The dead hold no allure to me. Cindy didn’t look happy, sad, or calm - especially not at the latter. Whoever started the belief that dead people were at peace should be taken out and shot in a pasture. They could be buried next to the person that first believed heroes were good and villains were bad. Good, bad, those are goals and ideals; not realities. It’s all just fucking shades of grey.
That plus pointless, avoidable, inevitable and idiotic death. You get the idea.
“So much prettiness,” a rumble of noise disturbed me from the contemplation of Cindy’s unfocused eyes. The clawed man stumbled down the long and distorted hallway towards us. His body looked burned, pieces of flesh were charred and clothing had been reduced to cinders. Goo of, well I assumed it was people’s remains, splattered all over his feet.
This was why I hated the stereotypes. A person like this didn’t fit simply as a villain or bad; those words were inadequate. People were crazy, deranged, foul, deplorable, but evil as a label felt unspecific. People were helpful, positive, or friendly but not simply good. Good and evil were moral high grounds that no one upheld.
“It dries. It dries and it’s so pretty. Frozen. And beautiful,” he said, grunting words with each thundering step. He kept wiggling broken fingers with deformed claws. They were black but were layered by more unmentionable gunk.
My throat still felt try. My head nodded once at the looming behemoth belonging to a deranged person. I watched his slow approach while trying to think of all the missed chances to get up and leave before anything dire happened. Instead all I heard was Ted’s voice saying ‘Embrace the madness, as your dear Alice does.’
As I tried to figure out why their acceptance bothered me, I had a moment. A moment where something fucking annoying finally makes sense and your face stiffens in surprise. It was my fault of course. They accepted their role and desires in life then did stuff. I knew and stopped trying. I realized that maybe; just maybe, I had given up at some point.
And while I’ve never admitted it out loud, I think that it all started when my sister became a victim and both parents chose to abandon me instead of anything else. Tack on repeated death of what few tried to reach out to me, I just shut down. Even during the events with helping Ted get away from The Alice, or before that with trying to help Ice Princess free other hostages, I still felt fatalistic.
I’d become accustomed to simply trying to keep my head down and not doing much to interfere with the ongoing events around me. Too many things just happened and I felt afraid of the endless back to back failures. That was my epiphany, I couldn’t give in and become a slave to the self-centered desire like the others. Like the pile of fornicators in a prior room or the man who wanted to read his deep mysteries while people were cut down.
So, here’s the lesson I finally figured out see other people fall into the same traps. You can’t just let your wants overwhelm what needs to be done. You stop trying and life will never get better. I think this moment here, where a deranged fat man with giant werewolf claws made of blackness stumbled forth, is when I decided to actually try in life.
“I’ll make that pussy beautiful. Then, I will make you art. Then another,” he smiled. Nearly pristine white teeth displayed as it head tilted. “Then more. All so pretty. Right, little pussy?”
He walked slowly towards us. One of the man’s eyes unevenly drifted down to the dead body. A wide flat nose flared in delight and he stopped to shiver. The action belonged to a man separated from reality by a few layers. This deranged, and that was the only word for it, man would stomp down the hall and attack. I would survive, Cindy would be a gory mess, and god only knew what would happen next.
“No running pussy. You’re going to be pretty art soon,” the oncoming horror grumbled. He staggered forward and one knee looked weak. The bulk of his weight kept slipping down to the right and one large claw propped him up from a wall.
He walked forward at the same pace as always. His smile only jiggled around but never faltered despite my calm approach. People downstairs were screaming. The walls thumped. Heavy footfalls and the sound of an orgy reaching climax half a hallway down echoed through. A goat brayed repeatedly like a mad witch casting some evil spell.
I looked up at his sloppy form and tried not to shake. You’d think I would be used to this, but letting event happen to me took far less strength than standing in front of a man who had casually murdered people and walked around in their guts. He was beyond a robber trying to make money, or a villain that needed a hostage.
“What are you doing?” His stare held firm and eyebrows lowered only briefly. The man’s cheek twitched with a small tick. I swear for a moment he looked like a man at odds with himself.
I stared at his claw covered hands and wondered if he had any other uses. Did the power to turn himself into a clear living weapon put him on this road; as my ability shaped and molded who I was? It was there, the connection between what we could do and what we had made of ourselves. I’ve thought about it a lot since then and figured maybe we both stared as human. That, I think, is what nearly broke me. I think that in the end, that deranged man whose name I never learned, is what lead me to do what I did, so many years later.
