Tag Archives: Black Mirror World

Report 22: The Morning After

Sir,

As you could no doubt tell, it was a bad time in Pannawau last night. A lot happened, and I’m not sure my Osceola-fueled mind-hopping exploits entirely captured the scope of it. So I thought I’d codify things with a slightly more formal report than is my norm.

SECTION A: The Events of the Evening

  • First, and most obviously, the Black Mirror Brute came out. I discovered that the Sad Man was not, in fact, summoning the Brute, but trying to distract it from leaving the Mountain and wreaking worse havoc. See Section B below for more details on the Sad Man’s plan.
  • Alexandra Melmoth was on the loose, as well, in a Yig-Form transfiguration seemingly triggered by the presence of the Brute in the Gray World. She changed back in the early morning hours, and is currently in custody on the Alo Reservation. Her family is demanding her release, but the Alo are thus far holding firm. I’ll be heading out to speak with her again later.

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34: Harsh Truths

***BEGIN TRANSMISSION***

The Sad Man is talking.

I am talking.

So hard to stay focused and

*************

Hank sighs as he gets out of bed. “Time to make the doughnuts,” he mutters. The joke isn’t funny anymore, but it’s all he’s got left. He kisses his fingers and presses them to Allison’s picture. She looks strange this morning. Harsh. Cold. Dead. Must be the light. Awfully bright. Awfully clean. Awful. It’s making everything in the house more… stark. Real. Hank blinks once, twice. Then he makes up his mind. Takes a shower. Shaves. Gets dressed. Then he picks up the pistol and

*************

The Sad Man keeps talking. “I’m sure you’re feeling disoriented, Agent Matthews. It’s the Osceola. If you’re not used to its effects, it can be overwhelming. For a man of your capacities, especially. Different minds, different places. Even time distorts. Sometimes I think that riding is harder than being ridden. Depending on which of the Ahtunowhiho is doing the riding, of course.”

I look at myself dumbly, and look back with sympathy in my ancient eyes.

“I’m speaking in riddles. My apologies. It’s just so refreshing to speak with someone who shares the gift. Someone who’s not a snake, at least. Poor Oscar. It’s unfortunate what we’re going to have to do to him. But again, I’m speaking in riddles. We should start at the beginning.”

I blink, look around. Pause politely as I get my bearings. “Liar’s Path,” I hear myself say. My voice sounds strange, thick. Clumsy. “Can’t believe you.”

I smile sympathetically at myself. Already, I’m annoying myself. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to believe me. I know the urge to lie here is strong. But I’ve long since learned to fight it. Besides, it’s…” I trail off, give myself a measuring look and

*************

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30: Hearts Full of Fire

***CLEARING STATIC…OPENING CHANNEL***

***BEGIN TRANSMISSION***

My eyes are open now. They’re open, and flooded with light. They’re open, and lost in the dark. I’m lying in bed. Denise is beside me. Asleep. Or…

No, she’s asleep. She has to be. She’s just so still. I thought– No. She’s asleep. We must be– Are we in our room at the Fat Beaver? Is that bacon I hear frying? Or…

This isn’t the Fat Beaver Inn. This is the Opa Lodge. Except… Why is it so dark? What’s this pressure I feel? On my chest, my arms, in my ears. My forehead. Why can’t I move? Am I dreaming? Or…

The Door. The Door is open in the Mountain. It’s open, and the light’s pouring out. So bright and so wrong. So exposed. That’s why it’s so dark. All the light’s pouring out, and there’s none left here. Wait. No. That’s not right. I’m outside the Door and I hear bacon and

*************

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28: Night on Mount Pannawau

***BEGIN TRANSMISSION***

There is a man standing over my bed. A man with beautiful breasts, and the head of an owl. I can see him through my eyelids. He’s just standing there. Staring with unblinking owl eyes, his face illuminated by the light of the Door. The Door in the Mountain.

That light shines out bright as ever, cascading down the Mountain in an endless torrent. Abundant. Obscene. Inviting. Yes, inviting. It calls out to something in my blood, in my gut, something thick and black and hot, enticing me to…

My forehead throbs, painfully, and the owl-headed man snaps back into focus. He has something in his hand. A bottle. A bottle of something black. Something alive. It twists and writhes in its glass prison, trying to get out. To join with the blackness in me. I feel rather than see the owl-headed man’s intention to let it do just that. Slowly, so slowly, he raises the bottle, pulls loose the stopper, bends over my head, tips the bottle, grabs my chin, forces open my mouth…

The thing in the bottle, so anxious to be loose, now seems in no great hurry. It’s taken the form of a thick black liquid, pouring slowly from the mouth of the bottle. A single quivering drop forms on the bottle’s lip, a dollop of hanging black. Anticipation.

