Shinigami-cat: Well, sorry it's taken a while to get the next chapter up, I have a few assignments and lots of homework to deal with… I OWN NOTHING!
The pair left the burnt out apartment and walked into a back alley. Trash cans overflowed with garbage as giant rats scurried around looking for scraps. By doing this, the filthy creatures stirred up of noxious stench, making Arthur gag.
"So where is the entry to Under London?" He asked.
"It is as the name suggests." Said Francis simply. "Under London is situated under the town on London itself… and there's only one way to get under London." He tapped his foot against a manhole.
Arthur looked at Francis in disbelief. "No way frog. There's no way I'm going to scurry around in the sewers like a common rat!"
"Then you've failed your mission, haven't you?" Asked Francis. Even though he was wearing a gas mask, Arthur could tell the Frenchman was smirking.
"Bloody frog." Muttered Arthur. He didn't like the idea of jumping down into a dank, dark place. Getting trapped in a place where he couldn't see or move put him on edge.
Francis chuckled and pulled the manhole open. "Come along. We don't have time to waste hanging around here."
"Don't pressure me frog." Snapped Arthur. "I'm on edge here."
"Good. When you're not on edge you're taking up too much space."
"Did you just call me fat?" Snapped Arthur.
"No time for chit chat." Said Francis quickly. "It's time to take the plunge." Without another word, Francis jumped down the manhole, his feet making a soft splash as they hit the water. Biting back the nagging fear in the back of his mind, Arthur jumped down after the Frenchman.
In all honesty, Arthur preferred the smell of the garbage compared to the rank and vile smell of rotting human waste. It made him sick to his stomach. He envied Francis for actually wearing a gas mask in this place. Instead of admitting his weakness he simply followed the Frenchman around in the sewers.
'I hate this place.' Thought Arthur miserably. 'Why do I even have to go into this dark place? I don't think some of the structures here are too stable…'
"Are you even listening to me, Arthur?" Asked Francis.
Francis sighed a little. "I said, are you okay? You seem to be distracted. Are you claustrophobic or something?"
"Not in the slightest." Said Arthur. "It's just some places… They trigger memories and they make me uncomfortable. Besides it stinks here."
"Oh right… I almost forgot that… My mask filters everything. I guess it's both good and bad." He shrugged and continued to walk. "Oh well, we're almost there anyway." Arthur rolled his eyes. He was becoming increasingly impatient with the Frenchman.
"The agency must be insane… Letting a creep like you run around and drag people into sewers." Muttered Arthur.
Either Francis didn't hear him or chose to ignore him. After several minutes of walking around with nothing but the sounds of rats chewing on all kinds of things, they came across a giant barred, rusted great. It seemed like Francis' intention was to pass through it and to the other side.
"Impossible." Muttered Arthur. "We'll have to find another way around. Did you get us lost or something?"
Francis chuckled and started to press some of the damp bricks. After a few seconds a hole in the wall opened up, creating a doorway. "Here is our way through. Let's get going now. We can't waist our time now, can we?" He smiled and happily walked down into the dark hallway.
Arthur frowned and quickly followed. He didn't like how this was turning out. It seemed all so sceptical and suspicious. 'This is just… odd. Something doesn't seem right here at all.'
As they walked further and further down the hallway, Arthur was grateful that the stench of raw sewerage started to disappear, replaced with something that smelt salty. It was odd, but better than before. Almost suddenly the brick floor changed to a metal one and a strange luminescent blue light shone from the roof. It looked like a bunch of maggoty creatures crawling around inside thick glass suspended from the ceiling.
'Glow worms perhaps?'
Suddenly, Francis grabbed Arthur's arm, causing him to gasp in shock. "Bloody frog! Get your hands off me!"
"Relax." Cooed Francis. "You were so engrossed with watching the lights you didn't even see the transport." He gestured over towards a rather large looking pod. It seemed to be made of some kind of copper. It had a door on the side and inside were two lounges with seat belts and one large, industrial looking leaver. The Englishman felt foolish for not seeing it beforehand.
"Right… What the bloody hell is that thing?"
Francis chuckled and stepped inside. "Well, this is the only way for one to get down here without running down a million flights of stairs… There are actually about ten of these set up all over London… a hundred all together in the whole of the UK, but enough about that. Let's get going."
Arthur nodded and stepped inside the pod like machine. He sat down on the lounge and quickly did up the seat belt. He wasn't sure what was going to happen next, but if these seats had seat belts he could be sure that it was going to be quick and probably violent in some way.
The Frenchman simply chuckled and quickly pulled the leaver, closing the door to the pod and starting it on its decent. Francis quickly jumped into a seat on the lounge across from Arthur as a clicking noise resinated through the pod.
