Chapter 3: The Haunting Shadows Our Sins Lies in…

Alex looks at the boy, nervously and kneels down to his knees, reaching his height so they could stare eye to eye with one another. "Who are you, weren't you that boy who had a bleeding wrist?" He asked.

The boy backs away from him and says, "No, I never seen you before. What are you talking about?" He asked, causing a confuse expression to lie upon Alex's face.

"What do you mean that you never seen me before? You were the boy in that room crying." Alex said.

"I don't know what you are talking about. The mistress is about to come, so how about you get out of my way so I can see my brother." The young boy said, bumping his shoulder against Alex's after he walked past him.

"Hey, where the hell, are you going, it isn't safe out there!" Alex yelled as he got up from the ground and started to walk towards the boy, hoping that he would intervene on his path from exiting the room.

"Leave me alone!" The boy yelled.

Before Alex could get any closer to him, he heard cracks coming from the ceiling above. Looking up, he gasps when the ceiling suddenly, collapses. "Shit!" Alex yelled, rolling back from the falling debree. Getting up from the ground, he turns his head towards the debree that block his path and could see the boy not harm. "Hey, hold it; it is too dangerous out there. The place is on fire damn it! You can get hurt!" He yelled over the inferno debree. But the boy only smirked and whispered words under his breath which caused him lift his right eyebrow in confusion. The boy eventually left, leaving the soldier alone in the inferno room.

Alex gets up from the ground and looks around for an exit out of this burning room. He watched as the fire spread through the dressers, drapes, and the beds less than seconds before it reached the bookshelf. "I have to get out of here!" He told himself, blocking his face from the choking dark smoke that suffocated the air. He started heading over to the window, but soon stopped when the fire blocked his path from escaping. The window started to crack and for some reason leak out blood. A paper flew by Alex's shoulder and landed on the window touching the blood. Suddenly, when it touched the red liquid coming out from the sand made material, it was set on fire.

Looking around the room, Alex noticed the fire next to the bookshelf was odd. He saw it move back, towards him as if wind was blowing it. He then looked at the bookshelf and headed straight towards to it. Avoiding the fire, he started to pushed the bookshelf left and found a wall with an inside sliding doorknob.

"Is this where the air is flowing through?" Alex wondered, grabbing the handle of the door and slide it opened. It was a ladder that was on the other of the side of the door. It was leading down into a dark depth abyss. Looking back at the fire that consumed most part of the room, Alex started to climb the ladder down, into the dark depths of where ever it would lead him into.

The sound of the crackling flames that were heard above had faded into the silence of darkness. Alex started to see his own breath, feeling the temperature died down from where it was warm into where it was now cold. The only sound in the darkness his flashlight managed to illuminate in was the sound of him climbing down the rusted ladder and the sound of children laughter. He was getting nervous from the children laugher. It sounded dark and ominous.

When Alex finally got to the end of the ladder, he looked behind him flashed his light around his surroundings. He found himself in a medium size bedroom. The walls were littered with black crayon drawings of children that were dancing in fire. The beds had one knife stabbed at the center of the mattress and each had a number from 1 leading up to12. What were quite odd about these aligned beds, were that the number the paper attached to the bed said, were the amount of knives stabbed in the mattress. Looking up ahead, he spots a door sealed with five locks.

Walking up towards the door, Alex starts to examine the locks on the door. One was gold on the top right corner, the left top corner lock made of iron, the third lock on the bottom right corner was green, the left bottom left corner was made of platinum, and the center lock was made of sapphire. There were carved letters in the door. He examines their italic form and reads,

"The Children have to go to bed. When all twelve went to bed, only five stood awake and went through the door of freedom where Paradise lies within. Number 4, 8,10,2, and 5 each had the key. But 9 knew where each key was hidden at by them when they weren't sneaking off to Paradise."

Alex rubs his chin and says, "I need to find five keys." He looked back at the twelve beds. Walking towards the bed, he glances at each mattress. Alex stopped in front of Bed 4 and saw nothing on it. He even picked up the pillow and there was nothing under there. He then headed over to Bed 10 and look under the pillow. Nothing was under there either. He headed over to Bed 2 and checked under the pillow. He found a gold key. "Found one, now where are the others." He said putting the key in his pocket.

