The lady smiled and passed him and he stepped inside the gate then turned back to her.
“Excuse me… ma’am, you wouldn’t happen to know if the person living in apartment 6 has been out and about lately?”
The lady stopped and turned back to talk to Hansu.
“I am very sorry young man. I’m afraid I don’t know the person in apartment 6 very well. I have lived in this complex for a good 20 years now and I know everyone here. Well, everyone except for apartment 6. They moved in recently but I never remember seeing any of the boxes that they used to move here, in the trash area. I have knocked on their door a few times to welcome them but no one ever seems to be home?”
“Oh?” Hansu asked, feeling like this was pointing more and more towards the occupant being Goha, “well please allow me to apologize on their behalf.” He bowed. “I am a friend of theirs and have come to check on them since, like you have experienced, I haven’t heard from them in a while.”
“Oh my, young man, you needn’t apologize for them,” she chuckled bashfully, “you really are very nice. I am happy to hear that the person in apartment 6 has a friend like you. I look forward to seeing you here more often then and please, if you need anything, I am in apartment 2. Please stop by for dumplings and tea sometime.”
“Very kind of you,” Hansu replied with another polite bow, “I do hope you have a lovely evening and please do take care of yourself at this late hour. You shouldn’t be out at this time.”
“Oh, bless you, I am meeting with my grandson. He is in the apartment block over there. It is not far.”
Hansu nodded. “Very well, be safe.”
She gave him a smile and a small nod then turned and continued on her way as Hansu started the walk up the stairs on the side of the building to go up to the second level, heading to apartment number 6.
“Maybe I’ll just drop my location to Hawks so that if something goes wrong he’ll know where to look for me.” He stopped outside the door of apartment 6 and stalled, listening for any movement inside but there was none.
Trying to door handle gently, he found that it was indeed locked so pulled his wallet out of his pocket and removed his credit card, sliding it between the wall of the apartment and the door, then sliding it up till it compressed the door jab and he could let himself in.
*a few minutes earlier*
“It’s cold…” you whispered to Migata as you and the team entered the cave, “should we use a light?” You then asked as you all started walking into the pitch black spider’s cave.
“Maybe don’t use light just yet. We need to establish just how far in the trapped players are,” Butterfli3 replied you.
Butterfli3 pulled ahead a little with O/N just behind him, followed by you and Migata, holding hands, and then Free with her two cameramen by her side.
Intermittent screaming could be heard ahead and you all headed in the direction of the sound, knowing that’s where you would find the players, and also the spider, that you assumed was keeping watch… or eating them…
Slowly but surely you all moved along, that same putrid smell that you had smelled from the cocoon outside, starting to permeate your nostrils down here in this cave too.
You gripped Migata’s hand that little bit tighter and he pulled you into his side.
“I don’t know how useful I’ll actually be,” you thought, “I can try and fight, but I’m not that strong. I could maybe get a few hits in… or use ‘spin’.”
The cave tunnel turned sharply to the right and Butterfli3 crept to the corner and peaked around then pulled back and looked at Migata with a serious look on his face and nodded his head.
Migata returned his nod and then squeezed your hand.
“I’m going to take a look,” he whispered to you, then let your hand go and crept forward to Butterfli3’s side and looked around.
He took a good look then pulled back and walked back to you.
“They’re there, trapped in a glowing blue web dome,” he said, “I didn’t see the spider though but it’s either deeper in the cave or it’s left the cave for a bit and will be back soon…
“We need to move fast,” Butterfli3 said softly as he approached, “Migata, and O/N, you both come with me. We’re going to see if we can find the spider. U/N, Free, and cameramen, you stay near the dome and reassure the players inside. Once we’ve defeated the spider you can save them.”
“If I can put my hand through the dome wall, can I give them health potions?” you asked.
“Yes. Good idea. Here,” Migata said, opening his inventory and looking at his list, “oh, I don’t have as many as I thought I did?? I’m missing a few…”
“Oh. That may have been me. Sorry,” you apologized, “I’ll explain later… How many people are in the dome?”
“I think about 10?” Migata replied, “I do have 10 potions so that works out well…”
“Good,” you replied, taking them from his inventory and putting them in yours.
After making sure everyone was set to go, you all headed around the corner, keeping to the cave wall as much as possible.
The players inside the dome saw movement and looked up at you all and you had to hold fingers to lips to remind them to keep quiet because it looked like they were about to scream for joy.
“Is the spider still here? Or has it left the cave?” Migata whispered to one of the players as you approached the dome cautiously.
“It was here a minute ago. The spiders name is Locke. It takes us out one by one but I don’t think it’s letting us go,” one of the panicked players explained, “we hear screaming. And the player never returns.”
Your blood ran cold.
“Is… is it killing you all?”
“We don’t know. But please… please get us out,” a female player begged, “we can’t log out. It won’t let us log out.”
“Where did Locke go?” Butterfli3 asked in a stern and urgent voice.
“That way.” The player pointed off down deeper into the cave.
“Come on we need to go,” Butterfli3 said to Migata and O/N, leading the way at a quick pace to try and find the spider ASAP.
“Are you hurt?” you asked the player as your team mates ran off.
“No. But my health is low,” the player replied in a worried voice.