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Broken - A Continuation from Origins

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eggroll20xd6
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Broken - A Continuation from Origins

Sentinels of the Multiverse: Broken

Chapter 1: Maia

Ugh, I am tired. From that meeting this morning to stopping that robot with Dr. Stinson, Legacy, and Bunker, I just didn't have the energy to fly out this evening. Heck, I barely had any energy to try and make it back to my home. Unfortunately, I don't have powers of flight, so conventional travel is the only way to get from place to place. I made it back to the bridge, but my limo and my driver were already gone by the time I arrived. The tow truck must have already come and the driver probably assumed I found another way when I wasn't inside. Crud, I forgot to ask for Bunker's insurance info. Ugh...that's going to raise my premiums probably. I may have lots of money, but it doesn't mean I am not conscious of saving for the future. You never know when a really bad day may come and you may need an out. That also means that I need to figure out what to do to get to bed. Remote controlled cars, motorcycles, and planes are only real in comic books and the imaginations of dreamers. If I could figure it out, travel would be so much easier. Maybe getting bit by a mutated bird or something is the answer. More than likely if that happened, I would probably just die a slow agonizing death...yeah I need sleep, I'm becoming darker than usual without it.

I find my bag of clothes that I stashed under the bridge and know there is a road close by. I make a call to a cab company and get a ride back home. After a quick shower, I flop on my bed. If I don't get some sleep I'm going to go crazy. I may beat criminals on the street with my bare fists, but without sleep, I lose focus and can really hurt them or myself. I quickly slip into unconsciousness and begin to dream. Memories of the day fill my dreams and I make a mental note to check up on Meredith. That trick she pulled today at moving faster than I could see makes me wonder what the heck happened since the last time I saw her. There will be plenty of time to think about that later, but for now I let my mind drift off into dreamland.

About two hours later, my phone wakes me up. Thanks to technology, you can now patch into the local police scanner and hear what is going on in your part of the world. I programmed my phone to give off a certain tone would be audible to me alone and no one else. Seeing as every 23 year old girl in the world spends most of their time texting and talking on the phone, no one ever suspects why I check my phone so much. Being a popular socialite just helps perpetuate the illusion. I groggily wake up to see that a murder has occurred in downtown Rook City and snap awake as it is the third in a series of murders that have had the same M.O. in the past week. The killer uses precision strikes to kill his targets suggesting a high level of intelligence, but the gruesome mutilation afterwards suggests they are psychotic. Whomever this is, they make Jack the Ripper look like an amateur.

I dress quickly and grab a bike from the garage. Speeding my way to the crime scene, I stop about 6 blocks away, far enough to avoid suspicion, but close enough to make my way via rooftop. I grapple up and find the officers on the scene. Since “superheroes” don't exactly have jurisdiction, I just have to listen from above and use a camera connected to my eyepiece to do an examination of the body. The gruesome scene is hard to look at partly because of the extents that the body was mutilated and partly because I hadn't eaten anything more than a power bar for about 12 hours. From what I can tell, the victim has been dead for about 2 hours. Through all the gore, I could barely make out the sources of what killed them, but it appears that they were strangled from behind and then beaten to death before being torn apart. This is one sick killer, but something interesting catches my eye in the distance.

I wait for the police to turn away before making my move. I drop down from the rooftop a considerable distance away from the scene to get an up-close view of what my eyepiece had spotted. It was an empty syringe, but not something that a junkie would use. No, this was something from a lab. There is barely anything left in the syringe, but enough to possibly get the sample examined. Looks like I'm going to have to get back to Megalopolis and talk with Dr. Stinson.

About 30 minutes later I arrive at her laboratory. Her light is on of course because the doctor never gets any sleep it seems. I'm sure she's probably trying to figure out what's going on with her, but if this serum leads me to the killer, allot of people will sleep easier tonight. I cautiously make my way up to her window trying to avoid any flying objects again. I'm inside and she is studying a sample under her microscope.

“Dr. Stinson, that lab result you wanted is...WOAH! HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE,” cried out her lab assistant.

Meredith didn't exactly turn around, but in a flash we are face to face. I try to stifle a scream as she just move about 30 feet in the blink of an eye up to me. Fortunately, she's smiling when she sees me.

“Oh, hello Wraith. What can I do for you?”

“Hello Dr. Stinson, first off...you're freaking me out with how fast you move.”

“Oh that, I have been examining my blood and apparently the experiment that I was in today has fused my molecular structure with the Tachyons we were using. Although there appear to be no side effects besides super-speed in all aspects of my life, I don't know how long this will last. It may be permanent. Probably the hardest thing right now is talking mainly because to speak at a pace that a normal person would understand, I have to almost talk as if I'm babying a small dog. If I tried to go as fast as my thoughts, I could read you the whole phone book in about 10 minutes by my calculations.”

