Ch 9

Illusions of Betrayal

HG Wells was a mustache twirling super villain so her escape from limbo prison wasn't that surprising, what shocked the warehouse team to their very core was who helped her escape.

Part 2: The Turn

Myka huddled closer to Helena as they looked through the hazy rain for the island. Helena had managed to pass her note to Claudia without Sykes or Marcus noticing. She was grateful for the small miracles they had been allowed since they started this mission.

She felt Helena's arm on hers, grasping it lightly and moving it away from her other arm. She had to remind herself to stop touching her sleeve. They had come this far, they needed to finish it to save the Warehouse.

Ile d'lf was a white lump rising from the dark ocean. The chateau had closed at five thirty and aside from a lone navigation beacon pulsing red against the night sky, the island was completely dark. Marcus Diamond steered the boat into the cove and shut it off when they reached the shore. They climbed out of the boat. Myka and Helena helped Jane as they carefully walked over the rain soaked rocks until they reached the wall of the chateau.

The five of them lowered themselves behind the jagged rock platform and waited for the lone guard on this side to make his rounds. Once he was in range Helena pointed her Tesla at him and he went down. Marcus went over to the fallen guard to tie him up. Marcus and Walter took Jane in the opposite direction to take care of the other guard and to wait for them. He told them if they weren't back in two hours he'd kill Jane. It took all Helena had not to roll her eyes at his overdramatic villain antics. They knew he wouldn't kill her, he still thought he needed her.

They started down the steps. On the landing they found a wooden trap door on the ground, secured to the stone lip by a padlock latch. The padlock looked new however the latch itself was old and rusted by years of exposure to the salt air. Myka pulled out a mini crowbar and gently wiggled the latch free of the wood. They both crotched down and lifted the hatch slowly so it wouldn't squeak. Myka turned on her flashlight and peered into the dark shaft. A wooden ladder dropped into the shaft, it was bolted into the stone but it looked as old as the latch.

They looked at each other than started climbing down slowly with their flashlights in their mouths. Helena ducked down the second wrung and shut the hatch behind her, leaving a gap for her fingers and flipped the latch back into place so it wouldn't look like it was tampered with. The ladder creaked and shifted, the bolts rasping inside their stone holes. With her flashlight in her mouth Myka looked to see how much further they had, she gave a worried look up at Helena and continued down.

With a splintering crack, the rung beneath her gave and lurched downward. She grabbed for the next rung to stop her fall, but the sudden shift in her weight was too much for the ladder and it started twisting sideways. With a shriek and a pop the bolts gave away and both fell slamming into the stone back first.

They both groaned and blinked rapidly. "Helena, are you ok?"

"Myka are you alright?"

"Yes, that's going to leave a mark but otherwise I'm fine. You? " Myka replied rolling over slowly letting the pain subside. They were lucky that they didn't have that much further to go the impact could've been far worse.

"Me as well" Helena replied rubbing her back. She spotted their flashlights and slowly got up to retrieve them and handed Myka hers.

Myka shone the flashlight along the walls her mind recalling the map, then pointed towards the passageway they need to follow. They were in the upper dungeon level, there was another below them and below that was the oubliettes. They started down the passageway; they shined their lights on the dozen tiny coal pit cells, the steel doors having been removed for safety purposes.

They kept going passing more and more tiny cells. Myka shuttered being here almost felt like being in the dark vault of the warehouse, the sense of dread and despair was heavy. To Helena it felt like the ghosts of the imprisoned still haunted the place. Myka reached for her hand and she took it gladly. This was not a place they wanted to linger in so they quickened their pace.

They finally came to a wooded door with no lock. The placard said in French. DO NOT ENTER, AUTHORIZED PERSONAL ONLY. Helena placed her finger through the latch and pulled, the door swung open an inch. The hinges creaked as she pulled the door the rest of the way open and slid through with Myka following and easing the door shut behind her.

They were in four foot by four foot room, to the right of the door was a ledge and to the left was a cylindrical stairwell. They picked their way down the tight steps to the next landing and found another door. They stepped through and entered another tunnel, this one barely four feet wide and five feet tall forcing them to duck as they made their way down the tunnel.

The Regents had hidden it well. An average person would not be able to find it. There were even move cells after they exited the tunnel but unlike their counterparts on the upper level where the tours went through these were still equipped with their vertically barred doors that were still locked.

Scanning the walls as they went with their flashlights, Myka found what they were looking for a ten foot long side tunnel set into the left hand wall. They went through that tunnel and found another hatch. They pried it open and found another ladder that appeared to go down at least six feet. Helena went down first, then Myka followed this on was sturdier and they both made it down to the ground without incident. And they were met with a tunnel that was even narrower and shorter making them have to get down on their knees and crawl while holding their flashlights in their mouths.

Helena would've appreciated the view in front of her more if the ground wasn't filthily and various bugs weren't skittering around them.

They went down the tunnel until they reached a steel barred black square in the floor. They were smashed up next to each other as they examined the grate, the hinges and latch had been removed and the bars were scabrous with corrosion. At the same time they gripped the grate tightly and lifted it free coughing from the dust as they fell backwards.

They set it aside and peered down, the oubliette lay at the bottom of a narrow six foot long shaft, the cell itself was four feet to a side and three feet deep – neither wide enough for a prisoner to lie fully prone nor tall enough to stand without being bent at the waist.

Helena had been in different prisons in her life, the most recent had taken her identity and replaced it with another, however her own conciseness was nowhere, she remembered nothing of what happened and that was almost a blessing from the bronzing. There she knew everything that was happening and could see everything that happening. She saw the warehouse fill up, she saw the various agents come and go. Life moved, time passed, her mind worked but she was frozen. She traveled through time as an immobile object and it drove her mad. Time only heals all wounds when you can actually move forward.

"Helena?" she heard Myka's soft voice break through her thoughts. She closed her eyes, opened them and looked at the young woman's concerned face and smiled at her.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm fine" Helena replied. Maybe it was all worth it. She had, had many lovers but none had as much empathy as her strong willed Myka. It was her empathy that gave her the strength to move on, to move forward.

"Do you want me to go down there?" Myka asked watching Helena's features. Her face had become the mask she wore so well once again. But she had seen it, the fear in her eyes, the sadness. That prison down there reminded her of her own.

"I'm quite alright, darling. And I'm smaller than you" she replied.

"I'll manage" Myka told her.

"Nonsense" Helena said and moved to quickly for Myka to react and lowered herself into the tiny cell. "What I could use is a long hot bath when we're through with this" she shouted up at Myka.

"I'm not going to argue with that" Myka replied and handed Helena the crowbar. But they were not done with this. Helena bottling her feelings inside was never good for anyone. She wasn't in prison and she wasn't alone anymore.

Dropping down on her hands and knees she clicked on her torch and stuck it between her teeth. After two minutes of feeling around the cell she spotted a picture on one of the blocks. She worked to pry a gap, inching the block away from the wall. With a grunt she pulled it free, then she dropped to her belly to shine the light inside. She sighed and reached her hand inside to feel along the wall. With her arm elbow deep inside the wall her hand hit something hard and she pulled it out. It was a small plain wooden box, she opened it and inside laid the final piece of the map.

She rolled the map of carefully and placed in the cylinder on her waist. She pushed the block into place. Myka reached down and pulled her out of the cell.