Hime D. ~創世の錬金術師~ (hime1999) wrote in fm_alchemist,
Hime D. ~創世の錬金術師~

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[fic] SH7 (2/8?)

Title: Silent Hill 7: Purgatory
Author: hime1999
Genre: Supernatural/Horror
Rating: R for gore, blood, violence, and disturbing imagenary.
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist/Silent Hill crossover/fusion
A/N: This is actually something I started last May or June, can't really remember. Then I got the block for like half a year before starting to write it again. Let's see where this one is going.
cryogenia for encouraging me to actually write this thing, for giving me ideas, cracks, CCs, and the will to listen to me nitpicking at my own plots without losing the patience. Oh, and helping me with torture ideas, of course. ILU.
pikka for helping me remember that German is fun when you know where to look, and the suggestions I found tremendously helpful to make Hei sounds like the geeky German in suspenders he is.
Word count: 5,800 words or so here, 11470 words or something in total.

Chapter 1: Silent Hill

* * * * * * *

Chapter 2: Midwich Elementary School

* * * * * * *

Surprisingly, it is easy enough.

'Alphonse' looks at his surrounding, trying to be as alert as he can be as they walk down Bachman Road. The town is silent, like the whole town has suddenly gone for the holiday. It is almost like his own block of neighborhood, he recalls faintly, in the winter during Christmas, when everybody goes back to their towns and villages, except for himself (because he has no family to come home to) and the landlady.

Alfons stops.

Miss Gratia.

Hughes stops as well, looking at him in confusion, but before he can say anything, 'Alphonse' runs to him. "Das Foto! Can I it see!?"

"Photo? You mean, my Elysia?" The man shows him the picture again happily enough, although he does warn him, "You are allowed to fall in love with my daughter, but if you ever as much as hurt her hair!"

But 'Alphonse' is not interested in Elysia. His attention is completely taken by the woman standing next to Hughes in the picture. "Herr Hughes! Diese Frau! Sie ist meine Hauswirtin Fräulein Gratia!"

Hughes gives him an exasperated look. "Amestrisian, please."

'Alphonse' wants to kill himself right there and then for not studying English better than he should have done, but now is not exactly the right time for that. He calms himself enough to brainstorm before he shows the picture at the man, pointing at the woman, and says, "My Househostess."

"Huh?" is Hughes' response.

'Alphonse' points at the man. "I know You. A Police. She," he points at the picture again. "My Househostess. You and she are not Mann und Weib. Elysia exist not." He waves the picture at the man. "This ist not---" He trails off there, not knowing what to say there.

Da ist andere Welt, Alfons. Welt, die du nicht kennen. Ein andere Welt, wo Menschen du kennen, auch sind.

Ich komme aus jener Welt.

Hughes gives him a look that clearly shows that he thinks 'Alphonse' is starting to lose it. "Kid, I don't know what you're talking about. Glacier has been my wife for the last five years. And I'm not a policeman. Granted I work with the police taskforce most of the time, but that's just because I got assigned to the Military Court."

'Alphonse' pauses for a moment. "Military Court?" he echoes.

"Yeah." Hughes points at the stars on his shoulder. "I'm a Lieutenant Colonel."


If any, that actually makes 'Alphonse' feel more wary towards the man.

"Look, kid, are you sure you're okay?" The man puts a hand on 'Alphonse's forehead.

"I am okay!" 'Alphonse' snaps back. Of course he is not okay. The lack of ability to communicate what he has in mind is taking its toll. He is used to have people not understanding what he wants to say, after all his ideas are often to advantaged compared to people around him, making him isolated from his peers who thinks of him more of a freak. But at the least, when he remembers to tune down the technical words and make his lines shorter and simpler, people can get what he wants to convey. Living with Edward was a practice in that. The boy can only speak German so much and there are times when he just can't understand the boy or make the boy understand what he wants to say.

But at least they have been trying to communicate in German.

