Friday, December 31, 2010

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Two

Day 152: 31 Dec 2010

They think they've escaped, but we are on to them. One of the men I turned to be a soldier knows things. He knows of a disused airbase 300 kilometers from here, and that must be where they are headed.

It's interesting, having access. So many minds, most of them tired and boring. But there are a few. . .

The one I spoke of earlier was an agent in the CIA. He was in New Orleans on vacation when we turned him into one of us. Another made bombs for the Russian Mob in New York City. Skills. We will use them, and use them well.

I have sent a detachment of men, two hundred strong, in several vehicles to the airstrip. They will wait a safe distance out and cut off Travis and his friends as they head back towards town.

And then, we will dominate. We will break this world and remake it in the way it should have always been -- under the God of the Seas.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day One Hundred and Fifty-One

Day 151: 30 Dec 2010

I don't think we ever actually stopped moving on the runway -- we landed, slowed down, sped up, took off. We managed to get airborne again before any of Jared's soldiers got to us, but only just-- hit one in the head with the landing gear. He tumbled along the runway towards his friends, but got back up instantly, apparently unhurt.

"All right, fuckers," Black said. "Let's see how you dig these."

He climbed into one of the AC-130's stations and brought up an image of the runway on the small TV. There was a crosshair in the center of the screen.

"How many rounds did you guys make?" he asked me.

"About five thousand," Cassie answered before I could.

"All right. I'll try to be conservative," Black said. On the screen, we saw bullets flying. I knew they were 25mm minigun rounds with obsidian tips -- I'd handmade most of them. Jared's soldiers started to fall instantly. The bullets were shredding them easily, and Black started to chuckle under his breath.

"Captain! We're taking. . . not fire, but. . . You'd better get up here," the pilot yelled from up front.

"Shit. Travis, keep on this," Black said, waving to his station.

"Uh. . . how?"

"Ever played video games?"


"You'll figure it out."

And I did. It really wasn't that hard. As I settled into his seat and got a look at the screen, though, I could see what the pilot had been concerned about. I was, too. Down on the tarmac below, Jared's men had started throwing things at the plane. Luggage carts, trams, huge chunks of runway concrete. Some of them were getting pretty close.

"We're going to have to go higher and come back in the M-ATV," Black said as he came back. "This thing crashes, and we won't survive."

I nodded.

"Where's the nearest place we can set down?"

"About three hundred kliks. It'll be a hell of a drive back," Black said, sighing as we climbed away from Reykjavik.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day One Hundred and Fifty

Day 150: 29 Dec 2010

Got to Reykjavik late tonight. Even from the air, we could see that a nuclear bomb might as well have hit it. The buildings were in shambles as far as we could see, and the streets were full of bodies. Fires burned out of control everywhere.

But that, as scary as it was, wasn't the freaky part. The bit that unnerved me most of all was the stillness. Nothing moved. Nothing breathed. If it wasn't for the fires, Black, Travis, and I could have easily been looking at a painting of destruction.

"Once we're down, we'll offload the M-ATV," Black shouted over the C-130's turboprop noise. "From there, well. . .we'll see what shakes."

The wheels had barely hit the ground before we saw them, on foot, rushing the airport. There were *thousands* of them.

"Fuck! Get us back in the air, now!" Black yelled.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine

Day 149: 28 Dec 2010

We were finishing off the weapons when Cassie's phone rang. She showed me the caller ID -- Jason Black.

"Hey, Jason. We're almost done. We followed your specifications exactly," Cassie said.

She listened briefly, and her face fell. After a few more seconds, she nodded slowly and hung up.

"Jared and his people are attacking Reykjavik," she said. "Everyone. Police, military, civilians. We have to get out there. Jason's on the way with a plane."

It was happening. They were taking over. I started throwing weapons into bags almost immediately.

"How long will it take us to get there?" I asked as I worked.

"Too long," Cassie said, shaking her head sadly. "All we can do is hope to stop them before they move on to another city."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Eight

Day 148: 27 Dec 2010

I don't like to question our father's will, but his stubborn insistence on dealing with Cassie and her god -- before reclaiming this world, no less -- doesn't seem at all wise. The last time we faced his people, my soldiers were wiped out. We have more soldiers now, but they'll be harder to transport en masse.