"I-Is this supposed to happen?" Asked Arthur in concern.
The Frenchman simply laughed and waved it off. "That's just this contraption lining up before we get shot down… Well, dropped is probably the more appropriate term."
"Dropped?" Asked Arthur in shock. Before he could voice his concern there was one final click and the pod dropped. Arthur was thankful that there were seat belts. If not he would have flown right out of the seat and hit the ceiling.
Once he had gotten his head around the sudden drop he noticed the flashing colours that started to pass by the window; reds, yellows, oranges and whites. The montage of colours set his nerves on fire and his body tremble. It triggered something in the back of his mind. 'Fire… I can't… No… What the heck am I…? Why am I…? Damn it. Why do I small smoke? Is this… Is this thing broken?'
Suddenly the pod shuddered to a halt, causing the Englishman to jump in surprise. "Wh-what was that?"
Francis chuckled a little. "Don't worry. That just means that we've arrived at our destination… Are you okay though? You look like you're going to faint."
"I'm fine." Muttered Arthur. "I just… I need to take my medication soon."
"It's none of your business." Snapped Arthur. "We all have our problems…"
Francis nodded in agreement. "Indeed… Maybe you'll fit in better than I originally thought…"
"What are you implying?" Snarled Arthur.
"Nothing really… Just that sanity may not be required for this job." Said Francis. "Sanity here is required in limited quantities, You're not nearly mad enough to be rejected." He unbuckled his seat belt and stood up. "You're like them, but not them, not like us… Fore I am them and you must be on your way." He pulled on the leaver again and the door sprung open.
Arthur glared at the Frenchman and quickly removed himself from the pod. 'What the hell is wrong with that man? Does he know more about me than he's letting on?'
He looked out onto the land of Under London and was amazed. This place seemed to be in a huge cave like structure, filled with buildings similar to the normal streets of London and quite honestly it shocked him. He didn't think that Under London would be so huge.
Francis simply chuckled at Arthur's amazement and started to walk down a small flight of steps and onto the street. "It is amazing isn't it? Did you know that this place is not just a place for the gangs and criminals? It's also for the musicians, artists and the scientists of the world that need a place not bound by morals or this perfect society that the world above maintains… Just remember, you need to find the White Rabbit if you want to find this girl. I will be watching from afar and move in if I see the need to."
"Whatever." Muttered Arthur. He looked around at the people walking the street in their mismatched garments. "Before you said that you're like the people down here, what did you mean by that?" He turned back to look at Francis, only to see that the Frenchman was gone. "… Typical. Count on the French to turn tail and run when you need them for anything other than wine, cheese or sex."
With a sigh, Arthur started to walk through the streets of Under London. It was a strange place filled with things he honestly never expected to see in a place like this; mother's holding bub in one arm while grabbing another child's arm, young men and women walking side by side enjoying each other's company, older gentlemen discussing what seemed to be politics or something of similar nature. There didn't seem to be any difference here to the world above.
'Remarkable…' Thought the Englishman. 'But I can't be drawn in here… I need to find that hit man. The sooner I find this White Rabbit the sooner I can find the girl… I wonder why those gangs wanted her anyway?'
Eventually his walk through the street brought him to a chemist. The chemist in question looked rather dank and unappealing, but they might have some medication and seeing as how Arthur wouldn't be back home anytime soon, he would need it.
He walked inside the shop and was surprised to see how things had been set up in this place. It looked more like a butchers shop then a chemist. There was a small, dwarfed man behind the counter putting bottles on a shelf. "Excuse me." Called Arthur. "Is this a chemist?"
The man turned around and squinted his beady eyes. "Yeah, I'd say so… Who are you then? Never seen you before. Are you new to Under London?
"I should think so." Muttered Arthur. "Um… do you stock Omega Blockers, type B?"
"OB's?" Asked the chemist in shock. "You must be barmy lad. We don't stock something so pricey. If you want to forget, go drink at that pub. It's run by those brothers. I forget their names but they are polar opposites. One swing of that stuff that they brew and you won't remember the past twenty years of your life."
"Alcohol doesn't work in my case." Muttered Arthur bitterly. "It just leaves me with a hangover and regret in the morning… Isn't there something you can give me?"
"Depends on how far back you want to forget." Said the chemist. "One year, two years back?"
"The age of ten and back." Said Arthur calmly.
The chemist nodded. "I see… Most of the people here don't want to remember their younger years… I can't really prescribe anything for you apart from Alpha Blockers. You'll just need to double the dose if you want to forget so far back… but even then it may not work."
