Further and further from the center of the park they strayed, the desperate new recruits curiously eager to see where it was they would be taken.
Much to Katie’s surprise and Frankie’s relief, they watched as the crowds around them grew thinner and thinner as they proceeded. As massive as the metropolis was, it was still a surprise to set eyes on an area allowing personal space.
Hatter was quite proud to show them to the boarded-up old thing: a humble dark ride, ancient and abandoned. No one walked near it, no one remembered it. Tucked behind rows of other unpopular attractions, it was already dead and buried to the other park-goers. To him and his comrades, it was the perfect safe haven.
The faded front sign just above the entrance designated it: “Captain Vile’s Wild Ride.”
Past the wooden boards, they steeped into it as if it were a cave system. Sure did look like one. There were no carts left on the tracks, so they slowly walked down the initial drop on feet inside the cold and lightless interior coaster. Old signs resting on the stonelike walls depicted fictional propaganda of a regal red skeleton in a navy uniform pointing at the viewer, challenging them to survive his deadly commercial theme park attraction.
Once they’d already walked for half a minute, climbing a few of the steeper hills by using the track like ladders, the path was blocked at a boarded-up tunnel. Arsene simply slinked through, motioning for the girls to do the same. Afterwards, they arrived at the door. Haphazardly installed like a child’s pillow fort, the wall of sheet metal guarded entry with a sliding gate and a code input constructed from what looked like a calculator. The girls watched as their new evil leader reflexively typed in the numbers 5654.
Behind the gates, the main hideout area was still in the process of being carved out for more space. Since this section of the ride was deep enough to be actually underground, members of the Villainous Legion had taken it upon themselves to expand the narrow coaster path into a large room able to serve as a truly quite impressive base of operations, all by digging through the ground surrounding the original track. Katie didn’t think it was a very safe idea.
All the other members they’d seen were already there. After retreating back into the shadows, they hadn’t seen them since Hatter’s introduction. They moved pretty fast for a bunch of random cosplayers. Frankie guessed they must’ve been doing this for a while.
Even the people slacking off looked like they had something to do. It was a lot like a party, though neither of the sisters had ever been to one. Some worked on contraptions and creations atop workbenches, others played video games sitting hooked up to a large electrical block that seemed to have been recycled from some of the ride’s old power sources.
“Everyone!” Hatter announced over the rowdy bunch. “We’re finally here. Won’t you help me show our new minions around?”
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