|Laura Villenueve (stcosmas) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-04-16 09:13:00
|Entry tags:||marassa jumeaux 1, marassa jumeaux 2, maui|
where are we?
Who: Laura, John, & Kal.
What: The twins and Kal had a date to go hiking, except not anymore.
Where: Pax Letale lobby.
When: April 16, 9 a.m.
Notes: gdoc, complete!
All of her carefully laid plans had not taken into account the idea that their floor would turn into a bog.
Anaise had almost darted out the door in front of her, but Laura snatched her back as she glanced out into the hall. She quickly lifted the small girl -- MLP backpack and all -- onto a hip as she surveyed what had become of their new home. Carefully, all three Villanueves made their way to the elevator regardless of their new surroundings; they had plans, had prepared with shoes and workout clothing and trail mix for going out of doors, though they had not expected the out of doors to come to them.
Carrying Anaise, Laura picked her way across the floor, thinking it would be best to at least get to the elevator and downstairs, where they could perhaps speak with Stephan or call for help. Her phone was useless, with no bars available. She moved slow, watching her steps, making sure John was with them at all times.
"I just hope the elevator still works," she murmured, not enjoying the thought of traipsing down seven flights of stairs, as she jabbed the call button. Anaise's eyes were wide, staring at the bog-rosemary, and constantly asking if she could pick some.
John looked more troubled by the fact the elevator worked. His body language radiated calm -- there was no need to unsettle Anaise, obviously, although in truth the girl seemed almost uncomfortably accepting of this bizarre shift in environment -- though his mind was a blur of confusion. He moved on to the elevator first, glancing over the small car before motioning the rest of his family aboard. The ride down to the lobby was uneventful, which did nothing to prepare any of them for what greeted them there.
The first floor was at least more welcoming than theirs had been, though John noted a wealth of food and drink laid out well within Anaise's reach. He pointed toward one altar and the numerous items it bore. "Leave that alone, too," he told her. He looked around the lobby, unsurprised to note Stephan was nowhere to be found. He cast a knowing look to Laura, one dark brow arched. Then he led them toward Kal, his arms outstretched in silent question to their would-be hiking guide.
“F-” Kal began and immediately silenced himself, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment. “I have no idea,” he said, a much more suitable reaction than what he was originally going to say in front of Anaise. Kal had woken up in the morning, made himself breakfast, gathered his hiking gear, and when he stepped out of his apartment he froze. His floor had changed completely and for a moment, Kal wondered if he was still stoned from the night before; he had smoked quite a bit since his argument with Chris and was still beyond annoyed, but all of that had vacated his mind after seeing his floor. Upon getting to the first one, he waited with unease that was heightened when Stephan’s familiar face wasn’t there to greet him. “Is your floor looking weird too?”
Laura adjusted her grip on her daughter, the little girl's head swiveling to take in the sights and smells around her. While she was glad Anaise was calm, it was a little strange that the girl wasn't at all unnerved by the fact that their surroundings were so altered. She tried not to focus on it, nodding at Kal's question, her ponytail bobbing with the effort.
"It's a bog," she finally answered. "Last night it was fine, walls and all. Now... I don't understand this at all. It sounds like they all changed, then? Did you try the front door?" Her eyes glanced at the exterior of the building, which looked innocuous enough.
John suspected he had, though he strode to the front doors all the same. He found them locked, as he had expected. Still calm, still deliberate, he moved through the first floor to each exit. Even the emergency exits were blocked, if he was even at the correct place; it was impossible to tell given the altars laden with food and what, upon closer inspection, he found to be wine. When he returned to the lobby he paused beside an olive tree, placing a work-worn hand against its bark.
"Someone went to a lot of expense," he said. "I'd be impressed, except I'd really like to get outside."
“My cell doesn't work either,” Kal said, slipping his hands into the pockets of his hiking pants. “And I tried the phone at Stephan’s desk as well, doesn't work. Doors? Won't open.”
He let out a frustrated sigh and rolled his eyes to the ceiling before fully realizing all that were present. his dark eyes settled on the little girl and he smiled. “Hi Anaise, I'm not sure if we will be able to go on our hike but I promise we will soon, okay? You got anything fun in your backpack?”
Anaise looked away from the altar with the appealing foodstuffs, smiling at Kal.
