Never Have Colourful Outfits Heralded A Hivemind Incursion
By Mr. Scade
Chapter 6: The Guidebook to the Blissful Concept of Happiness
Bor yawned. How long has it been? He rubbed sleep off his eyes. I need a bloody watch. He stood, stretched his legs and sat back down. He gave the leather bound book another look and decided he was tired of deciphering cryptic ramblings. Instead, Bor decided it was time to get to Grigori’s account.
He opened the diary on the first page, but after three paragraphs he was confused. This doesn’t read like a diary. He skimmed some pages, went back to the first one. There were no notes, no scratches, and no scribbles; just words and words and words within paragraphs written in a smooth, clear script. The thing even had chapters! Then it dawned on Bor that the diary was written like a book, of sorts. He had to smile.
The make-shift camp was horrible. No, shameful would be a better word. The tent’s north and east sides were flapping in the wind, the plastic walls didn’t reach all the way down on the other two sides; there were folding chairs on all sides, a small campfire too close to the tent for his liking. He only needed to kick a pole and the whole thing would come crashing down and catch on fire.
He placed his bags against the mango tree and walked inside the tent.
“Who’s responsible for setting up this bloody excuse for a camp?” Grigori bellowed when he walked into the tent.
Inside were two women and two men. They were sitting on their cots, which were scattered inside the tent like leaves after a strong wind. One of the men, a fat, balding fellow stood, a frown on his face. “I am.” His voice was a croak. “Who’s asking?” Grigori crinkled his nose—the fat fellow was sweating profoundly and up close you could just feel the heavy, acrid atmosphere around him.
“Well, you did a bloody piss-poor job of it. This place’s a fucking mess.” Grigori said, frowning at the man’s stench. “And, good God, my crack smells better than you do.”
That made the fat man’s eye bulge. Reddening, he said, “And who might you be?”
At that moment the other man—anorexic-looking and in need of a good scrub—stood and touched his companion’s arm. “Porfirio,” He began, pointing at Grigori’s golden cross necklace. “This is Father Grigori, one of the two organizers of this quest.”
Grigori almost laughed at the word ‘quest’. Who used that word to talk about excavations? Must be a sociologist, or a writer. “Someone at least has an idea about things around here.”
The fat man gave a squeal and started to make a blunder of apologizing. One of the women stifled a chuckle.
Grigori waved Porfirio’s squealed words away as if they were mosquitoes. “So, is this all people?” He smiled at the girls and shook the haggard man’s hand, who introduced himself as a John Mann, jack-of-all trades and assistant to Porfirio. “I was told there would be eight.”
John Mann shook his head. “The group from the university hasn’t arrived yet, and the other organizer introduced herself before disappearing this morning.”
Cosette, Grigori mused. Didn’t she say that she would not come out to the field? This will be interesting. “Which university? I only got word from the School of Archaeology and some historian.”
The fat man cleared his throat. “I would like for you to refer to me by name.” He stuck his sausage fingered hand out. “I am Porfirio Glasgow, professor of history of the Americas and somewhat of an expert on the history of the region.”
John Mann ignored him. “I thought you were with the university.”
“I was.” Grigori grimaced. “I am not.”
“Oh.” John Mann was suddenly uncomfortable. He turned to the women and bid them to introduce themselves.
“My name’s Iliana.” Said the older woman, a thin lady with broad hips and a sagging, enormous bosom. Grigori had to think about not staring.
The other woman was perhaps ten years younger. She was petite and with the longest ponytail Grigori had ever seen. She introduced herself in a quiet voice as Rachel.
Grigori showed just the tiniest amount of courtesy. “Yeah, nice meeting you. Now,” He turned to Porfirio Glasgow. “It is obvious you’ve never set a camp before.”
Porfirio frowned and turned to Mann, who said: “I told you.”
“Good call on setting up under the trees, gets you out of the bloody sun. But getting under a fucking palm tree was a very stupid idea; do you have any clue how hard one of those things is? It will kill you!” Grigori hit the tent, turning the wall into a cape in the wind. “If we get a rain, we’ll be fucked. If we get wind, we’ll be fucked.” He kicked one of the cots with a black boot. “You can’t bloody move in here with these things ordered like scrambled eggs. What if there’s an emergency and we have to get out in a rush, eh? Oh, and do not get me started on the detestable perimeter you set out there.”
“Exactly, you grease ball!” Grigori spat. “You’re selling me shit for gold here. We strike this tent down and make a true camp, now.”
It took them three hours to have a working camp.
By then they finally had word from the group coming from the university and Cosette Agard had finally appeared, panting and sweating from a long jog around the small, 100-person town. When questioned, she said that she was doing recon of the area. Porfirio gave her an incredulous look when she spoke of exercising, much to Grigori’s disgust and Iliana’s amusement. By then Grigori had decided that he didn’t like Iliana’s constant laughter; it was obnoxious and unnatural.
“Hey, Grigori.” Cosette gave him a cute little pout-smile. “Glad your mouth didn’t get you killed.”
“So, the two fellows from the university want to apologize for being late by inviting us to a local restaurant.” At the mention of food, Rachel perked. “I think that would be a great place to start discussing our plan.”
John Mann then poked his head through the tent’s door, a cigarette in his mouth. “I say ‘aye’ to that.”
Grigori gave the guy a stare and then agreed. As much as he didn’t like the idea of being in the same table with Cosette and the rest of this curious party, he was starving.
The restaurant was a nice little ranch with a palm thatched roof, polished concrete floor, leather chairs and wooden tables. The evening was cool, with a nice breeze that brought with it the smells of wet earth and burning leaves. Folk music was playing from the speakers on top of the twenty pillars—varnished tree trunks stuck to the ground. It was the sort of place Grigori loved; a good distance away from the town’s noise and close to his base. The music was a plus—he loved folk music.
The two fellows from the university were Cosette’s assistant and someone from the university library that was just curious about the whole thing. The assistant was a bearded, jovial fellow that quickly struck Grigori as being a better drinking buddy than a personal assistant. His name was Joel Campos. The library clerk looked like the sort of man that belonged in a gym and not behind a book: a bodybuilder’s body and a soldier’s haircut. His name was Frederick ‘Rabia’ Conn. Grigori didn’t want to learn why his nickname was the Spanish word for rage.
After everyone had eaten their healthy rations of fish, meat, rice and beans, accompanied with either fried yucca or plantains, they started to discuss why they were all reunited in this backwards little town in the middle of nowhere.
“I gather everyone knows exactly why we’re here?” Cosette asked as she pulled a big, leather-bound book out of her backpack. It was inside a protective plastic bag.
