Within seconds after explaining what happened to Shark, Annette found herself grabbed by the neck, and lifted off the floor.
“What do you mean, that twiggy little freak got him?!” Sinbad was probably as mad as he was going to get. She could feel the spit flying from his mouth as he yelled directly into her face.
“I tried to help him, but-” Annette was forcibly interrupted as she was roughly dropped to the floor. “The Builder possessed him, and took him away!”
This didn’t appease Sinbad in the least. If anything, it just seemed to fuel his rage even more.
“And you didn’t do a damn thing to help him?! You just left him out there to be caught and probably killed?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!”
His screaming was just agony to her ears. Once she batted off his hands and freed herself, she tried reasoning with him.
“I didn’t leave him out there! I told him to run, but The Builder already got a hold of him! If I were able to do something, I would have! But I can’t exactly do anything if I don’t have my ring with me!”
Once Annette was done speaking, Sinbad just glowered at her for a few silent moments. He then turned to address the others.
“Shallow, selfish, and gold-digging,” he said as he retook his seat. “No wonder Bill liked screwing her; she’s basically a blue female version of him!”
“Now, don’t you being Bill into this!” She snapped back at him. “I really did love him, and I wasn’t the one who killed him!”
Annette took a deep breath before going on. “All I wanted was to marry him, and maybe birth his firstborn child-”
Once again, though, she was cut off, this time by Dennis.
“Firstborn child? Have you been living under a rock, Miss Annette?” He cocked an eyebrow, not forgetting the danger his son was likely in.
What he was implying just confused her. “He already had a child?”
“He had thirty-seven of them! Somehow, a bunch of ladies were willing to sleep with him, a drug-addled bastard who ran over fire hydrants with his golf cart!”
Now Dennis pinched the bridge of his nose, and gave an exasperated sigh. “Of course, there couldn’t be any way you could have known that, now that I think about it…”
The door nearby opened, startling all of then. Horse-Face stepped out, paying no attention to the conversation going on.
“Hey, Horsey man! Where ya going now?” Blaise’s question went ignored. All he did was sway as he walked by them, reaching the door back to the main part of the base.
A few moments later, The Twin stepped out of the other room, clearly aghast at what just happened. She reached out her arm, but then quickly dropped it.
Glancing over all of them, she rubbed the back of her head and looked back at the door.
“You know, I’m thinking she’s asking us to go after him. Is that what you’re trying to ask us?” When Dennis questioned The Twin, she nodded, giving him a sheepish grin in the process.
It appeared now that Horse-Face’s will was not his own. As much as he wanted to, he couldn’t tear himself away from what was drawing him in.
The farther he went, the less familiar the location got. Although he was aware that he couldn’t possibly know all the rooms in the base, he still dreaded what he was going to find.
Soon, Horse-Face reached a staircase even he’d never seen before. Chalking it up to The Builder’s Omnipotence, he continued downward.
Horse-Face was then plunged into darkness, but amazingly didn’t lose his footing. The staircase seemed to go on forever, though.
“If this turns out to all be some kind of trick, or if there’s nothing down here…” He didn’t finish his thought.
Soon, Horse-Face did reach the end. There weren’t any lights to turn on to see better, though.
Now going by feeling around him, Horse-Face could get a hold of something presumably made of stone. It felt like a raised bowl with large rocks inside it.
He had only just stepped away from it to keep looking when it lit up suddenly. Horse-Face was so startled at this, that he fell over onto his rear.
All he could do was stare at the bowl containing a roaring fire. Then, he got onto his knees and crawled around to find anything else noteworthy.
“So who would win in a fight,” Dennis asked Harwood as the group now embarked on their search for Horse-Face. “Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris?”
Given his knowledge of his own culture, Harwood smirked and chuckled. “I take it you’ve never seen the movie Way of the Dragon?”
Dennis’ now blank expression said it all. Behind them, Blaise and Marc took in their conversation.
“Uhhh…I don’t get the reference,” Blaise said to Marc. “Ya mind clarifying?”
“Way of the Dragon had Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in it. Their characters fought in one of the scenes. Uhhh…”
Marc was still getting used to being without an arm. He had to lower his stump when he tried to scratch his head with it. “Bruce Lee’s character won. So basically, Bruce Lee won.”
“Oh.” The two were then quiet as Dennis and Harwood changed the subject.
Up ahead, Annette was trailing just behind Sinbad and Sagebear, leading the way. She only wished there was something she could say to get him to talk to her.
“Get bent,” was his snippy remark to make her shut up, before the rest of his vitriol escaped. “Because of you, I’ve probably lost my fiance. And the boss and his wife probably lost their son.”
Eventually, she got the hint and kept her mouth shut. The group continued on, following Sagebear.
Once more, Sagebear’s keen sense of smell led them into a darkened passage. After going down a long flight of stairs, the group encountered a fiery torch.
“Well, we got somewhere…” Marc said to an eerily silent room.
Then, a good few yards away, another torch lit without supervision. After it, a series of other flames burst to life in their own locations.
As soon as they were finished, a dozen torches blazed in a circle, illuminating the room in an intense orange hue.
“What is this, some kind of black magic ritual?” Blaise asked. In response, a light from the ceiling flickered on, shining on a place on the other side of the room.
Everyone watched with bated breath as an unwelcome figure entered the spotlight.