'Alphonse' realizes with a sinking feeling that there is a big possibility that maybe, just maybe, Edward has been having trouble with conveying his thoughts at times, just like the trouble 'Alphonse' is experiencing this time.

"Hey," Hughes suddenly calls, and 'Alphonse' looks up. The man is giving him a sympathetic look. "Maybe you can try to explain what you have in mind in another way?"

'Alphonse' grimaces at the man, but he can't help but be thankful that the man doesn't seem to think that he is crazy. Taking a deep breath, he looks around again, trying to figure out a way to explain.

Then an idea comes to him.

He looks around again and exclaims triumphantly as he spots several bricks lying nearby. He runs to them, picks one, and smashes it against the cemented road, barely managing not to get himself hurt by the pieces flying around. He takes several smaller pieces of the red bricks and runs back to Hughes, who has been watching him patiently, curiosity written on his face so obviously.

'Alphonse' kneels on the road and using the brick as chalk, draws two large circles and a line between them on the cemented surface, naming the circles 'my World' and 'other World'. Then he draws a stick figure with square head and glasses on 'my World' circle and names it 'Huge'. Draws a similar figure on 'other World' and writes 'Hughes' (he hopes he got the right spelling there) on it. Draws a stick figure with bobby hair and eyelashes next to 'Huge', naming it 'Gratia', and draws the same figure next to 'Hughes' and write 'Glasier' on it (to which Hughes quickly corrected to 'Glacier').

Then he draws another stick figure next to 'Gratia', but he pauses as he tries to name the figure---

Kannst du mir das glauben, Alfons?

---and finally writes 'Alfons' next to it.

Then Alfons writes a small figure with a ponytail next to 'Glacier' and names it 'Edward'. He can hear Hughes inhale sharply and the man kneels next to him. "You know Edward Elric?"

Oh God. Edward has been right all this time. And Alfons never believed him. Never wanted to believe him.

Shakily, Alfons drew a circle around 'Edward' and an arrow from the figure, that goes pass the line between the circles, and stops next to 'Alfons'. "Edward said so," he whispers.

None of them utter anything for a while. Even to Alfons, it is too much information to digest at once. He has heard stories about the other world from Edward, outlandish stories, about the world where alchemical science actually works and is used for the good of the people instead of technical science, but Alfons has always thought that they were just that. Stories. Nothing real. He has filed them into his head, labeling them as such, and now he has to relabel them one by one to 'True Stuff', and it is not an easy task, and not something he is looking forward too. Alfons slumps back on his hide and brings a hand to his face, wiping anxiously. "Scheiße," he can only say at the end.

"Shit," the man says next to him. "I nearly wished Roy were here. Or Ed. This is clearly something that is reserved for those creep show bastards."

Alfons wonders thoughtfully. "Der Alchemist der Regierung?" Hughes gives him a look that clearly tells him that he doesn't understand, so Alfons adds, "Alchemist of, ah, Goverment?"

"Ah," the man sighs. "Yeah, those State Alchemists."

"Roy ist the Colonel Edward talking, ja?"

Hughes snorts. "I bet he didn't flatter the old chap too much."

Alfons sighs before he gives the man a rueful grin. "We know one same Edward. Das ist gut."

"Yeah." Hughes grins back at him. "At least now I don't have to worry if you're a Drachman spy."

"Und You are not Brit. Gut."

Hughes is about to say something about that, but suddenly a static sound cries out from the radio in his pocket. Before Alfons realizes what happened, the man is already on his feet, his gun drawn out. Something groans at them from the alley nearby and the two turn toward the sound in alarm.

It could have any stray dog one can find in the street, except that the dog's head is split into two, as if somebody used the dog to test if their sword was sharp enough. Alfons can see the red flesh of the dog's head and its skull and brain very clearly as it moves closer toward them.

"Alfons," Hughes tells him. "I think you'd better get your gun out."

"Uh," is Alfons' only response, because right then, his brain decides to perform a little blackout.

Then somebody slaps him. "Come on, kid, it's not the time to be a girl! You could at least help me get rid of them first!"