"Deal." Said Arthur. "I'll take two bottles of the stuff then."
The chemist nodded and handed Arthur the drugs. "Best warn you though, this stuff is mighty strong."
The Englishman shrugged and too the bottles from the chemist and tossed him a few coins. "It doesn't bother me. I've been taking OB's since I was eleven. I doubt a few AB's are going to make me ill."
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"Why do I have to take these pills?" Asked Arthur quietly to the doctor. He had been sitting in that hospital bed for weeks now. All the while he had been remaining about the incident that occurred to his family.
"You have to take them to help you forget." Said the doctor in his authoritative voice that seemed to calm and sooth. "You've helped the police as much as you could have, but now it's time for you to forget it. You need to forget the incident if you want to move on and have a normal life."
Cautiously, Arthur looked at the pills in the tiny little cup that the doctor was offering to him. "What are they?"
"They are called Omega Blockers, type B or OB's if you want to use the street name for them. They will help take away the pain of knowing what happened to them… to you mother and father. Most importantly though, you'll forget what happened to Allistor, Dylan and Mary."
"Not buts, Arthur." Said the doctor. "What's better? To remember your family as they were after what happened to them or to forget that they ever existed? It's out of respect that we forget the worst parts… Now is it right for me to say that your family life was never the best? Wouldn't you rather forget all those memories?"
"… I guess so…"
"Good boy." Said the doctor. "Now, take your pills and tomorrow we can talk about where to send you. You're quite lucky that your parents were wealthy or you might have ended up on the street."
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Arthur quickly dry swallowed four of the pills and put the bottles in his pocket. If it wasn't for the fog that clouded his mind he would have suspected that the pills had stopped working on him years ago.
'Now where does one go to find a White Rabbit?' He pondered quietly to himself as he quickly re-joined the flow of human traffic on the streets. Back in London, he would try to find people associated with the family and try to go from there, but since he already knew about the gangs because of the agency he figured that if he couldn't find the White Rabbit going after the leaders would be the next best thing.
Though, since he needed to find both he would have to find the darkest places in Under London. That would be his best bet, but he had no idea where to go. He had no clue where he needed to go, so he ended up wandering the streets for hours on end.
'Bloody hell… Why the heck did Francis disappear like that?' Thought Arthur miserably. 'I have no idea where to go or how to find that bloody hit man! Where the hell would I find him? Francis being as cryptically as he is would probably say that if I wanted to find a rabbit I would have to look in the country or some other rubbish.'
Suddenly Arthur got pulled into an alleyway and a knife was pressed against his throat. "Hand over your money or I'll gut you right here and now."
The Englishman simply chuckled at the man foolish enough to threaten him. "How about this instead… You let me go and I let you live."
"Hand over your money." Hissed the man. "I don't have time to argue with you."
Arthur sighed a little. "Okay… don't pretend I didn't warn you." In one swift motion he knocked the man's arm away and pulled the vorpal blade out from its hiding spot in his clothes, stabbing upwards into the thieves lungs and twisting to that he would suffocate and drown in his own blood at the same time. He pulled the blade out and turned the man around, slitting his throat. The man's blood sprayed across the adjacent wall. With a strangled choke the man fell to the floor, dead.
Arthur looked down at the dead man and frowned deeply. 'Damn it… Where the hell am I meant to hide the body?'
"Just as insane and as deadly as you ever were." Cooed Francis. He was leaning against the wall next to Arthur. "Don't worry about hiding the body. No one gives a damn about human life down here… Have you killed before?"
"Plenty of times." Muttered Arthur. "It doesn't get any easier."
"And you have basic immunity from the law because of the agency don't you?" Asked Francis. "It's disgusting."
"I just do what I have to if my life is threatened." Said Arthur calmly. He put away the vorpal blade and sighed. "To save people's lives I've often had to kill many more to save the lives… Besides I just kill murderers and thieves. Why didn't you step in and help me?"
Francis shrugged. "I'm a lover, not a fighter. Besides, you seem more than capable of murdering people then me… and with your skills from the agency I'm sure that you're a professional killer compared to all them."
"I'm not a hit man." Muttered Arthur. "I just find and bring people home."
"Call yourself whatever you want. Hit man, a finder, a private detective… It's all the same in the end… If you want to find the White Rabbit you should look on the outskirts of Under London… I suggest traveling towards the main clock tower and heading and choosing where to go from there."
"Whatever you say frog, just don't va-" Arthur looked over at Francis and growled. "Bloody frog! He ran away again!"
Shinigami-cat: Well that was that. I'll put up the next chapter soon. Please review!