.
"What else, we go out and look at what's insid the Shed"
Thany said as if it was obvious.
"Isn't that the other team's job?"
Thanos retorted, angering her to action and running behind her as she was already half way there. Jason however froze the moment he stepped out of the house. The whole mansion was built over a cliff, he instantly regretted his decision of trying to follow them outside.
"What's up with him?"
Christin asked seeing him frozen behind the door as if there was a monster inside.
"Don't ask me, Hey there's a kitchen here, but everything's rotten inside, there's two cans of food here"
Chris said hapily as he took them from under the sink, they weren't even out of date yet.
"How about we share?"
Chrysa said as she and the others came inside with two sacks of seeds and oil.
Chris said handing over the cans without a care, in his opinion sharing was better and the Red Empress agreed with him readily this time. Causing Christin to have a headache, not understanding which group she had signed for, were they survivors or heroes or was there a third choice all along.
Thanos and Thany came inside with a motorcycle, it looked a bit beaten up and rusty, but it was out of oil, Tian gave it a look and told them it was beyond repair, it needed spare parts for repairs.
"Isn't it just a tube?"
"If you think you can fix it do it, but how long will it take, 5 days, 15 days, we don't have the time to be doing so, we need ready solutions that work"
Tian said before asking what happened to Jason, only to learn that he was Acrophobic for the first time and being disappointed beyond belief.
George, David and Sydney went upstairs came down as well, there was nothing of interest upstairs, just bedrooms.
"There's no electricity nor water in the house, we can't see anything through the barred windows and it would be helpful if we at least were given a lighter"
Sydney complained and David agreed with her words, all they found upstairs was a map and old newspapers, until recently someone had been living in the abandoned mansion.
"There's also two horses outside"
Thanos and Thany reported, which made Tian's face brighter as he rushed outside to inspect the horses to see if they could be of use.
"We're located next to a cliff, Panos fell off, it was an accident!"
Jonas and Samson shouted as they came inside after Tian left.
Everyone looked at them frightened, most hadn't seen the cliff, but Jason and the twins did, if you fell off, the chances of you coming out alive were scarse.
At around that time, Hera and Nick were looking upstairs.
"What's this hatch going up?"
"Probably the Attic"
Nick said rather irritated, because other than some old moth eaten clothes they found nothing, even this however he considered a treasure for survival.
"This is not the Attic!"
He heard Hera scream enthousiasticaly, she had found the secret piece again, for the second time in a row.
"Don't go inside, it could be dangerous..."
Nick warned her, but she was already inside.
"You go down and tell everyone we've found the secret piece"
Nick told Mary whom was wearing a rather well preserved fur and before long everyone had arrived upstairs. Tian looked at George and the others with a hint of annoyance and disappointment, they could have gotten 1000 points just like that if they had seen the hatch going to the attic.
"So what do we do now?"
Tian asked, questioning the reason why he was asked to come, after all they had already found the secret piece location, was Nick thinking of taking it for himself.
"She went inside and hasn't returned, meaning that she's still inside, I want you to come with me and check"
Nick said, knowing full well that it was the safest place to be during a mission, since the monsters couldn't get inside it, but there might be other dangers inside, like deadly traps.
Nick and Tian were the only ones to go inside, but even after an hour, they still hadn't come out.
Chris and Christin thought it was their turn to go see what was wrong.
Entering inside they saw Tian shouting towards a glowing liquid like wall, shouting "Over here!" they could barely hear voices from the other side of the wall.
"Why had it to be you of all people, whatever, start shouting so that they can know where the exit is, this portal takes you to some other portal, but from the other side it takes you to another portal, meaning that you can't go back the same way you came, It's been an hour that Nick and Hera have been trying to come out of the maze"
Tian explained and went back to sit next to the exit.
"Why not come out and get the others, at least tell them what's going on, everyone is nervous"
Christin said, which made sense, but Tian pointed at the exit.
"Can't you tell, maybe next time I'll appear at another exit, anything can happen in this game, I'm leaving you here to go manage the situation outside"
Tian said and stood up and left them there.
"What do we do now?"
Christin asked him only to see a hand coming out of the portal and pulling Chris inside.
Chris could hear a storm of insults from behind him, but he knew better than to entering back inside the wall, like Tian said, it would probably lead him even deeper into the maze.
There were 3 portals in the room he was in and he could tell that there was some sort of contraption at the center of the room, probably the trap.
He didn't approach it and made sure there were no pressure plates or wires around, he could now clearly see the three spots that were the pressure plates that activated the trap, one being right in front of him, just a step's distance.
Unwilling to wait, he took the portal to the right, each room had more of these pressure plates. Hopefully there was still a safe passage after he went through several portals.
Suddenly he heard a noise from the cell phone.
"The calculations for the labyrinth have been completed, please follow my directions to clear the labyrinth, since you can no longer go back without the imminent risk of death"
The Empress informed him and what followed was a leisure walk through the portals pointed out by the Empress.
There was a complicated algorythm behind the labyrinth, by comparing the similarities of each portal and the sound of Christin's voice one could solve the labyrinth.
At the end of the labyrinth was a well, Chris turned the wheel to bring the bucket up, he had heard that taking the relic would make the mission more difficult, but why should he care?
Tian was shocked to see them out so soon, but when Nick told everyone to go up he understood that something wasn't right.
"Why did you get the relic, you knew that it would make things difficult for us!"
Tian caught nick by the shirt and pushed him towards a wall.
"I wasn't the one that took it, it was Chris that grabbed a secord relic for his collection"
Nick didn't even care about relics, but was happy that the secret piece was taken, because once Chris took it out of the labyrinth all the traps disappeared.
Chris literaly had the choice of taking it or not, but he chose to take it, since the Red Empress was so useful he didn't doubt that the strange shrunken head he got was some sort of treasure. After all it was the treasure at the end of the labyrinth, a relic.