"I have trail mix! And I'm wearing my light up shoes," she said, kicking one foot out to show that they blinked with the motion. Laura kept a firm grip on the girl, but Anaise wriggled to be let down; finally, Laura gave in, setting her down gingerly, where Anaise promptly stomped her feet to show off the light up shoes properly. "See?"
"John, maybe we should just go back upstairs?" Laura cut in, keeping her hand tight on Anaise's. She glanced at the concierge desk, where Stephan was (strangely) not to be found. At least they'd be safe inside their apartment with no strange food or alcoholic beverages to tempt Anaise.
John considered this for a moment, casting a grim gaze all around the floor. The youthful, curious part of him wanted to explore; the rest of him was all too aware of Anaise's presence, and the need to ensure her safety above all else. "I think so," he said, looking to Kal. "You're welcome to join us if you'd like. Until Stephan gets back I'm not sure there's anything we can really do." He glanced down to the heavy watch around one wrist. "I'll come back down and check every hour until I see him. They have got to do something about this."
“Sure, might as well try to stick together until we figure this out. I'll break a window down if I have to.” Kal replied to John with a nod before turning back to Anaise and squatted beside her. “I wish I could have light up shoes. Do you think I can try them on? Do you think my feet will fit?” He stuck out one of his large feet.
Anaise grinned, her eyes scrunching up as she shook her head. "No!" she yelped in amusement, jumping up and down. The motion irritated Laura, the first sign of her distress as she shushed the younger girl. Anaise rebelled against her mother's admonition, and yanked her hand away from Laura's. Laura sighed and started to apologize, telling Anaise that she needed to stay with them, but the girl clearly had other plans.
Without another word, she turned on one light-up heel and ran off, down the hall.
"Anaise, no!" Laura did not wait. She took off right after her daughter, concerned as to what the girl might find or do on her own. Small feet skipped from stone to stone embedded in the floor, Anaise skipping through the hall until she disappeared inside a suddenly open doorway halfway down. Laura got to the door just as it closed, trying to catch the knob to keep it open, but now it was locked.
"Anaise, open the door!" Laura rattled the knob, banging on the door as though this would present a solution. Panic was making her movements erratic, and any logic left in her mind fled.
John was close at her heels. He fetched up against the door just beside his twin. He left her to try the handle and knock for her child; for his part, the deep rumbling of his voice carried easily through through the door.
"Anaise, now is not the time. You open this door."
No answer was forthcoming. The door remained tightly shut. He glanced to Kal. "Know anything about picking locks?" he asked. "And if not, you wanna help me break this down?"
“Uh, I can try something?” Kal replied, obviously uncertain of what good he would be. He wasn’t used to children in the slightest and he was just getting on the kid’s goodside. He wasn’t sure he’d be any help, but he still stepped forward and tried the doorknob before speaking loudly, but calmly, at the door. “Anaise? Hey, buddy, I thought we were going to go hiking. How can we do that if you’re hiding in there? How about you let me in, okay?”
He tried the door again before throwing the full weight of his body into it in an attempt to force it open but it remained closed. “Yeah, I have zero idea how to pick locks.”
"Maybe there's keys? In the concierge's desk?" Laura had stood back, all but wringing her hands as she wondered what in the hell Anaise was doing. She was a normal little girl, by all accounts, but was not one to run headlong off in a tantrum. Even now, her behavior was shocking to her mother. Without waiting to see if her brother or their friend agreed with her idea, she turned on her heel and jogged back to the concierge desk, pulling out drawers, starting from the bottom up until she reached one in the middle with a spare set of keys. These were retrieved, and she brought them back to the empty apartment they'd been standing outside of. Shaking hands made for a long search going through the entire ring, trying to find the right number, but then she had the door open, and she was inside, calling out her child's name.
"Anaise? This isn't funny, baby, you need to come back now..."
John followed close behind. With the apartment vacant, he knew it would likely have no power; still he tried the first light switch he came to, muttering when it indeed did nothing. Another set of light switches, presumably at least one of which should have been connected to the hallway light, also proved useless. He moved deeper into the apartment, listening closely for any sign of his niece.
"Anaise," he called. "That's enough, now. Come on out."
He reached the end of his section of the small apartment, and returned to his companions, shaking his head.
