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RCM Fanfic - Agents of ARACHNOS, Ep. 25
Agents of Arachnos Episode 25

*****
"Baron!" Alex's voice hissed in the darkness. "What the devil are you doing, mate?"

Baron was still in the all-black commando outfit he wore for the afternoon's filming. His eyes glinted like steel in the moonlight, as did the grappling hook he was securing to the balcony rail. There was something frightening in the expression. After the unfortunate sharing of the rumor of the Baroness's spider attack, Baron had seemed particularly guarded and brooding, and Alex caught him eyeing Sven with malice when he thought no one was looking. When the pair had retired to their respective rooms about an hour before, Alex thought he heard Baron talking to someone. Now, he looked like a man possessed, and Alex was more than a little concerned for his new friend as he prepared for what looked to be a rappel down the side of the mansion.

Baron took a deep breath, trying to control himself and save his rage for the task before him. Alex was a nice guy, and the rational part of Baron's mind reminded him of that fact. But it was difficult to look at him and remember he was not the actor from Boston whom he resembled near perfectly, especially as his role in Sven's sick fantasy film cast Alex in a villainous version of that role. "There's a lot going on here that you don't know about, Alex. I was brought here against my will, kidnapped while on my way to meet my wife and friends at a convention for fans of our website. At first I thought it was just me he wanted, but Baroness was fine before we left. If she was attacked by a spider, it was after I was taken.There's no way a spider bite was an accident. And that sonuvabitch," he gestured toward the windows below them, "is responsible. " He tied the other end of the rope to his belt.

"What are you saying?"

"What I'm saying is that nothing is as it seems," Baron huffed as he checked the knot. "What I'm saying is that weird little weasel downstairs lured you here under false pretenses and into a kidnapping plot that may also involve..." He stopped, his mouth going dry as his imagination took him to his wife's bedside. "...murder." He swallowed hard, holding back the emotion and letting it cycle back into hate. "What I'm saying is, I'm about to make that mother fucker pay. Whatever it takes."

Alex shook his head, thinking. "Well, that would explain the framed photos of you all over his private office. Although, if you never met him before being brought here...ooh. The way he talked about you, I thought that you'd known each other for years. It seemed so realistic, but the more I think about it, there were some inconsistencies."

"Yeah, like the part where he left out about being a spider loving psychopath."

"Having that many Photoshopped images tells a really creepy obsessed story." Alex thought a moment more as he watched Baron slip some pilfered flash-bangs from the movie set into his pockets. "Baron, you said you were brought here against your will? So I assume there are guards around to prevent you from wandering around by yourself?"

"Did you really think the Richard Kiel look-alike in the hall was there as my 'personal assistant'?"

"What I'm asking is, how much do you know of the layout of this place? Do you know how to get to Sven? I mean, what's the plan?"

"The plan," Baron countered ominously, "is to punch my way past anyone who gets in my way until I get to Sven, and then tear him apart with my bare hands. I've thought a lot about it throughout the day."

"Yes, but you don't know the lay of the land, mate. Punching your way through and miraculously finding the bad guy isn't a plan, it's a Van Damme movie. You need weapons. You need intel. You need someone to guide you through to where you need to go."

Baron narrowed his eyes at the other man. "What are you saying?"

"What I'm saying," Alex replied, "is give me five minutes. I can help you."

*****

Quincy shouldered his rifle awkwardly, trying to fit it in the crook of his arm the way the Kommandant had shown them during their training. His spindly biceps made the task difficult, but he was determined to get it right and make a good impression. After all, it was his first day at the compound, and even if he only got guard duty for his first assignment, he wanted to be the best he could be. Sure, his cousins were gloating that they were assigned to the Fighting Dragons squad, but there was nobility in all work, not just the flashy positions. He'd show that through his dignity and professionalism in any task he was assigned.

Still, he thought, was it wrong if he secretly wanted one of them to take an arrow to the knee during training?

As he turned the corner, he paused, straining his ears into the darkness. He thought he heard whispering, but couldn't place the direction from where the sound came. After not hearing anything for a full minute, Quincy chalked it up to the wind playing tricks and resumed his patrol.

He had walked about ten meters along the perimeter of the house when a loud explosion lit up the western wing of the mansion. Quincy didn't feel a roll of the earth under his feet, but he could see the lights of the detonation a considerable distance away from him, illuminating the trees like it was daylight. Not sure what to do, he fumbled for the radio at his belt and took a few hesitant steps toward the blast.