Everyone nodded save for John Mann.
“Well, we know that the locals found a buried structure and some artefacts that marked over five hundred years with radiocarbon dating.” Iliana said over her beer.
“That and that this place appears on some book that was previously thought to be just a work of fiction.” Porfio started. After a shower and a meal he looked more like the professor he was and not just a ball of walking fat. Grigori noticed how his voice turned grave and serious as soon as the subject at hand began.
Cosette tapped the big book. “This is the book.”
“Wait, I was not familiar with this thing about the book.” Said Mann,
“Obviously, you’re just bloody help here.” Grigori added.
“That is true.” Mann smiled.
Cosette rolled her eyes, took a sip of her beer and continued. “Okay, I shall explain for everyone. This here is a book first published in the early sixties. Unknown author. Few copies exist, and most of them are kept by collectors of fantasy novels.”
“Fantasy?” Rachel interjected.
“Yes, fantasy.” Cosette turned the book around so everyone could read the title. “Blissful Arathmica’, a book that records in extensive detail the practices, history, members, important characters, temple locations and so many things I can’t even remember of a cult that worshipped an Old God. More specifically, an Old God of pure happiness.”
Half the people at the table frowned. “Okay, let’s make it as if I have no clue what an Old God is.” Porfirio said, his sausage fingers rubbing the rings on his fingers.
Mann rolled his head around, “Here we go again.”
“You don’t know about the Old Gods? Eldritch Horrors?” Grigori stared at Porfirio, then at Iliana and Rachel and finally at Frederic. When everyone shook their heads Grigori threw his hands into the air. “Bloody fucking hell, didn’t you read our bloody emails?”
“I... don’t give much thought to theological matters Doctor, ‘Old God’ seems to fit right into that category.” Iliana said.
“At least you would think they know about Lovecraft.” Joel spoke for the first time, his voice no more than a low mumble.
“So, you’ve all come out here to the middle of nowhere, ready to dig up a who-knows-how-big building and who-knows-what-else from the ground with just the most basic information on what the hell we think we’ve found?” Cosette said, her pretty face twisted into a frown.
“Bloody fucking hell.” Grigori and Cosette said in unison. The two shared a quick, distraught look before they turned to their fellow researchers.
“I don’t know if I should feel amazed or hateful.” Grigori added.
“Uhm... well, no point in crying over spilt milk.” Porfirio chuckled nervously. Grigori wondered if the man wasn’t here just because he had written ‘marvellous find’ in his email. Usually that play on words attracted people looking for riches.
“An Old God,” Joel Campos began. “Is an entity older than creation—”
“If you believe in creation.” Iliana said disdainfully.
Grigori silenced her with a glare.
“As I was saying,” Joel sighed, “An elder god is an entity as old as, or older than the universe. More of a concept than a god in the traditional sense; something so mighty and grand that no mortal mind could even begin to understand it.”
Mann chuckled. “Sounds awfully inconvenient.”
Joel smiled and nodded. “It is said that just looking at or saying an Old God’s true name will drive you insane. Such is their, eh, abstractity. If that is a word.”
“It isn’t.” Everyone said.
“Hmm... whole lot of rubbish, I say.” Porfirio huffed.
“Whatever the bloody case,” Grigori turned to Porfirio. “That lot of rubbish is what got us eight in this place to begin with, you fat man.”
“What a clever insult.” Porfirio fiddled with his rings.
Grigori didn’t take the bait and everyone fell silent for a while.
“Very well,” Cosette sighed and carefully opened the book on a marked page. “The Blissfull Arathmica was, for many years, considered a work of pure fiction. It speaks on extreme detail about a never-heard-before cult that worshipped an Old God; more specifically, an Old God of pure happiness; Arathmica, the embodiment of the concept of happiness and related ideas. It says that every enjoyment, pleasure, and delight in the universe is its doing.”
“Yeah, most people think the same. The book goes on about the cult’s practices, how it formed some three hundred years ago, the members over the centuries, the temples... in short, everything to do with the whole religion.”
“As religious texts go, this one is the most bloody detailed thing I’ve ever read, and trust me, I’ve read most of them.” Grigori said.
“But as a work of fiction, it is interesting on its not being a story, but rather an account or a guidebook to the cult, if you will.” Joel added.
“Okay, I get the cult and the Old Goodies part, and I think I even get what you are getting at with the book being thought of as just another shitty novel.” Mann took a sip of his beer. “But what I am not understanding is what exactly it has to do with the wall the construction workers found out there.”
“True, the artefact sent to the School of Archaeology was the thing that prompted us to come here.” Iliana said. “No one mentioned this book.”
“Call it bad communication.” Cosette smiled.
“It’s true, those artefacts came out to be over five centuries old.” Grigori said. “But just think about the impossibility of that.”
“Wait... tell me,” Porfirio leaned on the table. “What sort of artefacts are we talking about? Indigenous artwork?”
Iliana shook her head. “They are clearly European in origin.”
“That can’t be right.” Porfirio’s eyes were wide. “The Spanish didn’t show up here until 1505. Exactly five-hundred-and-six years ago.” Porfirio looked away for a second and then said. “Maybe the dating is right, but the artefacts were brought in later on.”
Rachell shook her head. “Bones buried with the artefacts marked the same dates. And the clay used for the things are similar to the one used by local pottery found years ago. Those artefacts were manufactured here.”
“Bloody fucking fuck.” Porfirio’s chair creaked, threatening to give way under his ponderous weight. “Bones, you say? Fuck!”
“And that’s not all of it.” Cosette said. She flipped some pages until she found another marked one. “This book mentions exactly this spot, with coordinates and all, the existence of a temple. The temple!”
“The temple?” Mann asked.
“The cult’s most important temple. The one where they, seemingly, summoned this Old God, and where all decisions were carried.”
All but Grigori looked astonished, dumfounded and incredulous.
“A book written in the sixties points to the exact location of a building that’s been buried for half a millennium?” Frederic broke his silence. “A building of European design in the middle of the Americas. Shit!”
“Shit indeed, my bodybuilding friend.” Joel smiled.
The waiter appeared and finally cleared away their dirty plates. That gave them a pause to digest what they had just heard, and the food they had ingested. Some ordered more beers; others just water.
“How did you get to know about this place in the first place? I doubt you one day just googled about ‘newfound buried temples of bliss gods’.” Mann cracked his knuckles.