Never mind that for now. That was well after this, and I’m telling the story as it happened, you know, since you have the entire recording on tape. Recorded by the damn hovering eyeball of Ted’s that kept following me around. Anyway, back to the last moments of a madman and my rambling self-discovery.
“You want to be art?” The clawed man’s eyes were wide and head cocked to one side in confusion. Then he grinned and it looked like his face turned into a jack-o-lantern with pure white teeth.
My throat gulped down air as attempted wit came out, “Yeah, I’ll bet you get real far with that genius idea, dog breath,” I said to the unbalanced hefty man.
His face wiggled then opened in an incoherent yell. One arm pulled back to swipe at me with claws bigger than my head. Teeth ground together while gristle lubricated the space between top and bottom rows. Burned flesh crinkled as flesh moved. Someone in a hallway to the next started to cry out like a startled bird. All four fornicators and a goat were further down the hall staring at the carnage.
And, I kid you not, a god damn truck barreled out of the wall to slam into the deranged lunatic.
“Pre-“ came out of his mouth with air, blood and a strangled cry of pain.
I stared as rubble in the new hole cleared. A large bulk retracted slowly through walls and fragmented building. Parts of the ceiling came down and more doors, like the ones on this floor could be seen above.
What did I do? I stood there stupidly and said, “Adam one, deranged psychopath zer-“ then grimaced. The man had bloody remains of people on his body and clothes. Zero was discourteous. “Well, I guess you took care of him, right?” came a concession to my savoir.
No, I hadn’t known the man was there ahead of time. I just expected something to happen.
“Maybe,” the newest figure responded while crossing the rubble of two hotel rooms and broken walls. “Underdog’s been through worse.”
So, I had a name. Underdog, whose bite was worse than his bark or something. Underdog, who even now showed signs of dying. He coughed while a claw was held up in the sky as Underdog studied the red liquid on his fingers.
“Pretty,” he then fell sideways and the pool of blood kept growing.
“Looks dead to me,” I said to the hero who had busted through.
My savor wasn’t technically a wall or a truck. His arm looked huge but showed signs of deflating like a tired balloon. Wrinkles faded into normal looking skin over the course of a few seconds while we studied each other. He probably didn’t know what to make of my antics. Neither did I.
“You might be right, and the world’s a greater place for it.” The stretchy arm man nodded a pushed out his squared off chin. “But I’m not going to touch him and find out.”
I did check without a second thought to the squishing noises or remains of people. Underdog had no pulse.
By the time I stood back up shaking my head, my savor had a small crowd of the helpless sort standing around him. Another man with seven hundred hats, or maybe just seven, stood nearby him covering his ears with two cowboy looking headpieces. He had another four clutched between his legs and more shoved under a stretched green shirt. My head shook at the whole mess.
“Sir,” the hero flapped an arm then shook his head. It tightened back up slowly. Skin hung loosely off a bulky upper body. “Do you know how to get out?”
I tried to figure out how to politely wipe off someone’s remains but failed. “Have you tried downstairs?”
He stepped closer, along with a small gaggle of confused people. Each one showed signs of clutching objects. Their desires and wants made manifest. “You can see the stairs? Can you get close to them?”
“They’re stairs, not unicorns,” I said dryly while taking slow breaths. Underdog continued to be dead, along with Cindy. There were others around a corner far down the hall. People were still shouting at each other on the floors around us while footsteps, like deranged angry children, rattled the ceiling.
“Sir, I know you must be shocked about what just happened,” he said. “But I’m requesting your help.”
The fat man with angry black paws didn’t move. Underdog wasn’t the first person to die in front of me, or the last. This one event couldn’t possibly come close to bad, but seeing that man’s huge bulky form laying there while blood seeped out made me question myself.
Sickness hit me and my stomach rolled. One hand came up to help hold back oncoming barf. The sensation stayed while breath came in short shallow gasps. I swallowed then responded to stretchy arm’s attempted reassurances, “One hundred and ten percent pure freaked out right now.”
“Can you access the stairs to assist in helping these people? My team is in here somewhere, and so is the group we were fighting, two more as bad or worse than Underdog. I need you to escort these people to safety.”
“The stairs are really far away,” I pointed to my left and back slightly towards where Cindy’s body lay. We had almost made it. We had been so close to, reaching somewhere. I kept up the short breaths., then the shaking hit.
“No, I've been unable to approach them. Any attempts are derailed by those less fortunate. When I glance away, the stairs vanish. The distortion in this pocket reality is very strong. If you can access them you must get these people away while I check on Star Wraith and other survivors,” he put all the work back on me with half a speech. Something about his speech felt clunky and formal. At least the man stayed calmer than I felt.
