He dead, Amen.

After their meet in the English club room didn't go well yesterday, today, both of them received an unknown call that leads them somewhere. They find out what lies beneath the instruction.


Chapter 34

The Warehouse

Day 37 – 24 days left

Robbie

The grey clouds in the sky darken the city in the morning, frowning the whole atmosphere. The rain muffled inside Robbie's room while he awakened from his sleep. He woke up three minutes before his alarm clock starts to buzz irritatingly like an annoying parrot.

He opened the curtains on his window, and at the same time, he looks outside to blend his body with the weather. After three minutes standing against the window, his alarm clock buzzes loudly. Only four buzzes were sounded before he pressed the off button and put it back on the drawer. Sadly, Robbie's stomach signaled him to go for a toilet break – skipping the morning exercise.

He walked down for breakfast upon finishing his 15 minutes toilet break. He also brushed his teeth and wore his school uniform with a dark blue hoodie. Luckily, his mother prepared the hot latte for the whole family to warm their bodies for today.

"Too bad today's weather is still rainy," his mother spoke after swallowing her food.

"Well, at least it doesn't as bad as yesterday, mom. Plus, it will stop until this afternoon," Robbie replied.

"Rain is rain, sweety. It's no use when it stopped this afternoon,"

"So, uh… how is your meeting in the hotel before, dad?" Robbie referred to two days ago (Read ch. 31)

"Oh. It's good. Thanks for asking,"

After they ate breakfast, Robbie takes no time to waste and moves his foot off to the front door- ready to go to school with his sand-colored umbrella on.

"I am going out now. See ya,"

"Have a good day, son," His dad wave bye at him.

As similar to the weather report he heard last night. The rain showers in the city are not as heavy as yesterday. Even though some puddles were formed on the street, Robbie's shoes had to step on the wet asphalt. Man, it still cold.

When he was about three blocks away from the bus stop, his phone vibrates in his pocket with the funky music barely audible. He pulled it and looked at the caller. Strange still, the caller has a foreign number, leading him not to pick it up.

Robbie continues to walk again. But his phone keeps vibrating until he eventually had no choice except move aside to a sheltered bench and answer the caller.

"Hello?"

"Harbor area, abandoned warehouse next to abandoned slaughterhouse and meat process. Now," the caller spoke with a demonic voice.

"I'm sorry. But I guess you called a wrong number-"

"Now. And your questions will be answered,"

BEEP BEEP BEEP

"What was that?"

Robbie petrified on the sheltered bench for a moment to find out what is hidden underneath the warehouse as the unknown caller said so. Also, he struggles with deciding he should go there or not until eventually, he decided to skip his school day.

I guess I better get there…


After 20 minutes of bus ride sending him to the harbor, Robbie reopens his umbrella and strolls around to locate the designated warehouse. He took off his blazer and saved it into his backpack during his way. The vast environment around the bus stop is surrounded by a large yet small-story building. A lot of warehouses, walls, factories were standing firmly. Added with few trucks driving through the streets.

The abandoned warehouse is not difficult for Robbie to find. After 7 minutes of walking around, he finally found the supposed place. The cyan-colored building is decayed about one year, proven by some paints were peeled off the wall, and some windows were broken.

Unfortunately, the rusty door (the main entrance) is locked by a chain, causing Robbie to find the backdoor for access if it doesn't lock as well. Before doing so, Robbie glimpsed his watch for a moment, where the time is 8:18, 18 minutes after the class started.

Coincidentally, while Robbie looked around the street, Mullet approached the same building as he walks to the same path.

"Oh. What a coincidence… I guess," Mullet greeted him.

"What, did you got called by a demon?" Robbie asked.

"Yeah," Mullet nodded, "He called me to go here…"

"Unfortunately…" Robbie points at the chained door, telling him to go around for another access.

"Okay then,"

They walk to the right, crossing the narrow alley between the warehouse and the slaughterhouse. And as they expect, they found the locked door but with the key attached. The key itself has a tag written, "Bring this key with you,"

"Jackpot!" Robbie spoked in vigor.

Robbie keeps the key and steps into the warehouse where the other side of the door is written, "Lock the door. Left the key on the padlock," he follows the instruction and continues inside.