“I happened to pass by this town on my way to visiting my family at Little Hintock.” Cosette said. “I came around here and heard people were moving soil to build new houses and I got curious if they had found any archaeologically important items. You never know. One of the workmen said that he found a statuette and was willing to show it to me.” The beer arrived and Cosette took a good swallow. “I had been over this book several times since I found out about it, and thus was familiar with the symbols and when I saw the statuette I immediately recognized the carvings. I bought it from the guy, sent it to the School of Archaeology and double checked the books.”
“And here we fucking are.” Grigori smiled. He drank some water to clear his throat. Grigori was not a man to drink alcohol, not because he thought of it as sinful as some people believed, but because he never got used to the taste.
Mann whistled. Porfirio mumbled something. And the rest just stared in awed silence.
“And how did you come into this?” Porfirio stared at Grigori.
Grigori gave a sigh. “I am—”
“A world-renowned expert on most if not all religions there have ever been. Among many useful things.” Cosette interrupted.
Grigori glared at her, but got a lopsided smile in return.
After that they got down to working on a schedule and responsibilities. What each of them was doing here and what they hoped to accomplish. Cosette, as a specialist on the obscure, literature and a bit of theology was hoping to turn this expedition into her master’s degree thesis. Joel was just her eager assistant. Frederic was acting as part budget overseer from the University, part volunteer, and part muscle; he really didn’t have much to offer. Iliana was the archaeologist designated by the School of Archaeology to ensure that Cosette and Grigori’s project went on smoothly. Rachel was her protégé and student. Porfirio was an independent historian, whose knowledge on the region would be extremely useful with whatever they found. He was also financing half of the expedition. John Mann was content with whatever duty they ‘throw on him’. And Grigori... Grigori was a doctor on theological studies, a reverend, and an overall incredible professor. He was here to learn about this previously fictional religion, and as a favour to his best student, Cosette.
Afterwards they all retired back to their now orderly camp.
Cosette was lying down on a hammock some meters away from the camp. She enjoyed to spend quiet, alone times, but that had been increasingly difficult when she shared a tent with seven other people. Luckily she had found a quiet clearing between some trees where she could just lie down and read, for the thousandth time the Blissful Arathmica.
Since the day she found the book sitting under a pile of unread history some three years ago, Cosette had become obsessed with it. She read it once, and twice, and thrice. At the fourth read she had memorized everything in it, and at the sixth read she learned everything there was to learn from the book.
Learning more about the Arathmica became an obsession and by the twenty-fourth read she started to research everything about it. She delved deeper and deeper into fiction, geography and history until she found the location of the ruins, by chance; but it had not been until she found the ruin that she knew she was right. It only took her charm and some favours to convince people to join her on her expedition.
And now she was lying down on the hammock, reading a paragraph about Arathmica’s gift of delight on humankind for the nth time. Cosette understood that the writings were just ramblings, fake guidelines and fictional stories of a made up religion... that spoke of a temple buried for years and years. The more she read the book, the more convinced Cosette was of the cult’s existence, but not so much about the existence of an elder god.
As Cosette read on she started to feel more relaxed, more peaceful. The words began to echo in her lips as she read, repeating every word as if a mantra. When Cosette reached a point in the book she always found much more absorbing her voice stopped.
“The Arathmica, the Glorious One, is also known as the Giver of Bliss, the Entity of Happiness...” She began and her lips stopped, yet she kept reading. The words echoed not on the outside but inside her mind.
She read on, and on, and on.
The next thing she knew was that her right arm was hurting like crazy. Cosette woke to feel blood rushing into the arm she had slept on. The pain was sharp and would’ve made her cry out if she hadn’t heard a voice, a whisper, a dread word.
“Happiness can replace pain.” It was neither male nor female and seemed to come from a very faraway place.
Cosette turned her head around and saw trees. Blinking, Cosette blamed the sound on the wind.
“Bliss doesn’t bring pain.” Again Cosette heard the voice, and this time she felt a shiver go down her spine. “Hello?” She said, slowly coming out of the hammock.
“I am everywhere. I am in you.”
Cosette’s eyes grew wide as the force of the voice, at what it made her feel (joy, hesitation, apprehension... fear). She gave the Blisful Arathmica a look and said, “No... I am going crazy.”
“You will learn to be happy.” The voice said again, prompting Cosette to run back to the company of people.
The voice, luckily, didn’t follow.
They had planned on starting the excavation proper, with the help of some hired locals, the next day. But rain had greeted them that morning and the rest of the day, and the next, and the next. For a whole week it rained non-stop. They tried to start digging nonetheless, but for every foot they dug two more of mud would fill the hole. Instead, they decided to work on studying the book, the history of the region, and try to make sense out of the information they had so far.
The rain had pretty much ruined their camp, so they had to move into a rented house. It had only four small rooms, so people had to double or sleep on hammocks or in the living room. It was a miserable accommodation knowing that you were in a space constructed for fewer bodies to inhabit. Fights and arguments ensued over the following day, mostly over Grigori’s way of treating people and Porfirio’s ridiculous tendency to snore. Thankfully Cosette knew how to deal with both situations and things didn’t escalate.
On the last rainy day they had decided to go back to the restaurant and have a good night, just to take their minds off all the intellectual work they had been doing and the fact that they had not yet started digging. Everyone agreed pleasantly except Cosette, who wished to stay a bit longer to work on a chapter of the book that always tickled at something in the back of her mind. For the first time since they met, the seven companions had a jolly good time. They joked, drank, ate and cursed each other. Grigori discovered that he and Mann shared a love for crime novels. Porfirio turned out to be a charmer, the way he managed to get two waitresses to give him their numbers; much to Frederic’s astonishment. Rachel and Joel seemed to get along too well, both having a knack for playing drums. And Iliana was the sort of drunk who liked to laugh and boast of things she thought she had done in her life.
Overall it was a great evening. But Grigori, being the only sober person, found that it grew more and more nonsensical by the drink. He excused himself and returned to the rented house. As usual, he walked inside silent like a shadow, started the kettle to make some tea and walked into the room he shared with Cosette. He stopped before walking in, the sound of a conversation coming from the other side. Curious, Grigori thought, I thought she didn’t have a phone. She could be using the Internet, but that wasn’t fast enough to allow for calls. He shrugged and walked in without knocking.
What greeted him he could’ve done without.
“Hey, lass,” His eyes went wide when they saw Cosette. He reeled, pulled away as if disgusted and cursed, “What the bloody fuck are you doing!?”
Cosette quickly pulled her hand from between her legs, closed her legs, and covered herself with a stained blanket. She was flushed, eyes watery, breath coming in pants. With a quick glance Grigori saw that the computer was playing a video of some people with shiny outfits and a spiral on the background, a droning voice was going on about this or the other. That was not the voice I heard.
