The Misted Palanquin

You’ve experienced so much on the otherside, the doors you’ve found,  the beings you’ve met, the horror and freedom you’ve experienced, the endless halls, and void-less worlds, the Ktorí Skrývjú, their fight for life; Your fight for life. You’ve seen the infinite depths of The Misted Palanquin. You’ve known the wonder and trepidation of the other side, and you’ve come out alive.

Yet here, this “Director” would tear you and all your fellow Ktorí away from that freedom. She would take from you the awe, the paralyzing knowledge, and the wonderful dreadful allure. This self proclaimed leader would rip you and your kind away from the unending grace and thrill of the Frozen mirrors of the Palanquin. She would force her own people to live dull, meaningless lives, in the name of peace and “happiness” upon a dim, filth covered planet in a finite world.

You feel the throb of the misted expanse pulsing through your veins. It resonates within you, compelling the endless, echoed, vale of your soul to lash out from it’s void-mold container. You came here with purpose.

Your words reverberate through the stately building surrounding you, shaking the very foundations. “You would enslave us? With your drugs, and your lies, and your force? You, a human like us, would use your own kind as fodder in the name of a meaningless, emotionless, monotonous peace?”

You speak in a quiet, measured tone, yet still your voice hits her like a physical force, sending her sprawling backwards on her rear. You move forward after her, and with every step the rhythm of the Palanquin, and all beyond the veil, resounds with a soul shattering crack, like stone being split by the very earth itself.

Again you speak, this time your voice begins to split the eaves and columns around you, shattering the facsimile skies above. Somewhere drowned beneath the pitch and spirit of your voice, an alarm sounds. You pay it no mind. “What is the justification?”

She does not reply, her body frozen in dread filled shutters. You shake your head in shame and empathy. “The Mist-Veil calls.”

With those words echoing around you, you grab her neck and lift her high above. Your voice becomes, once again, a song unheard, a soul untold; a world unfelt. You watch in melancholy, as her very being melts into misted nothingness, fading to become one with the veil beyond. To wander formless in a meaningless existence within the terrifying glades of the vales beyond. It is pitiable, but a proper punishment for one such as her.

As the monument around you crumbles to dust, you too fade away, into the ever changing womb and frigid mists of the Palanquin.

The Flesh mold

You step in just the wrong spot, and before you can react you’ve already stepped in the mold. You feel it burn through your boot so quickly you couldn’t have a chance in the world to stop it.

oh shit.

The mold quickly finds its way into your skin, and you scream in pain, as tendrils of it pierce into your muscles and bones. You register in a side thought that, it’s attempting to break down the proteins and cellular structure in your body, rebuild them into more red mold. An incredibly painful, though generally fast process.

You sit, screaming for a long while. Eventually you realize you aren’t dead. Although you are still in severe pain. You look down to where the mold began it’s attack on your body. It is still there, throbbing, pulsating. Black, brown, and rusty red tendrils, ooze slowly across and under the surface of your leg.

You try to move yourself away from the small pool of mold, and surprisingly it gives way. Detaching itself from the puddle, you see as small tentacle like hairs rise from the mold, wriggling randomly, looking for it’s lost appendage.

It still hurts, but it’s manageable. Every sense in your body is telling you that this is wrong, and that you should be dead. Every instinct tells you to run, to get away. But you can’t very well run from your own leg. Instead you get in your truck. You’ll go north. As far as you can. At least there it won’t be able to spread from you to other people.

Fog-Born: The Radio

01/20/2020

You look nervously to the mist slowly encroaching upon your position. Even if they haven’t been active for a while, the fog still makes you jumpy. You finger Hayha nervously and take a deep breath.

The Radio.jpg

No matter what happens you have to finish your work here. If you don’t get the radio working again you might never be able to find anyone. You start to splice the wires together and bolt down the new antenna. It takes you a while, but when it’s finally all done you flip the power back on.

The familiar hum is a comfort in this fog-born world. You sit back for a moment and take a deep breath, enjoying a job well done.

You jolt upright. You heard something. Something faint. A crackle and spark. You grab at your portable radio, turning the volume up. A voice. There’s a voice! You press your ear to the speaker straining to hear the voice beyond the crackling fizz.

“Hello? Is anyone there?!” You practically scream it into the receiver.

The reply is faint, and garbled. It sends shivers down your spine. You don’t know how but the voice is, strange, encompassing somehow. You shrug the feeling off and press the stranger.