Alfons looks at Hughes stupidly before he turns to the dog again, and indeed, there are actually three of them. "Scheiße," he whimpers.

The first dog groans before it suddenly jumps at them. Alfons yelps as he jumps back in reflex. On the other hand, Hughes releases two shots, hitting it mid air right on the head (or rather, one of the heads) and the heart. It falls before them and twitches a few times before it stops moving altogether.

The other two dogs, angered at the fall of their comrade, jump at them at once. Hughes immediately releases more shots, but one of the dogs manages to dodge and comes too close to Alfons to his liking, enough that he automatically closes his eyes and swings his bat as hard as he can at the dog in defense. There is a loud crack as he feels the bat meeting the dog and a disgusting sound of splat. He opens his eyes to find Hughes running toward the dog Alfons hit and lands a hard stomp on its head.

There is a long silence, in which Alfons feels torn between blacking out and laughing at the absurdity of it all, before he finally settles to let his legs give out on him. "I think," he says absently after a long stare at the carcass of the nearest dog. "We need more Waffen."

Hughes turns to him cheerfully. "Does the map mention any gun store in it?"

* * *

It turns out that there is no gun store in Silent Hill.

"Well, we'll just have to use something as melee," Hughes says. "It saves ammo and probably makes heavier damage, as long at it's not something that can kill us from a far."

Alfons just nods absently.

Hughes looks at him, his eyebrows creasing in worry. "You okay, kid?"

No, Alfons wants to say. He is not okay at all. But he just nods.

"Alfons," the man says, giving his shoulder a light squeeze. "It's okay. We can take a rest first."

"Ich muß hier weg," Alfons mumbles.

The military man sighs. "Hey, tell you what," he says as he sits down next to Alfons. "Let's find a way to get out of here. Stay intact while we're at it, then you can have a breakdown later when we're safe, okay? I think you've realized that this place is quite dangerous. You can't afford to be weak here, unless you have a death wish or something. If you do, the least you can do is to tell me and I'll give you a bullet to the head. Certainly that's a lot better than being devoured by monsters."

Devoured by monsters... before being able to realize his dream. Ever.

Alfons stares at the bloodied bat in his hand for a moment, recalling how it felt when it had hit the dog.

Once he was ready to die for his dream. Now he has to be alive for his dream.

Alfons looks up to Hughes and nods grimly. "I will not die."

Hughes grins at him. "That's the spirit." The man stands up and offers him a hand. "Come on, let's go to the school. We might be able to find some clue."

Alfons takes the hand and pulls himself up. He looks around and finally finds the bag he has put down when he tried to draw out his mind on the street, next to the drawings. Collecting the bag, he can't help but be drawn at the drawing once again. The drawing with two worlds and the people in it.

He kneels before it, staring at it, thinking, and after a while, he reaches for a piece of brick and draws a small figure next to 'Edward' and names it 'Alphonse'.

"Wenn schon, denn schon."

Standing up, he turns around and walks away.

* * *

The walk to Midwich School is not very eventful if one omits the monsters they meet on the way. Hughes has found a rusty pipe on the way and now he is using it as a melee. He breezes his way through the monster dogs and four-legged humanoid creature like he were merely knocking down some logs, efficiently, brutally.

Alfons tries to do the same, imagining that they were just something that are there to be knocked down, trying to ignore the blood and gore that spew out with every swing of his bat. It gets easier the more he swings his bat, the more mindless it comes to him, and somehow it makes him wonder if this is the same with all those soldiers in the Great War.

His father did not get send to the front line, old as he was, and the war itself did not affect his home at Hermannstadt that much aside from the food ratio and the conscripted young men. He has been a mere child then too, so the concept of war has been somehow vague to him, something that is of someone else's business. Something that someone would tell him about, and that is it. Despite the number of casualty. And the horror stories of the trenches, told by a wounded soldier at the mansion, are just that. Horror stories.

