Onwards, Cthulhu Cultists,
Just a few more years.
Waiting till the Stars are Right,
When he reappears.
Rising from the ocean,
Striding to the shore.
Claiming as his birthright,
Lands he ruled before.
Lyrics; S Barber.
Tune; ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’.
Tammy rode her motorbike back towards the cabin; she had had a really nice day. She had ridden around the lakeshore and then she had gone to the very end of North Shore Road up to the Ranger Station. Here she had joined the end of a column of Scouts as they had been led into the forest by a couple of Rangers.
She had not really expected to be very interested in the talk being given about the forest and the creatures that lived there; but, as it happened she quite enjoyed herself and was a little disappointed when the talk finished. The group she had attached herself to was led back to the Ranger Station.
“That’s not regulation Scout gear.” Said a male voice from behind her as she made her way back to her bike.
Tammy turned to find herself starring at a really cute looking Forest Ranger.
“No…no it isn’t.” She stammered.
The ranger looked at her quizzically waiting for her to continue. Tammy felt herself drowning in the Ranger’s soft brown eyes.
“Oh sorry!” Her mind snapped back as her daydream of falling in love, marrying the Ranger and living happily ever after flashed by in a microsecond. “I was up here with nothing to do so I sort of trailed along…I hope you don’t mind.”
“No-no, the more the better.” Replied the Ranger, he paused before speaking again, “Look I’ll come clean.” He flashed perfect white teeth in her direction, Tammy felt herself drift off to ‘happy-land’ again. “I really came over to find out what a pretty girl like you was doing out here all on her own…and now I know.” He gestured at her bike.
Tammy’s fantasies of their wedding night faded into reality.
“Sorry?” She mumbled, “Oh! Yeah, bike…I like riding an’ such.”
God he must think her an idiot.
“I was wondering if you’re doing anything tonight?” Asked the Ranger.
“Doing anything?” Tammy gasped, “Um no…no I don’t think so…why do’y ask?”
“I was sorta wondering if you’d care to join me for a meal or something…I know this great little restaurant…”
“Like a date?” Tammy blurted out, “…oh yes please! I mean yeah, sure…why not?”
The Ranger smiled at her confusion, he did not normally have this effect on girls. They usually screamed and begged for mercy!
“About eight then?”
“Eight? Great!” Tammy mentally kicked herself for sounding like an idiot.
“Where shall I pick you up?” He asked smiling.
“What? Oh, 1147 North Shore Road I’m staying in the cabin there with my friends…I’m-I’m Tammy by the way.”
“Frank,” Replied the Ranger, “Frank Smith.”
“Please, please don’t let him be a demon.” Tammy said to herself as she turned her bike down Hemlock Drive towards the lake and the cabin. As she rode her bike under the trees where the SUV and Mini were parked she promised herself to get Miss Willow to check ‘Frank’ out before she invested too much of her heart into any sort of relationship.
If he did turn out to be a demon or something, it would be much better to slay him before they had done the date stuff and the sex. Much less heartbreaking that way, especially after her affair with ‘Alfred the Demon Butler’. Switching off the engine Tammy dismounted and walked towards the cabin taking her helmet off and unzipped her jacket.
Tammy walked through the kitchen into the family room.
“Hi everybody,” She called cheerfully, “I had a great…”
Her words died on her lips as she noticed the long faces of her sisters as they sat around the room. She saw Tina with a lump the size of a goose egg on her forehead, and Alice sitting next to her girlfriend looking worried and angry.
She noticed Shannon striping off blood soaked clothes on the deck outside and Sally carrying them in to put them in the washing machine. She saw Miss Kennedy and Miss Willow deep in discussion as they sat at the dinner table, a severed grey-green frog like head between them. It was almost with relief that her eye fell on the two ginger haired youths bound, gagged and tied to a couple of wooden chairs.
“Situation normal then?” Tammy sighed, “All fucked up!”
“Language please.” Called Willow from the table.
Tammy noticed Tara for the first time.
“Sorry Ma’am.” She replied.
The High Priest had arrived at the ceremonial site an hour or two before the rest of his followers turned up. He inspected the sacrificial knives and the altar; everything looked to be in order. He walked over to a particular tree and removed a large flat stone that rested amongst its roots. The stone revealed the entrance to a stone lined chamber under the tree. There was a ladder set against the wall of the entrance. The High Priest climbed down into the dark.
His hands fumbled about in an alcove set in the wall near the foot of the ladder. Eventually he found the lantern and matches that rested there and soon a soft yellow light filled the chamber. The High Priest looked around; the chamber was about twelve feet square and maybe eight feet high. The rough-hewn stone walls were daubed with arcane symbols and more modern writing all in praise of Great Cthulhu.