“Star Wraith? Is that a fire starter?” I asked in order to focus on something else. Her name was new but star had to be a fire, thingy. These powered people weren’t ones I knew from my excessive travels.
He nodded rapidly then asked, “Have you seen her? She’s a member of my team and I worry for her safety.”
Replaying the events in my mind didn’t help me calm down, but I could answer the man’s question. Underdog’s lumbering form as he walked down the hall had been full of fresh fire signs. I pointed to the charred flesh on the deceased then said, “She was burning him while you ran through the rooms.”
“Alright. I’ve must see if she’s okay. Sir, if you’re able to view the exit, then it’s your duty to get these people to safety.”
He didn’t ask why I could see the exit or approach the stairs. I mean, it was obvious to me. The Hostess wanted me to exit and freedom lay downward, but really this guy looked too trusting. What if I was a shape shifting sponge who could turn into a rail thin man that got pushed around constantly? Clearly that disguise would have served me well until another truck of a fist hit the next offender.
My lips tightened and cheeks pulled back. After a moment I sighed then nodded. I said, “I’ll get them to the stairs, or at least try.” He had asked nicely after all.
The man’s chin stuck out even further as he stared at me seriously. His gaze made me take a deep breath and nearly roll my eyes. Finally the dude with the arm, whose name I didn’t want to ask for or recognize from other places, nodded. One large thumb gestured back towards the crowd waiting sheepishly nearby.
They looked lost. I hated the dazed and confused. I mean, I got it, the first few times you’re involved with superheroes can be exciting, or terrifying. You’re torn between pissing yourself and trying to be a hero next to some guy who sounds inspiring.
“Take care of them, stick to the walls, and stay low. That’s the greatest advice I can give.” The man wasted no more time and started hustling down the hallway where Underdog had marched in from.
“Hey,” I yelled at him. He paused to look at me with eyebrows drawn together. “It won’t be pretty that way.” No matter what Underdog had called it. That psychopath’s brand of beauty should revolt the morally upstanding what’s-his-face hero down the hall.
The man’s forehead wrinkled briefly but he merely nodded and said, “It never is.” Then whoever with the arms was gone around a corner. His footsteps faded in and out from floors above and other rooms. That conflict probably ended poorly for Star Wraith. With the way space distorted in this hotel I couldn’t say for sure what, or when, they might find each other.
“I am aware. These things rarely are,” he responded.
I wondered briefly, as he made his dash to rescue a comrade, how much conflict he had seen verses my own history. Which of us had more? Had I been justified to simply give up and let madness happen?
“I hope you’re friend’s still alive,” I whispered then shook my head. Being positive wasn’t in my nature. A superhero group chasing villains had probably ended up in here because of me.
I stared at Underdog’s body once more and thought about what standing up to him had accomplished. The crazy man died because I made him pause long enough to be sucker punched through walls. Fighting against the odds felt, better, and harder. In this one instance it had been easier too.
At least my breathing was better. Hunger turned me weak but that would be fixed eventually. I had no crackers or drug laced mushrooms to feast upon. The other people approached and looked exactly like most scared people did. Lost mindsets displayed on all of them with hands and legs drawn close. They huddled next to each other but gave me a small bubble.
“You’re not going to make me leave my hat, are you?” the man smuggling ball caps asked.
“I don’t care,” I said it but didn’t mean it. “At some point you’ll probably need figure out what matters more, the hat, or escape.”
The obsessive person held two hats in from of him then stared. His face screwed up in a whimper which I politely ignored by turning around. There lay Cindy, still lifelessly staring at a wall.
I walked over and carefully lifted her up. Despite the earlier weakness my body had enough strength for this again. A little rest and break in my sanity had done wonders. My knees bent and arms got under her leaden body. She felt lighter after death than before.
“Come on, the stairs are right here,” I said while walking over a few feet.
“They are?” a curved woman with a hand stored under her pants said.
“I don’t see your stairs,” another person responded.
“I need to stay with my hats.”
Their varied responses caused a sigh to escape. Heavy footsteps shook the ceiling. There was a smell that hit my nose as I remembered the other thing dead people did. They let it go, all of it. The scent didn’t come from Cindy, she had probably eaten less than I did, but Underdog back down the hall was another story.
“Try holding onto my arm, if you want,” I suggested.
“But my hats,” the hoarder said.
