Chapter 124 – In the Dungeon of Death

13 04 2009

(Tom Hogg blogs)

Well, hello there, Internet.

I don’t plan to make a habit of blogging, but after Kard posted all those “Dungeon of Death” logs online, I thought I’d clear a few things up.

The posts that you saw were assembled from a number of remarks that I’d made over the course of each day. The remarks were meant to let Iaru, Bradley, Megan and Johnny know I was OK. The computer I was given displayed a black screen, and when I typed, text would appear. I’d hit enter to send it to kard, who then edited it and censored out anything that suggested that I was talking directly to anyone in particular, as well as anything that suggested I had any notion of how to get out of the dungeon, and anything that contradicted her story about me betraying the others.

I think it’s only fair that I tell you what happened after my last set of remarks was posted. Renard – that’s the guy we met who was dressed as a guard, but I’m pretty sure that’s not his real name – was able to reprogram the computer’s transmitter and use it to contact Research Team Seven. Turns out he was a spy for Research Team Seven all along.

After that, it was just a matter of hanging about until Research Team Seven got there. They let us out, and we ran for it. Most of the Network people had fled with everything of value, including the clef, but we were grateful for that because that meant nobody was attacking us. After that, we got into a helicopter, and we got taken here, to Research Team Seven’s hideout.

Anyway, it turns out the Dungeon of Death was nothing more than an entertainment for kard, and a deterrent to anyone who felt like challenging the Network of Arms. Those people I took to be guards were actually a group who didn’t like kard’s leadership and tried to force her to step down.

Most of the prisoners from the dungeon have been rounded up and were anonymously delivered to the police last Thursday. Unfortunately, several of them escaped in the confusion.

We’re all of us unsure where we go from here. Research Team Seven offered to look after us, and we accepted their offer, but I’m not sure whether that was the right decision. I wonder how the farmhands are getting on without us.

Ilona’s been very quiet since we got out of the dungeon. I think she’s still in shock. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t talked much to anybody. I’m a little worried for her, I have to admit.


Chapter 120 – Saturday

4 04 2009


The following account was written by the traitor, Tom Hogg, during his sixth day of punishment.


Concrete floors are not comfortable, but I think that’s probably the most sleep either of us has had since we got here.

You know, I’ve been wondering about this back wall. It’s made of metal, while all the others are concrete. I think it might be some kind of door. Examined the floor by that wall, and found there’s a tiny gap next to the “wall”, where it slots into the floor. I can’t hear anything on the other side, though. Tried hammering on it but nothing happened. Didn’t expect it to, really.

We were just leaving the cell through the regular door when we ran into a guy in the same uniform as the security guards coming out of one of the other cells. He held up some kind of gun – a laser gun, by the look of it, god knows what one of those was doing here – and he demanded that we tell him who we were and what we were doing there. Well, you don’t argue with someone who’s pointing a gun at you, so we told him our names and how we got there. He lowered the gun, and said that we seemed like OK people. He offered us some food pills, which he’d been collecting and storing in one of the cells. He told us he’d been stuck here for weeks.

We thought this seemed pretty strange action for a guard, and he explained that the people in uniforms aren’t guards; they’re just Research Team Seven workers who managed to piss off kard. This whole place is a glorified prison. The point isn’t to escape, it’s that we kill ourselves trying. He warned us that a bunch of the uniformed people have banded together to try and find a way out of here, and that they are indiscriminately killing anyone who they come across who isn’t in uniform, since most of those are serial killers and terrorists who kard abducted.

He wants to borrow this computer. He seems an OK person himself, so I see no reason not to lend it to him.

Chapter 117 – Thursday

2 04 2009


The following account was written by the traitor, Tom Hogg, during his fourth day of punishment.


Good morning. If it is morning. My watch is missing, so I have no idea what time it is.

Ilona’s not up yet. She’s still sleeping peacefully. I haven’t slept at all, but I’m in no hurry to wake her. She must have been through hell.

She’s awake now. I think it’s time we got moving. We need to find more food, since we’re running out of food pills.

