Everything that follows is down to you.
by Danielle M. Ashley and Michael G. Dickson
TAPE 23: Interview subject known as AAFD 23rd September 2005 11:02:23
We had no idea what we were doing. We thought we could contain it... hold it... But we really had no idea at all.
The WORD is that of despair. The WORD is that of knowing that despair. The WORD is that of desolation within desolation. Of gloom within gloom. It is nothing. It is everywhere. It has no form. It has every form. Having no purpose it forms no intent. It merely is. It does not seek. It does not want. It merely is. It exists. At most... it WAITS. It can place itself in the midst of all misery and find itself at its core. It knows what it is. It knows what it can never be. The WORD is that of the darkness as it reaches out to touch the darkness.
The darkness draws us to the darkness as the candlelight draws a moth. But they know when to stop; when attraction becomes repulsion. We don’t have that gift. We are intoxicated on our illusions and blanketed in our ability to ignore anything that contradicts our wishes.
How was it found? Who first found THE WORD is not revealed. But it found fertile ground in those people among us who think that the dreams that surround their lives are not progressing at the rate at which they wish they would. Those who want to look beyond the pale horizon the rest of humanity see each morning and run beyond it to find what private treasures lay there. But somehow the time is never enough and the opportunities too few to make that long hoped-for ascension, so they wait. And they seek. And they exist. It was inevitable that their paths would cross.
TAPE 18: Interview subject known as BBSD 23rd September 2005 08:45:23
I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t stop shaking. I can’t think. I can’t do anything...
The WORD contains in itself the whole of all that follows. Just like within the succession of natural numbers, one can be found which seems to embody magical arithmetic properties – not shared or even resembled by its neighbours despite differing by merely one unity, so it is that the WORD possesses qualities far in excess of those that can be expected from a mere permutation of letters. It guards vast information. It does not have a meaning by any language known to men. But it has many meanings that beckon to be seen, and it waits for beholders to put them to life.
Within the last crop, no-one is sure who found it. But some time in Summer of 2005 it became apparent to them, and it spread like wildfire. They read it avidly. They planned. Now, instead of aimless ambling, they could work to a plan. They had a purpose and the means to achieve it.
The WORD spoke of the dread that is pare'cee and they became its most avid followers. Some began to think of the word as meaning Sect of Paircy, and thus they began to think of themselves as. The wisest did not seek to decipher the WORD, rightly guessing that their human mind could not comprehend it, and suspecting that an unexpected meaning lay behind such a simple explanation, but they did not pronounce themselves against this usage, either. Their aim and their motive was merely the contemplation of the WORD and its infinite gloomful undertones. The PAIRCY gradually took a distinct, and consistent, shape in their visualisations.
The WORD was moving. They were stirring to a collective plan. In the darkness, something sees a glimmer of light and starts a long climb towards it.
They read the WORD and knew where the subject of their private worships lay; deep within the gloom of the coastal waters, in the dark cold grave of the sea. Why there? Why anywhere? No purpose, no light, no day, no night. Just being. Existing without reason. Anguish without limit of time, or any reason that lies behind the cause or nature of that pain. Darkness reaching for the darkness.
They read about the RITUALS that were needed to wake, stir and draw HIM towards them. They read of process, of magic, of gathering their CONGREGATION's wills into a solid point of focus by surrendering their whole agency to the CLERGY that drove them. Rhythm to wake him, rhythm to bring him, vibrations to speak to him... and then what? Vibrations modulated by the anguish of their unquenchable hungers and the desire to be masters of the power of such despair. Once they were the noun; after this they would be the verb. The movement. The action.
They read. They studied. What they could not find in tomes, came to them through bouts of dark meditation. Words from a long forgotten language in a long extinguished dialect. Words needed to bring about their ascent from men to supermen. Words of a power both benign and malignant, so enormous and so ancient and so untapped that they may lay claim to it and become all they wanted to be. Eager to proceed, they imagined and synthesised. Wishful thinking replaced fear, and this was their undoing. But they did not know it.
