The Last of Us [Unsafe (and so much fun) at any speed!]
Few of the world’s counterterrorism forces can compete with France’s National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, or GIGN. The group is 200 strong and trained specifically to respond to hostage situations. It claims to have freed more than 600 people since it was formed in 1973. It is against the law in France to publish pictures of its members’ faces.
One of the most extraordinary episodes in the GIGN’s history was the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979. Because of the prohibition of non-Muslims entering the holy city, a team of three GIGN commandos briefly converted to Islam before helping the Saudi armed forces plan the recapture of the mosque.
It is one day into her abduction and captivity. Miss Kane comes to herself amidst the ruins of The Temple Mount. Mrs. Carson is nowhere in sight. The girl is just standing there next to the shopping cart of Mrs. Carson. Her face is no longer insanity-ravaged. Her lizard brain has shrunk back to its normal size. Her pineal has also shrunk, but it’s still large enough to give her a head-splitting migraine. Sober, again. Clean and pristine, again. She’s Miss Kane in Miss Quill node, again.
Miss Kane remembers being a Leech. She craves being a Leech again. She remembers being underground somewhere that was not beneath the temple ruins, a subterranean place that stunk of raw sewage, carnage, and decay. Her lying atop a shallow layer of stale graveyard dirt in a rotten wooden coffin. Covered in Borg runes and glyphs, the coffin was crude, roughhewn, and reeked of rotting corpses. She was in Mrs. Carson’s secret underground lair.
A moment ago, she was still in baglady mode [i.e., a Leech] reposing in that coffin in Mrs. Carson’s lair. And. Additionally. Things were growing on her. Things were living on her. Things were feeding on her. For example, leeches and slugs had been strategically applied to her formerly lily-white flesh. Graveyard lichens and moss grew here and there on her skin. Sewer moss covered much of the inside of her thighs. This is a very different Vampriric Borg drone than the leechgirl has ever manifested before—a most vile and wretched robotic creature. In essence, she is Seven [of Nine] as a Leech.
There’s something else. She is acutely aware that at some time during her repose in that coffin which was covered in Borg graffiti, the coffin tore her to pieces in the ultra-violent manner of a Borg Queen’s alcove—head, spine, and upper torso [i.e., her shoulders] as one piece, and the rest of her as five pieces [i.e., the arms, legs, and torso]—killing her outright. In occult circles, this type of Borg-esque coffin is known as a Queen’s Leach or “Queenie” or simply a Leach.
While she was in parts in that coffin. Something akin to a Dagon, but not a Dagon, was feeding on those rended parts of hers. And. When she was reconstituted [by the Leach] into a whole Leech from those parts, that same something continued to feed upon her. That something was in its native form.
Her misbegotten adventure in Mrs. Carson’s lair was not a new level of depravity, but, it was a brand-new flavor, entirety.
Of special note. Mrs. Carson’s lair is not underground Mars. It is the sublease of a PUV belonging to that something that feed upon Miss Kane when she was a Leech.
A doppelganger for 1960’s sexpot, actress, thirty-something Nancy Kovak, appears before the girl. Sober. Clean and pristine. Wearing perls, a Kaye, prudz, and flats. Her straight blonde hair, center-parted, is yanked back into a sternka. The Martian goddess only has female genital.
“How should Miss Kane address you?”
“You should address me as Mrs. Carson. And, I would prefer that you use the first-person when you’re referring to yourself.”
“You’ve assumed a ruse and dropped referring to yourself in the third-person. And. You’re still calling yourself Mrs. Carson. Pray tell why?”
“Because. Something has come up that demands my undivided attention. Therefore the necessity for my Nancy Kovak ruse and for your Miss Quill.”
Mrs. Carson’s shopping cart disappears. No magic or science was invoked. Mrs. Carson just sent it somewhere else in the manner of how God does such things.
“What is the nature of the emergency?”
“This place is alive and sentient. And. In the time that I have been gone, it evidently grew lonely.”
“It has ‘entertained’ someone here?”
“More than one person and on a number of occasions.”
“Now, that’s the question. It will not divulge identities, referring to its guests collectively as modern deities. Have you ever heard of such a usage?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I’ve never ‘heard’ of modern deities.”
Mrs. Carson wisely chooses to not press the point. She knows that the girl is lying, and she knows why. The girl is bound by client confidentiality.
In human society. Client confidentiality is the principle that an institution or individual should not reveal information about their clients to a third party without the consent of the client or a clear legal reason. This concept is commonly provided for in law in most countries, and is even more binding in supernatural society.
“The location of Temple Mount is no secret. But. The enveloping barrier, a combination of wards and warrants and warrens, hides Temple from ordinary view and prevents unauthorized access.”
“Temple grants ingress to those who have been authorized access?”
“Yes. But, you can leave anytime of your own accord.”
“Ms. Prince’s part in all of this?”
Mrs. Carson smiles at the question that the girl was smart enough to ask.
“She’s the demi-god who authorizes access.”
“Is she supposed to be neutral?”
“Yes she is. And. In this case, I don’t see where she acted otherwise.”
“Change of subject?”
“That is the worst that it can ever get for me, isn’t it?”
“Why ask a question to which you already know the answer to?”
