They can summon nameless horrors from the darkest corners of unspeakable dimensions but can’t delete emails, Richard thought to himself. Rolling his eyes with an audible sigh he scanned back over the email
Hi guys I am not getting emails through this morning and we have a global catastrophe
planned for later can you take a look?
Death Will Soon Consume us all.
Mark Murray – Acquisitions
He was on the verge of sending an email when he realised he would have to speak with the man because the fool wasn’t getting emails. He picked up the phone and dialled the extension. The dialtone was a child weeping, calling for its mother. Richard waited gazing out the window with his head in his hands.
He was a few floors up, from here he could see the pentagram in the middle of the car park, and the few scattered cars parked recklessly. This car park was cornered off from the street, there was a building facing them, It was an old red brick building, charming in it’s own way except for the graffiti scrawled all over it. It formed an L shape hiding the carpark from two sides. The other building, next door to him, was a huge glass building, for a H and M plastics, they manufactured bottle tops, of all things. It was easily three times the size of their building and Richard loved how it looked, so sleek so high tech.
He hung up as the child was beginning to hurt his ears with its horrified screams. It looked like it would rain soon, that would wash away the salt in the pentagram. He bet the facilities team would rope him into helping them redo it. He wondered did anyone consider his feelings in here. A man had been laid in the middle of the pentagram. There was a powerful chanting from the robed men surrounding it. The leader of the assembly held a knife and it began to glow with a crackling red light. As the chanting reached a crescendo the leader plunged a knife deep into the victims chest and in an explosion of gore a misshapen monstrosity, with skin that drooped low, an eye detached from its socket and a wicked forked tongue appeared from the pooling blood. Its mere presence sent several of the chanters to vomiting. One began laughing uncontrollably and twisted his own head around until his neck snapped. The monster walked inside Richard’s building with a slight nod of its
caved in skull up towards him.
‘I didn’t know Terry was in town.’ Richard mused out loud.
‘I am here but nowhere. I live in the darkest recesses of your mind and feed off the monstrous thoughts that you repress. Looking into my eyes is looking into your darkest secrets.’ Terry whispered into his mind. ‘Also can I have the wifi password?’
‘DeathL1v35InU5! And don’t tell anyone, it slows the connection and it means I have to change the password.’ Richard grumbled, he didn’t need to speak but he just thought it felt too strange not talking out loud to someone.
‘Have no fear. The people of the Shinati call me the Keeper of Secrets. I will be in the HR Office if you need me. One of the girls has seen me and shot herself.’
Great, more blood on laptops. He would have to clean that out before it congealed. Richard glanced back to the email. Mark was in the HR Office so he could at least kill two birds with one stone. He walked through the Operations floor, full of agents at this time of the day. Some serial killers, some cult leaders and even Cold Callers, a collection of the worst scum they could find. Their motto was hung above the desks in a banner ‘Be the Best at Being the Worst!’ Glancing at the employee of the week he saw a bald man with eyes bulging to the point of bursting and a jaw clamped so tight it looked as if he would smash his teeth at any moment.
Jack – Outstanding performance 102 points this week for 5 rippings.
Typical, they always favour the serial killers. He glanced at last month’s winner. It was a dour faced woman in her forties, with a bowl haircut doing her best impersonation of a smile.
Ann-Marie- 87 points with 16 family dinners interrupted and 1 romantic dinner. Well at least someone was getting credit other than the killers.
He looked up and saw Alicia. It brought a smile to his weary face. She was short and blonde with a side of her head shaved which Richard always found unusual but quite attractive. She caught his eye and smiled back.
‘Hi Richard.’ She said, turning her attention back to the puddle of pus she was moping up.
‘Are you leaving us yet Alica?’ He said, with a false smile covering his concern. She shook her head with and turned up her lip.
‘You’d think a business management Degree would mean something but nothing yet. You know what is like out there.’
‘Tell me about it. You will get one, you’re smarter and prettier than me that’s for sure.’ He said, then added nervously. I don’t even have a degree.’ He added. She looked at him waryily but he was sure he saw a twinkle in her eyes.
‘Yeah get a move on flatterer.’ He stopped. Ask her to lunch he told himself. Just ask. I’m going to ask, all she can say is no. There’s no harm in it.
