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Who

Derelict Mansion

A seemingly ancient house that's seen better days. Funny thing is though, if you asked anyone else on the street about it they wouldn't be able to tell you anything.
LadyOfWar

The young woman wearing a white hoodie, a t-shirt, blue jeans and boots steps inside and looks around. She is holding her head, trying to stop the bleeding from a rather nasty cut. She seems rather wary of her surroundings and her host.

"You have a nice place. Which way to some ice and some bandages?"
Who

The inside isn't much different from the outside, it looks like it could have once been a really nice place to live but it's fallen in to disrepair. Also there's a muted thump every few seconds. The host, points through a nearby door.

"There's ice through there and the bandages are in the bathroom."
LadyOfWar

"Thanks." she replies and walks through the door, in search of the ice, and a towel and fresh water to wash off her face.

For the moment the thumping goes unnoticed.
Who

Through the door is an ancient cooking area. All rusty utensils and cobwebs. She'll find the ice in large blocks in a little stone alcove, a small hammer hanging nearby to chip the ice.

As for a towel there's some clothes hanging up by the rusted taps but they don't appear to have been washed in quite a while.
LadyOfWar

She leaves the ice for after she washes up. The clothes get a look of disgust, and she does not touch them. First she tries the tap, hoping that if she lets it run for a bit she'll get some relatively clean water.
Who

There's a rattle and a clunk before water begins to flow from the tap. Surprisingly it's crystal clear the minute it comes out.
LadyOfWar

((testing... testing.... one, two, three...))

She washes up her face and hands, wincing a little as she scrubs the gooey blood from her hair. Then she heads off to the bathroom in search of bandages, still dripping wet.
Who

Her host is standing in the hallway holding a roll of clean bandages.

"Found everything you need I trust it?"
LadyOfWar

"Oh, yes, thank you." She says after she narrowly misses bumping into him because of the water in her eyes.

She takes the bandages and looks around.  

"Is there a mirror here somewhere? It is a little tricky to see the top of one's own head." she laughs a little at that.
Who

He nods, point up a set of stairs.

"There's one at the top of the stairs."
LadyOfWar

"Thank you."

She heads up the steps, careful of any spots weakened by the house's age.

When she finds the mirror she sets to neatly wrapping the wound before turning to head back down.

"Would you mind chipping a bit of ice off the ice blocks for me, please?" she calls down the stairs. "And if you have a clean towel to wrap the ice in, I'd like to chill this bump on my head without getting my bandage all wet."
Who

"Of course."

With a kindly smile he heads off to grab some ice, maybe brush the dirt of a towel. Whilst she's at the mirror, she might catch something moving behind her in the reflection, if she's careful that is.
LadyOfWar

The flicker in the mirror makes her turn around and look behind her, searching for an insect in the house, or perhaps even a bird that got indoors.

She tucks the last end of the bandage neatly into the fold of the bandage already wrapping her head as she turns. She managed to make the tidy bit of nursing look slick, with her hair neatly curling out from under the bandage like it was a headband.
Who

Her search will prove itself to be ultimately fruitless. Though if she dains glance back at the mirror she'll see a small girl on the other side of the mirror, her features melting like candle wax.
LadyOfWar

"Heh... odd." She says, quite sure she saw something. Then she turns back toward the mirror to pick up the roll of bandage she did not use.

The sight in the mirror makes her jump backward from it.

"Yipes!"

She very nearly falls down the stairs, but manages to grab the railing just in time, the aging wood is suddenly subjected to her full weight.
Who

Under her full weight the ageing timbers creak and groan and crumble. The girl's host dashes to try and catch her before she hits the ground, assuming that is that she can't save herself.
LadyOfWar

She tumbles down two steps and then, just before she hits the knot on her head again the odd fellow in the checked suit stops her fall.

"There was a face in the ..." she pauses mid-sentence, realizing how insane she must sound. "Sorry. Just clumsy. Thanks for catching me." She slowly pulls herself to her feet.
Who

He sets her back on her feet, stepping back a little to give her some space.

"Not at all,  wouldn't want you getting bruised now would we? Now you said something about a face?"
LadyOfWar

"Oh, nothing, for a second there I thought I saw a face in the mirror, and no, not my face."

Then she mumbles, "Must have hit my head harder than I thought."
Who

Her host nods, his welcoming expression becoming shifty and nervous for a few seconds.