I had a talk with him after he was done with the weapons. I suggested that rather than move the whole army South, we bring the God of the Skies to us, at the same time beginning our takeover. He agreed.

So now we're headed for the nearest population center: Reykjavik.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Seven

Day 147: 26 Dec 2010

The God of the Seas has moved to the colder water now. With enough soldiers spawned, he's turned to weapons. The weapons that he makes are made of coral, and can easily kill the children of the God of the Skies and the God of the Land.

This is how it goes with gods. The weapons are formed from their own bodies, as with the obsidian in the God of the Skies' wings. Production is hard on them, moreso than the production of their soldiers, so they must move to remote locations to avoid attack. The God of the Skies prefers the air over what is now South America, and our father prefers the cold waters of the Arctic seas.

By late tomorrow, we will have enough weapons to finally eliminate Cassie and her god.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Six

Day 146: 25 Dec 2010

So, here's how today was supposed to happen.

I was to go down into the Gulf, carrying the new weapons. If Jared was on the land, I was going to fight him there and try to jam him with the needle. If not, I'd deal with him underwater. Then, I'd go down as deep as I could, to where the God of The Seas was no doubt breeding more soldiers. That's where he would die.

Except it didn't go down that way at all, because neither Jared nor the God of the Seas was in the Gulf, not anywhere close. They'd vanished, and I have no idea where they went.

I was supposed to stop them here. What's going to happen now? How many people are going to die because I let them get loose?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Five

Day 145: 24 Dec 2010

Almost ready. The attack begins tomorrow. If it doesn't work, I'm going to have to kill my own brother. And you just know that's not going to make me popular at Christmas dinner next year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Four

Day 144: 23 Dec 2010

Got an email on my phone from Jason Black today. Apparently, when the God of the Land died, he died hard. Military instruments picked up a huge sea-quake right after he went down.

Travis is working on the weapon. The big weapon. He had a long talk with the God of the Skies, and he says we should be ready to move on the God of the Sea soon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Three

Day 143: 22 Dec 2010

We now have 200 soldiers and 212 more slugs to be joined. I am shocked by how easy it is to find people here. The disenfranchised, the poor, the helpless -- they are everywhere in this city. But soon, I will give them purpose. And power.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-Two

Day 142: 21 Dec 2010

While Cassie and Travis have been fighting a war of attrition, our father has not been idle. Far from it. He has been using his time in the warm waters of the Gulf not simply to rest, but to build.

I came to land today with cargo. Four large bags of it, each bag carrying fifty children of the God of the Seas. They are all mature, and all ready to be joined.

By tomorrow morning, we will have an army of hundreds. And by the end of the week, more than a thousand.

It's a war of numbers. And there's no way that Cassie, Travis, and the God of the Skies can win that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty-One

Day 141: 20 Dec 2010

My men are all dead. We were in the hotel, sweeping through the empty rooms, when the impossible happened. The ceiling exploded in on us, and there in the middle of the cloud of plaster dust and years of loose dirt stood Travis. Alive.

He slaughtered my men as easily as if he were taking out the trash. He had one of the God of the Skies' blades. Our own weapons. . .

Useless. They were designed to use against the forces of the God of the Skies. They could not hurt the children of our father. Our own knives chipped and shattered against his skin as he tore through my soldiers, slicing them to chunks of bloody meat.

I don't know how I survived. I don't know how I escaped. But I need to go to my father. He will know what to do.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day One Hundred and Forty

Day 140: 19 Dec 2010

If Cassie was trying to hide her plans from us, she didn't do a very good job. She was quite easy to find. She even made the hotel reservations in her own name, at a broken-down motor lodge forty miles outside the city. Not the best plan.

I would have preferred to leave her for later, to concentrate on our father's plan to regain control of this world, but no. Our father ordered that she must be removed from the equation first -- she had been a thorn in his side for too long now, he said. We were to end her life and the life of the God of the Skies before proceeding. Father would wait in the warm waters of the Gulf.