‘See you later.’ He said cursing his cowardice.
He swiped his pass at the door and strolled to the door of the HR office finding it blocked by Gavin and his chums all nattering pointlessly and dressed in their best approximation of business casual. He thought they looked, and acted, like drooling fools.
‘Match was great mate, see that goal by Sentez, epic man.’ Gavin said, enthusiastically. A footballer doing the job they are paid to do, although that probably was an alien concept to Gavin.
‘There goes IT watch yourselves lads, hard man coming through.’ Said a crony, whose name Richard had long since expunged from his brain.
He opened his mouth to speak when a robed figure all dressed in black beckoned them forward. The inside of its hood was pitch black, there was no face but the longer you looked into it, the more your imagination thought it saw something horrible and demonic in the darkness. They said a man could go mad seeing what lay under that hood, but Richard always found Ted to be quite pleasant.
‘Quality want to speak with you about your chanting.’ The figure rasped from under its hood. The men reluctantly left but Gavin lingered longer than the others just to frustrate Richard. When he had finally gone, Richard walked into the office, doors swinging open with a swipe of his card and thus he began deleting emails for Mark and the countless other tasks that required his presence.
Finally sitting down for lunch, an hour late because Mark muttered the dreaded words ‘My laptop is running slow’, Richard began browsing the internet. He had to scroll past the usual self-promotion tweets and inevitable slew of ‘THE END IS NIGH’ before he got the really interesting things. A hilarious video of a dancing hamster, news about the new World of Warcraft 2 expansion Rise of the Tuskarr, a video of the new raids, The Tyranny of Gamon and some others and an interesting article about the new Bard class. Just as he was getting into the article he heard some gunshots from down the corridor. What were those people doing now? He would never get peace in this place. He went to the beta forums and read some feedback on the class.
Kalthazor: The new bard class is the best thing to ever happen to the game. They are so flexible easily switching between giving good DPS and good heals I think having one in the party will be amazing so excited for the expansion!!!!!!!!!!!!
MeGaNeGaSh4mmy: max lvl noobs jumping in as healerz not knowin hwo to play. Omfg bliz stop doing this shit
Trollman8548562244:Wow2 sux EQ5 ftw
His concentration was broken by some more gunshots followed by shouting. He got up and treaded carefully to his door. He raised his hand to it touching the cold wood. He took a deep, steadying breath. He thumped on it and shouted
‘Keep it down will you!’
Then he dropped back into the chair and looked at some movie news. Apparently Captain America 7 was coming out next year and was going to Feature Armless Tiger Man, rumours were he was being played by Tom Hanks.
Someone opened his door and just as he was about to turn around and give them a piece of his mind, when he decided to stay quiet instead. The woman’s demeanour didn’t give much room for argument, the assault rifle pointed at his head reinforced this.
‘Give me one good reason not to pull this trigger.’ She said with a sneer. Her voice was far more world weary than her age would indicate. Normally, Richard could think of numerous reasons to live, many well structured arguments about how he didn’t really serve evil he was just support staff however a loaded gun to his head had impeached his thought process somewhat.
‘I haven’t even finished my lunch yet.’ He said dumbstruck. The woman looked around, she had short blonde hair, lightly tanned skin and she was actually very pretty. Although the pale white fatigues she was wearing was hardly flattering.
‘Are you IT?’ She asked.
‘Yes, but I’m not a nerd.’ He said, managing to confuse himself.
‘Can you get me access to the head office?’
‘Yeah, my card can get into anywhere.’ His arms were beginning to tire from being stuck in the air and he hoped desperately she wouldn’t just shoot him and take the card. She looked at him and considered what to do for a moment. Her finger hovered over the trigger and Richard stared at it understandably nervous. She thought for a long time, and as she did so Richard was calling in his head for Terry but there was no answer. Was he dead? Could he be killed? His legs quivered the surging adrenaline desperate to make him run but the woman was blocking his only exit.
The barrel moved, indicating for him to lead the way. He stood, his legs suddenly like jelly. He moved out into the operations floor. The ground was littered with bodies, blood seeping into the dull grey carpet and bullet holes in the walls, desks and dividers. Men in identical white uniforms were grabbing the surviving operations staff and leading them out in handcuffs. He spied Gavin begging for his life and he smiled. The woman noticed this.
