"Please tell me how we got involved in this again?" Karl mumbled to his friends in the back of the packed van.
"Hey man, it was your idea," Jacob replied, shooting Karl a dirty look. "I mean, what idiot thinks "Let's try stealing from the open van"?"
"Shut up," one of the men two men sat in the back with the teenagers, "or I'll give you something to whine about."
"Like to see you try," Karl muttered under his breath.
"What was that?" the man shouted back.
"Sounds like this one's got spunk, Mikey," replied another man sat near Karl.
"Why you little...," Mikey started before the dark haired man in the front seat raised his voice.
"Leave it be, Michael," the dark haired man said, and Mikey instantly froze in his seat.
"Yes, Mr Viarte, sir," Mikey replied, his voice shaking slightly.
"How long until we reach the destination?" Mr Viarte asked.
"Not long now, sir," the driver replied, his eyes never leaving the darkened road.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would return to the god-forsaken place," Mr Viarte muttered to himself.
He lent forward, and looked towards the base of the rising cliff face in the distance. Slowly, a building that somewhat resembled a small chapel became visible where Mr Viarte was gazing. A pot hole in the road caused the van's headlights to cast light over the building briefly, showing that it was carved from the very rock of the cliff itself.
"Yo!" Josh shouted from the back. His friends smacked him on the shoulder, shushing him, but he just shrugged them off. When he received no reply, he tried again. "Yo, Viarte, when you letting us out, man? This is kidnapping y'know?"
"Show some respect for Mr Viarte," growled one of the men before clipping Josh round the head.
"I know full well what I'm doing," Mr Viarte replied, sitting back in his seat but never turning around to face the teenagers. "You tried to steal from me. Now I could either turn you into the authorities, or you can assist my team on a little errand that we have to do." And that was when Mr Viarte faced the teenagers, with a smile that chilled their insides. "And trust me when I say, you will help us."
"Whoa, dude, you can't do that," Josh said, standing in his seat only to be shoved back down by Karl. "You can't do this, man. We ain't your slaves, this is still kidnapping."
"Shut up!" Karl snarled, punching Josh in the shoulder. "I'm on probation already. I get hauled in now, I'm going to juvie."
"We've arrived, sir," the driver stated as the van pulled to a stop outside the entrance of the rock chapel.
"Good," Mr Viarte opened his door, before glancing over his shoulder. "Bring them!"
"Sir!" Mikey nodded towards Mr Viarte before turning to the teenagers. "Time to get out tinkie winks."
"And if we don't want to?" Josh replied, trying to sound strong, but the quiver in his voice gave away his fear. He lifted his chin slightly to try and put across his intended strength.
Mikey's reply was simple. He reached to the small of his back and unholstered the pistol held there. He brought it round and pointed it towards the three teenagers, who all gulped in unison upon seeing it. Mikey motioned the gun towards the van's rear doors, and the three teenagers started moving towards it.
"What ever you say man," Karl said as he opened the rear doors. His feet clicked on the gravel covering the earth around the entrance to the chapel. It rustled as he shuffled his feet forward a few paces to make room for the others to get out.
Mikey was the last one to get out of the van. As he stepped out, he grabbed Josh by the shoulder, and shoved him in the direction of the entrance to the rock chapel. Mr Viarte was already there, stood next to the driver, who was working on the lock.
"We're not the only ones here," the driver said, his eyes never leaving the lock.
"I know," Mr Viatre muttered, turning and looking up the cliff face towards the clouded skies above. "We've been watched ever since we left Converge."
"Do you want to do anything about it?" the driver asked. A loud clunk from inside the door signalled he had been successful with the lock.
"That isn't what we're here to do," Mr Viarte replied, pushing on the door. It creaked a little, only scrapping forward a few inches before stopping, dislodging what seemed like centuries of accumulated dust.
"How long has it been since anyone was here?" the driver asked.
"According to the Council's records, no one has visited in 300 years," Mr Viarte said, waving his hand to stop the dust from getting in his face. With the other hand, he pointed upwards to one the windows leading into the rock chapel, which looked as if it had seen activity far more recently then any other part of the building. "However, the Council doesn't track everything."
The driver had glanced up at the window, and nodded at Mr Viarte's observations. He put his hands out, and braced against the stone door. With a grunt, he managed to get it moving again, pushing it open enough to allow entrance to the rock chapel.
"What is this place?" Karl mumbled as his group reached the entrance.
"An old chapel owned by the Council," Mr Viarte replied, signalling to Mikey and his colleague to light their torches and head into the rock chapel. "No human has been here for centuries."
"What do you mean 'no human'?" Jacob piped up.
"Let's go!" Mikey shouted, shoving Jacob in the back, sending him stumbling through the entrance.
"Hey! Not cool, man!" Karl shouted back, stepping towards Mikey.
"Go ahead," Mikey growled, turning the mussel of his pistol towards Karl, causing him to stop his movements dead. "Give me an excuse."
"Michael," Mr Viarte said, his voice carrying more threat then Mikey's growl did. "If they run, you have my permission to shoot them. But until then, they are to be unharmed."
"Yes, Mr Viarte, sir!" Mikey replied. When Mr Viarte looked at the pistol in his hand, Mikey looked at it almost sheepishly, before holstering it behind his back once more.
"After you, Karl," Mr Viarte invited, motioning towards the open door.
Karl hesitated, glancing behind Mikey to the open stretch of countryside beyond. He looked back at Mr Viarte, and something about his eyes sent a shiver down his spine. With a sigh, Karl headed inside, following Jacob into the gloom. The rest of the group slowly filter in through behind them, the torches casting light in the rock chapel's interior.
"We want to be heading that way," Mr Viarte indicated with a point towards a doorway at the back of the small room.
The group slowly made their way across the room. The driver started turning on additional torches, handing the first to Mr Viarte, who focused his beam on the doorway they were headed to. The other torches got passed to the teenagers, who joined the men in the group in slowly sweeping the lights around the room, trying to see into the shadows. Some of the corners seemed so dark that no number of torches could illuminate them. When they had reached the door way, Mr Viarte was the first to step through, with the rest of the group following one by one, until they had all disappeared into it, leaving the room once again only illuminated by the faint light filtering in from the night outside.
After a few minutes, there was a rustle in the gravel outside. A scuffle sounded shortly, barely louder than a whisper, as a shadowed figure suddenly appeared crouched over in the window that Mr Viarte had pointed out earlier. It silently dropped down into the rock chapel, before soundlessly moving across the room to the doorway. It paused there briefly, not moving, before beckoning inwards towards the entrance. A second, smaller figure appeared at the entrance, before padding across to the first. They both waited at the doorway, listening to the echoing footsteps and conversation from Mr Viarte's group. The little light that managed to filter in from the outside sky dimmed for a brief moment, making it impossible to see anything. When the light had returned to its poor ambience, the two figures where gone.