Who: Henry Townshend. It’s a narrative. Where: A church in LA. When: The extremely early morning hours of Friday. It’s still dark. What: Getting his head back on straight. In kind of a surprising way. Alternatively, innocence lost. Warnings: Cursing. A little gore. Slaughter.
Henry stood shadowed in a dark alley, watching the church of Dagon across the street. His cigarette was the only part of him that could really be seen, the tip lighting as he inhaled and fading as he removed it from his mouth. He blew the smoke out of his nose, for some reason making him look like a very pissed off dragon.
He’d told Ava he needed a few days to get his head on straight. This was true. He just hadn’t told her how he would be doing that. There would be no relaxing vacations this time. That isn’t what this called for. Not in the slightest, actually. This called for something…else.
He was always the nice guy. The guy that would help people. The guy that would give people second chances. So it would surprise people if they ever found out just what he was planning here. He wasn’t here to threaten the cultists within that church. He wasn’t here to negotiate with them.
He was here to slaughter them all.
He still remembered the future. The horrible future where he’d won the war but lost everything to do it. He still remembered his collection of foul tomes, the books he’d had to research to learn about the cult’s next move. He still remembered the horrible words and syllables necessary for what he was planning here.
He put the remaining little bit of his cigarette out on his heel and flicked the butt in the direction of the open dumpster nearby. Then he pulled his dark hat down low over his face and buttoned up the long coat he’d worn over here. Wasn’t much of a disguise, but he didn’t much care, either. What he was doing here, no one would be able to prove.
He approached the church near a lower side window. It was one of those latched double windows, and it appeared to be some kind of basement window that allowed light in there. It was also big enough for a man to climb out of. The other side had one, but he’d already blocked it with his car. The doors had been taken care of as well, though not through any mundane means.
Now that everything was in place, he began unloading things from his pockets. Little things, very odd things, and finally a dagger with some strange runework etched into the wickedly curved blade. Taking a deep breath and reaching back into his memory, he picked out the necessary syllables and began intoning the chant.
Each blasted, barely pronounceable word tugged at his mind, but only two good things came out of that last week and one of them was a steely willpower where it concerned these sorts of spells. He held a picture in his mind of what he wanted, a huge gelatinous mass of goo. Black and transparent, looking like some kind of giant amoeba with mouths all over it, mouths full of razor sharp teeth, mouths that appeared and disappeared by the second.
Henry Townshend was summoning a Shoggoth.
Ten of them went before they could even scream. The other fifteen made for the door. Only ten made it out of the basement, and the Shoggoth followed, splitting into multiple smaller Shoggoths to pursue them when they split up. Screams ripped out of dissolving lungs as the Shoggoths fed on groups of cultists. Skin melted and dissolved, bones bleached like they had been in the sun for far too long, and finally cracked and split and melted within the corrosive substance of the Shoggoth.
One of the cultists had the bright idea of returning to the basement and trying to get out through the window Henry was guarding. One side of the window unlatched and flew open, and the cultist squirmed halfway out before realizing Henry was staring down at him, smirking. “You! This is you’re doing!” He looked pathetic, covered in sweat and blood and panic so thick Henry could smell it. “Please! Please stop! I-I’ll quit!” Henry just stood in silence, staring down the cultist. “PLEASE! I HAVE KIDS!”
“Then I guess they’ll grow up without a daddy,” Henry replied, his voice hard and gravely, reminding the cultist in that moment of gravel grinding against itself. Then Henry’s boot was smashing into the cultist’s face, pushing him back through the window. On the way back, he turned his foot and caught the window on it, swinging it back into place hard enough to bring the latch back down.
The cultist was smashed against the window as the Shoggoth slammed into it, flowing over him, trapping him against the window. Henry watched in morbid fascination as the cultist’s skin began to sag, slowly melting off of his bones like so much running water. He watched the flesh and muscle and organs drop and melt, and saw the blood immediately get sucked up into the hungry Shoggoth’s many mouths. He watched the bones bleach and break, watched the Shoggoth devour every piece of this man.
And he grinned.
It was a simple matter to banish the Shoggoth. The creatures were notoriously simple-minded and easy to control, which is why they were ideal for servitors. After that he let the less-than-mundane locking of the door go and returned to his car, pulling out and into the night, his soul just a little blacker for what he’d done here.
One down. And reaching into his memory again, he pulled out the location of the next cult meeting place, given to him by various cult members in the future after they’d finally given up. He wouldn’t let that future come to pass. Even if it meant he’d have to give up a piece of his soul in the process.