Chapter 2: The Underground City
When she said “base camp” she meant a small, hidden entrance to an abandoned bomb shelter. It looked like it was well supplied and could make do with what it has for a long while if ever someone drops a nuclear bomb on our heads. Along with the random assortment of supplies that were lying around in some unknown order, there were also a wide variety of weapons set up on a wall. From guns to swords, this collection had everything. It was almost disconcerting considering I just followed this girl on a whim and don’t even know who she is. I mean, she could be one of those would be assassins who want me dead because of this key thingy lodged inside my soul. All this thinking is reminding me of my friend’s apartment and the large creature from who-knows attacked me. What the hell did he even get himself caught up in anyways? Not only that, where the hell was he? Was he dead, on the run, or being held captive in some otherworldly prison? I haven’t a clue, and trying to think about it is gonna get me nowhere real fast. I have to somehow take control of the situation and find out what’s going on from this girl, or at least just get some basic knowledge about the things that are now after me since Dave was a little sparse on the information regarding that. All I know is that they are not from this dimension and that they want me, or my soul, gone.
While I was busy being deep in thought about what I was going to do, a sharp prod to my side reminded me that I really don’t have a choice in what I do right now. I’ll follow Miss Aice and figure some things out along the way. “Ummm… so when you said “base camp” you meant this well supplied and armed fallout shelter in the middle of nowhere?” I asked this just to avoid the awkward silence which I could feel creeping up on us. “Yes, this is where we will live and train for until I can feel safe that you can take care of yourself. Till then, this is your new home.” She sounded almost cheerful when she said that last part, but I’m pretty sure I was just imagining it. “Follow me and I’ll show you around the place.” I thought for a second about what she just said… “Show me around? Isn’t this it? I mean I don’t see any doors that lead anywhere except for outside…” With my sentence finishing, she pulled on a concealed leaver located somewhere behind some pipes. Mechanical sounds filled the small area as a previously sealed part of the wall suddenly came out a bit further from the wall and revealed a small, hidden passage. Alex motioned for me to enter before her so I proceeded through the small entrance. This small passage way went on for about 100 feet before opening up into what looks like a waiting area. Confused, I went to ask Alex what this place was when the large, multi-layer doors began to unlock themselves and pulled away revealing what looked like an underground city.
This place was huge, massive, and sprawling. I couldn’t believe a place like this existed somewhere underground. It looks like we entered from a side entrance which was located near the top of the cavern which the city was built in so I could see almost all of the way across the city towards the other side, but my vision is obstructed by one of the massive columns which are supporting the roof. The buildings themselves look like a combination of modern and gothic architecture so they looked like they were almost too odd and strange for them to exist, but in here they looked like they just belonged. I guess I had been staring at the underground city for a little too long when Alex decided to begin pulling me towards what looked like an elevator. After a few presses of some buttons we were off, slowly descending into the splendor of the city. “The city of Helgat, or as some others call it “Hell Gate”. This city was built to manage and maintain a sort of balance between here and the void. There are about 23,000 residents who all work for the people who run this place. It was initially built in the 1300’s as a last resort against the end times which people back then thought were coming at any moment. Over time it began to serve a new purpose, which is the training and educating the Paladins who fight against the Void and the chaos it brings. In fact, I’m a Paladin and you are gonna be my first student!” While I was being taken for a crash course down the history of the city I guess I’ll be living in from now on, Alex slipped that little bit at the end before the gates to the elevator finally opened up revealing a bustling city street with all manners of people walking around doing whatever they needed to. Alex set off and with me in tow, we began to make our way through the massive city towards who knows what. I was just about to have my brain explode with all the information which had been thrown my way since earlier today and I don’t think I could take much more craziness.
We walked for what seemed like an hour until we came to a stop in front of a well decorated church looking building. I’m guessing it was some sort of an official place of business judging by the people walking in and out. We headed up the steps towards the entrance where we then walked right in and through the main lobby area. We stopped in front of another elevator and boarded it along with a few others. “Can you press B32 please?” Alex asked the man in front of the display showing the current floor and the many, many others. It looked like this elevator headed all the way down at least 100 or so stories. It didn’t take long before the door opened to the 32nd basement floor of the building and I was greeted with a few people standing by the door. Alex showed them some papers and then took me to a room somewhere on the floor. I walked in and was told to sit down at a small desk, which I did without question. At this point the excitement of seeing this underground city all but disappeared and was replaced by a creeping sense of danger. Alex then left, along with the two guards and closed the door behind them. I was all alone in this room with no windows or other furniture except for the chair and desk I was sitting in. What seemed like an hour passed before I noticed I wasn’t alone in the room any longer.
“So I see Miss Alexandria got you here in one piece. You gotta hand it to the kid considering she is the same age as you.” In one of the 4 dark corners of the room I see a long, slender woman appear out of what appears to be nothing casually walking towards me. She was dressed in a professional, businessy way that made me think of a person in power, which I guess she is. “My name is Natalie Davis and I’m… well… just know that I’m in a pretty high place of power here. If Alexandria didn’t already tell you, we are going to begin training you to become a full-fledged Paladin in order for you to protect yourself from the many dangers which are on their way. I’m going to say this as bluntly as possible; We cannot have you die, under any circumstances. You now hold the only thing which will keep the Void from consuming our world. The training is going to be harsh, and you’re going to wish you were never born. You will start training tomorrow morning at 5 AM. Till then, I’m going to have Alexandria show you around the city a bit just so that you can get familiar with the layout. And…. That just about does it! You can go now, your keeper is waiting out in the hallway for you and you shouldn’t keep a girl waiting too long.” With that, she faded back into the shadows and I was left alone in the room, by myself once again. So much information was just given to me, and I have almost no idea how to handle it. Yesterday I was sitting in my apartment watching some TV, today I’m located hundreds of feet below ground in some sort of soldier training program which will make it so I’m not so killable as I am right now.
Sighing, I get up and head towards the door which will lead me to some really, really unknown future with a girl who is now going to be my instructor? I open the door and find Alex leaning against the wall looking rather bored. When she notices that I left the room her face brightens up a bit before changing back to her usual look of annoyance. “Took you long enough, I was just about to leave without you.” “Yeah, I guess you are gonna show me around tonight?” “That’s right, just the basic places since we had a long journey and I’m beat.” “Sounds good.”
With that last note we made our way towards the elevator and then to the street level once again. She dragged me around from place to place for about an hour before she led me to the place where I’ll be living in for the foreseeable future. It was a smaller building on the outskirts of the city and seemed a little worn down. We entered and I followed her up to the third floor before stopping at room 332. “This is it, your room. Now, I suggest you get some sleep since I’ll be training you early in the morning tomorrow. I expect you up by 4:45 and ready by 5:00. If not, well… just make sure you’re up.” With that she gave me a somewhat sinister smile which told me that I better make sure I got up when she wanted me to. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some things to take care of. Good night.” With that she turned around and left, heading down the stairs which brought us up to the 3rd floor. I look at my key and fit it in the lock hole and turned it till I heard a satisfying click telling me the door is now unlocked. I enter the room and find it very plain, with everything just about the same color and nothing interesting anywhere. I noticed a package on my bed along with a few boxes of random stuff which I might need. I removed my new uniform from the bed and fell onto the hard mattress. If I wasn’t so tired, I probably would have never been able to get to sleep on such a terrible bed, but after everything that has happened to me today, my eyes started to get heavy and not before long, I was asleep on this strange bed, in an even stranger city.