B007 Hastur, Shrouded in Dread (Part 5)

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She will live.

Brennus staggered back from the bed, his whole body shaking from fatigue and pain from his own wounds.

“She will live,” he whispered, but that took too much effort and he stumbled as he was taking a step back, falling…

Someone caught him. Hard arms, and a strange voice: “Ba-“

He whirled around, drawing a knife from his belt.

In one fluid motion, he put one leg behind the stranger’s knee, threw them – her – onto the floor and put the knife to her throat, holding it so it would slip into the gap between her helmet and her armor.

“Who are you? How do you know me!?

I hope Gloom Glimmer did not catch that.

The stranger was a young woman in brilliant gilded armour so ornate, so skintight it had to be unnatural. It looked like something an angel or a heroine out of a videogame would wear, and the helmet, which seemed to leave no openings for her eyes sported wing-like decorations and a sunburst motif.

“B- Brennus, calm down! It’s me!” she said in a ringing, rather throaty voice. The helmet melted and disintegrated, revealing…

“P-Prisca?” What?

She smiled at him, her full red lips coloured like wine – like her hair. And somehow he did not think it was lipstick.

Then his brain finally caught up with what was happening.

“You manifested.”

He rose from his position, straddling her hips as he looked onto the bed. Gloom Glimmer had just finished removing the new scars on Prisca’s chest from the emergency operation he performed. She looked… asleep. Peacefully.

Looking back at the girl beneath him, he concluded: “A projection?”

“Quite so. And one of the rare kinds,” commented Gloom Glimmer as she staggered around the bed, sliding down to lean against it and sit next to them. “It feels more like she’s there,” She pointed at the armoured girl, “Than in there.” She pointed over her shoulder at the body on the bed.

“You mean, this is my real body!?” Prisca asked, looking confused. “But I can still feel that one!”

“Oh, it’s still your real body, Prisca. It’s just that, right now, it’s in standby mode, so to speak. Your mind is in that projection. Or maybe that projection is your mind, or something like that. But I definitely get the feeling that you are now… inbetween your boyfriend’s legs.” She cocked an eyebrow at them.

“Agh!” Brennus jumped off Prisca and scrambled over to lean against the wall, opposite of Gloom Glimmer. “Sorry!” The knife slid out of his fingers and fell to the floor.

Prisca blushed, hard (which looked all kinds of interesting in combination with her hair and lips and why was he paying so much attention to that all of a sudden?), and rose up to sit on her butt, her armor moving with her like a second skin, sliding over the linoleum of the floor. “N-n-not a problem. Wow. I feel…” She threw a glance at Brennus, blushing even more. It made her green eyes stand out even more from h- Cut it out, there is an S-Class threat running around out there! Focus on that, not on how impossibly tight that armor is around her-

He shook his head, weakly, to cut off that particular train of thought. “Alright. Alright. We need to… to get back to base. Get your real body safe, too. Hastur might c-come b-“

Suddenly, he had the sights from earlier in front of his eyes. Her eyes, bleeding, her whole body convusling as her heartbeat went out of control. Him, cutting into her chest, operating on her h-

He scrambled over to the trashcan next to her bed. Pulling the mask up beneath his nose, he emptied what little there was in his stomach into it.

“Ba- Brennus?” Prisca let go of her spear and crawled over to him, holding him by his shoulders. “Are you alright!? What can I do?”

“I… I…” His chest hurt so much… and his arms… and his legs… everything, really. “Tired…” The memories…

* * *

“B-Brennus! Hey, can you hear me!?” She shook his limp form. He was so light.

“Prisca, calm down!” Irene said, sliding over to them. Putting a hand to Basil’s chest, she closed her eyes for a moment. “He’s just asleep! Just exhausted! Calm down.”

She did, but only after a few seconds of getting her breathing back under control. “Oh God, I thought… I thought…”

Irene shook her head. “Just tired. He almost died today, fighting Hastur. I healed him, but it exhausted him a great deal, and then we raced over here.”

He’s hurt. He should be in bed, but he came for me, she thought, looking at him. She took a tissue from a box on her nightstand and wiped his mouth clean. He’s got such pretty lips… like a girl, almost. Like his sister’s.

But she didn’t want to have their first kiss with this body be like this. He had to be awake, for once. Instead, she turned to look at Irene, taking the other girl’s appearance – and presence – in for the first time.

If she hadn’t just literally gotten her dream body, she’d be crying due to physical envy. Irene was perfect, in a way that was just unnatural. She could be fourteen, she could be twenty-four.

“Oh, uh…” Why was her whole body – the new one, not the useless old one – heating up? She wasn’t interested in girls, she…

“Sorry! Sorry, wait!” Irene took a canister full of blue-and-white pills and swallowed a handful. The inexplicable attraction vanished almost immediately.

