Arkady here, ready to tell you about all the wonders and joys and boredom which we’ve had since this super special awesome friendship power team up thing I’ve somehow become a part of.
We set off for Seattle early in the morning; wanted to try and beat all the big rush out to work. We did run into a few delays getting the car out; you see, my car is designed to carry five people, and since Kal and Michenab chose to pick up another small child, there are now six of us. Setoth and I suggested putting Sara in the trunk (the girl’s almost in a coma; it’s not like she’s going to become more traumatized than she already is), but the others were vehemently opposed to the idea, for some reason. So instead we just had to cram everyone in the back seat very tightly, which makes for a wonderful cross country road trip environment.
The first several hours of the drive consisted of us arguing over which music to play. I myself was feeling in the mood for some nice Mozart, but Setoth was insistent on the Sisters of Mercy. Opinions were less vocal from the others (especially Sara, from whom there were no forthcoming opinions on music), so things quickly devolved into Setoth and I fighting over the radio while simultaneously trying to drive. Nearly wrecked us a few times.
Perhaps we should have been paying more attention to the things around us. But then again, it was a very important debate we were having. Three hours of driving later, JD (perhaps the only one of us not to participate in our musical debate) pointed out that things around us were looking a bit familiar. One can only pass the same intersection so many times before déjà vu starts slapping you in the face.
Once we became aware of this feeling, we began paying closer attention to our surroundings. Sure enough, the car seemed to be caught in a loop. Whenever we traveled approximately five miles down the road, we would find ourselves at the start of the loop. There was no sudden, jarring shift to indicate that we were looping. It took several hours driving, plus Kal and Michenab looking over three different maps, before we even figure out exactly where the start and end points of this loop were. Wasn’t even a very interesting five mile stretch of road; we were at the point of Austin (well, technically Lakeway, but that’s a separate city in name only) where the suburban sprawl starts to peter out and the Texas countryside begins. Not much there, apart from a couple of shops (including a strip mall and an old style travel post existing side by side in an odd anachronism), some gated communities, and a hotel. Apart from the proximity to the wilderness, there was nothing which screamed “SPOOKY SLENDY HORROR!”
Much experimentation followed, where we attempted to learn the limits of this loop. Driving down other roads also resulted in us being looped back, as did walking off road. And believe me, we tried driving off every road, and walked down every path, save those covered by forests (Because that would be stupid, even if it did eliminate roughly half our potential escape routes. Bloody Central Texas and its random forests). By the time we had conclusively proven that all paths out of this place wouldn’t work, the sun was beginning to set. Using what money we could throw together, we got us a room at the aforementioned hotel for the night. Not the fanciest of places we could stay at, but it certainly beats sleeping in the car with five other people.
So it looks like we won’t be having our epic battle through the forests of the northwest. Unless we find a way out, Seattle is a no go (poor Setoth has been absolutely crushed by this news). Slendy has chosen the battlefield for us, which according to people like Sun Tzu, is a very bad thing. Our status as the attacker has now shifted to Slender Man, while we’re forced back on the defense. That, though, isn’t my chief concern. What worries me is if Slendy chooses not to fight. As I said, this isn’t the most Slenderous looking place. Yeah, there’s a forest, but it’s a small, scraggly thing. The rest of this area is too suburban and homely looking for anything creepy. Not even a single abandoned building or mysterious shack. It doesn’t feel like the sort of location for him to try anything against us. Slendy could choose to leave us trapped here. Now that we’re isolated, there’s nothing we can do against him. All he has to do is leave us alone, wait for us to drive each other completely insane. No effort on his part. No chance of any glorious battle or beautiful death. Just a hellish, boring, limbo.
That had better not happen.