“Stay here then, live out your glorious last few minutes surrounded by hats or fucking the goat back there.” I gestured with my elbow and two people actually looked. There was a goat calmly standing in one of the doors eating wooden framework. “I barely have enough strength to lift one person and otherwise I would use my overwhelming physical size to throw you down the stairs.”
They exchanged glances. A few muttered to each other. One person glared as yet another flipped mee off and threw something questionable. If it weren’t for being asked I might have just left. It wasn’t me wanting their deaths, but at the same point I was run down and barely functional. Both shoulders tried to lift in a shrug. But the weight in my arms hindered the motion.
“What do we do?” someone in the back asked. “How are you going to help us when Stretch couldn’t?”
I had no clue but pretended, “Form a line, someone in front grab onto me, then hold hands. I’ll walk down the stairs. Even if you can’t see them, we should be okay if we stay connected.”
“Are you sure?” a bald shorter woman asked. She had one wig clasped in her hands and looked up at me. It took me a moment to get past the lack of eyebrows. She didn’t look obsessed like the others but still felt off.
And yeah, you’re right. I was in no goddamn place to judge. If the television had been working still in my room maybe I would never have left. I have, had, standards. The thought of a dead woman and more names to the list kept me from going into other people’s rooms to find more drivel from cable.
A line formed behind me. Two different people grabbed onto my ratty shirt. They trail of us going down the stairs started out loud and, as our spiraling precision went down too many floors, the sound grew quieter. I didn’t look back because I didn’t know how to solve the problem surely occurring.
If you can’t tell from how I describe in, then here's the short version. People from our little party were getting lost or letting go. The pressure of a dozen footsteps stomping along became less with each twist while Cindy’s dead body grew heavier. Maybe it didn’t matter, because more people were fighting below. At times I could see the people behind me and the line seemed in constant flux.
As I turned the last set of stairs a lobby grander than any I recalled upon entry became visible. The ceiling sat a good forty feet in the air. Arches spanned end to end while the chandeliers that had surely hung from above were shattered on the ground.
I turned to see who had survived our journey down the stairs. One short bald woman stared at me, along with a man finally bereft of hats. They both could barely raise their eyes.
“None of the other’s stayed with us,” the woman with a wig answered a question I couldn’t even voice. “Just us. I don’t know how you stayed strong. There were so many things on those floors. So many things, I almost turned around. I thought I saw my aunt and, numbers that would have made me rich.”
“I saw my ex-girlfriend. She actually yelled at me,” the hat man looked back up the stairwell. His eyes were unfocused and mouth moving slowly. “She said it was her fault we didn’t work, and that she wanted to make it work again. The things I gave up for her-” he trailed off.
They were so lost looking. Neither one made direct eye contact. Both kept talking half steps back up. Their desires were understandable, but neither carried the weight of Cindy’s dead body. That kept me moving forward. I turned and descended down to the final portion of stairs.
Two different sets of steps met to form a grand stairwell downward. Red carpet lined the foyer, or whatever the hell it was. At their joining stood our hostess wearing a frown. Her layers of fluffy clothes looked smudged in spots, with the barest hint of scorch marks along a hem. She stared down the last twenty steps with one hand held up.
At the bottom was at least seven different people tossing abilities at each other in a dance of madness and color.
“This behavior is very disconcerting,” the hostess continued her stern frown at the crowd going crazy. Her hand held on to a simple wine glass that was filled to the brim with pink liquid. We stood there watching the crowd as the woman downed entire mouthfuls but the glass stayed full.
“Hello.” I looked at the woman for a moment. Her response was to raise an eyebrow and shake her head. She acted aware of my presence but didn’t offer assistance. “Is there a safe way for these two to get out of here?” I asked.
“The problem, Mister Millard, is that none of them actually wish to leave. They find too much they desire in here. Early releases are difficult to push forward, despite our efforts.” She gestured with the glass of wine wildly and not a drop spilled out. I stared at it, her, and the grand double doorway on the far side of destruction.
Stretch, or whomever, had found his way down here along with the flame haired lady from earlier. They fought against two people that looked like ten foot tall living shadows. Some tiny figure kept dashing around rapidly but they moved too fast. I think the small one had bunny ears.
“Who are you talking to?” the bald woman asked from behind me.
“A woman who say’s the exit is over there,” I nodded past a wall of growing chaos. Both of the people who had survived our descent downward were stuck with hands gripping the railing. They looked up still and seemed oblivious of the people battling below.
