The end

It had been a week since Jeffrey and Helena had escaped London. Now they were going back. They knew where the eco-president and the mad scientists would be. That was the only thing that was left to do. The group of survivors moved south without encountering any sort of resistance, and went all the way to Regent’s Park without meeting anyone in person. The black lady from the shop where Helena and Jeffrey had initially hidden was in the entrance, waiting for them.

“Well, that’s the end of it, then” she announced.

“It is, grandma” Jeffrey said, hugging the old lady. “We now need to arrest the people in here and start to rebuild”.

“Good, good” Jeffrey’s grandma nodded. “But don’t let those maniacs live. A bullet to the head should be enough to end the problem”.

“That’s what I think, too” Helena’s grandmother agreed.

The two ladies started to talk, and seemed to hit it off. They did not enter the bamboo palace that the environmentalists had built in the park. In fact, nobody did. Dani just gave an order, and they set fire to the building. A small group, which included the eco-president and Barbara, came out of the building. Before they could say a thing, Dani’s people shot them down.

“Wow. Wasn’t that a bit excessive?” Helena asked.

“These people and their followers have killed over 5 billion people. They had already sealed their fates” Dani explained.

“But I just feel that… I don’t know, this whole thing, this story, or whatever this is, doesn’t get much closure, does it?” Helena asked.

Jeffrey intervened. “I’ve told you before. Life is absurd. It is completely absurd that thee environmentalists did any of these things, but they somehow did. Sometimes life doesn’t make any sense, and you just have to accept that”.

Helena sighed. An absurd period had ended, after a completely senseless chain of events. Now rebuilding was going to take a lot of effort from everyone.

New Missions

Dear Vera,

I’ve been too busy to read any mail this week. As I had told you already, I am now working as a Priest of the Dark Lord, Assistant of the sub-Lieutenant Third of the Illuminati branch of America. This means that I have many more responsibilities, than before, and that I get to know a lot more about the world, and the inner workings of the company.

So, the other day I was in a meeting with my boss’ boss, because apparently the bird that attacked Lisa’s boss, that is, my current boss (who holds the position of sub-Lieutenant Third of the Illuminati branch of America), was some sort of sacred bird whose fiery tail pierced through his impure soul, mortally wounding him. This means that he is agonizing, and that I’ll probably have to take his position in the company when he dies (which is a bit of a pity, because that means I will never experience being the human sacrifice in the Dark Mass). I am currently already carrying out his work in practical effects, so that would only affect my salary and the perks I get from it, which is great!

Now, the other day, in that meeting I was telling you about, the Lieutenant Third of the Illuminati branch of America, High Priestess of the Dark Lord, explained that the Masons were advancing in their domination of the world, and that we needed to stop them. From what I understand, the Masons are a rival company whose interests oppose those of the Illuminati, and the High Priestess said that we need to stomp them, murder them, torture them and utterly shatter them.

The first objective in our fight against the Masons is to brainwash as many members of the president’s cabinet as possible. It would seem that previous brainwashing efforts were not strong enough, and that the Mason brainwashing is making the members of the cabinet behave in the erratic way in which they currently do. Our mission was to stabilize them and make them work in accordance to our company’s goals.

I was the one in charge of said mission, so the High Priestess’ personal assistant opened a portal for me to go to Washington. A few people from the company had already prepared meetings with the members of the cabinet for me to brainwash them, and so I headed to each and every one of them, fearing that my brainwashing abilities might not be on point for such a delicate mission.

What I found was… Weird. Like, they responded pretty easily to my brainwashing, and their new interests were back in line with those of the Illuminati, but they still behaved quite erratically, even when directed towards those goals. Upon further inspection I realized that the members of the cabinet had no cerebral activity, or any sort of brain, for that matter. Their skulls were just empty shells.

When I explained this to the High Priestess, she said that all politicians turn into clay golems over time, and that it was only normal to find that they had no brains. This apparently had something to do with some hex that a witch placed on all politicians a long time ago. I then asked her whether it would be more efficient to replace those human-golems which were weak and could be brainwashed by more robust golems that could not be brainwashed.

She seemed to like the idea, and that is what we have done! The High Priestess, who is called Christina, by the way, said that we could go really far with that kind of mentality! I am so happy that my efforts are being valued!

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well back at home. Give my regards to friends and family.

Jan

Wrapping things up

They listened carefully, and heard no more buzz. They had spent over an hour in complete silence. Jeffrey finally spoke. “I think it should be safe to move now”.