TAPE 18: Interview subject known as BBSD 23rd September 2005 08:46:28
We were stupid. There were so many of us. Where were their minds? Where are their minds now?
They needed a place to bring it about; a place to rise it from the blackness. Somewhere by the waters. Somewhere there could be noise. Somewhere there could be privacy.
The mutilated pier was now a small, immaterial birthmark of an industrial harbour that had developed to its west, and like the whole complex, was off-limits to the public. Machinery and cranes, some of which rusting inactive, now camouflaged its existence somewhat, and it was daily ignored by all harbour workers.
It found them. A calling to a sacred place, dressed in the thin disguise of the practical search for any old venue or other. There it was: a broken theatre, on a decayed pier jutting into the cold dark southern waters. Part brick and mortar, part resting on the steel frame of the condemned structure. Within, old drapes and broken plastering hung like the rotted innards of some decomposing sea creature. Bare concrete floor in places, masonry and rubble scattered on it, broken planking at the back, yawning gaps in the floor through which the seas could be seen. Gaps in the walls large enough for three men to walk through. Ghostly arches framing nothing, and flourishes of salt and micro-organisms erasing human-drawn decoration.
They left as it was, as it had been for scores of years. There was ripeness in the decay.
TAPE 23: Interview subject known as AAFD 23rd September 2005 11:13:53
We wanted to draw it out... grow it. We had no idea…
TAPE 37: Interview subject known as ABFF 24th September 2005 18:54:23
We jumped at the chance. It was there, and it was perfect. It was THERE for us to use it. No-one would have known. Looking back on it... it seemed too easy...
The autumnal equinox, a night of alarming storms on the eastern coast on 22nd September 2005.
A single figure entered the theatre, creaking the door open, its hinges still holding the weight by some miracle. He then quietly stepped towards the rope by the side entrance and pulled it firmly. One stroke after another, calling the faithful to the SANCTUM.
No bell was needed, as the meeting had been long scheduled. In the coastal wind, the muffled sound couldn't have carried for more than a stone's throw. Still, they silently approached. At the barrier marking the end of the public road, a taxi door was softly swung shut and the disembarked man, from the light cone of a lone street-lamp up above, made its way down stumbling through the shingle. Others were now arriving after a walk of sixty minutes or more.
Looking towards the extreme west, one could have seen a vestige of twilight still afloat on the horizon, yet the sea was pitch black. A dirty marine smell was wafting around and about.
TAPE 23: Interview subject known as AAFD 23rd September 2005 11:12:45
No, no, no! Religion? A religion? No, no a thousand times no. Religion is about hope and morality and the optimism you’ll be saved by some power greater than you. No, we were no mere religion. This was something much more than that. We were practical. If this was theology then it was applied theology.
And the faithful became a CONGREGATION. Who were these men and women who gave the name of secpaircy as they entered?
TAPE 37: Interview subject known as ABFF 24th September 2005 17:21:14
Don’t ask who we are or how we met. We did meet, but how? But why? Was it ordained? Did we get there by blind chance? Ask me all you want. I won't go there again. But one thing I will tell you. The NAME OF POLITICIAN REDACTED was among us. A lot of us were all somebodies. But we all needed to be somebody better.
Yes, they whispered the WORD like a secret cipher , signalling their intent and their collusion. Perhaps, they just wanted to ensure they were in the right place. That they were not insane – or that the others were insane too. A pinch, to see if they would wake from the dream, and they didn't. For a dream it was not.
Silently, they approached a pile of fabric by the side of the stalls and picked up their robes, then at the back of the theatre they divested themselves of all clothes, jewellery, and underwear. The row of 44-gallon drums started to fill with the discarded attire, as the cultists slipped on their hooded robes. They made their way to the front of the stage, towards the dais erected there.
The area was huge and cavernous. No one spoke. The doors behind were closed and chained shut, even as the large gaps in the wall revealed the dark coastline and the twinkling sea. The slightest movement echoed a thousand times. Then, through the darkness, lights were gently played upwards towards the proscenium and softly illuminated the ruin within which they stood.
Who among them appointed the CLERGY?
