Three months. It's been three months and Jack still no sign of Jack to be seen anywhere. But thats all about to change Aster thinks to himself. The low mumbling of North behind him as he puts together the clues they had gathered over the past few days as Aster sat at the computer waiting for any information he might need to look up. His room was a mess, clothing, boxes and ash trays littered the ground and bed. He and Jack had gotten in to a lot of crazy things when they'd been together. They'd even planned to leave Oregon to go to L.A and take in the sites. Arcadea Bay was a “small hick town” as Jack liked to say. Aster smiled at the memory of Jack describing his loath for the place.
“Aha!” The sound caused Aster to jump slightly in his chair. Quickly turning to his friend as the larger man walked over with a pad of paper with numbers scribbled on to it. “Aster, type these numbers in to google. These are GPS locations!” Aster grabbed the paper and quickly went to work, after a moment the page loaded only to show an old abandoned looking barn.
“No North, nothing here except some dinky old barn.” He says scowling at the taller teen. Norths shaggy black brows furrowed in thought before he perked up.
“Let us look in to who owns this barn, da?” Aster sighs and nods his head.
“Hang on I'm on this....” I turn back to the computer and pull up a few of the towns records on the land. “Looks like its some one by the name of Hary Tsar Lunar.”
“I am shocked.” North remarks dryly. “Is there nothing that family does not own in this town?” he sighs and shakes his head before looking back to Aster. “We should call police, yes?” The concern evident in his voice.
“Fuck that. You know the police here are like the Lunars privet security right?”
“This feels wrong my friend.” North says, but does not argue the point.
“Yeah, well I'm sure you've noticed that this whole town is fifty shades of fucked up. We cant trust anyone. Except for each other. So we have to go out to that barn on our own. Besides I'm not afraid. If we do get in trouble, you can always use your time powers to rewind and get us out of that mess right?” North frowns but agrees.
“I was afraid you would say that. Fine, but we must be wary. My powers have limits Bunny. We must be cautious. Understood?” Aster nodded.
“Yes sir.” The drive out to the barn was quiet. The two nervous about what they would find. Once the barn had come in to view, Aster quickly parked his truck in front of it and got out with North quickly following.
“I know I have already said this, but this feels wrong.”
“Yeah I know...hey look at this. Fresh tier tracks. Some ones been here recently. Come on lets find a way in” They move over to the front gate discovering it locked. “Shit, its locked. I'll look around here. North take a look around and see if you find anything.” North runs off to the side of the building and notices a panel along the wall.
“Aster! I found our way in!” they move the panel out of the way and squeeze in to the barn. Aster takes a quick look around. The barn is mostly empty except for some stacks of hay, a chest off to the left of them and some old farming equipment. The trunk not being locked opened without trouble. Inside documents, files and newspaper clippings could be seen.
“Well look at this... 'Hary Tsar Lunar donates new library to Arcadia Bay'...'Lunar industry celebrates grand opening'... Lunar family brings bomb shelter boom to town.”
“Hmph. Nice bit of propaganda scrap booking if you ask me...” North said as he wandered around near the far side of the barn. “Oh, this is a nice tractor...poor thing has seen better years.”
“Er, da. Sorry, is just a nice-” a loud thud stops him mid sentence. Aster looks over and notices something odd about the spot North is standing on.
“Oi Nick. Brush all that junk away from that spot.” North quick did as he was told. Brushing away the hay and trash covering what looked to be a hatch. A rather new looking hatch. “That looks a lot more recent than anything else in this place...why? Come on, help me lift this thing.” The latch was a lot heavier than it looked, it took a few minutes of lifting to finally get it to open. Under the latch a stair way led farther down. “That's not disconcerting at all...” Aster quickly ran down only to be blocked by a giant vault door. “What the bloody hell is this even doing here?”
“Your guess is as good as myn, but look this door has a pin code lock. Give me a moment, should not take me long to figure out.” The first combination north tried had been right.
“Alright. Color me impressed. Here I thought that only worked in movies. Or did you rewind each time you screwed up?” Aster sent an amused look to North, who only crossed his arms and looked away in embarrassment. “Come on mate, how many trys did it take ya? Five? Six?” as the door swung open he could have sworn he heard North mumble the number 24. Time travel. Go figure. They stepped past the entrance in to what looked to be an underground bunker. Survivalist food lined the walls and shelves, the two of them starting to get a rising feeling of dread. “Alright...this place is sketchy as fuck.” off to the left was another room with what looked to be filled with the most top end photography equipment, a computer and desk and some cabinets with some rather 'tortured' photography next to them.
“Aster, this place is evil. Nothing good will come of us staying here. Let us find any clue we can and leave this place. As much as I would love to look at some of this set up. They are tainted with whatever happened here.” Aster nods and quickly moves over to the cabinets and opens the closest one. Inside there are red binders with names on them. 'Seraphina' 'Tiana' 'Nightlight' and 'Jack' Aster quickly reached for the binder and turned it open, what he saw inside made him sick to his stomach and filled him with a rage he'd only ever felt once.
“North these shorts. Their...their framed right? There is no way that....I mean this cant mean... Its not-”
“Aster. Look at his face. He's drugged out. He doesn't even seem to know whats happening to him. Look at this picture...why is...Pitch? Putting him in the ground like that.
“He could have payed him a shit ton of money. Jack would do the shots for money. He would.”
“Aster...where do you think-”
“The junk yard! Come on, we have to search the junk yard.” Without another word Aster was off like his name sake. The two running back to the car and quickly driving away. The drive to the junkyard was frantic. Aster driving over the speed limit and muttering to himself that nothing was there. They reach the junk yard soon enough and Aster makes a hard stop and jumps out of truck and leaving the door open.
“Bunny! Slow down! Wait for me!” North called out.
“I know exactly where I'm going!” North follows as quickly as he can, watching Aster run behind a pile of crushed cars and broken tv's “Look this is it, this is it!” Aster said. Panic becoming more clear in his voice. “Are you going to help me North!?” Aster shouts at him as he begins to dig with his bare hands. They dug for what seemed to them like hours, but in mere moments they find something in the ground.
“Aster stop. Look...” North shot a worried look to Aster before he continued to unearth the object. It was a body bag.
“Please no...” Aster begged. Hesitantly North opened the zipper and immediately began to wretch.
“Ugh! That smell...!”
“Jack...” Aster tried not to sob. “Oh Jackie No, no! Please not him!” North only looked on in
We could run away
Before the light of day.
horror as Aster tossed himself from the site and began to wretch as well. Quickly North moved to comfort Aster and wrapped him in his arms as the other teen sobbed and panicked.
“Aster...” A loud sob escaped Aster as he wailed again.
You knew we always could.
I'll be safe the mountain says.
“I'm sorry Aster. I'm so sorry...”
“I loved him so much! How can he be dead? What kind of world does this! Who does this!?” Aster wailed and sobbed in to Norths arms. But nothing would change. Jack was dead. Jack was dead. In the distances unnoticed by the two lost in grief. A doe watched on and bowed its head before vanishing.