Alex walks towards the Bed 8, looking under the pillow. He found a letter and picked it up. Opening the letter, he started to read it.

"To Daddy,

Why aren't you back for me? You said you'll come back here and pick me up. But you didn't come, you never pick me up. You never took me home. You promised daddy that you will take me to see Rudza the lion on Bristil Island, but you never fulfilled that promise. I miss you daddy, I really do, but you never came back for me.

-Josh"

Alex put the letter down, looking at the letter shocked. "Josh…" He whispered the name thinking about his brother. Holding the letter tight, Alex looks at the door. "It has to be someone else named Josh." He said.

Alex looks left and right, trying to wonder where the other keys were at. He walks to Bed 9 and looks under the pillow, spotting a key. "This emerald key has a note attached to it." He said, taking the note out. He opens the small note and starts reading it,

"Emptiness and lies are meant only for the flies.
And the rules that were made are meant only for the fools.
Dark hearts are torn from the body, while their host's spines are ripped apart.
Number Eight and Six are foolish creatures that can't be fixed.
They were the only ones left in this foolish circle of beds to be sacrificed to the suns.
Now they are in hell trapped in a cell."

Alex looks at the note confuse and then looks at Bed 8 and Bed 6. "Does this note have to do with anything with the beds?" He wondered, glancing back at the note. He walks towards Bed 8 and found nothing strange about it. Looking behind him, he then walked towards Bed 2 and didn't find anything odd about it. Folding his arms, he looks at the two beds wondering what where the keys were at and what did this odd note meant. Walking to the chained up door, he took out the keys that he had and inserted each of them in their rightful locks. The locks that had their keys inserted into them properly, dropped on to the ground. But the ones that were still attached to the chains, stood firmly still.

Alex turns around and gasps. The beds were moved to the back of the wall aligned together from left to right. He starts walking up to the beds and notices how they were aligned in a synchronize order. To the left was Bed 1 and to the right was Bed 12. Hearing a tick-tock, he looks up above Bed 6 and saw a clock. The small second hand was going around the numbers on the clock as the minute hand and hour hand were not moving. The minute hand was on six, while the hour hand was on nine. "That's odd, the hour and minute hands are not moving at all. I think it's broken." He said.

"Hmm, what's that?" Alex asked himself, noticing writing on the wall. "Set ablaze the house of Go—Orphanage. Only the children along with the chosen Rav—can survive against its holocaustic fire. Set ablaze the Go—Orphanage, free the children. Free them all from the evil oh great Nocta Deae. Upon midnight, the mother of night will come and sweep her children away." Alex read, looking at the clock hands. He looked at bed nine and bed six. He walked towards bed nine and noticed a button implanted on the rail. Pressing the button, he turned his attention to the bed marked six. It moved forward and then left. He saw stairs leading down into darkness.

Walking down the stairs, Alex felt an ominous feeling that was lurking in the darkness. Taking out his gun, he readies his gun, aiming forward, prepared to shoot any enemy that would attempt to attack him. After going down the echoing creaked wooden steps, he founded himself in a dark small room. There, placed right in the center of the room with a stone fountain that had been full of black liquid was altar. He began walking towards the altar, glancing left and right, noticing the graffiti on the rounded walls. There were children that had been drawn on the wall, dancing in fire.

Alex looks back at the altar and notices the carved writing. "The flame has no living heart and no soul. The flame is the only one that can set the path to either pain, or relief. Ignite the blood of God and the flame shall lead you to the key of both pain and relief." He read. Looking back at the pool of black liquid, he dipped the tip of his finger in the fountain. The liquid felt warm and relaxing. He then took out his finger and licked the black liquid. Suddenly, he collapses onto his knees, clutching his chest. His pupils started shrinking, as his eye balls started trembling.

