Jeannine and Bill walked quickly from the Coliseum, trying not to attract too much attention, which was rather difficult, what with the two billion people all staring right at them. They had to try though, because they knew that if Josiah were distracted from his fight with Shamus, they’d probably be stopped; and if they were stopped, they wouldn’t be able to bring John’s body to the Underworld.
“Hey Bill, where are we going, exactly? Is the entrance to the Underworld easy to find, or what? Or do you even know?” asked Jeannine, once they’d reached a safe distance.
“No, I thought you did!” said Bill. “Oh wait, yes I do. Follow me!”
He started running, and Jeannine (who had taken it upon herself to bear the body as her burden) had trouble keeping up with him; nevertheless, she did it, John’s welfare being all that mattered. Bill soon slowed down though, lacking any sort of endurance, and they continued.
Before long, the two reached the mouth of a dank cave. Jeannine was hesitant to move closer, what with the dankness, but Bill went right on in, clearly unafraid – he had glowsticks.
Holding one in front of him like a torch, he led the way down the dark, narrow passage.
This continued for a while, before the two hit a dead end. Bill tapped on it with his glowstick, but nothing happened
“I think we’re stuck,” he said to Jeannine.
“Maybe there’s a password or something,” she suggested. “If you were the Lord of the Underworld, what would your password be?”
“Flapjack!” cried Bill.
Defying Jeannine’s wildest expectations, the back wall of the cave started shaking in response to Bill’s word, and sure enough, it opened wide, leaving more than enough room for the two companions to walk through.
“How did you know that?” asked Jeannine, astounded.
“Know what?” asked Bill.
“Password? No, I just saw Flapjack over there so I said hi. You should talk to him sometime! You’d like him, he used to be a –”
“Well, that’s not important. Come on; let’s go. I don’t know whether corpses can expire, so we should get John to Hades as quickly as possible,” urged Jeannine.
And with that, the two set off through the archway. Immediately the ground dropped sharply; they had reached a staircase. Slowly they crept down the slippery stone steps, taking especial care not to fall. They couldn’t see any of their surroundings; they were engulfed by utter darkness. Bill’s glowstick had long since died.
They walked down the stairs for an indeterminate amount of time before finally reaching the bottom. This area was lit, though dimly; hence, everything they saw had an eerie, sepulchral feel. They continued, even more wary than before of what lay ahead.
Before long they encountered their first spirits. Skeletons and zombies wandered hither and thither, no clear goal in mind; ghosts hovered around them and swooped down whenever convenient. Jeannine grew frightened, but Bill strode confidently onward, glowstick in hand. He was apparently unaware that it was no longer glowing, something Jeannine just didn’t have the heart to tell him.
But then he noticed and started shaking uncontrollably, forcing them to stop. It reminded Jeannine of Mischa (who, incidentally, was following them, on Josiah’s orders – I’ll bet you forgot about that).
“C-Comrades!” he cried. “Why have we stopped walking forward? Is everything okay?”
Bill and Jeannine turned swiftly around and could faintly distinguish Mischa, who was writhing in terror. Although he was indirectly responsible for John’s death and was almost certainly working for Josiah again, neither considered him even a remote threat, so they replied without suspicion.
“Mischa! What are you doing here?” asked Jeannine, friendly as could be. “Are you going to help us bring John to Hades?”
“No, I have actually come to stop you, because Mr. Malum asked me to,” replied Mischa. “I mean, yes, I am here to help you. Forget that first thing I said.”
They moved on.