"Clearly. Perhaps you should stay the night? It's not safe for you to be wandering the streets in your current condition."
LadyOfWar

Bandaged and knocked silly as she is, the shifty nervous look does not go unnoticed. The gently pushes the issue. "Did you see something?"
Who

He shakes his head.

"What on earth would you see in a mirror? Except your own reflection of course."
LadyOfWar

"Something behind you. They're very useful for that, for seeing something behind you."

Her eyes narrow a little, then the expression on her face softens and she drops the subject.

"Never mind. Thank you for your help. Now, if I could just figure out where this place is I could figure out what I'm doing here and where I'm supposed to be."

She holds out the leftover roll of bandage for her host to take.

"Could you show me around this place a little? Maybe if I see more of this city I'll know where it is. I had to have come here for some reason."
Who

Her host takes the bandages, both looking and sounding rather panicked.

"I'm, I'm afraid that wont be possible."
LadyOfWar

His look of panic causes the young woman's green-blue eyes to go wide and her voice to drop to a surprisingly low, angry tone.

"What exactly do you mean."

It is the voice of a woman used to being defied and used to bending others' defiance into compliance.
Who

"I can't leave the building but once in a day. It is part of my family's curse."
LadyOfWar

"So... you cannot leave, but..." she attempts to walk past him toward the door, clearly desiring to test what she is going to say next, "I can leave."

She has no desire to be trapped only minutes after arriving in this strange place with a head wound.
Who

"Very well, if you wish to leave I'll show you to the door."

As good as his word her host begins to head towards the door.
LadyOfWar

She follows him to to door. Her heavy boot's rubber soles make little noise on the floor, other than the creaking of the old floorboards.
Who

He even holds the door open for her, gent that he is. She'll be entirely unimpeded in exiting the premises.
LadyOfWar

She steps outside, raising one eyebrow in suspicion as she does. Then she hurries down the front steps and out to the street.

Once there, she breathes a sigh of relief, and tips her head back to look at the now-darkend sky. The chill air filling her lungs clears her head, and the sight of the bright stars above calms her mind.

"What am I doing, so frightened by this? I don't even believe in curses." she mumbles, her breath forming little poofs of white vapor in the air in front of her.

She turns to the man in the drab clothes, framed by the doorway of his house. A look of pity slowly creeps into her eyes.

"hhhmmm...." she mumbles, thoughtfully. Then she shivers.

The cold breeze helped her make up her mind. She walks back toward the house, smiling slightly at the man.
Who

He looks at her hopefully as she recrosses the threshold.

"So, will you be staying?"
LadyOfWar

"For a while at least." She says as she steps back in and wipes her feet on the rug, if there is one.

"Tell me more of this curse. Who said that you had it, and have you ever tried going out?"
Who

Her host smiles a little, trying to usher her in to a rather dusty parlour room.

"It's a story passed down to me by my grandfather."
LadyOfWar

She steps into the room, looking around at the dusty furniture, carefully choosing a spot to sit that looks like it will hold her weight.

"Please, do tell me more."
Who

The furniture is remarkably stable, though a tad lumpy.

"A long time ago my family refused a traveller to stay in this very house. It later transpired that the traveller bore no small amount of magical talent, they decreed that if we would not share this house then we would be forever bound to it."
LadyOfWar

She sits on a antique sofa and slaps a few of the lumps from the cushion.

"Did they give you specific terms of this 'binding,' and if so, have you ever tried to break them?" She asks, once she's settled in.
Who

He shakes his head, sitting down in a tattered highback leather char.

"I've never dared leave beyond the time the curse allows."
LadyOfWar

"What is the time-frame on it?" she looks out the window at the dark of night outside.
Who

He shakes his head.

"I'm not exactly sure, I've never left for more than three hours."
LadyOfWar

"Well, now that won't do. A decent curse should have nice, clear rules attached to it. Leave no room for ambiguity."

She smiles mischievously.

"We should test it."
Who

His eyes shift about nervously as he considers her proposal.

"I'd really rather not..."
LadyOfWar

"You'd really rather live your life in three-hour snippets? When for all you know you could go out all day, sunrise to sunset, see the town, go shopping, go out to a show, watch the sunrise on a hill by the beach, travel!" She leans forward with excitement as she talks.

"We don't have to test it at night. We can wait for morning."
Who

That definitely seems to calm him down some what.

"I'd really rather prefer that."
LadyOfWar

"It's settled then. Tomorrow you're going out for more than three hours. We can explore this town together." she smiles. Then she winces.