“That is incredible! However, I have some urgent business as I need something examined.”

“Urgent isn't a problem, lets see what you have.”

I hand over the syringe and she quickly gets to work.

“The centrifuge is a little too slow for me for now, so I'll just do this all by hand.”

Within seconds she separates compounds and begins her experiments moving from one point to another waiting for reactions to occur while she grabs a quick cup of coffee. All the while her assistant just stands there with her mouth open.

“OhKrystalIhadalmostforgottenaboutthatresultyouweregivingme.Let'ssee...”

Her eyes scanned the results as the first compound finished its reaction.

“Um, Dr. Stinson,” Krystal began.

“Oh right, sorry about the fast talk. That will be all for now.”

“What is the result Dr. Stinson?”

Meredith looked at each of the compounds with a puzzled look on her face. Three times she checked each compound and finally sat down as if she were scanning her brain for the answer.

“To be honest Wraith, the compounds themselves are highly unstable. There is allot in there that isn't commonly found in a drug store and most of the compound is experimental. Whatever was in that syringe is manufactured, but it wasn't what was in it that was the most interesting.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I tested the needle as well for trace amounts of the serum, but of course there was blood on the end. The blood itself had compounds that were not from this batch, but from something else entirely, but with the same base. Now I keep up with what other research labs are doing mainly because I am being paid by them to help with different projects, but this is from somewhere completely new. However, there is very little impurities in the compound itself, so more than likely it is being manufactured in a sterile environment. This much sterilization leads me to believe it is some sort of laboratory with large chemical processing power.”

“Do you know of any labs in Rook City that could do this?”

“No, Rook City doesn't have anyone working on something like this...but there might be someplace you can look.”

“Is there any way to determine who's blood is on that needle?”

“Not as fast as you are hoping, no.”

I thank Dr. Stinson and in half an hour I arrive at my destination, Pike Industrial Complex. The company is led supposedly by Graham Pike, taking over after his father's untimely death back in the 1920s when Rook City was known by its official name Overbrook City. To my knowledge, Graham never had a heir to take over the company, but no one else is claiming leadership. If it is true that he is still the CEO of Pike Industries, he would be ancient. What secrets could this place have?

Pike Industries has been a leader in pharmaceuticals for over 100 years creating some revolutionary stuff that has helped allot of people, but there are rumors of a darker side of things. People going missing and their bodies showing up months later completely disfigured. Most had been former death-row inmates, so no one really paid attention, but here I was now to find out what was going really on.

I dropped through the skylight onto the walk way above the vats of chemicals. The place reeked from the fumes of the vats and so I put on a breathing mask. As I made my way across the walkway, I could hear a rustling in the distance. A small light shone through a doorway as the noise continued. I dropped down one level to the doorway itself, trying to catch a glimpse of whatever was making all that noise. As I turned to look in an arm smashes through the wall and grabs me.


Go forth noble heroes!

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Chapter 2: Wraith

 

The rain is pouring down above me, but it does little to wash away the smell of the sewer. I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping me awake is the smell. My body is demolished and if it weren't for the bandages that I wrap myself in, I probably would have already bled out. I haven't felt this bad since the night Michael died, but thankfully I am a little more prepared than I was then. That thing is still looking for me above. I was only lucky that the drains in this city are big enough for me to squeeze through, other wise it would have finished me off. I grab my needle and thread to sew up what I can as I reflect on the beating I just took.

After he smashed through the wall in an attempt to choke me, I used my stun bolt to shock him into letting me go. Though he did, he merely burst through like it was made of paper. I could only back in terror as I saw that red mask and white eyes. It was him, the one whom had worked me over the same night Michael died, but something was different with him. I saw the syringes attached to his bandoleer filled with glowing concoctions that I'd never seen before. I was frozen with fear as he opened a valve and removed his mask to partake of whatever was in that vat. My God! I don't even know if you can call that a face. He finishes and places the mask back on. In a mere matter of moments he begins to scream in agony and laughter at the same time. His body contorts as his muscles expand making him larger than before. What the hell was in that vat!?

“I knew you would come little girl.”

His deep voice sounded like he had cut his own throat. From the look of his face that I saw it wasn't a stretch of the imagination.

“What's the matter? Not who you were expecting?”

“To be honest,” I started as I moved to my feet, “I didn't know what to expect. All I know is that someone was murdered this evening and a syringe was left at the scene. Seeing as how you are one syringe short and you just grew to the size of a house, I'm guessing it was you.”

“I see we have a fan of my work. Perhaps you would like an personal display into my creative process.”

I grabbed some smoke bombs and threw them at his feet.

“I won't let you hurt anyone else ever again.”

