“Make it $10,000 and we have a deal. ”Aloysius stood and offered his hand to Sylvanus.
“Done. 10,000 it is. ” Sylvanus shook his outstretched hand. The deal was done. Charlotte squealed and threw her arms around Aloysius excitedly. He rolled his eyes and glared at his new boss. Sylvanus sighed. “That will be quite enough of that, Charlotte! Now, help Lavinia downstairs and quit eavesdropping like you were!” Charlotte let go and hung her head.
“My apologies, Mr. Wade. I’m sorry Aloysius. I’ll leave you alone now.” She said as she slowly walked out of the office and closed the door behind her. Aloysius opened his mouth to speak but Sylvanus held up his hand to stop him from starting prematurely. Once he heard Charlotte’s heavy boots clomping down the stairs, he put his hand back down.
“Proceed, Cunningham. I just wanted to make sure we wouldn’t have to worry about anymore interruptions.”
“Thank you. I really do appreciate that. So let me get this straight: The Mayans and Lovecraft both believed in terrifying alien gods?”
“Most definitely. Archaeologists have discovered reliefs all over the Mayan ruins of giant beasts and terrifying creatures, but they try very hard to keep their findings under wraps. Look how the mere thought of the 2012 prophecy is affecting the masses, if the world knew what was really going on, chaos would reign supreme. Luckily for us, the members of the Order come from all backgrounds and walks of life, including some of the scientific persuasion. We have actually acquired some of those recovered pieces. Would you like to see them?”
“Absolutely. I’m willing to give it a shot if it will help with whatever case you’re taking me on for.” He wasn’t exactly sure what he would see in the ‘artifact room’ but he didn’t see the harm in it. He wasn’t sure how this meeting could get any weirder. “So where do you hide an artifact room in a facility like this?”
"In the basement, Cunningham.” Sylvanus said wheeling himself out from behind his desk. Aloysius cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow. Aloysius hadn’t noticed his wheelchair before now. Although he did find it strange that he didn’t get up to shake his hand at all. It was a strangely ornate motorized wheelchair almost as if it had been ripped out of a bygone era and modified to ‘blend in’ with modern society. He didn’t notice an elevator in the building. But there almost had to be in order for Sylvanus to get to and from his office, let alone the basement. Al couldn’t help but wonder just how old Sylvanus was. How did Sylvanus become the head of this organization? Why did they need him to do this again? “It’s the only space big enough to house our collection.” Sylvanus continued on breaking Aloysius’ train of thought.
“Soooo, how exactly will you get to the basement from here?” He asked. He watched as Sylvanus wheeled himself over to the far corner of one of the bookshelves.
“It’s simple, really.” The old man said as he pulled down on one of the ancient texts. The sound of squealing gears turning filled the air as one of the panels of bookshelves began to swing forward slowly. Once it was fully opened, it revealed an archaic looking elevator complete with a bronze gate for a door and two hand cranks on the inside. Its walls were made of dark wood and it looked rather slim on the inside from what Aloysius could see. ‘What is this? The Addams Family Mansion?’ he thought to himself. Sylvanus began to wheel his way into the elevator. “Well, are you coming, Cunningham?”
"Right behind you sir.” He said running in. Surprisingly, the car was a lot more roomy then it actually looked. Sylvanus pulled the hand crank closing the gate behind them and used the one opposite it to propel the elevator into motion. The elevator rattled as it slowly descended further and further beneath the ground. The journey down to the basement seemed to take twice as long as the run up the stairs to the office! Soon the glow emanating from Sylvanus’s office was nothing but a small speck of light in the blackness above them. They passed several doors leading to the different floors in the building and Aloysius wondered when they would ever reach the bottom. All of a sudden they hit the ground with a thud. “OH!” Sylvanus cried out. “I always misjudge how long it takes to get down here. Sorry for the crash landing, Cunningham. Here we are though.” He let go of the operator crank and opened the gate. In front of them laid a short cobblestone tunnel lit by two flaming torches and lead to a large steel door. The door looked like it belonged in a bank. The ominous wheel on the door looked impossible to move. As they approached the door, Sylanus grabbed Aloysius sleeve and pulled him down closer to him. “Now, Cunningham, the things you’re going to see in this room are confidential. I would advise you, for your own safety, to keep this between us. We have plenty of enemies outside these walls, and you will too once you get started. ”
“I think you can count on that, sir.” Aloysius replied nodding. After all, noone would believe him anyway. Sylvanus rolled closer to the wheel and gripped it with both hands. “Are you sure you don’t want me to do that, Mr. Wade? It looks awful heavy.”
“Stand back, son. I’m not as helpless as I look.” The old man hissed. Aloysius threw up his hands and took a few steps back as Sylvanus began to pull down and the iron wheel began to slowly turn. The clicking of the gears echoed loudly off the stone walls of the tiny corridor they were standing in. Sylvanus made one full turn on the wheel and the door popped open releasing a small puff as if the room was tightly airlocked. Aloysius helped Sylvanus push the door all the way open to reveal a room that looked nothing like the hallway they were standing in.
