STORAGE SPACE 2
Part 1 : And Yet Again Still Even More Fragments Ch 46
"I don't see anything," Peter said as they parked the Ecto and looked around.
"I believe he mentioned a psychic blind-spot," Egon reminded him, "lacking any psychic abilities we wouldn't be able to perceive it directly."
"You're a psychic?" Peter asked Xander.
Xander shrugged. "Hell if I know, I just tend to trip over these things. Anyway, there is a work around so you can see it."
"Really, What?" Peter asked seriously.
Xander pulled a roll of tinfoil out of his jacket with a grin.
"Of course," Egon said, "you mentioned your neighbors were a bunch of tinfoil hat wearers."
"You know I've lived my whole life trying not to be seen as a tinfoil hat wearer," Peter complained as Egon expertly folded a sheet of tinfoil to make a child's pirate cap.
"You don't have to come," Xander told him, "you can watch the car."
Peter sighed. "No, I hate not being the center of attention even more."
Egon stopped himself from laughing and passed Peter a pirate hat, a grin on his lips.
"I not only recognize and accept my narcissism, I revel in it," Peter said, putting the hat on. "Now, where is the invisible building?"
"Right over there," Xander said, waving to the right.
"Holy..." Peters voice trailed off as he stared at the Monolith Hotel, a building straight out of the 1920's and the heyday of New York's social scene. The buildings around it may have been newer, but they lacked its presence and smooth lines.
"It looks like it'd cost me a week's paycheck just to stay the night," Peter said.
"Rent is voluntary," Xander said, "we've got a landlady but she just takes donations to pay for trash pickup and maintenance."
"In a building this size?" Egon questioned, trying to calculate the amount needed.
"There isn't that many people and they mainly stick to the first two floors," Xander replied.
"Even in New York there is a limit to the number of unstable individuals," Egon realized.
"No offense," Peter added, making Xander laugh.
"None taken," Xander assured him as he lead them inside.
"It's immaculate," Egon noted in shock as they entered the lobby, a perfect example of an upscale hotel from the roaring 20's decorated in black marble and gold trim.
"Hey Kylie," Xander called out, summoning a gothic dressed teen to the front desk.
"Xander," she said with a bright smile, completely at odds with her appearance. "What can I do to you?"
"I got a job working with the Ghostbusters, so I'm moving out," Xander explained, ignoring her Freudian slip.
"You look familiar," Peter said seeing her frown.
Kylie turned to him and smirked. "You had my grandmother on your show, Madam Rose."
"But she was a fraud," Peter said, "so how..."
Kylie laughed. "Fake psychics make money, real psychics get kidnapped for secret government agencies."
"I...she bamboogled me!" Peter complained.
"So psychic abilities are genetically dominant?" Egon asked curiously.
"Both my parents have talents," Kylie said with a smile, "and that's all I'm willing to say."
"Even if not a dominant trait, like attracts like," Egon said thoughtfully, "ensuring its continuation."
"I'll still stop by," Xander promised, "but something about this place makes my head hurt and makes it hard to sleep."
"You live on the fifth floor and use the elevator," Kylie pointed out.
"And?" Xander asked.
"And haven't you noticed you're the only one who does either of those things?" she asked in disbelief.
"Uh...no," Xander admitted.
Kylie shook her head. "Most people can't go beyond the second floor and only the gifted ones live on the third and none of us use the elevator."
"You've taken the elevator before," Xander said.
"Only with you," she said, "I trust you enough to ride with you and you push the buttons."
"What am I not noticing that everyone else gets?" Xander asked.
"Existential dread," Kylie replied. "First and second floors have a negligible amount, you just find yourself asking questions, which people who wear tinfoil, for something other than reasons of fashion, already do. Third floor has enough that you need active shields to hold it off."
"And the fifth?" Peter asked.
"You have to get past the fourth first," Kylie said, "and it makes you think something is lurking in the shadows ready to jump out at you. It's not fun, but I have managed to poke around up there for nearly half an hour before being forced to retreat."
Seeing everyone look at him, Xander shrugged. "I'm from Sunnydale, something was always lurking in the shadows ready to pounce."
"I didn't even make it up the stairs to the fifth," Kylie admitted, "three steps up and it feels like I was at the gates of hell. I may be strong, but I'm not that strong."
"And you never noticed?" Egon asked Xander.
"It did kinda remind me of the library in my old high school," Xander admitted, "but that still doesn't explain the elevator."
"Pushing the buttons feels like the inevitability of death," Kylie explained, "plus, what if you accidentally hit the wrong one and went to a higher floor?" She shuddered.
"That explains why I didn't get any visitors," Xander said.
"Think we should take the stairs?" Peter asked Egon.
"We can take the elevator down, but it would probably be best to start off slow," Egon agreed.
"Do we have to keep the hats on?" Peter asked.