‘Even your kind finds him detestable. Seven kidnappings, all victims found dismembered.’ She said, she looked ready to throw him a kick.
‘Oh yes, I hope you make him suffer.’ Richard made sure he was loud enough for Gavin to hear.
‘I’ll make sure of it personally.’ She said, with a terrifying satisfaction, Richard found this disturbingly attractive. They moved on stepping around bodies until he saw Alicia. She was face down, hole in the side of her shaved head, his heart sank. She didn’t deserve this, she deserved better.
‘Caught in the crossfire.’ The woman said curtly
‘Why would you do this?’ He asked, staring down at the corpse as broken as he felt. He would have asked her, eventually. It was too late now. He would never have that chance.
‘We are the White Rose.’ She answered plainly.
‘Never heard of you.’
‘You were never supposed to.’ She shoved him with the barrel and he moved on, shoulders slumped dejectedly and his mind full of the image of that beautiful woman with a bullet hole on the side of her head. He felt angry at these people but what could he do them? Change their passwords? He swiped the door and tried to move away but the woman jabbed him in the ribs and forced him through first.
This was the head office, he had never been in here, despite his access. It was pitch black and deadly cold. The floor under his feet seemed to squelch like rotting flesh and his nostrils filled with the repugnant scent of brimstone.
‘Your kind should not be here.’ Voices whispered in unison, it seemed like the voices surrounded them somehow.
‘Show yourself, Czathlak.’ The woman called into the darkness, every inch as fearless as when she held the gun to Richard’s head.
‘There is a reason they call me the unseen horror.’ The voices were getting closer now they seemed to be increasing in number.
‘I do not fear you monster!’ The woman yanked a pendant off her neck.
‘Little Alexa, I know your fears more than you do. To live on the streets again, to be so desperate for money-‘ There was a bright explosion that the darkness retreated into a unassuming man in a charcoal grey suit with an ear piercing scream.
‘The light of Andenia. I had thought it lost.’ The man said sounding almost impressed. Alexa pressed the shotgun to his temple. This man was his CEO, Sanji Aveer, he was completely bald, his face covered in unspeakable symbols, his eye lids had been peeled off and left bulging brown eyes staring from bloody sockets.
‘You were supposed to.’ She said, kicking the man on his back and pointing the gun at his forehead.
‘I’m surprised it worked after you executed that innocent cleaner’ The suited man stared directly at Richard those unsettling lidless eyes unmoving seeming to stare directly into his soul.
‘Collateral damage.’ Alexa said callously. The hot rage began to burn again in his chest. His heart thumped uncontrollably. Images appeared in his mind of Alexa shooting the poor, pleading Alicia. It seemed so real as if it he were reliving it. The brutality, the careless way Alexa pulled the trigger it sent his guts reeling. It started as a small ache and then grew to something much larger and much worse. The pain doubled him over and the lidless man smiled revealing his filed and pointed teeth.
Alexa stared at him with narrowed eyes.
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ She hissed, as Richard cried out in pain. The pain was increasing it was becoming unbearable, as if the liquid in his stomach was somehow boiling. It forced him to his knees. He began gagging.
‘If this is a trick of yours…’ She said, sounding increasingly worried. Then something came out of Richard’s mouth.
He didn’t vomit, a black liquid somehow crawled out of his mouth. It rolled down his chin and touched the ground then it began to pool. It was seemingly endless and the pool began to grow until it surrounded Richard. He sank into it.
He should have felt fear.
He felt elated. A flood of knowledge poured into his brain. Secrets that were far beyond the reach of ordinary men were open to him and the knowledge made him practically giddy. He could feel the building, and the White Rose invaders were an annoying itch. He scratched and watched as the invaders fell apart at his touch. He crushed Gavin beneath his palm and laughed.
Then he saw Alexa. He suddenly felt ill looking at her vile light. He clenched her in his fist, being careful not to kill her but he did make her scream in a mix of terror and agony. He smiled at the pleasure it gave him. Her pain filled him with a buzzing, orgasmic joy. Then he returned promptly to the head office.
