Log:Hopp's House of Horrors

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Hopp's House of Horrors

OOC Date: October 31, 2020
Location: Noddreck Apartments
Participants: Jundani Meru, Zyrette, Imani, and Hopp Nooram

The building generally known as Noddreck Apartments has undergone a transformation in advance of this contest. Maybe the residents consented; but likely not. Sometime between the last time anyone here visited and now, the building's windows and exits have been sheathed with durasteel plates, preventing anyone from entering or leaving except by the front door that leads into the lobby.

Inside, the contestants of this little contest will find the lobby itself largely untouched; grimy floors, stained windows covered on the outside, out-of-order lifts, and a droning droid receptionist who mutters "Welcome to-o-o the Noddreck" in harsh mechanical notes. A stick with a marble on the end stands in the middle of the floor, with a handwritten sign in sprawling, hard-to-read letters: "CONTEST: Wait here" attached to it with adhesive tape.

Whomever or whatever had taken over the Noddrick was very much not appreciated by one Jundani Meru. She had returned home to find the building, and thus, her apartment, barred to her. Well, that simple would not due. And she'd have a talking to whomever had decided that this was a good idea. She had waited with the others at the door, moving with them towards where they were all supposed to be gathering. She might not be a contestant here by her choice, but she apparently was one now.

Imani steps into the lobby of the apartment building, a place that she's never been before, and isn't sorry about that fact. Her head turns to regard the grimy interior first before even taking note of the sign. "This place could use a good scrubbing," she announces to absolutely no one in particular, and only after that's said does she move toward the sigh, doing as it asks. Waiting there. She's wearing her usual armor, which is to say armor that some might recognize as belonging to the Knights of Ren, seeming perfectly content for everyone to know about her affiliation.

Zyrette made her way past the apartments, and noted the recent change. Curiosity, a trait that more often than not lead her some of her more interesting life choices, brought her through the main door, and into the lobby. She glances at the others gathering hers, some more familiar than others, before stepping closer to the note, and then looking around the lobby. "Contest?" She muses aloud, a brow ridge arched.

Once the three women are inside and have gathered near the upright stick with the marble on the end, the doors abruptly slam shut and a sheet of durasteel slams down over them, cutting the lobby off from the outside world. At the same time, the lights flicker once, twice, and give out, plunging the room into darkness.

A small glow stirs in the marble, the only dim pinprick of light in the void, before suddenly a huge, hologram-blue projection of an old man's glaring face appears suspended in the air. "So you're here for the money and drugs, huh? Or- or maybe you just live here. I don't really care, this game is for me, not for you, see? A man of my age," he rasps, wispy hair made more ephemeral by the projection, "he only has so much time left. And he's already done a lot of the things he's wanted to do in his life. So the point is, I'm getting towards the bottom of my bucket list /and/ my bucket. Means I don't much care about the consequences, as long as I have a good time, see?"

The view of the old man's head shifts slightly, like he's sitting back in a chair. "I have cameras all through the place. If you can get out, you win. If you don't, then I win. Simple. Just uh, if you die, make it entertaining, that's the whole point, alright," and the light dies.

With a flicker and a dull hum, dim lights click on one by one in the spiral stairwell, up and up and up, one after the other, sending stark lines and shadows of light jutting down through the handrails. Water drips somewhere. Residents know that particular detail isn't new.

Jundani, turning to hear a familiar voice, was just about to warn the woman away, when the doors shut and, well, they were all in it now. Still, she offered Zyrette a nod of greeting, before the holoprojector clicked on and their kind host made himself known. So those were the terms. "You know. I picked this place because it was literally, the most terrible place in the entire district." She did not continue, instead looking to the other two who were with her, "Do we intend this to be a free for all, or are we going to work together?" She indicated the stairs, "We're being herded."

Imani isn't a resident, but even in the dim lighting she can see evidence of water stains that suggest that's just a part of the natural building ambiance. "I have to say, this is not what I expected," she admits to the other two women present at the contest. "But it seems like the only way out of this is through, so I guess that's the way I'm going? Even though we are definitely being herded." The stairs are illuminated, so she just goes that way. "Does anyone else feel like after this, we should probably hunt that guy down and... you know, do something about him?" Watch out, Hopp, Imani might be on your trail.