Grigori sniffed the air. Had it been anyone but a former student he would’ve joked about the smothering smell of seafood. “You could at least lock the bloody door, you cunt.”
Cosette pulled the blanket to cover her up to the neck and threw a pillow at Grigori. He caught it with one hand. “Why the fuck didn’t you knock!?”
“It is my room, too.” Grigori said calmly and walked to his bed. “And now I have two pillows.”
Cosette looked at Grigori with angry, scared eyes. She moved to close her laptop and then kept staring at Grigori. He returned an amused stare. “Don’t fucking worry, cunt. I won’t say a thing about your lonely touching time.” He winked, pulled his bag onto the bed and started to rummage for something.
Suddenly Cosette was conscious of the smell filling the room. Ashamed she removed herself from the bed, made sure the blanket was covering her whole body, and walked out of the room and into the bathroom.
“If you’re going to finish jilling off take a shower afterwards, please.” Grigori exclaimed happily when he found the crime novel he was reading.
While Cosette relaxed under a hot shower, her fingers down between her legs, and her mind filled with thoughts of being corrupted into a fetish creature, Grigori made tea and settled to read a while before everyone came drunkenly back into the house.
“Except the ball of lard,” He mused. “He’s getting some tonight.”
The discovery was, simply, astounding.
It had taken them a month of digging carefully around the structure to finally uncover it. It was square, with statues on top of weathered gargoyles and a giant rock thrice the height of Grigori and twice the width of Porfirio covering what must’ve been the only entrance. But the bones were what took them back and made them stop. Bones—human, canine, and more—were plastered to the walls, built into the box. It was not just the most important temple of the Cult of Arathmica (as the group had started calling it), but a mausoleum.Around it they had found a cache of stone tools and carvings depicting gargoyle-like creatures and squid-like forms that closely resembled Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. Porfirio, Iliana and Grigori were dumbfounded.
They classified everything they found into plastic bags, took soil and rock samples, noted down the legible carvings on the stone work of the square building, and took so many pictures that all nine cameras brought into the expedition were full with photographs.
Over dinner they discussed what they knew so far, checked the Blissful Arathmica again and their personal notes to see if they were missing anything (they weren’t) and decided that on the morrow all of them would try to pull out the giant stone. If not, they would instead hire a bulldozer to move it.
By noon the following day they had to use the yellow juggernaut to move it.
Everyone looked on expectantly as the engine rumbled, chains rattled, and rock moaned as if annoyed at being moved. At first it seemed like the rock would not budge, but soon enough it started to move slowly, rolling to the side like a fat kid falling over when trying to reach his meal. Grigori couldn’t help but think of a turtle trying to escape a string attached to its leg; he was amused.
With a roar the rock gave and the bulldozer carried it away from the temple and out of the excavation. Someone out there, in the mass of onlookers, cried that she wanted the rock moved into her yard, but none of the eight researchers (and companions) heard it. Their attentions utterly absorbed by the temple and possibilities.
As expected, the rock was acting as a makeshift door; once removed they could see a space cut in the stone about nine feet tall and three wide. Faded carvings swam around it like a school of fish. Inside, it was pitch black.
“Can you see anything?” Rachel whispered to Joel.
For a long while they just looked, frozen in place, until one of the hired help yelled for them to move. As if from a trance, they started to work again. The sun was relentless that day, but they were not really going to work under it. Grigori and Mann were the first ones to venture inside the temple, flashlights in their hands.
From the outside the group heard echoes of ‘bloody fucking cunt’ and then a chuckle.
Inside Grigori walked with slow, careful steps down a long stair of carved stone. It was roughly cut, the third step not similar to the fourth or the first. Some were dug in and others protruding. Mann walked down, one step at the time, yet inspecting the walls and ceiling. “It looks... what’s the word I am looking for?”
“Run down?” Grigori then cursed when he stepped on a rock that almost made him trip over.
Mann shook his head in the dark. “Nah, more like simplistic. You know, for a temple.”
Grigori ignored the jest and kept walking. Twenty steps more and they reached the bottom of the stairs. Grigori looked up and surmised that it would take at least ten or twelve of him standing on one another’s shoulders to reach where the light was pouring from the outside.
“We reached the bottom!” Mann cried, his voice carried up in echo.
Porfirio’s voice answered. “Good!”
Mann gave Grigori a nod and the two men started to look about, never far from each other. Inside the room it was pitch black. So dark that Grigori couldn’t see the hand holding the flashlight. He looked at the door above again and was simply amazed at how dark the room was with such a huge light source coming from up there.Suddenly Mann cried and cursed. “Fuck,” He cried in pain again. “Grig, come quick. I found something.”
What he had found was a book just lying on the floor some eight feet from the steps and four from the opposite wall. In the dark it was hard to tell what it had written on it, but Grigori could clearly see the Arathmica symbols on the two feet wide and three feet long book.
In true ‘cinema-phile’ fashion, Mann made sure it wasn’t attached to any traps before the two men hauled the bloody big thing up the stairs.
As it turned out, they had discovered the Blissful Arathmica’s Guide to Rituals. Or so they were calling the giant tome since they couldn’t quite make out what was written on it. It was clearly English, yes, but it was unintelligible English.
Sound winds, and the song of of puppeteers grand and small joined together to pray.
Was just one of the most comprehensible phrases. The rest were, simply put, nonsense. For a while they thought that maybe they were having a joke played upon them, but then Cosette made the keen observation that the book might be in code. She gave the phrase another read and realized that there was a play on words with other parts of the book they had skimmed over.
“This is just a quick assertion made by a quick glance,” Cosette said. “But what if it’s in code?”
Grigori pursed his lips. “Kind of makes fucking sense, if you think about it. ‘Tis a bloody occult cult after all. Some kept even their grocery lists in code.”
So it was decided that they would be divided in further teams. Iliana, Rachel, Mann and Frederic will work on investigating the building. They would get some light down there and give every nook and cranny a hard look. Soon they would find everything they could about it.
Porfirio, who started working on a record of their work, decided to take a look into the other locations mentioned in the Blissful Arathmica and compare them with historical records of the area. He would try to find more about the cult’s presence in the area while giving useful insights into whatever bit of data they needed of him.
Cosette, Grigori and Joel would start to work on the new book. The three of them would be in charge of making sense out of the writings in it and discovering if it made any sense, as Cosette proposed.
In time, the Cult of Arathmica would be as known to them as what they liked to have with a good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.