Ilona doesn’t know anything more about this place than I do, but she agrees with me – it’s probably designed to be inescapable. Still, if we got here somehow, there must be an exit, so we’re going to keep looking for it.

We found some more food pills, which should keep us going for a couple of days, but we’re still no closer to finding an exit. On the bright side, we haven’t met any more guards or murderers.

Now, THAT was scary. I’m not sure what the hell just happened.

There was a thing, like the one that attacked Megan at the farm. Like a living shadow. It was in the darkness. It charged towards us, and I called out to warn Ilona. She span around, pulling a machete out of her bag – I didn’t even know she had that – and swung it at the creature. It dodged sideways, and I shot it squarely between the eyes with the nail gun.

That wasn’t a deliberate aim. It was a total fluke.

Amazingly, the thing seemed more angry than hurt. It reared up like an animal, hissing furiously, then turned and sped off down a corridor.

It took us both a while to recover from the shock of that. I told Ilona that I’d seen something like that creature once before, but that just seemed to disturb her further.

We’ve been wandering around a bit more. There was a crocodile! I think it was dead, but we didn’t dare go near it, just to be on the safe side.

Ilona’s supposed to be keeping watch and I’m supposed to be sleeping, but I can’t sleep. I’ve got too much on my mind.

I asked Ilona about the burns on her arm. She said that she was attacked by a man with a welding torch, but she managed to fight him off. I guess it’s reassuring to know she can defend herself.

There’s blood on that machete.

I think she’s far too young to be placed in this kind of situation. I don’t think she can be any older than 20.

Holy crap! That was definitely a gunshot. Sounded like it was a long way away, but too close for comfort. There’s no way I’m getting any sleep at this rate!

Chapter 115 – Wednesday

1 04 2009


The following account was written by the traitor, Tom Hogg, during his third day of punishment.


Slept in an oversized air vent. I thought there might be a way out through here, but now I’m suspecting it was just set up as a trap. It’s conveniently large enough to crawl around in, there are cameras focussed on portions of the air vent, with strategically placed windows (hmm) and – here’s the clincher – IT’S NOT EVEN CONNECTED to the main ventilation system, which is up in the freaking ceiling.


I hope the laptop still works. That was me hitting it against the side of the vent in frustration.

OK, finally got out of there. Back in the corridors. Problem is, they’ve got no more distinguishing features than the air vents. I could have passed that camera there half a dozen times, for all I know.

This is different. There’s light up ahead. Going to check it out.

Damn. There’s a hall through there, with more crates, and there’s a guard carrying a shillelagh, pacing back and forth.

I can’t believe I just did that. Crept up behind the boxes, snatched the shillelagh out of the guard’s hands and cracked him over the head with it. He’s not moving, but he’s still breathing. I hope he’s not too badly hurt. He was only doing his job, after all.

Dam’t. Two corridors further, and I’ve found another dead body. Looks like he’s been stabbed. There’s a welding torch by his side. At least he looks peaceful. His eyes are closed.

Hours later. That was hectic.

After I left the dead guy, I heard the sound of a woman screaming, coming from a room nearby, so I ran to help. I arrived in time to see the lunatic – the one who killed a guy with a string trimmer the other day – advancing on a young woman who was crouching in the corner, clearly terrified. The man had a sai in one hand and a large dagger in the other, and he looked like he was having the time of his life.

I didn’t pause to catch my breath. I ran into the room, and the guy spun around, said, “Wait your turn,” and threw the sai at me. He just barely missed. I charged at him, and swung the shillelagh at him. He dodged backwards in surprise. Without stopping to think, I reached into my bag and pulled out the nail driver, and I pointed it at the guy’s head. I told him to get out of there. He hesitated for a second, then turned and ran.

I put the nail driver away and helped the woman to her feet. I told her my name was Tom, and she introduced herself as Ilona. I get the impression she’s quite wary of me, but she was obviously grateful that I helped her. I can’t help noticing that she’s been hurt; there’s a nasty burn on her left arm. She speaks with a Southern US accent, and she doesn’t look like she can be much older than Iaru and his friends.