We arrived at the Bayou Motor Lodge just before midnight, and as one of my soldiers tried the door to her room, we were under attack. There was an explosion, which didn't worry me until I saw the first three soldiers in the stack twitching and bleeding on the ground. In seconds, they bled out completely. Quite dead.

I realized what must have happened. The blades from the God of the Skies. She had broken them up and used them as shrapnel for an improvised explosive device, shredding my soldiers on point easily.

We were more careful now as we moved inside the hotel.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Day 139: 18 Dec 2010

They have taken one of our generals, but they will not stop us. We are regrouping, moving. Coming ashore.

But soon, we will end this. The God of the Skies is not the only one with ancient weapons.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Day 138: 17 Dec 2010

Travis here. And no, not the "We are Travis" Travis. Travis Sykes, 24 years old, and probably unemployed. I'm not dead.

Neither is the slug, but he might as well be. The needle went straight into his brain, or what functions as one. Normally wouldn't have worked, but Cassie was smart -- she made the needle out of a chip of the blades the God of the Skies gave her. It's one of the only things that can pierce the skin the slug grew over mine.

The full dosage would have killed him, of course. But he didn't get the full dosage. He got just enough to cause. . . well, the closest human analog would be a major stroke event. It cooked off the higher functions of his brain, but the lower functions are intact.

In a human, that'd basically mean brain death. But thanks to Sluggo, I'm not entirely human anymore. When his brain went all fried egg, mine took over the higher functions.

This means I still have all of the cool stuff available, but I'm in control. And I will be for the foreseeable future, I think. I don't think he's coming back from this one.

And thanks to his using my brain for storage, I know Jared's entire plan of attack. So, if you'll excuse us, Cassie and I have some traps to set.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Day 137: 16 Dec 2010

The sun hadn't come over the horizon yet, and wouldn't for probably a couple of hours. It was chilly and damp. The cold I don't mind, but the humidity sure does. Ever since the bug got into my system, it bothers me more than it ever used to. And standing by the river didn't help, either.

I checked the time on my cell phone -- it was 3:14 a.m. when I saw the first head. It broke the surface of the water slowly, silently, and looked around. As the body came out of the water, I saw it was Travis.

I moved very fast, but so did he. I managed to get the syringe jammed into his chest, but he knocked it away a millisecond later. I know I didn't get the full dosage, but I did hit the right spot dead on -- just below the sternum, right where the slug lived. The drug was the product of years of research, and though it was never tested, it worked quickly. And goddamn if it wasn't effective.

Travis reeled back on the edge of the river, almost falling back into the water, then falling forward bodily, like a rag doll. I'd seen someone fall that way only once, when I was in high school and worked at a restaurant. A guy had gone into an epileptic fit. He'd suddenly seized up and fallen through a table without throwing up his arms to shield himself. Travis looked just like that.

Other heads began to break the water as he fell. I pulled one of the swords from my back and hauled Travis' limp body to its feet.

"Stay the fuck back," I growled.

It didn't work. They started to climb out of the river, all 50 eyes locked right on me. They could sense that Travis was dead, that there was nothing I could do to him, I guess. But then, suddenly, they stopped moving.

Just as slowly as their heads had broken the surface, they all backed off and slid back under the still, black river. I waited. It felt like a long time, but it was probably only a couple of seconds. Then I turned around.

The God of the Skies was behind me. He hovered ten feet off the ground, motionless, his eyes half-open.

"Thanks," I said out loud.

You are welcome, he thought. Taking out one of their leaders has thrown them into disarray, but that won't buy us much time. We need to get him out of here.

"You mean --"

That is correct. He is not dead.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Six

Day 136: 15 Dec 2010

If Jason Black did his job correctly, we should only have to deal with Travis, Jared, and their soldiers. The God of the Land should be dead by now -- a worm drowned during a torrential rainstorm. Hopefully, he died in the sea as planned. That would mean he had no time to create soldiers of his own, and that the twenty-seven children of the God of the Sea are all we have to face.

And they shouldn't be too hard to handle, thanks to the blades the God of the Skies provided, plus the two syringes I got yesterday. With that huge airborne God at my side, I think I actually have a good shot at stopping them this time.

