rating: +15+x

"Look, it's too fucking dark for this. I can't see shit over there."

"Keep looking, alright? It's just now eleven, it'll be happening soon."

"You keep saying that."

The two young men were perched on the side of Derek's apartment, as he peered through a pair of cheap binoculars at the empty office building across the street. The dim light of the streetlamps illuminated the roadway below them, but the interior of the building, specifically the room that Derek was so eagerly squinting towards, was pitch black.

"I don't even get why we're doing this." Derek said through gritted teeth. "It's way too cold for this shit, and if you know something is happening then why don't you just submit the story?"

Alex shook his head and sighed. "We've been over this. Empire says that the Knights only take video evidence. They look at the source file and stuff for tampering, so it has to be original footage, too. If we want to get linked by the Knights, then we have to be legit about it."

Derek turned to glare at him. "When did you talk to Empire?"

Alex pointed a stubby finger back towards the office building. "Keep your eyes over there." Derek rolled his eyes and looked back through the binoculars. "And for the record, I am very close with Empire and DarkDays. Might even say I'm in the inner circle, as much as we talk."

"Bullshit," Derek laughed, causing Alex to bristle slightly. "If you're in this inner circle, then why are we out here checking out office buildings at eleven on a school night? Can't you just get the story posted yourself, Mr. Inner Circle?"

"Fuck off," Alex snapped back at him. "Look, it's 11:02. Watch that window."

They sat quietly for another thirty seconds. Alex could feel the tension growing between them, and realized that if they weren't able to catch anything tonight, he'd be hard pressed to get Derek to come out on a raid with him again, let alone allow Alex to use his apartment for this type of thing. It needed to happen, and it needed to happen soon.

After a minute had passed, Derek scoffed under his breath. "This is bullshi-" he began to say, but stopped short. Alex took note, and peered across the way himself. "What did you see? Huh?"

Derek pulled the binoculars from his face and looked at his friend. "Fuck you," he said, his eyebrows furrowing. "This is some kind of prank, right?"

"No way, dude," Alex said. "You saw something?"

Derek nodded, taking another quick look at his binoculars. "Shit, then yeah. We need to get in there."

Without a word, the two of them struck off through Derek's apartment complex, down towards the ground floor, and then stealthily across the road to the Maxwell Building. The scuttled down an alleyway next to it, and as they got close to the service door Alex tossed the camera bag over his shoulder.

"Jesu- Christ, dude, be careful with that," Derek hissed at him. "That's my dad's fucking camera, asshole."

Alex shook his head. "Yeah, it'll be fine. Help me with this."

He pulled out the amateur lockpick kit his uncle had gotten him for his birthday a few years prior, and began to poke at the lock. Dumbfounded at his lack of success, he turned towards Derek and stubbed at the lock. "You know how to get into this shit, you do it."

Derek rolled his eyes and knocked Alex out of the way, careful as to not so much as brush up against the precious camera bag. He fiddled with the lock and picks for a moment, and they both took a deep breath as they heard the satisfying "click" of a breaking and entering. They slid past the door, closing it behind them, and Alex turned on his Mag-lite.

They had mapped out the building before, during the day when they didn't have to worry about tripping over unforeseen boxes and chairs, and maneuvering the path they had laid out for themselves was proving to be more difficult than anticipated. With luck, though, they found themselves at the emergency stairwell, itself dimly lit with red hazard lights, and began to climb. Derek realized they hadn't spoken to each other in nearly ten minutes, and wondered what his friend was thinking.

Finally, after a considerable climb, they reached twenty-first floor. The moonlight peeking in through the open windows provided enough visibility to move without resulting in serious injury, and they couldn't risk being spotted, so Alex clicked off the light and they moved slowly down the hallway. "421… 423… 425…" Alex mumbled, feeling the signs next to office room doors. Near the end, he brushed up against one and stopped. Derek took a look at it. 435.

Alex turned around and pulled the camera out of the bag. Derek snatched it from his hands and turned it on, glaring at him. They both flinched when the startup sound beeped in the silence of the empty floor, and Derek made quick work to dim the view-finder on the back, as to not arouse suspicion. He nodded at Alex, and the shorter man poked his head around the door. He stuck a single finger out and pushed the door open.

The two of them slithered inside and into a corner, behind a table. Alex poked his eyes up above their barricade, and elbowed Derek to do the same. He popped up, camera in hand, and…

"Is that a moose?" Derek said, mouth hanging more or less agape.

Alex nodded. "They call it the "Celestial Guardian" on the net. Say it's an ancient spirit that was disturbed when they built this building, and now it haunts the floors at night, waiting to trample those who broke its slumber."

