I've had this one in mind for a while, but haven't known how to start it. I love watching all those ghosthunting type shows on TV, and yeah, I was a little inspired by Halloween, as well...
I suck at coming up with titles and summaries.
Disclaimer: I don't own G.I Joe. The rest is all mine though... :D
Hannah Penton panned the camera slowly around Ward C. Beyond the small camera screen, everything was pitch black. The only thing she could see was what the small handheld video camera captured and shared with her on its screen. The tiny picture glowed an eerie greyish-green.
Hannah sidestepped around a concaved hole in the old tile floor, moving slowly, the camera sweeping around in sync with her head. This was incredible. And a little creepy.
And more than a little illegal. The building was closed - actually, it was condemned. Then again, it'd been condemned for at least fifty years.
Going by the empty bottles and trash that had been flung around the entrance of the place, and the tags scrawled across the walls with spraypaint, they were hardly the first people to break into the place. Most of it had looked pretty old, though; the last date she could find as she panned over the graffiti on the walls was '96. There'd been no recent footprints.
That was definitely the case here. No footprints - no spraypaint, no bottles, nothing. Just dust, a thick layer of it that swirled around her feet like mist from a fog machine. Cobwebs hung in thick grey drapes in the doorways.
Beds were still lined up against the walls.
Hannah turned and fixed her camera on the tall, lanky man not far behind her. "Zack, can we get the last static cam at the end of the room, please? Try and get all the beds in view, I want to be able to see as much as we can. Look at the restraints on the beds. I'll bet we get a lot of good stuff in here."
"Sure." Zack Barnett, the camera-tech, adjusted his thick-framed black glasses as he grabbed the tripod from the bag slung across his back.
"I really don't like this room."
Hannah swung her camera around to the third member of the team. "Why not?"
The question earned her a dry look from the pale-skinned, dark-haired woman - Jessie - standing just inside the door. "This is Ward C. You do realise that this is where they kept the people that were diagnosed as 'criminally insane'? I mean, it's freaky enough already - it's even worse when you know that. And I'm getting low temp readings already. It's six degrees colder just inside this door than it is just outside."
"Camera's set up," Zack said, rejoining them. He pulled a walkie talkie out of his pocket and pressed the button. "Ash, how we looking?"
The walkie talkie squawked back, astonishingly loud in the large room. "Beautiful, guys. Zack, your ass looks fat on camera."
"You've got two other asses to pick on, why choose mine?"
"Because Han and Jess are twice as likely to hurt me if I pick on them. Han, Jess, your asses are both smokin'."
Jessie turned to the camera mounted on the tripod at the far end of the room and gave it a thumbs up.
"Okay, ladies, head back and we'll sort out who gets to go hunting first."
"You forgot the gentleman," Zack said.
"No I didn't."
Sniggering, the three left the room, heading down the long corridor toward the stairs at the far end.
A muffled thump from behind one of the closed doors made them all jump and spin around.
"What was that?" Jessie asked. She glanced down at her video camera - in the darkness, her black eye makeup - contrasting sharply with her pale skin - made it look like she had empty sockets.
They waited for what seemed like a long time. Hannah's heart was pounding in her chest - she thought she might just jump right out of her skin if she heard that thump again. The image on her little screen shook slightly.
"Tell me why I do this, again?" Jessie asked. Her voice was a little higher than usual.
"Because you're a self-proclaimed Goth wannabe," Zack answered quickly.
Jessie smacked him on the arm, her many bangles and cuffs clinking, and just like that, the tension in the air was gone.
Hannah chuckled and checked her watch. It was just ticking past nine o'clock. Setup was already done. All they had to do now was decide where to go hunting first.
The small band of blue-suited troops retreated, dropping their weapons in favour of being able to run unhindered through the thick forest.
"Yo, Joe!" Flint shouted, rallying his soldiers.
Dusty popped up beside him, followed closely by Lady Jaye, Beachhead, Nomad, Jeckle, Storm Shadow, Scarlett, Spirit, and Mutt and Junkyard.