Alex gives off an agonizing yell, holding tight on to his head in pain. He fell to his knees, and looks at his hands burst into fire. His eyes widen as he felt no pain from the flames, instead he felt the warmth that it gave him. He was freaking out from this strange fire that was not burning him. "What, what the fuck is going on!?" He yelled, getting up and looked at his hands in horror his gun fell to the ground glowing red after it was being heated up by his hands.

"How did I get this?" Alex wondered looking at his hands shocked by the orange flames. Looking at the black liquid, he touched the liquid causing it to get set on fire. The room lit up, causing him to gasp as the fire started trailing around the lines of the drawing on the walls. He looks at the fire closely and notices that it was matching with the lines and edges of the graffiti on the wall. He started hearing odd childlike noises in the room, laughing children, something that shouldn't be heard in a place like this.

Alex's fire hands vanishes revealing two tattoos on his palms. They were triangles with an eye in the center of it, mirroring the same pattern of the triangle on the outside of its surrounding. Something about these tattoos seemed odd to him, almost like he had once seen them from somewhere. He wasn't panicking anymore, but he was shocked, though not enough to lose his mind.

The altar starts moving forward, revealing a small round hole with a small box inside of it. Leaning down to the box, he reached inside the hole and pulled it out. It was a dusty wooden box with a broken lock. Opening the lid, Alex saw two keys and a missing spot in the box that seemed like there was a knife printed into it. But there was no knife in it to be found. Taking out the two keys, he now had the platinum key and the sapphire key. "All I need now is the Iron key. I wonder where that could be at." He said to himself.

Alex grabbed the hot gun, not affected by its burning steel that it was giving off. He puts it in his gun belt and started walking up the stairs after he put the keys in his pocket. When he got back into the bedroom, he then proceeded down to the lock door. Taking out the keys that the certain locks required, he inserts the two into their proper locks and unlocked them. The chains all fell, but one and that one was the iron lock.

"DONG!" A loud noise rung that had caused Alex to pull out his sidearm in a split second and do a one-eighty degree turn, aiming his gun and then firing at. His eyes narrowed in confusion, for the one that he had shot was actually an old grandfather clock standing in the center of the room. It wasn't there before, but here was, in room facing him as it started ringing, "Dong!"

He cautiously walks towards the ringing clock and notices a steel plaque attached to the center of its door. Leaning down so he could get a good look at it, Alex began reading the plaque.

"Scorching pain, leaving burn marks on the children who danced around the flames.
The mother of night comes tonight.
Ready to bring her children back with so they could be heard.
From the evil spirits that lies in this orphanage and the—age.
The Iron Gong is the key that once you insert into the final lock to the gate of Paradise.
You will soon, be set free."

"Hmm, the door is lock." Alex said, trying to open the clock's door. "I guess I have to figure out some kind of puzzle with this clock. But what am I supposed to figure out?" He wondered, rubbing his chin. He noticed the second hand not working and the other hands were placed on Five twenty-five. "I think I know what is going on with this, but I hope I am right about this." He said, grabbing the minute hand and started rotating it. "But what time should I stop it on?" He asked himself. He suddenly stops and glances at the clock above Bed 6. The time was still on six forty-five.

Moving the hands on to the same numbers the clock above the bed, Alex expected a click to be heard from the door, but nothing was heard. He thought he did it right but since the clock didn't make any odd sounds or did any odd thing that would seem obscure, he went back up to Bed 6 and looked at the clock above it. He read the writing on the wall, slowly imprinting the words in his head, so he could remember them before he went back to the grandfather clock. After memorizing the words on the wall next to the clock, he went back to the grandfather clock and started planning out how to solve this absurd puzzle.

"Okay, so nine forty-five is not the answer to this damn puzzle, I guess that the writing next to the clock relates to the one on this plaque." Alex said, rotating the clocks. "Now, since I read the plaque and the writing next to the clock, they both relate to the night and this Nocta Deae. Now the one next to the clock mentioned midnight and the one on this clock mentioned tonight. Does that mean it will be Twelve O'clock? Let's see, if I turn the hands to twelve…" He turned the middle hand around in a circle till the small hand struck twelve. He then stopped the minute hand at the center, pointing up like the small hand at twelve. "Then that could work." He said.

