A/N: Well, this is weirness and a half; I'm making a rather unlikely crossover here, so I don't know how it'll turn out. It is fun to write, though. So, tell me your thoughts on it. Anyway, I don't know that this will get updated very often; I'm a terribly procrastinator.
It was amazing how a phenomenon as natural as a thick fog could make one so inexplicably anxious. This was doubled by the fact that it was late at night, and tripled by the fact that the individual in question had never driven on this street, in this state, in this country, in his entire life of twenty years. And the cherry topping the entire delightful situation was that he was doing it because someone had done the unthinkable; someone had abducted his brother. He grit his teeth thinking about it; the dead guards, the empty, ransacked room, the windows thrown open wide, curtains billowing like craven spirits each time a gust of wind blew into the space… It would have been another story entirely if there had been a note, would have made so much sense had there been a ransom… and yet there was nothing. He knew how to deal with the "Give me your company or else" types, could have easily dealt with a typical, "We'll return him unharmed for this much money…" But no. There was nothing. Whoever had taken him had left no clue as to the reason, and trying to figure out why had nearly driven him mad… And maybe it would have, had he not stopped dwelling on the "why" in favor of the "where."
He had tracked them. Oh, he could have hired someone to do it, but this called for his own, personal attention. He was a smart man, and he knew it; he had picked up the trail. He had asked the questions. He had done his homework. And there was no way in sanity that he was going to let whoever had captured his younger sibling get away without facing the heat of his own personal wrath. His knuckles whitened as he gripped the steering wheel tightly, and it wasn't all nervous tension. Rage was boiling within him, waiting for the proper target to vent itself on, and he was determined to find that person- or persons, if there was more than one.
But why there? he wondered. Why all the way to the United States? Why to some back-water hick-ville town that nobody cares about? Did they honestly think they could hide? Did they think they could keep Mokuba from me simply by bringing him here? However, he wouldn't admit, not even to himself, that there was something more that disturbed him, something greater than the kidnapping and the clue-following and this infernal fog… It was the shear cultishness of the place he was going; the bizarre history, the large gaps in the story… But they're nothing but stories, he chided himself, daring to add just a hair more pressure to the gas pedal. This town, Silent Hill… whatever happened there can just stay in the past.
The dense, billowing fog hid her until it was nearly too late; the figure seemed to materialize before him, and with a sharp, surprised curse, he slammed on the breaks and swerved, barely keeping control of his expensive car, barely avoiding the new obstacle in the road… And then, there was a sickening thump as the vehicle plowed into something- someone- and with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, Seto Kaiba brought his sports car to a halt. Not this… Not now… He climbed out, circling the vehicle once, twice, but finding nothing. There was no trace of the person he had hit, not a scratch on his car. He shook his head. This is crazy.
Even though he had walked only ten feet from it, his car had all but disappeared into the gray mists, and he had to follow the eerie glow of the headlights to find it again, all the while continually, unconsciously glancing over his shoulder. He almost bumped into the hood. With another growled curse, he circled around to the driver's side and opened the door to get in, but paused, noticing something that he could have sworn was not there when he had gotten out.
"Welcome to Silent Hill," the sign read, or at least, he was pretty sure it did. It was covered with age-old grime and rust and something that looked disturbingly like dried blood, but he wrote the latter off as nervous energy yielding an overactive imagination. Well, I'm here, anyway. He climbed back into his car and pulled the door shut with no small amount of relief. Now to find Mokuba and get outta here before I go crazy. As he reached out to shift the car into drive, he caught a glimpse of the driver's side window from the corner of his eye, and let out a startled cry, turning completely towards it, but at the same time, leaning away. Fresh blood had been painted on the clear surface, and it slowly, steadily, dripped lines of crimson down the glass, gradually marring what had been originally formed. It was some sort of strange symbol rather like something a cult would use. He could make out little detail, since it was slowly disappearing in minute scarlet trails.
He looked away quickly, out the windshield for a moment, and then back again. It was gone. …Definitely going crazy. On impulse, he reached down to flick on the radio, perhaps just for a sense of normalcy, but received nothing but faint static for his troubles. Sighing, he hit the "scan" button to search out a station for him, but after a moment of scrolling through available frequencies, it came full-circle, finding nothing, and returned to static. Great. He absently hit the apparatus with the flat of his palm, but, of course, it didn't seem to help. Noticing one of Mokuba's CDs lying on the floor, he fed that into the player instead and fully expected a loud burst of drums and electric guitars to come from the speakers, yet still, all he heard was that faint little bit of white noise. Ugh… I'll have to have that looked at.
