BCJ, Chapter 43: The Basement

As Michael was standing near the open front door of my new home, I had the relatively clean and energetic Ana, start doing some work. And by start, I mean finish carrying everything up to the house by herself. Well, myself… Yeah, it’s definitely more confusing for me.

Out of all the other bags and boxes, none of it was very heavy. I also came to realize how much better Ana was at cardio than my original body. Either that, or maybe it had to do with the fact that she was significantly lighter than ‘me’? Regardless, before noon, I was able to close my front door and lock up the house in peace.

“Thank you Mommy…” I snickered, while talking to myself. Ana was in the kitchen, putting all the dishes in the washing machine. However, I was focusing on a slightly more ‘OCD’ task: Washing the floors. My mother forced me to take a mop and bucket, along with a vacuum cleaner and plenty of other cleaning supplies. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but apparently it is… 

I have to admit though, it was oddly enjoyable to clean my own home. The occasional gunshots and roars in the distance were obviously distracting, but my house is relatively soundproof. I guess that just goes to show how fucking noisy it is on this island. If you’re curious about why I suddenly switched to present tense, well, it’s because I’m still here. In case you expected me to die or the island to blow up… How the fuck would I write this story if that happened? I mean, I guess I could have reincarnated and, no, I’ll just stop myself before I go down that rabbit hole again.

Cleaning is weird. Sometimes it can feel like it takes forever, while occasionally, the time passes way faster than you expect it to…

It’s also really boring to write about. So I’ll just skip to the part where I finished cleaning, washing the dishes and taking another shower, with soap this time. It was extremely refreshing, especially since I could open the window and feel the hot breeze blowing inside. There was a screen, so I wasn’t too worried that a fucking bird would fly inside.

“Haaah…” I let out a sigh, then turned to my left and saw the beautiful girl to my left. I’d think that I had some kinda narcissism issue, but my circumstances made it possible for me to admire my appearance without a psychological disorder involved. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to your own body, even if it’s the only one you have. But getting obsessed with things you can’t change about yourself, that ain’t healthy.

“Guess it’s time to check the creepy basement, huh?” I snickered as Ana, carefully examining the pistol in my hands. I had obviously cleaned it off properly, with loads of those alcohol wipes. At least on the outside, it was as clean as possible. Of course, the main reason I didn’t test out the gun yet, was because I didn’t want to go deaf or get gunshot residue all over me. Especially not immediately after taking a shower.

Having a loaded gun isn’t actually as dangerous as you might think. The old-timey six-shooters from the cowboy days were kinda sketchy, because if you dropped them or hit the hammer on something, the gun could discharge. I don’t know when, since I’m no expert on the subject, but according to the random information on the internet I looked up, modern pistols have hammer blocks. Not sure if that’s the official name, but it’s literally what the little metal slide does. It creates a small gap between the hammer, and the primer of the round. And yes, I did make sure that my revolver had one before I loaded it fully.

Anyway, it was time to head down into the abyss. I make it sound so ominous, but it really was a strange experience. When I stood in front of the basement door, I could feel cold air emanating from it. Kind of like standing in front of an open freezer. It was definitely the reason why I could have the windows open upstairs, without actually letting the house get any warmer.

I had my original body head down first, holding that huge hunting knife in his right hand. I was honestly a little worried I might accidentally trip and cut my balls or impale myself, so I kept it in the sheath. There were some fluorescent lights on the ceiling, but there wasn’t much to see. The concrete stairs didn’t even make a sound as I stepped on them, though the wooden ones didn’t creak either, since they were pretty new and probably reinforced.

“Fuck, I swear to God, if something jumps out at me, I’m gonna kill it!” I shouted as I pressed down the lightswitch at the bottom of the stairs with my left hand. Unlike the first floor, the basement wasn’t a wide open space. At the bottom of the stairs, there was a small laundry room. When I turned the light on, I was able to see a door to the right and left, but directly in front of me were a washer and dryer. They were both plain white, front load and about average in size. They had circular glass doors, so I could see inside while they were running I guess. Of course, front loading washers aren’t necessarily the best. For example, if there was a problem and I needed to stop it, I would have to wait until it drained before I could open the lid. That would waste a lot of water. However, I wasn’t planning on doing much laundry, so I wasn’t too worried either way.

