Water trickles ever so steadily. The pitter patter, drip drop of the globules impacting the larger surface, making ripples… an absence of bubbles. In this dingy dark place where despair reeks, the holy man walks alone through the halls. Where his step treads is ever closer to that of icy terror, where the agony of others had frozen over many a time. An angel of death with a heart and domain as cold as ice… yes, that was her, this floor master.
The priest approached the metal door to the walk-in freezer. She'd requested a very difficult challenge for the designers. Nothing so convoluted as Cathy's, but complex all the same. It had to have the feel of a butcher, an altar, and a place of cleansing, all in one. What a demanding child.
The priest smirks slightly to himself. Children and their innocence. That is why she was such an able killer, bringer of peaceful death. His hand goes to enter the keypad code. There is a hiss of cold air before the door opens a crack.
It's a winter horror land in there. Hooks from the ceiling dangled frozen corpses, mangled from maceration in water. Many eyes are frozen solid, still open. She liked it that way. The floor, walls, and sparse crates had a coating of frost from the low temperature this girl kept running all the time. The priest kept a steady gait so as not to slip as he progressed. His breath made those vapors that occurred on frosty days, where it hung and wafted a bit like a cloud.
Taking a few turns past cold storage boxes, he walks up to an area where the ice seems to thaw and reveal machinery underneath. By this time, a petite girl, with pale purple hair and sickly complexion, had already made her way to his side without noise. He knew she was there, in her little arctic jacket and boots, holding a fishbowl stuffed with snow, as usual. Her tired looking grey eyes look up to him expectantly.
"Kirsten." His blank eyes barely moved.
"The witch will be coming soon. And she will be with Zack. They have just dispatched of Danny for the second time on her floor."
"… Rachel … Gardner…" The one called Kirsten blinks slowly, with contemplation, "One whose insides are so cold… they require warmth…"
"I leave them to you, Kirsten. They are nearly in the outside world here."
"Zack… now he is a burning spirit… to be trapped and frozen forever…" The little girl sighs a little dully, rubbing her face on her fishbowl. She seems consumed in her own thoughts. "I will make this a pleasant stay for them, as I do every customer."
The priest nods and walks ahead, towards the elevator to the upper floor. As the doors open for him to enter and close, he takes one last look out before the metal claps shut. The contraption starts elevating him. Kirsten, another angel of death. She wasn't like Danny, angel of cold death, Raphael's image. Nor was she Cathy, angel of punishing death, Uriel's image. And she lacked the kindness of Eddy, angel of just death, Michael's image. She was perhaps closest to Zack, a true angel of death, Samael's image. He didn't even want to think of that witch, Rachel… She was clearly Lucifer, fallen angel of luring death. Kirsten did have that quality about herself as well, however… wanting to preserve things. She was, yes, angel of beautiful death, Gabriel.
The old man smiles a bit as the elevator slows near his destination floor. His son, the angel Azazel, stands behind the grates before they pry open. He smiles at him.
His angels were perfect.
Her dull eyes were grey held that look of a tired old woman. One tired with life. She had only the slightest hint of an amused smile when she watched things happen. Things like liquid nitrogen freezing a prisoner's face off, or frostbite cost a person all their fingers and toes. The thought of these two new guests coming for their final night did not amuse her so much at first. After all, she knew they were floor masters, and she did not like Rachel at all.
"Punishment for a witch, worshipper of the devil… Even after we permitted you in the house, you betrayed us by clipping our wings. It's to the 9th circle with you then…"
Kirsten watched with a neutral stare at an old-fashioned monitor that displayed the two making their way to her floor. Her snow filled fishbowl sat atop an anti-griddle by her desk. There were frozen specimens in vials lining her messy table, along with notes and formulas on subzero concoctions and human physiology. Her favorite was an old finger from a gentleman she'd drowned and preserved on ice. It had a paler tint and did not turn purple like many others.
So she didn't like Rachel… but what of Zack? Him with his cocky grin and unparalleled strength and tenacity. His body seemingly could only deal death, not receive it. It was his spirit, thought Kirsten. She knew when she'd first lain eyes on him. He was more like Eddie, who had a warmth within him when killing. Zack's desire was amplified to that of an inferno. Cathy was cold and maniacal. Danny was just cold. That made Zack the outlier. Kirsten knew she and Rachel were cold.
Eddie was dead though. Zack wasn't. Warmth had fallen to burning passion.
Thus, Kirsten decided to extinguish this flame. She'd observed when metal came out, white hot from the furnace. To make a blade, it was instantly plunged into freezing ice. She could forge that, a new experience she'd been pining for. All her usual victims were so lackluster, so lifeless. They often were reduced to blubbering tears too quickly, merely begging for their lives. They cooled too quick or had nothing to begin with.
But Zack, as she'd observed from the other floor master defeats… he was not one to be cooled. He was always blazing, even when death seemed imminent, or victory out of reach. No matter what, he did not seem to stop burning. Such a flame could not possibly exist. She would extinguish it, and hopefully, get some new amusement out of it.
As for Rachel, she did not care how she died.
"Haah? What the hell is this? 'Half Floor?!' Bullshit!"
Zack kicked the wall hard after the elevator stopped. Rachel had only just read the words 'Half Floor' printed on the walls.
"Can't believe this! This escape's takin' forever!"
"Zack… we should keep going…"
The dull eyed girl points onwards, where the complexes arrows seem to lead. The lights overhead in the hallway flicker ominously. Like Danny's floor, however, it isn't dirty or reeking of death like Cathy's.
"If we find the floor master… then we can get out."