"We got 'em running scared," Flint said. "Not one of them gets away - if just one gets back to Cobra Commander with that intel, we're screwed. Those prototype weapons might just win us some ground on the Cobra front; we don't need the snakes getting wind of them and developing their own version. Spirit, Storm, Mutt and Junkyard -"
The three men didn't need to be told what to do. The expert tracker, the ninja, and the dog handler with his dog took off, disappearing into the forest. The others didn't need to follow too closely - they'd keep in touch via the tiny earpieces in their ears.
"Get it together, Joes," Flint ordered the rest of them. "Reload, patch up, whatever you need to do. This might turn into one helluva long night."
"It worked perfectly, Commander," said Crimson Guardsman 176 - also known as Trent - as he planted his combat-booted foot right in the middle of a patch of dirt. "They fell for it - the Joes think we're only after the intel on their new weapons."
"Good," the cold, hissing voice answered. "Are you there yet?"
"Almost, Commander," Trent advised, grabbing a twig and snapping it. "Half a mile to -"
"Hurry up, then. The sooner you get there, the sooner we get rid of the Joes."
Trent rolled his eyes. "Yes, sir," he said dutifully.
A few minutes later, he and his men met up at the designated rally point.
"You mean we're actually going in there?" one of the bluesuits - what was his name, again? Williams, that was it - asked.
"We're going in," Trent growled. "And you're not going to complain about it again, otherwise you won't have just the Joes to worry about."
"But that's - didn't you see the sign?"
One of the other troops smacks Williams on the back of his helmet and hissed, "Shut up!"
Trent held back an impatient sigh. "Alright. The Joes think we're unarmed, so they probably won't want to shoot. When we're inside, we split up into six groups of three and spread out around the building. You know the drill."
The Joes regrouped at the treeline, staring at the massive, rambling old building in front of them. Three stories tall, with several wings and courtyards connecting them to the main structure, it looked like only the vines creeping up the walls were holding it together - it was in a rather impressive state of disrepair.
"In there?" Jeckle asked doubtfully.
"In there," Spirit answered.
She glanced up at the Native American man. "Not always. I heard you crack a joke two months ago."
Flint - CO of the mission - interrupted impatiently. "Two-man teams. Check in every half hour. We cover the entire building room by room, one wing at a time starting with…that one. We'll call it the east wing." He pointed to the L-shaped wind on the far left; the eastern-most building.
"Ten points for originality," Jeckle said.
Flint ignored her.
"Flint, old places like this often had tunnels connecting one wing to another," Lady Jaye advised. "We could search all night, and not find anyone if this place has them."
"Mutt, you and Junk and Nomad find the tunnels, if there are any, and secure them," Flint ordered.
"Oh, sure," Nomad grumbled. "Give us the freaky part."
Jeckle sniggered. "Hey, at least you've got the dog. They sense things better than people do, you know."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," Jeckle said quickly. "Nothing. Forget I said anything."
"That makes me feel a whole lot better."
Flint cleared his throat. "Move out. Yo, Joe."
The warrant officer paired off - surprise, surprise - with Lady Jaye. Beachhead and Spirit disappeared into the darkness. Storm Shadow and Scarlett headed off in the other direction, taking the long way around in case any Cobra troops were still hanging around the perimeter.
"Guess it's you an' me, then, Jeckle," Dusty said, grinning. His teeth were bright in his warpaint-covered face.
Jeckle clapped him on the back. "Let's go find us some snakes, buddy."
They snuck off toward the building. Jeckle took one long look over her shoulder at the rear side of the sign they'd gathered at - the sign that read, "Massey's Asylum for the Criminally and Incurably Insane'.
Jeckle had thought that had boded ill enough. When she saw what was on the back of the sign, though, she faltered and grabbed Dusty's sleeve. "Dusty…"
"What?" he asked, and then he saw what she was pointing at. "What in the…"
Somebody had spray painted the back of the sign.
It read, 'Welcome to Massacre Mansion'.
"Well," the easygoing desert trooper said. "That's comfortin'."
The building creaked, settling its mouldering old bones. No mice skittered through its walls. No birds nested in the rafters. Everything was still, silent.
It had been a long time since anybody had set foot in here.
The cameras set up in a few of the rooms watched, humming inaudibly to themselves, red recording eyes unblinking.
The thick cobwebs blew, as if somebody had just breezed past them.
Dust, long undisturbed, swirled.
The building creaked.