The bombs went off hiding my movements as I grappled to the walkway above. Looking over the room below with my eyepiece, I searched for his thermal signature, but found none. It wasn't until he slapped me that I realized he followed me up. My body flew through the air slamming the wall 20 feet away. My armor absorbed the impact and I was lucky I didn't crack my skull. He ran towards me and I attempted to block his punch. He cracked my armor and nearly broke my arm with the sheer force of the impact. Knowing I couldn't take another hit like that, I rolled past and hit him with a barrage of throwing knives. The knives did nothing to inflict pain it seems, his body carried on coming after me with everything he had. There was no point in running, I had to take him head-on. I threw every punch and kick I could. Even with steel-tipped boots and gauntlets, I didn't make a dent in him. He merely grabbed and flung me to the opposite end of the catwalk.

“You fight well Wraith, but you are no match for me.”

I flew over him and continued my assault. Everything I had, I threw into those punches and kicks. At one point I even tried to strangle him, but he grabbed me and punched me in the gut. I nearly vomited and probably would have if my stomach weren't empty. With each punch and kick he began to break me. My body betrayed me to the point that my ribs were definitely cracked and I dislocated my shoulder. Still that wasn't enough for him. He was enjoying the violence and looked to continue this until he could strangle me to death. Looks like I only have one option and I don't like the fact that its going to hurt. He attempts to punch me again when I stop his attack with a stun bolt in my hand. It shocks the two of us and I fall over the rails onto the hard ground below. I know I have to retreat and make it outside.

“Wraith! Where are you going!? I'm not finished with you!”

I run as fast as my body will carry me until I reach the sewer drain. I squeeze in and here I am, mending my wounds while he runs around. Fortunately I call the police, but I know they will not be enough to stop him. My hope is that the thought of police presence will scare him away. My ploy works as I see the sirens arrive, but they do not stay long. It should be long enough to give me time to investigate those vats though. Seeing as the chemical plant drains into this sewer I figure I better move quickly before some sort of giant rats or cockroaches try to eat me. I know its just a rumor, but I don't plan on being the first to find out if those rumors are true.

I make my way back in. No sign of him. I find some vials and collect samples that I store in my utility belt. These will probably help Meredith figure out what the hell is going on and hopefully give me a way to stop him. As I make my way out to my bike, I know I have to do something about the rest of my injuries. Maybe Meredith...

“Surprise,” he yells as he flings me off of my bike. I don't have any energy left and can't move. Slowly he begins walking towards me.

“What's the matter Wraith? Where is that strength you showed earlier? Is this truly the best you can do?”

He picks me up by my neck. I can barely breathe.

“Where is that fighting spirit you were showing earlier? Have I crushed it so much that you refuse to go on?”

He grabs a syringe with his free hand and places it near my heart.

“Perhaps a little pick-me-up will bring it back. Then you will be like me.”

“I'll...never be...like...you. I will...thwart...and spite you...until my last breath.”

“You'll...spite me? I will be Spite...and you will die!”

A bullet breaks the syringe before he has a chance to thrust it in me. A fist punches Spite, forcing him to loosen his grip as I escape. Another round of shots are fired toward him as he injects himself with another syringe and disappears into the night. My rescuers approach me and one picks me up. The rain feels more gentle now, but that could be the fact I probably have a concussion and all the beating on my head is making me tired.

“Don't worry angel, we've got you now.”

 

When I come to, it is nearly 4 a.m. I sit up slowly as my head is still throbbing. It takes a few minutes, but my vision steadies and I recognize one of the two figures standing before me.

“Hey old man, she's awake. I guess you really are Mr. Fixer.”

“How are you doing Wraith?”

“I feel like I've been ran over by a truck multiple times, but I think I'll live.”

“Good, you were in and out for a while there, but we set your shoulder and patched you up. This young lady here is the one you should be thanking though as she saved you from that syringe.”

“And you are?”

“You can call me Expatriette. I'd been hunting the guy you tangled with for the past week since his first murder. Actually it wasn't his first...”

“I could tell and that beating he gave me made his point.”

“His name is Jack Donovan,” continued Mr. Fixer. “He's a serial killer with a nasty past and has been out of sight for years. Most assumed he was dead. Now it looks like he's back and picking up right where he left off.”

“Of course there are the rumors,” interrupted Expatriette.

“What rumors,” replied Wraith.

“I have no idea what she's talking about.”

“Let me enlighten you both. The rumors are that Jack Donovan was arrested finally after killing 43 people over the course of his life. He was sentenced to death, but for some reason the execution was suspended. The rumor is that he brokered some sort of deal to where he would be a test subject for Pike Industries and he could keep his pathetic life until he died in prison. The thought was that the tests would kill him, but the chemicals they pumped in him only made him stronger, twisting him into an even greater monster. He escaped from his bonds and raids the labs on a constant basis not because he wants the power of the drugs, but because he needs them now to feel anything. His joy of killing is tied to the drugs. Without them, he is just a hollow shell.”