But despite that, he has wondered how people could take another's life, another man, another child's father, another father's son. And here he is, slaughtering one monster after another, and he wonders if those soldiers saw their enemies as monsters like these. Objectification. Just another 'something' to be knocked down, to be beaten, to be killed, in order for themselves to be able go home.

Alfons feels himself grimacing as he knocks another monster down.

At least in his case, the enemies really are monsters.

"Versteht Du?" The golden-haired boy smiled wanly at him. Reality was just something one choose to see, he said.

Another bash against a two-headed dog.

One saw what one wanted to see, he had continued. Because sometimes, the truth was something one didn't want to see.

"But Truth is not something you can run away from forever."


Alfons jerks up at the voice. Turning around, he blinks dazedly at the military man standing before him. "Was?"

"You're spacing out," Hughes says, looking rather worried.

Alfons blinks again and looks around. Indeed, they are nowhere near anywhere he recognizes. The street looks different, as if they has turned into an entirely different road than before, and he can't help but wonder how long he has spaced out. "I am sorry."

"No problem. Are you okay?"


Hughes pats his shoulder comfortingly. "Come on, I think we're there."

Alfons blinks again, before he realizes that they are indeed standing before a large rusty gate. There is a sign on the gate, written 'Midwich Elementary School'. Cautiously, Hughes starts to go through the gate, Alfons in tow, walking towards a dark silhouette in the yard before them, before they are finally close enough to see the school building.

He gapes at it.

Exteriorly, Midwich is by far the scariest school Alfons has ever seen, hands down. Granted he was more than a little freaked out when he came to Haushofer's mansion and his friends told him of the stories of dead soldiers coming to hunt the living on its ground and dead nobles searching for salvations in the towers. Spending his childhood in Transylvania, famous with its Dracula, should have roughened him against the supernatural, but alas, he has never been so brave anyway. And now he is going to enter a school that is very obviously haunted, probably not only by those creatures they have been facing on the street, which is probably still between the rationality, somewhere, somehow (he can prove it, given the chance and a little break from this nightmare), but probably also by things that will suddenly show up behind him and give him a menacing grin.

"Es gibt keine Geister, es gibt keine Geister...," he tells himself firmly.

Hughes looks at him funny, but Alfons ignores him. He'd prefer the man not to know that he does need the litany. Because despite his irrational response, he knows that no, ghosts don't exist. Not at all. They are not scientific, therefore they do not exist. Not at all.

Thankfully, the man says nothing about it. He just beckons at him. "Come on, let's go inside before the night falls."

Alfons wants to argue with him that with all the fog around them, it is highly probable that it is night time already, but he says nothing and follows the man instead.

They stop before the main door of the school. Hughes tries the door but it is locked. Frowning, the man tries to kick it open, it proves to be a rather sturdy door. Giving up, the man decides that they need to find another way in.

Walking around the building for openings is quite an easy task in theory. Schools are usually designed rectangle on the blue print and the backdoor is usually on the opposite side of the front door. Or if you can't find it there, try the other sides. It is, after all, a rectangle, and there are only four sides to a rectangle. So you can't find an open door on two sides, try the other two sides.

Please to be noting that this is in 'theory'.

Alfons sighs as Hughes tries to kick down the backdoor, but it just stands there like it is mocking the man. "Whoever made these doors," Hughes states good-naturedly, "I want them to build one for my house. You don't see doors like this lately."

"How is window?" Alfons tries to suggest, but he knows the answer even as the words leave his mouth.

"I don't think so," Hughes says. "They're barred with boards like that. It's like a fortress in there."

Alfons looks at the building, its dark shape lurking between the fog. "...War?"

Hughes looks up too. "Against the creatures? Possibly. But they can't survive in there without food and drink. Either they found a way to escape the building...."

Or they died in there. Alfons grimaces. "You want to go inside?"

Hughes grimaces back. "I think I have to."


The man takes out something from his breast pocket and shows it to Alfons. It was a piece of paper, torn from a book. The paper itself is white, filled with blue lines. In the middle of it, a child's scrawling, maybe with oil pastel, written boldly: SCHOOL. Alfons looks up and gives the man a confused look.