“What was that?”

Irene blushed, averting her eyes. Suddenly, she looked far younger than fourteen. “Uhm, nothing, sorry… uh, we should probably get going…”

As if on cue, there was a scream from somewhere outside. She could hear it, and she could even tell that it was from at least two foors above them. Her ears were so much better now.

“What do we do?” She pulled Basil closer to her, hugging him. He could die. I can still die.

Irene seemed to think it over for a moment. “I’m wiped. No way I’m teleporting us out of here or anything… you’ll have to cut us a way out of the hospital. I hope that spear is not just for show.”

They both looked at the spear. It looked very sharp.

“Uh, I’ve never fought before. Ever. Unless you want to count snowball fights with family and friends. And even that’s been years ago,” Prisca commented.

“Don’t worry too much. Your power seems to be geared towards combat, so you should be able to at least fight a way out,” Irene replied.

“What about my real body? We don’t know how far I can move away from it – and we can’t leave it here, either!” It’s still holding me back, even now. “And what about Brennus?” She hugged him a little harder. “And what about all the other people in the hospital?”

Irene’s eyes turned from thoughtful to soft. “Relax. I have something of a plan. We put Brennus onto the bed with your real body. I still have enough juice to turn us invisible. You cut every monster down on the way, we get out to the rescue services – even if the heroes are spread too thin, they’ll still have emergency services outside at least.”

Prisca could feel her new face twist in worry. It felt so familiar, and yet still a little strange, too. Focus, Prisca. Focus. “What about the other people in the hospital?”

Irene closed her eyes for a moment, concentrating. Then she opened them again. “Most of them are in the emergency shelters already, or getting evacuated by the rescue services. But we’re pretty much at the center of the building, so we have the longest way to go.”

Damn, mom, why did you put me into this damn room?

“Ok. Ok. I’ll put Brennus up on the bed. Gather the machines. Help me?”

“Sure thing.”

* * *

They left the room, Prisca taking the lead (helmet back up), while Irene pushed the bed that they’d loaded both with the two bodies (it felt strange knowing that Basil was lying with her, but she wasn’t really lying with him) and her life support. Her body’s life support. Wait, no. Still her own. If her broken body died, so would this one.

This one feels more real than the other one ever did since… since Hawaii.

Remembering her levitation from earlier, Prisca focused on that and flew over the floor in front of the invisible bed, levitating a few inches over the floor, her spear held ready.

Right around the next corner a… a person stepped around it. A thing, really. She saw crooked, insect-like legs, growing from a bulge of twisted, gnarled flesh studded with very, very human eyes.

The eyes were crying, filled with terror as it walked towards them, bumping into her armored waist before she managed to pull herself back together from the shock of the sight.

It bounced off, falling onto its… well, falling back down. Shivering.

She looked down at the impotent monster. That could have been me. That’s what Hastur wanted to do to me.

A great heat rose in her chest. Her body trembled, the spear vibrating, her new eyes overflowing with tears.

She wanted to do that to me. She did that to this person. She’s still doing this to people.

Before she even knew what she was doing, she realized she was screaming, striking out with the spear.

The long blade on the tip of the golden staff cut through the bulge of flesh as if it was warm butter, cutting the wretched creature in half.

Another strike, quartering it before it even hit the floor. Another. And another.

She was screaming, cutting it to pieces, until something barrelled into her, slamming her into the wall.

Ow. I can still feel pain in this body.

Trying to move, she found herself stuck in the wall, half-embedded into it, as she saw a twisted mass of over-muscled arms – skinless, bile-dripping arms – growing out of the back of a naked woman who was bent over by the weight of the appendages growing out of her back.

I’ve seen you before. She’d been a nurse. She’d seen her walk by her room sometimes when the door was open.

I never knew your name.

The arms reached out, ripping her out of the wall and drawing her into a bearhug.

Well, she tried to, at least.

It all came so easy. As if she’d always had this body, had always been fighting with the spear and in full, skintight armor.

Angling her arm up, she drove the spear into the nurse’s head, cutting through brain and heart using her forced posture and the pull of the monstrous arms.

The woman sighed and collapsed, her whole body going limp.

Rest in peace.

As if in a trance, Prisca kicked the corpses – and the pieces – aside so Irene could pass through, noting idly that the bile and blood did not stick to her armor. It was pristine again, quickly enough.

“Alright. Alright. Let’s go, go, go…”

She flew on down the hall, until she heard a massive scream outside.

“What in the name of God was that?” she asked, coming to a dead stop.

Suddenly, she felt like earlier when she’d been dying, Irene’s voice speaking up in her head. Calm down and advance. We need to get out of here. You’re doing great, sweetheart, just keep on going.

