(2018-03-09) The Onyx Mirror
The Onyx Mirror
Summary: Two detectives go down the stairs into a charnel house. One of them goes back up them again.
Date: 2018-03-09
Related: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-02-18-the-everbright-case
Player Characters: Eddie, Harris, Cobalt as ST

Once again into the Everbright apartment. The smell of rot has intensified. It's probably overly intoxicating to Eddie at this point. But he'd be aware that the smell is now likely to start getting the attention of the neigbhors..

The floorboards creak, and resist just a little bit Eddie's attempts to pry them open. They come away with a sticky, viscus substance that smells like bile and rotten eggs.

The space underneath the floor boards is dark … and vast… and is there something squirming down there?

With no lights on to risk catching a glimpse of himself in some reflective surface, Eddie doesn't bother trying to keep the smile off his face. Maybe he doesn't enjoy that he's enjoying this, but that's the way it is. He sets the floorboards to one side and listens to what's going on down in the hole, pretty sure now of what he's going to find. "Sorry, guys," he mutters, "I'm going to have to break up the party." He pulls a little flashlight out of his pocket, and flicks it on.

So. Many. Bugs.

That's not the surprising part.

The surprising part is that the first floor board shows what appears to be a set of stairs down, down, down past the range of his flash light. He'll need to pull up more boards to be able to go down..

But there's bugs crawling all over these stairs. Roaches, flies, and maggots. Squirming through a thick, bile like substance that coats the stairs.

"Huh," Eddie says, staring down into the hole. A little perplexed, more by the stairs than anything, but apparently unbothered by the gruesome scene. He shines his flashlight down around the hole until he finds a promising fly, a big fat guy who seems like he's been around a while and knows what's hat, and he calls down: "Hey, Winston. What's down there?"

Winston chitters and chatters at Eddie. Winston is an *incredibly* friendly fly! So friendly and gregarious and likes to talk. He tells Eddie of how he came to be. Feasting off of the many, many meaty beds down below. How he's the biggest, strongest of his group. How he flies from one meat-sack to the next, collecting the best more rotten fluid from each.

Winston tells him about how it's an utter delightful paradise of food down there.

Though he speaks of the _cold place_ below. Where he can see another fly that is JUST AS BIG as him … but who never responds, and only mocks him…

"Sounds like a real jerk," Eddie says, with all apparent sympathy. "Maybe I'll have a word with him. Hang out a second, I'll be back." He stands back up and flicks the flashlight off again, then heads for the bedroom. He grabs a pillow off the bed and strips off the case, then heads over to the dresser where he found that severed hand last time he was here, intending to bag it up. Whistling as works.
It's then that his senses pick up something from outside … and that the bugs start chattering at him- those flies that zoomed about the apartment when realized. There are PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.

Outside. Everywhere.

Front door, back windows, there people.

…outside the Bureau has been slowly surrounding the apartment, having been called in because of the _strangeness_ of the case, and because their records suggested that the person living in this apartment was /not a normal human/.

Eddie grabs the hand using the pillowcase like a glove and turning it inside out, the way people clean up after their dog, whistling cheerfully the whole time. Then he hears it, and he freezes mid-whistle, mouth stuck in that goofy little o-shape. "Oh, shit," he whispers, getting a sense of what's going on out there. He doesn't even bother looking at the window, he can hear the footsteps out there and they're all barred up anyway. He looks up, maybe thinking of hiding up on the ceiling, but he throws that away, too. "Shit, ohshitohshitohshit," he makes a run back for the hole he left in the floor and takes a diving leap and starts prying desperately at the remaining floorboards.

Outside, Lt. Jim Harris comes pulling up in his old '79 Buick Skylark. Of course he was the one sent to this particular scene. He's in the Bureau, after all. He kills the engine and shoulders open the door, scowling at the place. "What've we got?" he asks, taking the smoldering cigarette from his mouth and tossing it down, taking a moment to step on it. He's a conscientious smoker. He looks around for anyone who might be able to fill him in on what's going on.

Eddie works desperately at the floor boards and manages to pry one off. It's not enough to fit his ENTIRE body through it without some work…. But the man manages to wriggle down into the hole. Scraping himself only -a little- (ouchies) as he slides down the hole, hits the stairs and starts to slide…

It's sticky and /slick/ at the same time…

Outside, a junior member of the Bureau, imbedded in the PAPD turns toward Harris. They've gotten the keys to the place from the landlord, and have just unlocked the door.