No one is certain, but it appears that a member of the REDACTED named REDACTED was part of the group. This would have made him likely to take such a role upon himself. It is thought that six others were in turn appointed to complete the lead squad. Nothing else is known.
They were the final catalyst. The organ played an introduction as the CLERGY took their places in front of the CONGREGATION. Their human traits completely overridden by their frightening uniform, their rule of the faithful was absolute.
Upon their appearance, queasiness and fear started to grip some as they realised the much awaited RITUAL was going to go ahead. The CLERGY offered soothing words of kinship and comfort to the frightened crowd. Words understood by few, repeated by fewer and used only by the bravest.
t’hai yhu uruk-al non’de freei: kha-la-dhu mon birrik deei t’hai mon de’I uruk
The words spun an hypnotic weave around the locked souls in the room, floated over the active waters beneath and convinced all that their purpose here was both legitimate and - deep down – correct.
TAPE 37: Interview subject known as ABFF 23rd September 2005 18:55:43
When he finished with that, we heard noises and we all looked up. They were coming from behind the curtains. We never knew they were going to be part of this. They sounded angry... afraid. So were we. Our hairs stood on end. What would they DO? They sounded odd, even... damaged.
As the woman realised that three faceless robes were encircling her, she let out a wild gasp. Then, her larynx paralysed by sheer terror, she was deposited on the stage. Few in the hall were spared the metallic taste of fear in their mouths, but what they now saw started to dilute it with the drunkenness of power. Hers however, was unalloyed horror, as she was forced down onto the dais by two assistants before a puzzled CONGREGATION.
TAPE 23: Interview subject known as AAFD 23rd September 2005 09:34:52
I'd seen her changing before the rite... just saw her in the half light. What caught me was the cross on the back of her robe. I didn't think the others had one. We picked them up at random from a bundle... I don't think she noticed the mark on hers...
The HIGH PRIEST barely winced in front of the subjugated figure, and wrapped his hand around the handle of a wicked looking sharp with a hooked end. He held it before her cowled face, to ensure she knew what it was. Then he evenly uttered the fateful words:
t’hai yhu uruk-al non’de Locusta freei: kha-la-hrad dum salla: efrin dei salla bi’hiarth
As calmly as it had been raised, the blade was brought down slowly.
TAPE 23: Interview subject known as AAFD 23rd September 2005 09:36:02
It was louder than a bomb. He drew it out... It seemed to last forever. He was drawing dread and terror out of her... like water from a well.
The unwitting audience were passively playing their part; their loosened emotions were but strings under the hands of a skilful fiddler. He imbued the atmosphere with them, to draw him closer to the quarry. The rumbling storm, the organ – all fused in a symphony of DARKNESS.
She was finally allowed to fall to the floor. Unharmed, but for how long? Like most others, her fate is unknown. [Witness claim that this person is Subject ‘BBSD’ is unconfirmed]
TAPE 7: Interview subject known as BBCC 25th September 2005 16:33:22
I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE IT IF I'D KNOWN. It was hideous. Hideous. I’ve never felt such deep down... revulsion.
The gentle pulse of the music continued as the HIGH PRIEST incanted. The CONGREGATION sang in a call and response that balmed them all. For a while it was majestic, deep and relentless, like the breaths of an athlete before a great dive. Or maybe a scared crowd before unique sights... There was a collective shiver. But then words turned to whispers and then turned to silence; a gentle glow of light was all that remained.
Temporarily, the CLERGY had served their purpose.
FILE INSERT #34: ‘SECPAIRCY’ MEMBERSHIP 22ND SEPTEMBER 2005
Source: Found within personal effects of REDACTED recovered at position 234,112 per docket #AG22663.
Some names of the CONGREGATION are known to us, some even to the general public. How were they gathered?
TAPE 37: Interview subject known as ABFF 24th September 2005 18:23:21
We barely had to speak. We already KNEW of the common purpose we shared. We found each other without searching. Money? It wasn't an issue at all.
FILE INSERT #49: MUSICAL SCORE EXTRACT #12 22ND SEPTEMBER 2005
Source: Found at position 121,46 per docket #AG22663.
