Part 65: Last Night- Page 63
I hesitate to ask, but did anything come of the offer to provide graphics to the author for a graphical version of the game?
Glad to see you back, regardless.
After life got in the way...uh...I was sort of lifed to death, so no.
Gentry needed someone more reliable, which is fine.
I gave him tips on how to shop around for another artist. No hard feelings.
Last Time, on Anchorhead...
..Miranda Carter has been having one hell of a weekend. Her husband, Micheal Carter, seems to be possessed by his late, incestious, evil, great great great grandfather and her cousin in law is a hulking tinticled boy-child with a hook stuck in his eye. She's crawled through sewers, escaped mental hospitals, called forth other worldly portals, and given porn to insane men. It's been wild!
Now, she stands atop the lighthouse north of Anchorhead with her husband and his goons ready to rip her to shreds if she doesn't hand over a special mirror she stole from the old mill.
Will Miranda escape and somehow bring her husband back to his senses?
Stay tuned cadets!
My vote goes to lalalala-borf because I can't wait to see what sort of hideous gruesome death the not-Michael has waiting for us.
Maybe Miranda can distract them and high tail it out of this place!
Michael's hand flickers out and cracks you soundly across the face. "Don't you EVER blaspheme in my presence, you ignorant, insolent cow," he whispers hoarsely.
Michael glares at you with impatience. "Give me the mirror, woman," he hisses into your face. "Don't make me damage you..."
You son of a-
No one strikes Miranda Carter, Super Thief, and gets away with it!
He's already gone.
kill michael with hook
Actual suggestion, give him a glob of fishy mirror.
>Attack Mike with hook
(first taking the meat hook)
(slipping the amulet into the pocket of your trenchcoat to get a hand free)
Before Michael or his guards can react, you whip the meat hook up in a vicious underhand arc, burying its point deep under your husband's breastbone. Michael shrieks and sinks to his knees, feebly plucking at the hook's wooden handle, which vibrates in time with his impaled heart. Blood suddenly pours from his mouth in a hot geyser, splattering onto the ground and onto your clothes. He looks up at you, gasping, and in his eyes you see a feeble, flickering spark of identity, one last dying spark left of the man you once knew and loved -- and suddenly you realize:
He's there. In that body -- the body that you just killed. It's Michael you're looking at.
You have just killed your husband.
"...why..." he whispers, through a dark bubble of blood.
But you cannot answer. You are too busy screaming.
*** You have gone utterly mad ***
In that game you scored 62 out of a possible 100 points; this is your darkest hour.
Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, UNDO your last move, give the FULL score for that game or QUIT?
In the words of the immortal Sparky Sweets PhD: He Dead.
Of course, it would be ridiculous to have such a short update after 7 months of absences, so lets quickly rewind and go with the popular decision.
>Give Mike Mirror 3
(first taking the mirror labeled #3)
(slipping the amulet into the pocket of your trenchcoat to get a hand free)
"That's more like it," Michael says.
Michael pauses, glances down at the mirror in his hand, then smirks at you. "But of course, there's no telling where else you've been poking around, what you might have gotten your dirty little hands on, hmm?"
What do you take me for? A Thief?!
He leans in close to you, and you can smell corruption on his breath like rotting oranges. "I've been wondering where this had gotten off to," he murmurs in your ear, taking the caliper-like instrument from you.
Oh...uh... How did THAT get there?
He applies the instrument to the mirror, and frowns as he checks the readout.
Then he smiles.
"Well, that's that then," he says, placing the mirror back in its receptacle. He nods toward the guards, who seize you and begin dragging you down the stairs.
"It's time to clue you in to just what's been going on around here," Michael says, following behind you. "First hand. I think you'll find it quite... enthralling."
You are dragged bodily down to the foot of the lighthouse and around to the rocky outcropping, where the island of flesh floats just beyond the breakwater's tip. The guards shove their way through the crowds of robed supplicants, carrying you to the island's center. They force you to your knees and, despite your best efforts at escape, manhandle you into a pair of handcuffs looped through an iron ring set in a heavy stone block. The block is so low, you are forced to remain kneeling in the squelchy muck, craning your neck to watch the orgiastic ceremoney taking place... and your husband -- no, you tell yourself, not your husband; the creature that your husband has become -- leading the terrible rites.
Island of Flesh
The island is barely forty feet across, its surface covered with an ankle-deep layer of slime and muck. Underneath the muck, the ground throbs -- heaving rhythmically to a blasphemous, living pulse.
Ugh! Ew! Gross Gross Gross!
The sea thrashes against the shore with storm-driven fury.
The robed guards hover to either side of you, waiting for you to make a move.
Michael stands in the center of it all, leading the hellish rites.
Robed cultists crowd around on every side -- some of them brandishing flaming torches, some of them chanting in some hideous, archaic tongue, all of them swaying to the hypnotic pulse that rises up from the depths of the fleshy ground.
You are handcuffed to one of several heavy stone blocks set in a rough semicircle around the center of the island.
Lashed to a stake in the center of the island is a young boy.
It may be possible to reason with Mike! Maybe get through to him!
>Mike, Stop this!
"Speak when you're spoken to," Michael snaps.
What follows is basically waiting.
Miranda can't do anything for a while at this point. If she tries, the guards on either side rough her up. But she can at least look around a bit.