“Hollow shell or not, he still hits hard. My armor is cracked and useless at this point. I have more at my home, but I'm in no condition to move at this time. I did grab some samples of the drugs from the vats, but I can't identify them. I'm acquaintances with Dr. Meredith Stinson in Megalopolis. If you can get me there, she might be able to tell us what these chemicals do and possibly how to counteract them.”

“I can take you there. Fixer, you keep us informed on the situation around Rook City.”

“Thank you both, but we need to keep a vigilant eye. I can't rest until that monster is off of our streets.”

 

We arrive at Dr. Stinson's lab and of course her light is on. I'm in no condition to make a dramatic entrance so we try the front door. Expatriette has to practically carry me to the front door as I lean on her. There's only a night guard on duty, so we try to be inconspicuous. He notices us immediately.

“Oh, Dr. Stinson said you'd be coming by...the Wraith is it,” said the guard. “Feel free to go on up.”

Expatriette and I look at each other. Obviously, the need for discretion just went out the window. Maybe I should just start carrying a sign saying, “Need a hero?” with my number on it.

Meredith is working on something when the elevator opens. In the time I blink she's right in front of us.

“Doc, you are starting to creep me out with how fast you move. I think we may need to get a bell for you.”

“Sorry, but I've been really productive moving this fast. Papers keep flying everywhere, but in the day that I've had this much speed, I've written3papers, solved4previouslyunsolvablealgorithms,eatenenoughfoodtofeedasmallarmyandlost6pounds.”

“What did she just say?”

“Yeah she does that. Dr. Stinson, this is Expatriette.”

“Pleasuretomeetyou. Err...sorry, must remember to speak slowly.”

“I found where the serum is being made, Pike Industrial Complex. I grabbed a few samples but was practically crushed by a monster.”

“Literal or figurative.”

“Both. He already looked like he'd been taking steroids for years, this made him bigger.”

Dr. Stinson took all the different vials from me and began examining them.

“This sample size I have now should give me an idea, but it looks like from what you described this concoction essentially acts, as you appropriately described, as a steroid. However, that is just one of the effects. Besides increased muscle mass, it speeds up healing. It really is quite remarkable. Side effects are unknown...”

“My guess is psychosis, rage, and homicidal tendencies according to my injuries.”

“True, but that is hard to say given the source using them. This could be an equalizer for you or could heal you if I had enough time to figure out the restorative properties.”

“While tempting, I think I'll pass. Do you have anything to help me with my injuries?”

“Besides a few days rest and possibly some x-rays, no.”

“What about something for armor or weapons,” asked Expatriette

“This is a science lab, nothing more. We do energy research...However, yes I do have something that may help.”

Dr. Stinson pulled out a large vial.

“This little baby I call liquid armor. I developed it about 2 hours ago and from my recent tests, it can turn any clothing bullet resistant and a little more solid when it comes to impact, yet it moves as freely as any clothing. All you need to do is dip your clothing in it. So far it lasts 2 hours and counting, but it is still in the prototype stage.”

“I'll take it in case I can use it. As far as the serum, I'll take a sample with me only as a last resort.”

“What about you Expatriette?”

“I prefer the old fashioned method of kevlar and guns.”

“Well, good luck to the two of you.”

Over Expatriette's radio, we hear Mr. Fixer.

“You two need to get back to Pike Industrial Complex. There's another lab raid and its him.”


Go forth noble heroes!

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Chapter 3: Faye

 

Legacy, all I have is this legacy that I'm supposed to carry. It's not a bad legacy, there are certainly worse, but I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few that has a reputation with knowledge of the occult. And why me? I'm nobody special, just a private detective with a long history of family as private detectives. My name is Faye Diamond and I am the “proud owner” of this little agency known as Diamond Investigations. It was originally started by my grandfather whom I never knew. That's nothing strange except that he disappeared decades ago. Not skipped town, not killed or murdered, but literally disappeared.

It all happened when my grandfather was working a few cases in the city of Arkham, Massachusetts. For some strange reason he left Providence, Rhode Island for Arkham. Some say it was because he got a big case, others say madness drove him there. Whatever the reason, things get blurry depending on who you talk to about it. My father used to tell me that before he left, Joe Diamond, my grandfather, began to pour over some tomes that he found. They had strange writing and looked almost as if they were written in some abyssal language long forgotten. He would hear things in the night that would wake him from his sleep. Guttural voices would speak to him and strange occurrences hearkened him, neigh, compelled him to go to Arkham. What happened during those investigations is unknown as Joe just left a single letter to his family. My dad would never tell me what was in the letter, but after scrounging around in his records one day, I found the letter and it chilled me to the bone.