He decided to ignore the problem for now and started the vehicle forward at a slow, careful crawl. No more surprises, he told himself, but deemed that somehow unlikely. He drove this way for, perhaps, ten minutes, although it seemed a lot longer. He had forgotten about the CD player being on until the static grew inexplicably more intense. I could understand if it were the radio, but the CD player's still on… The static continued to grow louder and louder, and he fumbled to turn it off entirely, sparing a glance downward to do so… and when he looked up again-
Another startled curse. Another frantic jerk of the steering wheel. This time, the shape in the road was not a human, but that of a deer, and the car spun sideways, stopping along side it, unnervingly close. It looked at him with black pits that could have been called eyes… once. It was a thing weeks dead yet standing before him, unmoving, not even with a whisper of breath. The fur was gone in large patches, revealing rotting flesh and muscle and white bone glistening with putrid fluids. The stench of death rose from the thing as it stared at him, and he stared back, dimly aware that the static coming from the speakers had reached a pitched fervor. What… in the… He blinked once. Twice. But the vision didn't fade. It's the paranoia. It has to be, he though desperately. There's no way I'm looking at… something from a B-movie! Slowly, solemnly, the grotesque creature turned its head away, and Seto could see the muscle movement in the neck, since there was no flesh covering it. On stiff legs, it moved on without a sound, disappearing into the mist, its decaying flesh hanging limply from its gaunt form.
Seto looked down at his hand on the steering wheel and realized that it was trembling ever so slightly. He clenched it into an angry fist. What's gotten into me! I shouldn't be hallucinating like this. That couldn't have been real. Yet, no amount of convincing could remedy the fact that he suddenly wanted a gun. Start driving, he reminded himself, taking his foot off the break where it had firmly planted itself. Turning the car about, he once again began to creep down the ill-kept road, glancing unhappily at his gas-gauge and noting that the arrow was fast approaching the "E." There hadn't been a gas station for a long time.
Perhaps five miles later, the tank finally puttered out of gas. He forced the car to coast for as long as he could stand, suddenly unwilling to leave its confines, but after another mile, he could coax no more out of it. After the briefest of hesitations, he vacated the vehicle and began making the journey on foot. By the general look of things, he didn't expect to find anyplace to refuel his car, or do anything else that involved civilization. He had seen no signs of life since long before he had seen that post declaring that he had, in fact arrived in Silent Hill. He strode into the haze, his long silver-gray coat billowing as though it were merely an extension of the mist, outlined only by its blood-red trim.
With the fog came a creeping cold that settled on him, not so much chilling his flesh as it did his soul. It somehow seemed utterly unnatural and overwhelming, but he chose to ignore it. Once Mokuba and I get home… I am taking away every survival-horror game he has. He scowled unconsciously, his classically petulant expression falling easily onto his face. He could deal with the fog, and the cold, and the hallucinations; even monsters, if it came to that, although he still chalked that up to delusion. He'd have to deal with it. His brother needed him, and he would come. That's how it was. That's how it worked.
A slight scuff behind him, and he jumped. Then he scowled at himself for being too easy a startle as he turned about, only to see the bizarre creature that could only be called a dead deer standing docilely before him, lidless, sunken pits of eyes peering at him intently.
He eyed it disdainfully and sidestepped. "Get out of my way," he growled. "No zombie freak is going to deter me from finding Mokuba." The creature, of course, did not answer him, and he briefly wondered what sort of insanity had compelled him to speak to it in the first place. This is utterly asinine. The deer continued to stare at him, turning its head to watch as he moved past it. Once he was around it, he chanced a look back over his shoulder. The dull eyes stared. The head seemed to sink… and then the rotted skin of its neck tore loose like wet paper, and with a sickeningly liquid sound of rancid juices and decayed meat sliding over each other, it slipped off of the exposed-muscled neck and hit the pavement with a dull thud. Seto quirked an eyebrow at the still-standing body. "I think you lost something." With that, he turned and walked away, thinking that perhaps the undead creature wasn't the only one who had lost his head.
The crunch of broken pavement was his only company for some time, and had it not been for that single rhythmic sound, he almost would have sworn he was in a gray, clouded limbo. Time seemed irrelevant; he didn't know if it was passing slowly or quickly or not passing at all. He stubbed his toe on a chunk of cement, though not hard, and glanced down to examine the offending object Different material than the road. Must be there's something more here. He squinted through the inarticulate haze and took a couple of steps off to the side. Sure enough, he found a cracked, broken curb, and over that, a sidewalk in the same amount of disrepair. He stepped up onto it and tried to see if there were any buildings nearby, but saw nothing.