A click was heard from the wooden grandfather clock, causing Alex to smirk and grab the knob, opening it. There he saw the iron key, dangling off a metal rod that hung upside down the inside of the clock. Taking the key, Alex, notices a stone circle with a carved in sun. "What is that suppose too mean?" He wondered taking the round stone and examining it at after he put the key into his pocket. "This triangle, I could of sworn I seen this somewhere before. When I look at this triangle, I feel like my soul is being ripped away from my body by some strange poltergeist like latent thing. Something, so evil that is hidden away from my eyes yet felt and heard for my ears and skin." He said, looking at the stone nervously.

Putting it in his pocket, Alex walks to the door. When he got to the door, he took out the iron key and inserted it into the last lock and unlocked it. The chain fell down to the ground, allowing the door to be opened. He had relief and grabbed the handle of the door. Turning the knob, he opened the door forward and entered through it.

When he entered through the door, Alex found himself in a kitchen. He gasped covering his face from the grotesque site of spectating death. Death, the smell of it and the sight of it as he saw blood smeared everywhere all over the walls and counters. He looks away, covering his mouth from the dreaded site. Flies fluttered over a small corpse scorched and impaled with a shard of metal in its chest. "Oh my god, what could of that?" He wondered becoming nauseated from the site of the dead corpse.

The ringing noise that Alex had heard before started to hurt his ears again. The pain was agonizing causing him to collapse on to his knees. He glances at his palms and saw the black triangle tattoos glow an umbra tinted color. "What is this, what the hell is going on here?" He asked himself shocked, as he looked around the kitchen seeing the stone walls replaced with molded leather, stitched into the wall, leaking blood. The kitchen counter and furniture started getting covered in black liquid, similar to the one in the fountain founded downstairs. He gets up looking around astonished and terrified at the nightmarish, heavy air room that made Alex feel gravity trying to force his body to the ground. A deep evil was living in this place, this room where he was in.

The door behind Alex shuts close, trapping him within the room of nightmares, evil, demonic filtering, and a provoking room against sanity. He gasps at the site in front of him. A large triangle, similar to the one on his hands was on the center of the wall in front of him and behind the phantom figure he had saw recently before he mysteriously got into this hellish unexplained nightmare. The phantom points its right hand to the air, snapping its fingers causing the room to suddenly shake. A loud, pulsating, ringing, and ear piercing sound blew Alex back into the door. Alex coughed out blood, looking up at the phantom walking up towards him, dragging the young burned corpse. It soon stopped in front of Alex, pointing its shadowy ebony right hand index finger at him.

"W-what the fuck do you want with me?" Alex asked in a painful raspy voice, feeling his back pulsating with pain after being toss into the door.

"Alex Dennis Davis." The Phantom said in a masculine and feminine tone, causing Alex to be frozen in fear. "Wake up; for you are not ready for this world yet." It said, summoning a dark sword.

Alex manages to get up and pulls his gun out, quickly aiming the gun at the phantom. But when he pointed his gun, he was cut off when the phantom had already impaled his chest into the door. Alex's eyes were widened as his hand slipped the gun out, causing it to fall on to the ground.

Alex's eyes suddenly shot opened, finding himself back into the elevator. Where he was at after fighting the B.O.W. "I am back, that was a dream?" He wondered, rubbing his forehead. He soon stopped and noticed his hands had the tattoos that he had retrieved from his dream. This made Alex become confused, trying to figure out what was going on and why was he suffering from it. The answers were difficult for him to figure it out but he knew he was going to figure it out soon. He didn't have time anymore to worry about his strange tattoos. He needed to find his team as the elevator stopped on the last floor revealing the lab room out of its opened doors. Getting up from the ground, Alex sighed and started walking out of the elevator into the hallway. He stops and pulls out his gun. He had to find his team, once he found someone who was still alive, then, maybe perhaps…he will be worried about that strange dream.