 

To Whomever Reads This Letter,

My name is Joe Diamond. I am an investigator from Providence, Rhode Island. I came to Arkham, Massachusetts seeking knowledge of things long forgotten. Months ago, I received a tome that was most peculiar from an unknown sender. The package had no return address except for my name and address. At first I thought that this was some book sent to me from an old friend that I knew from my youth, but the handwriting on the package was unknown to me. Upon picking up the tome still locked in its wrapping, I felt a strange, demonic presence sweep over me. I could swear that I heard the wind crying out in terror the voice of a thousand tortured souls begging me not to unwrap the contents and to burn whatever lay inside. I shuddered at the strange sound and brought the package inside my home thinking the cold winter's air playing tricks on me. As I turned though...I almost could have sworn that I saw some sort of hunchback creature in the distance. It's scaly body covered in slime and trying its best to reach out to me almost with a warning and then disappearing into the black night. Thinking on this now, I find it foolish that I ever opened that package.

As I said, inside was a most peculiar and disturbing tome, the likes of which I pray no one ever see. As I pried the ancient book from its wrapping, the voices screaming grew louder and silenced all at once. This tome of eternal darkness spoke its name in my mind as I read the title, “Necronomicon.” Opening to the first pages I was disturbed by what I saw. The text “bled” onto me as if something were pumping life into it, but it did not ruin the book. Reading the detailed history of things forgotten by man that existed before he lay foot on the earth, I learned of the Elder Gods. Beings of great and terrible power that once ruled over the Earth and cosmos, venturing here from far off. I learned of their rise to power, terrible rule, and subsequent banishment. These strange histories dictated that their time to return was near and all should tremble and fear their return. Among other things found in this demonic book were spells to summon the Elder Gods, portals to other worlds, and unspeakable things which would cost anyone their sanity. Word after word burrowed into my mind making the voices louder and louder. A constant pounding that would drive most mad until at last I finished reading.

A montage of faces flashed before my eyes. Lives of those who touched the book and their ultimate demise at the hands of elder things moved by the thousands, culminating in a horror that I dare not share. My mind scarred by these sights knows how to keep them from our world, but at a high price. I am now marked. For what evil vengeance this book was sent to me I will never know, but I know I am not alone. There are others out there that still live. The veil is thinning and we are the last hope. I do not expect to see my wife and son ever again, but I leave these final thoughts. There are elder signs, as I have found them to be called, that can protect us from their entrance. Only by placing them in strategic, ancient places all over the world can we keep vigil. Unfortunately, due to the thinning veil, portals are opening as well. If these horrors are able to destroy the elder signs, the Old Ones will return. I am going to where the greatest concentration of activity has been occurring, Arkham, Massachusetts.

I know I am not long for this world as I have seen how it all will end. I will not die in my sleep as an old man surrounded by friends and family. I will not be torn apart by evil forces. I will simply be lost in time and space forgotten, alone for all my days with merely the mists of R'leyh as my companion. My only salvation may be that one day someone find my body in the mist. Perhaps they will have mercy upon my damned soul and bury whatever twisted husk of me remains. My sacrifice will hopefully stem the tide until a more permanent solution manifests. My only warning is this: do not read the book. Burn it, destroy it, and leave no chance for its contents to infect this world anymore. I hope you fair better than I did. I'm sorry that I will not get to meet you Faye, but please do the right thing.

 

Like I said, I was chilled to the bone after reading the letter. My father refused to answer my questions about Faye saying he knew of nobody by that name besides me. Was my grandfather talking directly to me in his letter? I knew I would never get any answers unless I went to the source itself, Arkham. I packed up my bags and closed up shop for week. Everything I had in savings and my account I cashed out in case I would need to resort to bribery for answers, but what happened ultimately, I did not expect. Upon my arrival to Arkham, it was practically a ghost town. An eerie fog fell over the land as my cab pulled into the area known as French Hill. It is a central location and most of the area is easily accessible. I arrived at the Silver Twilight Lodge and was greeted by the creepiest concierge.

“Welcome to the Silver Twilight Lodge madame.”

His demeanor looked like that of a creepy puppet mixed with Gomez Adams. His hair was slicked back with a pencil thin mustache and a sly smile. I didn't know if he wanted to kiss me or eat my heart, but I kept my distance.

“Hello, I would like a room please.”

“Of course, we have many vacancies at the moment and while things seem dead, they very much come alive at the 'witching hour,'” he said with a high pitched chuckle.