"Neighbors have been complaining about a smell for days, and the rent's about two weeks late … so the landlord called the cops. We caught it, because the resident— Nora Everbright is on our watch list. We think he's a Tinkerbell."

The smell in the apartment as the door is pushed open is /awful/.

Eddie can hear a male voice in the distant as he slides down into the darkness, "Jesus fuck, we sure she's a Tink and not a Wendigo? The /smell/…"

Eddie has never wished so badly to be a Tunnelgrub, squeezing his way through the floorboards, or been so grateful for his disappointing growth spurt. He scrapes himself up a little, but he doesn't leave his blood on anything, thanks to a good deal somebody made with Smoke a long time ago. He'd thank them, but somehow he isn't in the mood as he goes sliding down the steps into the dark. "Ow, shit, ow, ow, sorry," that last part aimed at all the poor defenseless bugs getting crushed on his way down. Once he's at the bottom he allows himself the time for one deep breath, then tries to get his feet back underneath him, reaching into his splattered coat for the flashlight again to get some idea of his surroundings.

Jim's scowl sours. "Great. Just what I fucking needed," he mutters, rubbing his face. "Okay. I assume we've got the area cordoned off? And please, for the love of Christ, tell me we've got a warrant to go in there this time." After ascertaining that yes, there is, in fact, a warrant in force, Lt. Harris goes to avail himself of the landlord and the keys to the place. His nose wrinkles as he approaches the door. "Jesus Christ Almighty, the hell's he -got- in there?" he grumbles as he goes to unlock the door.

Eddie tumbles down, down, down… he's pretty sure he's broken his elbow and his ass by the time he hits the bottom. He lands in … something squelchy, spongy, and … /smelly/. Well it probably smells a little overwhelming good down here to Eddie. A bit like a kid in a bakery just after half a dozen cakes come out.

The flash light flicks on and he finds himself in a charnel house.

There are body parts … /everywhere/.

Dismember torsoes, hands, arms, legs… not a single head, not a single identifying (at first glance) part of a body. But this room down here is strewn with viscera and body parts.

The only clean surface is a large, onyx mirror that rests upon the wall to Eddie's left.

This room holds the furnishings of what may have been a bedroom, before it turned into a slaughterroom. A bed is covered in blood and guts, a dress half falling down under rot… and … it goes on. Everything is covered.

Miss Everbright was /fucked up/.

Up above… the rookies with Jim gag at the stench, and fall back… not particularly wanting to go into a place that smells /this bad/…

Especially after a wave of flies escape through the door and swarm their faces.

"Right cordoned off…" One of them gags and jogs away.

Jim flinches back from the cloud of flies that comes buzzing out. But he's still got some tricks up his sleeve from his days in patrol. He fumbles in his jacket pocket for, of all things, a jar of Vicks Vap-o-Rub. He digs a fingertip of the ointment out and scrubs it into his mustache, stuffing some up his nostrils as well. It'll help cut the smell. He produces a handkerchief to hold over his mouth and nose to keep from breathing in bugs, while his other hand draws his Beretta 9mm. Moving carefully, he starts proceeding into the apartment, keeping his head on a swivel.

"Norah," Eddie says, weirdly giddy, "you dirty girl." His pupils are dilated to the size of a quarter. He can't help it. He tries to straighten out his busted up elbow, winces, and decides to give that a pass for now. He grabs up the pillowcase with the hand in it up out of the people-puddle at the foot of the steps, listens to the sound of the cops closing in up above, and tries to shake it off. This is no time to stop and smell the corpses. He heads over toward the mirror, flashing his light along the walls as he goes, hoping for an escape hatch or a tunnel or some kind of way out of here that isn't in the back of a cop car.

There's a thrumming noise…

The mirror starts to hum, and sing in a high pitched whistle when Eddie approaches it. There's no exit he can see…

Save for the glimmer coming from the mirror.

Harris can hear a high pitched noise from below him… and when he investigates he'll find some floor boards pried up and /jesus what is on those stairs/?

Jim peers down into the gloom through those floorboards. His eyes get wide. "-Je-sus," he grunts. He peers a bit closer. Is that a flashlight he sees?

"Oh, go to hell," Eddie says to the singing mirror, more disgusted by this turn of events than he is with the whole abbatoir of horrors. He looks back over his shoulder at the stairs, and suddenly they're a few years older than they used to be, but that's all. He can hear somebody up at the top of them, now. Well. Nothing else for it. He reaches out one hand to touch the mirror, keeping his head turned, like a little kid getting a shot. He can't bring himself to look.

