|The Darkness Comes
Author: Richard B. Sampson Jr PM
The sequel to my Eternal Darkness Novelization continues. This chapter, Mantorok steps up his plans, and those who fight the darkness now begin to search for what will defeat Mantorok. However, there are new creatures for them to fight. R&R.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Horror - Chapters: 5 - Words: 33,506 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 09-30-12 - Published: 03-02-10 - id: 5788444
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The following story is based on Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. All characters, that were originally in the game by Silicon Knights and Nintendo are property of those companies. The characters Richard Cale and Yvette Cale are characters from my own stories. All other characters are original.
Chapter 5: A Dark Path Begins
Marlene Jacobs had been relieved when they had found Yvette Cale. Ever since she and James Mulroy heard about the mission, she had been having feelings of dread. These feelings weren't uncommon to her. In fact, she had been trying to shut those feelings out for years, making them another reason for her promiscuous behavior. Since what had happened, she didn't focus on doing that anymore, although, now that she was starting to interact with James more, she saw him differently.
She put those thoughts out of head for a moment, and looked at Yvette, now realizing that the woman's top was gone. James had stepped away, trying to listen for the other person that had been on the mission, Michael Edwards. She could also tell Yvette was upset, so she tried to calm her down. "Mrs. Cale, Yvette, calm down. What happened? Where is Michael? And what happened to your outfit?" In part, she had expected that the British woman would not go without a bra, but she noticed that it didn't look too conservative.
She waited until Yvette calmed down, which was relatively quickly. "Michael and I had found the book in Professor Marsh's office, in the hiding space he described. However, just as we left, a bonethief appeared, in a student's body. It summoned forth a Lesser Guardian. Michael tried to fight it off, while I ran. His orders, mind you."
At that moment, she saw James turn to face Yvette, trying hard to look at Yvette's face, and not her body. For a moment, Marlene thought that was very noble of James, and wondered if James would show that same consideration to her, if they were in a similar situation. He then asked the question she had started wondering, "What happened to him? Did you two get separated?"
At that moment, she saw Yvette look down, as if she was ashamed of what she was about to say. "The Lesser Guardian killed him." She wanted to ask what that was, but Yvette was already supplying an answer. "Lesser guardians are creatures that serve their Ancient. Each have a form that somehow reflects their guardian. This one was a writhing purple mass, with hardly any definite form, except for tentacles."
For a moment, images ran through Marlene's mind. Thanks to some of the things she heard the nerdier people talk about, she was certain she didn't want to be caught by the thing. She looked around the vast room they were in, and then motioned to a far corner. "Well, if that thing is back through the door, we should head through the costume shop here. It is a veritable maze of costumes used in the schools performances, and we might be able to nab some to take with us. I'd suggest you getting one right now, Yvette, or any authority figures we come across will be arresting you on sight."
She watched as Yvette nodded and then looked over the outfits. In a brief moment, the redhead had tried on first a top too small for her, and then one that fit correctly. Just as she got it on, she heard a voice on the other side of the door. "She has to be down here. All these doors are locked, and that hall dead ends. We had some of my brethren possessing officers and all stairwells since we arrived." She glanced at Yvette, and noticed the scared look in the woman's eyes. The voice had to be the person possessed by a bonethief.
In an instant, she motioned and Yvette and James followed her. She was familiar with the costume shop, and knew the room by heart, since she not only helped with the costumes, but had some rendezvous in the room. In mere moments, they were at the other door, with a few costumes in hand. She had opened it quickly, and they were heading through the door when she noticed a purple glow coming from the area they had been in.
She didn't bother to close the door, but quickly ran with James and Yvette. She let James lead the way, since he was able to find the way to the subway station. He had been able to spot the officers, and the only door they had neglected to guard. That had been because they didn't even know about it. The darkness that had now covered the campus was a help. Before, she had not ever worried about the dark, but since the whole incident with the Horror, and this, she was spooked.
The subway station ended up not being a far run, but before they had only gone there because a Horror had struck the car, disabling it. She had been surprised to see that the car had not been towed yet. The third time they passed the wreck, she looked at it again, wondering why it was still there. A loud rumble told her the reason. Something picked up the car, and heaved it aside. She let out a startled scream as James shouted, "Damn. That Horror is still here."
She heard Yvette shout, "Keep running. It has to stop to launch its lightning attack." She nodded, and kept running. She chanced a glance back at the thing, and saw the purple lightning begin to form. She kept one eye on the creature, and one on the others. Seeing the spark hit just a few inches behind her made her thankful that Yvette knew about the thing.
She glanced forward again just as they were entering the subway terminal. She inwardly felt relieved as they neared the hidden tunnel, but was stunned when James and Yvette stopped short. She almost ran into them, but stopped to see two police officers looking right at them, both with guns raised. It was something they didn't need, not so close to their way back to the underground city.