Kal beelined for the kitchen and opened the bottom cabinet doors. When he was a kid, tiny and small, he’d crawl into the kitchen cabinets to hide from kuku when he was in trouble for doing the various things he had been prone to do. Bringing a frog he found into the house, dragging mud across the recently cleaned floor, breaking whatever. Anaise was tiny and the right age for such manners of hiding, so he was hopeful.
Alas, the hope was squashed quickly. “The bathroom, perhaps?” Kal asked.
Laura was in there; the bathroom was small, with no cabinet under the sink, or even a shower curtain to hide a small form inside the tub. The window was too tall for her to have reached, and it wasn't even open to admit the fact that it had helped a tiny escapee toward freedom. She was staring at some corner of white tile, not registering that neither Kal nor John were doing any better; her eyes unfocused, she pulled them closed, a hand rising to cover her mouth as she swallowed down a feeling similar to when her mother had died. She knew she had to keep herself together; she couldn't afford to fall apart in that moment.
She turned, coming out of the bathroom, shaking her head. "No," she replied to Kal's question as it finally clicked in her head. She was barely hanging on; tears were pooling along the bottom edges of her eyelids, and she looked up as fingers swept them away. "Um... Is there a duct? Something close to the floor that she could've crawled through? Or..." Laura could barely put together a thought. The band of keys around her wrist slid toward her elbow as her hand came up to cover her mouth.
Immediately John moved to her side, his hand wrapping close around her upper arm; she moved her hand to cover his. "It's okay," he whispered. "She's just too smart for her own good. We're going to find her. This building is only so big. Okay?" He drew her into a tight hug. Over her head, he searched the little apartment for any signs of the ductwork she had hoped would be there.
"We need to check the rest of the floor," he said. "I don't see any vents or openings big enough for her to get through, but… bring Stephan's keys. We'll check everywhere, regardless. One floor at a time." He cut a look to Laura and Kal, each in turn. "And we're not splitting up."
“But we could,” Kal replied with a shrug. “Not saying we all should split up. But the main thing is that we have to find Anaise, right? The doors get outside are locked, but everything inside is hit or miss. Not only that, but the floors have gone insane and we can’t make any emergency calls. We need help, I think. Maybe the apartment has a gas leak and we’re all hallucinating but we need to get out. If we can get out and we can get the police, they can help us find Anaise.
“I’ve got more gear up in my apartment. We can pry a door open, break a window, something. I can run up and get it or we can go as a team. Walk through each floor on the way to check for her, maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator in case that’s what she’s doing.” It wasn’t the best laid plan, but it was better than Kal pointing out there weren’t any vents that he could see.
Laura was nodding in turn to Kal's suggestion. "It's a huge building, John, we're not going to be able to cover all of it ourselves. Maybe if we post something on the network? Is that even still working? At least, what do you have that you think would help, Kal?" She'd pushed halfway out of John's embrace, though her hand still lingered on his chest. If they were going to start looking, they'd need to do it now.
“If we’re going to break a window, I have ice picks for hiking. I can smash the window with it rather than trying to throw a chair or some shit.” He looked at the doorway out into the hallway. “If all the floors are different, who knows what we need. I have supplies for all environments. I’d say we break a window on the first floor for easy exit but if we have to go to a higher floor, we can. I can climb down and I have the supplies for it. Otherwise I’ve got glow sticks and chocolate protein bars, maybe we can tempt Anaise out with those?”
John considered this for a moment. It was far from ideal, but they were left with few options. He nodded, sighing even as he did. "All right. I'd still prefer to stick together, but Laura and I can check a few floors on the way up if you want to go straight to your room and get your equipment. We'll check the network, too. If it's working we'll make sure everyone is either actively looking for her or knows to contact us if they find her."
It was not much of a plan, but it was enough of one to help John feel slightly more prepared for what lay ahead.
"I want to start with the rest of this floor; maybe next door, or just, anywhere she could've crawled or climbed into." Laura hooked fingers into John's grasp, looking to Kal. "We'll figure something out, and thank you for helping. We'll find her." She needed to believe it would happen, that there was no other potential outcome. If they were all trapped in the building, where could the small girl have gone?
“We will, and if I find her first, I’ll take her to my apartment and shoot you a message on the messaging board. I can entertain her with some instruments I have laying around until you’re able to come get her.” Kal said, keeping his voice calm and hopeful. They would find her, there was no question for this. It was a big apartment but they were all essentially locked in, where else could the little kid go?