Creepy, but its the only place in town besides the boarding house in Southside where you can sleep without having to worry about being strapped down in a straight jacket or restraints. I take my key and pay in cash for a week. I decide to make the most of my time and started with research on the history of the town. I headed for the Historical Society in Southside where I learned that the town was founded much like most New England colonies with a little bit of a twist. For some reason, the religious persecution that most were escaping from here was the kind that didn't want them making deals with pagan gods. The city actually thrived quite well when it began. The harvest was quite bountiful while other colonies were starving. It wasn't until the late 1800s when the Salem witch trials were going on that the town began to experience a turn for the worse. Seems that someone somewhere ticked off whatever god or gods they were worshiping and a plague rolled through to clear out most of the town. In a weird twist, the grounds where the trials were held was purchased and remade into what is known as the “Witch's House.”

No one that I talked to would open up about what goes on in there even when I tried to grease some palms. I was about to give up when upon my return to my room, I found a letter on my bed. The weird part about it is that my room was locked in a specific way that no one would have realized how to get in and reset my system. When I would leave I would place a piece of paper in the door, but that wasn't the main trigger. I always leave the door turned three-quarters so that you barely push and the door will open. Pull to put the key in and the lock snaps. Neither mechanism had been triggered and there was no sign of footprints, yet somehow this letter ended up in my room. The window was locked as well and unless you were a mouse, you couldn't fit through the vent. As I approached the letter on my bed, an odd feeling of mystic energy surged through the room. The walls felt as if they were reaching out for me, trying to drag me away to some hellish dimension. The room grew larger and I crawled ever closer to the bed. I dug my nails into the ground and would have been whisked away had the letter not began to glow and dissipated the evil energy.

I looked up where the envelope was floating. Emblazoned on the envelope was my name, but on the back, a strange symbol was sealed the letter. I recognized it immediately as the Elder Sign that I had researched. I broke the seal and peered inside. The letter contained a ring along with a note that I was not expecting.

 

Dear Faye,

I pray that this letter finds you in time. Enclosed you will find an Elder Ring which I found while investigating the town of Arkham. It came at a great cost, but I know you can finish the work I started at the Witch's House. This will protect you and hopefully keep you from the same fate as me.

Love,

Joe

 

Joe? It couldn't be! Had my grandfather somehow traversed time and space to save me? Whatever that was, something was different. The 1920's décor gave way to a room that looked like it hadn't been touched since the 1920s and that was close to a century ago. The fine furniture became faded and torn. The sheets looked as if they had a knife taken to them. All I knew is the Witch's house was my next destination.

The hotel looked just like the room as I exited. The lights flickered, the wallpaper was torn and faded and holes lined the floor. Thankfully, I was only on the second floor as each step was carefully navigated. The pictures that used to line the walls dripped with what looked like blood and the statues looked as if they were staring at me. As I slowly walked past them, the statue's faces changed and grimaced in pain as my I walked by. The ring that bared the Elder Sign on it glowed and banished the darkness. Finally making it to the lobby, I expected to find the place empty except for I wasn't alone. Where the manager once stood was a hulking, plant creature.

“Rarrgh,” cried the beast as it lunged towards me. I fell down as it slimmed its way across the lobby and tried to grab me. The beast crawled closer and closer. No gun and I didn't know if touching this thing would be hazardous to my health. My back reached the wall and I tried to scramble up to no avail. I held out my hand to push it back as the ring began to glow. The creature reeled back in horror. The Elder Sign pushed it back and I struck it with my fist. As I connected, the mark burned in the creature and began to melt. It slunk off in the distance and disappeared from the lobby.

“What the hell was that thing,” Faye thought. Not knowing if anything more like that would be around, she hurried to the Witch's House. As she ran, she noticed something ghostly about the town of Arkham. What seemed to be town trapped in time now revealed one that seemed lost to it. The mist that covered the town now slowly gave way to the horrible truth. Bodies long since forgotten lay in the streets. Creatures lurked in the shadows staring at Faye with evil intent, but dared not approach for the glow of the Elder Sign frightened them and kept them at bay. The journey to the Witch's House proved more horrific than she could ever imagine and more vileness was to come.

As she approached the archaic house, the creatures in the shadow began to assemble. This place seemed to be the source of all that was happening and so Faye entered in with a resolve to see things through. Upon entering, an eerie silence fell over the house. It was tidy, warm, and unnatural for this town. The fire in the hearth looked as if it had been ignited recently.

“Hello,” cried Faye, “is anyone here?”