Fear engulf Marlene as the lead officer spoke, and there was no hiss in his voice. "Hold it right there. All three of you are wanted fugitives, and you are coming with me." She slowly raised her hands as the others started to do so. She wanted to protest, but she didn't know how much time they had. She didn't know how fast Horrors moved.
She heard James try to calmly say, "Officers, there has been a terrible mistake. We are not criminals. Some one set us up." It was at this point the lead officer advanced, but she noticed something odd about the other officer. He had not lowered his gun, but that gun wasn't being aimed at them. It seemed to be aimed at the lead officer.
The lead officer was reaching back for a pair of handcuffs as he advanced. "Yeah right. I heard all about that cult stuff you were doing. I'm guessing Mrs. Cale was one of your cult..." The look that crossed his face was of pure terror. He aimed over their heads at something behind them. "What the hell is that?"
At that moment, everything happened. She heard the Horror roar, just as two shots were fired. The first was the officer firing at the Horror, and the second was the second officer. His shot severely wounded the lead officer, and Yvette lead them through the illusionary wall into the tunnel. This was followed by a hissing voice saying "Follow them. We need what they have, and make sure one stays alive." The other officer had been a bonethief. At that moment, she realized that the officer was dead the second they had shown up. Even if he had been able to take them into custody, the bonethief would have killed him. That thought alone gave her the extra speed they needed to make it to the teleportation spot, and hopefully before any attacks reached them.
Edwin Lindsey kept his hand on the controls on the teleportation device. It was the only way the portals would remain open, and it left him a little nervous. No one had known that the two new people, James and Marlene, had insisted on using the portal. All they had told him was that it was to help his daughter and Michael. This, of course, made him want to do this, but the fact that he had to keep it open, for hours now, worried him. It was still possible for something else to travel through one of the open portals, and if he was forced to close them. He shuddered after wondering about that.
It was during that moment that he heard footsteps. For a moment, the worst possible scenarios played through his mind. Some sort of minion of Mantorok, or possibly the woman they all knew had to be one of his followers, Lucinda Tepes, had found a way through the portal. It wasn't until he looked up, and saw Richard Cale entering the place did he relax a bit. He didn't totally relax, since he could tell Richard was puzzled by what was going on. "Edwin, what are you doing here?" He could hear the concern in his son-in-law's voice, and noticed that Richard had moved his hand to his sword, which he always carried anymore.
He took a deep breath, and knew this would be tough to explain. However, he was certain the reasons would calm his son-in-law down. "The two new arrivals, James and Marlene, had asked for me to open the portals. Both seemed to think that they needed to go help Yvette and Michael."
He watched Richard blink in surprise. "I knew James was keen on helping, but why Marlene. When she arrived, she wasn't really in attire for doing any sort of fighting." He knew what Richard was referring to. She had looked, to use an old term, like she was going to entertain a gentleman caller.
Edwin shrugged, making sure he kept his hand on the device. "Well, if they could really help keep Yvette safe, don't you think it was wise to let them go through?" He got a look from his son-in-law that made him regret what he said. "Sorry, I know she's with Michael, and that they aren't ready for what ever they might run into. I just had a bad feeling that if they didn't go, we might not see any of them again."
He was startled by the next words that were said, since it was from someone he didn't expect to hear. "Who might we not see again?" He then saw Alexandra Roivas, entering the place with Bishop Phillipe. He had obviously been talking with the new arrival, and saw her give him a slight frown. He could not believe how worn the young woman looked, and the recent turn of events didn't help. "Dr. Lindsey, what is going on?"
Before he could even answer, the portal came to life, and Yvette, James and Marlene came running through. As the first two fell to their knees, obviously exhausted from running, Marlene just said between gasps for breath, "Turn it off, there are some creatures behind us." He did so quickly, removing his hand from the controls. In the briefest of moments, he saw a blade coming through. It was cut off as the portal closed, and they all heard the unmistakable hiss of a bonethief.
As the hiss faded away, he saw Richard helping Yvette up, trying to comfort her. He noticed that Alexandra was helping James up, and Bishop Phillipe was helping Marlene up. The costumes that they had brought with them remained strewn on the floor. It wasn't until Bishop Phillipe spoke that the question on all their minds was asked. "What happened, child?" He had to give credit to the priest, whose tone was calming, and let people relax a bit.
It took a moment, but Marlene answered the question. "James and I convinced Dr. Lindsey to let us go through the portal to try and help. We had managed to make it to the campus, and sneak into the Drama departments costume shop. It wasn't far from Professor Marsh's office. We had just gotten to the door that was closest to the office, when we discovered Yvette standing there."
It was Yvette who continued the tale, clinging to her husband, and Dr. Lindsey gasped as she told the tale. "Michael and I had found the book, but we had gotten ambushed. A bonethief had possessed one of the girls there, and they brought this hideous tentacled mass with them. It was one of Mantorok's lesser guardians. Michael had told me to run, and the creature killed him."