It was reminiscent of a museum gallery. The wide room in front of them had high maroon walls and a marble floor. In the middle of the room was a large glass case, which to Aloysius looked like an oversized aquarium the size of a swimming pool. It seemed to house a giant pool of dark water that extended far beneath the floorboards with a monstrous looking brown reef sticking out just above the surface revealing sharp jagged edges. “What’s in this case, Mr. Wade?” he asked.
“Some of our artifacts are of the, how should I put this, the aquatic variety. It’s best if we leave it undisturbed for now.” Sylvanus said quietly. Surrounding the aquarium were ivory pedestals with glass cases atop them, each housing a different strange item, whether it was an article of Lovecraft’s clothing, first edition issues of his Weird Tales magazine where he was published, and even the long-lost death journal Lovecraft wrote while on his death bed. In between some of the pedestals hung grotesque paintings . Paintings that showed a seemingly normal human family aside from the hideous dog-like child that joined them. There were family portraits with everyone posing like statues and other scenes of family Christmas’s and dinners, all marred by the presence of the disfigured child. On the walls above them hung large stone reliefs all arranged in sequence depicting monstrosities of different shapes and sizes at different stages destroying the small human figures carved into the stone. Horrified, Aloysius slowly walked around the room looking at the collection. Every so often he thought he heard splashing and bubbling coming from the water in the terrarium behind him, but never could turn in time to see what was making the sounds. He walked back to Sylvanus, who stared silently into the dark abyss in the aquarium. “This is an incredible collection you have here, Mr. Wade.”
“It took many, many years to acquire it all. It took just as long to put all the pieces together. Everything points to the world coming to an unfathomable and horrific end at the end of this year I’m afraid.”
“Now, I’m not an expert at these things Mr. Wade but it looks like those carvings are arranged to tell the story?”
“That is absolutely the truth. The sequence of event goes like: It all starts here with Nyarlathotep.” The old man pointed to the stone slab above his head. “The Crawling Chaos will bring the first reign of terror and destruction to the world. Corrupting the minds of men and driving them to near insanity. You can see that it has begun all over the world. Men, women and even children are killing each other for reasons and motives unknown. All driven mad by the charismatic and terrifying voice of Nyarlathotep.” At that moment, something clicked for Aloysius. The creature in his dream was none other than Nyarlathotep. How had he not seen it before? He must’ve grown visibly shaken enough for even Sylvanus to notice. “Are you alright, Cunningham?”
“Fine, sir, go on.”
“And then it gets worse from there. Yog-Sothoth will begin to open the gate causing all manner of horrible beings to manifest from the other realms. Night Gaunts, Shoggoths, Flying Polyps, you name it. Even before then there will be those things that have always dwelt beneath and beyond the cracks in mans dominion over the Earth. We haven’t received any reports of strange attacks recently, but there are plenty of eyewitness accounts of strange creatures, even cryptozoologists can’t identify. Just a few days ago, the Salem News printed an article about an abnormally large white rat prowling around the streets at night. ” Aloysius’ eyes widened with shock, as much as he tried to concentrate on what Sylvanus was saying, he still couldn’t take his mind off of what could possibly be inside such a large tank. It wasn’t until the old man’s latest revelation that things started making sense in his head. They couldn’t have what he was thinking of. It was nearly impossible.
"Mr. Wade…what are you hiding down here? I don’t think that’s a normal fish tank.”
“When the stars begin to align, much closer to the actually date of December 12, 2012, The Great Old Ones will emerge and begin to wreak their havoc and damnation upon the earth…”the old man carried on as if Aloysius hadn’t said a thing.
“Mr. Wade, I asked you a question…”
“And then finally, the gate will be permanently opened ushering in the age of Azathoth, the Lord of All Things and the bringer of Ultimate Chaos. Noone will be able to escape once he is released. The End of Time will be upon us….”
“MR. WADE! What the HELL is in this room with us?” Aloysius yelled interrupting the old man. The room grew eerily quite and a furious bubbling came from the tank. Aloysius turned around slowly and noticed a silver shape slinking through the water moving faster and faster as if it was feverishly looking for a way out. It sent the water in the tank into a frenzy as it splashed violently against the glass. Quicker than Aloysius could blink, the creature emerged from the black water, perched and sat on top of the devilish reef and stared at Aloysius with a blood lust in its black, wide, unblinking eyes that Aloysius had never seen before. The fluorescent light from the ceiling sent a horrible shimmer over the scaly grey skin of the monster before him, while it’s webbed hands and feet gripped the reef so strongly that it almost sent cracks through it. It opened its mouth and revealed rows of jagged, sharp teeth and let out a hellacious cry that sounded like a demon screaming and trying to disguise its voice as that of a croaking frog. He couldn’t believe his own eyes. He could no longer deny the strange beliefs of the Miskatonics. He had living, breathing proof right in front of him. The Miskatonics had somehow acquired A Deep One.
Whew!! What a fun ride Chapter 5 has been! I can only hope you loved reading it just as much as I loved writing it! In the coming chapters, you will all finally get to follow Aloysius as he begins his trek to find the missing artifacts for Sylvanus! He has a big job ahead of him and will be encountering difficulties, including a group of antagonists along the way! My image for today is actually of a book that I actually bought for any future children I may have. I think its a great addition to any Lovecraft fans library!
You can purchase your own copy of "Where The Deep Ones Are" from a site like Amazon or from your favorite Lovecraftian retailer!!