Zyrette turns to Dani. "Ah, Jundani..." She begins, but then then the doors are sealed. She stares at the projection, emerald lips pursing in a faint moue, her only outward sign of emotion. A brow crooks and in a dry voice, she replies to Dani. "For the time I suggest we stay together, until such a moment it no longer proves provident, I say we follow her..." She indicates the robed female, and then she too moves to the stairs.

Inside the stairwell, the lights are barely bright enough to illuminate the stairs, but positioned so low and close to various sharp edges as to cast those stark, intimidating shadows nonetheless. The door at the second floor landing is sealed by another plate of durasteel, forcing the reluctant contestants higher to the third floor at least, if they choose to ascend further. At the third floor, the door is open, and the hallway beyond dimly lit. Fog billows in low clouds along the floor towards the stairwell, filling the air with a sense of unease. Some of the doors are planked over, but others seam uncovered and thereby accessible: two on the right side of the hall and three on the left.

The stairs continue up as well, but the lights cut out at the third floor landing.

"I would certainly trust her skill over my own, in such matters." Jundani might not know Imani, that was true, but the Knights of Ren had a fearsome reputation, whether this particular Knight had earned it or not (she had no way of knowing). So, yes, she was happy to have Imani precede her up the stairs. As they moved, she ticked her head in the direction of the barred second floor, "I would invite you for tea, but circumstances...you understand." And on they went, Jundani patting herself down as she went, making certain all of her usual kit was just where she could reach for it easily. As they moved, she made best use of the little light that was afforded them, activating the recorder on her armor to make a record of everything she could see as they moved up to the third floor. "So now what...we check each of the rooms? This feels very unimaginative to me."

Up Imani treks, to that durasteel plate first where she raps her knuckles a couple of times, then moves on up to the third floor to the spooky, foggy hallway. Being something of a spoopy ray of sunshine herself, the presence off the fog doesn't unsettle her yet, even if everything about this probably should. "We can get further in up here," she says over her shoulder, then continues on into the hallway. She eyes the available doors, pondering whether or not trying to enter them is going to count as breaking and entering, but it's Nar Shaddaa so that probably doesn't matter anyway. "I'm going to check this one out," she says, pointing to the first door on the left side of the hall, then does exactly that, reaching for and opening the door if she's able.

Zyrette nods at Dani, a bit more focused on their surroundings than the conversation. "Yes, tea might have to wait. " She too, was more inclined to follow the night, staying a few steps back as they ascended. "Unimaginative? To me, it feels like a trap." She mused quietly to the other woman. Once Imani started opening a door, Zyrette steps aside to flank. "I think, one door at a time..." and she too, made certain weapons and such were easy at hand.

As the first door on the left creaks open, the old man's voice comes crackling through speakers hidden somewhere. "Really? The- the first door on the left. Unoriginal, but- but- I don't really expect a lot from kids these days, alright. You got no vision, see, so- so this room, it's all about vision."

A metal sheet clangs down in the hallway and at the stairwell door, cutting off further advance and forcing the contestants into the room Imani has chosen.

The dark space beyond suddenly flares into blinding light, revealing mirrors set on every surface, reflecting the three ladies' images back at them. The walls, the floor, the ceiling, all are dazzlingly bright. "What can you see? What can't you see?" Stepping into the room causes multiple copies of oneself to step with them, the octagonal shape of the room providing extra reflections to stare back. Some of the surfaces magnify and distort the image, causing the familiar face to leer, the body to twist and contort. A noxious scent gradually fills the air, like rotting flowers.

"I should also mention if you can't escape in the next, you know, thirty minutes or so, the place is rigged to blow. Something to bear in /mind,/" Hopp's voice rasps.

