I'm finally here. These last few days of walking have felt like an eternity. My goal, the military base, is smaller than expected. It sits on top of a small hill, surrounded by forest, its grounds violated by creeper vines and the low growth that signals the first stage of nature taking back her own. There is an eagle above the main entrance, holding a crooked cross in its claws. The trucks parked in the yard are old. Possibly World War II vintage. Their tires have cracked and decayed, the canvas covering their beds disintegrated into a fine dust with the passing of time. No useful supplies in any of them. I no longer recall what I came here looking for. My logs are no help. Was I searching for help? Other prisoners? Yes...prisoners. I have decided that that is what we are, those few of us who are here. We have been imprisoned. Captured. Held for some reason. I want to find out why. I want to know who I was, and why I was put here. Something...something terrible. Something I did.
blood blood everywhere the screaming of children fire fire I smell fire and something is cooking someone is cooking a mother their mother my friends put her on a spit and lit their hut on fire burned the village down ate the
Not now. No time. Something urgent, something necessary, something to do. Have to focus. Have to...have to...
I don't remember.
I know I came here looking for something. Something dangerous. Something USEFUL. Something inside. I need to go inside to find it. It's inside. It's
focus focus focus hold it together girl we have a job to do keep it together
The inside of the facility is cramped, its crumbling concrete construction obviously built to survive outside attacks. Something important was stored here. I know, in my stomach, that I have to go DOWN to find it. Why down? Our most terrible secrets are always buried. I have to go down to find my secrets and kill them. Kill them all. Kill all the bastards all the little whiny brats nobody will miss them gonna kill them all
At the back of the facility is an elevator. There are three skeletons in front of it, still holding their weapons and wearing the tattered, blood-stained remains of army fatigues. They have all been dismembered. Each corpse's left hand is nailed to the wall with crude spikes, each mummified appendage forming a starfish shape. This was not done by the Beasts. This was ritual. This was conscious. A warning. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Down below is the thing I have been seeking, the thing that has drawn me from my first awakening. The Beasts wanted to stop me. I stopped them. I killed them by the dozen, by the score, by the regiment. They never stopped coming and I never stopped pushing. I am here. It is here. I need to see it. It wants me. It loves me. It needs me, needs me to complete it. I will go to it.
The elevator is a crude hand-cranked affair, sitting in a tunnel dug into the earth by the strength of the backs of men. The walls are lined with mummified skin, beautifully necrotic patterns drawn in human blood over every inch of the gruesome, lovely parchment. I know that I am in the right place. I feel at peace. No more flashbacks. No voices of the Beasts in my head, urging me to do horrible things with their paper-dry, alien thoughts. No more insects in my nerves, no more beetles in my eyes. Just the feeling that I am here. I am meant to be here, now. The elevator moves on its own, lowering me into the earth. I see the designs whirling past, seeming to form moving designs, telling stories of war and slaughter. Beautiful stories, stories to make the blood sing and the heart shine with light. I want to be one with the designs, but it is not ALLOWED yet. I feel this.
The elevator stops, letting me off in a small cavern. A large, shadowed shape occupies the space, its sleek curves speaking of a distillation of deadly intent and deadly power. I walk to it, running a finger along the fins, the exhaust port, the guidance array and sleek warhead on top. This is a beautiful thing, a tool of conquest. But it is not my goal. It is not the One that calls me. That lies further down.
The ground collapses under me. I fall for an eternity and a microsecond, landing in a massive cavern, larger than anything I could comprehend. The entire city above could fit into this space, but it does not. Instead, I am confronted with a THING beyond all imagining. Infinite clockwork assemblies, intertwined and interlocked, weaving in and out and through each other in dizzying arrays that the human mind cannot comprehend. This THING is alive. It speaks to me. It drew me here. And in this instant, I know something is wrong. This THING is wrong. Its assembly cannot exist, it is impossible. It leaks a black, oily substance. It bleeds, and its blood corrupts the world. Millions of the Beasts swarm out of the oil, clinging to the walls, all staring at me with their blank non-faces, all seeming to wait on a command from their God, the great infernal machine beneath the earth.
I run. The Beasts do not pursue, not yet. I find another tunnel nearby, the sweet scent of surface air flowing down, but I do not leave just yet. There is a body next to this tunnel, a man, perfectly preserved and mummified by the environment. He carries a book. Something, some small remnant of sanity, forces me to take the book with me. I run up the tunnel, expecting at any moment to be caught by the Beasts and dragged back. I know their true purpose now. They do not want to kill me. They want to feed me to their master. The Clockwork God. It is sentient, and it is older than any number can describe, and it is malevolent. It wants nothing more than the destruction of all, that it might be and encompass the entirety of existence. It wishes to consume and grow, and the Beasts are naught more than its agents.
I am the only person who knows this. I cannot stop it. But I will try to find a way.