Just then, from somewhere up above, Quincy heard two distinct thumps and then the shattering of glass. He pointed the beam of his Maglite toward the sound, shielding his face as blade-like shards rained down on him, but not before one especially large fragment sliced into his eye and down his cheek. Quincy roared in pain, quickly aiming his rifle and blasting a few quick rounds through the broken window above before racing off to gather his comrades.

*****

Baron and Alex crashed through the window and into a darkened hallway, quickly darting into deeper shadow as an unexpected scream from outside was followed almost immediately by a volley of gunfire. Baron felt the zing of air rushing by as a bullet just barely missed grazing his ear. After a moment, the shots stopped. The only light came from the full moon outside, partly hidden with clouds ahead of an approaching storm, but still bright enough for Baron to make out the form of his new friend.

"You alright, mate?" Alex whispered.

Baron held up a finger to quiet him, but nodded in affirmation. The hall was quiet - too quiet, in Baron's estimation. His senses were on high alert as the pair quickly made their way deeper into the maze of halls connecting the various wings of Sven's mansion. It reminded Baron very much of H. H. Holmes' murder hotel, and as he followed Alex through the ever-darkening passages, he prayed he hadn't been foolish in offering his trust to the Ben Affleck look-alike.

"Alright," Alex kept his tone barely audible now, so Baron had to strain to hear, "Sven's private suite is just past those doors. It seems the flash-bang decoy worked, but I'd imagine he'd keep one of the guards with him." He checked behind them down the darkened hall. "Now, the other guards will be back any moment, so I suggest we..."

Alex sighed as he turned to find Baron already charging the mahogany doors.

Fortuitously, the force of the impact pushed the heavy doors inward and toppled the unsuspecting guard standing on the other side, knocking him out cold. Baron tried to scoop the man's rifle as he ran in, but only succeeded in kicking it clattering across the marble floors. While Sven rose in bewilderment, Baron skidded to a stop about eight feet in front of Sven's massive desk, panting for breath while his eyes glowed with hate. Outside, the first growls of thunder permeated the night air.

"You sonofabitch! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!" Baron roared.

Sven looked somewhat surprised, but the black haired woman who had kidnapped Baron at the airport did not. Her skin seemed even paler against the backdrop of dark woods and leather furniture to the side of the desk, her lips more red as their edges curled into a sneer. A deep, maniacal cackle started rumbling from deep in her bowels, jiggling the deeper cut of the jet-black evening gown she wore in a way that was simultaneously mesmerising and unsettling. Her eyes glittered with an icy malice as the laughter grew stronger.

"You fool," she spat, taking a slow, confident step toward him as her eyes locked on his. Baron noticed her voice had a hint of a Ukrainian accent. "You think yourself so clever, so valiant, so noble. You preach open-mindedness on your podcasts and then slaughter my children. You teach restraint and compassion to your clients, yet show none for the lives you've destroyed." She swiveled her hips as she came to a halt, and only then did Baron notice the silver pistol she had pointed at him from her side. "You fancy yourself some great hero, storming in to save the day from some monstrous villain who threatened your wife. But you fail to see, Mr. von Gosu. It is you who is the monster."

With one quick movement, and never once taking her eyes from Baron's, she flicked her wrist to the side and shot two rounds into the still-bewildered Sven's chest. Baron's expression went from rage to horror as the man stumbled backwards in his chair, blood gurgling up in his lungs as he desperately tried to breathe. Sven turned toward Baron, reaching a hand out as if in a plea for help, when a third and final shot pierced his right temple and his lifeless corpse tumbled to the floor.

Behind him, Baron heard Alex yell as a cavalcade of boots came marching up.

"You see, Mr. von Gosu," the woman continued, "Sven Applach was just a pawn in this game. It was our sisterhood who took from you what you have taken from us. Your pride and bravado only sealed the fates of your friends. For like you, they are all destined to be sacrificed in the name of ARACHNOS!"

Baron jumped as a massive bolt of lightning lit up the window, thunder crashing almost instantaneously. He thought of charging her, put his sudden movement meant she already had her weapon trained on him. Seconds later, her henchmen had him by the arms.

"Patience, Mr. von Gosu," she purred, slinking away the few paces between them like a cat sizing up her prey. "You will die soon enough, as will the unfortunate friend you made during your stay. But first, we must wait for our dark lord Arachnos to arrive."


Crap, what happened last time?
On to the next episode
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