The thing about being Jundani, is that she had no particular attachment to how she looked. Good or ill, standard or distorted, and so, she did not pay much mind to the images of herself. For they were not her face, not really. Only the mask she had chosen to wear for now. What she found interesting was the way in which the light reflected off of the mirrors themselves. The how of it, the brilliance, the dullness. She moved from mirror to mirror on the side of the room she had stepped to first, and then came to a halt. "These, here," she noted, indicating a few, "Are not true mirrors. They are the sort...one finds in security interrogation rooms. They reflect you, but imperfectly." She leaned forward, her head tilting at an angle, as she came close enough to press her nose to the glass, or just about. "There is a switch behind this one, and power cabling." She was no superwoman, and so Jundani kicked at the glass of the mirror, sending her boot heel through the glass. It did not shatter as untempered glass might, but crackled into a spiderweb of fissures, leaving her foot momentarily trapped and forcing her to pull it out. "Ah, that makes it easier." She withdrew a dagger from its sheath on her thigh, turning the blade around to use the hilt to smash out the rest of the glass.

"I'm going to do all the doors in order," Imani announces to the room, mostly to Hopp, but now everyone else knows too. Lights go bright, and she's cringing back from it. "I can't see anything," she says at first, trying to blink the blinding spots out of her eyes. Then she sees her reflection in one of the mirrors, and longs for a few moments ago with those blind spots. Something about what she sees is deeply unsettling, enough so that she reacts quickly and violently by giving the mirror a swift kick. Her foot manages to go through the reflective surface and then get stuck for a few moments, which are spent with her trying to yank her foot back out.

Zyrette glances only briefly at the distracting, distorting images. Instead, she was looking at something else, beyond the reflections. Once the other women started kicking the mirrors, she warned. "There are blades behind the mirrors. Jundani, I'm not sure that's the release of the doors..." She carefully, moves further into the room, studying the glass that Jundi has started to shatter.

"What to do, what to do," Hopp grates through the speakers, clearly amused by the quandary his first experiment has placed the trio in. "Pull the lever and release the mirrors? Or release the blades only one of you has seen? You young people got no vision," he repeats with a sort of sadistic glee, a dry chuckle that produces feedback.

The fog from the hallway has begun to seep under the metal panels and into the mirror chamber, subsuming the scent of rotten flowers with the acrid funk of the smoke machine running... somewhere.

Jundani did not look away from where she was working, but it was clear she was listening to what Zyrette had reported, "I will be careful." She glanced at the switch. "Do you look at things like this and think...they want you to push the button marked 'Do Not Push.'? Just me then?" She glanced over, seeing Imani struggling with the glass, "If you need some help..." She glanced to both women then, "I am going to attempt to disable to switch. Stand as far back from the doors and the mirrors as you can. Cover your faces." As much protection as she could offer the women, she did, as she got to work deft fingers fiddling with the connectors for the switch. "We should try the windows and the door and see if they are rigged. This room is beginning to smell as it does whenever the trash collector droids go on strike."

Zyrette moved to assist Imani pull her pull from the glass she tried to kick. "I can likely assist in disabling the switch, if you need... I almost always push the big red button." She assured Jundani, before trying to stand clear of the calculated swings of the hidden blades.

"Now that is unfortunate," Hopp announces as Jundani succeeds in her goal, disabling the switch. "No vision /and/ no guts. You- you kids need to get out of the house more often."

With an almighty crash, the blades come smashing out through the mirrors, bending them in horrifying amorphisms, spiderweb fractures sent through the torn glass that looks almost peeled away from the gaping wounds cleaved by the pendulums. Each swings in nearly to the middle, which gives Imani and Zyrette a bit of a leg up on Jundani, who was closest to the wall and unfortunately catches a glancing tag from one of the blades as it hurtles past.

As quickly as they swung out, they swing back into the walls, and before they can swing forth again, the glass floor shatters as well, dumping all three straight down into darkness as the lights cut out once again.

The air is thick, now, soupy and inky black. Nothing can be seen, but a grinding can be heard overhead that concludes in a dull thump as the floor they fell through is replaced and sealed shut. "No vision at all," the voice taunts, that same sadistic grin audible through the tinny speakers. Something about the floor feels... strange. Elastic.

Better her than them. That's what someone truly altruistic would say, right? And perhaps, in that moment, Jundani had been, as she had warned the women to try to protect themselves from her possible folly. The blade sliced a line along her thigh and she bit back a hiss of sound. She was too old to give in to that sort of pain. And then the floor exploded and she landed hard, well, could one land hard on a floor this soft? Whatever, moving on. "Are you all alright?" She moved to her knees, beginning to feel the flor to get a gauge of where the walls might be. There was no telling. She had //seen// the basement of this place. A horrible sucking sound came from wherever she was crawling around, as the floor tore and ber hand fell against, through, into whatever was beneath it. She only just managed to pull it back, "There's some sort of slime under me, either coating the floor...or it is the floor. I have no way to make a light, unless I ignite some of the incendiary ammo I brought with me."