"Mullet. When do you get that call?"

"On my way to the bus stop," Mullet answered.

"Man, I thought the dude tried to fool me. But I guess this is something worthful," Robbie's voice echoed barely throughout the room.

"This is ain't a scam,"

Upon entering the warehouse, Robbie and Mullet push forward to the basement (as the other doors are locked.) The room strangely is still powered, and the lamp is still in good condition apart from the wall that looks dull and dirty.

"This place is dusty," Mullet sighed.

"Yeah. How long this place is no more maintained tho?" Robbie looked around.

They entered the first room of the basement. But when Mullet opens the metal door in front of them, it triggered the wall TV on the left side of the room. The screen says:

Stay Tuned

For an important announcement from your employer

After a few seconds, the TV shows a picture of a black-masked man. His whole face, including his eyes, nose, and his mouth, is covered.

"Who is that guy?" Mullet asked.

The man stands against the camera, telling Robbie and Mullet something.

"It has been a while since I had a special visitor, or should I call it as a survivor. I'm quite thrilled,"

"This trashy underground facility was once the basement for the third eye. But now, everything has changed into a chamber for the vetting process since lotta impostors were faking themselves. Our potential old and youngins were run through here to ascertain their ability and comprehension of the mystery,"

"Let's see how suitable you are,"

Suddenly, numerous very large knives attached to a crutch fell from the sky, trying to stab Robbie and Mullet as an ambush.

"DUCK!" Robbie screamed. Luckily, those booby traps were failed to kill the brothers.

"What was that all about?!"

Upon avoiding all the traps, they rushed to the next door like a challenger passing all obstacles. But only to be halted by the screen for a moment.

"Good. Proceed,"

The screen turned off after the man congratulates them, followed by the light that turned on again.

"What the hell was that?!" Robbie's heartbeat still pounds in high tempo as the knife almost stabbed right on their neck, "Are you trying to kill us?!"

"You heard what he said before. This place is the proving ground for us – the test chambers. Let's continue," Mullet opens the door, moving to the next challenge that they will encounter.

After they passed through the hallway, proceeding to the second room. The lamp suddenly went off as the door behind them is closed. A moment later, eight mannequins were spawned under a yellow light with a different outfit on.

Each of them is sitting on a sturdy wooden chair with different backgrounds behind. And various things are put in front of them, making a theme for each mannequin (example: Soldier, Mechanic, etc.)

The large TV turns on with a white text saying:

Choose Wisely

All the mannequins are circling Robbie and Mullet, awaiting to be chosen by them.

"What does it means, Rob?" Mullet asks while his eyeballs are looking around the mannequins.

"I dunno. Let me think first,"

Robbie thinks the meaning of the instruction while he examines all the mannequins thoroughly (from their outfit, background, and the object placed in front of them.)

Hmm… mannequins, those objects…

One by one, Robbie uses his eyes and looks at a soldier-themed mannequin, with an assault rifle in the front and a battlefield background behind, matching the theme. He looks at the second mannequin. That fake human wears a teacher outfit with stacks of books and a chalkboard behind it – another matched theme.

After Robbie looked at several mannequins, He found one that has an irrelevant theme. The dummy wears a homeless outfit with a soccer ball, and the background is a set of monitors instead of a homeless tent.

Wait. This is not matched. Why he wears a shabby outfit with an object that is not related to-

Suddenly, His mind recalled what he thought back in the basement.

"… find something before getting into the dimension…"

"… It's something that is not supposed in the right place. Like a basketball in a cave or something."

Confidently, Robbie walks slower toward the homeless mannequin-like approaching a wild animal. His mind was hypnotized by the repeating mantra: choose it. Meanwhile, the black screen still shows the word choose wisely and all the lights illuminating those human-sized dolls still in yellow color.

"Robbie! What are you doing?!" Mullet halted him.

"Choosing,"

"Dude. Be careful! It might be a trap. We need to think about it," Mullet's words are useless to Robbie as he was a few inches from the homeless mannequin.

"We're not choosing and we are not going anywhere then,"

That dirty yellow winter coat and the soccer ball in front of it is still unmoving, yet getting closer to Robbie, only waiting for his palms to contact with one of the things.

Here goes nothing.