As he proceeded cautiously forward again, his footsteps were echoed syncopatedly ahead of him, having the tempo of an easy mammalian gallop. He tensed… and all at once, out of the fog, a canine shape came hurtling at him, gnashing its teeth, its unnatural jaw split wide by mutation. Seto managed a strangled cry and put his arms up to fend off the blow. The jagged teeth sank into the leather of his black gauntlet, the force knocking him to the ground. He threw the creature off with a fierce jerk of his arm and cast about for something- anything- to defend himself with. His eyes fell on the hunk of cement and he reached for it, but the dog scrambled after him, its partially skinless feet smacking wetly against the ground. As it opened its mouth to attack him again, he realized that the split in the jaw ran all the way to its throat, offering him an unnaturally detailed view of the inside of the neck. The creature was rank with the odor of rot, probably from both itself and what it had been eating. He landed a solid kick to its chest as it came forward, and then lunged for the chunk of cement, grabbing it and coming to his feet. The beast once again tried to come after him with a liquid gurgle in the back of it throat, but this time he caught it with another kick, this one coming from underneath and lifting it into the air. Before the could think about what he was doing, he brought the cement down on its head with all his might. The blow connected, breaking through the decayed skin and crushing the brittle skull, sending oozing gray matter and rancid blood spewing out in a grisly shower.
Then he looked down at his handiwork and quickly, disgustedly, looked away. That's just delightful. Really reminds me of the fact that I haven't eaten in awhile… He rose from his kneeling position and stepped past the dog so he wouldn't have to look at it again. He wasn't particularly squeamish, but… There's still no reason to examine something that disgusting. And then; Oh, great. It's on my coat. He sighed. Well, not much chance of a dry-cleaner around here. Cleaning it off probably wouldn't matter anyway; he had an increasingly sinking feeling that it would be far from the last mess today. Ignoring the streak of gore that traveled from shoulder to waistline, he dropped the cement and walked on through the fog, this time keeping a careful eye out for a something akin to a more suitable weapon. Somehow, bashing in heads with rocks seemed a tad… barbaric to him. He searched the ground, also not failing to listen for the telltale sounds of possibly hostile mutants, dogs or otherwise. Did somebody drug me? This entire thing must be a hallucination. Still, it seemed real enough, and he didn't particularly care to take chances.
His steps crunched on something, and he glanced down to see shards of glass littering the sidewalk, some in wicked, lengthy spears, some in tiny crystalline pieces, and the rest ground to a fine powder. He knelt and retrieved a particularly nasty looking piece, giving it a halfhearted examination. It almost seemed like a decent weapon… but against whatever monstrosities he would run into around here, he wasn't so sure. He let the glass slip from his hand, and it shattered into a dozen smaller pieces when it struck the sidewalk. Now... what's all this glass from? A window, maybe? He peered through the haze and was proven correct in his thinking when he spied the source, where large, jagged blades stuck out like teeth from the opened maw of a predator. A few display mannequins stood just inside, sporting years -old fashions in various poses, all of them just torsos. Seto examined the store-front, trying to decide whether or not the building had stocked more than clothes. With half a shrug, he finally came to the conclusion that the only way to know was to check, and stepped carefully over the sharpened spears of glass, into the store.
The plush carpet in the display window was stained with blood- and it didn't look too old, still retaining its color rather than appearing brown or blackish. For the briefest of moments he wondered where it had come from- and then he decided that it simply was not worth thinking about. He had a feeling that there would be an awful lot of things that wouldn't be explained in the near future, and dwelling on them may only result in temporary bouts of insanity- which was decidedly not what he needed right now. He made his way inside, past he clothes racks, to find that the store did, indeed, carry other items. Now if they have firearms... that would make my day that much easier. His indigo eyes perused a wall display of yard tools and such, and just as a "safety precaution," he selected a heavy-duty spade with a sharpened, pointed blade and carried it ready at his side.