Imani is fast, fast enough that she dodges the swinging blade fairly easily. Honestly that sort of thing is more in her wheelhouse than trying to figure out what switches do or don't do. "Why would anyone--" The world explodes, or at least the room, and the mirrors, and then the floor is gone from beneath them. She thuds on the ground that she can't see with a grunt, rolls onto her side and then staggers back up to her feet. She pulls her weapon out now, even though she hasn't any target, she just feels better with it in her hand. "I don't know if we should have open flame, something in here might be explosive."

Zyrette was prepared for the blades, that and her natural agility she managed to avoid the swining blades. However she was not prepared for what happened next. Upon 'landing' Zee looked to where Dani's voice sounded. "Are -you- alright?" She asked, a hint of concern in her otherwise dispassionate voice. She began to feel around in the dark. Her helmet, which aided in low light condition provided no aid here. As Jundani spoke of slime, she pushed herself to her feet and gave an experimental bounce. It served nothing except to further her conclusion the floor was strange. "I agree, no open flame, for now... "

"The suspense is killing me," Hopp grumbles over the speakers, and there is a metallic clank from one of the far walls, or whatever is out there in the darkness, and the elastic 'skin' of the floor suddenly loses tension, before being whisked away sharply from beneath them, pulled by something unseen like a tablecloth from beneath dishes. The speed of the jerk and strange flex of the skin pulls the contestants off balance and deposits them all into the substance below.

At first, it seems to hold them up, like wet sand near the edge of the tide, but soon enough this support trickles away and the trio begin to sink the longer they stay still.

"There must be some way to get out of this room, and I am wondering now," Jundani offered, in her very calm voice, "If the way is through." She shook back the sleeve of her armor, aiming at the last place that she had seen the ceiling, the short pneumatic burst of sound loud in the otherwise mostly silent room, followed by a thunk of metal on metal as the grapple at the end of the line bit down into the metal slab that had replace the ceiling. "This line will not, I think, hold all of us. The weight limit it 300 pounds, but if you can hear me, try to come to me. It may help in the end. I am going to attempt to see if I can sink far enough to feel a way out through the floor." She worked slowly, carefully, allowing her weight to sink, releasing it only slowly as she played out the line. She would pull it back into the laser and pull herself out if this failed. She hoped.

This is absolute insanity, and though Imani's life has taken many strange twists and turns over the course of her years, this is one of the more unusual incidents. "Sinking might work. Might also kill us. Don't have a better idea though." She's a little out of breath in the fight to not sink, but she's managing it at first. Until she's not. Her intention was to try and keep on top of this odd substance, but the substance is winning, and down, down, down goes the Knight of Ren. Sinking like a spooky ship, in this spooky place. She does manage to slam her helmet into place before she goes completely under, at least.

Zyrette prepared herself for another change as the strange covering was whipped out from beneath them. As the strange quick sand began to envelope her Zee took several quick breaths before expelling hair and breathing in deep, preparing herself to hold it if need be. Falleen could hold their breath for rather long periods with the situation called for it. Calming her mind, she continued to feel around, trying to give herself some clue as to their situation. On top of it all, she tried to keep some spatial awareness of the other two women, perhaps she tried to do to much at once...

It's pitch black, and they are sinking into an unknown substance that alternately sucks them down deeper and strangely fights back at them. The deeper one sinks, the worse it gets, as it seems to freeze up around anything that tries to move through it, but as soon as one is still again, the sinking resumes at a steady pace. Slowly, slowly it rises as they descend, until it finally closes over their heads one by one.

Below the surface, it is cold, clammy, smells bad and tastes worse. Wriggling or attempting to swim feels like being trapped in concrete. Relaxing, quicksand.

The cold silence lasts for what seems like minutes but is probably only a few seconds before feet press against a stretchy barrier, push through to hang free in the air, then legs, then torsos, and the three plop one by one down into the basement of the place, landing slimy and dripping on a drainage grate while the stuff itself seems to continually drip down onto them from above through some sort of imperfectly self-sealing membrane.