“Please speak up, I can barely hear you!” You try tuning to a different repeater frequency but none of them help, it’s the same exact voice, the same strange crackle. It strikes you that the crackle itself doesn’t sound like radio crackle.

“The Mist-veil.” Barely a whisper, but you know what you heard. A woman’s voice, overtaking the static ever so slightly. “Traverse. The Mist-veil calls.”

You attempt to reply but the radio doesn’t respond, it simply repeats the same thing over and over, louder and louder. A pit of dread starts to form in your stomach. This isn’t a person, it can’t be. Following pure instinct you make to throw the radio away, off the building, but at that instant the fog envelopes you completely, silencing the static, and the voice, leaving only tendrils of white in your vision.

The song of the Fog-Born sons

You’ve been watching this “Church of the fog-born song” for weeks now. You know their schedules, their entry points, their habits, names, addresses, and anything else useful. So now you know when to infiltrate their base of operations. You finish writing a few things in your notes.

It seems they had taken to an old abandoned subterranean complex. One of the ones built by Teracorp in the seventies, before they went bankrupt. Now it’s 40+ levels of derelict man-made caverns awaiting anyone who dares brave the stairs. You sigh and run a hand through your hair, pulling it out of your face and readjusting your cap. It’s gonna be a long night

 

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You sit in the corner of the elevator, still wondering how the damn thing is so clean and well kept. It doesn’t make any fucking sense, even if the cult had enough members to do all this surely they didn’t have funds. Right?! And where was the electricity coming from in the first place? Everything thus far had been spotless, and impeccably well maintained! Even the elevators carpet was a perfect stainless and comfortable square of fluff, even more than that the elevator showed signs of being one of the latest models, not something created in the seventies. The lights didn’t flicker, the vending machines were still in perfect order in the employee snack-room. The art in the main entrance hall looked expensive too, no way these guys had enough to afford that. Where the fuck were they getting the workforce and money to renovate this place. Wasn’t it fucking condemned and owned by the government? You sigh and set those thoughts aside for now, thinking on them alone won’t bring you answers after all.

 

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You spring awake to the sound of a light electric bell, you pull your revolver from it’s holster for a moment, then remember where you are. If anyone else was here that would have been embarrassing, but considering you are “trespassing” on what these nuts probably thought was holy ground, it’s not uncalled for at this point.

You involuntarily tense as you hear a strange sound coming from beyond the door. It’s something, deep and hollow, something grating yet almost voice like. A shiver runs down your spine as the door slides open and lets a thick viscous fog snake it’s way in to take place of the air that was there only a moment ago. You can barely see a thing, the lights are dim and the fog itself pulsates and twists unnaturally with the strange sound.

You think you can almost make out words somehow. But it’s like an alien language. You tentatively take a step forward, every cell in your body resisting. Screaming for you to go back. A small voice in your head warns you that there is no turning back if you continue on this path. But you shake it off with a laugh. You never were one for superstition.

As you cautiously make your way through the room you catch glimpses of hundreds of old electronic parts through the writhing mists, strewn about yet another immaculate floor. Each was a variety of screen that seemed to lack any case or external workings. Yet they flickered with static in time to the alien sounds, barely lighting your path forward.

As you walk further along, tracing the sound to it’s source, it becomes more distinct, deeper, more alien than you could imagine a sound could get. Yet it feels so familiar, as if you had heard it every day for the last 23 years of your life.

It reverberates inside of you, causing you to quake and shiver, and fall to your knees. Distantly you register the sound of your revolver clattering to the floor. The sound begins to take hold, it forms a voice that is not a voice that speaks a language that is not a language. You can feel it reaching into you. And in a single flash of computation you know.

The sound is a voice, the voice a song, the song a soul, and the soul a world. You can see and feel every living thing, flashing before your eyes in an overwhelming influx of information and comprehension. You understand every atomic principle in the universe, you know the very basis of it all, and yet it matters not. Because it is all baseless in comparison with what lies in the mist-veil beyond. Now you know that there is no black and white, rather a mess of misty gray shades thrown upon a canvas called the soul, and this both comforts and disturbs you at the same time.