She listened for a moment as the ring began to glow ever brighter as if a locator searching for its desire. In a side room that appeared to be a library, the ring grew ever brighter until it dimmed when she came across another envelope. She tore it open and found an amulet much like her elder ring which bore the Elder Sign. Was this another clue and amulet left for her by Joe? Knowing the power that the ring held, she could only speculate, but she put it on immediately. Upon attaching the amulet to her person, the house changed. No longer was she looking at the library before her, but instead she was surrounded by mists in an ancient advanced world. The safety of the house faded away as it gave way to giant slabs that held ancient drawings of the Elder Gods. The writing was not discernible to at all, but the voices from before seem to speak to Faye and translate everything in her mind. She had learned the horrible truth first hand. The time for the Elder God's returning was at hand and only those with the fortitude to endure the trials would be the world's last hope. This realm of discord held one of the most vile demons of them all, Gloomweaver. As she read its name, she could hear an unnatural laughter. She turned to see in the distance a creature sitting on a throne of bones staring at her. Its own structure was skeletal, yet burning with a green hue. No longer was she safe, for in the distance chanting could be heard and a ritual begun.


Go forth noble heroes!

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Chapter 4: Nightmist

 

Sitting on their throne of bones in the distance among the surreal site, Faye could see that the Elder God did not notice her. Hiding among the tree line, she moved ever carefully to avoid detection. More plant creatures wandered nearby, but it was the chanting that chilled her to the bones. In the distance, she could see a circle of robed persons chanting and enchanting with strange magics. Every once in a while a hood or sleeve would reveal slashing marks on their persons, newly formed and scarred from repeated cutting. Over and over they chanted:

 

Through drumming we tear the veil

By his bones shall he step through

With the grimoire his power will increase

And his servant will follow in the wake of his destruction

 

Faye shuttered at their words, but listened intently as what appeared to be the leader of the cult raised their hands.

“Brothers and sisters, the hour of reckoning is close at hand. Soon, the veil that separates this world will be torn and our god will step through reigning his destruction of gloom and despair. It is then that we, his humble servants will claim our reward as the faithful followers of Gloomweaver. Thanks to these three items; the grimoire of curses, pouch of bones, and drum of despair; Gloomweaver now has the means to cross over into the realm of Earth. Once the bell tolls three times, the portal will be open and it shall begin. There have been some that dared to oppose us, specifically from Arkham, but we persevered and dealt with them accordingly. Some were devoured, others killed, and even though a few slipped our grasp, they have been lost to time and space. Yet Gloomweaver is unfazed by such things as they are below him. The first bell shall fall within the hour, let us make haste with the preparations.”

Faye saw the ancient relics in their hands and recognized the grimoire as the Necronomicon, the same book that her grandfather Joe had once had in his possession. Long thought lost, after hearing what the cult leader said, she knew what she had to do. There were too many to take on head on, she would have to find a way to sneak by and take possession. Slowly she pressed forward, inching her way as quietly as she could. The group disbanded suddenly and disappeared into the woods in front of her. Where could they be going? Faye made her way to the area where the group once stood. As she crossed the outer part of the circle, she found herself carrying a heavy weight that threw her to her knees. Faye tried to look up, but nothing would work.

“Welcome Ms. Diamond,” said the cult leader. “My name is Massey and I lead this flock that serves Lord Gloomweaver. You may be wondering what is happening to you and know that it is merely a binding spell. No harm will come from it, but the more you struggle, the more weight you will feel.”

Faye could only listen as Massey continued.

“You aren't the first person to try and interrupt Lord Gloomweaver's plans. Many have for centuries attempted to stave off the inevitable and for the most part they have succeeded, but while the other Elder Gods relied on sacrifices for power, all realms unknowingly feed Lord Gloomweaver as they cause gloom and despair amongst each other. In time, Gloomweaver has grown more and more powerful and on this eve, he will enter Earthrealm and devour the world. Those loyal to him will despair at his feet and those who oppose will be crushed.”

Massey opened the Necronomicon and began to search for a passage.

“It must run in the family. Another member of the Diamond clan tried to interfere years ago and they were lost to time and space. It only seems fitting that the mists of R'lyeh banish you as well.”

“My grandfather!?”

“He was a most troublesome one. While normally Lord Gloomweaver would just destroy insects, he proved formidable. After his life-force was drained and transferred to Lord Gloomweaver's followers, we used the mists upon him and thus he was banished.”

Faye struggled to move and inched her way forward. “You son of a...”

Massey simply smacked her with his backhand and Faye fell to her side. “She is more trouble than she's worth. Simply dispose of her and be rid of another block.”

Faye leaped up and hit Massey with the Elder Ring and burned the sign into his forehead. Massey dropped the Necronomicon and screamed in pain. Faye picked up the book and began running as fast as she could.

“Get her before she gets away,” yelled Massey.

The cultists followed Faye as she ran through the forest. Jumping over rocks and dodging trees, she finally found a hiding spot and opened the book to try and find a way out of the realm. The book bled and screamed until her necklace grew brighter silencing the voices and turning everything bright. When the light faded, the cursed book had changed and Faye was standing in a small room.