Derek raised an eyebrow. "It looks like it's just chewing on that fern."

Alex smacked the back of his head as quietly as possible. "Just shut up and film the fucking thing."

"It's too dark, I'm telling you." Derek said, fiddling with the controls. "I don't know how this thing fucking works, I can't lighten the image."

Alex cursed his accomplice under his breath. "Fine. Give me a second, I'll get a light on it."

Derek snatched at him to stop him, but he wasn't fast enough. Alex was worming his way between desks over towards where the large, translucent cervine was absent mindedly munching on an office plant. He kept one eye on the creature, and one eye on the door, preparing to bolt at the nearest sign of danger. As he watched, he could see his red-haired friend meandering slowly to a wall of cabinets near their target. The dim figure stopped, raised up momentarily, and then shouted across the room. "CAMERA GO!"

There was light suddenly, and Alex was jumping around the moose waving his light around. "DEREK!" he shouted across the room, "ARE YOU GETTING THIS? ARE YOU FUCKING GETTING THIS?"

Derek came running, adrenaline coursing through his pubescent veins. "I'M FUCKING GETTING IT, DUDE. ON CAMERA, ACTUAL SPIRIT CREATURE."

This continued for a few moments more, as Derek circled the antlered being to get footage from all angles. The moose didn't seem to mind, didn't even seem to notice. It wasn't until it turned to look at Alex shaking his fat fingers at it that the boys panicked and ran for the doorway. As they skittered down the hall, the moose seemed to shrug, and then returned to chewing on nearby desktop plants. Twenty minutes later, it dispersed once again into the astral plane.

[03:41] delix22 (~Mibbit@57F3B83.2RY2564I.J67FG2B0.IP) has joined #clevelandparawatch
[03:41] <alexanderthem8> o/
[03:42] <delix22> o/
[03:42] <delix22> he here yet?
[03:42] <alexanderthem8> no
[03:42] <alexanderthem8> said it would be about quarter til
[03:43] <alexanderthem8> you have that file read to upload?
[03:43] <delix22> yep
[03:43] <alexanderthem8> cool
[03:46] DarkDays ((~androirc@45S17F4T:427NZM30:HKQ18U06:IP) has joined #clevelandparawatch
[03:46] <alexanderthem8> o/ DarkDays
[03:46] <alexanderthem8> welcome to the cleveland paranormal watch channel
[03:47] <DarkDays> thnx
[03:47] <DarkDays> You have a video for the Knights?
[03:47] <alexanderthem8> yes we do. is empire going to be coming?
[03:48] <DarkDays> he doesn't really do house calls.
[03:48] <DarkDays> >.>
[03:49] <alexanderthem8> oh ok. just thought he would want to see this
[03:49] <alexandrethem8> reputable proof of a spirit
[03:49] <alexanderthem8> living in a downtown building
[03:51] <DarkDays> Ok. You got a link?
[03:51] <alexanderthem8> yes, my partner should have one. delix22?
[03:52] <delix22> yep
[03:52] <delix22> http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d3a_5738901284
[03:52] <delix22> just finished uploading
[03:53] <DarkDays> k hang on
[03:55] <DarkDays> …
[03:55] <DarkDays> Is this a joke?
[03:56] <alexanderthem8> ???
[03:56] <DarkDays> It's just a black screen with two kids shouting
[03:56] <delix22> fuck
[03:56] <alexanderthem8> wtf derek
[03:57] <DarkDays> you woke me up for this?
[03:57] <alexanderthem8> wait DD no
[03:57] <alexanderthem8> theres been a technical issue
[03:57] <alexanderthem8> my cameraman fukced it up
[03:57] <alexanderthem8> pls i just need to talk to Empire i can explain it
[03:57] <delix22> the lens cap
[03:57] <alexanderthem8> come on please DD I relaly did get that footage
[03:58] <alexanderthem8> i want to help the knights
[03:58] <alexanderthem8> please let me talk to evil empire
[03:58] DarkDays (~androirc@45S17F4T:427NZM30:HKQ18U06:IP) Quit
[03:58] <alexanderthem8> fuck you derek
[03:59] <alexanderthem8> you ruined this
[03:59] <delix22> oh fuck off dude
[03:59] <alexanderthem8> YOU RUINED THIS DEREK
[03:59] <delix22> it was retarded anyway
[03:59] delix22 (~Mibbit@57F3B83.2RY2564I.J67FG2B0.IP) Quit
[04:00] <alexanderthem8> FUCK YOU

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