Grit slid under her bare feet as she shoved the gates aside and skidded around the dark bend leading towards the tombs.
Footsteps and shouting echoed behind her. Lizabeth ran faster, but the candle blew out and she was plunged into darkness. She skidded to a halt.
Around her, the sounds of dripping water echoed through the ancient passageways. A mossy smell drifted towards her from ahead. She edged her foot forward, trying to find a wall.
Finally she ran into one. It felt like it was made of many stones, but stones that were peculiarly smoother and softer and in oval-like shapes. She used the holes in the fronts, which were about finger sized, to keep a steady grip on the wall as she edged down it towards the entrance.
She had never been inside the Mausoleum. In fact, it was a legend; most of those who had sealed it were dead now and its whereabouts had been lost to all those except the guardians, who rarely gave up the location to anyone.
Luckily for her, she wasn't just anyone.
The tunnel was getting smaller. Her head grazed the ceiling as she continued forward, causing her to bend over at the waist in order to keep going.
Muffled sounds rang out behind her periodically. Sometimes they sounded like skittering rats, but other times they sounded like much larger things.
She stumbled and tripped on a rock. The skin tore on her kneecap, revealing dead skin beneath. With careful precision, Lizabeth pulled out a needle from her pocket and stitched it up with plastic thread.
A laugh rang out from behind her. She whirled around, reaching for her gun.
"Guns won't work on me," the voice said. It was a falsetto, and it sent chills down Lizabeth's torn-up spine.
"You must be Klaus," she replied. Her hand relaxed away from her pocket and she stood up, still bent at the waist.
"Welcome," he said. Suddenly, light illuminated the hallway. The walls she had been clutching onto so desperately were made of skulls, each containing a glowing candle. She shrunk away.
"You're searching for something," he said. Lizabeth shifted her attention away from the grotesque walls and back towards him.
He was a tall, lean man with greasy hair. Like Jack, he was covered in soot and dressed in a tuxedo. However, unlike Jack, his eyes were green and piercing, and he was not an Undergrounder. She would have sensed it immediately. He was something else.
"You're dead," she said, pointing a finger at him, "as dead as I am. What are you doing here?"
"Biding my time, as you are," he replied. His long fingernails scratched against the scruff on his face as he rubbed his narrow chin. "Waiting for him to return."
"And so you wait in the deep, in tombs of men that died long before our time?"
"I have no choice," he snarled, taking a step towards her. A moment passed and he appeared to regain control of himself. "Light will kill me. Unlike you, I wasn't born above ground. And he appointed me guardian of the tomb. I haven't seen daylight or any other living thing in a hundred years."
"What do you know--" she stopped herself.
"Yes, it's true. While you can't remember your own birth, he can. And he has told me about you. He told me you would come today. And that's why I'm here, waiting."
"Well I'm here on a different mission," she responded. "I have heard talk that you know how to get into the deep. Into the machinery. And that this entrance is in the tombs--"
"And you're looking for a way to shut down the incinerator, I know. He told me a hundred years ago."
"Stop invoking his name," she said, suddenly on guard. "He could be listening."
"Look. You're here on a peaceful mission. The very idea that you believe he cares shows how soft you've gone. Peace is the very last thing on his mind."
"Show me where the entrance is," she growled. "You will be compensated."
"I know," he replied. "Follow me. I may not want to, but I have my orders, no matter how old they may be."
He went ahead of her and the lights behind them extinguished themselves.