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The Chronicle of Belthaeous

by John W. Steele

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Chapter 46: The Terradrive

One of the Reptoids led the way, and we followed behind him. Nacroanus and I walked side by side, and the other three aliens covered our flanks in a simplified v-formation.

In the distance, a security lamp exposed a cavity in the wall. I had never paid any attention to these vestibules; I thought they were the equivalent of emergency fire escapes. The swarthy alien hybrid headed straight for the foyer, and we entered the enclosure.

A stainless steel roller shutter hung over the entry. The Reptoid coded the wall panel and the door eased open. A wide concrete mezzanine, like the floor of an enormous subway terminal, spread out before us. Massive pillars of natural stone supported the towering granite ceiling, and the entire cavern took on the form of a grotto out of a Faustian fantasy.

Near the deck of the walkway sat a glimmering metal vehicle shaped like a futuristic passenger train. Connected to the locomotive were several sleek transport carriers, each one large enough to hold several full-size automobiles.

“Follow me,” Nacroanus barked.

We strode down the walkway and entered the second car. Much to my surprise, Belthaeous was sitting inside a sealed Plexiglas container. The cabin had been modified into a mobile laboratory and appeared to be fitted with all the necessary scientific equipment required to sustain the biochemical forces of the Avatar’s paralyzed consciousness.

With unfeigned fascination, I asked. “What is this thing? Why is Belthaeous confined here?”

“Our deep underground military bases are connected by oxygenated magnetolevitron terradrives,” Nacroanus said. “There are over fifteen hundred subterranean cities on the globe, most of them at least a mile beneath the surface of the earth. Our hypersonic drives are capable of speeds in excess of Mach II. With them, we can journey to any coordinate on the planet in a matter of a few hours while remaining completely undetected.”

“That’s preposterous,” I replied. “The air in the tunnels would preclude such acceleration. At one hundred atmospheres, even titanium would melt like wax if exposed to such extreme velocity.”

Adrian’s face wrinkled. “That’s why we remove all the air from the tunnels and travel in a vacuum.”

Nacroanus had no reason to lie. I thought about the implications and felt crushed by the advanced technologies of the malevolent forces surrounding us.

“It’s difficult to believe what you’re saying, Dr. Nacroanus. How could you ever dispose of the tremendous amounts of debris created by an endeavor of such magnitude? If what you’re saying is true, the fill would amount to a pile of waste material as big as the Rocky Mountains. Evidence like that could not be hidden or disguised.”

Adrian eyed me intently, a glint of skepticism in his eye. “It’s really quite elementary, Dr. Neumann. Particle lasers provided to us by our alien benefactors, the Enukai vaporize the rock. The result is a tube with a smooth glazed lining. The beams of the generator pass through the hard mantle of the earth like a cautery through human tissue.”

Nacroanus glared at the Avatar, his forehead wrinkled and his eyes were drawn to slits. He remained silent as if pondering some dark secret.

I knew it was only a matter of time before he would solve the mystery surrounding the Eye. Perhaps he’d discovered the secret already while probing the Archon’s mind. But I knew as well that Adrian would have killed me if he knew I possessed the only force in Mammon’s physical universe that could destroy him. No power on earth would deter him from his grandiose intent.

Perhaps Belthaeous offered the only ray of hope in this entire apocalyptic tragedy. But I could not trust him. In this world of illusions, secrets, and endless desire, how is it possible to trust anyone but yourself?

I wanted to inquire further about the underground cities, but Adrian raised his hand and motioned me to be still. “Everything will fall into place as we proceed with our vision,” he said. “Mammon’s glory is beyond anything you can imagine. The viables know only what we want them to know and believe only what we want them to believe.”

Nacroanus laughed aloud as if savoring the humor of some private joke. “The face of the world is little more than makeup on a painted whore, and mankind has paid dearly to seduce the tainted trollop we call truth.” He nodded to a monitor and said, “Have a seat and man your station.”

I did as he commanded. “Where are we going?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“We have a rendezvous with destiny. Base station Tureis Major is located two miles beneath the U.N. We’ll arrive there in less than an hour. The world awaits the fulfillment of its fate with open arms.

“Man is a gullible child who believes only what his senses can experience. He is a creature who must depend on faith for meaning in his life. He cannot handle the truth even when irrefutable evidence is revealed to him. Man needs to be controlled, punished, and exploited. This is his proprium. Through the glory of Eternulum, I have been chosen to administer justice and establish the law of the land as I see fit.

“When Mammon’s domain is completed, all surnames will be eliminated. Men will be assigned numbers by which they will be recognized. There will be no more illusion of independence or freedom.

“The masses will be assigned to a class ranging from A to E. Each ascending class will be allowed greater privileges than the class beneath it. The greatest rewards will go to the informants and rabid fanatics who implicate and incriminate anyone who even remotely questions the new order.

“We will restore the Holy Inquisition. The methods we use to extract confessions will be displayed on the telescreens so that all men will know the iron justice necessary to create a world of purity and devotion to order. The love of Mammon shall be displayed for all to see.

“A glorious new age awaits us, an age where the rule of law, not the rule of reason, governs the conduct of all men. When we are successful, and we will be, the United Nations will use its peace-keeping armies enhanced by Enukai technologies to look after and preserve the Light of mankind.”

Nacroanus raised his head proudly and stared at Belthaeous. “You are indeed a fortunate man, Dr. Neumann. Before you sits the Übermench, the concordant symbiosis of science and matter who will tread asunder the finality of death and the folly of human conscience.”

Nacroanus sat down at the terminal on the other side of the cabin. One of the Genibolic technicians inserted a serial connector to the port located in the sub-occipital lobe of Adrian’s skull. The doctor’s eyes rolled back in his head and a fiendish grin spread across his face. He looked like a junkie who had just booted up his favorite craving.

Belthaeous responded similarly. The lines of his noble forehead were drawn taut against the overpowering presence of Adrian’s mind.

I trusted neither of these mutated monstrosities. I knew the Eye held the only answer to the impossible circumstances confronting me. I felt like a man with the key to the kingdom of Hell. No matter what I did with the Eye, the results would be the same. Mammon’s will was a curse unto itself, from which there was no escape, a testament to the insanity of his creation.

With maddening intensity, the Eye began to tingle, pulsing like some kind of living field of energy. Ripples of energy trembled from its core, sending a jagged thrill through the nerve plexus of my body. I now understood this icon was more than a crystalline conglomerate of alien matter. It was a living entity with volition and awareness.

The door to the cabin hissed shut. A subtle charge of energy, like the aura before a bolt of lightning shattered the emptiness and grew vibrant inside the car. The air felt dry and crisp, and my hair stood on end.

The Reptoids responded to the altered magnetic field like Second-Density organisms suddenly flooded with solar radiance. The color of their skin changed from dull mottled grey and black to a shade of vibrant emerald green. The increase in flux density filled them with vitality, and they appeared even more alert and powerful.

The air in the cabin compressed and my ears popped. Like the rush of a surging tide, the increasing gravitational constant forced my body into the contours of the chair. Without a sound, our journey to the center of civilized diplomacy began.

I closed my eyes, and thought about Heidi and Jerus. I thought about the birthright the children of this world would inherit, and the legacy of total damnation that awaited them.

The perfected ideology of eternal dependence and slavery had been seeded in the genes of man since the moment his Light was forced into a body of matter. The curse was about to unfold with a precision and architecture unprecedented since the rise of the evil empire. A tear trickled from my cheek. My chest grew heavy, and we sailed through the crust of the earth like a bullet through the barrel of a rifle.

Proceed to Chapter 47...

Copyright © 2014 by John W. Steele

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