Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5, part 3.13

Posted by harmony0stars on March 15, 2010

Glory gingerly set the charm in the water. Though the basin was barely deep enough for it, she hoped the coconut was still buoyant enough to stay afloat, despite the bits and pieces inside. If it were allowed to drag against bottom, that would surely have skewed the results of an already delicate procedure.

If she had been more mechanically inclined, she‘d have rigged the thing to move under its own power, making the basin of water irrelevant. On the other hand, water was uniquely suited to the task, some studies linking water to hauntings and other psychic phenomena. Besides, even if she could have given it a motor, figuring out how to get it to stop in the appropriate place was another thing entirely. Instead she was forced to rely on the potential energy created by the tiny ripples and currents formed by the weight of the thing to get it where it needed to go. Though she had recently read of scientists experimenting with micro generators capable of harvesting kinetic energy, until such technology was perfected, she would just have to use the tools available to her.

The coconut sank lower than she would have liked, but it did not hit the bottom of the basin. Slowly it bobbed across the surface in a southerly direction, riding the ripples to its destination. The other drawback to the coconut of course, was its size in relation to the map. It would be next to impossible to narrow Chelsea’s location down to more than a general area. All she could do was wait for it to come to a stop and then change out the map for a more area-specific one. Unfortunately, maps, even good ones, only gave so much detail. If they were lucky, they’d be able to narrow her location down to a few miles, instead of a couple hundred.

The coconut came to a stop, the tiny ripples batting it only millimeters in any direction. Cindy let out a disappointed sigh. “No… that’s a good thing,” Glory assured her. “It means she’s not traveling, and she’s relatively close.”

Cindy shook her head. “Anything could have happened when Nigel’s… that is, professor Scott’s, thugs grabbed me. M-maybe she fell, was hurt… There are a lot of old mine shafts…” She pressed her hand to her mouth, struggling to suppress her fears.

“Let me change the maps,” Glory said soothingly. “We’ll see if she’s close to any towns. She could have told someone what happened, and they‘ve been hiding her.” Not that Glory believed that herself. If that were the case, whoever had her would surely have tried to contact her family or the police, not kept her all this time.

Carefully slipping the map from the narrow space under the basin, she replaced it with a map of Massachusetts. Though it remained near the coast, the coconut slowly drifted across the water until it sat over a region just a little off the coast. Cindy went absolutely white.

“Is there an island…?”

“No, no island. That’s Devil’s Reef.” Cindy’s voice was barely audible. “The Church has her.”

Glory’s confusion must have shown because Cindy slowly took in a deep calming breath before attempting to explain. “The Church of Dagon has kept Innsmouth under its thumb for generations. In 1928, the Miskatonic university convinced the government to raid the town because of the Church, because of their… practices. Many families left Innsmouth then to create the Reformed Church of Dagon. We still honor our god and ancestors, but we don’t feel that… that it’s necessary to…” She stumbled to a stop, obviously too repulsed to continue.

Glory was no fool. In the course of researching Tsathoggua and the ‘Innsmouth look,’ she’d also read about Dagon, apparently another old god. Though descriptions of it were even less detailed than those describing Tsathoggua, if Dagon was real, chances were that he was probably into eating people too. She’d never been very religious, but these “Old Ones” were really starting to tick her off.

It also surprised her that the Miskatonic University had been xenophobic even as far back as the 1920s. The way Professor Scott seemed to run the place, she’d assumed he’d started the movement. It now looked as if he was merely the heir apparent in a long line of racist administrators however. Mention of the government didn’t fill her with warm fuzzies either, but it had been a different time, with different social mores. Hopefully the country’s current leaders would pay no attention to the actions of an administration over 80 years removed aside from maybe belittling them for their violent bigotry.

“So how many people would you say still live in Innsmouth and belong to this Church,” she asked.

“I- I really couldn’t even guess. From… from what I’ve been told, Innsmouth is almost a ghost town. There’s no school, no post office, no bus service… No one goes there if they can help it, and no one leaves. There could be dozens or even hundreds, if not in the town itself, then out at the reef.” It was clear from her tone that she held out little hope of getting Chelsea back.

“Is there someone I could talk to who would know more?” Glory asked. Cindy shook her head, her mouth open as if she didn’t know what to say. She obviously felt that retrieving her daughter was a next to impossible task if the Church had her. “I’m not giving up on getting her back, Cindy. I promised I’d help, and I keep my promises.”

“Some of the elders might. M-maybe the priests. Some of them are still tolerated in Innsmouth. They visit on the high holy days to carry the offerings of the congregation to Devil‘s Reef.”

Glory offered Cindy her phone. “Call your mother and ask her to gather anyone who’s willing to help us figure this out.”

to Book 5, part 3, page 14

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Experiments in kinetic energy generators

Vibrations cause residual hauntings (water not mentioned in this article but it has been conjectured that underground water sources also contribute to psychic phenomena. It is, after all, the only crystal on Earth which is liquid at room temperature.

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