Upon touching the ball, the yellow light that bathes the dummy turned into green light, while the rest of the mannequins were lighted by red color. A moment later, the large TV on the wall turns on again with the same intro message before the masked man appears.

"Good. Proceed,"

"Wait," Mullet ceased Robbie once he is in the doorway, "How do you know that mannequin is the right one?"

"Do you remember what our dad said before - something that is out of place? What I know, the person that we can trust is someone who has deep information despite their looks – an informant," Robbie explained, "Look at all these dummies. Isn't this one irrelevant?"

"Fair enough,"

Before they're leaving the second room, Mullet walks closer to a Teacher's outfit, where his hands are thirsty to touch it.

"Are you sure you're gonna touch that?" Robbie indirectly refrains him.

"Uhh… I don't think so,"

Once they arrived at the third chamber, they were both dumbfounded. The room itself has four chairs, with two of them facing each other. Two human-like mannequins were sitting on the chair while two of them stand against the wall. The walls are being holed as well.

The lights went dark again, replaced by yellow lights emitting each statue. Along with the TV that turns on saying, "Sit,"

Upon they're sitting on the vacant chairs, the TV changes into "Speak or Silence,"

Few moments after the text popped up, one statue behind them suddenly impaled by a long knife. Blood bursts out of its body like a human, staining the clothes that it wears. After then, it fell down like a carcass, and the yellow light that was emitting it turns red.

"What just happened?" The sitting mannequin in front of Robbie speaks.

When Robbie about to open his mouth, Mullet quickly patted him and shook his head, saying no. He turns to Mullet, where his friend puts his index finger on his mouth – telling him to shut up.

"Hey, what just happened?" the mannequin asked again.

Suddenly, a machine is revving up behind the second standing statue. Later, a chainsaw cuts through its neck. Another blood bursts out.

"Please tell us what just happened? I'm afraid. I wanna alive!" the sitting mannequin begins to panic.

Robbie and Mullet keep silent as the dreadful yet bloody situation begin to color the stuffy atmosphere while the TV is still showing Speak or Silence.

Nevertheless, the moment of silence did not bring them anywhere for five minutes straight. That makes Mullet initiative to open his mouth and speak.

"Nothing happened. Don't worry,"

Four crutch knife traps abruptly fell down, and two of them hit both of the Mannequin's head. Meanwhile, the other two were aiming close at their head – scaring them to death. Robbie and Mullet shudder in fear with their souls are on their throats as they almost just experienced death trap.

After all the traps were dropped, the TV changes into, "Stay Tuned" message again before the masked man appears.

"Do you know the message you got here? If you guys don't then, I will tell you," The masked person spoke after the third test is done, "Snitches get stitches. Only those morons who snitched will make their heads placed on their own beds. If you want to know who is the person you can tell about it, proceed to the next test,"

"Mullet! What the heck was that?!" Robbie snapped after the lights on the room turned on.

"Lying bruh. Or we're not going anywhere," Mullet snickered.

They push forward to the next chamber as the masked man told them. Other mannequins were standing still, similar to the second test. Funny enough, after the screen on TV instruct him to touch one of them, Robbie and Mullet directly pick the homeless one (as the rest of the dummies were suited nicely). Their answer is correct, and the fifth test unlocked – waiting for them to get there.

The fifth chamber itself is empty. Apart from the TV that will send them instructions on what to do next. As they both entered it, the lights went off, and the TV shows the same text before the masked man appears:

Stay Tuned

For an important announcement from your employer

"This is the final portion of the test. It has an immense failure rate. You have been an entertaining subject this far. Good luck,"

Suddenly, A large portion of gas spread into the whole room. Choking their respiratory like a nerve gas until Robbie and Mullet eventually fainted after being anesthetized. While their bodies laid stiff like sleeping people, some wires were attached to them.

They wake up just a few seconds being knocked out. Strange still, Mullet is absent from existence. He is on his own. Stuck in the same world where all the humans and animals are gone. The heavy smog that befalls the city decreases visibility down to less than one kilometer.

He just woke up in front of the school gate, where he encounters a sign that reads:

The further you are, the closer the failure.