He noticed Alexandra stagger at that news. He wondered, for a moment, if it had been because she was supporting James, or if it was linked to Michael. Maybe she had started developing feelings for the older man. He didn't wonder about it much as James continued the tale. "We quickly made our way back to the station, but we almost were caught between two police, and the Horror that chased us earlier. What was worse was that one of the officers was a bonethief."
All the news was too much, and he could see it on the faces of the others. The fact that things had started to escalate like this could not bode well for the human race. They needed some hope, something to tip things in their favor. In fact, it was something that could offer that very hope that Michael and Yvette had gone for. He knew that his daughter had said they had found the book. Deep down, he hoped they had not lost it in the race to get away from their pursuers. In light of what happened, he didn't want to ask.
After everyone was silent for a moment, he saw Bishop Phillipe lower his head, and start to pray. He watched as everyone did the same, even though they were probably not of the same religious following. Each one of them was paying respect to their fallen friend. After a few moments, he watched as his daughter got up, and walked over to him, She handed him the very book they had to get. "He told me to go, since he knew how important this was. I just wish he hadn't died so violently."
He watch as both Alexandra and Richard walked over to her, and held her for a moment. He even did the same, since they were all linked by the events half a year ago. They were all ones who fought the first wave of the darkness that threatened to take over the world. Now, the second wave had started to come in force. He disengaged from the hug, noticing Alexandra had done so as well, and watch his daughter and son-in-law leave the room. He looked down at the book, and knew he needed to decipher the text inside.
He looked up as Alexandra said to everyone, "It would be best if we all retired for the night. A lot has happened, and we need to rest. Something tells me tomorrow is going to bring more things, and I'm certain they won't be good." He watched as they all headed out to the living quarters, and followed. He looked down at the book again, and he knew he would not fall asleep that night. The book would keep his mind awake for hours.
Lucinda Tepes was kneeling in the small shrine to Mantorok that was in her home. Her spacious mansion was in an isolated area, since she valued her privacy. It was also at a point where Mantorok could be directly connected, even thought it was thousands of miles from his core. It was where she could commune with him, and now she was thinking about their plan.
Her master had known that something dangerous existed in the world. It was a relic of the only other Ancient left, the one known only as The Goddess. Her relic could kill him, just as he had orchestrated the death of the lesser Ancients with their own relics. Since no one knew exactly where that relic was, the only thing they could do was destroy all clues of where to find it, and all who could use it.
For a moment, while she focused on the plan to stop them, she almost didn't her Roberta Ossein enter. She didn't have to turn to know who it was, since only the bonethief was allowed in the shrine. Once the footsteps stopped, she opened her eyes, and spoke to her visitor. "Well." It was all she had to say, since she knew a report on tonight's plan was forthcoming.
She relaxed when a slight hiss came from the girl as she spoke. "I had arrived at the Professor's office to search for the book, but Michael Edwards and Yvette Cale were coming out. They had been dressed as security people." While the bonethief could not see her face, Lucinda had raised her one eyebrow. She had not expected the Canadian firefighter to be in the area.
She turned her head to look at Roberta. While the one name was not expected, the fact that they were coming out of the office was not good to hear. "Did they find the book?" The book was the first clue to locating the item that would defeat her master.
She remained calm when the Bonethief continued. "They had, and I had the Lesser Guardian attack. Yvette ran, while Michael defended. The Guardian quickly ripped him to shreds. It then grabbed for her, but all it got was her top."
For a moment, Lucinda recalled the imagery that Mantorok had installed in many minds of what his Lesser Guardians would do. No doubt that when the Guardian had caught her, it took care of her in the same way. "I take it that it grabbed her again after that, and you have the book."
Her blood froze when Roberta continued. "She had escaped. She must have stumbled upon some of the others you had been told to take care of." She had not thought that they had joined up with them. Last she knew, the Horror was still hunting them, since the bonethieves had not reported their capture. Then the news got worse. "The Horror had spotted them, but they had been cornered in the subway they were in earlier. It had been a normal police officer partnered with another of my kin. The police man had to be neutralized, since it had seen the Horror, and they escaped."
In that moment, she saw the human face Roberta had go pale in fright. After a few moments, she knew why, as a voice echoed through the room. "This is not good. Those individuals should have been killed, and that book destroyed. If the Goddess is involved, then plans must be escalated again."
Lucinda turned to face the pit that was part of the shrine, and saw one of Mantorok's massive tentacles, like a huge purple serpent, over her. For a moment, she felt like it would gobble her up, for failing him. She spread her arms, in a pleading way, and addressed her master. "Lord Mantorok, if they have the book, is there anyway we can anticipate where they will need to go. I am certain their base is under the Roivas Estate. I had heard that the one we killed was..."