"I found this when I was looking around," Hughes tells him. "This is my Elysia's handwriting."

Alfons boggles at the man. "You here with the Tochter come?"

Hughes rolls his eyes. "I told you, I can't remember. I just found myself waking up in this town. But if Elysia's really here, then I really have to find her."

She could have been dead already, a malicious part Alfons' brain quips up. With all those monsters out here, no little girl can survive alone.

"Das Dach," Alfons finds himself saying instead, pointing up to the roof.

Hughes looks up, assessing before nodding in agreement. "You're right. They might have a door up there." He looks around before putting his hand on the wall, assessing it. "We might be able to climb it."

Alfons blinks at the man, and at the wall, which decidedly has nothing that can be used as stairs to climb on, and at the man again, looking at him, hoping that his look alone can convey what he thinks of the idea.

Hughes snorts at him. "I'll climb first. Give me the rope."

Opening the bag he has with him, Alfons pulls out the rope Hughes has collected in the police station along with his guns and several other necessities and gives it to him. The man slings the rope around his neck and gives him a grin, before he reaches for one of the barred windows and pulls himself up. Alfons watches in awe as the man uses the bars as leverage, pulling himself up the two stories building, looking quite at ease doing it, only having a slight difficulty with the bar between the two windows. It is not long before the man disappears among the fog and Alfons is left alone, waiting for his rope.

And such during this kind of time will Fate pull a prank on him, Alfons finds himself thinking when his radio suddenly starts to scream at him.

"Herr Hughes!" he calls after the man, feeling his heartbeat increasing fast. "Der Strick! Beeilen Sie sich!"

There is no answer from the man, while the static from the radio wails louder at him. Alfons starts to feel a weight pulling at his insides, trapping his feet to immobility yet again.

"Herr Hughes!"

The radio still doesn't give any indication on stopping. He is half-tempted to just throw the thing away, worried that its noise will give his place away to whatever is lurking in the fog, but something in his mind tells him calmly (why is it so calm in times like this?!) that if he does that, he will likely be assaulted by a monster because then he won't be knowing them coming. At least this way, he will have the luxury of knowing what kills him.

Of course, that thought doesn't comfort him at all.

"Herr Hughes!" He yells out desperately. "Hilfe!"

Then as if answering his prayer, a coil of rope hits his head. Instantly forgiving the man for the bad aim, Alfons grabs the rope and pulls himself up.

At least, he tries to.

Oh, fuck! he thought in despair as he fails to climb the wall and falls to the ground again for the third time. He really should have paid attention when Edward told him that he should get more exercise.

The radio is now screaming at him incessantly and Alfons is pretty sure that he is meant to die here, when he suddenly comes upon an idea. He ties the rope around his waist as strong as possible and coils it along his arm as well for a measure, before he pulls at the rope as strong as possible and screams, "Heben sie mich hoch! Pull!"

Fortunately, Hughes seems to understand him, because after five horrifying seconds, the rope begins to pull and Alfons feels it starting to elevate him off the ground. He clings desperately at it, hoping that whatever monster it is going to show up will have enough mercy not to pound at him mid-air.

The radio is still blaring, but at least it gets less noisy as he ascends to the roof. Alfons dares himself to look towards the ground, curiosity triumphing over his fear now that he is relatively safe, but finds that he was high enough off the ground to only be able to see the small silhouette of the arriving creature. And as the fog completely covers the silhouette, he wonders if he has only overreacted.

But he soon finds out that it is a good idea to overreact in this town. Especially when one manages to arrive at the building's roof safely, but suddenly finds that his companion is one hair away from being clobbered by one of the creatures.

"Herr Hughes, hinter Ihnen!" Alfons shouts out, pointing behind the man.

Hughes, who is helping him to the roof, turns around, lashing his pipe out. It connects with the waist of the four-legged creature and the blow throws it aside. With a great strength, Hughes practically hauls Alfons to the roof before he goes to the creature, giving it a last blow.

