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
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.
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.