Epilogue: Revelations in Green and Black

"There have been no miracles," Dr. Philip Howard told them. "We've been able to use your device to actually enter patients' minds and lead them out of their delusions. It's a remarkable invention. But it can't help her."

"Why not?" For three years Drakken had hoped, prayed for a miracle – and when it came, it was no more than dust and ashes. She had awakened from the coma insane with fear, incoherent. This was the first time he had seen her for two months. In that time, her once-black hair had turned snow white. "I used it during the – invasion - or whatever it was. In fact, I used the prototype; there've been a lot of improvements on the original."

"The wounds are too deep."

"I'm not sure you're trying."

"Dr. Lipsky, I understand how you feel. But we have done everything we could to help your wife." The sympathy in Dr. Howard's voice was unfeigned. "The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of our minds to correlate everything we know. There are many things we're better off never knowing."

He looked away. "What's she writing?"

"Apparently something to do with the invasion. We found that her writing keeps the fear at bay, without drugs or other intrusive treatment. As long as she can write things down, she's reasonably lucid. My hope is that seeing the three of you will, perhaps, reach beyond that."

"Doctor Howard," Kim said, "you know her hatred of me fueled a lot of what happened. I'm not questioning your diagnosis, and Ron and I discussed this before we agreed. Still – "

Ron broke in. "My wife is pregnant, Doctor. Our first. Is there any chance of anything going wrong in there?"

"I understand your concern, Mr. Stoppable, and thank you both for coming. You know her powers are gone completely. Forever. But if I thought there was any danger, we wouldn't be here. She is definitely not a violent case."

Shego glanced at Dr. Howard as he entered the room, a dull, uncomprehending disinterest on her face, and continued writing. "You're the doctor," she droned mechanically, not looking up.

"Mrs. Lipsky, there are some people here that would like to see you. Is that all right?"

"Is she with them?"

"Hmm." He hid his surprise well. "We'll see."

Drakken entered the room. "Sherri?"

"Hello…" A dim light in the downcast eyes, a slight smile. She looked at the paper on the desk, covered with strange names and odd symbols, and back at Drakken.

"Sherri, it's Drew. Remember?"

"You were in a dream. The Haunter was hurting me and you came. You came to help."

Drakken came closer, despite Dr. Howard's silent disapproval. "Yes. Yes, I did. But I couldn't do a thing, honey. You did. You fought back. Closed the gate. Saved us all."

Confusion swept across her features. "But dreams mean nothing. Cthulhu's dreams are the winged things that burrow deep in the earth, but our dreams are less real than - than our lives..." As if no longer aware of her husband, she returned to her scribbling.

"Sherri – " There was no response. Drakken stepped back quickly, hoping she wouldn't see the tears. An attendant, seeing his distress, helped him leave.

Dr. Howard motioned for Ron and Kim to come in. "Here are two other visitors, Mrs. Lipsky. Do you know them?"

She looked at Ron without response, but when she saw Kim's face, there was an immediate change. "You're the girl," she murmured, "who saves the world." She reached out; without hesitation Kim stepped forward and gently grasped her hand.

"Did I ever tell you? Someday I – I want to be like you. I always wanted to be just like you." There was childlike adoration on the woman's face. " But first I have to finish this…" She suddenly yanked her hand away as if burned. Looked at her palm, said something that sounded like Egolonic, looked back at Kim with fear growing in her eyes. "It knows you, too. Knows all of us. It's waiting. Just beyond the wall."

Drakken had come back into the room, standing beside Ron. The white-haired woman looked from one to the other, increasing distress on her face: "Where is she? Is she here?"

Dr. Howard stepped forward. "Is who here? Everyone is here, Shego." He didn't remember ever using that name before.

"No. No, they aren't. There was another girl, a dark haired girl. She wore green and black. We have to find her, Dr. Howard. She's lost. Lost outside." She began to cry. "Maybe she's here. In the pages. In all the words."

Against her will Kim's eyes were drawn to the page Shego held up. She read the words written there, without understanding:

"…then shall They return and on that great Returning shall Nyarlathotep carry the word to all the servants of Those from Outside and Yog-Sothoth shall appear as globes to consume and destroy and Cthulhu most terrible lord of R'lyeh and beyond shall resurrect the Old Ones from the Void. From angles of time the Hounds of Tindalos will burst forth and howl for souls and Y'golonac shall break down the wall to fulfill its perversions and ancient Glaaki shall go forth spreading the green decay and living or dead everyone shall bear witness to the truth of That is not Dead which can Eternal lie and with Strange Eons even Death will Die…"

Tears fell across the pages, tears for everything and everyone that had been lost. No longer aware of the doctor, or Ron, or the girl who saved the world, or the man who loved her, she began, once more, to write out the things that cast their shadows eternally upon her heart and mind. The mad wisdom of Nyarlathotep.

She was struggling to draw something now; obviously the tentacle-faced colossus that had begun materializing just before the vortex was sealed. Scrawled across the crude sketch were two words: HIGH PRIEST.

"They never die," she said, "and they never forget. I don't want to write any more. But I have to. Have to. Destiny."

They were incarnations of entropy, instruments of chaos. Spoilers of innocence and defilers of dreams.

There are worlds where their names have never been spoken, where the land has never been sullied by their shadows: worlds of bright colours, of undiminished joys, where good always triumphs and truth always has its say. But once they have eclipsed a life, no cleansing, however costly, is sufficient to remove their stain.

In time that book, the creation of a broken, ruined mind, somehow found its way to the world beyond those asylum walls. Suppressed and denied, it came to be known as Revelations in Green and Black.

To read it in its entirety was to invite madness as deep and devastating as that which consumed its author. Between its pages was the power to destroy lives, damn souls: the sum of the taint the Outer Ones leave in the minds of any who serve them.

And hidden within it, waiting poisonously to be correlated by some unwise reader, was another path to opening the Gate between worlds, to releasing the Great Old Ones again on a universe they had once failed to destroy. An irreversible path.

That evil text is the legacy of Those from Outside, their curse on any world that escapes the destruction they bring. It possesses an almost sentient will to be found, to be read, to be used.

In other universes, it has other authors, other names: chief among its titles is Necronomicon.