The three women walked outside. They saw a bunch of corpses throughout the street. It would seem that the town and its surroundings had not been abandoned when they had arrived. The Genetically Modified Soldiers had swept past the town, killing everyone that they could detect. As Helena’s grandmother inspected one of the corpses, there was a large buzz.

Helena turned around and saw a mosquito-man. Its eyes were looking at them, and it seemed ready to attack. Before Helena could react, an axe cut through its head. Helena gasped, and the creature screamed in pain, as it received several hits from the axe. The body fell dead, revealing Dani, who had sneaked up behind the soldier and hit it several times with the axe.

“Dani?” Helena suddenly noticed.

“Hey! Helena, Jeffrey. I suppose that this is your grandmother?”

“So you’re Dani” Helena’s grandmother registered Dani’s face.

Dani nodded. “It’s nice to meet you, but let’s leave the introductions for later. We need to move now”.

“Move? Where?” Helena asked.

“This whole eco-revolution thing is coming to an end. Social order is decomposing, and the eco-regime is losing control. They are losing battles all over the world… And we are now going to cut-off its head” Dani explained.

“But what about these insect-soldiers? How are we going to destroy them? There are thousands of them!”

“Helena does have a point. We can’t be reckless about this” Helena’s grandmother said.

“I will explain everything as we go. Let’s head towards London”.

The four of them got onto Jeffrey’s car, and started to move south. Dani started to talk.

“OK, so let’s start from the beginning. This whole eco-revolution thing was not started by environmentalists, or anything like that. It was started by scientists. In particular, a group of scientists that was researching several pathogens that disrupted human DNA” Dani said. “They discovered that, using these pathogens and several viral vectors, they could transform people into hybrids with animal characteristics. Radiation can help with the mutation process”.

“That is the reason why those soldiers in Newcastle…!” Helena realized.

“Yes. Those were a test run. The thing is, the human body cannot process these pathogens well. In fact, initial trials were a complete fiasco, and so the project was cancelled”.

“I imagine someone went bonkers about this” Jeffrey hypothesized.

“You are right. The principal investigator did not want the project to be cancelled, so he sought out for funding and support. Most world-governments did not want to hear anything about it… But somehow, nobody knows how, the current eco-president heard about the project, and seemed interested”.

“Mad scientist and crazy environmentalist. Sounds like a bad combo to me” Jeffrey added.

“The researcher somehow managed to convince the environmentalists that his project would help humans evolve onto a next level, with hybrid features, in which they would be more in sync with nature. They could change the world, and he would help them by testing his chemicals on as many people as possible” Dani continued.

“Is that the reason why most of the killing actually happened in hospitals, and not in the street?” Helena’s grandmother asked, remembering how she got called.

Dani nodded. “Yes. The environmentalists went onto that spiral of madness somehow, and are now actively participating in this whole thing. I don’t think I need to explain much of what has happened since the eco-revolution. The data that they’ve gathered has allowed our mad scientist to improve the formula, and that is the reason why there are now so many genetically modified soldiers”.

After a pause, Helena felt like she needed to ask a few questions. “How did you know all of this stuff? How did you know where we were moving?”

“Well… Scientists like myself were the first ones to get persecuted. Some were kidnapped and sent to work for the genetic modifications project. Many others were killed because the environmentalists thought, in their madness, that science is a depraved practice that leads to technological improvement and strain on natural resources. So me and others had to go into hiding. We organized, and have managed to create quite a complex association. We have spies everywhere”.

“Like myself” Jeffrey explained.

“And what now?” Helena’s grandmother asked.

“The eco-regime had killed over five billion people in about a year. They have somehow proven to be the deadliest force on the world. We are going to stop them” Dani stated.

“How? They have those soldiers, and what do we have to fight them?” Helena asked, worriedly.

Dani smiled. “We have a plan. Those soldiers are quite unstable and don’t last over a few days, so we are going to wait while we get ready. And then we will finish the eco-government, and rebuild from the ashes of our society”.

The Dark Mass

Dear Vera,

I would ask you how things are at home, but there seems to be a problem with post, and even though I receive your letters, I seem to have problems reading them. The last letter that you sent me was quite thick. I am guessing it contained letters from mom, dad and everyone else, right? Well, when I opened the envelope, just as I received the letter, an incredibly powerful gust of wind took all of the papers away (the envelope, too!).