Jim's eyes narrow. He eyes that gap in the floorboards. Big hoss that he is, it'll take some doing for him to get himself down there. He decides to try the easy way first. "Port Angeles Police!" he thunders in his best Angry Cop voice. "Come on out of there with your hands where I can see 'em!" Of course, that probably isn't going to work. But hey, he identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He studies the floorboards again, then rears his foot back to try and break a hole big enough to fit his tubby ass through.

Indeed … Harris can catch the glimpse of a flashlight beam sliding across the very /rickety/ looking stairs… But then it's gone.

Eddie… touches his fingers to the singing mirror. And it feels as if he is being pulled *in half*. No, not in half. Into pieces. As if every single cell in his body was suddenly being pulled away from each other…

And then slammed back together in a dark, dark space…

His flashlight flickers and goes out.

Eddie would scream, but hasn't got time to start before he hasn't got a throat anymore, or at least it feels like he doesn't. As he is discorporated, he manages to wonder why he didn't just take his chances with the cops. He could have got his name in the paper and everything. With that last little bit of regret, he's… wait. He's alive? He slaps his chest, to see. He's alive, for the moment. He clicks the flashlight a couple of times, shakes it up and down. No good. "That wasn't a request," he whispers haorsely.

Scowling angrily, Jim sucks a deep breath and holds it. He sets the hanky in his teeth, his mustache bristling in irritation as he drops to one knee, reaching down to heave at the floorboard. The longer he stays in here, the less he likes it—and now it's gotten dark. He squinches his eyes shut as he closes his fingers around the floorboard and heaves with all his might.
Eddie finds himself … staring at himself. Every where he looks he finds his own reflection. And the room around him begins to fill with smoke.

Meanwhile, up above… Harris manages to pry another floorboard loose. It's going to be /slow going/ down the stairs… but he can get down them if he's /careful/.

Oh. Oh, no. Eddie rubs his eyes and looks around, and when he's sure he's seeing what he's seeing he lets out a low moan. He hasn't been having these dreams, but he's talked to the people who have. Spotting the stupid, panicked look on one of his many faces, he takes a breath and tries to pull himself together. "Okay, fine. Here we are. Which one of you handsome fellows wants to point me toward the exit?"
Every single one of Eddie's fingers lift and points off to his left. Hundreds of him appear, pointing and pointing and pointing … forever.

"… that was easier than I thought," Eddie says mistrustfully, peering left. He starts to head in that direction, then hesitates. He stops and looks at one of his reflections, picking one more or less at random. "Where am I, anyway?" he asks, deciding to probe the limits of their… its… his? cooperation.

Wrenching up the floorboard with a grunt, Jim is forced to holster his sidearm so he can lower himself through the hole. The aged stairs creak ominously under his hefty weight, forcing him to spread his arms and legs to balance. "Oh Jesus -Christ-," he grunts as he feels the bugs crunching underfoot. His stomach gives a very unhappy sounding rumble as he grits his teeth, painstakingly making his way downstairs. "This is stupid. This is -stupid-. -Fuck-." But onward he goes. If there -is- a supernatural threat down here, he's the only one close enough to deal with it. Lucky him.

Down, down, down… Harris goes. To find himself in a fucking charnel house. Blood, viscera, body parts, flies, roaches, maggots … /everywhere/. It is something out of a person's worst nightmares. There's got to be at least a dozen dead people down here, dismembered and hacked apart… but not a single head.

And the only thing not covered in blood is …

Humming? …Humming mirror off to his right.

Meanwhile /inside/ of that mirror, Eddie's reflections do not answer him. But another voice does. As raspy and dark as smoke itself.

"You are within the mirrors, Day. You are within my realm. You wish to travel away from here?" asks the voice like a burning fire.

"Mirrors," Eddie repeats. Plural. He makes a note of that, looking around wherever this is for the source of the voice, not really expecting to find it. "It's a swell settup you've got. Love the decor," he gestures at one of himself, addressing the air above the head of head of his reflection, "but I've got places to be. I guess you're the one Wilson made that stupid deal with?"

