The Hibernian Cinema had been shut down for about 60 odd years now. There wasn't ten screens on four different stories, there wasn't candy floss, slushies, sweets, only one concessions stand for popcorn and a drink.
There were some old movie posters on the wall but Skulduggery didn't have time to look as he ran through the theatre making his way through the only screen, and bursting through a door behind it.
"Kenspeckle!", he bellowed.
Kenspeckle Grouse was a grumpy old man, the bit of white hair he had, sticking up at odd angles.
"What have you done now!", he barked.
"She faced Lord Vile."
"She what?! I bet this was your fault!", he said as he glared at Skulduggery.
"Just help her.", Skulduggery said bitterly.
"This is one patient I might not be able to save. Wait outside."
Skulduggery walked outside and sat on the floor, leaning his back against the wall.
Kenspeckle Grouse laid the young woman on an operating table and started to work his magic, literally. He concentrated and every kind of medical equipment flew around the room, whatever was needed this what it was it was supposed to do, everything not needed, turning into something that was needed. Kenspeckle flung his arms out wide and everything went faster, and faster, and faster. After five minutes everything went back into place, China's eyes fluttering open.
Kenspeckle fell to his knees.
"Kenspeckle Grouse, are you okay?", China asked, her voice instantly pulling Kenspeckle's heart to her.
"Yes, ma'am.", Kenspeckle fluttered as he rose to his feet, his energy refilled by love.
"I like a man with manners."
"China.", Skulduggery warned as he walked into the room.
"Can't a girl have some fun after dying for two minutes?", China pouted.
Skulduggery cocked his head.
"Oh, fine. Kenspeckle, get a hold of yourself.", China said.
Just then a boy who looked around 14 fell through the door, blood splattered on his clothes and face, his eyes dying and bruised. His right arm was broken, and a bone was sticking out of his leg. He looked up and Skulduggery saw that his mouth was spurting out too much blood. He was going to die.
"Kenspeckle... Help..", they boy said before he completely collapsed.
Kenspeckle and Skulduggery laid the boy on the operating table as China started drawing symbols on the operating tools.
A girl burst through the door, her lip bleeding and her left eye bruised. A bit of blood was splattered on her clothes too.
"Gepard!", she screamed as she ran to the boy.
"Stay back", Skulduggery said," Kenspeckle is performing an operation. Why don't you come outside with me and tell me what happened."
The girl just nodded slowly as she was led out to the hallway by Skulduggery.
"So, what's your name?", Skulduggery asked.
"NJ. You're Skulduggery Pleasant, the Skeleton Detective."
"That I am, well I think I am. Do you think I am? Well you already said I am, so I must be.", Skulduggery said, confusing himself in the process.
"So what happened?"
"Well, it started two weeks ago. I was running from a man named Grackon Skullcracker. Stupid name right? Yeah, so anyways I hid in an abandoned apartment building. That's where I found Gepard. He was just after a fight with some Adept that can shape-shift. He was fairly roughed up. I knew some medicine stuff and healed him up, we've been on the run ever since. Grackon finally tracked us down today, but Gepard destroyed him. See, Gepard is both Elemental and Adept-"
"How's that possible?", Skulduggery interrupted.
"As I was saying, Gepard is both Elemental and Adept. He's actually an Adept, but he has all the powers of an Elemental, but with something else added on. The ability to control lightning. But he wears him out and makes him pretty weak. And as Grackon was being struck by lightning, he shot one more volt. Grackon was and Energy-Manipulator. Faced many of them, I have, but he was much stronger than any. After Grackon blew to pieces, Gepard was hit with the energy. He ran, I followed. And that's how we got here.", NJ finished as she started crying.
"Whatever happens, it's not your fault", Skulduggery said.
"I never said it was! Now I know it is!", NJ said through sobs.
Skulduggery cursed himself and held the young girl as Kenspeckle performed the surgery inside.