In just under a week they moved their camp to the front of the temple, considering that Iliana’s team spent all day in there. They had collected earth samples and pieces of what Iliana recognized as local pottery. Besides that, they had found little of interest, but did find evidence to a second room at the other side of the wall facing the stairs. They were now devoting their time to finding out how to get to it.
No one had seen Porfirio since he retired to the local library. That had been two days ago.
Grigori and Joel had managed to work out a sort of decryption for the book, based on repeating words and symbology but it didn’t work at all. Cosette, on the other hand had finally figured out that the book was written in a very curious way. It didn’t read like a regular book, from one side to the other, but it read in a completely unfathomable way. In order to understand it you had to take two neighbouring pages, fold on in the middle and then fold the other so the opposite face would meet the first page’s unfolded face. Put together they would reveal coherent wording. Sentences even!
Cosette had stumbled upon this by chance one night while jilling off to another of her strange videos. She accidentally knocked the book off her bed and it felt at an awkward angle, with two pages folded together. Scared to the point that her arousal vanished, Cosette jumped to check if the old book had suffered any damage. When she picked it up she noticed she could read the folded text. Grigori had taken over then. He took the book and copied the broken codes into a notebook, and then another, and another. It took him two days to transcribe everything within the Guidebook and then some to understand what was in it. Afterwards it was just a matter of reading it again with a more critical eye.
Doctor (or Father) Paether Grigori was an expert on religions. All religions. From the numerous Judeo-Christian denominations, to neo-pagan occultism, to the beliefs of lesser-known Central American aborigines. He could even talk your ear off about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ergo, it was his interest to know as much as he could from a never-before seen religious cult.
He looked over the text with the prime objective of finding similarities with any other known religion. He didn’t find much, besides that the rituals—if they could be called that—were utterly insane. The similarities started with dancing and singing and kept going to the point of plagiarism. Almost any practice in religious rituals was described within the Rulebook; from drinking magical poultices and concoctions, to smoking certain herbs, to flaying some sacrifice’s skin. It was truly disturbing.
And utterly fascinating.
One ritual made Grigori raise an eyebrow. It was one described to “bring forth the glory of Arathmica into this dimension”. The Guide said that it could only be performed within the ‘Sanctum’, if done elsewhere it would fill the devout with ‘blind happiness’, which wasn’t described until way into the book as a state in which the afflicted couldn’t feel anything but a meaningless happiness that would drive them insane. Within the Sanctum there was a chamber, it was written, just beyond the stairs. In there they would find a basin with water and a set of cells. In here the ritual would be performed: ‘on the water a source of joy and fun-riddled times shall be placed to be purified. Within the cells the pious will lock themselves under Arathmica’s hold. The _____’ (the word was missing) ‘would sing the joke verses of good times and the pious would sing along their own merry tunes’.
“This is awfully simple, as summoning Old Gods go.” Grigori said to no one in particular.
Compared to every other ritual he had ever read or seen, it was amongst the simplest.
That very night he had commented with his colleagues that there was a room beyond the one they had found. Iliana and Rachel agreed on this.
The next morning they set to digging through the wall. But as Grigori’s pickaxe bit into the rock it shook and slowly slid down into the ground.
“Well, that was too easy.” Mann chuckled.
After that mockery Grigori said he was just about done reading the Guide for a while.
Cosette took over with her own interests.
It took two days for Cosette to read through the Guide itself and Grigori’s transcriptions. And in no time she had started hearing the voice. At first she thought it was her ear playing tricks on her, or her earphones, or just Mann trying to play a joke on her. But no... it was the same voice as before. She had all but forgotten about it when she pushed the memory into the darkest corners of oblivion.
But now it was back, and more insistent than before. Closer too. The realisation hit her like cold water on a hot day. Was she going insane? Was she finally losing it after so much work? “No, that can’t be. Crazy people think themselves sane.” She thought, one evening when she sat alone in front of her computer. Friday nights had become the usual hangout for the group, yet Cosette was always content to just remain inside the rented house when she could (the days when she had to stay at camp instead she would accompany them).
Cosette decided to drown the voice with videos and some private attention to her loins.
This time she locked the door. She removed all her clothes, snuck into bed, and placed her laptop on her legs. Quickly she got access to the web and found her marked erotic stories. The stories were corruption, of the sort in which the heroine was converted into a sexual puppet by some sort of magic. In no time Cosette was giving long, deep strokes to her sex.
Cosette read the stories, one after the other, her pleasure drowning the insistent voice. She muffled her moans with the back of her hand when she moaned, and the rest of the time she surfed the web.
After her second orgasm Cosette went straight to the one video that always made her cum so hard she would just pass out. The video was of a new fetish Cosette had found, something that mixed her love for corruption, serial conversions, and humiliation in a neat package. And this one video was the only one she had ever found that got the fetish right. It started slowly, introducing the girls and their personalities and then it build up to the initial corruption. The corruption then spread from one girl to the other, turning them into overly sexualized women wearing tight outfits and doing a dance that would make any person turn red as a tomato. But what Cosette loved best about the fetish was that it included a very useful (to her opinion) twist: the embarrassment of the fetish itself would drive anyone crazy, but soon enough it grew on you, making you feel extremely delighted to do it. And that, making someone love a humiliating fetish, was why Cosette loved it so much.
But as soon as the video started to play the voice started again.
“Bliss, happiness, joy.” It started, making Cosette freeze. “It is in there. It is my domain, that which you watch. And I sense your attraction to it.”
Cosette held her breath, the video still playing. “Who’s there?” She whispered.
“Bliss and joy, enjoyment and laughter, happiness and peacefulness. I am that which you all enjoy. You call me Arathmica. I am delight itself.”
Cosette’s chest twisted in a knot. “Y-you can’t be...”
“Bliss is real. I am bliss. You feel pleasure and joy from these images you watch, and your joy feeds me. You who found me, you who found the last remnants of my reign, will set me free.”
Cosette shook her head, her fingers were shaking. “I wo-won’t.”
Silence fell on the room and for a long time Cosette thought that she had convinced the voice. Cosette’s eyes fell on her computer screen, on the scene playing out when all the characters were worshipping and smiling the virus that converted them. It was then that the voice returned.
“I feel you want to experience what they feel.” The voice started, making Cosette bury herself in the bed. “You want to feel uncontrollable bliss, unending pleasure. You want to be a slave to joy, a slave to Arathmica.”
No, I don’t want to be a slave. Cosette thought.
“But you want to experience what they feel. I can make that happen.”
Cosette jumped off the bed, realizing the voice was inside her head.
“How... how is this possible!?”
“You read my book. You were consumed by the idea of bliss. I now exist in your head.”