One hand shoots up, grabs the owl’s wrist. The drop shakes, lengthens, swings. Heavy. Black. Pendulous. The strand breaks. The drop falls, and

*************

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Report 16: Weird Magnetism

Sir,

Two quick reports for you tonight. One is my conversation with Alexandra Melmoth’s guardian Andrew Robinson. But first, here’s Denise with her impressions after talking to the girl herself…

*************

Hi, Chief. I don’t trust a word the little bitch says. She mostly comes off like a sheltered twit, a college girl who hasn’t lived enough to have an idea worth having. But there’s something else going on in that little head. I staged the interview as a follow-up, to see if she remembered anything else that might help us, and she mostly just dug Possum a deeper hole. Said he was nervous and twitchy, and kept a gun pointed at her whenever he was there.

Jase, on the other hand, sounds like a saint. He was very kind to her. Untied her when Possum wasn’t around. Fed her. Sat and talked with her. Nice guy, for a kidnapper. But there was something shining in her eyes when she said it, some kind of cunning. Like maybe she’d had a little part in him being so nice. Or like maybe, if she made Jase sound better, it would make Possum sound worse.

She’s lying about something, that I’m sure of. I don’t doubt that Possum’s nerve broke, and I don’t doubt that he pulled the trigger. But I think maybe she had a little something to do with that, too. She’s got this weird magnetism about her. She’s sexy. Smoking. Effortlessly desirable. And she shouldn’t be. I mean, she’s pretty, but… Look, Chief. I’ve never gone in for the ladies. But if I’d been just a little bit drunk this afternoon… I might have decided to try something new. As it was, I ripped my eyes off her (with effort, I should add) and got the hell out of there as soon as I could.

Oh, one more thing: she’s extra interested in X-23. Asked after his health with conviction sincere enough that even I believed it. She’s also convinced that she knows him from somewhere before their little encounter in the hospital. Not sure what to make of that. Except that it doesn’t make me like her any better.

*************

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Somnambulist Transmission 2: The Black Mirror Brute

Transcript of Agent X-23’s Dowsing Experience on Mount Pannawau

Three men are approaching. They have the heads of owls, and magnificent breasts. With them is a teenage boy, shirtless. He seems calm, and is carrying a small parcel in his hand.

But it’s difficult to concentrate on that because someone has left the door open again, and its light streams out behind the group as they make their way down the slope. It’s blinding, shining into me, through me, finding all my secrets, my dark desires, whispering to them, touching them, caressing them, coaxing them into life. I feel a swelling at my middle, in my head, in my heart. Skin pulls taut and hard, and a ringing starts in my ears, fit to split my head open. I want to run, whether toward the door or away from it I cannot say, but my feet refuse to move. I tug and I heave and I beg them to move, but they will not, and then I know why. The roots. The roots that have grown out of the wand in my hands, up my arms, past my heart and into my groin, down my legs to the feet and onward, ever onward, down down into the mountain itself.

And somewhere, deep down in the bedrock, a calmness. A reassurance that I cannot be touched here. Not now. Later, the light whispers, and I shudder as it caresses me one last time, and then retreats. It still shines down the mountain, illuminating the scene before me with an eerie glow. But it leaves me, moves around me, and once again I can see.

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Report 10: Sex and Death at the Fat Beaver Inn

Sir,

I am pleased to report that I’ve been given a clean bill of health. I was released from the hospital earlier today, and am currently celebrating with dinner at a local establishment called The Fat Beaver Inn. Sheriff Patton recommended the place, both for a good meal and new lodgings. I haven’t checked out of the Opa Lodge, but after the events of the last few days, I don’t want to sleep there tonight. Luckily, the Fat Beaver has a room they rent out to travelers, so I’m taking it. The rates are more than reasonable, and the food is divine.

I’ll admit that I was a bit dubious when the Sheriff told me to get the meatloaf, but I now stand happily corrected. I don’t know where you come down on meatloaf, sir, whether you’re a tomato glaze man, or if you prefer your loaf unadorned. I generally prefer unadorned myself, but this glaze that Tom and Gladys cook up might just convert me.