The words written on the sign directly instruct him to stay within the school boundaries. Before doing so, Robbie takes a look around while standing in the middle of the road like a lost boy. The fading buildings that far away from the school creeped out the atmosphere, making it as scarier as night – but even eerier.

He stepped into the schoolyard, where the trees on the way have no groves of leaves. The red brick path that Robbie steps on and the grasses aside look dead than usual. Nonetheless, he had to continue forward. But strangely, when he looked behind, the gate closes, and the visibility becomes shorter.

Upon entering the shoe locker room, he looks at the footsteps that lead to his locker, where also his locker that numbered 191 has footmarks. Robbie chuckles a bit, looking at how illogical and humorous a person walks on a wall like a spiderman.

He opens his shoe locker, where are no indoor shoes inside. Instead, a sign is written on its wall with a black marker and a drawing:

Finding the correct entrance leads you to

the exit as well.

The drawing itself is a door similar to the principal's office, where Robbie begins to think it was cliché as they are being told to get into the same wooden door. Darn it.

As the instruction was written, Robbie reached the fifth floor, all the doors there are left open except the principal's office, his club room, and English club room. The sunlight that penetrates through the window is still bright despite the smog that pollutes the whole world.

He halts in front of the stairway – recalling his mind about the way into the office.

Mullet says he plays the adventurer man to clip through the window. But which one?

Robbie tries to open all the windows on the fifth floor like a stupid person. He uses his hand to locate an invisible ground to clip through for access, like an impostor venting through the spaceship (Yes. Among us reference).

But sadly, there is no invisible ground or vent. But one thing that he confuses about is why all the doors left opened, and only three of them are closed. Luckily, his curiosity leads him to the access. Robbie walks into his club room, where a key is placed inside of that empty room.

Knowing that the key might leads him to the English club room, he took that small brass, and when he stepped into the English club room, it's also empty. Only a wooden cupboard is standing still against the wall.

He opened the cupboard, where a secret passage was opened. With full of confidence, if that is the way, Robbie enters that long dark corridor. After several yards away from the cupboard, his eyes meet with a light that gets closer and closer.

When Robbie arrives at the light source, he encounters a green metal door. The cold steel that stands 2.6 meters tall waits for him to be opened. But just after his left middle finger contacts with the handle. The door suddenly explodes, and his sights turned white – he finally regained his consciousness.

"Oh god. You made it, Rob," Mullet spoke to Robbie just after he opened his eyes.

The TV turns on for once more like an announcement, making their heads turned to it. Followed by the masked man applauding them for their accomplishment.

"The test is finally over. Very good, you survived,"

"On this test. For impostors, the survival rate is near 0%. For the closed third eye, the survival rate is 10%. For the half-opened third eye, the survival rate is 20%. But, for the Full opened third eye like you, the survival rate is 100%,"

"Congratulations awakened kid,"

The door in front of them opened automatically like Robbie and Mullet just finished the game quest. Upon reaching the empty room, the TV on the screen turns on with the iceberg picture painted on the wall.

"The iceberg that you see this all is awarded to you. This will be the reference for all of you. Especially for the full opened third eye. As the full opened third eye people, you were given full awareness about everything from childhood and indirectly the eye was born and raised within you,"

"Your ability and mastery of awareness and observant made you being a saint and lead everyone. You should have won this conflict, and the cult is gone for a long time ago," The screen switches into several scenes where some peoples were killed.

"But unfortunately. The impostors mislead all of your iceberg theory. In the end, people considered that you – the third-eyed people were failures. We had to defunct everything and start over," the screen reverts back to the masked man.

"Your existence is in error. You will receive nothing until there is nothing to lose like this iceberg – melting down,"

Upon the TV turned off, the next chamber is opened, whether they choose to get there or not. However, Mullet's curiosity makes them continue, and Robbie has no reason to deny it.

"How about we get to the next one?"

"Alright. How about we just go until the last room…" Robbie stands up.

The next room itself is similar to before, only a plain dirty wall with a large TV and a CCTV on the screen. This time, the masked person asks him to leave.