We’re camping out in another box room. We’ve decided to stick together for now. I’m keeping watch at the moment. You never know when another madman will turn up. Tomorrow, we’re going to look for a way out of here together.

Chapter 114 – Regarding the “Dungeon of Death”

1 04 2009

(AJ Rich)


I know what you are doing. The “Dungeon of Death” is an atrocity. You are sick. You deserve to be locked up.

We are closing in on you. Do not make things worse for yourself when we catch you. We shall leave you alone, for now, providing you give us the clef and release Tom Hogg, Johnny Patel, Megan Rodriguez, Iaru Coen and Bradley Turner, all unharmed.

You have until the end of the week.

Chapter 113 – Tuesday

31 03 2009


The following account was written by the traitor, Tom Hogg, during his second day of punishment.


Bloody hell. Woke up to the sound of buzzing and yells. Looked out from behind the crates, and there’s a security guard armed with an ordinary carving fork, trying to fend off a lunatic wielding a string trimmer.

I can’t watch. A string trimmer does horrible things to human skin.

The buzzing has stopped. So has the yelling. Looked up. From the looks of it, the nutter has knocked out the guard with the string trimmer and stabbed him with his own fork. He hasn’t seen me. He’s crouching over the guard’s head. I can’t see what he’s doing.

I think he heard me typing just now. He stopped and looked around, like he was listening. Luckily, at that moment, another guard burst in carrying an old Winchester ’94 rifle and chased the madman off.

It was a while before I dared move. I went and examined the body. Some of the fingers on his right hand have been shredded by the string trimmer. There’s an “m” drawn on his forehead in marker pen. Some kind of cult thing?

Whatever. I am so out of here.

Chapter 112 – Monday

30 03 2009


There are certain organisations who seek to bring us down. They do this because they believe us to be a threat to their own odious goals. They are quite correct.

To this end, they have maligned us. They have posed as us and perpetrated unlawful actions in our name. Now they have announced their intentions to directly attack and destroy us.

We are prepared. Strike out at us, and we shall strike back with a fury so terrible you shall wish you had never been born.

We have captured an enemy of our organisation, and we intend to make an example of him. Let his fate be a warning to you all.

The Dungeon of Death is reserved for those individuals who are both irredeemable and a significant threat to Research Team Seven. Such individuals are placed in the Dungeon, along with an assortment of criminals and death traps. We have persuaded an enemy in the Dungeon to write a log of the experience.

The following account was written by the traitor, Tom Hogg, during his first day of punishment.


Woke up feeling very groggy, with a noxious taste in my mouth. I’m in a square-walled, grey room. The walls and floor are concrete, apart from the back wall, which is metal. There’s nothing in here but a door, a camera, and a box, where I found a small backpack containing this computer, a note, a food pill (flavourless) and a bread knife. The note says to find my way out if I can, and that I should write to keep you guys updated. This is weird. I’m going to try the door.

For some reason, the door was locked from the inside, and the key was on the wall. So naturally, I unlocked the door. It leads out into a concrete corridor.

I’ve had a look around. There are doors leading off the corridor. Some of them are locked, but others lead into rooms identical to the one I was just in. It looks like some kind of prison, but if so, it’s the least secure prison I’ve ever seen.

Jesus. There is a DEAD GUY in one of the rooms. What the hell is this?

There’s a camera on the wall. Why the hell hasn’t anyone been sent?

From the looks of it, somebody slit his throat. I don’t like this at all. I’m getting the hell out of here.

Been wandering around for a while now. This place is a maze. Cameras everywhere, but I haven’t met anybody, although I did find a dead LEOPARD in one room. I feel like I’m being toyed with. Not convinced there even IS an exit.

Now and then I’ve stumbled across boxes like the one in the room where I woke up. Some of them were empty, but some had food pills in them. One of them contained a nail driver, with three nails, but with the safety guard removed. I decided it would probably be a darn sight more useful than a bread knife if I get attacked, so I took it with me.

I have no idea what time it is. I think I’m underground. I found a place to rest behind some stacked crates. I’ll try to figure out how to get out of here tomorrow.