At least, I hope I do. I guess I'll find out before sunrise tomorrow, because that's when we're expecting them to arrive in old New Orleans.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Five

Day 135: 14 Dec 2010

Spent most of my day trying to find an organic chemist in New Orleans. It was tougher than you might think.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Four

Day 134: 13 Dec 2010

Holy shit. Ho-lee shit. I can see why we needed this laptop.

The God of the Skies is off somewhere. I didn't bother to ask where he was headed. I'm in my hotel in New Orleans, going through the massive amount of data on this machine. And, after almost two straight days of looking, I found it.

I found the way to turn Travis and Jared back into normal humans.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Three

Day 133: 12 Dec 2010

Jason Black is a traitor.

Now we can see why he was so eager to get the boat for us. He had his plans. In the middle of our first sea crossing, he blew a hole in the ice raft with C4.

The explosion didn't injure any of us, of course. Not the God of the Land, not Travis, not my soldiers. But the explosion wasn't the problem -- the rapidly sinking ice raft was.

As I've mentioned before, the slugs were created to fight the Gods of the Land and Skies because our father could not leave the sea. The same is true for the God of the Land -- he cannot survive in the sea. There was nothing we could do as the raft cracked and broke. The whole thing came apart in a matter of seconds, and the God of the Land fell through the ice, swallowed up by the nurturing seas.

And Jason Black took off in the boat he'd provided. There was no time to chase after him now -- we had to meet with our father. As one, we swam South, towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Two

Day 132: 11 Dec 2010

Early yesterday morning, I made a run at one of the guards outside the Chinese Mafia complex in Vancouver. It was the same place Travis had been held, but in the intervening months, the damage had been fixed and the Triad had moved back in. The guard I ran at had an AK-47, and he used it. He emptied an entire clip into me, and I went to sleep.

I woke up early today. I was in a utility room, alone. That's where they chucked their dead bodies, I guess. The door wasn't locked -- why should it be? Dead people didn't often open doors.

I knew what I was looking for -- a computer full of all of the Syndicate's slug research. Kevin had put it together, and the Chinese had stolen it from Travis at some point. The God of the Skies said we needed that info.

I found the computer right where he said it would be -- under lock and key in an office at the end of the complex. I broke in. I took the computer. I went out the window. It was too easy, but it only worked because they thought I was dead. Silly Triads.

And now, we're off to New Orleans.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-One

Day 131: 10 Dec 2010

The barge is underway, thanks to Jason Black, who found us an abandoned long-range vessel at Thule harbor. The God of The Land will soon be on the North American continent, where he can move quickly under his own power to the rendezvous. There, in New Orleans, he and our father will meet to plan their war. And there they shall both raise new armies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty

Day 130: 09 Dec 2010

We arrived in Vancouver this morning. OK, to be quite honest, we arrived near Vancouver this morning. The God of the Skies dropped me off in the mountains and I had to walk into town. Wouldn't do well for him to be seen at rush hour.

I knew where I was headed -- I'd been there before, months back, to try and break Travis out of the Chinese Mafia's stronghold. That. . . hadn't gone well. But the Chinese had something very important in that stronghold -- something we'd need to end the game. I only hoped it was still there.

But first things first -- I had to get myself killed to get brought inside. And that. . .

Well, something like that is best left for after dark.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Nine

Day 129: 08 Dec 2010

Something Travis knew from before we were joined actually came in handy. Shipping. Freight. All of that. The idea of a barge -- one small boat pushing a large skiff.

If the God of the Skies would not fulfill his obligations, we would. With the help of Jared and his men, we started to cut a sheet of ice, one large enough for the God of the Land to rest upon.

Now all we needed was a powerful boat.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Eight

Day 128: 07 Dec 2010

So here's what I didn't know -- the God of the Skies can read thoughts, but not the thoughts of the living. Having been dead so long himself, he became highly attuned to the thought patterns of the departed -- their souls, essentially.

I'm not sure if the other gods can do the same, and neither is he. They're alive, after all, so it's not like he can read them. But we're heading to Vancouver because of something my long-dead buddy Kevin saw. Kevin, with no hands, still helping us out.

Even being dead doesn't slow that guy down.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Day 127: 06 Dec 2010

We reached the Andes today. I know because the God of the Skies told me. We swept low over a tall peak. He indicated I should fly down to the surface.