The waves lapped around the piers beneath them in the bitter darkness, and resonated inside concrete gutters where they splashed mixed with animal urine and flotsam. Two fires had been lit symmetrically each side of the hall, and cardboard from ancient shipment cartons burned rather dirty. The flickering light interacted with the internal architecture to carve living polyhedra of different shades. The room took on the appearance and earthy tones of an ancient sandstone shrine, and ritual scents began to fill the air. The atmosphere grew more intimate, the temperature rose, and the decrepit theatre was seemed to be transfigured into an elaborate network of columns, domes and arches, all covered in intricate reliefs.
The chanting of the CONGREGATION moved around in steady chorus as the choir drew long, hypnotic legato notes that mesmerised and brought all together into feelings of kinship and certainty.
As the chanting proceeded, the CONGREGATION focussed on the sounds of the waters around them, all dropping their voices progressively until they were barely whispering. All joined hands tightly and concentrated. Their intent was not to simply draw the force forward, not at this stage. Their intention was to know of its presence. All phrased the question in their minds. Are you there? Can we reach you?
TAPE 18: Interview subject known as BBSD 23rd September 2005 10:02:23
Oh my god...that sound. That sound...I can’t get it out of my head... [INCOHERENT]
TAPE 37: Interview subject known as ABFF 24th September 2005 15:36:41
It was DREAD. It was despair. The voice of something...unknown. It was the most... uninhabited sound I'd ever heard. HE looked at us and said - this is where I am – come and share in my emptiness.
Some of the minds raced wildly. Successions of images flashed behind their closed eyes. Scenes from well before history, well before writing, palaces ruined before the ruined palaces of today even stood. Skulls strewn on scorched earth, unknown shadows rushing on them .The chanting continued, soft and gentle.
Two robes towards the front were spotted lifting the unhooded head of a third man off a brazier on a low altar, from which a peculiar vapour rose thickly. They forced the man upright and steady, until his neck regained some rigidity. Then, each holding one arm, they walked him towards the breach in the eastern wall; and the man, as in a drunken stupor, complied. They left through the gap, and climbed down to the waste-strewn shore, until they disappeared. After a six and a half minutes, the pair returned without him.
Meanwhile inside, the weave of the chants was dissolving as the zeal was focused inwards. Their focus beneath the stirring waters. Moving deeper. Seeking the darkness.
Time passed. Patience was needed.
Silence now ruled. Each member of the CONGREGATION pictured themselves deep within the LAIR where they might find him. All eighty of them, transfixed by their own illusion. Reaching. Searching. Wanting. It was still dubious if their work would succeed. The hope of some began to waver.
Then, piercing all eighty minds – it spoke.
And so it began.
Still shaken and awed though they were, adrenaline precluded all delay; it spurred them to press on with their symphony of ambition. soft and constant, one mantra after another of mesmerising and meaningless words, swooning the conspirators into a frenzy of measured excitement. Huge thundering drums imposed their beats, each phrase punctuated with the response of the CONGREGATION and CLERGY.
More drums joined. The structure of the building reverberated to the sound. The sound dark and primitive, the sir thick now with the intoxicating and florid smoke from the myriad incense burners placed around the theatre. The CONGREGATION swaying in time to the sound, stepping sideways and stamping feet under the direction of the leader.
The drumming continued one polyrhythm over another. Primitive, darkly appealing to the deepest nature within us.
One thundering crash after another – broken wood breaking on broken wood – or was it bone? The pace yielded a little to let the voices swell and take over, crying out to their saviour. Existing without reason, in an anguish without limit of time.
TAPE 7: Interview subject known as BBCC 24th September 2005 18:16:12
It was all for a reason, down to the drumbeat. The melody for us was the beckoning – we stirred IT... and the rest served to bring it out. What EXACTLY were we wanting? [HIDES FACE IN HANDS AND TAKES LONG PAUSE]
Thundering echoes. HUGE vibrations being sent down the legs of the pier and into the black waters beneath. Discordant vocal harmonies moaned over the protesting sounds of the pipe organ, bass pedals rattling the walls and dislodging small pieces of plaster from the roof, adding to the rubble already there; some fell straight through cracks into the blackness below, bouncing off decayed struts beneath the floor, before plunging into the moving waters. By this point, the most attentive had already observed DISCREPANCY in the proceedings, but others were ensnared in a rapture that it was not possible to interrupt.
