-Inside Silent Cemetery-
Abigail shut the gate behind them and met Victoria, who was standing watch over the path that led into the cemetery with her Light Machine Gun. Victoria had been looking down the path, which was lit by moonlight in a cloudless sky. She did not know if that cult needed a night like this to perform their ritual or if some cosmic entity was throwing Victoria and Abigail a bone, but the Sabertooth mage was not going to complain. Abigail walked to her right side and stopped.
"Hey Vic, have you seen any zombies or zombie dogs yet?" Abigail asked Victoria. The brunette turned to face her partner and shook her head.
"I haven't seen any yet, Abby. Normally you can't walk in here without seeing a few waiting for you, but tonight there's not a single one. Not in this area, anyway." Victoria replied. Abigail frowned. It was good that they did not have to fight for their lives the moment they set foot in the cemetery, but that was also somewhat troubling.
What if Victoria and Abigail were too late to stop the cult?
What if the cult had already completed its ritual and had left the cemetery with its new army of zombies in tow?
It was too early to give up, but the brunette could not help but to be worried that maybe this time she was too late. There were no zombies anywhere in sight and there was no moaning in the distance whatsoever. The only sounds she could hear were the wind picking up and the occasional rustling of grass. Abigail looked at Victoria.
"We'd better get going, Vic. We might be able to stop them and get that drum." Abigail said to her partner. Victoria nodded.
"Yeah. Let's get going." Victoria replied. Together they began to walk down the path towards the branch that led left or right. The graves around them were all closed, so this area's inhabitants had not been awakened yet. After a minute or two of brisk walking they arrived at the branching path and looked around them.
"So, which way do we go?" Victoria asked Abigail. The blonde shrugged.
"I don't know which way we should go, Vic. We need to look for clues, like open graves or open burial vaults." Abigail answered before suggesting that they search for clues. The wind blew fiercely and Abigail shivered.
"Hey Abby, do you need to borrow my hoodie?" Victoria asked, offering to loan her partner her gray hoodie so that the blonde did not succumb to hypothermia before they made contact with either the cult or its zombie army. Abigail shook her head.
"No thanks, Vic. I'll be fine. I also don't want the zombies to have anything to grab onto because I have to get in melee range to fight them." Abigail refused the offer and explained why. Victoria saw that there was a certain logic to the refusal. The hood of the hoodie hung out and would be easy to grab if the brunette got into melee range, so it would be in her best interest to not get in melee range to begin with. When Victoria thought about it Abigail's refusal made sense. Most of Abigail's sword techniques required getting close to the target to use them and she did not want any baggy clothing that could be grabbed to hold her in place or drag her down.
"Fair enough, Abby." Victoria replied calmly. She looked left and used her enhanced vision to see that the burial vaults were lying open. She pointed towards them with her left hand and called Abigail's attention to that.
"Hey, do you see those open burial vaults?" Victoria asked Abigail. The blonde nodded.
"Yeah. Do you think the cult went that way?" Abigail asked the brunette.
"Maybe, but it could be a red herring. They could want us to think they went left when they actually went right." Victoria suggested. Abigail crossed her arms over her chest.
"Maybe, but I don't know if we have time to check out both paths." Abigail made her own suggestion. Victoria frowned.
"So, what do you want to do? Go left or go right?" Victoria put the decision in Abigail's hands. The blonde remained silent for a few moments before pointing left.
"I say we go left, Vic. I'm thinking they went that way." Abigail replied. Victoria nodded.
"OK, Abby. If you think they went left, we'll go left." Victoria replied. She hoped that they had not chosen the wrong path, but if they did they could quickly change course and go right. Besides, it was not like just pounding on a drum made from the skin of a necromancer could magically raise the dead and make them perfectly obedient to the drummer right away. There was likely a certain rhythm that needed to be played for control to be established over the newly raised zombie army.
At least Victoria hoped that using the drum was that complex.
If using the drum to raise an undead army was as simple as tapping any old beat on it in the middle of a cemetery, the world was in deep trouble.
"OK, I'll take the lead." Victoria said to Abigail and led the pair left towards the open burial vaults.
-On the left path-
Victoria walked in front of Abigail with her Light Machine Gun at the ready in case the open vaults were not empty. So far they had remained silent, but she still did not trust anywhere in Silent Cemetery to be truly safe. The wind blew hard and rustled the grass around them, making the only real noise in the area other than their footsteps.
"Hey Vic, are you seeing any zombies yet?" Abigail asked the brunette.
"No, not yet." Victoria replied laconically. She did not like how quiet things were. Normally this place was swarming with zombies, but so far they had encountered nothing but silence.
Suddenly they heard a faint drum sound in the distance. It sounded once and was not very deep, but it had the characteristic sound of a drum skin being hit with a hand.
"Hey Vic, did you hear that?" Abigail asked Victoria.
"Yeah. It sounded like a drum." Victoria answered. The drum sound was heard again.
"I think we're on the right path!" Abigail said. Victoria nodded.
"Yeah, but we need to be careful to not just charge in. Remember that we don't have any support from the Order that we can call in if things get dicey." Victoria reminded Abigail that it was just the two of them against a cemetery full of zombies and cultists. Abigail gasped... she seemed shocked that the brunette was counseling a cautious approach.
"Vic, I can't believe what you're saying! You're actually suggesting that we don't run in with guns blazing like action movie protagonists!" Abigail said half-jokingly.
"When you go up against cultists who can summon demons and see what they can summon, you don't exactly charge headlong into the fray." Victoria said in all seriousness. Months after the encounter with them she was still haunted by the sight of the Maws of Hell and how their open mouths resembled the gate to Hell itself. It was not something that she liked to talk about or even think about.
"Yeah, you're right. We'll just have to be careful." Abigail said in a serious tone. Without any further delay the pair continued their trip into Silent Cemetery.
[Post Word Count: 1,251]
[Total Word Count: 2,168/11,000]