Beryl could barely see Nymlet reaching down to place her spinning blade against his skull when the electricity flickered. A loud wailing shriek accompanied by thunder shook the building and interrupted the procedure. Nymlet and the others jumped in surprise as the green light extinguished moments after the quake, though Beryl breathed a sigh of relief to find the blade had stopped spinning an inch above his head.
There was some confusion and Beryl heard glass shatter on the ground before Sanderson managed to establish some order as he, like Beryl, could still see. But the doberman had barely calmed anyone down as wicked, guttural snarls resounded from the heart room as Beryl and others could hear doors being thrown open and the inhabitants being set loose.
Panic erupted in the lobotomy room as the people inside scrambled to see what was going on outside. Only the fox remained, drooling onto itself awaiting an order except when a particularly nasty shock from its enhancement made it straighten up.
Beryl struggled to free himself in the confusion while someone, Nymlet likely, opened fire and the fighting began. The building shook repeatedly in protest as bullets ricocheted off the walls and monsters struck, though the flickering orange light of torches had replaced the darkness. Beryl could hear the shouts from familiar voices, friends who must have been planning his rescue.
Beryl felt his bindings loosen over his head and he turned to see who had freed him. It was the young girl, or woman now that he could see her clearly. It was hard to tell for sure, but he thought her long hair was orange. “Don’t make a sound. They’re buying you time to escape!“
Beryl tried to contain his excitement but he itched for his freedom after his weeks of confinement and what had almost cost him his mind. The diminutive woman removed his bonds until he could join her in releasing himself. Finally, he leapt off of the table and onto the metal floor relieved.
The young woman gestured for him to follow her and they left the fox there to drool on herself. They ran into the heart room which had descended into chaos. In the center of the room was the still beating heart which was now giving off a soft orange light of its own to complement the fires that had been set around the room which were keeping the released Deep Ones at bay as everyone used torches and gunfire to keep them back.
One side was impassible, Evangeline was swinging a torch wildly as she was surrounded along with the man with the oiled beard and Nymlet, who fired wildly into the Deep Ones and other creatures that were clawing and shoving one another to reach the humans. Canergak had arrived and added his lightning pack to drive the monsters back while Lisa shouted at them all for letting this happen. Gears were sent flying as the creatures fought the clockwork dog which had already lost one front limb from the battle.
The other side had been abandoned by the Deep Ones, but it was where the cabbits, Zaros and Kealani, were defending themselves against Sanderson. He looked crazed as he advanced on them with his dueling sabre. Kea was defending both of them with only a bedpan she used to deflect his blows while Zaros clutched a small coffin protectively.
Beryl went to four legs and ran towards Sanderson while the woman followed behind; he was going to pounce on the dog while he was unaware, but the canine must have heard him approaching and turned his blade on Beryl and the woman.
Zaros ran past Kea and pushed Sanderson aside, something no one had expected, and the cabbit pulled back and threw the coffin towards Beryl with all her might, “Catch!”
Beryl caught the dusty box despite his surprise, but he didn’t have time to ask the cabbit what was in it. All he could see was Sanderson’s sword thrust that pierced Zaros’s side.
She gave out a startled cry and fell to the ground clutching her wound, her blood leaking onto the metal floor. Beryl moved forward as Kea fanatically tackled the doberman and started to hit him with the bedpan as he struggled to get up.
Beryl reached Zaros’s side, where she grinned up at him despite her wound, “Get going, Beryl…we’ll be fine…this adventure…is only…beginning.”
Beryl was going to argue but the Deep Ones had noticed them finally and some had broken off from trying to reach Nymlet and the others and were coming for them. Kea dropped the bedpan and had reached for Zaros’s arm to help her up. The woman shouted for them to run and they made their way to the exit together.
The woman urged them onwards into the darkness, and soon Beryl didn’t know when Zaros and Kea had disappeared. All he could hear was the sound of the Deep Ones following them, their webbed feet making soft squishing noises as they chased their prey across the now stone floor.
Beryl ran with the box tucked under one of his arms, but he was growing tired. Adrenaline had served to keep him moving, but he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in days, he had just seen one of his friends stabbed, and he had almost been robbed of his entire being.
Just as he was slowing down he began to hear the rushing of water, like the waterfalls beside the Piermont were just in front of him if he didn’t give up.
He kept running, though his limbs ached and failed him twice as he slipped on the cold, dank basement stone. Each time the woman helped him to his feet and urged him on till they reached the end of the passage. It was a mining ballroom with wonderful stone work and giant pillars of stone that had been carved lovingly, but the entire floor was a giant whirlpool.
It was a dead end, and the only hope appeared to be a tiny, broken submarine. It was Tepics submarine, Beryl recalled vaguely, that had been lost here long ago. There was a hole in the top, but it was floating near the surface, held there only by a short rope that kept it from moving afar.
The Deep Ones were closing on them, but there was no way that the woman could fit inside the submarine. She had led him down here knowing that only he could escape this way.
Beryl turned towards the woman, but she shoved him onto the submarine and cut the rope before he was prepared.
“Get in!” She yelled and then turned back to face what was coming. Beryl shouted his disapproval, but gripped the submarine terrified as it was pulled by the terrible force of the whirlpool. He struggled to open the latch before it capsized, but lost his balance and the ship upended as he crawled inside with the small coffin.
He wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard curses coming from within.