“I hope there’s not another shit-monster outside,” she whispered and advanced.

On the way out, twelve more people, including five children, joined them, with Irene extending her invisibility over them.

She had to cut down one more monster, a kind of snake made of intestines and p… and primary male characteristics.

Great. My first day as a super-something – well, I’m not gonna be a villain, so superhero I guess – and I fight a monster made of… of those things. Can my day get any worse?

Finding a double door, she kicked it open, barging outside – hopefully, no one would open fire on her, even if she was pretty sure she could take normal guns. The… male reproductive organ monster had been firing steel bolts from its… well, its openings.

Taking a look around, she wished she’d have gotten shot at. Or fought another phallus-monster.

“Oh, come on! Is this my first boss fight!?”

It was big. It was massive. And it was made of shit.

Oh God, another one of those? What t- oh fuck, it’s the same one. It must have regenerated somehow. BigShit is back.

“Who named that thing BigShit? If I ever find them, I’ll shove this spear all the way up their-“

The dung kaiju turned to her, moving slowly towards her, apparently intent on crushing her – and the still invisible people behind her – to a bloody (and shitty) pulp.

My day just keeps getting better and better.

Tell me about it, Prisca. By the way, what’s your cape gonna be?

Uh, no idea. Gonna get back to you about that once I finish cleaning the toilet.

Please try and come up with better one-liners.

Will do.

I’m getting the civilians – as well as you and Brennus – out of here. Can you distract it until help arrives?

Sure, sure.

She could hear them go away, just as BigShit reached her and swung a massive arm at her.

Fuck my life.

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39 thoughts on “B007 Hastur, Shrouded in Dread (Part 5)

  1. Uh, yeah, a little late here.

    Just to make it clear: No, I’m not a victim of the East Coast power outages. I live in Germany, however much I wish I lived somewhere else.

    No, this came late because of lots of stuff (again). Family visits over new years (also, my mother celebrated her nameday, which in Greece, where I’m from, is more important than the birthday), friends coming back from christmas vacations, a two-day pathfinder marathon adventure (that turned out bad) and, of course, the crowning jewel of f-my-life:

    University Classes are back. With a vengeance.

    Like learning, on sunday morning, by way of e-mail of a six-page essay about a book I haven’t read yet, which has to be handed in by wednesday morning.

    Why so late? Well, because the professor of that particular seminar forgot to tell us. But he still wants to stick to his schedule, and after all, what are six pages about a book we are supposed to have already read, right? Nevermind that I had to read FOUR full-size books over the christmas break, write two essays AND do all that pesky, oh-so-unimportant for life family-and-friends stuff.

    Sorry that I’m ranting, but I hate my university. When I first got there, I was really optimistic. Motivated.

    Now it’s just a chore.

    But I’m ranting again.

    Really gotta go through with that “Tieshaunn rants about x” idea I had.

    Will probably do a little side-series where I vent all my rant-needs.

    Anyway, enjoy the new chapter. I know it’s a little short, but I wanted to give you SOMETHING.

    Votes (http://topwebfiction.com/?for=brennus) are always appreciated. If you will give them to me despite the schedule-issues. I can only promise to try my best, despite all the mishaps.



  2. Her cape name HAS to be Valkyrie, or perhaps some Celtic version of a similar thing. Morrigan? Though that’s more god of death than angel – not sure it fits with the whole golden thing.

    • mmh Walkürenträume, excuse my german, Dreams of Valkyries.

      Though tactically speaking not the safest name.. maybe some terrible terrible feminization Thorielle, Thoria, Odinia, Odina,.. Heimdalielle

  3. [He looked rose from his position,]

    Possibly lose the word “looked”.

    Also, starting to call Brennus “Basil” 4 times in a row seems a little excessive.

  4. Another great chapter. I must say, no one else writes creepy penis monsters quite as well as you do. It really sucks that you don’t like your university. I hope things get better in that regard.

  5. Man Brennus is gonna be pretty pissed when he realizes his secret is already blown. I guess I can understand him being too tired to pick up on it already though what a (and i cringe on this most horrible of puns) shitty day. Now the question is how they get him charged up and ready to go again because I doubt Hastur will just lean back and give them the time to rest.

    No way I’m teleporting us out of her or anything
    out of here

  6. It is interesting that Prisca sees the person inside the monster crying like Brennus did when he used his helmet optics. Looks like another hint (a previous post of mine) that her sight might be immune to Hastur’s visage.