I cast a few spells to try to capture the papers, but they did not work. I ran after the papers, and, after what must have been a few hours of running, I reached a vast wasteland in the edge of the Occult Neighbourhood. I had never seen this wasteland, and that was actually the last time I saw it. When the papers landed on it, a forest grew over it, so thick that it was impossible to navigate. When I finally gave up, I met a figure with the skull of a ram for a head, who looked at me in an intense way (despite its lack of eyes), and told me that “Destiny had been sealed”.

Going to this week’s activities, I had already told you about the Dark Mass, right? Well, it has already happened. The other day, I met the Dark Lord. As I told you in my previous letter, every Priest and Priestess of the Dark Lord, Assistant of the sub-Lieutenant Third of the Illuminati branches needed to be sacrificed in the Dark Mass. My boss, Lisa, was going to attempt to kill her boss to get a promotion and manage to escape the deadly fate. However, she could not find him at any point during the week, not even instants prior to the Dark Mass, because, apparently, he had been attacked by some large bird, and so he did not come to work during the whole week. Lisa finally had to come to terms with the idea that she was going to get sacrificed to the Dark Lord.

The Dark Mass was an extremely controlled ceremony. There was lots of protocol to be followed, and to be fair, I was thankful to the seminars that I had received on the previous week. The ceremony took place in some sort of cathedral that we accessed through underground tunnels. Seats had been assigned for us; I was seating towards the edge of the room, and all of the sacrifices were in the very centre, so my boss had a pretty good place to see the whole thing. The cathedral must have been larger than a stadium, but it was crowded. There were thousands of people there!

The people that were going to get sacrificed were in quite some distress, and there was quite a lot of noise, but I could not see why, or what was going on. Suddenly, several lights of different colours illuminated each of us, and the cathedral went from the black of everyone’s cloaks to a sea of colour. My light was a bright white, a rare thing that I could not see on anyone else (but there were over 50,000 people there, so no easy way to know if there were others like me). There were green, blue, red, yellow, pink… and several other colours. One of the regions of the public looked like one of those Find Waldo drawings. The sacrifices did not have any colours on them.

A dark fluid concentrated on the ceiling of the building, and spiralled down in weird shapes that defied any sense, falling over the human sacrifices. They were enveloped by that black goo in no time, and when they had all disappeared under that dark mantle, the Dark Lord materialized. Now, this was quite a shocking experience. I don’t remember exactly what the Dark Lord looked like. It had long hair, and I think it had wings and horns, but I cannot quite remember what happened. A girl that was sitting next to me told me that the Dark Lord was such a superior being that our brains had trouble conceptualizing it, so the brain avoided those memories.

The Dark Lord disappeared without saying a thing, apparently pleased with the Dark Mass. The centre of the cathedral was left empty, and the human sacrifices were nowhere to be seen. After several rituals, we all went back to our workplaces. I asked about Lisa, and I was told that she had ‘crossed to the other side’ which I think means that she has gone to work in Europe now. Good for her.

This meant that her position was vacant, so it was offered to me. I gladly accepted it, and I am now a Priest of the Dark Lord, Assistant of the sub-Lieutenant Third of the American branch of the Illuminati. I am so excited! I am going to have new responsibilities now! I really like the opportunities for promotion that the Illuminati offer. I’ll start working on my new position soon, and I will get to meet my new boss! Let’s hope it goes well!

Regards,

Jan

An unusual storm

Helena stopped the car. Jeffrey looked up, wondering what was going on. He saw a bloody old lady walking on the border of the highway, going south. She looked quite worn out, but seemed determined. Helena ran out of the car and went towards the woman.

“What the hell are you doing?” Jeffrey shouted at her, trying to move out of the car.

“Grandma!” Helena shouted.

The old lady turned around and saw Helena. “Helena?”

Helena grabbed and guided her to the car. Jeffrey had not managed to squeeze out from the tiny space he was confined in. “Helena, don’t bring that woman in! We don’t know her!”

“I do know her! She is my grandma!” Helena explained.

“Your grandma? That old lady who killed so many eco-policemen some time ago?” Jeffrey asked.

“Yes, this is her. Grandma, this is Jeffrey, she is a friend of ours” Helena introduced them.

Helena’s grandmother pointed a gun to Jeffrey’s face. “I have no reason to trust any of your friends, Helena. See what happened with Maud. This one could also be a spy”.

“Wow, you better calm down, old hag” Jeffrey got sassy. “I’ve saved your grand-daughter several times now, I think you should be thankful”.

