Tattoo Book 6 part 2.24
Posted by harmony0stars on September 1, 2010
The floor stretched away in all directions, the room’s dimensions lost in gray horizons. She couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being set up for public ridicule. At any moment, a spotlight would pin them to the floor like bugs to cardboard, or a clown would came wheeling out on a tricycle, a pie in either hand.
As if reading her thoughts, a male voice boomed, “Who dares invade the sanctum of the Gods of Earth?” It was so loud it would have shaken the walls had there been any. “Leave now before the all-seeing one returns to find you here.”
They both flinched, but Phoenix recovered first, much to her chagrin. “Oh great Gods of Earth!” He bowed low before yelling up at the invisible ceiling. “Forgive us our trespass. We did not come willingly but were sent by the one you name. My companion is his daughter, sent to confer with you.”
There was silence for several seconds, as if the owner of the voice conferred with others. “If she is His offspring, let her tell us how she was conceived and what task He has given her to perform.”
Unlike Phoenix, she did not feel a need to yell. If these were gods, then they could probably hear her thoughts if they wanted, just as it had seemed her father could. Besides, it wasn’t a story she felt like shouting. Blushing, she said, “He was confined to the body of a human man, and ah, that‘s all I‘d like to say about that.” If they were really interested, they could be more specific about their question. “He said that the time was nearly right and that you would tell me how to find Ubbo Sathla in Y’qaa.”
“So the old fiend’s managed to reproduce… again,” said a disgusted female voice.
Slowly their bleak surroundings faded away like mist to reveal an opulent hall. It was built on a massive scale, though not quite as expansive as it had at first seemed. The ceiling was still high enough to be lost to view. The walls may have been hidden from them by illusion, but if so, they’d come awfully close to smashing themselves into paste when they‘d gone sliding across the floor. The floors and walls were crafted from highly polished marble veined with gold, and sumptuous tapestries hung from the ceiling depicting scenes that defied contemplation. In fact, Glory tried not to look at them at all. As beautiful as they were, they illustrated stories of utter brutality.
Roughly a dozen chairs sat upon the dais, nine of them occupied. For gods, they weren‘t as impressive as she would have expected. Perhaps taken individually they were more extraordinary, but as a group, they were a little disappointing. Not that they were ugly or plain, but they were so uniformly beautiful that none of them seemed to stand out from the rest. Most of the men and women sitting around the crescent shaped table showed no interest in their visitors at all. They looked rather bored in fact. Some of them even seemed to be asleep.
Each chair was slightly different, perhaps indicating the character of the person who sat in it. If that were so, Glory did not want to get on the bad side of the dark haired woman who leaned against the table to scowl down at the visitors. Her chair was adorned with the grotesque head of a lizard with far too many eyes, none of them placed symmetrically.
“Hush,” said a pale man with black hair and a beard. A staff made of some blue mineral leaned against his chair. He sat at the center of the table and glanced at the woman with disapproval. “You never know when he might be listening.”
“As if it matters. If I didn‘t speak my mind, you‘d probably tell him I was plotting against him,” she replied.
“Sister, you do our brother a disservice,” A younger man announced, to their leader’s right, a horse, a wolf, and a woodpecker carved into the top of his chair. “It’s not his fault his parent favors him over the rest of us.”
“He shouldn’t even exist! And she shouldn’t either,” she said, pointing at Glory. “Nor should half a dozen of his offspring that have come and gone over the eons. He was chosen as our keeper precisely because there was no fear of him playing favorites. We are all intended to be equals.” She sat back in her chair, pouting.
“And we are,” replied the first man in a tired tone that said this was an old argument. “You know I have no choice in who leads us in his absence, though this does explain why his visits have been few and far between.” He finally looked back to Glory. “What are you named?”
“Glory,” she said shortly, feeling out of her element.
“Not too modest,” the woman said with a snicker.
“I regret to inform you that I did not name myself.” Glory blushed even more furiously as her temper flared. Phoenix looked as though he‘d like to crawl into a hole. “Nor did I ask to be here. I have no interest in being anything more than I am, or playing my father’s little games. I’d just as soon go home if you‘ll kindly tell me how to get there.”
“I’m afraid it’s much too late for that,” said the dark haired man, apparently her brother though she wasn‘t sure what her relationship was to the others. They called each other brother or sister, but she didn‘t think that was exactly their relationship. “If father has sent you here, then the only way for you to return to Earth is if he, or one of the Outer Gods, allow it.”
“Not that they ever do. We won’t be free until our progenitors are free and even then, we won’t be. We‘ll all be beholden to our parenta,” the woman snarled angrily. “Well, when the walls of our prison fall, I will kill and devour Tsathoggua, and no one will tell me what I may and may not do any more.”
“Hagarg Ryonis! You say too much,” hissed the younger man, and a few of the other gods who had not been interested in the discussion before also glanced at her uneasily.
“I don’t care. Every time the stars have been right our elders have failed to free themselves and us with them. Why has Nyarlathotep sent another of his children here to quest for the tablets when any one of us would serve? I say it’s because he intends to cheat us, just as the Elder Gods cheated him.”
“So your father is Tsathoggua?” Glory asked slowly.
“What of it?” the woman demanded, glaring at Glory.
Glory was quiet a moment, choosing her words carefully. “Do you really intend to kill him?”
“Yes!” the woman yelled, smacking her hand down on the table. “Why should it concern you what I intend?”
“Well… I really have no idea what’s going on here. Up until very recently, I thought I was human. I’ve met your father though, and I don’t like him. After what I did to him, I doubt he’s very fond of me either. So if I’m able to help, I will.”
“Why? What did you do?” Hagarg Ryonis leaned forward eagerly.
“I took exception to his dietary habits and stabbed him in the tongue.”
Hagarg Ryonis squealed like a child, clapping her hands merrily. “Oh, I think I have changed my mind. I like you very much!”
to Book 6, part 2, page 25