On both sides of the room were metal doors. Similar to the ones upstairs. Except the one on the right actually had a keypad and no door handle or knob. Keep in mind, the staircase was right on the edge of the house, so even parts of the laundry room weren’t directly below the first floor. And there was even a door that went farther? Definitely suspicious as fuck.

“Infinity, what’s up with that door?” As Ana, I asked the phone in my left hand.

[∞: For now, we are unable to answer your queries regarding that door.]

My guess was some kinda secret passageway, or escape route. Maybe even a lab of some sort? All I know is that the cold was definitely coming from there. I suspected, the electricity, plumbing and everything else must have gone in that mystery room… Because the other room definitely didn’t seem to have much wires or plumbing nonsense.

“Holy shit, this looks like a goddamn gym…” Michael was the first one to enter the spacious room. It smelled like bleach really badly, probably because it was a basement and the air was pretty much trapped. The top of the staircase had a closed door after all.

This gym wasn’t absurdly big. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder: “Why the fuck did I even bother bringing my forty-pounder with me?!”

The center of the room was a soft padding, while equipment was mostly placed along the sides. It was a space the size of the entire first floor of the house, so it looked pretty huge to me. As far as the ‘equipment’ goes, it had pretty much everything. Two fancy treadmills along the eastern wall, right next to the door. A tall dumbbell rack, with weights starting at 15 pounds and going all the way up to a hundred. It had four of everything. There were a few regular benches, for either incline sit-ups or using the dumbbells, but there were no barbells. Mainly because there were fancy machines for all that shit.

[∞: Free weights are fairly hazardous.] 

That was the answer to the question I didn’t even ask out loud. It made sense though. With machines, you can do so much more, simply because you don’t need to worry about the dangers. Of course, you also don’t get to use your stabilizer muscles, which is why they at least had dumbbells. In fact, dumbbells are even better, since your arms can’t rely on each other.

Machines don’t last as long, obviously. But then again, free weights can last fifty to a hundred years. If it really came down to it, I could afford to buy some new machines or repair them in the future. What I was really interested in were the punching bags and the pull-up bars. There were the kinda punching bags that sit on the floor, along with two of the big, heavy hanging kind. This stuff was along the northern wall, which was to my right as I entered the room.

“This is pretty fucking impressive. But let me guess…” I snickered as Ana, asking: “This involves the ‘tasks’ that you want me to complete?”

[∞: It is important to test the effectiveness of exercise and various atmospheric conditions on your bodies. For that reason, this small gymnasium was constructed with the ability to greatly alter the temperature, air pressure and air quality. Of course, any dangerous tests are completely voluntary… Though if you do decide to participate, the monetary rewards should satisfy you. In the event that you are in serious danger, we will do everything within our power to protect you…]

“I feel like you’ve said that before, hehehe~.” I smirked, “Wait a second… You can alter the air pressure and quality? Doesn’t that mean you could lock me in here and poison the air? Holy shit!” I immediately fled into the laundry room, with both of my bodies at the same time, almost getting stuck in the doorway.

[∞: It is true that there are several toxic substances which could be permeated throughout the room, but that would only be possible if the door was closed and sealed shut. If you perished due to our actions, we would be severely punished. Very severely. Even if it was an order to terminate you, we would not be allowed to take any direct actions. In fact, it is likely that we would be terminated first.]

“I know that, but it’s still fucking creepy. Okay? Also, I’ve been up for way too long already. I need to go the fuck to sleep before I start hallucinating… I’ll set up the computers and stuff tomorrow.” I grumbled as I headed upstairs, with Ana trailing behind me and holding the phone.

Although there were still plenty of dishes and stuff I didn’t put through the washer yet, I figured I would leave that for tomorrow. My health was the most important thing. I mean, it ‘is’ the most important thing? I’m getting confused now.

Anyway, I made sure to lock the basement door from the outside. Along with the door to the top floor, and the bedroom door. It’s not paranoia; just caution. I slept with a knife on the nightstand next to Michael’s bed, and a loaded revolver on Ana’s side. Obviously pointed away from me, but still. I was surprised at how easily I managed to fall asleep.

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