The Darkening PT 1

An heartquake had shook Rome to it’s core, in the archives of the Vatican a wall
had crumbled and revealed an hidden room. From the artifacts within they guessed
it was from the first millenium.

Father Giuseppe Oscura, “the ” expert on the first millenia was summoned to verify
and catalogue the contents of the mysterious room. He found a scroll and his hands
began to shake it was written by a scribe monk who lived at the period of the first
millenium. He had read accounts and quotes from him by other authors.

This however was the first writing by the monk himself he had ever encounter. He translated
the content of the scroll, his mind reeling by what he was seeing.

December 29th 999

I saw a great darkness coming from over the mountain unto the plains.I got on my horse
and galloped toward it as fast as my steed could carry me. when i arrived at the limit of the darkness.

A voice came from the darkness
“Who dares awaken me?”

It is I the poet of the apocalypse

“What do you want poet?”

Why have you come to earth?

“Because I was hungry is why”

You are getting fat darkness

“I feed on men’s fears and hatred!”

“And man will feed me till …”

The sun he cant see no more”

I’m here to stop you darkness

“Don’t make me laugh you can’t stop me.”

An why is that, tell me darkness…?

“Because mankind won’t let you”

I paused and considered darkness’s answer

I knew darkness was right, so I left.
As I walked away I heard the laughter
Of the fast spreading darkness…

What society ever listen to it’s poets
Even to me. the poet of the apocalypse

From that moment the dark ages settled on the civilised world nothing was ever the same
again, I recovered from the encounter and set out to…

From there on it became totaly unlegible mold had eaten away or damaged the rest of the scroll

Father Oscura was puzzled by what he had read. He had to report this to his superior but
first he wanted to verify the translation to make sure he did not make errors.

====================

Bjoris Kalagash obscure monk who lived from 953 to 1046. Like we are
dependant on Plato to learn the teaching of Socrates so it was with
him. A few writers mentioned him and his cryptic writings, finding
this particular scroll was an unbelievable luck to befall him.

He hurried to the office of Monsignor Cardinal Resputo to present
his preliminary report of the content of the uncovered room.

He was hushered in the magnificent office with the blood red velvet
walls and gold trims antique ornate furniture and the trappings of modern
technologies and comforts.

After the usual politeness he said;

“Monsignor, we barely examined but perhaps one tenth of what that
room contains and in particular this scroll by, he took a deep breath,
overwhelmed at having to say the name, Bjoris Kalagash.”

“You will excuse me for not having your erudition Father Oscura but
I am not familiar with that particular name.” Said Monsignor.

The Monsignor listened intently to the father’s explanation and after
a while interupted him as he did not wish to listen to a lifetime of
the father’s passionate research on the subject.

“I realise it is for you a momentous occasion Father Oscura, however,
I would greatly appreciate if you could resume in a nutshell how this
is important to us, particularly now as you seem to imply.”

“That is not immediately evident your emminency, I havent had time to
dwell upon it enough. Suffice it to say that since this turns up now
as we just ended the second millenia, finding a piece of writing from the last
day of the begining of the first is I believe divine intervention are
not earthquake refered to as ACt of God? I know! It borders on heresy
But see it as the enthousiasm of an expert on the first millenia.”

“Times have changed Father, they sure did yet dogmatically so little
did change…Just be more shall we say restrained in your judgement.”

“Yes Monsignor, I am hoping that more writings will be discovered as
we explore the rest of the artifacts in that room.”

The Monsignor aproved his request for two more assistants and accepted
the report and then politely dismissed him.
===================

Mark Ferguson was not always named that in fact is first name was Jeremiah
but he hated the name it was too ancient too biblical. Not that he cared
for religion, being a teen in the sixties he saw his friends embark on
spiritual quest and joining all kinds of faith.

Being acutely aware of his own mortality he found that wondering and
worrying of what comes after life was a waste of precious life. One
day while he was at college a friend stopped by for a visit and after
he had left found a book the friend had forgotten.

It was by Mark Twain and he enjoyed the peculiar irreverence and humour
in the writing and decided to change his name to Mark. Little did he know
that he had traded one biblical name for another.

He was not a happy man nor was he sad either, he was just contented
with being, period. What other took for patience and calm was in fact
that he was emotionaly neutral.

He looked at his watch, lunchtime, he left the lab where he was the
director of microbiology research. He went down to the ground floor
of his office complex to the restaurant because it was convenient.

After lunch, as he waited for the elevator, He saw the traveling agency
office and for no reason he could explained went in. He stood by the rack
of colorful flyers to all destinations and his eyes were drawn to one
in particular. A picture of the Coliseum and in big bold letter “ROMA”

When he entered the elevator he had return airfare for rome and hotel
and car reservation in his pocket. After all he had eight weeks of
vacation time owed to him.
==============================
Mary Hutchins had a life, a life of sweat, sore feet and waitressing
in a small diner. From a sickly mother and alcoolic father came Mary’s
early training into a life of poverty.

The pay was “infinimum wage” as she called it but at least she got to
a full stomach out of it. For someone who spent their childhood being
hungry because her father drank the food budget and sometimes the rent
as well, a full stomach is a luxury.