“So you've finally come,” said a deep voice.

Faye looked around at the surroundings. The room was filled with light from windows endowed with the Elder Sign, chalices and other arcane items glowed with power and on the stand before her sat what once was the Necronomicon. The book had changed from a hideous face to that of one containing an ever vigilant and watchful eye. In the distance stood a robed man. Was it one of the cultists? She did not want to know and looked for an exit, but none could be found.

“Fear not child,” said the voice, “I am not your enemy. You have done something that has not been done for millenia in returnig the tome of elder magic to its rightful form.”

“Who are you.”

“You may simply call me the Master. Whom I was before or will become is not important, simply know that it takes a great deal of power to change what was once used for good into something evil and even stronger power to bring it back. Thanks to you the tome has returned to its former form, but know that you cannot open this book without losing something.”

“What are you talking about? Where am I? What did I lose?”

“I do not know child. Perhaps you have lost your way only to find your purpose or maybe you found something long thought lost,” said the Master as he peered at Faye's hand. “I see you also bear the Elder Ring.”

“I found it in my room in an envelope...along with a note from my grandfather.”

“It is a very powerful weapon that has been passed down from generation to generation. Its powers however are sealed and none that I know of can wield it.”

“The ring has protected me since I came to Arkham, its power is incredible.”

“No one is master of the ring, it chooses whom it will serve. For now, it seems as if your own power has unlocked that which was thought lost. With these two items and that amulet you bear, you have proven yourself a formidible opponent to Gloomweaver. In time I can teach you how to fully utilize your full power, but it will take years of training. Fortunately, we have all the time in the world here.”

“What do you mean all the time in the world? The cultists chanted that Gloomweaver would break through the seals by 3 a.m. That's only an hour away!”

“What!? How can this be?”

“Listen is there anyway to stop him from entering our world?”

“The book may hold the answers, but again, there is a price to be paid for such knowledge. One cannot simply read it unless they have a fortitude to prevent madness. While the book is no longer inherantly evil, it is still a powerful book which may only be wielded by the strongest Warlocks and Witches in the world.”

“Well, time is short and we have work to do. I don't know what I may lose, but I'm taking that risk.”

Faye opened the book as light poured out. Her eyes turned white and glowed. Her whole being was engulfed as she turned page after page with increasing speed. When all was said and done, the book floated above as Faye dropped to her hands and knees. Slowly she stood up and looked at the Master.

“Child, are you alright?”

“I am and I think I might have a way to prevent Gloomweaver from entering Earth realm.”

“How are you going to do that?”

“By using the mists of R'lyeh to create a portal to our world and create a seal on the other side, one that cannot be broken by the Elder Gods.”

“Do you have such power?”

“That light seems to have beamed the knowledge of spells to my mind, but still require study to understand and use them. If I can practice the spell, I can perform it, but there isn't any time left. I have to just try and get back.”

“And what if you cannot perform the spell?”

“If I can't perform it, the world is doomed. There's no time like the present, I have to try!.”

Faye opened the book and began reading on using the mists. Following the instructions, she prepared herself for the incantation. The ancient language was not perfectly pronounced, but she thought nothing of it. Soon a portal began to form as the mists entered the home of the Master. Faye prepared to step through.

“Good luck child. May your world fare better than this. Know that I will always be watching over you Faye.”

Faye looked back at the Master puzzled. She never told him her name. How did he know? Before she could ask, the mists engulfed her and she was transported back to Arkham into the Witch's House. The portal that once stood before her revealed a mirror, but the reflection that she saw was different and hazy. The mirror was polished to a shine where no tarnish could obscure the sight before it. Yet for some reason, Faye was hazy. The brunette hair that she once had now appeared as white as pure light. Her skin was translucent for a moment and then she appeared in the room with the white hair remaining. Mist eminated from her being and continued to eminate as she found herself slowly disappating away. Faye panicked, only causing more of her to tear and slip away, but there was no pain whatsoever. She felt light and scattered, but knew she could be whole again. She concentrated on her form as the mist began to gather again and formed a solid person. She was whole again and realized that unless she concentrated, she would fall apart.

As she concentrated, visions fell before her eyes. The images revealed conflicting resolutions as in one she saw Gloomweaver enter the world. Turning to a group fighting, he thrust his skeletal claws into the mask of a man and ripped off his face creating a new servant whom quickly offered a masked woman, another woman with an eye patch, and an old man as sacrifices for Gloomweaver. In the other image, it showed the same group fighting as Gloomweaver entered, but he was pushed back by the Elder Sign and the red masked man was defeated. Both images had a name in them which Faye knew had to be the location Gloomweaver would try to enter: Pike Industries in Rook City.


Go forth noble heroes!