Fred's mind boiled over in rage and he wanted to kill her on the spot. But
curiosity won over bloodlust, and he withdrew the dagger.
"So." he sneered. "You claim to be the Third Shoggoth?"
"Aye. Piteous fool." the woman hissed. Her emerald eyes sparkled as she spoke. "Before the hour is done, your innards shall be strung in my laboratory." And yet despite her bold announcement, she clung to the wall tightly, as if shrinking from Fred's presence.
Fred chuckled with considerable mirth. "And what of the Fourth? Has he awakened yet?"
"The Second shall awake the Fourth." the woman said. "As for me, I work here to summon the Fifth."
"Then know at once." Fred spoke, and his voice suddenly lowered in pitch until it was the rumbling of a landslide. "I AM THE FOURTH."
"Milord!" the woman gasped. "I beg of you, forgive me! If only I knew... my harsh words..." she fell to her knees before Fred, hugging his legs. "Please, slay me not for my impertinence!"
Fred snorted and kicked her away to the wall. "Your human faults are too apparent, wench! Now take me to your worksite, and show me what you have thus far accomplished."
Velus barked in apparent confusion.
"Ah, my friend." Fred smiled. "Fear not, in your innocent dog form your life shall be spared. But I doubt you will ever be human again - which is a blessing, mind you that."
"I am called Mirya, my lord." the woman said as she stood up. "Follow me, and you will surely be pleased with the progress I've made."
Mirya took a torch off the wall, and a bookshelf slid away, revealing a secret corridor. Down it they went, Fred, Mirya, and a dejected Velus at their heels.
"This leads to your laboratory?" Fred asked of the narrow, chilly corridor. Small vents in the walls seemed to blow in wind from the mountaintop itself.
"Aye." said Mirya, who walked barefoot and yet seemed untouched by the cold.
~~This is wrong, this is all wrong!!!~~ shrieked a tiny voice in Fred's mind. ~~Since when did I give up the King's Quest and become an inhuman Shoggoth bent on bloody world "purification"?~~
~~Ah, but you were chosen since your birth.~~ spoke the Second Shoggoth inside Fred. ~~I myself made sure that you would grow into yourself, yet only now have you come into your birthright. And fear not, the King's Quest is still yours.~~
"How far has your work proceeded?" Fred grimly asked Mirya.
"All is nearly complete." her voice echoed through the corridor. "The final element - the Dragon's blood - still remains to be poured onto the Shoggoth Flame, but with your help it shall be accomplished. And then the Fifth Shoggoth shall rise."
The corridor ended, and they walked into a cave. In it's center was a censer, in which burned the Blue Shoggoth Flame, soul of the Fifth, burning with the lust to be returned to life. In one corner was Mirya's bed, and in the other five chairs - one for each Shoggoth.
"This is my home." Mirya said, turning around. "My sanctuary, into which none but me have stepped before. I have let you this deep into my soul, Lord Fourth Shoggoth, and now, I beg you, enter even deeper..."
She unfastened her robe and let it drop to the floor. The blue firelight lit up her body with an irridescent sheen.
7/19/1999 4:20:08 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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