With the coast clear, you think that now might be a good time to check out the vent. Wasting no time, you hop up onto your bed and take a look. In the flickering light, you notice that the bottom two screws have already been removed from the vent. Of the top two, one of them is almost entirely removed. It looks to you like someone has used this vent before.
After removing the loose screw and swinging the vent down on the axis of the remaining screw your suspicions are confirmed. Sitting just inside the vent opening is a small rolled-up paper sack — like something you’d use in grade school to carry your lunch. A quick glance inside reveals a few items of interest:
- A hypodermic needle. It looks pretty well-used and the business end is slightly charred.
- A bent spoon
- A Bic cigarette lighter with a small amount of fuel left
- A metal bolt about 6″ long. One end has been filed down to a point and the other end is wrapped in cloth. The sharpened end is stained with a flaky brown substance that COULD be rust, but you doubt it.
- A plastic baggie filled with a small amount of bright yellow powder
- A handwritten note
You take a brief look at the note. The parts of it that aren’t completely illegible seem to be filled with the ravings of a madman. The page is entirely covered on both sides with a tiny, spidery script — most of which is written in english, but there’s a fair share of symbols on there as well.
You shove the note into a pocket and make a brief attempt to conceal the rest of the items about your person. You’re rushed, so you’ll have to make sure to do a better job of this later.
With a single heave, you manage to get yourself up inside the vent head-first. You’ve only got an inch or two of clearance on either side, so you quickly adjust to put your arms out in front of you so that you can drag yourself along. It’s not comfortable, but it’ll do. Either way, though — turning around is going to be an impossibility. If you come back here, you’ll have to do so backwards.
At first you manage to make pretty good progress, but after only a few minutes your ams quickly begin to tire. In the pitch-blackness of the ventilation system your eyes and ears begin to play tricks on you. With the stale air pushing past you and the bowing of the metal as you crawl through it, it’s almost easy for you to convince yourself that the building itself is breathing. You hear the soft rasping sounds of the furnace machinery and feel the eddies of air swirling around your arms and legs — frankly, it’s hard to convince yourself that you’re NOT surrounded by hundreds of slithering snakes.
But still, you crawl on — undeterred — until at last you see some light up ahead. You are now in a slightly larger, yet still constrictive, shaft. It’s not quite large enough to crawl through, but it’s close. You can see two covered vents leading out of the shaft, one on the left side and one on the right. Ahead of you the shaft dead-ends and proceeds straight up into the blackness.
Both of the vents lead into darkened rooms, each of which has a door facing the vent shaft. The one on the right appears to be a smaller room than the other, and you can make out the silhouettes of some shelving from the light coming under the door. The one on the left is a larger room, but you can’t make much out inside besides part of what looks like a potted plant near the door.
You’re about to set upon the delicate task of removing one of the vent covers from INSIDE when you feel one of the air eddies brush your ankle again and you shiver. When the thing brushing your ankle tightens, however, you start to panic and can barely suppress a scream.
You’re not alone in here. Something is behind you.
And it’s starting to pull you towards it.
The leading choice was “Try to pry the cover off the vent” which beat “Sneak through the halls and try to find Harold” by two votes.
As a note, I’m going to start listening to the comments for suggestions on things to do with the items found in the vent, so make sure to chime in if you would like Vlad to do something specific with them.
I made and recorded a roll for Vlad’s attempt to conceal his findings. Please speak up in the comments if you want him to spend some more time on concealing them later, otherwise he’ll go on as he is currently.
Please vote on BOTH polls this week. I’m trying something new with this one.