In the far corner was the cage where the sacrifice was normally kept, today it was empty, opposite the cage was a metal locker and wooden chest. The High Priest walked over to the locker and took the keys from his pocket and unlocked the door. Inside, each on its own shelf, lay the great tombs, the books that were in fact the instructions on how to wake the Great Lord.
The High Priest laughed evily as he ran his hands first over one book and then another. He could feel the dark power fill his body as he touched each book in turn. Selecting one particular book he took it down from it’s shelf. He sat down on the floor and opened the book in his lap. He smiled insanely as he read.
“Yes!” He hissed, “Soon the Stars will all be Right and usher in eternal night!”
When Cthulhu rose from his watery grave in R’lyeh, He would reward His faithful servant and then he would rule in Cthulhu’s name!
“MAW-HA-HA!” He laughed in time honoured fashion.
He snapped the book shut, some part of his still human brain was calling for attention. He looked at his watch. Yes, he could make it; tonight’s ritual was just a short one, it only really needed himself to carry it out, but that fool of a ‘Not so High Priest’ had insisted on joining in.
He opened the chest that sat next to the locker and pulled out a few items needed for the ritual. He walked back to the ladder and gave the chamber a last look. ‘Soon’, he thought ‘Soon he would not need the fools that surrounded him. Soon they would all bow at his feet and count themselves lucky to be his slaves!’
“MAW-HA-HA!” He laughed again as he climbed out of the chamber.
“I’m sorry?” Said the Not so High Priest from where he stood near the chamber’s entrance.
‘Yes’, thought the High Priest, ‘soon you will be sorry.’ He stifled another burst of maniacal laughter before it left his lips.
“You’re early.” He said to the Not so High Priest.
“I didn’t want to miss anything.” That worthy replied.
“Yes, well, it’s just as well,” Admitted the high Priest, “I have places to go tonight.”
“Oh anywhere nice?” Asked the Not so High Priest, who wilted under the glare that the High Priest gave him, “Sorry.” He said finally.
“Let us begin.” Announced the High Priest.
“Definitely a ‘Water Demon’,” Kennedy said the word in umBongon, “I killed enough of the darn things…”
“Yeah,” Agreed Willow, “But what’s it doing on Earth?”
The Frog-Men or Water Demons were native to a planet called Paradise, or so the two women had believed. They had been accidentally transported to Paradise when one of Willow’s experiments had gone awry some months before.
“Tina and Alice both said there were several of them, they think they killed at least three or four which means there're probably more out there.” Continued Kennedy.
She had made a name for herself in umBongon tribal society by killing more than her fair share of the creatures.
“I don’t like the idea of this religious site the girls said they found.” Willow frowned and shook her head. “It means they’ve likely been here for some time…I think we need help.”
“You mean?” Asked Ken.
“Yeah.” Agreed Willow nodding her head slowly.
Kennedy looked up to see what Slayers she had available. Shannon and Sally were searching the cabin removing the Web-Cams that the two youths had placed in the bedrooms. Tammy was in the kitchen cooking everyone’s supper and looking miserable. Tina was still resting on the sofa due to the effects of her trip and fall. That left Alice.
“Alice sweetie.” She called.
The girl looked up from her seat next to Tina.
“Got a job for you,” Alice reluctantly got up and walked over to Seattle’s only pregnant Slayer.
“About three hundred yards that’a’way,” Kennedy pointed along the lakeshore, “You’ll find another cabin. Inside you should find a man called General Jack O’Neill and a woman by the name of Colonel Sam Carter. You’re to tell them that we sent you, then say ‘Foothold’ to the General, and ‘Water Demon’” Again she used the umBongon name for the creatures, “To Colonel Carter. Ask them to come here immediately and don’t take no for an answer, Okay?”
“Yeah, okay,” Alice nodded her head then glanced over to where Tina sat, “General-Foothold, Colonel-Water Demon.” She did not even stumble on the foreign word, Kennedy was impressed.
“The sooner you go, the quicker you’ll be back.” Kennedy said when the girl seemed to hesitate, “We’ll look after Tina.”
Alice turned and picked up her new sword and pushed it into the belt of her jeans. With a last look over to where Tina sat dozing she headed out the door and started to jog towards the neighbouring cabin.
“Well that was easy.” Said the Not so High Priest when they had finished the ritual.
“Following the Great Lord is never easy.” Admonished the High Priest.
“No! No of course not.” Agreed the Not so High Priest hurriedly.
The High Priest looked pointedly at his watch.
“Oh! Yes! Right!” Stammered the Not so High Priest, “I’ll be on my way then…same time tomorrow?”
“Indeed.” Agreed the High Priest.