You understand that this man, who sings, is a mortal man. You understand that you, who listens are a mortal woman. You will both die, and you will both live. You know this with a grand clarity you have never felt before. As you bask in the glow of beautiful knowledge for barely a moment, your mind shatters at the presence of something new. Something you could only wish you didn’t have to understand. But all knowledge comes at a price, and all knowledge is what this is. Something you had not noticed before lies upon the canvas. Amongst the beautiful arching vine-like strokes of gray upon the canvas that is yourself, you feel a splash of darkness. It is a bubble of wretched miasma, seething like roiling burning mal-void magma. It is darker than all you’ve seen and you see how it seeps slowly into the mist-veil with no concern for the world around it, poisoning all it touches. You look further out, into the canvas of the world and find no comfort in the fact this stain exists upon every living thing. You can feel your body screaming in agony, but your soul screams louder.

Madness threatens to take you as you stand up and walk to the elevator. The ride up is a blur, filled with a resignative melancholy. Then you are making your way through a group of people in the entrance hall. Each stares at you in awe, you see with your eyes men and women of varying ages, they are human, and you care for them, but with your newfound understanding all you can see beyond is larger and larger stains of miasma upon the grand canvas.

They try to stop you, and with voices hoarse and ugly beg you to stay, but they all know they cannot touch you, they cannot. You open your mouth to reply with two simple words. You watch as the sound that leaves your body hits them with a physical force, like a crashing wave made of unadulterated sound, song, and soul, sending each one to the ground quivering. Some fall on their knees in respect, others on their rears in surprise or fear.

You tell them you decline. You cannot stay here, you’re voice will break them.

Fog-Born: Night

01/14/2020

 

You find yourself missing the night more and more. It’s hard to sleep without it. It’s been months since the fog came and It’s only harder to tell time with each passing second. You aren’t even sure if it’s really been months, your phone died within the first couple weeks, so you’ve just been counting based on your sleep schedule, and that’s not exactly accurate. There’s just no more light or dark in this world, only fog and twilight. . . and those things.

You sigh and pick yourself up from your bed, throwing your journal aside. You’re having trouble sleeping again so decide instead to go foraging. After all, as far as you know you’re the only one left on the base, so they aren’t using any of that shit anyway.

You glance at the windows, the fog is still settled in hard and heavy. You sigh again not reveling in what you have to do next, “I really hate using the sewers.” You don’t say it to anyone in particular, but it helps to talk aloud, keeps your mind sharp.

It’s too dangerous for you to just blunder your way through the fog with those things wandering around. You grab your things and start suiting up, ensuring all your gear is strapped in tight before leaving our room. You take a deep breath and don your mask, making your way to the sewer grate in the basement.

The Basement

You take another deep breath and pull the grate aside after undoing the locks. You check Hahya one more time, to ensure she’s loaded and ready to go. Then you descend.

Fog-born: Twilight

01/10/2020

 

The BaseAt least the twilight mist is lifting a little. Fact is if it were as thick as it were yesterday, you’d be stuck in the sewers again, and god knows you want anything but that. But with it this thin, you can at least have some time to SEE. Which is paramount if you want to avoid getting lost or getting taken by those creatures. As it is though, whatever comes from the mists today Won’t have the element of surprise.

You run to your room and pack your gear, you have a lot of shit to do if you want to get the radio antenna fixed before the fog settles in again, and you don’t know how much time you really have. You definitely don’t want to get stuck out there again, it was hell getting back last time. Luckily the spindly fucks hunting you abide by some arbitrary rules, so you were able avoid them by flitting between buildings. That however, does not make it any less dangerous. You’d rather not get stuck out there with them again.

You pack your rations, water, and grenades, ensuring that you aren’t under armed in this situation. If you do go down, you’re going down with a fight. You grab Hayha and do your pre-scouting check. She’s loaded, lubricated, and ready to kill. With a gun like this you’d just like to see those disgusting mist-born creatures have a go at you.

You whisper to her sweetly, “Let’s get in and out girl, we gotta stay alive, for whoever else is out there.” One part of your brain registers that you look like a madman talking to a gun like that. You shrug it off.

You make your way to the entrance of the building, and out of the two glass doors. You take a single step outside and can already feel the mist clenching onto your skin through your clothes. You sigh and shake your head stiffly, this is going to be a slow ass day.

Shadows Don’t

Shadows Don't

You feel odd, cold, like your body is slowly freezing. Despite the sun coming up everything is dark, darker than it should be and growing darker. The ship has become increasingly dangerous since this morning. You can’t see very well without a light, and even that has become limited. The light recedes more and more by the minute. The sun and sea are the only things clearly visible now, not the ship. You feel like you should be panicking but your body just slows more and more. You’re heart feels miles away.

You swallow hard.
Something is wrong.

Shadows don’t act this way.
Shadows shouldn’t be alive.