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 122 – Sorry

10 04 2009


hi guys. as reported by johnny, we’re with the real research team 7 now. so, yay? i guess. i mean they’re nicer to us than kard was.

sakura’s been in contact with us. she and her family have had a hell of an adventure themselves, running from the network of allies in america. sakura’s dad was the one who stole the clef from footgood shoes, and the people at the network weren’t happy about that. i think i trust research team 7 now. well, trust isn’t the word. but they aren’t evil. they’ve been looking after sakura’s family, and they’ve been looking after mark and caitlin.

i’m still not happy about the kidnapping. it was kidnapping. and they haven’t been able to justify that. but you can tell they feel remorse for that, and looking back, they still treated us a hell of a lot better than the network of arms did.

i figure i owe you guys an apology. that last post, as you probably guessed, was a complete lie. sorry for lying to you guys.

i didn’t have any choice. kard would have killed me if i didn’t write it. i tried to put a hidden message in there so you’d know the truth.

kard is insane. tom is innocent. and i can’t imagine what it must have been like for him. since we got back, he’s been even less talkative than usual. i’m a little worried about him.

oh, and i seem to be coming down with a bit of a cold. bleh. don’t think it’s anything to worry about though.

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 119 – Friday

3 04 2009


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


I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever get out of here. Is there even such thing as an exit in this place? It’s depressing to think that I might be eating flavourless food pills for the rest of my life.

Apart from anything else, it’s not healthy. No dietary fibre.

That’s right, there’s lunatics running around with guns and knives, and I’m worrying about nutrition.

You know, this place is so weird. There are cameras everywhere, but they plainly aren’t used, because all the security guards we’ve seen have just been wandering around aimlessly.

Also, the place is huge, but there doesn’t seem to be anything here. I mean, there’s endless maze-like corridors, and whole rooms full of nothing but empty boxes, but what possible reason could you have for building such a thing? And there are food pills here and there, and weapons, which are presumably for the guards’ benefit, but they’re the weirdest things. I mean, we found a frat paddle in a box back there. What possible use could a security guard have for a frat paddle? Actually, no, I don’t want to know.

And why the leopard? And the crocodile? And what was that shadow thing? None of this makes any sense!

The guard with the Winchester ’94 is dead. Stabbed, by the looks of it. Someone’s drawn an “m” on her forehead, just like that other guy.

Ilona went over to the body and said a short prayer asking God to guide the unfortunate guard’s soul. Then she closed both the corpse’s eyes and laid its arms by its sides. It was a very solemn moment. I’m not really religious myself, but I must confess I found that quite moving.

We found a row of cells similar to the one I woke up in a few days back. The key was in the lock, so we locked ourselves in. Maybe tonight we can both get some proper sleep.

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 116 – Kard is NOT RT7!

2 04 2009


OK, I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. A lot of crazy stuff has happened, and it’s been really hectic. But I saw kard and AJ Rich’s blogs, and I couldn’t not say something.

First of all, kard is NOT the same as Research Team 7. I’m sure of it. You have to trust me here, I’ve met RT7 and their style is totally different.

Second, kard is a COMPLETE NUTCASE!! I can’t believe anyone could be such a sick dastard. It’s just insane. I mean, dungeon of death? And that crap about Tom being a traitor. I mean, come on, we know that isn’t true. After all he did for Bradley and her friends? No way.

Bradley, feel free to correct me here. I’m really desperately worried about you. I haven’t been able to contact you at all. Please let me know you’re OK.

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.