“Is there another way?” the bald one said. Her voice sounded off, and when I turned around to see both of them lifting their heads towards the floors above.
“I say we take the servants exit,” the man without hats spoke while staring up. “Maybe there’s something we can get to help. This place has something we can use, right? I should go look, it will only take a moment.”
They both paused then grew glassy eyed. I stood there with a dead body and a dumbfounded look. How on earth were they so enthralled with hats, wigs, and ex-girlfriends? Had I missed some important in the grand scheme of life?
I asked the hostess with her toastess, “Can’t you kick them out, or bring the door over here? This place, you control it right?” Being sarcastic right now felt wrong. Those two annoyed me but carrying a dead body made me a bit more careful with the word choice.
“That is the door.” Her arm tightened back in carefully and refused to extend out that far again. “We can only show guests the path, not push them through. Everyone must leave as they entered, by choice, knowing full well they were crossing a threshold into something different.”
I remembered seeing the armor standing up tall and an empty lobby. This room down here looked nothing like the one from before. Nothing in the place stayed in the right shape and most of the time felt dreamlike. Here did feel different, and I had known it would be.
“You threatened to evict me,” I said. “So, evict them.”
“That is not a service we can provide, especially in your case. Our standard practices are to move onto a more firm form of encouragement. Pain is a great and terrible motivator. Memory fades, as does the lesson taught by its sting. Perhaps it would have been best to do so immediately, but desire overrides caution. For now most of my power is being diverted to containment.” She tilted back the glass and gulped down even more. “So here we are. Bedlam, and so few paying head to the exit, then those that do leave are replaced.”
Her speech went on forever. The two behind me started walking back up the stairs slowly. I blinked a few times but couldn’t bring myself to shout at them. If they wanted to give in to some other dimensional sirens call then what the hell could I do about it? Maybe she was right in a sense.
“Can you stop them?” I asked while watching the hatless man reach down to pick up sometime from a stair. The delay only made him pause for a moment before he started moving back up the steps.
“No,” the hostess responded.
“Can you do anything useful? Save anyone?” I almost asked her if she had a magic wand tucked up under those robes that might be more useful. The thought made recall thsoe two mole queens and a sour taste hit my mouth.
“We’ve struggled to keep this contained as it is. The energy is a double edged sword, and without our constant repairs this place would have devoured everyone whole and still been hungry,” she said dryly then swallowed another glass full of never ending liquid.
That made me pause. In my experience there were only two types of people who said that kind of stuff. The first could be classified as idiots. They said all sorts of stuff, knew next to nothing, and often fucked things up when everyone was looking the other way.
Second to that were people that had real jobs letting everyone else sleep soundly. Those were the ones that often were trying to prevent worse beings from fucking up the program, like the idiots in category one. What few fit into group two were scary, had huge amounts of power they often were required to use for their roles in life. Next lesson, don’t fuck with those in group two.
Before sanity could prevent me, I asked, “Who, or what, are you?”
“Were another soul to question, we might not answer, but there are so few true immortals in the world.” The hostess glanced over at me and lifted the wine glass again. This time she did not drink but held still, sniffing at its contents. “To you we will provide a response. We are caretaker to a place of hunger. We are a fence around its depths. We use the obsessions of others as fuel, thereby freeing them of urges and chaining an endless maw.”
She smiled with her cheeks only. Both eyes still looked dark and empty. Below us the heroes and their enemies still waged war. Parts of the landscape reconstructed with each blast making most of the damage surficial. Heroes occasionally herded out people. I saw the bald lady, who I swore had gone upstairs, come out one of the side rooms while a woman wielding fire protected her.
I shook my head and tried not to let the air throw me off. Breathing felt easier but my arms were leaden and both knees had started to lock. This place was fucking insane, even for me. To top it off, next to me stood a queen of otherworldly power casually drinking and generally not trying to enslave my soul.
I asked, “Why, even if I was immortal” which I most certainly the hell wasn’t “would you tell me any of that?”
“Because one such as yourself may have need of our services, and unlike our predecessor, we believe in long term relationships with those of power.”
The idea of me being someone of power made me snort. “If I had real power, I would have stopped this sort of nonsense a long time ago,” I said.
One of the shadow creatures escape out the front door, pushing aside a trio of haggard looking men. They shoved each other around then started screaming, ignoring a trail of flames headed by.
“Look down there. A multitude of those with power fight each other yet get nowhere. They perform a dance where no one really wins. Let this example remind you that power itself means nothing without the will to exercise it.”
“Okay,” I said dryly. She had a different outlook on life than myself.
