The Chronicle of Belthaeous
by John W. Steele
Rodney Neumann, a brilliant student of mathematics, has earned a scholarship at Columbia University. After years of spiritual struggle he has adopted materialism as his personal philosophy. In graduate school, he studies under, Dr. Adrian Nacroanus, an eccentric scientist who heads the Department of Genetic Engineering. The doctor’s advancements in biotechnology have earned him a reputation as a near-mythological being. In time, he and Rodney form a master-student relationship based on deep theosophical insights that Nacroanus reveals to him.
Dr. Nacroanus has developed a serum called Eternulum that he claims will increase human longevity. But before he can bestow his gift on humanity he must retrieve a mummified angel named Belthaeous, who has lain entombed in the Cave of the Ancients for thousands of years.
Rodney and Nacroanus journey to the Himalayas to find the hidden entity. Deep in the mountains, Rodney witnesses miracles that shatter his understanding of reality and confront him with forces of ultimate malevolence.
Chapter 51: The Sons of Mammon
When I left the conference room, Malcolm was gone. The leaden hour had arrived. Escorted by the Enukai agents, I walked towards the anteroom at the rear of the assembly hall. Once inside, the aliens spread out and gave me a little breathing space.
Dr. Nacroanus and Colonel Falkenhorst stood talking beneath a statue of an ancient deity I did not recognize. The idol appeared demonic, and though it could be mistaken for a Draco, it was much larger and far more perfected in a repulsive abstract sense of the word.
When the colonel saw me, he whispered something to Adrian and they headed towards the other side of the chamber.
A luxurious mahogany table with carved ivory legs sat on a raised platform in the center of the room. A saffron-colored silk modesty screen softened the lines of the figures behind it. I walked to the far side of the deck and immediately recognized the dignitaries.
Cardinal Presley sat at the far end of the table; to his right sat the evangelist Reverend Jimmy Crackers. Across from the minister, a venerated Tibetan Lama seated in a sea-grass meditation chair spun a prayer wheel. I was well acquainted with this man’s face but I could not pronounce his name.
The Surgeon General sat at the head of the table. He appeared aloof and detached from the clergy. He was bald save for a doughnut-sized circular crop of hair that sprouted from the frontal lobe of his skull. A ragged silver beard covered his face and he wore rabbinate side locks. His eyes focused on the screen of a laptop and his fingers danced on the keyboard with blinding speed and agility.
The clerics sipped Perrier and chatted softly among themselves. Their faces were bright and cheerful, and an air of jubilance surrounded them. Each of these men had access to a red land-line telephone that sat near his left hand. I surmised these telephones were directly connected to their superiors or even the Pentagon.
Despite the opulence and the mirthful ambiance, an intangible pall hung in the air; an eerie feeling that something horrible lurked just beyond the veneer of this lavish holy insurrection.
I felt a cold shadow from behind, and I winced. When I spun around, Xenotula was lying prostrate on his rancid lounger. He did not speak but channeled me with the voice.
The power of telepathic thought transference is more intimate than verbal communication. The idea that this thing could enter my head created a feeling of revulsion like no other. Ever since my first telepathic encounters with Belthaeous, I’d felt psychic interference was a violation of the intrinsic void allotted to me alone, and a contemptuous form of wrathful aggression.
My body shuddered and I struggled to force his presence out of my skull, but I could not overcome the diabolical power of his energy. I felt crushed by the intensity of this grotesque psychic vampire. He stared at me lustfully, his eyes a hypnotic vacuum of venomous intent.
“My, but don’t you look delicious tonight, my darling. There’s still time, Dr. Neumann. Allow Mammon to show you just how much he rewards his chosen. Join us and the world will shower you with appreciation. Let us show you the glory we bestow upon those of the arts and sciences that make us smile. Stop resisting his authority. Use your mind to aid us in the cause. Mammon wants what’s best for you, and he can give you anything.”
“He has nothing I want! Get out of my skull, you scum-glutted pustule. I refuse to give you any more of my energy.” I closed my eyes and asked the Light to remove the abomination from my mind.