"You're not landing?" I said.

I do not land. Nor do I sleep. I am airborne. Always flying.

I leapt down, my feet hitting the rock seconds later. I could still hear him in my head.

Twenty paces right. A small opening to a large cave. This was once my temple, the place where your ancestors' ancestors came to pay tribute. Go inside.

I did. It was dark in the cave, but I could see well enough. His voice was still in my head as I went deeper into the cavern.

Once, the people who lived here called me Urubutsin. Vulture King, hoarder of light. This was well after my last death, he thought. They had some facts incorrect. Still, they knew enough to use the weapons. Forty-five paces ahead, under a large square rock.

I saw the boulder. "Large" didn't quite do it justice -- it was taller than me and four times as wide. The Astrologer's Staff -- the same symbol from Travis' notebook -- was carved into its face.

You will not need to move it. Dig just below it, he thought. You'll find what we need there.

I dug for what seemed like a while until I found them -- two long, large knives. Swords, really. Their blades were black, and they looked heavy, but as I lifted them out, I was surprised. They felt lighter than air.

Take them. Place them on your back. Do not worry, they cannot cut you. Only the children of the Sea and the Land.

I took off my heavy coat. There was no need for it now that we were away from Thule. From its remnants, I made two straps, which I fastened to the blades. They felt like nothing against my spine, but I could feel it -- a sudden jolt, almost electric, surged through my body.

Come now. We need one more item.

"Where are we headed?" I asked as I walked out of the cave. I leaped up, landing on his back.

You would call it Vancouver.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Six

Day 126: 05 Dec 2010

I rejoined Jared and the rest of our people today. We must convene with our father about the God of the Sky. His treason cannot go unpunished, and our father is the only one who knows how to kill him.

We walked into the freezing sea. Our father was close. . . all we had to do was wait for him to appear.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Five

Day 125: 04 Dec 2010

We were flying South -- far south -- when the God of the Skies let me know the God of the Land had risen.

"Um, isn't that a bad thing? Wasn't I supposed to stop that?"

I didn't need to speak out loud -- I knew he could hear my thoughts. Still, it felt odd having a conversation completely in my head. I felt better talking.

It is no matter, he thought to me. His rise was inevitable. Besides, he will be stuck on that island without me to carry him. We have bigger problems on our hands.

"Like what?" I asked.

I got no answer.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Four

Day 124: 03 Dec 2010

We chanted through the sparse daylight hours, deep into the night. Our words were different than those before. The words to raise the God of the Sky had been quiet, soft, almost whispers. That was his language. The God of the Land -- guttural. Harsh. Deep. It hurt our human throats, but we continued.

Late in the night -- I do not know how late -- we heard the rumbling. The ice under our feet started to splinter and crack. My men kept chanting, ignoring the earthquake-level shaking all around us. As the first segments broke the ice, we stopped chanting and backed up as quickly as we could. The God of the Land broke through. He raised up to his full height, blocking out the moon with his massive bulk.

His roar shook the ground more than his rebirth had.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Three

Day 123: 02 Dec 2010

Travis and his men had left a hole at least thirty feet deep and more than a hundred feet across in the ice. They'd done most of the work for us -- the God of the Land would be easy to raise now.

Thule was crawling with military people. They'd come to find out what happened, to clean up the mess. Unlike Travis and his people, we left them alone and went around. No need to raise further alarm. The slug Travis hosts is rash, young. He knows nothing of stealth or subtlety. Fortunately, we do.

The forty-mile walk inland, plus the ten-mile detour around Thule, took us most of the day. It was near midnight when we arrived. I set my men to work clearing off the last few feet of ice. By early morning, I could see the first segments of the God of the Land. We were ready to begin.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Two

Day 122: 01 Dec 2010

Four days ago, we heard from Travis. He indicated that there were problems at Thule, and that we should come. We left from Central Texas and crossed the border into Canada two days ago. Travis told us the way he had taken through the Passage. We are on foot now, but should be at Thule by early tomorrow morning.

Last night, we were close enough to sense the problem. His soldiers were wiped out, all at once. We plan to take over where they left off -- the God of the Land will rise tomorrow.