As it began, so it continued. A liberation now, a respite; the pressure eased off, but a new melody, faint at first, then climbing gradually, snaked upwards, all in measures of six. Voices joining. Pipes mixing. The CONGREGATION howling a twisted cry that rose in a never-ending crescendo.
Then, finally… in a roaring burst the choir and organ erupted in a note of exultation. Of hope. Of arrival.
TAPE 7: Interview subject known as BBCC 24th September 2005 18:23:16
Some of us fell to their knees. My heart was hammering. We were in raptures. We had done it.
Then the brilliant light shining from beneath the floor gave way to something awful. A new feeling swept the room, leaping from man to woman to man, as they hit a SOMBRE REALISATION: this was not what they had wanted. They won, and yet they lost; they achieved, and yet they finally saw their folly.
They all knew instinctively where to look. Through the gap in the wall, overlooking a stretch of beach in darkness, a black shape could be seen sliding out from the sea two hundred yards below; a moving LUMP that crept at constant speed towards the structure. Bowels and bladders relaxed as the men stood motionless, scouring their minds for any other answer other than what which they already knew to be true. Some regained strength in their legs and ran for the doors, but they knew they had nowhere to go. Others were still and faced their destiny, with a lunar tone on their skin.
The BLOB was getting bigger as it got closer; soon the fires would shed light on its features, but they all knew what they would be.
TAPE 7: Interview subject known as BBCC 24th September 2005 19:16:45
I will never forget it. It was the most awful thing I'd ever seen. And that buzzing sound. I can’t even think because if I think I'll start shaking again and I cannot...cannot...
TAPE 19: Interview subject known as BBSD 23rd September 2005 11:34:59
God save me - I saw it – I even heard it. I heard her... crack... apart. [PAUSE: RESUMED 23rd September 2005 11:42:12] I never want to hear that ...THAT... again...never never never. It was the horror. The horror of it reaching inside and... and... [INCOHERENT]
They were in the grip of the very DREAD they hoped to harness. It was overwhelming and terrifying beyond all words. Not mere fear, for a way out of fear can be found. This was something so catastrophic and frightening that you know there is nothing you can do to stand in its way. Nothing. It’s the oncoming train, and you are meeting it face on, they saw, as the shadow moved through the room and engulfed everything before it.
Emergency services received a call from a public telephone box just under a mile from the scene. There they found a male in monastic fancy dress with moderate hypothermia and severe glass wounds to his feet, of which he was unaware. Despite this, he would scream begging the medical team to leave him and attend the location to which he pointed.
The waters beneath the tip of the pier are recorded as being between forty six and fifty seven feet deep. Local currents and wildlife could not have made any difference prior to the arrival of the rescue vehicles. Yet even then, of the seventy five persons who went missing on the autumnal equinox of September 22nd 2005, none were found and no remains were recovered.
Despite the bizarre tales of the professed 'survivors', the events of that day – for those who believed them – were never officially linked to the disappearances. To this date they all officially listed as ‘missing’.
In November 2005, a further collapse led to the remains of the pier being demolished and the seabed dredged. The story of the events of September 22nd 2005 has never been fully revealed and remains shrouded in bogus records of phantom 'restoration work', and, above all, residents' apathy. Little did they know that their own despair played a crucial part in bringing the show to their neck of the woods.
A few inquisitive citizens have visited the site since then, and attempted to investigate the story further. A local radio host briefly supported their probe, but no significant progress was ever made.
Eighty people were within the theatre, but after its collapse only five were found alive. All five will never function normally again, but no one can detect exactly what the harm done to them has been. All we can say is that they have seen or experienced something that they should never have. They have touched desolation within desolation. They have touched gloom within gloom. They were a part of the darkness as it reaches out to touch the darkness. And the darkness touched them back.