Horrifically, the room has not been altered from its usual state, and as such, the trio are met by a hotbed of drug paraphernalia, disgusting cookware and dishes abandoned with food left to rot, swarms of flies, fleas crawling in the corners, gaudy, torn furniture randomly arranged with no rhyme or reason.

In the center of the room, the bomb counts down. 60. 59. 58.

"Oh, you found the bomb," Hopp drawls over the PA with apparent disinterest. "Based on your track record... you know what, you do you."

Jundani continued that slow descend, letting out the line an inch at a time, as she felt herself sinking through that. Well, let's be fair, it rather felt like how she felt when she was trying to reconfigure herself into a few of the more...memorable shapes she had remade herself into. So...really, this could have, if she had not been so out of sorts, felt like a cold(warm) hug from home. Once she felt herself break through the barrier, she cut the line, releasing the last of the weight the line was holding, the tether coiling back into the device at her wrist as she came to her feet. "I tried to rent this basement once. It looks just as delightful as ever." Once she had blinked some sense of vision back into her eyes, she scanned the room, homing in on the explosive device. "This...is a problem." And then she approached, moving carefully, trying to track whatever network of cabling it was attached to, which, she was sure, were feeding into the rest of the building. "We need to disable this." A blip of silence, "Quickly. If any of you have some skill, I would appreciate an assist, or I can assist you." And then she got to work, murmuring to herself as she counted cabling, trying to seek for the heart.

Is this the end? This isn't how Imani envisioned going out, her exit from this life was something she figured would be a lot more violent. Not drowning in weird sludge, though of all the places to drown in something like that, this apartment complex isn't all that surprising. The few attempts to make her way back up are met with awful resistance that are abandoned pretty quickly. It feels like an eternity, even armored and with her helmet on, the experience is pretty awful, but she seems oddly accepting of her imminent demise. But then her foot pokes through something, and then her other, then legs, and then the rest of her slides out and hits the floor of this awful drug den. Which is still somehow better because the floor is solid. Drawback, there's a bomb, which she will be no help with. "I trust you to handle it," she says, knowing she can't make this situation any better by meddling in it, so instead she tries to move around the room in search of a way out.

Zyrette continued to hold her breath but when she broke through the sand she drew in a deep, relieved draw in of air. She took a careful look around, noting the filth and paraphernalia. "Hm...Everyone still with us?" She asked, looking over the other two women. Jundani drew her attention to the mechanism counting down, she did step over quickly to assist. Despite being an 'archaeologist' she seemed to have a knack with dismantling the thing, pulling a few tools from where she had tucked them under her armor.

As the two ladies work on the bomb and Imani experiences a small existential crisis, the display mounted above the bomb's various gizmos and wires continues to count down towards zero. 17. 16. 15. There's a second where it starts to freefall rapidly, dropping 10 seconds in the space of 1, but stops with 3 on the clock as Zyrette pulls something loose and Jundani snips something off.

A long moment passes, and then the display goes dead.

"Heyyyy, /you're/ not dead! This is the first time you've done something right all night!" Hopp gives a papery bark into the mic from wherever he's watching, and the bomb explodes.

Explodes in a spray of credits, like some kind of bizarre pinata, and behind those, it starts to pump a low-level hallucinogenic that also induces feelings of euphoria into the air! "You /win a major awardddd!/ You- you kids really tickled me pink over here, I'll tell you. I mean, when those blades came out, you should have seen the look on your faces! And the- the shear-thickening fluid pool, I have been wanting to push someone into one of those for /ages/ just to- just to- I just wanted to see what would /happen./ Ohhhh we've- we've really bonded here tonight kids. I- I kind of like you now. That would have- I would have been really bummed out if you blew up the building instead, I- I'd never heard the end of it from those Lash kids."

There's a vague sound like a dull, muted pop. "Alright, I- it's been fun, I- the doors are open now, you- you take care of yourselves, don't- you know, don't spend all those credits in one place, okay?"

The sound of receding durasteel plates in the distance fills the basement in the form of a brief, distant hum. Apparently the experiment is over? Or is it? It is. Or is it?

It is.

Or is it?