Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shutting the Door: Part Two

I am trying to return to the day-to-day business of managing the Palaeozoic Museum, reopened now since Friday. I crave the mundane work of science once again, though, I must admit that part of me is becoming restless, following the chaos and uncertainty, the fear and danger of the past month. Last night, Miss Paine and I wandered down to the Canals and sat a while with Gloriana and the orphan Jimmy Branagh, and I told her of Bella's decision. We were delighted when Lucius showed up, quite unexpectedly, for we see so awfully little of him these days. He was eager for news of Moriarty's defeat and, I think, somewhat shocked at my altered appearance.

I am not keen to continue the narrative I began yesterday, but, as I've said already, it is the least I can do for Bellatrix. For without her level-headed intervention in July, Miss Paine might never have "recovered" from the werewolf attack in Kittiwickshire, Caledon. Still, I hardly know how to pick it up again. By the hour, the details seem to fade, and my reluctance to recount them redoubles.

My first warning of the impending disaster on Saturday was Moriarty's sudden, sickening presence in my mind, while I attended a meeting beneath Babbage Square. Quickly, I discerned that Myrtil had kept her appointment, and, still passing myself off as someone working towards the same fiendish ends as Moriarty, I asked him not to touch her, to leave her to me, hoping in this way to at least spare her life. Truthfully, he was so elated to have Victor Wunderlich's piece of the Eliot device, I think Moriarty had lost any interest in murdering any single person. As quickly as I could, I rushed to the Imperial, sensing little time remained to forestall his plans. When I arrived there, I discovered Myrtil, along with Mckay Beck and one or two other of the urchins, all of them terrified and dashing about. In short order, I learnt that Moriarty had all the components and that he had retreated into some heretofore unsuspected subterranean chamber below the theatre. Soon, working together, we had located the trapdoor leading down to this chamber.

I am sorry, Bella, but from here, any straightforward narrative is not possible, not for me. I shall do the best I can, but already the proceeding hour or two have become a blur.

Still believing I was his confederate, Moriarty admitted me to the room where, I discovered, he had re-asssembled and triggered the Porta Terrarum device. I stared in horror at the machine, at its genius and in full knowledge of the damage it had already wrought upon this world. Moriarty talked, and I listened, responding only with such words as would not betray my genuine purpose. He informed me that, via alchemical and biological studies, Eliot had made of his own grandson the true third component of the device, and that young Loki's blood was the key. The man was insane, and I knew there was no hope of appeal to reason, of dissauding him from the course he had long since charted. I did my best to keep the orphans clear, shutting myself in that pit with Moriarty as the device thrummed and the very fabric of space and time began to bend about me.

There were many witnesses to the crackling plume of blue-white energy that rose from the center of the theatre, passed from the Porta Terrarum device up into the theatre's "projector," which them carried it across the auditorium to the "screen" — in truth some mechanism that magnified and redirected the beam heavenward. I shall not here waste my strength and patience in describing it, though I have heard some compare it to a gigantic flower of light and heat. Certain of his victory, Moriarty lowered his guard, as the sky was rent with the loathsome howl of the otherworldly creatures that had begun to enter by way of the vortex forming high above the Imperial. I did the only thing I was certain would give me any possible advantage. I opened myself to the Whole, dropping all my carefully built defenses, and calling her to retrieve me at last.

As the Old Ones emerged in the skies of New Babbage, I sent the codeword that had eluded her. My body responded, taking that truer form, casting aside so much of the illusion of flesh, and I shoved Moriarty aside. Furious at my betrayal, he demanded to know what I was doing, and so I told him. Whatever shreds of sanity the man might still have harboured were, I believe, lost in that instant. He transformed once more into wolfish form, but compared to the things he had invited into this world, even that fiendish visage seemed tame. I ignored him and set about attempting to contain the immense flux of energy the Eliot device was releasing. As the theatre filled with roiling balls of flame, I rose above the building and met the tentacled nightmares in the sky. And it was then that the Gallifreyan weapon, that entity I call the Whole and of which I was created to serve, opened a second vortex to claim me.

So near to the end, I would prefer to conclude this account now and be done with it. But it shall have to wait, as I am being called away by Miss Paine to attend to matter downstairs in the Musuem.

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