"Oww. I should be icing this." The points to her head. She forgot about the ice when she'd freaked out and ran outside.

"You wouldn't happen to know the directions to a nearby hotel, would you?" she adds, as she slowly stands up to go get her ice.
Who

"I'm afraid I've never had call for one, what with not being able to stray too far. You're more than welcome to stay here for the night however."
LadyOfWar

"Thank you for the kind offer." She says as she heads for the kitchen to get the ice for her head. Unless she bumps into something more disturbing than ancient cobwebs, she is soon chipping ice off of the ice block.

She starts mumbling to herself as she thinks over her options. "Dark out... could get lost... odd fellow..." then louder, "Yowch!" as she reaches up to absentmindedly scratch her head and touches her head-wound instead. "Blasted smack on the head," she mumbles again.
Who

The man comes rushing through as he hears the Yowch.

"Are you okay?"
LadyOfWar

"Yes, thank you." She says, straightening up holding a chunk of ice. "I just touched that." She points to the spot on her head where a little blood is oozing through the bandage.

His kindness helps her make up her mind.

"I'd be glad to stay the night, if it's no trouble."

She holds the ice chunk to the side of her head, wincing as she does so.
Who

"Of course, no trouble at all. First door on your left upstairs is empty."
LadyOfWar

"Thank you." she replies.

She checks her watch.

"It is quite late. Perhaps I should head up there now."
Who

"Sleep well then."
LadyOfWar

"And a good night to you too." she tells him with a smile.

Then she heads up the stairs. When one of the steps creaks loudly she pauses and adds. "Don't be surprised if you hear me up in the middle of the night." She makes the step squeak a couple more times as explanation of why she'd be noisy.  "I'll have to wake up frequently... protection against ending up in a coma you know." Then she heads up to the first room on the left.
Who

As she heads up the stairs she'll see a small trapdoor in the ceiling above the stairs and the dull thumping sound she heard when she came in becomes much quieter. The room, is much like everything else she's seen, rather old and dusty and in need of a little bit of repair. If she looks up at any point she'll see the room's ceiling is covered in a thin film of green....something.
LadyOfWar

The trap door gets little attention from her. Somewhere in her scrambled memory she is familiar with trap doors leading to attics in old houses, so her brain files the sight under 'normal'.

However, she does experience one particularly fascinating phenomenon of the human mind: it notices when there is a change in the frequency or intensity of a repetitive stimulus more than it notices the stimulus itself. When the thudding noise becomes softer, she rather abruptly becomes more aware of its presence.

"Hmmm...." she looks down the hallway from her room, and all over her room itself, listening carefully for which direction the sound is coming from.

That's when she spots the green stuff. The green film gets even more attention than the knocking noise. This girl sure is interested in bugs and slime.

Assuming there is a chair in the room she drags it over to a wall so she can rest one hand on the wall for balance, then she stands on it to get a better look at the green slick.
Who

The thud appears to be coming from beneath her, not directly beneath her mind you but it's certainly not on the same floor as her.

The green on the ceiling reveals itself to be rather sticky, adhering itself to her hand as she touches it.
LadyOfWar

She steps down off of the chair, rubbing the green slime between her fingers. She sniffs it, cautiously.

"Hmmm... mold? Slime-mold? I wonder..." she says to herself.

With her feet back on the floor she notices the thumping is louder down here than up by the ceiling.

"What the deuce could be making that noise?" The carpet has her undivided attention. Or rather the floor beneath it, but it sure looks like she's staring at the carpet.
Who

It smells sort of gone off and nasty, probably not very pleasant to have on her hands. The thump is still quite muffled from where she is, the carpet has a sort of faded flowery pattern on it.
LadyOfWar

"Ish... mold." Her sniff-analysis is complete. She looks around for something to wipe her hand off on. "Oh.. I know." she digs in her white hoodie's pocket with her clean hand and comes up with a small packet of Kleenex. Then she sets about wiping her hand while listening for which direction the sound is coming from.
Who

Below her, not directly but not on this floor. Maybe not even the floor below her.
LadyOfWar

With her hand clean she looks for a wastepaper basket. If she doesn't find one, then she leaves the Kleenex perched on the edge of the chair she stood on.

This leaves her hand free to pick up her ice chunk for her head again. It only left a little melty wet spot on the chair when she set it down so she could look at the mold.