Cosette remained silent for a long while, just thinking. Arathmica, Old God, bliss itself, power, insanity... A terrible concept from before the universe. It would either destroy her or drive her insane. She had to rid herself of it.
“What... what do I have to do to get you out of my head?”
A silence, and then. “Free me.”
Grigori’s cup of coffee exploded into a thousand pieces, coffee waves drowning ceramic continents. He looked at Cosette with a flaming gaze, his hand moving as if to strangle a neck, but instead settled for air.
“Are you fucking mad, you cunt!?” His voice rang all over the house.
Cosette held her gaze and shook her head. “No. I am serious.”
Grigori looked at the floor, realizing the cup had slipped from his hand. “We don’t know what might happen, if anything would happen.”
“Better reason to do it!” Cosette’s face was painted by a placid smile. “It’s a huge question mark and we are here to answer questions. Besides, everyone has been stressed over everything lately. We can just try it as a distraction, a silly game.”
Grigori held her gaze, searching her face for any hint of... whatever was going on behind her eyes. “Then play fucking chess.”
Cosette frowned, “Grigori—”
“No!” He slammed his hand so hard over the table it stung. “We don’t fucking know if this bloody cult was real or not, or if what they wrote in their accursed book actually amounts to anything. This might all be just a huge scam that started centuries ago, or it can be real.” He took a deep breath. “Cosette, you don’t mess with rituals. You just don’t. Each religion has its own beliefs and rituals for a reason, some are just tradition, others are a little bit more real than others. And you know this very well; you’ve seen it.
“I’ve seen people burn because of badly prepared rituals, I’ve seen people going mad because their hallucinatory toad weed was too fucking strong. And I’ve seen what happens when you meddle into the affairs of another god.” He closed his eyes for a long while. When he opened them he looked tired. “Cosette... don’t fucking do this. You want to relax? Take a week off. Play dominoes. Go and fuck somebody in town; I know you need it, seeing how you lock yourself in your room. Do anything but try and summon a god.”
Cosette blushed and averted her eyes. “We need to do this.”
“No, no you fucking don’t. You just want to see what comes out of the beehive if you poke it with a stick. The problem here is,” He leaned closer. “Is that this is no bloody beehive. We will be putting our collective cocks into a beehive made of bloody chainsaw question marks and who knows what’ll come out of it. You don’t mess with gods, specifically not Elder Gods. You can go and stick your cunt in the air and hope a demon more terrible than creation itself licks it and explodes your mind. I won’t have anything to do with it.”
The two held gazes for a long while before Grigori took a deep breath. He rubbed his eyes, stood and started cleaning the mess he had made of the cup. Cosette looked on, smiling broadly as if nothing had happened, as if nothing mattered.
Once Grigori was done he placed his hands on a chair and gave Cosette one long look. “Fucking Christ, you’re going to do it anyway.”
Cosette nodded a bit too eagerly. “I’ve already talked to everyone else. They are really excited about this.”
“Then all of you are bloody morons. But please tell me when you’re going to do it so I can find a shotgun and kill whatever monstrosity you bring forth.”
“No. Fucking no. I don’t want to know anything about this. Have fun bringing the apocalypse, Cosette.” He took a deep breath and walked out of the room, leaving Cosette standing there, smiling broadly like a little girl who had tricked her parents into buying her a present.
The ‘idiotic cunts’ as Grigori started calling them were all inside the inner chamber. Using some sort of witchcraft, which Grigori couldn’t begin to understand, Cosette had managed to convince his companions to join in on her crazy idea. Grigori himself was sorting out their supplies in their tent and trying to figure out where he had put his chocolates and was completely oblivious to what was going on inside the temple.
Clearly the atmosphere was one of enjoyment.
Mann had just cracked a joke at Joel and Frederic couldn’t stop laughing. Cosette was grinning madly.
“So, we put the computer on the basin? I believe that isn’t advisable with water and electronics and all.” Rachel looked into the pitch-black water, wondering what would happen if she stuck her finger inside.
“Well, do you have something else that could be a ‘source of great joy’?” Cosette said, holding the laptop in question in her hands.
Iliana chuckled. “How can a Windows computer be a source of enjoyment?”
Cosette glared at Iliana. “Oh, silence you.”
“I am just saying that we could try putting on dominoes, those never fail to entertain.” Iliana suggested.
“Those are sources of hatred!” Mann cried from the other end of the room.
“That is because you always lose, man.” Joel punched his shoulder. “You know you have to count.”
Mann shrugged. “No game should have counting in it.”
Cosette ignored the banter and carefully placed the computer on the circular basin. It was small enough for the computed to cover it and more, and luckily the water didn’t touch the bottom part. To make sure nothing happened, Cosette placed an empty beer can on top of the computer to collect the water dropping from the rock ceiling.
Porfirio stepped closer to the basin. He eyed the ceiling as a drop fell into the empty can, filling the room with a clunk sound. “Alright, we got that down.” He looked at Cosette. “Now, what shall we do? Lock ourselves in the cells?”
Cosette crouched and pulled out her flashlight. She read from the Guidebook’s transcript on the floor and gave Porfirio a nod. “Here it says that one person has to chant from here and the others from the cells.”
Porfirio frowned at that. “I believe that is a very silly sort of ritual. Why would acolytes lock themselves in? Maybe a sacrifice, but a devout?”
“Maybe we are the sacrifices, man.” Mann joked.
Rachel made a squeak sound. “John, I hope you’re just joking!”
Mann gave a light laugh before walking into one of the cells and closing the door. “Okay, who’s going to be my neighbour?”
Soon enough the cells were filled. Everyone chatted on amiably, giggling and laughing and just enjoying each other. The situation was so silly that they couldn’t help but enjoy it, feel happy. Even Frederic, who was reluctant to participate, seemed to relax after Cosette placed the computer on the basin.
Cosette placed a page with the required incantations next to the filling can and then smiled at everyone. “Are you all ready?”
“We only have to sing a happy song, right?” Joel interjected from his side. “Any song?”
“That is what the transcript says.” Cosette gave him a smile.
“Okay, I’ll sing about a mermaid, then.”
Cosette took a deep breath, feeling ecstatic. It had been several days since the voice had last spoken to her, convinced her to free it, but she could feel its presence. Its wonderful presence. In a matter of days it had gone from fearful to enjoyable to blissful. Now Cosette felt happy all the time.
“Now we begin.”
The room filled with merry singing; childhood tunes and nursery rhymes, songs of enjoying oneself or finding a legendary treasure. From the cells they sang, each word they spoke feeling merrier than the one before. With every note of the song they sung their smiles grew wider and more profound.