  7. See this is why Brennus needs drones besides his birds to carry him extra equipment to help his girlfriend. In the future he may build a life support shell that is heavily armored/semi mobile/camouflaged to protect her real body. Since Siberian is the nearest example for her power, in that story he traveled around in a regular truck far from his projection. Though her power, and its weakness of leaving her vulnerable body, is already known. So if he does build her some type of life support “shell” he may want to make a few booby trapped decoys to keep potential enemies guessing. We still need to find out her range, her full power set, and what happens if she touches her real body.

  8. And now the big question: is Basil suddenly interested in the aesthetics of the female form due to it being a girl he already loves? Or because Gloomy is shipping those two so hard they felt it from across the room?

      • Related: now that Prisca can (more or less) walk around and talk to people, is Basil going to introduce her to his sister, or do everything in his power to ensure that they never meet?

        I do think that it’s gotten to the time when he can no longer afford to not give their daughter some serious military hardware to teleop for defensive purposes. If Prisca is going to be out heroing, her body is going to need much more serious protective measures (and you have an excuse to put them in place).

      • we have an irc channel on darkmyst for talking, character generation and just plain insanity

        look at the top of hte general comments for how to get there^^

  9. “Oh, uh…” Why was her whole body – the new one, not the useless old one – heat up? She wasn’t interested in girls, she…

    Should it be heating up?

      • Dude that would be awesome but what if it was a motorcycle with a raven head on the front and wings that unfold and and use that levitation thing brennus said he invented but couldn’t use because of power problems

  10. Drake asked a question in the “They Called Us Mad!” Interlude, I and I think it’d be unfair to leave the answer buried there:

    Draka on January 10, 2014 at 3:13 am said

    This is rather odd because aren’t powers supposed to be from traumatic events, yet both The Dark and Lady Light get their powers from this, I assume, but its hardly traumatic more the opposite since they should be happy.

    tieshaunn on January 10, 2014 at 9:39 am said:

    traumatic events are the usual triggers for a manifestation, but they don’t have to be negative – it just has to be an intense emotional situation.

    for example, maternity wards in hospitals (just like ICUs and the morgue) are built apart from the main hospital, because there is a high incident of mothers triggering during childbirth, especially firsttime mothers. fathers too, if they attend the birth

    If I remember right, you’re a worm reader – don’t confuse worm’s system for mine, powers here are not inherently geared towards combat, nor do they require something bad to happen to you.

    just something that pushes you, emotionally, to the edge

    some other examples:

    The first baseline human to fly into space manifested as a Space-Tech focused Gadgeteer when he first saw the Earth from space

    the dalai lama manifested through meditation (leading to the Tibet Incident, to which we’ll get at a later time)

    weisswald manifested when he was beaten by a blackhaired boy at a race

    Diantha (Lady Light’s deceased daughter, after whom the school was named for) manifested during a particularly intense dance with her boyfriend

    Lastly, Point Zero manifestations (Lady Light, The Dark, Peacock Lady, Jake the Janitor, Brightchild) don’t follow the normal rules to begin with

    tieshaunn on January 10, 2014 at 9:57 am said:

    clarification: it’s not that A LOT of parents manifest during childbirth, it’s just that there is a statisticallys significant incident of this happening, and they don’t want to take any chances, thus maternity wards are kept apart.

  11. Heya Peeps, The Cackling Coyote here.

    Now, we have some people practically jumping up and down at the chance of having some of you fine ladies and gentlemen join us, to discuss this brilliant and [insert appreciative adjective of choice here] piece of Internet fiction.
    To accommodate this need, the talented and creative creator, have made an Internet Relay Chat Channel, aptly named the Brennusverse on the Darkmyst server. For more details, take a looksee at the General Comments tab.

    Alas, some people no doubt have no idea on how to use, yet alone get a hold of, a client to access the wonderful world of IRC. But Do Not Dispair, For I, the ever Capable Coyote have made this fine crafted link, seen below, that will gently guide you to the Mibbit Web Client, already set up with both Channel and Server, you do not even have to choose a nick, since the rambunctious random name chooser have done that for you, you can however do so, should you wish (Please do so).


  12. re-reading this led me to realize that this could very likely lead to mindstar getting outed as his sister. Gloom knows Brennus’ secret identity, so putting someone on surveillance detail on him is perfectly conceivable. Hm… that could also lead to his teammates’ secret identities getting outed too.

  13. So, we find that Brennus is not asexual, as I previously suspected, merely good at ignoring it.
    And then he passes out. It’s a weird day for them all.

  14. I’m really curious on whether or not GG is going to keep Basil’s secret or not. She seems to really value the few friends she has managed to make, and revealing Basil’s identity which she only learned from comments by Prisca will likely destroy that friendship. So the questions become, does GG know enough about interpersonal relationships to realize that, and does she value her friendship with Prisca over her duty to the UH. Looking forward to finding out.

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