Her lord cut her off, but not terminally. "Yes, I know. No doubt they had been working to increase The Goddess's barrier. Until we can find a way past it, they are safe. The only way we can strike them is when they venture out. It seems now is the time to call forth my Gatekeepers."
Both she and Roberta gasped. Gatekeepers were one of the most powerful creatures aligned to any Ancient. They were the only creatures that could summon and control other creatures, and the cost of using their magic was a bodily strike. Some even liked to have zombies around, killing one to conjure another being. They also had a history of striking at the loyal followers of Mantorok, even if they were not supposed to strike them to power their magic. She looked at her lord, and said, "Lord Mantorok, where are you going to be releasing them?"
For a moment, the tentacle wavered, which she was sure meant Mantorok was thinking. "In the catacombs of Oublie Cathedral, in the Forbidden City, and in some abandoned buildings world wide. I shall also have the Bonethieves hold an immediate conclave. They are in control of the largest church in the world." Lucinda smiled as she realized that the age of Mantorok was now beginning. At this rate, even though things weren't fully ready, the forces against Mantorok would fall. She then wondered what they would think of this move.
Alexandra Roivas woke up as the news began. It was something she had conditioned herself for. She pulled the portable radio closer to her bed, figuring the first thing she would hear would be about last night. What she did hear was a bigger surprise. "In an almost amazing turn of events, due to death of the Pope in Amiens, France, the Catholic Church had an immediate Conclave. This unprecedented event led to the election of a new Pope."
That news caught Alexandra off guard. She wasn't Catholic, but she knew enough about their church to know that Conclave would happen fifteen days after the passing of the pope. The fact that it happened immediately reminded her of something the Goddess had stated last night. She sat up, saying to herself, "Mantorok has full control in the Catholic Church." She knew the concept would be unthinkable, not only to the loyal followers of Catholicism, but to the world in general. However, with things happening this way, it could mean no other thing.
She snapped out of those thoughts when she then heard another bit of news. "In related news, the number of Satanic Cult attacks have increased. Various killing have happened, not only in Amiens, but in every country in the world. It is believed Bishop Phillipe, the Bishop in charge of the restoration of Oublie Cathedral, is leading the cult activities in Amiens. It is also believed that he is contacting other cult leaders worldwide."
Alexandra gasped when the newscaster said his next piece, even though she expected the news. "It is believed one of those cult leaders is the recently exposed leader Professor Percival Marsh. He is believed to had launched an attack on some police officers who had been pursuing his followers, and searching his office. One officer who had barely escaped the crazed cultists had stated that they had just brutalized a body to beyond recognition. The only evidence at the scene was a brutalized corpse, and the top of a security uniform."
Alexandra had turned off the station at that time. She couldn't stand to hear anymore lies. All through the newscast, she hadn't heard it, not until the end. The telltale hiss of the bonethief. She had been so shocked by the news, she had forgotten to notice the discomforting sound. Now, she had to find the station that was telling the real news. Five months ago, she had stumbled upon the show. Before her grandfather's death, she would have thought it nothing more than conspiracy nutcases. Now, she realized that they were more tuned into the truth.
After a few moment turning the dial, she found the show she was looking for. The program had been a lone person, who seemed to come up with crazy conspiracy theories. However, since the events of the past months, she found the man to be remarkably accurate. "For the past few months, I've been telling you that something is not right in the world. We just received more proof of that today, folks. How in the world would all those priests know to be ready for a Conclave. I have little doubt that they were planning to pick a new pope for some reason. Maybe the one that died was not in on some big conspiracy. It also makes one wonder if the Bishop accused of murdering the pope really did kill him."
Alexandra gasped at the implications that theory implied. If it was true, which she was certain of, it truly meant that Mantorok had control of one of the worlds oldest religions. She shuddered, realizing that it meant that Mantorok's minions could attack unsuspecting people. Bonethieves could possess millions of people. Then she recalled that the Goddess had said that Mantorok had infiltrated most of the religions in the world, and struck down most of the pure ones.
Her mind was going down that path so far, she almost missed the next item. "Also, there has been reports of mass hallucinations in several cities in the world. Well mass hallucinations can't explain the videos coming in. I, and several of my colleagues, have received videos of strange creatures. Some have claimed that the videos are hoaxes, but given that these videos are from security cameras, home video camera, and stuff which cannot be hoaxed, not in this short a time. Police are saying that what is going on is cult activity, but given all the strange things happening now, I highly doubt it."
She turned off the radio, and shuddered. The truth about all the claims, and this dire news, was obvious. Mantorok had escalated his plans. She had already heard about the Horror, and the Lesser Guardian. What else could there be? She started getting dressed, and then paused. There was another creature, which she remembered reading about in the Tome. Gatekeepers.