Cosette stood behind her computer, smiling broadly, her eyes glazed, and a chanting on her lips. She read on from the book, each word breaking the bondage between worlds.
Chant and free me. Chant and bring forth joy into the world.
“Bliss and joy, bliss and joy, forth comes from the abyss of creation. Concept of enjoying and fun, come forth from the beyond.” Cosette’s voice was a giggle and a laugh. She chanted on, oblivious to her own actions.
It had been her decision to free Arathmica, to be rid of its voice, but at some point the line between her voice and its voice blurred. She no longer cared about ridding herself of it—she wanted everyone to experience it! Cosette droned on, speaking words not written in the book. Arathmica spoke through her, making that room the most enjoyable place in existence. Just being close to that temple would make anyone forget their worries and grin like a madman.
The persons in the cells began to fill it, their lips curled into smiles, their hearts began to beat faster, their songs grew happier. Some were confused, scared even of their bodies doing as they willed. But soon enough a wave of mind-breaking happiness shushed those thoughts.
Now, bring forth your own joy. Your own pleasure.
“A sigil of enjoyment, a symbol of good times. Here I have the one thing that brings more joy to the world.” Cosette opened the laptop and placed her hands over the keyboard. “Come forth you whose name is unknown, whose very existence is the source of joy.” She hit a key and the computer rumbled; the screensaver disappeared and the computer came back to life. A video was paused; the one video Cosette loved so much.
I didn’t turn it off? Cosette thought and kept droning on. A flash of arousal and of memories of enjoying the video broke, for a second, the contact with Arathmica.
Yes! Your pleasure! Your desire! Your delight! They are perfect. They are what I need!
The chanting grew louder and louder, Cosette’s voice drowned by her companions’. She shook her head as the voice filled it again. You will be my avatar. I will make your desires true!
Somewhere, deep down, Cosette didn’t want to. But her mind was not entirely her own, her feelings scrambled and twisted into a single thought of joy. She tried to fight, to no avail.
And the world turned bright.
Intense light flooded the room, the dripping water glowing like a sun on Earth. No one averted their eyes; they just kept staring and chanting the name of joy itself.
Cosette writhed in place, her body shaking in pleasure. The voice was gone, and her own couldn’t stop chanting her hidden fantasies. Conflictive ideas reeled in her mind: No, I don’t want to. No! Yes! I need it. I’ve always wanted- No! One thought over the other, her mind in shambles.
Water dribbled over the computer. One, two, three drops and the computer turned nova. Cosette stared at it, a hesitant hand falling on the screen.
And then the light filled her.
Grigori raced towards the temple. The screaming and chanting and the not quite human sounds making the hairs on his back stand. He took the stairs three at a time and stopped dead at the entrance to the inner sanctum. His mouth twisted in disgust, his breathing faster and faster like a locomotive engine.
I told them not to meddle with it, he heard himself think. He wanted to avert his eyes, but he had to see what was happening.
Cosette was floating over the basin, or something that had Cosette’s silhouette. She was shining with such a bright light that Grigori had to cover his eyes. Floating next to her was her computer, hovering around and around, shivering as if a powerful bass voice was speaking into it. The computer touched Cosette and it dematerialized, turning into nothing.
Grigori heard moans and giggles, sounds that made the situation creepier than any corpse would. He looked at the cells, seeing his companions, all of them, writhing in the floor, their hands travelling up and down their bodies.
“What the bloody fuck is going on?” He whispered, so silently that he didn’t even hear it over the whooshing sound coming from the room ahead.
Cosette’s luminescent figure slowly grew darker and her eyes opened. At the same time the water on the basin started to bubble, and at the same time Grigori saw that the people in the cells started to rise, slowly. They began to say something, some word Grigori couldn’t hear or understand.
Cosette slowly hovered to the ground, naked as her birthday. Her eyes were glowing a mix of orange and green and her lips moved in a silent prayer.
In that moment Grigori should’ve run. He wanted to run away, to get out and avoid whatever madness the cunt had brought upon mortal realm. But he just couldn’t. Something in the room, some presence or energy he couldn’t quite comprehend, was making him so curious and... happy to witness what was going on that Grigori found it nigh on impossible just to pry his hand away from the stone frame.
Cosette looked at the chanting people before her, their eyes like fogged coasts, their bodies shivering like an old washing machine. She smiled feeling... blissful. She looked down at her body, noticing that she was naked. “Oh, I’ll have to haigure that.” She giggled at the use of the word.
“Haigure,” The six persons before her said in unison. She noticed their clothes were growing tighter.
Suddenly it hit her, that her head felt empty, lonely even. The voice was gone, but wasn’t that what she wanted? She wanted it gone and to leave her alone but now it just felt as if she was walking in a city devoid of people.
Cosette needed voices in her head.
“Oh, soon enough we will haigure.” Cosette found herself giggling again. It was strange, really, the way she was thinking. It was as if she really wanted that silly fetish of hers to take over. Wasn’t it all a fantasy to her? To turn into a mindlessly happy slut worshipping something that made no sense inside a hive mind? Just a silly, hot, orgasmic fetish.
The thought made her shiver and glow, literally glow. Her body grew bright for a second and then she was clad in a leotard, orange and so shiny it hurt to stare at it.
Cosette felt... complete. She was wearing what she was meant to wear, what she needed to wear—her uniform, her bondage to the rest of the soon-to-be slaves. In a matter of seconds she would never be alone again.
She gave her companions a long stare before she crouched and started to haigure. To dance and forget and be bliss itself. Arathmica’s avatar. The people in front of her soon joined in, their clothes turning into similarly high-cut leotards.
Grigori watched from just outside the room, appalled and utterly enraptured. Why couldn’t he move? Why couldn’t he just run away? Cursed Elder God, he thought, his ears being filled by the constant chanting. He slowly moved his hand over the stone, his fingers crawling into the room. The moment the air inside touched his fingers her felt a sharp pain go up her arm, and his whole being shake.
Cosette turned her head and cooed. “Oh, Grigori! How happy I am that you decided to join us!”
Grigori’s eyes went wide, his heart skipped a beat and his chest contracted. Slowly he met her eyes... they were different, stronger, insane. For the first time since the two met, Grigori felt afraid of Cosette. No, that isn’t the bright girl I met, she’s a monster now. Cosette slowly moved towards Grigori, her every step filling her with joy. How wonderful it was to touch the ground, to feel the air, to breathe! Everything was wonderful. Life was wonderful!
And she needed to share this view with others. She had to show others how wonderful haigure was.