"Fuck yeah, hate these guys anyway…"
"Do you know who it might be, Zack…"
"No. I don't remember any of these people. Always stayed on my own floor. I told ya this."
"Oh, right…" Rachel looked down at her shoes before walking down the hall, "The priest…might be here then…"
Almost immediately, Zack bumps his face while walking. He rubs his nose in irritation and looks at what looks like nothing he walked into.
"Ah…" Rachel walks up and touches the hallway that Zack seemingly walked into, "It's glass I think."
"Oh yeah?! You think a little glass is gonna stop us?!" The maniac draws his scythe back and swings it hard at the surface of the barrier.
There is a dull bong sound. The barrier does not even seem to vibrate, but his scythe whines.
"The hell! How're we supposed to get anywhere?!"
Rachel puts a pensive finger to her lip, "Maybe there is a specific point we can strike?"
Zack hits the barrier over and over again. After maybe the 100th hit within the half hour they stood there, he started getting just slightly winded. As he panted a little, his breath fogged up the glass a bit, revealing some kind of smudging.
"…!" Rachel's perceptive eyes don't miss it, "Zack wait!"
"Huh?" He pauses, catching his breath.
The girl walks up to the glass and breathes on it, fogging it up further. The smudges look random at first glance, but as she reveals more, it seems to resemble something. She pauses, her little breaths having had minimal impact.
"Zack, breathe on the glass with me."
"Because, I think there's something on this glass. See?" She breathes on the glass and points at the fading smudges.
Zack doesn't seem completely bought. But he seems to remember the durability against his strength and how it turned out. So he breathes on the glass too.
After a few minutes, the two managed to reveal some hand prints and what looks to be a small poem:
"When you see yourself burned, do you recognize it?
If you saw your own reflection, would you question it?
This world is given with those who know their purpose,
And those are the Angels."
Rachel reads it and mutters it softly. Usually these were always some kind of clue. She relays it to Zack. It doesn't matter, because all he does is act annoyed at another riddle.
"Reflection…" Rachel mouths the words over and over again. "This glass has no reflection…"
"Then it's useless!"
"No… we just have to find something else with a reflection…" Rachel looks around as the idea forms.
Her eyes land on the wall to their right. It looked polished. They were both reflected in it.
"Zack." Rachel points at the reflection. "There."
Without another word Zack rushes at the wall with his scythe. There is a loud crushing sound as his scythe dented the seemingly thin sheet of metal masquerading as a wall. After a few more hits, he pounds the thing down enough for them to go and see inside. It's a dark hallway, with a door of light on the left far down. Zack walks ahead with a grunt. Rachel follows wordlessly.
A voice emanates from some speakers embedded in the walls. It's the voice of a young girl, maybe Rachel's age, except even more lethargic, if that was possible.
"Welcome to the 9th Circle of Hell… I hope you enjoy your stay…"
"Tsh… freak." Zack scowls as they near the door with light.
"Who is it, Zack…"
"Hell if I remember that bitch… 'Nother floor master…"
"Ah, so another female floor master…"
Past the door of light, they see what looks to be a nearly white room at first. Then the mist clears and reveals it to be one of ice and frost. Clusters of frozen crystals layer the walls and what appear to be boxes. Their breath makes steam in this place. The door behind shuts immediately.
Zack gives a slight unimpressed huff, "Oi, you won't die of a cold, will ya?"
Rachel shivered slightly. She was certainly not dressed for this kind of excursion. Yet she nodded anyway.
As they walked further into the room, Rachel took care glancing at the boxes. They seemed to be metal reinforced glass of some kind, covered in a thin layer of frost. Despite her freezing state, she clears away some of the frost with her hand. The cold stung her skin.
A dead face stairs back at her. It seems to be male. The eyes are bulging, a perfect expression of terror. Gas bubbles trapped with him mean that he was submerged when frozen.
Zack called from the back of the room, having passed by the boxes with no care, "Hey, c'mon. There's a door."
Rachel nods and approaches with him. On the metal door is accumulated frost that nearly conceals a sign on it, which Rachel reads aloud:
"If a witch is innocent, she will sink."
"What's it mean?" Without waiting for an answer, Zack pries at the door handle and strains against it.
"A witch… I think it refers to me."
"Huh? The fuck does that mean?"
"... Never mind."
With a creak and crack, the residual ice on the door frame crumbles and the heavy thing opens. Inside is a smaller room, and another door on the other side. The two of them step in, and the door behind slides shut suddenly. A screen on the upper corner of the room lights up just as a hissing sound ensues. A girl, young like Rachel, with purple hair and bored eyes, looks from the screen.
"Attention guests, we are running a drill…"
"Haah? The fuck is this?"
"In the event of a cold, please try not to sleep… because you don't know when you will wake up frozen."
The hissing sound. Rachel smells something odd in the air, and her eyelids grow heavy. A sudden wave of sleepy weakness surprises her, and she drops to her knees on the cold metal floor. These odd fumes… were also hard to breathe in.
"Sleeping… gas… …?"
"Take care staying awake too long… that somniferous will settle in your lungs and suffocate you…"
That droning, uncaring voice did not make it easier to stay away. Zack, with a frenzy, tries smashing either door with his scythe, to little effect. They were heavily reinforced.
"You're so defiant Zack… even in the blizzard, you are the one flame that-"
"Shut up and let us out!" He coughs and covers his mouth. While he could not die of physical wounds, or so he believed, this was a different matter.
Rachel feels her vision getting fuzzy as it got harder and harder to breathe. Eventually, she surrenders and keels over. Zack, a fighter to the end, goes as far as to smash the screen in his attempts to destroy the room, before succumbing himself.