The Contessa reclined lazily on her leather throne as Esme entered. The pill had worn off, and the normal psychic chatter in the back of her mind was coming slowly back into being. She still felt pangs of fury, but overall they were beginning to settle. The Contessa opened her eyes as soon as Esme sat upon the metallic conch, and immediately sat bolt upright staring directly as her great-granddaughter with those amber eyes.
Two filled china cups later, the Contessa snapped her fingers and holograms sprang from the floor into the air. Two images came to the forefront - the face of Alaric Blondstone and a strange series of symbols scrawled on an old parchment.
"We did some digging on Mr Blondstone - he recently acquired this through illegal means and smuggled it over to Ruritania. The writings you see are Aklo - the signs of what many speculate to be the language that one can use to communicate with what scholars call the 'Great Old Ones'."
"Let me guess," Esme gave a slight grin. "The same cosmic gods of Lovecraft's stories? Big tentacled horrors from the abyss-" Her joking reply was cut off by the view of the Colosseum during the death of Alaric - the faint writhing movements that seemed to pour into the Earth through the pillar of fresh organs, causing them to fall apart as a slight inky black spiralled into the sands and vanished.
Another image was brought up - a mass of black writhing tentacles with a thousand eyes and rows upon rows of non-Euclidean teeth - with a caption reading:
"The Crawling Chaos"
Herald of Azathoth
Level 6 Threat
Esme gulped, and thought a little before a name came to her mind.
"And who," she asked tentatively, "is Everett Wen?"
Remember your training, Sherrinford.
The fury was boiling within - Armstrong felt as if his very heart had been wrenched from his chest. Wen was actually still alive, and the bastard was still on the loose. After all he had done - after all he had strived to achieve - and it had led him to this. He could deal with Alaric, he could cope with the monsters and the chaos - just not Wen.
He focused again, trying to will himself into a calmer state, but it just couldn't blot out those memories - his fist launched into the metal wall, puncturing it with a hefty crunch. Armstrong raised his hand to see it - it was sliced all the way down both sides, and deeply, too. The blood was dark - almost black.
"Everett Wen," came the controlled response of the Contessa as she chose her words very carefully, "is one of the most deadly people in existence. The only individual who could escape Armstrong - the only one to escape myself. Wen has lived for centuries, ended countless lives, orchestrated endless events."
"So why did Armstrong freeze up when he heard that name?"
She suddenly felt a slight chill in the base of her spine, and turned to see the man himself stood at the door, his left sleeve black with blood.
"I think I can tell her this story, Contessa. I remember it well, after all."