"You okay, kid?" Hughes asks him later after Alfons manages to breathe slower.

"Ja," Alfons rasps out. "I will live."

The man smiles kindly at him. "You should take a rest. I imagine you're quite tired."

Alfons shakes his head. "Elysia is alone. We must her find. Fast."

Hughes looks at him in surprise, before he breaks into a wide grin. "Okay," he says, giving him a hand. "Come on, then."

Alfons nods and takes his hand.

* * *

They are lucky that the roof is indeed not locked. And maybe they are even lucky as well that the electricity in the school, just like in Cafe 5to2 and the buildings they passed on their way, even if most of the light bulbs are already broken. It makes walking down the stairs an easier task, and after the whole climbing fiasco, Alfons finds that this makes him feel better already.

But he reminds himself not to be too happy about it. After all, he doesn't think all part of the school is enlightened, and who knows what lies in the dark?

Soon they find themselves in a hallway, presumably in the second floor of the building. It is a cross-section, with the stairs to the roof behind them and two ways, one to their right toward a hallway, and one to the right, the stairway to the first floor. Looking at each other, their anonymously opted the right one.

There are two doors to their sides immediately and both can be opened. The right one leads to a room with rows of tables and chair, perhaps a classroom, while the left one leads to another hallway.

"You know, it'll be faster if we split up," Hughes suddenly says.

Rationally, Alfons agrees wholeheartedly. To have two screening pass the sides from two ways and meet at the other end of the rectangle will reduce the time needed by half, so that they can go to the lower level faster and find Elysia faster.

Emotionally, Alfons wants to cling at him and begs him not to leave him alone.

"Okay," he hears himself saying, and already he wants to bash his head against the wall.

Hughes gives him a worried look. "Will you be okay?"

Alfons raises his bat, smiling. "I have this." Fortunately he doesn't have enough English to tell the man that his legs are also very knobbly and are willing to give up on him anytime.

"Okay," Hughes says, patting his shoulder. "I'll go this way," he points at the left door. "Just holler if you need me."

Alfons nods, wondering how long he can survive without screaming at Hughes to save his ass.

After Hughes enters the hallway left side, Alfons tightens his grip at his bat and advances forward warily. It doesn't take him long to reach what seems to be the end of the hallway, but remembering the length of the rectangle model of the school in his mind, Alfons deduces that there must be another hallway behind the door.

But it is locked.

He tries to use force on it, but once again he has to submit to the fact that he is just not cut for physical work. His forte has always been on the brain department, unlike his genius roommate who has both intelligence and physical prowess, despite having two artificials for limbs (and Alfons' meeting with Hughes prove that the boy also did not lack on the mental health department).

Use your head, he tells himself. There must be another way.

Alfons turns to the door to his right. He opens it carefully and finds it leading to the same classroom as the previous door, proven by the opened door at the right end of the room. There is another door in the left end and he crosses the room to open it carefully.

It is another classroom, similar to the one he is in. There are two doors too, which he deduces leading to the continuation of the hall way. A walk across the room proves the deduction right.

In the hallway, he tries to open the door connecting the hallways again, but it seems that even from this side, it is sealed shut. Wishing that he had a piece of paper to draw on, he memorizes the impromptu blueprint in his head instead and continues down the hallway, until he is met with a boarded up dead end and two doors to his sides. Deducing that the door to his right is the door leading to the classroom again, he opens the door to his left and finds another hallway.

There is a door right to his right, but it is locked, so he ignores it and continues his way. However, the door makes him think of the boarded dead end. There should be a space behind it instead of a wall or a window if his calculation is right, and he wonders what lies behind it. Walking another while grants him with another door to the right, but as he is about to open it, the radio in his pocket emits a faint static.

He automatically raises his bat, all his sense alert, more in a desperate amateur-to-action-scenes way than battle-trained, and turns around, hoping that he is ready for anything that aims at him.

A moment passes, him freezing in anticipation, before a sound from the door behind him makes him jump. He turns around and stares at the door, before he realizes that whatever made his radio emit static is right behind the door.

