I walked down the stairs the door opened on to, descending down with just my pocket flashlight. I tried to limit the light just to the steps in front of me, not wanting to give away my presence.
Even soft steps seemed to carry endlessly in the concrete and steel stairwell, which ended ominously in another door, this one guarded by a simple padlock. I repeated the procedure on this lock, using a different bump key. One of these days I should finish that locksmith correspondence training. At least then I’d have a legitimate reason for owning these tools.
The padlock snapped open, and I eased back the large door, which swung open without so much as a scrape or groan.
A smell hit me with a right hook. It was a mélange of sweat, musks, excrement, mold, and more I couldn’t place. I walked in, carefully shining my light. I stood on a catwalk overlooking a massive room that shouldn’t have been a part of this warehouse’s original design. I stretched on for at least a football field, and was filled with cages of all shapes and sizes. Most were stacked on the floor with a weird system of wooden planks placed on the tops of bigger cages to give access to the smaller. Some cages hung from the ceiling, suspended by chains.
In most of the cages, figures shuddered and huddled away from my flashlight’s small light. What struck me about the figures was they were not uniform. These were not men, women, or children. Not in the normal sense. I saw pointed ears and hulking shapes, muscles, horns, tails, a near infinite variation of beings trapped in cages.Someone is trafficking in the supernatural.