Jim stares around himself, face pale and expression aghast. "Fuck -me-," he breathes softly. He gulps a couple time as his stomach rumbles more angrily than before. He fumbles on his belt for his radio with a shaking hand. "This is Harris. We need… ulp… we need… fuck. Coroner… hazmat… fucking… oh Jesus oh -fuck- —" He doubles over, spewing the remnants of his lunch and several cups of cheap gas station coffee onto the floor. Coughing and spitting, he straightens, his face bathed in cold sweat. That's when his eyes fall on the mirror. "Oh you are -shitting- me," he mutters. He steps over to it. Humming mirror, the only clean surface in a real-life Bosch painting. "What the fuck are -you-?" he growls, trading his radio for his gun once again. It may not do much, but it makes him feel better to have it in his hand.

"I am the Smoking Mirror." says the Voice. "I already have your pact, Day. You may come and go as you please. You must only envision where you are going."

"Day's the other guy," Eddie says, "living it up in sunny California." He looks off to the left, again, where all the other hims were pointing earlier. He doesn't move yet, trying not to envision anywhere, visions of Mr. Stay-Puft dancing at the back of his mind. "And it won't cost me anything I haven't paid already? You'll have to cut me some slack, I seem to have forgotten some of the terms of our arrangement." He doesn't bother to mask the accusatory tone in his voice.

The urge Harris feels to touch the mirror is /intense/… but well, crazy fucking humming mirrors in the middle of a slaughter house /cannot/ be good. So he fights off the urge and keeps his hands to himself.

There is laughter from all around Eddie at the accusatory tone and the voice says, "You never asked if giving her memories to me would /affect/ yours as well. Very unthoughtful of you … but I thank you for the extra meal."

The voice sounds /very pleased/ with itself.

Eddie glares at one of his reflections, just to give himself something to glare at. This must be how other people feel, dealing with him, anyway. "Well I guess as long as you're grateful," he sneers, then spits on the ground. Is there ground? He watches to see, just for a second. "Whose memories? Who's 'her'?"

Jim stares at the reflection. His fingers twitching as he fights the urge to reach out and touch it. He gives himself a shake, taking a step back. "Uh-uh. -Bullshit-. You don't get to fuck with -my- head," he snarls. He swings his gun up, pointing it at the mirror. It's probably not a good idea for him to be discharging his firearm in such a small space, but… the lizard brain is kicking in. His every instinct tells him that this thing is -evil-. And evil gets bullets.

"The Sacrifice. A lifetime of memories… You should go now, Day. Or you will die here.."

A sudden crack appears in every single one of Eddie's reflections. Spreading slowly out.

Harri's gun discharges at the mirror and it doesn't /shatter/ the way it should, not on the first shot… not on the second shot…

But cracks begin appearing in the onyx surface.

"Oh," Eddie says, eyes widening, "shit." He takes off at a run in the direction his reflections were pointed, before, envisioning visions as hard as he can. Where? Where to go? Some place safe. Where's safe? Reflexively, instinctively, he pictures a farm out in Forks, closing his eyes tight to help picture it better.

Jim bares his teeth in a savage snarl. He quickly unloads the entire clip at the mirror. "Fuck you! FUCK you!" he thunders over the gunshots. He doesn't stop pulling the trigger until the Beretta clicks several times. Shaking like a leaf, he staggers back. Looking warily around for any sign of someoneor somethingtrying to meddle with his mind. That's usually what -he- does to people.

Eddie feels, once more, as if he is being pulled completely a part and then put back together again… He finds himself suddenly standing before an old mirror in the bathroom of that farmhouse in Forks…

Meanwhile, the mirror finally SHATTERS…

Sending pieces of obsidian and onyx EVERYWHERE… and with it an explosion… As something is unleashed into the air.

Harris manages to duck down and cover his head, and not get nailed with shards of it… but he does slide a little bit in the viscera…

And then everything is still, calm, and quiet save for the bugs squirming about in viscera.

Jim staggers back as the mirror explodes, ducking down. He -almost- goes to one knee in the blood and gore, but thinks better of it. When there's silence again, he looks up and around. "Oh come -on-," he growls. He shoves his gun into his shoulder holster. Now would be a good time to make a tactical withdrawal. He fumbles his way up the stairs and hauls himself out of the hole. Staggering his way back out the door and towards his comrades. "It's… really fuckin' bad in there. Just… trust me. Fuck. I need a shower."

Eddie collapses onto his hands and knees, shaking and sweating. He gags a couple of times, thankfully dry, then falls over and rolls onto his back. Staring at the ceiling, gasping for air. He lays there for a long time, just breathing, waiting for his hands to stop trembling. He still smells like a New Mexico slaughterhouse in May. Finally, finally, he pulls himself together enough to yell one word: "BEA!"

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