The High Priest watched as the Not so High Priest scuttled off into the dusk. He looked again at his watch. Yes, he would have enough time to go home shower and change into the persona of Ranger Smith before going out. Tonight Ranger Frank Smith had a date with Tammy the Motor Bike girl, he must really find out what her second name was before he sacrificed her to the Dark Lord.
But for now he must hurry, it would not do to be late for a first date!
Jack and Sam sat at the end of their jetty and watched as the sun went down in the western sky. Jack was just thinking that he really should say something romantic, but he could not think what! He was never any good at that sort of stuff…man of action that was him. But, maybe Sam was expecting him to say something.
The sound of running feet saved Jack from a possible romantic debacle. The two adults turned to see a teenage girl with dark hair and a sword stuck in her belt walk along the jetty towards them. They stood up to face the girl. Jack’s mind calculated the possibilities that this was going to be an invitation to a barbecue. He eyed the sword on the girl’s hip. Deep down he knew that not even Slayers delivered invitations to innocent get-togethers armed.
“Oh crap!” He sighed as the girl stopped in front of him.
“You General O’Neill and Colonel Carter?” She asked.
“Would it do any good if I said ‘no’?” Asked Jack.
“Not as such.” Admitted the girl, a small smile playing around her lips.
“Okay that’s us,” Confessed Jack, “What do’ya want?”
“Miss Kennedy an’ Miss Willow sent me. To you,” She turned to Jack, “I’ve got to say ‘Foothold’.” Then she looked at Sam, “An’ to you I’ve got to say ‘Water Demon’.”
“You sure they said ‘Water Demon’?” Asked Sam her eyebrows drawing together in worry.
“Not the sorta word you can mistake for any other.” Pointed out Alice, “I’ve got to ask you to come with me, an’ not to take no for an answer.”
“What would you do if we said no?” Asked Jack, “Just out of interest you understand.”
“No one said but I think I’m supposed to drag you back if need be.” Alice shifted her position so that her right hand was resting on the hilt of her sword.
Jack noticed the movement and turned to Carter.
“Well Sam,” He said with false humour, “Looks like we’ve been invited to go over to our neighbours.”
“Yeah looks like,” Agreed Sam, “I’ll get my stuff.”
Tammy walked over and sat down at the table with Willow and Kennedy. She gave the Water Demon head a glance then turned to look at Willow.
“Ma’am,” She began.
She always called Willow Ma’am, much to Willow’s chagrin, it made her feel so old.
“I was supposed to go out on a date tonight.” Tammy explained.
“Hey! Fast worker!” Commented Kennedy, then seeing the look on Tammy’s face she added, “Sorry that was uncalled for…go on, please.”
“Well, I don’t think I can go out what with everything that’s going on.”
“No!” Burst out Willow, “It’ll be okay...I’m sure.” She patted Tammy’s hand.
“No, thanks but I better stay.” Continued Tammy sadly, “But I was wondering. The guy I was supposed to go out with, well I’d really like to go out with him at some point… so I was wondering if you’d…y’know…do the…” Tammy waggled her fingers in imitation of casting a spell.
“Check him out magically you mean?” Smiled Willow, “No problem I can cast a few detect evil spells, won’t take more than a minute or two.”
“Thanks,” Tammy breathed a sigh of relief, “I don’t want to go through what happen with Alfred again.”
Kennedy sat and stared at the Van Damme boys while Willow did her mojo stuff for Tammy.
“What are we going to do with you two?” She wondered out loud.
The boys looked at her with terrified eyes over the tops of their gags.
“I mean we can’t let you go now, you’ve seen way too much,” Kennedy sighed and shook her head sadly, “Bear Point is becoming more of an option as time passes.”
“You’re an evil woman Kennedy Rosenberg!” Cried Willow from behind her.
Kennedy turned and looked up at her lover.
“Yeah I know,” She acknowledged, “When you go more than a few feet away from me I just revert to my evil old self.” She sighed dramatically, “But the problem still remains, what happens to them.” She pointed at the boys and they tried to cower away from the murderous pregnant lady.
Willow watched the boys for a moment.
“Sweetie, I think they’re so terrified of you that they’d never dare say anything.” Suggested Willow, “And if we agreed to not say anything about the web-cams then I’m sure we can rely on their discretion.”
The boys made noises through their gags that could be translated as ‘Yes’ and ‘please’.
“Thought so.” Said Willow getting up and starting to untie their bonds.
“Thank-you Ma’am!” Said the boys, once they were free.
“I promise we’ll never say a thing Ma’am.” Assured Cletus, Billy-Bob nodded his head in full agreement.
“You know something terrible will happen if you ever speak of this?” Said Willow letting her hair go a little dark, “Now GO!” She commanded as sparks flickered from her upraised hands.
The boys ran for the safety of the dark, demon haunted woods.