“Mister Millard, perhaps you should worry about yourself more. Figure out what it is you expect from the world, aside from solitude you are not fated to have,” the hostess said calmly.
I tried to keep my barring. People kept shuffling around below in a manner which resembled organized chaos. Two entered then two more left. Someone got hit by a blast and looked hurt, then reappeared moments later being perfectly fine.
Did I listen to Ted and just roll with this insanity? In this case yes, so maybe the crazy man’s advice had “Oh, I have plans. This guy I know suggested being a reporter, he’s not exactly the most stable guy though. I kind of planned on going with that for a while. I figure my winning personality would do well on television.”
“Immortals rarely have such mundane callings. You carry ghosts, and it is our suggestion that whatever step you take next, release yourself of their weight before the burden causes you to make an unwise choice.” She paused and looked thoughtful with every part of her face but the dead eyes. “Take for example, the list you mutter to yourself while restless. It is quite long. We had intended through this with you once you felt rested enough to move on, but alas your curse is too strong to properly delay for one such as myself.”
“So they are here because of me,” I said while looking at the mess.
“We certainly did not invite them,” the hostess spoke with the same dryness I envied.
That sounded typical. My own powers had trumped everything so far and kept me alive in shit that shouldn’t have been survivable. In that estimate Ted was dead on. “Fat lot of help that is. I,” was being sarcastic again and had to rewind myself. “I don’t know how to do either one. Report, or stop thinking about those caught up in my wake.”
“It is possible you carry their weight, perhaps because no one has told the story of their last moments. Express yourself, and bleed the pus so that you might heal and stop festering. With painting, perhaps.”
The hostess had a point. Ted’s floating camera device was both somehow still functional and floating along behind me. It looked uncaring while switching between both watching me and the carnage ongoing below.
I started to put it together then. Finally, at long last I started to see a way to do both things. I could both record the action, interview people, and most of all, tell the story of people's final moments in a way that might reach their bereaved.
The glass itself swished around as she studied our ongoing mess. Most of them were powered people forming pockets and fighting while the stairs seemed strangely devoid of action. People died, people came in from the grand double doors, but very few actually left.
I tried to ask for advice again, despite how weird it felt. “Do you think that would help me? Do you really?”
“You have the tools you need Mister Millard, you and the floating device you brought with you. Air your guilt, inform the survivors, hold a wake, paint, mayhap those tasks merged will be enough to let you sleep soundly at night. As much as one in your role ever may.” The woman tipped back her never ending stream of liquid for another solid gulp. “And should you decide that is your route, then kindly exit our domicile. Your presence is having a negative effect on the recovery and safety of our other guests.”
“Yes.” She wrinkle her nose then sniffed. Two dead looking eyes stared towards me for the first time in our entire conversation. “Kindly see yourself to the door and get the fornication out, post haste.”
|Age:||314 Earth Standard Years|
|Generalized Ratings as follows|
|Attitude:||Aloft, therapeutic, factual, old fashioned|
|Other items of note|
Widowed, hates cats, hates dogs, hates fur on her furniture, drinks only from one glass, alludes to being a warden for some other presence rarely, generally doesn’t speak about herself, loves babies
Only a few know how old Dame Latrice actually is, and those aware of her are limited to people that have stayed at ‘The Hotel’. Most ex residents don’t speak of their time at this establishment which causes fact finding machines to hit walls.
It is theorized that she has absolute control over time and space within the confines of her other realm. This includes the ability to make nearly anything appear at will, transfer the doorway to anywhere in known existence (reportedly including other worlds and subspaces), and remain unharmed by aggressors that dare attack her.
In general nearly everyone staying at the hotel returns to the world they left with a changed outlook. In most cases this can be removing an addiction o obsession, or looking at the world with a new light. Not all outcomes are positive, and occasionally uninvited guests show up at the Hotel. There are two websites dedicated purely to survival stories of this location, and they nearly idolize the Dame for the changes their stay have caused.
Dame Latrice has exactly one heir still alive in the world. If she ever passes on from her role, the powers, mantel, and responsibility for keeping an otherworldly horror in check will fall to that person. This is the same method by which she inherited the role as the Hotel’s lone living employee – four months after she had become a mother. Taking on the role forced her to abandon her child and husband. Occasionally she will use the hotel’s powers to peer into the rooms of various orphanages as it reminds her of times long forgotten.
She also quiet likes this Sudoku entertainment that has become popular, but limits herself to a single puzzle per day when no one is looking.