The closer Cosette walked to Grigori, the more paralyzed he felt. Then he felt her fingers on his chest and a surging pleasure grip his gut. He came to in a second, pushed her arm away and groggily made for the stairs. Going up the flight of old stone steps felt like trying to pull out of a tar pit. The atmosphere was light ahead, and heavy bellow; the world blight and imperfect above, blissful and glossy bellow.
Anyone would’ve hesitated and eagerly gone down to join into such a wonderful world. But Grigori was a pessimist.
Quickly he walked out of the temple and stood still for several seconds inside the tent. Without thinking he took his backpack and ran, ran, and ran to wherever he could hide.
Bor felt a sharp pain on his side and woke to the insistent kicking of Grigori’s boot. He rubbed his eyes and realized he had fallen asleep.
“Come on, you cunt. Time for a bite.” Grigori ruffed, helped Bor to his feet, and walked out of the temple.
The two sat down on an improvised table and ate what appeared to be tuna sandwiches. After a while Bor looked up at Grigori and said: “How come you escaped?”
Grigori made a disgusted face and took a deep breath. “I didn’t escape.” He moved his hand and started unbuttoning his shirt.
Bor frowned at Grigori’s action. “But in your account—”
“I wrote that while I was locked down in a basement somewhere in town. I don’t even remember where I was holed up. I was hungry, thirsty and probably delirious.” He slowly pulled his shirt out of his trousers and stood, showing Bor something shiny and sleek growing over his belly.
Bor’s eyes went wide.
Grigori nodded. “Yes. As it turns out, this fucking H thing is as insidious as an alcoholic’s lies. I just heard the word and saw those fuckers doing it,” He pointed a thumb at the temple. “And in two or three days this started growing on me. Luckily, I am such a stubborn old fuck it won’t grow.” He gave a sad smile. It was obvious for Bor to see that Grigori didn’t find his situation so amusing.
He said nothing, deciding it was better to not poke at his friend’s misery. Heh, I like him so much I consider him a friend now. Instead, he said: “Three days? Okay, Grigori, how long since the ha... the H started?”
Grigori took a last bite from his sandwich and a sip of water from a bottle. “Two weeks, I gather. Perhaps longer.”
Bor tapped the make-up table with three fingers and then sighed. “You left out a lot from your notes.”
Grigori raised an eyebrow. “I thought I was pretty specific. Hell, I even got that bloody cunt’s experience with the elder god.”
Bor frowned. “Yeah, I was wondering about how you managed that.”
Grigori gave him a smile. “You should know that this bloody perversion connects people’s minds. A hive mind, I would call it. For the minutes I stood watching the bloody cunts being converted I shared their thoughts.” He tapped his forehead. “You don’t forget that.”
Bor’s eyes grew wide and he threw his arms in the air, clearly not wanting to know more. After a while he stood and started walking back into the temple.
“Where’re you going, you sod?”
“I read something in those books that maybe we could use to destroy the perversion.” He smiled and disappeared into the dark.
Grigori frowned and followed, scepticism in his eyes.
When he got into the cell chamber he saw Bor looking over the Blissful Arathmica and the transcript from the Guidebook. “Interesting to know that this book is actually fact and no story like I thought. It’s more, the person who wrote it wasn’t so insanely absorbed by the elder god and everything else as you would’ve thought.” Bor gave Grigori a pompous smirk.
“Whatever do you mean?” Grigori walked over, looking at the words Bor was tapping. They were written on the frame of one of the last pages, one Grigori himself had never quite understood. “’Breaking the chains of emotions, a simple matter is, for a hammer breaks chains. But forging a hammer of emotion is difficult, and forging a hammer which can break strong chains even more difficult. For breaking joy, one needs only the phobias of the world.’”
Grigori frowned, wondering how he had missed the letters. At first glance they were just drawings on the margins, but on closer look he saw them clear as daylight. How did Bor see them when he had not?
“So, fear to break joy. Sounds bloody simple.” Grigori huffed. “Of course, usually these things are.” He turned to a smiling Bor. “So, how the fuck did you know that was there? This book is unique.”
“Ehm... it is not.” He points to the book. “This tome was written in 1964 by a priest who was a fanatic of Lovecraftian horror while doubling as an occult investigator. There are a lot of copies, mostly owned by fanatics of Lovecraft. Though not as many. I have one at my office, actually.”
“How do you know this?”
“I am a librarian.”
Grigori’s eyes went wide and then he laughed, really laughed. His laugh carried all the worries and stress of the past few days and left him feeling light for the first time in months.
“Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck.” He laughed, holding himself against the wall. “Now, that is bloody amusing.”
Bor had to laugh at that too. “Well, it is pretty coincidental.”
“It fucking is. Now we know how to rid us of the thing... just scare them.”
Bor frowned. “Yeah... scaring, what, a thousand people? Each one individually? I doubt we’ll manage to do that. Or if it even works.”
“Difficult indeed. We should test it. We have six people down there who might just serve.” Grigori pointed to the cells.
Bor stared and then said, “Do you know what they are afraid of?”
And Grigori’s idea came crashing down. “Fuck.”
Bor thought for a second. “What do you know of mass possessions?”
Grigori shrugged. “Some.”
“Go to the source?”
“Go to the source.”
Bor sighed. “Now I have to figure out what that bloody cunt is afraid of, find her, and force the elder god out of her system. Easy.”
“Yeah, by now she has an army. Real easy.” Grigori sighed. “And you’ll have to do it on your own.”
“What? Why!?” Bor suddenly felt very dubious about his own plan.
“I can’t leave this sodding fucks alone there,” He pointed at the cells.
Bor glared. “They don’t need to eat. You said so.”
Grigori nodded. “Yeah, ‘tis true. But still, I won’t leave the fucks that lived with me for two months. Besides, I am already converted. I walk into a town crawling with colourful maggots and in seconds you’ll feel a knife on your back. A big one.”
The two remained silent for a long while, just thinking. Grigori stared pacing around the room, muttering to himself.
After fifteen minutes Bor’s mobile began to ring. How he had service this far down spoke measures for his provider. He looked at the screen and said: “Hmm... Lore.” He made to pick up the call when Grigori lunged from the other side of the room, grabbed the phone, and smashed it against the wall.
Bor was flabbergasted. “Why the fuck you did that?”
“You don’t know if she’s already converted.”
Bor frowned. “Fuck!” The realization hit him like a bag of hammers. “I already sent her a message telling her where I was.”
Grigori looked like he had just seen a flying elephant. “You’ve truly fucked yourself happy, you cunt. You truly have.”