"There is nothing left for you here. Go. I have a lot of work to do,"

Sadly, their inquisitiveness and incomprehension pursue Robbie and Mullet to find out what lies beneath. Even they just ignored the masked person's last warning, where he says:

"You have exceeded the limit. Go home now. To proceed further is to shorten your life. And thus I consider you as an intruder,"

The last room that they stepped into is a computer room, as same as the basement. But it more stuffy with some shelves and desks that filled the whole place. Some of those are filled with random books that they assume are journals, while the small shelves are filled with videotapes.

"Shall we watch these tapes?" Robbie asks while holds a videotape.

Robbie puts the first tape into the computer. The masked man appears again in the video while holding a diskette. Some of the explanations on the videos are already known by them.

Until one tape:

This diskette is a reason why people or even students are killing each other before you. If you answer, "the demon put a bluff on me," you are wrong. If you answer, "Because they put a price on my head," you are partially correct. The correct answer is, "the demon and the cult had to prevent any information leakage by the victims before you – the third eyed – heard that,"

That's why you had to find out by yourself. However, since you are very talented at finding such information, they sent powerful minions out there to hunt you down.

The masked man shows a right triangle (resembles economic curve graph) before continues:

Now let me make it easier. This y-axis represents how many people were killed before reached the zero point, represents you as the next target. This also means, if you're not lucky enough, you could be killed in your early days as a third-eyed person.

This x-axis is the progress of how you get information until you reached the end – where you managed to get out. However, the descending line means the more you got the info until you get out. The fewer persons were killed. But it also the faster they would like to kill you, and it would be harder to survive.

Same as how felonies threaten you before they kill you. They will warn you first, then they will haunt you, murder your acquaintances, friends, family until eventually, you.

That was the reason why plenty of third-eyed people failed to make it out since they don't have friends to sacrifice.

About this diskette, I sent this to someone else. Of course, I will not tell who it is.

And last but not least, DO NOT read the journal on the preserved desk. The written contents inside are not your concern.

The tape ends after the masked man is warned not to touch the separate book on the desk that bathed by a cyan light. Sadly, the warning just makes them more curious to take a look. The journal has a maroon color with gold plates at each corner. The three fingers emblem in the front coated in gold, making it as sacred as it looks.

"I guess this is the book he told. Wanna read it?" Robbie's hand is close to the journal that is placed on the glass.

"Robbie. I guess we better not touch it,"

"Come on. It may have some solutions to it," Robbie replied.

Robbie slowly touches the book like a robber who carefully steals a diamond. The soft maroon fabric is less cold than the golden plates on it. With confidence and focus, he lifts the journal off the desk while calming down his heartbeat. Here goes nothing

Suddenly, after he lifted the journal just a few inches off the desk, the alarm goes off, and the buzzers ring loudly, alerting two intruders is trying to stealing it.

"Robbie! I told you. Now leave it. Let's get outta here!" Mullet panicked.

"Gah… alright! Forget it!" Robbie hurled the journal without seeing its contents.

"We better get outta here before those doors locked us inside!"


Upon reaching out of the abandoned warehouse, they stopped at the bus stop to take breathes after running out.

"Rob. I have a question," Mullet asked after he drank his water bottle.

"What. About why we can't read that journal?" Robbie guessed.

"No," Mullet shook his head, "But why the masked dude said the impostor's survival rate when passing the final test is near to zero percent? Does that mean some non-third-eyed people could get to the iceberg room?"

"I don't really know. But, if there are a people in that cult who know about our mystery, he might be an informant or a traitor," Robbie tells his hypothesis.

"Oh…"

When they're talking about the same topic secretly, Robbie sees a man dressed in a black trench coat and a black aviator sunglass. He dresses like a 1930s mafia while holding a black umbrella with his right hand. His appearance makes Robbie had to stop their conversation abruptly.

"Mullet, stop," Robbie spoke while looking at the mysterious man, "Look,"

"Who is that guy?"

When Mullet and Robbie look at the man, he looks back at them with a death stare covered by the aviator, indirectly tells him to stop gazing.

"Bro. Let's go to another stop," Robbie stands up.

"Huh?"

"Come on,"

Meanwhile, the mysterious man keeps staring at them while putting their foot off to another bus stop. And again, his suspicious appearance makes another question for them. Who is him?

To be continued…


And that's all for chapter 34.

Now, I lost my motivation to write. Maybe I will continue soon as I get it back.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you guys are having a good day!