The store was in a state of relative disorder, the display cases of inexpensive jewelry shattered with contents strewn over the floor, clothes racks tipped over, merchandise littering the aisles so that he had to either step on it or push it out of the way with is foot. He stopped his foot over an opened, yellowed notebook with something scrawled in red ink or blood on the exposed page. That symbol- it looks like the one I saw in the car- probably is. He knelt cautiously and picked it up. Wonder if this one will disappear, too? Whatever medium had been used on the paper was raised and shone as though it were wet. When he touched it, it proved not to be, although it was tacky and still warm, despite the cool air. Wax. Seems like a lot of bother to paint on there, but what's the point...? He tore the page out, and, folding neatly in half, he slipped it into the inner pocket of his coat. ...I have no idea what significance it has, but somehow it seems worth keeping... worth remembering. He allowed the rest of the notebook to slip from his fingers and hit the floor in a cloud of dust, the noise magnified tenfold by the otherwise-prevailing silence.
He walked slowly about the store, still intent on finding some form of gun, but growing more and more certain that he would not. His foot scraped against some random debris, causing him to look quickly downward to see what it was. ...Just more junk, he noted with disgust, pushing the broken children's toy aside with the toe of his boot. It scraped against some other items, tipping something over. The quiet clatter seemed ear-shattering in the stillness. The sound almost seemed to echo in his ears, repeating over and over again... and then her realized that it was no echo or after-effect, but something new altogether, a steady scratching like something rough moving over a wooden floor.
What in the- He looked behind him, then to either side, and then in front... but, although the scraping grew louder, he could see nothing. Where is it-? He chanced a glance above him- and with a cry, ducked and rolled away as a large, brown "claw" of sorts swung at him. From the floor he looked up at the insectoid creature on the ceiling. It was vaguely mantis-like, but with more legs; almost arachnid, but not quite that either. It dropped to the floor in front of him. He really didn't care to spend anymore time figuring out what it was. He was presently more interested in ending its miserable existence. He swung the shovel at what he assumed to be the creature's head- he really couldn't be too sure- but it leapt up high again and clung to the ceiling. Seto decided that the store had outlasted its usefulness and beat a hasty retreat back through the shattered display window. The bug- for lack of a better word- scraped after him and slid down over the broken glass, embedding a few pointed shards in its abdomen. It didn't seem to notice as it cleared the obstacle and made its way up the wall until it was a couple of feet above the window. Seto stepped back cautiously, consciously putting more distance between himself and the monster- hopefully enough so that it couldn't leap on him from its precarious perch.
With a thrust of its chitinous legs, it sailed through the air to land heavily in front of him. He suddenly wished that he had found, at the least, a pickaxe in the store. He hefted the spade, more than ready to defend himself, but a noise alerted him to a new problem. The source of the gurgling moan remained hidden in the shadows at first, but as it hobbled out, he recognized it to be human- sort of. Mist and darkness shrouded its form, but it appeared to be a grossly misshapen bipedal creature. If it were ever a man, there was little resemblance left in the silhouette, but enough that he could discern that much. The insect creature clicked toward him across the hard pavement, and he hit it solidly with the shovel. It stumbled back perhaps a bit, but it didn't seem too damaged, much to Kaiba's relative dismay. Then to add to the confusion, another dog-like abomination came running out at him. Very grudgingly, Seto Kaiba turned and fled. There was a time to fight, but not when it was him and a shovel against three.
Seto pressed himself against a wall around the corner. If they were to come, let them- he had no fear. One at a time, he would have a good fighting chance. On a strange impulse, he pulled the scrap of notebook paper he had picked up earlier from his pocket and unfolded it. Although the creases had cracked the wax, the embossed symbol was still clearly visible, the red gleaming eerily in the tiny amount of pre-dawn light that passed through the cover of the fog. He squinted at it, still hoping to recognize something in the complex patterns that made sense to him. Slowly, he became aware that the edges of his vision were turning black. He blinked, trying to look at something else, but found himself still staring at the scrap. He dropped it. The blackness continued to converge on his vision until all he could see was that red sign, whether his eyes were opened or shut. He passed a hand over them with no effect. And then, just like that, it was gone, and he was alone with the darkness.
And then he woke up.
Simple as that, he opened his eyes and he was in his own bed at the mansion. There was nothing amiss; it all felt right- and yet, his mind was telling him it wasn't. This is a dream. He looked around again, however, and chuckled to himself. He was slightly dismayed to find that it was a mildly nervous sound. No, the other was a dream... But he couldn't make himself believe either conclusion. Two realities fought for dominance at the same time. He remembered Silent Hill; he remembered going. He remembered tracking Mokuba there; weeks of effort. And yet, at the same time, he clearly remembered none of it happening. Were they both real? Were they both a dream? The two parallel timelines continued to barrette his mind for acknowledgement as he sat up and placed his forehead in his hand. ...Worst thing is... right now, I'm not even sure I want to know.