The apartment that the address led them to was on the first floor of a building in a forgotten part of town.It was worn down, old, and supposed to be vacant. Minori talked to the landlord about it, and while he suspected squatters he couldn't prove anything. Just strange noises at strange hours. Residents claiming that they saw people going in but not out. He had thought about calling it haunted and bringing in the tourists. The Mad Ventriloquist thought this was a good idea. Minori was not amused.
They were allowed inside, and it seemed vacant. The landlord seemed a bit creeped out by the whole thing and left downstairs but let them look around for a while. That's exactly what they did. Minori took one side of the room, The Mad Ventriloquist took the other. They didn't really talk much. He assumed that Minori was still mad at him. And he wasn't really sure what to say to her at this point.
"Did you know there was a hallway over here?" Minori asked, breaking the silence. The Mad Ventriloquist looked over to her. She was in a corner of the room that was a little hard to see, but he was pretty sure was just a wall. It wasn't. "Wait here." She said, beginning to walk through the hallway.
The Mad Ventriloquist followed.
She turned around and he thought she was going to aim her gun at him again, but she didn't. "It's a strange hallway. You'll need backup. It's why I'm here." he said, and she didn't look very happy but she agreed.
The hallway led into another room, which was empty except for a hole in the ground. The walls were lined with various graffiti marks that The Mad Ventriloquist didn't recognize at the time. "We should go." he said, and Minori backed up a few inches. Then she stopped. "It's just you and me Ronan." she said, "If we leave now, we have no way to come back to this lead. I'll never know what happened."
She walked forward, gun at the ready, and looked into the hole. Before The Mad Ventriloquist could get to where she was, she was already climbing down a ladder attached to it. "I need you up here, in case someone comes in. Only come down if you hear something." With that, she dropped down, and all The Mad Ventriloquist saw of her was the glow of her flashlight slowly fade away.
She had been gone for ten minutes when he heard a scream and two gunshots. The Mad Ventriloquist climbed down there as quickly as he could and tried his best to follow the noise. The place didn't have many tunnels, but it still took a while. By the time he found her, another shot had been fired.
The Mad Ventriloquist finally caught up to her, and saw she was pinning down a man. It was too dark to properly see his face. There was a dampness next to the ground that was obviously blood though. He saw Minori draw her arm back, and there was a dull thud as it came back and made contact with the man's face. He noticed her gun was still in her hand. She reached back and did it again. And again.
The man just laughed. He talked about her sister, about the tall man, about how the whole city was doomed. She didn't really seem to be listening. She just kept on hitting him over and over until the laughter became shrieks of pain, and even past then. After The Mad Ventriloquist recovered from the shock he pulled her off the man and wrestled the gun out of her hand.
The man laughed and coughed a bit. The Mad Ventriloquist focused on Minori. "What are you doing? You don't even know who this guy is. And I know you're smart enough to not fire a gun in a space like this." She didn't seem to register what he was saying for a brief second. She was shaking in rage, and trying to escape from The Mad Ventriloquist's grip. It didn't last long though, and the anger slowly turned into shock and horror. She took a deep breath and looked at The Mad Ventriloquist. "I overreacted. The shots were... I saw him. The tall man. He was here."
The Mad Ventriloquist looked around. The gun shots didn't seem to have hit anyone despite being in a tunnel. He didn't see the bullets. He didn't see any exit aside from the one he came through either. "Where did he go?" He asked and Minori just shook her head.
"You two are fools." the man said, laughing again. Minori looked like she was going to lunge at him again, but controlled herself this time. "Who is he. Tell me." she said. The man didn't. "You look so much like your sister, you know. Have I told you what her face looked like as he ripped her piece by piece? Did I say what she sounded like when he found her heart? We've heard of you, Minori Ryan. We know all about you. And the way you're going, you'll end up just like her. I hope I'm there to watch."
This time, The Mad Ventriloquist almost didn't hold her back.
Minori calmed herself down again and looked at him. "Get me out of here. Now." He thought it was a strange request until he looked down and realized that the blood wasn't from the man. The bullet had ricocheted into her leg. The Mad Ventriloquist picked her up and backed out of the room. He didn't want to turn his back to the man. "You can't beat him." he said. The Mad Ventriloquist ignored him.
They went to Minori's apartment and The Mad Ventriloquist called a doctor who was good with bullet wounds and didn't ask questions. He waited with her and did what he could to stop the bleeding. She had been pretty lucky. It wasn't going to kill her. "What the hell did I do?" she asked softly as The Mad Ventriloquist sat by her. "You shot before thinking." he answered. "Not that." she said. He didn't know how to answer.
The room was quiet for a while, before The Mad Ventriloquist spoke. "He deserved it." he said. Minori shook her head. "No one deserves that. I lost control of myself. I forgot who I was." she answered. This didn't make too much sense to The Mad Ventriloquist. "What if that is actually who you are? There's no shame in it." he asked. Minori just shook her head again, but didn't say anything other than that.
"So you saw him" The Mad Ventriloquist asked. "Yeah. And don't you dare call me crazy," she said, "but I don't think he's human." He just stared at her for a minute. She glared, and he nodded eventually.
The doctor came and they didn't have to talk anymore.