She finished getting dressed in a hurry. It didn't take too long, since coming down the Ehn'gha, she stuck with the black tank top, and black pants. Once she was dressed, she headed out of her residence, knowing they needed to call a meeting. Everyone down in the city had to be made aware of the situation. Many had left loved ones behind when they came down to the underground city.
She was moving so fast, she almost ran into the two people coming to see her. She paused, realizing it was both Professor Marsh, and Dr. Lindsey. Both of them had a smile on their faces, which told her that they had not heard the same news she had. She took a deep breath, hoping to calm herself down, and hoped she was interpreting their smiles correctly. "Do you two have good news?"
It was Professor Marsh who answered her question. "Indeed, Ms. Roivas." For a moment, she wanted to remark that this wasn't a classroom, but the tone in his voice just seemed to relax her. "I had woken a few short hours ago, and Dr. Lindsey had told me the book had been recovered. We have been looking over it, and we have a feeling of where the path begins."
That news did make her smile. She then motioned for the two to follow her. "That is great news. In fact, you can tell us all at the meeting. There is a great deal to talk about today." She then lead the way to the meeting center, making sure to relay to all in the area that an important meeting was about to happen. In fact, she was sure the good news would off set the disturbing news she had already heard, which would be good for the morale of all.
Amber Snow had been surprised by the news of a meeting. It was true that she was still meeting people in the underground city, but they all seemed pleasant, regardless of their faith. None had ever said anything about a formal group meeting, and she first thought that was going to happen at this meeting. That thought got put aside when she saw the full number of people that had made it to the city.
She joined one of the people she had met already, and sat down just as Alexandra Roivas and both the Cale's walked in. They were in the center of the structure, which she now thought looked similar to the Roman Coliseum, but not as huge. Alexandra raised her hands, and Amber noticed the hush that came over the room. It added to the growing thought she had that Alexandra was the leader, even though she was younger than the Cale's. "Everyone, I have both good and bad news. I must warn you, the bad news is dire."
Amber heard a slight murmur start amongst the people, and then Alexandra spoke, obviously trying to stay calm. "First off, during a mission last evening, Michael Edwards was killed by one of Mantorok's creatures." She heard everyone gasp in shock, and she could tell they had all known the man of African descent. "We all know how brave he was, and how kind, and this was a tragedy. However, it was also a sign of greater tragedies."
Silence filled the room again, and she wondered what could be worse. It was Richard who spoke next, and his tone was grave. "Some people have reported seeing other creatures belonging to Mantorok out there. One reporter, who seems to be able to see through the veil, mentioned it. Since we've had eyewitness accounts of Horrors, Bonethieves, and Lesser Guardians, we feel that these are Gatekeepers. Very few of us have ever dealt with Gatekeepers, but they are dangerous. We do not know if they can get into Ehn'gha, or not. It is our hope that they cannot. We can only hope that any others who are like us here, are staying safe."
All of sudden, Amber's thoughts went to her parents. Would those creatures target her parents? She knew they didn't approve of her beliefs, and they had not talked in years. She did hope that they didn't believe the news that claimed she attacked Lucinda, even though she wanted to now.
She stopped thinking about that kind of thing when Yvette spoke. It was surprising that woman spoke so calmly, especially after what they had all learned. "There is some hope. The item that Michael died in the process of retrieving, has been deciphered, and will lead us on the path to finding the thing that will end Mantorok. Hopefully, we will be able to claim the item before the death and destruction becomes too much." Amber felt better when she heard those words, and she could tell everyone felt hopeful at those words.
It was then apparent that the meeting was over. Everyone started to rise, and leave the meeting area, but she stopped. She was looking at the group, and saw Yvette beckoning her over. She also noticed that Richard was also beckoning someone over, and she saw it was Bishop Phillipe. There was some purpose that they were being motioned for, and she figured it was best to find out why.
Once they were with Alexandra, Richard, and Yvette, Alexandra spoke softly. "Dr. Lindsey, and Prof. Marsh both figured out the clue. According to it, the item requires someone of a pure religion, which we all believe means you, Amber."
Amber was stunned by that revelation. She wasn't stunned by the fact that her religion was pure, since they had told her that much when she arrived. The fact that this was found out after she had arrived was what stunned her. She also realized that this meant that she would be one of the fighters against the creatures they were now hearing about. She tried to speak calmly, but she heard a bit of fear in her own voice. "Does this mean I'll be fighting those creatures?"
She was somewhat comforted when Richard Cale put a hand on her shoulder. "Yes, it does. It will not be easy, and I know that for a fact. We all do." That last statement was accompanied by a sweeping gesture. "However, all clues point to a location two of us here might be familiar with." She noticed now that Richard was glancing at Bishop Phillipe.
She noticed he seemed a bit confused by this, and then his eyes went wide with realization. "You mean we need to go back to Amiens?" When Richard nodded, she heard the religious man sputter out the obvious question. "Why?"