“Very well. A Leech is the basest pseudonym that your [Vampire] kind can assume. And. No drug binge, no matter how long and vile, and no matter how potent the intoxicants are that fuel that binge—not even if that mix incudes the grey death—will ever surpass being a Leech. And. Before you ask. Bingeing in combination with this new baglady [mode] of yours as a Leech will not make it any worse for you. So. Yes … You’ve finally experienced the worst that it can ever get for you.”
“In other words. Miss Kane—the drunken, junkie whore—has finally reached that plateau of depravity. Ergo. There are no more next levels, for me.”
Authorities on Mars and in the US are panicking to get to grips with the rise of a dangerous new drug dubbed “grey death” that can kill in one hit.
In the US. Investigators, who nicknamed the drug, believe that the substance has been the cause of multiple deaths in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, and are warning other states about the possible dangers.
Grey death is believed to be a combination of several opioids including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil (a powerful tranquilizer used on elephants), and a synthetic opioid called U-47700.
So called because it looks like concrete mix and can be found in hard lump or in a fine powder, it is said to be dangerous due to the unknown quantities of each drug and additional cutting agents.
“Grey death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” said Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to AP.
Experts say the drug can be injected, swallowed, smoked, or snorted, and because of the potency of the substance it can be absorbed through the skin, so even touching it can put users at risk.
“And the Jeopardy question is … What is the law of diminishing returns?”
“Exactly. And. You had to know that it would eventually come to this.”
“Yes. I did.”
Unspoken. Miss Kane will never tire of being the drunken, junkie whore. Ergo. She’ll never delete those periods of debasement and degradation from her vocabulary of depravity. It’s D&D that feeds her masochistic cravings like nothing else, that includes being raped, tortured, or killed.
“Now it’s my turn to change subjects.”
“Of course. Be my guest. Turnabout is fair play.”
Not of its own volition. Temple begins to reconstruct itself. Mrs. Carson invokes no magic or science to cause this. But. Again. As God, she is the author.
Temple’s barrier falls. More of the goddess’ doing, as God.
“I have to step back into the world, it seems. And you must also return to it. I will relapse, and eventually crack like I did before. But. For now I am the goddess of Mars, again, in all of my former glory. Something else will take my place in the world as a baglady—i.e., a Mrs. Peel will replace my baglady Mrs. Carson. Something akin to a Dagon, but not a Dagon. Something that can assume human form and who can show its true form as need be.”
A Something. A most vile and wretched creature, who calls itself Mrs. Emma Peel, emerges from a nearby derelict building pushing Mrs. Carson’s shopping cart. Baglady mode is its only mode. It is as base as The Master or The Strain. In human form, it looks like fifty-something actress Diana Rigg. Although it is not sentient. Like Mrs. Carson, it too is an Old God—i.e., it too is God.
In its native form. Mentally. Not sentient. A creature of pure instinct. Clicks and hisses are the only sounds that normally come out of its hideous, inhumanly-wide mouths. But, it can simulate speech to be used as a lure for prey.
In its human form or in its native form. Devoid of personal hygiene or any affectation of affluence, opulence, or wealth. Filthy and infested. During a full moon, it will foam at the mouth, and rant and rave incoherently.
“Stay off the grid for several hours more. The remainder of my stay will be spent bingeing with Mrs. Peel as a Leech my subconscious self [i.e., her Id manifested in physical form]?”
The something, Mrs. Peel, makes a beelines for Miss Kane. When it gets close to her. It begins hissing and making clicking sounds—its private language is akin to that of Mrs. Carson’s. Once it is in close physical proximity to the girl, its eyes begin to glow. The girl blacks out.
Many hours later.
Miss Kane comes to herself in the alley behind the Starbucks where her adventure began. Her forty-eight hours with Mrs. Carson has elapsed.
Baglady Mrs. Peel, the something that has replaced baglady Mrs. Carson, is moving away from Miss Kane. It’s pushing what used to be Mrs. Carson’s shopping cart, and is heading back to what used to be Mrs. Carson’s lair. Having assumed what used to be Mrs. Carson’s life.
The hard-faced girl is in Miss Quill mode. But. She’s acutely aware of two things. One: in the intervening hours between her blacking out at Temple and her regaining her senses here, she wandered about skidrow as a Leech bingeing on a potent cocktail of reagent, grey death, and embalming fluid with this something Mrs. Peel. Two: even though she was juiced up, she enjoyed being a Leech the second time around, no more than she did the first time—nonetheless, as aforementioned, she’ll never get bored with degrading and debasing herself in such a manner as that of the drunken, junkie whore bingeing on whatever as a Leech.
As far as the modern deities are concerned. The day of reckoning is a coming. Miss Kane is very familiar with the modern deities. In point of fact. She has an intimate knowledge of who and what they are. Which speaks volumes. Because. As secret societies go. They are the most closed and the most secret in all of Creation.
Back before she got turned [into a Vampire], the girl was offered the opportunity to become one of their change agents. Initially, she turned the offer down, because it was presented as an open-ended employment contract. But. When they approached her again, indicating that the employment would be for a fixed term, she accepted. So. For six months, she worked for them, exclusively—i.e., off the grid, and completely outside of ROE.
It was during her stint as a change agent, that she anonymously wrote “The ARS Deicidium”—i.e., The Art of Killing Gods. To this day, the author for the book is still officially listed as “Unknown”. Even the book’s publisher doesn’t know who wrote it.