Chapter 25: Justin Stone
After telling Anna about the events that transpired in the catacombs, Justin and Dom went to the lobby’s bar and poured themselves a shot of vodka. Without missing a beat, Justin took it then poured himself another bottle. They make it seem surviving a near death experience was an easy thing in movies and shows. It doesn’t prepare you for the real thing though. Dom and Justin were pouring themselves a third round of shots when Rob came up to them. He looked at the bottle of vodka between the two teenagers and the two boys.
“You know,” Rob said in a hoarse voice. “You two can’t drink during this vacation.” Dom and Justin just looked at Rob, not saying anything. ***** it. Pour me three.” Justin did as he was told. Rob pounded all three of them instantly. Justin and Dom did theirs then they poured a fourth shot.
“Tom and I have been working together for ten years. Did you know that? Ten ******* years. We’ve been to India, Brazil, England, Germany, Russia, Australia, Ireland, Iceland and so many other countries. We were going to retire after this year. Just like we planned. Now, look at how that went to ******* Rob spoke with a heaviness in his voice as he downed his next shot.
“He fought until he couldn’t anymore,” Justin tried reasoning. “He put his job first. He made sure that all of us got out even with knowing he’d be left behind.”
“But does that really make him a hero?” Rob wondered. “I mean, you can do the right thing for the wrong reason. I know Tom was old but there had to be a way where he made it out alive too. Right?”
Justin wished he had an answer. Tom might not have been a hero in any sense, but he was one to Justin. Without Tom, Matthew and Stefan might have been stuck in the catacombs with no way out. Dom offered an explanation, “Tom did what any one of would have done in that given situation. Sacrifice one to save the many. I would have done the same in his situation. No doubt about it.” The three of them took another shot then as Justin was putting away the bottle, Rob reached out and grabbed it from his hands. Justin let him keep it.
“Rob, we need access to your room. We need to get some tools to help us get inside some of these rooms here.” Justin told the supervisor. Rob tossed him his key card and walked away with the bottle, drinking out of it. With that in mind, they made it to the elevator where they ran into Kylie, Mackenzie, Alex Rand and Olivia Benoit.
“Where are you boys off to?” Alex asked.
“Going to check the weapons Chris, Britney, Josh and Blake got in Robs room. Where is Josh and Danny, anyway?” Justin asked.
“Last I saw, Danny was in the kitchen making something to eat and Josh was on the computer trying to hack into some database. He opens he can crack whatever’s blocking our signals, so he can use our cell phones again.” Mackenzie said.
“Want company?” Kylie asked. With that, the six of them went to the fourth floor to Robs room. As they passed by Matthew’s room, they heard a soft moan coming through the door. The six of them stopped and listened. Justin couldn’t help but smile.
“At least someone’s sorta happy on this trip,” Olivia said. Laughing, the six of them walked to Robs room and opened it. When Anna told Justin and Dom about the kind of weapons they had, Justin expected a few things but the whole room was basically filled with sharp objects. Justin found a Kevlar vest and a belt to hold additional weapons. Justin put both of those on his person then chose his weapon of choice. He found a hatchet with an orange handle and a bunch of throwing knives. He didn’t like anything else until he found a tactical bow and arrow with red dot sight. He found a bag full of arrows.
“You know how to use that?” Mackenzie asked as she got herself an axe and mallet.
“There’s a bow and arrow class at our high school,” Dom told her as he shifted through the assortment of weapons. “Justin is the best at the school.” Dom chose a machete and two fourteen-inch daggers. Alex grabbed herself a double-sided axe as Olivia got herself a dagger. Kylie chose two brass knuckles with knifes attacked to them on either end.
With their weapons chosen, they left the door and left it unlocked. The went do to the second floor since the first floor is the main lobby area. They stood outside the first door. With no key to open the door, they did what they thought was best. Mackenzie had everyone step away as she lifted her axe. She brought it down on the magnetic lock multiple times before it disengaged. She kicked the door opened to reveal an empty room. They continued down the hall doing the same thing and getting the same results. They would find rooms with luggage’s and messy beds but no residents. All the second floor was like that. They went to the third floor to find the same results. They checked the rooms on the fourth and fifth floor that didn’t belong to them.
After checking the last room, Kylie spoke, “Where the **** is everyone? They didn’t just up and leave in the middle of the day.”
“One last place to check I guess,” Dom said. They all gave him a look, hoping he’d just say the answer. “The foyer in the basement.”
“Why there?” Asked Mackenzie as they rode down the elevator to the basement.
“If the Travelers are behind their disappearances, and they are, I would hide people down in the basement.” Dom told them. Justin agrees with this statement. He just hopes they find them alive. When they reached the basement, the smell it them like a tidal wave. Justin gagged multiple times. Alex puked in the corner instantly.
Dom covered his mouth and nose with his hand and with the other used his cell phone light. They didn’t have to go far to find the smell. In the middle were a pile of bodies. Flies and maggots littered the mound. At that instant, the lights went out.