It was Alexandra who answered the question. "It seems the item we seek is located in the underground part of Oublie Cathedral. Richard is familiar with some of that area, but if you noticed anything odd, it would be helpful." At that moment, without a word being said, Amber realized that the Bishop didn't know of anything odd. For a moment, she felt like disaster was looming for all of them again.
Yvette Cale felt disheartened when Bishop Phillipe finally spoke. "I don't know of anything odd, except the area I ran through to get to that portal. It had been the first time I had even been down in those depths. For years after World War I, a good portion of Oublie Cathedral had been shut off." It was a distressing statement, and everyone looked crestfallen.
Everyone, but her husband, that is. She noticed a thoughtful look on his face. He was thinking about something. After a few moments, he finally spoke. "There is one being I think can answer the question. Follow me." She watched as he headed out the meeting area, and followed.
Their little group moved through Ehn'gha, passing some others who had made their way down to the city. As she passed them, she could see concern on all their faces, for the friends and loved ones they had left behind. It was natural, now that Mantorok's equivalent of Lesser Guardians and Gatekeepers were roaming about. At least no one was trying to run up to save them. She was certain that very few people would be able to handle it.
She then saw two people who might be able to handle it walking over to join them. Marlene and Jacob had come to her aid last night, and didn't seem too shook up over seeing the creatures. That made them special in her mind. While they hadn't been called over after the meeting, they seemed to join the group like they had always been part of it. She was almost expecting the questions that came out of James's mouth. "What's going on, and where are we going?"
Yvette wasn't sure, until she saw the building they were approaching. It was the first building of Ehn'gha that she, her husband, and Alexandra had entered. "That's the array building." She looked at her husband, and said, "What are you up to?"
As they entered the building, her husband answered. "Remember when we found that new rune a few months ago." She nodded, and noticed that Alexandra shuddered a bit. The incident had involved the two of them, exploring what at that time had been under Mantorok's influence. A zombie had caught them off guard, and while it had not wounded them, it had left some of their clothes in shreds. Alexandra had not liked ducking in shadows, and Yvette hadn't been too thrilled about it either.
She stopped thinking back to that as her husband continued speaking. "I found the codex that same day. It was a rune for 'Spirit'. When paired with the Summon Rune, we can call forth someone who had passed. A bit like a séance, except this is guaranteed to succeed."
It was at that moment that Phillipe spoke up. "I don't think you should try this, child. Séances have been known to open the gates for demons to invade. You can not be certain that this will work." If she had not been already acquainted with the Goddess, and the spells they had used in the past, she would have had the same concerns.
She looked at her husband, noticing that they had entered the array room. He was already setting up the runes, a slight benefit that since the events a few months ago, they didn't have to go up to the towers. She then asked the question she was sure was on some of their minds. "Are you going to summon the spirit of Paul Luther?" She noticed that Phillipe's eyes went wide at that moment, certain he recognized the name of the Franciscan monk who was killed in Oublie Cathedral.
As Richard set the next to last rune, she heard him respond. "No. We are going to summon a spirit who would know the area better. One who would have been aware of an area that might house the item we are seeking for." For a few moments, she thought about what he said. There were very few people they had known that had been in Oublie Cathedral. One was Marlene's great-grandfather, but he only had a passing knowledge of the place. It was possible that the Custodian of Paul Luther's time could know, but they didn't know his name. It could have been the page from Charlemagne's time, but she was certain he wouldn't know. Then, she recalled who was the only person who might know.
At that moment, her husband had cast the spell using the array. She felt her apprehension rise, especially as the form appeared in the center of the array structure. Unlike past spirits she had seen, this one was not a light blue color. It was yellow in color. She then noticed that the being was dressed as a Roman Centurion. He also had his helmet off, and she noticed that the face was not she had expected. The last time she saw the figure, his face was skull like. Now she saw the bearded face of a seasoned warrior. This was Pious Augustus, before he had ever touched the cursed artifacts.
Everyone gasped at the sight, the loudest coming from Alexandra. Yvette was impressed when her husband had not gasped, but it had been him who summoned the spirit. After a moment, the figure knelt and said to Alexandra, "Greetings and thanks, Alexandra Roivas. I know the last time we met, you freed me from the darkness I had been serving. I hope I can repay that service now." Even though the figure was dead, she sensed no malice in his voice, and wondered if he was truly reformed from his dark path.
It was Alexandra who finally broke the silence, and, again, Yvette was impressed when her friend nodded. "You had been a great fighter and warrior, Pious Augustus. We took your dying words as a warning, and now we have need of information from you." She had to give Alexandra credit for saying those words, since the last time they met, Pious and Alexandra were in a battle to the death.