"No," Kylie replied, "you only need them to get past the notice-me-not field." She came out from behind the counter. "Follow me."
"Sooo how did this all get set up?" Peter asked, taking the hat off and folding it up to stick in his jacket pocket.
"You'd have to ask one of the old timers," Kylie said, "my family didn't move here until sometime in the sixties."
"And you never questioned it?" Egon asked. "I mean surely you noticed how your life differed from the norm."
"My entire family is psychic and my mom pretends to be a fake while subtly helping people," Kylie replied.
"Touché," Peter said, amused and seeing where she was coming from.
"Fish don't question why there's water, they question why other creatures live on land," Kylie explained.
"Very insightful," Egon conceded.
"And the stairs," she announced, gesturing to the fire door before pushing it open.
"Never actually seen them," Xander said as he followed her into the stairwell, "the elevator was always open."
The four climbed the stairs which had the same excessive elegance as the lobby.
"Second floor," Kylie announced as they reached the door to the second floor.
"No noticeable effects," Egon noted.
"Then on to the third," She said cheerfully. When they reached the landing between the second and third she stopped to check. "Everyone OK?"
"Rigorous mental defenses are necessary in our line of work," Egon said.
"You would not believe the mental exercises he's had us do," Peter offered.
"On to three it is," Kylie said cheerfully. This time she didn't stop at three but pushed on to the landing between three and four. "Everyone still good?"
"I feel a tad paranoid," Peter admitted, "but with all the things that have attempted to kill me, it's a familiar place."
"Shields are holding," Egon reported.
"Ok then we press on," Kylie said. Once they'd reached the fourth she stopped. "I've never gone past this point."
"Yeah, I can see why," Peter admitted. He could almost feel the heat wafting off the stairs in front of him, even though he knew they were no warmer than the stairs they had already climbed. He knew that the moment he set a foot on them he'd hear the souls of the damned screaming out for-*SMACK!*
Xander and Kylie were almost as shocked as Peter was at the way Egon had just backhanded him.
"Act like a bitch, get smacked like a bitch," Egon said dryly.
Peter rubbed his cheek a smile slowly growing on his face. "OK, as motivational speeches go it could use some work, but in this instance, I'll give it a ten out of ten." Peter stepped forward and found the will to continue, slowly climbing the stairs in front of himself.
Egon turned to Xander a question in his eyes.
"I live there, I don't need any help," Xander replied.
"If you smack me, I'll stab you," Kylie told him.
"Fair enough," Egon said. "Would one of you mind slapping me and saying something drastically out of character so I may continue?"
Egon shook his head, his cheek bright red.
"If it wasn't for my horse, I'd never have made it into college," Xander said solemnly.
Egon turned and walked up the steps his brow furrowed. "What does a horse have to do with college these days?"
"If you're going to smack my cheek, don't hit my face," Kylie told him, trying and failing to sound casual, her blush apparent.
Xander swept her up bridal style and followed the other two up the steps. "You still underage?"
"For a few more months," she admitted. "You can't tell me I'll magically become more mature between now and then."
"No, not a great deal more mature," he admitted, "but if we aren't mature enough to wait a few months, we aren't mature enough to have a relationship."
"I can see the logic in that point of view, I'll be patient...until I can come up with an equally logical rebuttal," she conceded.
"The floor is remarkably clean considering the dust on this level," Egon noted, running a finger along the wall and then flicking the dust off a moment later.
"Not going to be my favorite place, but it's tolerable," Peter added.
"Stabby got loose," Xander replied leading them to his room, just a couple of doors down from the elevator, room #502. "I picked this room at random," Xander said, leaning down to open the door while still carrying Kylie.
"Nice," Peter said as the room was revealed, thinking that he wished his apartment looked half as nice before remembering what he'd been about to ask. "Stabby?"
"I'll introduce you in a minute," Xander replied, carrying Kylie inside and setting her on the bed as she reluctantly released him, shivering a little at the feel of the place.
"It is both nerve wracking and draining to be here," Egon announced, "I would suggest we move quickly."
"Sure," Xander agreed, collecting a number of items he'd hidden around the room and putting them on the bed, before dragging a steamer trunk out of the closet.
While Xander retrieved all his toiletries from the bathroom, the three examined everything he'd piled on the bed, needing a distraction.
"Those knives look like they belong in a museum," Peter said as he picked up a dagger that was clearly hand forged and at least two centuries old.
"Well they did come from a museum," Xander called out.
"You defaced a copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide?" Egon demanded, sounding appalled as he paged through the book and saw the many notations.
"Not I," Xander said, opening the trunk and sorting things into drawers, before moving on to the dresser.
"Some of these are...very interesting," Egon admitted, taking a second look at what had been written.
Suddenly Peter yelped and leapt on top of the bed clutching his ankle.
"You found Stabby!" Xander said cheerfully as a high-pitched squeak came from under the bed.
Typing by: Hawfeld