He rose out of the black liquid, not a drop of it on his clothing and he looked Mister Aveer. His face was wide in a manic smile, his tongue licking his fangs. He knelt before Richard. Alexa was to his left trapped in a cocoon of pulsing blackened flesh. She was fully conscious and screaming in impotent dread.
‘Welcome Lord Tcherzek.’ Mister Aveer said reverentially.
‘That is Terry’s name.’ Richard said looking down at the man. He was shocked to find the word Terry came out as Tcherzek.
‘This must be terribly confusing for you, my lord. The original Lord died in this assault passing his powers onto you, his heir.’ The man explained.
He didn’t to deny it. He wanted to think he was normal but it all made sense to him and how could he resist this intoxicating power?
‘You must have noticed your psychic connection with him.’ He stated. Richard had assumed that was how Terry communicated with everyone. ‘My lord I am at your service in everyway. I hope together we can forge a new area of chaos. Richard Johnson, you will be the new Managing Director.’
Richard grinned at this.
Life had certainly taken a turn. He was partly bewildered by all the changes but another deeper part of him revelled in it. His new office occupied the entire upper floor and was luxurious in every sense of the word. He leant back in his chair listening to the pleasing creak of the fresh leather and smiled to himself. On his desk he saw a sign saying ‘Richard Johnson, Managing Director’. He had never dreamed of such a thing and so he gave a satisfied sigh and decided it was time for some business.
He pressed the intercom to his secretary. He smiled at that thought, HIS secretary.
‘Ms Simmons, can you please send in Mister Aveer?’ He ordered and then added ‘and thank him for his patience.’
The door buzzed and the charcoal suited man walked in, minor annoyance on his face at being kept waiting but overtly he showed only servitude. This caused Richard’s smile to widen.
‘I hope the Office is to your liking, my lord.’ He said with a slight incline of his head.
‘It is quite something.’ Richard stood and shook the man’s hand and motioning for him to sit. The man sat and his grin turned nasty.
‘That secretary of yours.’ He said with a wink.
‘I know.’ Richard said with a lusty laugh. There was a moment of silence and then he spoke, sounding almost regretful.
‘I am sorry to bring you in like this but I am afraid I am going to have to let you go.’ He said gravely. The man looked at him and laughed disbelieving. ‘I am quite serious.’
‘But…I outrank you.’ He said with a raised eyebrow and a sympathetic grin. Richard’s face turned dark and he looked at him under a commanding frown.
‘Do you?’ A voice from the depths of Richard’s belly said. A series of thin fleshy tentacles exploded from the chair and held the man tight to it.
‘I… helped… awaken…your power.’ He squeezed out as the tentacles began to choke him. Richard walked over looking apologetic.
‘Don’t think for a second I don’t appreciate that.’ He rested a comforting hand on the man’s shoulder as blood dripped down his neck. ‘You did however orchestrate the event leading to my father’s death.’ The man’s eyes widened in disbelief.
‘There is a reason they call me keeper of the secrets.’ That familiar voice from inside said. The tentacles twisted off the man’s head and threw it aside.
Richard sat down and grunted happily. There was a knock at the door and his secretary came in. Her hair was now shaved on one side and she was a little paler than before but no less pretty for it.
‘Ah, Alexa do come in.’ Richard beckoned for her. She moved to his side and he put his hand on her cheek. He nudged her head gently to the side so he could examine the scar on the shaved side of her skull. It has still red but beginning to fade, remarkable considering what they had done.
‘It is healing nicely.’ He commented. ‘Does it hurt much anymore?’ He asked her.
‘Every moment is agony.’ She said emotionlessly. ‘It will not interfere with my duties.’ He smiled at her.
‘That is very good.’ He strolled over to the window and looked down at the car park again. The rain had indeed washed away the pentagram and the bodies from earlier bled into puddles of rain and salt. He glanced back to Alexa who was dutifully removing her blouse.
‘No need just yet. I want to talk to the CEO of M and H plastics. Would you send him Mister Aveer’s head and tell him I have a proposition for him?’ Richard ordered. Alexa nodded and walked outside to her desk to make the call, lifting up the severed head as if it was a piece of discarded paper. Richard lifted his scotch on the table and smiled.
It was going to be a good day.