She watched then as the spirit lowered his head, almost as if what he was going to say was going to be poorly received. "I fear the information you seek, I can not fully give you. I can only give you an area I believe it is in." At that moment, she almost lost hope in the matter, but then she realized that what the spirit of Pious Augustus was saying was he knew where it might be.
James Mulroy had caught what the spirit had said, but he felt it lacked information. How could this spirit know, but not know, where the item they were looking for was located. He also noticed that most people seemed dumb struck, but he stepped forward and said what was on his mind. "What is that supposed to mean? You know where the item might be, but never saw it?"
He saw the spirit turn to look at him, and for a moment he felt like the spirit was probing him. When it passed, the spirit nodded, and said, "Yes. During the time where my soul had been corrupted by those other Ancients, I had been tasked with controlling Oublie Cathedral, which had been built on one of their altar sites. Right behind a small altar, there was a pathway to an area that belonged to Mantorok. The Ancient that was controlling me said that once we had rid the world of their foe, and Mantorok had been bound, we could safely venture into the area to fetch the item that would destroy the Ancient."
He then heard Richard Cale speak. "So the path is hidden behind that old altar, the one Anthony had fought the possessed Bishop at." He noticed Phillipe had flinched at those words, but the spirit nodded. "I remember how to get there. Luckily we won't have to go through the main part of the cathedral." He wondered what that meant, and then recalled the news about the swift conclave. The Catholic Church was no longer a place to be trusted.
The spirit nodded. "Yes, but I doubt it will be easy. I had attempted to venture into that area once. Just at the beginning of the corridor down, I noticed a purple mist on the floor. You know what that means." James didn't know what it meant, but Richard, Yvette and Alexandra all shuddered. He recalled more of the news they had heard earlier, and wondered if it meant some foul creature was about.
After a moment of silence, he stepped forward, and looked at the spirit. Again he had the sense that the spirit was probing him. Finally, he said to the spirit, "Do you have any other information, spirit, that can help us?" For some reason, he thought the spirit knew something else.
He noticed the spirit was starting to disappear, but it answered the question. "There are already people here who know how to handle a Gatekeeper. However, a man with your ancestry should have no problem with them." He was dumbstruck by that statement, and noticed the others looking at him. The statement also made him wonder more about how he got pulled into the events that were happening.
After the spirit disappeared, he noticed that Richard was stepping forward. The man had a grim look on his face, but he seemed resigned to what had to be done. "We knew about the Gatekeepers. They have already been let loose on the world. It is also tricky to fight them, because they are only vulnerable when they are preparing to attack." He then heard Richard sigh. "This is not going to be easy. I won't ask for any other volen..."
Before the man could finish, James stepped up, and said, "I'll go. That spirit seems to think I can handle it." He felt a bit embarrassed when everyone started to look at him, but as the moment dragged on, that embarrassment started to disappear. No one was protesting. In fact, he was certain his offer was accepted.
Finally, the silence was broken. It had been Richard who spoke. "Fair enough. That will make it you, myself, Amber, since everything is pointing for her to be with us, and Bishop Phillipe." He was stunned by that bit, as was the Bishop, but Richard explained. "I want you with us in the odd case that there may be something you might remember. You had been renovating Oublie Cathedral, so maybe a floor plan or something may come back to you." He saw the Bishop nod.
After that, everyone was dismissed, and told to prepare. He wasn't sure what he would do to prepare, but Richard had offered to give him some pointers on swordplay. That thought was on his mind when Marlene Jacobs came over to him. "Hey, do you have a moment?"
He paused, and noticed that they were alone in one of Ehn'gha's streets. Something in her voice had told him it was important that they talk. "I have a few. I do need to get some things ready, but what is it?"
James noticed that Marlene seemed a bit nervous. "Well, I never properly thanked you for rescuing me from that Horror, and when we rescued Yvette, you had kept your cool. It was like none of this was bothering you."
He let out a small laugh. "I wish that had been the case. I was freaking out on the inside. I'm still freaking out a bit. It just got harder to do so when that spirit spoke. He thinks I can handle this, but I don't know why, nor why I haven't really freaked out yet." He sighed, and felt his shoulders sag.
He felt her put a hand on his shoulder, and heard her speak. "Years ago, my great-grandfather spoke of these things. He was convinced they were real, and I let it affect me. I was outgoing to the point of outrage. My parents were afraid I would get knocked up, as they said. Now that all this is happening, maybe it has slapped some sense into me." She sighed, and then said, "And maybe with all of this, I can finally see guys for who they really are."
The last words, James noticed, had been accompanied by a shy smile on Marlene's face. It wasn't the kind of look he had believed she could give. What made it more unbelievable was that he felt some feeling in him stir as well. Before all that had happened, he would not have even though she would look his way at all. Now, she seemed to be seeing him as the right guy for her, and he was seeing a nicer side of her, and he liked it.