With her ice on her head again, she heads out into the hall, and if she doesn't bump into her host, heads down the stairs, avoiding the extra squeeky one half-way up.
Who

She indeed doesn't bump in to her host, curiously even if she was listening out for him she wouldn't hear a thing.
LadyOfWar

The lack of sounds from him makes her ears perk up more.

When she reaches the bottom of the stairs she sets off exploring the main floor, listening closely for where the knocking sound gets louder. Like a game of hot and cold, or Marco Polo.
Who

It's loudest at a door near the entrance, if she tries to open it she'll find that it's very much locked.
LadyOfWar

She takes a step back from the door, having found that turning the handle didn't work. She looks at where it is located in relation to the other rooms, trying to deduce where it would lead based on location and what she knows of the architecture of old houses.

In the midst of all this she does pause to consider how odd it is that she knows things like the usual layout of an old house but she cannot pin down her own name, where she is right now and how she got here.
Who

Through a little bit of deduction she'll probably realise that most likely  that door leads down in to some kind of cellar.
LadyOfWar

"Now what would cause a knocking sound like that in a house this old?" she muses quietly. "No forced air heat or water heater down there."

She takes a look at the lock, and her hand instinctively slips into her jeans pocket where she finds a pocket knife and a hairpin.

"Heh... didn't even know I had that... I must have done this kind of thing before..." her voice is still very low, she just can't help mumbling her thoughts aloud.
Who

Clearly this woman is some kind of thief! The scoundrel.

Still no sign of her host through all this.
LadyOfWar

She pauses again.

"Nice fellow lets me in his place and I go trying to get in the first locked door I encounter. What's wrong with me?"

She pauses a moment longer, listening to the knocking sound, fighting between her curiosity and her good sense. She listens to see if the sound is regular and mechanical, or more like an animal is stuck in the cellar, or for anything that would calm down the runaway curiosity in her mind.
Who

Well it's more of a thump than a knock, it's a continuous regular pattern of two beats.
LadyOfWar

"Didn't know better I'd say this place had a heartbeat." she says with a little chuckle.

She takes one more glance at the lock on the door, seeing if it's easy to pick with a mere hairpin. Curiosity still insisting that she not leave this alone.

Then she mentally slaps her own hand and steps away from it.
Who

It probably would be, that lock looks pretty old.
LadyOfWar

She paces around the first floor for another couple of minutes because she doesn't feel tired now. Each time she ends up back at that door.

Finally she takes another looooong moment to listen for her host. If she hears noting, she quickly slides the hairpin into the lock and feels for the spots a key's teeth would fit into.
Who

I know nothing about the process of picking locks so I'm just skipping to the part where the squeaks open, leading down some grimy steps in to darkness.
LadyOfWar

"That was... really easy." she barely breathes the words. Peering into the darkenss she looses her nerve. Until she reaches into her pocket again. She finds a little LED light encased in rubber designed to be easy to wrap around most anything and shine light where you need it.
"Now why do I have this?"

She stands in the doorway pondering that, and still comes up with nothing.

Finally she heads down the steps: ice in one hand, light in the other, hairpin back in her pocket.
Who

Heading down the steps the thumping noise gets louder and louder, in the dim light provided by her LED she'll be able to make out a large object suspended in the air, pulsing in time to the thump.

(And now I must sleep, g'night)
LadyOfWar

She stays well back from the large suspended object, and shines her light on it. The light produces a concentrated circle of brightness about the diameter of a pencil eraser, and around it only a faint haze of lightness. This requires her to very slowly and methodically scroll the little light over the large object so she can get a good look at the whole thing. She starts at the upper left hand side of if and moves the light along as though she were reading until she has looked at each bit of it and can form a picture of the whole thing in her mind.

All the while her ears are on sharp alert. She'd rather not get in trouble with the kind fellow who has allowed her to stay here... but... the curiosity! The desire to know just what was causing that odd, odd noise!

((good night, Who))
Who

The surface of the object is red and leathery, pulsing along with the thump. She'll have to be careful as she moves around the room, the floor being covered in debris as it is.
LadyOfWar

"What the...?!" she hisses under her breath. Her eyes go wide at the sight. Very slowly she backs away from it... she backs up the steps, nimbly finding each step's edge with her hiking-boot-clad feet without taking her eyes or her little light off the big, red, leathery, pulsing object.
Who

As she makes her way up the stairs she'll find them flattening away and turning in to a steep slide.
LadyOfWar

The sticky soles of her shoes grip, slowing her descent... and SQUEEEEEEEEKing.