>look at Mike
He is someone else, now, someone you have never known and would never want to know. His flesh is gaunt; his skin waxy and pale; his forehead burning and feverish. And his eyes... you can't bear to look into the seething madness of those wild, red-rimmed eyes. Your husband is gone, now -- some other, alien force has devoured him from within and now animates his body.
Michael takes up a torch from one of the crowd. Holding it high above his head, he turns to the lighthouse and intones:
"Iach! That Which May Not Be Named, I call upon Thee! Formless Drifter of the Gulfs Between, I summon Thee!"
The crowd murmurs in ecstatic encouragement.
>look at boy
A skinny, tow-headed boy of eight or so, he bears all the markings of a recent victim of trauma. His face is smudged with dirt, his wrists are raw and red from the tight bindings, and his eyes are shadowed with deep, purple half-circles. For all this, however, you instantly recognize his face from the newspaper story: it's Jeffrey Greer, the boy who was kidnapped two days ago.
"I cast aside the Seals! I throw open the Gates!"
Michael traces a mystic sigil in the air in front of him with the flaming torch. The flames seem to hang for a moment in strange patterns before twisting away into nothing.
"OHODOS - SCIES - ABYSSON!"
The torch flares up with a roar, and the ocean waves seem to respond with sudden, inexplicable fury, crashing brutally against the island.
Hey, maybe now's the time to call up Ill-Bleed-Doth-Dude!
A heavy fist crashes down on the back of your head. "Keep silent, bitch!" snarls the guard.
Ow! Yeah, that.
Michael turns his back on the lighthouse, facing out to sea.
"To the East, where the Spawning Chaos seethes and suppurates within the Crucible of Grum, from whose bursting pustules arise the Million Unseeable Forms, I summon Thee!"
The boy cries pitifully, his sobs going unheeded by the chanting cultists and the raging storm.
>look at cultists
The throng of cultists presses around the small clearing in the middle of the island from all directions, chanting, waving torches, and swaying rhythmically to the terrible beat of whatever monstrous heart lies beneath this island.
Michael makes a quarter-turn to his left.
"To the North, where the Howling Hunger sweeps invisibly across the Yellow Plains and gnaws upon the entrails of the pious, I summon Thee!"
A monstrous bolt of lightning licks down from the sky and strikes the sea just north of the island, sending a spume of steam and boiling water fifty feet into the shrieking sky. Screams of fear and rapture erupt throughout the pressing crowd, almost inaudible beneath the deafening peal of thunder.
Nothing obvious happens.
Michael isn't even fazed. He makes a half-turn to the right and continues:
"To the South, where the Seven Corpulent Sultans of Slaas'tha stand in judgment over the Heretics of Kron, and force their vile copulations upon the repentant, I summon Thee!"
Another lightning bolt, this time striking just south of the island, and another spume of water. The crowd begins to writhe and gibber madly, like a single, plasmic organism.
>look at ground
The fleshy surface of this island is covered in reeking slime. It shivers beneath you to some horrible pulse.
Michael makes a three-quarter turn to his left, coming all the way around to face the lighthouse once more.
"To the Ultimate West, wherein lies the Void That Conquers All, I summon Thee!"
The top of the lighthouse begins to glow with an unwholesome, violet light. A low, ominous vibration creeps up from the ground, crawling up through your bones and reverberating painfully in your teeth.
>look at lighthouse
Its towering shadow seems to lean menacingly over you, eclipsing half the sky. It is an old and brooding thing, heavy with the weight of centuries of dark memories. Craning your neck to see the top of it, you can't help but make the comparison with a lightning rod, as if this building were the focus for whatever restless forces seem to be stirring through the turbid atmosphere above.
The top of the lighthouse flares brightly with a venomous violet glow.
The air around the lighthouse is rippling now. Several cultists fall convulsing to the mud; others are screaming in strange, strangled tongues. The earth shakes, and the air is split by a high-pitched harmonic ringing, like a crystal about to shatter.
Michael raises the torch, preparing to thrust it into the pyre at the child's feet. He throws his head back and shrieks directly into the eye of the storm:
"IACH! PIOTH XENOBETHAKLES! ULUTUK FH'TAGHN!! BY THE KEYS OF IOK-SOTOT I NAME THEE!
"!!! IALDABAOLOTH !!! COME FORTH !!!"
Oh God! It's COMING!
Okay, NOW you're frightened. You scream your bloody head off.
What happens next is rather unexpected.
The high-pitched ringing sound reaches a crescendo, and without warning the upper half of the lighthouse explodes violently in a boiling fireball of violet flames. For a moment, Michael's lunatic grin of triumph remains frozen in place, licked by the purple radiance, not yet cognizant that the ritual has gone wrong. In the next instant, however, he is stricken.
"The mirror..." he whispers hoarsely.
Bits of burning debris are raining down on the island. The cultists fall back in panic and start pushing at each other to get off the island and escape. Many are pushed off into the water, where clusters of ropy, jellyfish-like tentacles immediately drag them screaming beneath the waves. A burning chunk of masonry strikes one of your guards in the head, and he drops to the mud next to you with a mass of chewed-spaghetti pulp where his face used to be. The other guard takes a quick, frightened look around, then bolts without a backward glance.
"Come back!" screams Michael. "Come back, cowards!" But no one heeds him. With a strangled curse he turns and hurls the torch into the sea.
Your score has just gone up by five points.
Alright, goons. Time to really pick up where we left off.
Miranda has her chance to do what needs doing.
Put those ideas in Bold!