After what seemed like an eternity, he looked at Marlene and said, "Well, I won't disappoint you then. I'll be sure to come back from this mission." He saw a faint smile on her lips, and James wondered if there was any link to the background his family had. He decided not to dwell on that idea, at least not until after the mission was over.
Amber Snow had been the first to arrive in the teleportation area. She didn't need a lot of prep time, since she was already familiar with how to handle a gun. They had been told that of the four, two had to be comfortable with fire arms. This was because of the creature they were calling a Gatekeeper. They had all been given a basic description of the creature, but that had been with the fact that it was what they expected. That didn't fill her with much comfort.
She then took a few moments to look around the room. Her first time in the room, she didn't take notice of the features. Now she could tell that there was, for lack of better terms, a kind of console that operated it. There were also four archways in the room, but only two looked like they were active recently. Also, in the center of the room, there was a globe like structure. That had to be where they could see where they were going to be going.
She stopped looking around when she heard another person enter the room. It was James, the young man who had volunteered. He was carrying a sword, and a few guns. She noticed that each one was glowing with a yellow light. When he neared her, she noticed a slightly stunned look on his face, as if all that was happening was too much for him. She quickly ran up to him, and took the guns out of his hand, noticing they were military issue. She wondered if that was the reason he seemed shocked, but it didn't change when he said, "Thanks. Richard was just prepping me for this. He even taught me how to put the magical charge on them."
She glanced at the glowing weapons again, and then nodded. "Must be so we can eliminate the Gatekeepers easier." She then looked at James, and a slight concern for the college boy surfaced. He had to be around twenty, and he was being thrust into a real life horror movie. "I hope this situation isn't too much for you."
She was surprised when he shook his head. "It's not. I'm actually taking this in a lot easier than what Marlene said to me." Amber remembered the girl, which was easy considering that the girl had been dressed for, in lack of a more polite way of saying it, 'entertaining'. She had the feeling that if the girl had said something surprising, it might have been something involving genuine feelings.
She was about to ask about that when three more figures entered. It had been Richard Cale, Bishop Phillipe, and Alexandra Roivas. The Bishop looked a bit nervous, which was a drastic contrast to the no nonsense looks on the others' faces. It was also then she noticed that Richard and Alexandra had to be only slightly older than James, and Richard actually seemed closer to her age. Their faces, however, looked like they had seen a lot already. A fact that was proven when Richard Cale looked at them all and said, "Alright. I've given James a bit of the basics for fighting a Gatekeeper, but I'll repeat it again, for all to hear. First off, they are easy to recognize. They look a bit like the Grim Reaper. However, when they open their cloak, you see that it is just wings, and what looks like a scythe is really their tail."
She timidly raised her hand, and asked. "Are they easy to kill as well?" It was a good honest question, since the only one of them that would have any experience in that was Richard.
She was a bit crestfallen when he shook his head. "No, they aren't, unless you work in a pair. You see, Gatekeepers are only vulnerable when they are preparing to strike, which is when their wings are open. When that happens, they will strike a victim with their tail, and then channel a magic spell using that energy. One fool proof method for fighting them is to block the strike with a sword, and another person opens fire with a gun. It's that reason why I want you, Amber, and you, Philippe, to take a gun. James and I will handle the swordplay."
She had to admit that the idea made sense. She knew how to handle a gun, and hoped the Bishop did as well. She wanted to ask, but Phillipe had already raised his hand. "Child, what should we do if we run into any people? Surely we have to help them escape." She had to commend the Bishop for thinking about them. If someone had survived the attack on Amiens, they needed to be rescued.
Sadly, she noticed that Richard was shaking his head. "No. We aren't leaving the portal open. Besides, since we are sticking to the catacombs, the only people I think we'll encounter are ones possessed by a Bonethief. Our best hope is to get in, and get out." She saw him motion to Alexandra, who had walked over to the console. "Now, once Alexandra opens the portal, we'll all run through. Make sure your weapons are ready. I'm not anticipating an encounter right away, but it is better to be ready."
As Richard stopped speaking, she saw Alexandra activate the device, and instantly, two doors in the air appeared. Without hesitation, they all ran through the one to Oublie, and instantly, they were in France. In fact, they were in what appeared to be an ornate hall, that was empty, except for a huge gaping hole. It seemed safe, and she was about to say something when Richard raised his hand. She wanted to protest, but then she noticed what he had seen. A purple mist carpeted the floor, but as she looked around the room, it was empty. She then wondered if the Gatekeepers were masters of invisibility, and if that was the case, they needed to adjust to this problem, quickly, before it was too late.
I know it has been a while since I got the last chapter up and posted. I appologize for the delay. Life has kept me busy the past few monthes, and added to it, the past few weeks had seven projects being worked on, which included this chapter. I shall try to get these typed up faster in future, but I hope you all enjoy this chapter.