It doesn't help that she gives a little "Yipe!" when she finds herself sliding down the wooden slide. She drops the ice chunk that she was holding against her head. It clatters to the floor below.

When she reaches the bottom, her first concern is getting back up. This calls for scrambling up on all fours, using her sticky shoe soles for propulsion and her hands for balance.
Who

As she gets up a light behind her flares in to life from a previously dead furnace. In front of her, her host steps out of the shadows, a pained expression on his face.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
LadyOfWar

She stops scrambling, and turns to face him. The moment she stops moving she begins slowly sliding down the ramp again, the light of the furnace flickering over her face, illuminating her worried expression. It makes the bandage on her head and her scruffy hair look eerie.

"What is going on?" She looks from the man, to the red pulsating thing, to the furnace and back. Finally she sets her foot at an angle so that she will stop sliding, providing the ramp is not near-vertical.
Who

"It's the house, it needs to feed. It's making me do this..."

He tries to grab her as she scrambles up the ramp.
LadyOfWar

The instant he starts toward her she takes off up that ramp again with surprising speed.

Unless something intervenes she makes it up that ramp pretty quickly, and just as her hands and one knee are on the horizontal floor above, all he'll get hold of is her left ankle.

She is wearing 3/4 height hiking boots, so just above the ankle but not as high as most hikers. The edge of the boot makes a great ridge for him to grip onto.
Who

Sadly for her the house does try and intervene. Steps appearing and disappearing at random. Trying to knock her back down. Whilst her host clambers after her.

"Run! Please!"
LadyOfWar

"I'm trying!" She shouts at him as she takes a rapidly appearing stair to the shin. The next step actually boosts her, but then it disappears into a ramp sending her tripping onto her chin with a 'thump!'

"ooowww..." she keeps scrambling, not giving up, determined to reach the flat floor above.
Who

Her reluctant pursuer lunges forward as she trips, attempting to grab her by the leg and pull her towards him.
LadyOfWar

He'll get hold of her left ankle.

She is wearing 3/4 height hiking boots, so just above the ankle but not as high as most hikers. The edge of the boot makes a great ridge for him to grip onto.

She slides toward him, then kicks out with her other foot viciously, trying to knock him back and away from her.
Who

He yells in pain as the blow connects, though this doesn't seem to loosen his grip, attempting to throw her down to the bottom of the stairs.
LadyOfWar

The stairs shifting beneath her and the weight of the man pulling on her ankle is more than she can fight. As one more step appears and then dissolves beneath her hand, throwing her off balance, she tumbles down to the floor below.

By the fire in her eyes, she's still got a lot of fight left in her though. "Let me go." It is a command.
Who

Her former host speaks through gritted teeth, clearly trying to fight whatever hold it is the house has on him.

"It wont let...it won't let me."

He begins to pull her towards the furnace, dragging her through the debris left by previous meals, on the cellar floor.
LadyOfWar

"It is a thing! You are a person!" Her hands instinctively grip at the rubble around her, all of it sliding through her fingers.

"Make up your own MIND!" With her last word she simultaneously pulls her trapped leg forward, to pull his arm in range, and kicks her free foot at his arm, hard enough to fracture a normal person's wrist.
Who

With another yell of pain he lets go, clutching his wrist.

"I'm trying!"
LadyOfWar

She rolls onto her hands and knees, and is about to climb to her feet when her eyes fall on those abominable stairs again. "Not a good way out.... wait... think!" she hisses at herself.

Her eyes turn to the giant red thing... pulsating... thump... thump... thump... so much slower than her own heart....

Heart!

"It's alive! We can kill it!"

The amount of time it took her to put that together gives the man another chance to move as she starts feeling around in the rubble for a suitable weapon.
Who

He stumbles forward attempting to grab her again, the pain slowing down his efforts to grab her.

"Just run!"
LadyOfWar

As he grabs a handful of her white hoodie her fingers find a rusted-off pipe among the rubble.

She stands up, holding one end of the heavy metal object.

"Help me. You'll be free. Just help me! Grab this and we can kill it!"
Who

He grabs on to the bar, his limbs shaking as the house tries to make him let go.

"Pull!"
LadyOfWar

She grips the metal object harder, and pulls it out from the rubble along with the man on his call of 'Pull!'

"Now, we stab it on three!...

ONE....

TWO....

THREE....!"

She uses all her strength to ram the jagged end of the rusted off pipe at the big throbbing heart.

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