Despite the tiredness and unease I returned to the hanging things this morning with Kanar. This time he had a notebook with him and wrote down everything I said. I returned to the mummy I’d touched yesterday. And the moment I laid my hands on it, it was like pressing the ‘continue’ button on the DVD player. I saw the creature hanging there. I saw the witch eventually take it down, lay it on the table, and open the casket containing the branch things. Soon after she started piercing the creature’s body, the animal filled out and started to struggle. She calmed it easily. Once she peeled the mud from its face I saw its eyes were wide and staring and filled with some kind of half-light.
I don’t know how she controlled it but it seemed completely under her thumb then. She stroked and whispered to it for a short while before pushing some paste into its mouth. Then she put it into a basket and carried it from the lair.
For a short while after that all I saw was a blackness. Then, just when I thought the vision was over, the images flickered back to life again. The witch was moving through the gloomy back streets of a city. Beggars and drunks littered the gutters. Rough looking women plastered with makeup peered out of doorways. Ragged, dirty children darted to and fro between the alleys playing some silly game.
Not a single person seemed to see her. Okay, so some of them looked her way as if sensing something was there. But none of them saw her. If they had, I doubt if they’d have stuck around long enough to take a second look. After a while the alleys changed to streets and then she was hurrying along a broad, tree-lined avenue. Great stone and marble clad building towered four or fives storeys on either side. She stopped outside one of the smaller buildings and released the animal. Thought the front entrance was guarded by two heavily armed men, they didn’t notice the creature climb the wall and enter the building through what looked like a tiny air vent.
More blackness came. The images flickered. Then the creature was in a bedroom and looking at a young man asleep on a luxurious bed. The creature leaped onto the bed and scraped the man’s face. When he bolted upright with fright, the beast spat the witch’s paste straight into his mouth.
The man was dead in seconds.
So, too, was my vision.
I’m still shaking from that experience. I suspect there’s a casket for each of those mummified creatures, a casket containing those branch things (or whatever the hell they are) to bring them back to life. I can’t help wondering what might happen if we find these caskets and start piercing the mummies. After all this time, would they come alive? Sounds impossible. Yet, though everything in that place seems so old, I have the impression that age is no more than dust in there. Brush it off and who knows how the years might roll back.
But is it right to awaken these creatures? I don’t think so. No. They deserve to burn hot and fast and find an eternal peace within the flames. I doubt if things will go as easily, though. There are to many secrets locked up in that place. To an organisation like the Cadavat it’s like finding a buried treasure. All they need is the key to understanding it.
I suspect I am that key—or part of it anyway. And I’ll say one thing about going into that lair. It might be terrifying at times, but it’s also absolutely fascinating.
They want me to return there in two days to examine one more mummy—the monkey like thing. Then there’ll be no more visits until I return from home. Tomorrow I have a different task. Sara wants me to brief them on what to expect when we emerge on the far side of the Envelop gateway.
I don’t really know what to tell them. Should be fun, though.