Chapter XIII - Tunnels and RevelationsMature

The night went on without insident. I woke up as dawn peek through the window of my own room. I hadn't moved there myself, Keith had probably done so. Birds sang outside, proclaiming the return of spring after a harsh winter.

The smell of vege-bacon filled the air, accompagnied by the sweet aroma of fresh coffee. My stomach roared at the smells coming from the kitchen, a reminder that I had negglected it all day and night the previous day.

Despite it's desperate cries for food, I forced myself into the shower, a quick look at the mirror told me all I needed to know; my hair formed a messy mop of greasy knots instead of my wavy not-haircut I usually ordorned.

It took a moment for it to run hot, before I hopped into it. Bathing had always been a ritual for me, top to bottom, hair first. I washed mechanically not even paying attention to my movements. My mind was effervescent as the water washed away the hardship of the night, the worries and the energy that clinged to my being.

I stepped out of the bathroom right after, skipping shaving and any form of combing. Sitting at the main table were the ladies while Keith cooked the breakfast for the whole gang.

Since we'd been crashing at the same place, he had been the main guy for food, due to his self-imposed veganism, he rarely ordered out and instead opted for cooking. The nice thing was that he was considerate enough not to impose it on everyone, he didn't mind doing additional cooking to add non-vegan meals for me and the other people who came in an on and off manner to this place.

Morning, Everyone.” I announced.

Hey there. Sit down, I've got your plate ready in a second” responded Keith.

Camillia and Nova sat next to one another, the former leaning onto the latter “Hey there.” they both proclaimed togueter. Cam looked much better that she had the previous days. Gonew ere her shrunken eyes, and cadaveric complexion.

Keith sat next to me as he brought our plates to the table. Potatoes, veggetarian bacon and eggs for us, while he had a pancake with a mountain of fruits and real mapple syrup.

After a few minutes of silent eating, he threw a glance at the girls “Don't you think it's time for him?” He demanded to Nova.

I think you're right.” She conceded.

So do I” Cam added

Time for what?” I asked

Your innitiation” Camilla reported

My innitiation? To what?”

Surely you've noted we have some kind of organisation, we think it's time you become part of it” The blue woman affirmed

The organisation?”

We all belong to what you can call a secret society. We spent the last few months watching you. We all agree that this period is over. It's time you become a true magician.”

What does that mean?” I begged for answears.

You'll understand later. Come to his adress tonight. At eleven.” she claimed, scribbling down something on a post it.

Without any more words the three of them left me there, dumbfounded.

Guess I'll have to wait to find out...”

*****

The day went by slowly, I couldn't stop thinking about what they meant. What was their organisation? I got the whole magic helping each other club but there was more?

Finally, the clock hit 11 and I made my way to the designated adress...

sitting between an apartment complex and a closed supermarket was the place I'd been told to go to...

An empty field surrounded by metal fences that had been closed for a while. All around the place were keep out and danger signs.

The construction compagny and the owner had planned to raze the old building, a library, to construct some more condos. The first part had been done but the second had never kicked off as both the constructor and entrepreneur had gone backrupt.

Regardless of what was here –- or what actually wasn't-- I had to get in. The fence proved not too hard to climb up as I threw my coat right onto the barbed wire that they had posted for some reason.

The ground was completely empty, holding nothing but discarted junk and an abandoned, ruined trailer. Mounds of dirt held a strong part of the terrain's size. It was only by exploring around that I found something interesting. Niched between the trailler and the piles of earth was a fairly wide hole, going down a good 10 meters. At the bottom of which was a wooden trap door.

DOWN BEGINS THE PATH TO POWER
THE PATH TO SAFETY LEAD AWAY

The words were scrawled on the door. I slid down the hole, it's earthen edge going down a somewhat managable inclination and touched the paint. It still felt fresh under my fingers but I knew it wasn't something I could see with mundane senses. After digging around a bit, I found the stone structure the door held on to.

So I entered the underground lair, holding up the small flashlight that was in my coat, one of the things I'd leaned never to go out without.

SILENT IS THE WAY
JUST AS THE REVELATION IS

A small cobble stone hallway was burried under the consruction site, barely big enough for a man to go through. It turned around frequently, sometimes splitting into multiple paths. Each intersection contained drawing of men and woman fighting monsters, undeads, demons

FIRST COME THOSE WHO SLAYS
YET THEY REMAIN THE LEAST DANGEROUS

For a time I walked it, a few times having to back track my way. After what I presumed was half an hour, I finally reached another part of the maze.

The tunnel gave away into a condemned cellar which then via an excavated wall lead to an abandoned metro shaft. All the way across the maze, arcane symbols adorned the walls, craffity spoke of events from the past, on the walls of the subway tunnel a large painting depicted a battle featuring indian shamans, merliesque wizards, norse runesingers and Yogi gurus accompagnied by dragons, feys and angels fighting a battle against a faceless army of foes, all perfectly identical with one another, fighting with guns and robots.

A WAR NOT OF WEAPONS

BUT OF IDEAS AND PRINCIPLES

CHAOS AND FREEDOM OR ORDER AND SLAVERY?

I walked down the subway line to the end, a large arrow had been drawn onto the wall, pointing downward to a ladder. Below the ladder were massive catacombs, it's pillars contained writing in a hundred different language. “Order and Liberty conflicts. But the old ones still conspiries from the outside.”

Drawn on the many walls were scenes of grotesque horrors, tentacled beasts devouring humans, chthonic gods rising up, destropying cities, invisible beings violating the mind of the people, seen only by their hands reaching into their victim's brains.

THEY AWAIT
ALL BELONGS TO THEM
A FIGHT THAT CANNOT BE WON
ONLY DELAYED

I passed through a double door into a new room, a large circlular room barely light by two candles on an altar that stood in the middle of the abyss. As I went, in, my flashlight gave died, leaving me only with the room's nigh non-existent lighting.

Lights rose all around me when I reached the center of the place. All around me, half bathe in light, sending drawn out shadows toward me, appeared a dozen red robed cladded figures.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE STAKES OF THIS WAR NOW?” they demanded, speaking in perfect unison.

The End

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