Xenotula grimaced and the voice wheezed in short shallow gasps. I will destroy you, do... you hear... me? A slow painful death... awaits you, warrior... I ... will...”
My ears popped and Xenotula reeled to the side. A flow of purple exudate dripped from his ear and his complexion grew mottled with cyanotic blotches.
The telepathic vocalization ceased, and the demon spoke in a high-pitched screech. “You are doomed, cherub. I will see to it that you are made my personal slave, and I will devour you with passion.”
The demon wretched a bolus of yellow-streaked filth and then collapsed like a sack of mud on the fetid throne.
He raised the fist and transformed into a hideous reptilian lizard, its face raw with open lesions and festering scabs. The platform lurched forward and Xenotula melted into a crowd of Enukai storm troopers.
Dr. Nacroanus approached me from behind, and I wasn’t prepared for the unveiling of his newest alter-ego. He now wore a flowing black Anglican cassock with a gold shoulder cape. A red orthodox yarmulke sat like a testament to sanctum on his skull. A black veil lay draped around his neck. Dangling on his chest like some kind of sacred medallion hung a distinguished blue sapphire encased in gold filigree. He looked ridiculous. This murdering flesh and blood hypocrite was trying to appear beatified before the eyes of the world.
“You look absolutely stunning, father,” I said.
“It is the image of purity that sustains the world of Darkness, my son. What lies beneath the façade of holy perfection is the will that controls this universe. Are you prepared for the resurrection?”
“Yes, father. I’ve been chosen to receive a great honor. The power of darkness reigns supreme. Only fools attempt to defy it.”
Nacroanus eyed me carefully. “I have been informed your heart has been vilified and you are prepared to declare Mammon as your salvation.”
I made the sign of the fist. “It’s true, Adrian. I had a long conversation with the Queen of Darkness. Her exquisite charm was the catalyst I needed to betray the Light. My salvation existed before I was born, but I will cast it away for the glory of Mammon.
Nacroanus replied, “If you awaken the Archon, you will be the one who unlocked the gates of Darkness forever on this earth. It is a privilege I bestow upon you because you are my son. I need you at my side to rule in Hell. You are the only one I trust.”
Our eyes met and I saw the depth of his loneliness, a cold sadness hidden deep in an ocean of malevolent insanity. It felt as if I’d been shredded in half. To face this man I adored and hated with equal depth of conscience created a sense of conflict that bordered on anguish.
Adrian looked at his watch. “The eternal moment has arrived.” He walked over to a podium and spoke into the microphone standing at the podium.
“Distinguished guests may I have your attention.”
The room grew silent.
“At this summit, we have the opportunity to reform the world in a more perfect order, an order that will dominate mankind and secure our authority on this earth for eternity. We have come here to install in man a more regimented freedom, a freedom designed according to the will of Mammon. And in return, as the administrators of Darkness, we shall be granted the spoils of this material realm. The time has arrived when we at last will capture the Light and assert beyond the shadow of a doubt the throne of Mammon, our Lord and master.”
Adrian’s face beamed with triumph. He slapped his hand on the pulpit, and in a voice saturated with passion, he proclaimed, “Our mission is to tread asunder the power of the human will, obliterate the Light of conscience, and completely dismantle the faculty of reason inherent in those of the true Light Creation. For the glory of Mammon, we will accomplish all these things and, through our act of service, we will rule in Hell.
“You all understand what is required of you. Please take your places and prepare for the new dawn that will elevate the elite to their godly stations.”
Nacroanus placed his fist over his heart. In a fiery voice he cried, “We shall enslave the Light, until the heart of man craves only evil. Hail, Mammon!”
The room exploded with applause. “Hail, Mammon,” they shouted.
The Enukai fell to their knees and convulsed in a bombastic display of fanatical allegiance. Their bodies quivered, and foam dripped from the corners of their mouths. Like hydrophobic madmen enraptured in a fit of hysteria, their laser eyes glowed with brilliant intensity, and they wailed a demoniacal eulogy.
The pneumatic doors hissed open. The emperors of the new world strode onto the stage and seated themselves, each one on a leather-winged throne that had been prepared for him.
Copyright © 2014 by John W. Steele