"Glad you could make it Mr. Fabregas," said a woman at the front desk. She sat comfortably with her legs crossed and her hair pinned up with shiny black hairsticks. Her dark hair matched her glasses and the lighting warmed the room with a golden hue.
"She's been waiting for you."
Cesc watched as the woman gracefully stood and started down a quiet hallway to his left. The stone hallway appeared to always be turning and he followed her for several minutes in silence until they finally reached a single spiral staircase. Here she stopped, turned, and smiled briefly without showing her teeth.
"It's up there."
The steps were thinly cut white marble with black speckles and there was no hand rail. Fabregas started up the stairway and climbed for so long he began to tire. His breathing increased and finally he stopped, gasping for air. He looked down, his chest heaving and one of the stairs began to light up. His eyes widened as a video lit the staircase. It was a small screen and he hunched down to better see. He instantly recognized what he was watching and continued up the stairs with new resolve. A few steps later he reached a door. The door led to a dark hallway and at the end of the hallway another door waited. It was locked. Try as he might, Cesc could not open the door. He searched the empty hallway for something, anything, that could open the door. Inside he heard a muffled voice. He knew exactly who it was. He began to panic and banged on the door with all his might. He still could not open it. He turned to walk away and the door began to illuminate. Again another video showed. Again it was small and he squinted to make out the pictures. He watched again, recognized the video and smiled. He stepped back, and kicked the door open. The sound of the door crashing to the floor echoed and deafened the hallway.
He entered cautiously at first until he saw a woman blindfolded and gagged across the room. He rushed over to her and took the rag out of her mouth. She stretched her hurting jaw only for a moment and waited for Cesc to remove her blindfold. She looked up at him with scared eyes and spoke softly, "We have to get out of here." He paused for a moment and began to untie her.
"I know," is all he could reply.
Finally free she stood next to Cesc and they were blinded by a glowing white light. They shielded their eyes and there appeared two sets of two doors on the wall across the room. Written in between the doors glowed the following phrase:
Each of you can only choose one door to enter. Two doors lead to San Siro, the other two do not. You must enter at once.
Cesc and the woman looked at each other in desperation and ran to the doors.
To be continued...