He glances to the panel on the top of the door. It is written 'Locker Room' in English. He makes a mental note not to open the damned room.

Leaving the locker room's door in wary, soon he is met with a locked door at the end of the hall way. Glaring at it in annoyance (what is it with these locked doors?!), he tries to open it in vain before he finally snaps and gives the door a kick.


Alfons yelps. Turning around, he nearly cries in relief when he sees Hughes at the other end of the hallway, coming from where Alfons came in. He wants to yell at the man for surprising him like that, but right now, he is just too glad to see the man to make comprehendible English sentence in his head. So instead, he just slides down against the door, suddenly losing all the energy in his legs.

"Whoa!" Hughes rushes across the hallway and stops to kneel next to him. "Kid, are you okay?"

Alfons just nods and gives him a weak smile. "Why you here?" he asks the man instead. He thought Hughes was supposed to emerge from the other side of the locked door.

"The doors are locked," the man says, grimacing. "I couldn't find a way, so I turned around and caught up with you instead."

You should have come with me from the first place! Alfons wants to yell at him, but he just sighs in relief and says, "Okay."

"Did you find anything?" Hughes asks him after he lets Alfons catch his breath.

Alfons points at locker room. "Kreaturen is in the room." Hughes turns toward the door. "Locker room," Alfons supplies.

Hughes gives the door a thoughtful look before he mumbles, "I wonder if they have keys in there."

"Was?" Alfons boggles at the man. Hughes is not implying that they are going to barge in there.

"I say we check it up."

Oh no, he is going to barge in. "Herr Hughes," Alfons tries to plead with the man, but the determination in the man's eyes tells him that it will be rather fruitless to convince the man otherwise, so he settles with huddling against the locked hallway door with his bat in his death grip as the man goes to the locker room and kicks the door open.

There is some fighting, Alfons can gather from the sounds. He can also hear some splats and squishes, and wonders if he will ever recover from the nightmares he is sure will follow this whole experience. After what feels like an eternity, Hughes peeks his head out from the locker room and calls out to him. "I'm gonna search the room."

Alfons scrambles to his feet. He is not going to let Hughes out of his sight or hearing, even if it means staring at the gory result of Hughes' assault.

But just before he enters the locker room, he sees something at the corner of his eyes that makes him pause on his way. He rubs at his eyes. At the end of the hall, the one leading to the classrooms, he thought he saw a blurry figure, but when he looks at it again, it isn't there. Wondering if he is starting to see things that are not really there, he shrugs it off and steps into the locker room, trying his best to ignore the corpses of grey-colored children, which could have looked like ordinary kids, except for their lack of proper head.

There are lines of lockers in the room. Some of them are open, few rather forcibly, while the other are closed. Hughes has already started to check them one by one, no doubt trying to find something that can be of use to them. Apparently he does find some, because he occasionally reaches into the locker he is looking at and pockets whatever he finds there. Looking around, Alfons decides to try being useful and opens the closest locker.

He really shouldn't have.

Slamming the door of the locker, he tells himself to forget what he has just seen. Immediately. No question asked.

He moves to the next locker, opening it more carefully this time. Fortunately, it is empty this time, so he moves to the next one, and next one, and next one.

"Aha!" Hughes' exclamation draws his attention from an interesting graffiti on one of the locker door. The man is victoriously holding up something in the air. "Look what I've found!"

It turns up to be a set of keys, each helpfully labeled 'Library', 'Library Reserve', 'Classroom 202', and so on. They are quite rusted, but probably still usable.

"Think you, they can open that door?" Alfons asks hopefully, pointing outside towards the locked hallway door.

Hughes grins at him. "Only one way to find out."

They go out the locker room, to the locked hallway door. Hughes tries several keys labeled 'Hallway' until after the fifth key, the door finally emits a loud CLICK.

They look at each other. Then Hughes pushes the door open carefully.

And suddenly the radio screams.

* * * * * * *
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