“Mira, m’hija. I don’t know who you think I am, but make a wrong move and I’ll kill you” Helena’s grandma said.

“Hey, you two, calm down!” Helena said. “We are all in the same team”.

“I don’t think so” Helena’s grandma said, still pointing her gun at Jeffrey’s face.

“You don’t think so? You don’t think so?” Let’s see what you think about this!” Jeffrey said, putting a gun to Helena’s grandmother’s face. “You better behave, or I’ll have to make you leave my car”.

They did the rest of the trip holding their guns against each other’s faces. Helena’s grandmother did not trust Jeffrey, and Jeffrey thought that Helena’s grandmother had gone bonkers. They had no reason to trust each other. In the evening, clouds started to move up from the south. They were moving pretty quickly.

“Weird. That storm doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before” Helena commented, looking at her rear-view mirror.

Jeffrey and Helena’s grandmother looked back, and they could not help pulling a face of horror. “That’s not a storm” Helena’s grandmother said.

“Helena, push the engine to its very limit! And take the first exit!” Jeffrey shouted.

Helena panicked, and did as she was told. They were speeding towards a small town. “What now?” Helena shouted.

“This is an abandoned town!” Helena’s grandmother pointed out. “Let’s hide into any of the houses! Quick!”

Jeffrey somehow squeezed herself out of the car and ran towards a detached house. She opened the garage with brute force, let the car in, and closed the door behind her. Helena stopped the engine and walked out of the car. The three of them saw the cloud of modified eco-soldiers approaching the town fast. There were tens of thousands of them, flying quickly.

“Let’s hide in the basement” Helena said.

They went down and waited in silence, in darkness. The modified eco-soldiers would notice any sort of movement or light, and they could not afford to fight so many of them. They would need to wait this one out. The prospects were terrifying.

Seminar

Dear Vera,

I hope you are receiving my letters. I imagine that you are, because I have received three more letters from you and Alek (thank you for telling him where I am, by the way! I had not had the time to write to him).

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read any of these letters, and I think there is some sort of pattern with this that I am not capable of discovering. One of your letters suddenly turned into a fiery phoenix when I opened it, and flew out of my window before I could get it to give me your message.

Your second letter literally started to materialize in gigantic letters. It was quite a weird experience: the words started to fall out from the letter, and they grew in size until they filled my apartment (oh, yes, I forgot to tell you! Now that I am officially working for the Illuminati, I have a company flat, which I share with three shadowy figures who look like they’ve turned into one with their shadows). It took a bit of effort, but I managed to open the window, and the letters started to grow out of the window, flowing out and shattering against the floor, several floors below. When I tried to reconstruct the pieces, they turned to dust.

Finally, Alek’s letter must have disappeared, and I feel like it had never existed in the first place. All memory of it has disappeared from my mind, and everyone else’s minds. Nobody remembers that letter, but I had apparently written the first paragraph of this letter before Alek’s letter disappeared out of existence. I am now doubting whether the letter has actually ever existed. Weird.

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic. I’ve attended a few seminars this week, and some extra training. Apparently, every Priest and Priestess of the Dark Lord, Assistant of the sub-Lieutenant Third of the Illuminati branches need to be sacrificed every 23rd of February to quench the thirst of blood of the Dark Lord. My boss, Lisa, has told me that I might take her position if she gets sacrificed, or that I might be the sacrifice myself if she manages to murder her boss and take his position. I am happy to hear that there are many and fast routes for promotion in the Illuminati.

Seeing that I am going to have to participate in the great sacrifice, we have had a few seminars to remind us of the protocol for the Dark Mass. Cloaks and fancy attire are a must, and blood daggers are also necessary for the ritual sacrifice. I have been told that it is considered rude to keep a mobile phone in the Magic Stone Pocket of the cloak, and that the Dark Lord once enslaved and destroyed humanity because of a similar incident. This was apparently in another timeline of our universe.

I was also told that I would get to see the Dark Lord, who is the one that actually controls all of humanity and the universe. We the Illuminati are just the Dark Lord’s executing hands. Sounds quite amazing! I am going to get to see the actual boss of my company! I think that is so considerate of the Dark Lord, approaching the workers of the company and showing that we are part of something greater than ourselves. It’s so much better than one of those corporations where the boss is just an unknown being who, for some unknown reason, manages the company.

Anyway, I’ll send more news as soon as I know what’s going on. Wish me luck for the promotion! I really hope I get it!

Regards,

Jan