Chapter 71:

All American Archive Part 2: Welcome to the archives

Escape Witch

Madoka gazed around as Frank led her in.

"As you can see, there are many artifacts stored here. Some predate the modern era by nearly 9,000 years," Frank explained.

"That's insane. Say, are there any humans archived here?" Madoka asked.

"Mummies? Yeah there's quite a few. Funnily enough, that murdered mummy was shipped here. The archive team wanted to do a little research though before it was put on display so its down here."

"OO! Can I see?"

"Well seeing isn't touching so its fine. I'm sure the team won't mind a peanut gallery.

Madoka and Frank then approached an area with a table. The murdered mummy was laying on it while two researchers clad in white sanitary suits studied it.

"Just stay right here and everything's good," Frank smiled as he put his hand out.

Madoka stopped and gazed around.

"I bet they're mummified. That's the only way they'd be snuck into a place like this," Madoka thought.


Serika opened her eyes to pitch darkness.

"Mmph? MMPH!?" Serika shouted as she realized she was bound, gagged, and blindfolded.

"The hell happened to me!? The last thing I remember was dinner and- _! Shit! We must've been drugged then. Dammit! I gotta get out!" Serika thought as she began thrashing about.

She managed to make the box she was imprisoned in fall to the ground. She rolled out onto the floor, but still could not move, see, or talk normally.

"MMPH MMPH!" Serika roared.


"Huh? Did you hear something just now?" Madoka asked.

"No not really. Then again my hearing's not what it used to be," Frank chuckled.

"It sounded like something fell over there," Madoka pointed.

"Fell you say? Hmm, better check it out then."


Serika grunted and struggled as she rolled around on the floor.

"Dammit! I can't break free no matter how much I struggle. _! Are those voices? Friends? Foes? Shit, I can't see. OW! Ugh. Where the hell did I just roll into. It feels tight," Serika thought to herself.


"Hmm, looks like someone pushed this over," Frank grumbled as he stared at an open crate lying on the ground.

"What's in it?" Madoka asked.

"Nothing, it's empty. That means someone took whatever was in here. I'll call for some security. I'll just be over by the call box over yonder. Remember, don't touch anything."

Frank went off while Madoka stood in place and looked around. She then spotted something white moving under one of the shelves.

"Roll to your right, I'll free you," Madoka whispered as she kneeled on the ground.

Serika rolled out and Madoka unraveled her faster than the eye could see. She then cut the zipties binding Serika's wrists and ankles.

"Damn, they threw zipties in under these bandages? No wonder I couldn't escape," Serika growled as she ripped the tape off her mouth.

"Grab the bandages and hide. Things will get complicated if you get caught," Madoka stated as she took off Serika's hat and wiped her hands on the inside of it before handing it back to Serika.

Serika immediately heeded Madoka's words and ran off with the bandages.

Frank then returned with two security guards.

"[Don't worry she's with me. She's been watching this spot and hasn't moved,]" Frank smiled.

Madoka happily waved.

"Hmm? Doesn't look like you touched anything. Good going."

Serika hid and watched from a distance.

"The curator? Guess things are complicated. Shit, I'm not great with English so I can't make out what they're saying, but he's talking with Madoka all friendly like so maybe... No I should listen to Madoka. When it comes to escapology, she's second to none," Serika thought.

"That's Serika freed, but now how am I gonna sneak her out? Is she the only one here though? If she was in a crate, maybe Yuni and Emeri are too, but what if they're both in the other archive building? Ugh, if only Emeri was here with her hacking. Wait! They have smartwatches! Hmm, but maybe they were taken away. Ugh, I wish there was some clue to know if there was someone else in here," Madoka anguished in her mind.

"[Director Lingua. Madam Speaker requested to come down here just now,]" one of the guards stated.

Madoka immediately went pale.

"What's wrong? Afraid to meet the speaker?" Frank asked.

"Yeah, I saw an image of her and she looks terrifying," Madoka replied.

"True, she can be a very imposing figure and she's not really the understanding type either. Might be a good idea to sneak back up before she comes down, or hide and sneak back up if she does come down," Frank stated.

"[Hey Juan, can you give this girl your card for the elevator? I promise she'll return it to Reese as she leaves,]" Frank said to one of the guards.

"[Alright. If its you I trust you. Just in case, I'll have Reese ask her for it,]" the guard replied as he handed over his card.

"Just make sure to go straight up and hand this to the woman at the front desk on your way out. Wait behind the elevator until the speaker comes down, then hop in and ride up," Frank said as he gave Madoka the card.

"You got it Frank. Thanks for the tour," Madoka smiled.

"My pleasure."

Madoka stood behind the elevator and pulled out her phone.

She then tried sending Serika a text message.

Madoka then looked towards Serika and saw that she had her phone.

"Good, let's find Yuni."