That’s Tom and Gladys Rockwell, the proprietors of the Fat Beaver. Old married couple, and they bicker like one. Nice folks, though. They opened the Fat Beaver in 1973, and the food was terrible. So terrible that a year later, to save themselves from bankruptcy, they had to turn the place into, in Tom’s words, “a titty bar.” Gladys slapped his arm when he said it, but only because it’s true. That’s where the name came from, apparently, though I’m sure it conjured up quite a different mascot than the hand-carved rodent that sits outside now. The strip club business boomed, and in the meantime Tom and Gladys became better cooks. Then Gladys got religion sometime in the 80s, and they dropped the strippers in favor of their original dream of running a diner.

And that is how I came to be eating this magnificent plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes as I write to you tonight, and continue the story of my day on the Mountain.

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Report 9: The Wambli Waste

Sir,

It’s been a couple of days since my last report, I’m told, and considering that I haven’t heard from you in the meantime, I can only assume that the Manhattan Protocols have been enacted. I hope that you and Denise are well, and look forward to hearing from you soon. And if the worst has happened… God rest your souls, wherever they may have been flung.

Much has happened since I last reported in from Melmoth Memorial. I’m writing to you from there once again, however, this time from my own hospital bed. They tell me, in fact, that I never left, though the evidence of my senses suggests otherwise. I’m not sure how much I can trust those at this moment, however; I’m afraid that events are a bit of a jumble in my head, and I’m not yet entirely clear on what’s been happening outside it in the meantime. The Sheriff tells me “not much,” but I’ll want to speak with John Cheveyo to ensure the same is true on the Mountain.

But now I’m speaking in riddles. Let me back up to before the hospital experience, and bring you up-to-date. I believe I left the story off with John Cheveyo and myself in the kitchen of the Opa Lodge, where he determined that I had faced and shot a Nukpana in my dreams. From there, we continued up the Mountain to investigate a second murder, this one a double homicide. We went as far as we could in the jeep, and continued on foot. The new murder victims were very near where Chris Phillips’ body had been found, up pretty high, but not so high that we needed climbing gear. The paths were steep, but they were there. I looked down and saw Lake Mammedaty shimmering below us, just like in my dream. I looked up, however, and saw no door in the mountain.

I chose not to mention it, and our talk turned to the victims. They were Alo, Cheveyo told me, a couple of teenagers who hadn’t yet been identified. Normally, anyone on the Mountain would know them on sight, but apparently that wasn’t an option with the shape the bodies were in. The best his men had been able to do was tell him that, once again, one of the bodies was male, the other female. And that the female had taken the brunt of the violence.

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Report 7: Touched by the White Mirror World

Sir,

I am sitting in the waiting room of the Alvin Melmoth Memorial Hospital, named for the twin brother of Oscar. Alvin was a philanthropist and international adventurer of some repute, lost and believed killed in 1970 while on a Himalayan expedition. Amazing the things you can learn from lobby plaques.

It’s been an eventful day, and I believe that it will soon become more eventful yet. Possum Reynolds has yet to fully awaken from his coma, but I’m told that the swelling in his brain is going down, and he may yet make a recovery. In the meantime, I’ll be interviewing Alexandra Melmoth on the events of her disappearance and kidnapping. She’s somewhere in the building getting an examination, but once that’s done I’ll have an hour with her, uninterrupted by her family or the hospital staff. I’m looking forward to it. Not because of her beauty, or even because I’m all that curious about what she has to say. After today, I have a pretty good idea of what she’s going to tell me. It remains to be seen how much of it she chooses to share, however, and that is something I’m very interested to discover, indeed.

I’ve come by this newfound knowledge after spending a day immersed in the world of the Alo. John Cheveyo seems to have decided that I’m at least partially trustworthy, based apparently on our investigation of the kitchen at the Opa Lodge. They were busy preparing the Continental Breakfast when we entered, and there was no sign that I had shot the owl-headed man there only an hour or two earlier.

But the layout was exactly as I remembered it from my dream. Slightly dazed, I went over to the counter the Horrible Thing had been lying on. Put my hand on it. The surface was cool and smooth and utterly clean. No stains, and no scratches from where that hoary blade had bitten through the flesh and into the wood. The thing’s awful screams filled my ears again, and I felt the gorge rise in my throat.

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