She had a 38 year old face on a 26 year old body, she endured the sex
jokes from the clients always keeping her smile even to the most inane
of jerks, she knew that would bring a better tip.

She was sitting in her 15 years old lazy chair at home, a euphemism for
a one room dump, her feet soaking in warm water and epsom salts when the
phone rang.

Expecting the voice of a telemarketer since no one ever called her to
the exception of her mother once in a blue moon. So it with surprise
that she heard:

“Mary Hutchins?”

“Yes” She replied non plussed.

“This is Jack Berstrom of the Mighty Soap contest, You are the grand
prize winner!”

“Is this for real?” She asked not daring to believe.

“Yes indeed! Very much so!You won a two weeks stay in fabulous Rome
Italy, Courtesy of italy air charter, including hotels and meals and
$1000 cash a week!”

Mary just began to cry uncontrolably, to the dismay of the caller.

“Hello Miss Hutchison? Are you still there?”

“Yes” She said between sobs trying hard to regain her composure.

“Can you come down to the Public relation office to claim your prize?”

“Yes, I still can’t believe it’s real! I never won anything like this before”

“Well you certainly did this time how about tomorow morning?”

She agreed and the man gave her all the details she needed.

When she hung up she shook her head “Wow! I’m going to Italy, ME!!!
I’ve never even been out of state in my whole life!”
==================================================
Deep below the catacombs of Rome in a deep, dank forgotten pit
A creature stirred slightly. Two red spots shined in the darkness
about it faintly and the creature weakly returned to it’s slumber.

Above two assistants where tagging the content of the little room.
One became aware of a stench in the confined room, he eyed his
co worker suspisciously and said “Did you fart?”

“I was about to ask you the same thing, where did that came from?”

And just has suddenly as it had appeared the foul odor vanished.

“Maybe it’s just gazes from the catacomb?” Said the first.

“Yeah could be” Replied the other without conviction as it made
his skin crawled. “let’s get back to work so we can get out of here”

In his workroom Father Oscura was absorbed in his work. More fragments
of scrolls had been found. He was trying to make sense of them without
much success. One such fragment speak of a devilish creature, another
only 3 lines sems to refer to a fight with evil.

But maddeningly nothing concrete yet to make sense of the puzzle. His
dream find was turning into a professional nightmare of dead ends. He
felt as Theseus trapped in Daedalus labyrinth but he had no Ariadne to
give him a way out.

He will have to be dilligent and work at it who knows what else is left
to discover in that room. Why would they hide the room in this fashion?
He was perplexed by the whole situation yet excited by each new discovery.
Umberto Molinari is a Carabinieri, barely a year out of the academy.
Like all police rookie everywhere he got to do the lousiest jobs.

He entered the catacombs on his first round of the night. He hated
it, the place gave him the creeps. But it was his duty and he did
what he had to do, his flashlight in hand.

The beam of light shinning ghostly white as it pierced the darkness.
He almost lost his footing when the tremor hit. A stone dislodged
itself from the roof and hit his shoulder. He heard the sickening
crack of his clavicle breaking almost before the pain hit.

The pain bent him over and another stone hit him between the shoulder
blade and crushed his spine and he fell to the floor. His leg paralyzed
he began to crawled using his one good arm. A huge boulder impaled him
at waist level to the cold floor. The roof gave way and he was buried
his hand opened and closed spasmiscly but he was already dead.

His blood ran from his mangled body and followed a small space between
the floor tiles to a crack and fell in like a drain.

An hour later, The nostrils of the beast in the pit flared. This new scent
was vaguely familiar, a distant memory. It raised it’s head groggily and lapped
at the wall. Warm, salty, thick taste, Blood! Human blood!

He kept lapping at it, it felt a strange stirring, a weird lusty feeling.
Yet it felt so tired, weak, must sleep! Yes! Sleep…It resettled and slept.
===========
Giacomo was excited. “Look at the paper Mario, nothing but wars and disasters!”

“Yes, death and misery everywhere, Makes you feel proud to live in theses times.”

“He will rise soon, very soon now, and we will be ready for him when he does.” Said
Giacomo “40 years I have waited and toiled to be worthy of the lord of darkness,
the antichrist himself!”

“You are so right!” Replied Mario. “I will write a piece for our newsletter that will be
inspiring the passions and fervor of our members.”

“To think that we have over 100,000 members worldwide, you were so right Mario.”

“You are being modest, it was your leadership that allowed the unification of so many
ineffective covens into one unifying force to the glory of the Master Lucifer.”

“That may be so, but it was your counsel that brought the inspiration.”

They had made a fortune doing it too, selling everything from robes to Ouija boards.
Tarot cards to books and Cd’s to satanic cults world wide. All the while being grateful
to the devil for their success.

“Colonel Ciccina of the secret service will be attending our monthly meeting and says he
bring good news.” Mentioned Mario.

“Good! It will be a great one at that! Everything is ready? “Asked Giacomo.

“Oh yes! We are having the witches of the covens of Napoli coming and a special surprise
a virgin sacrifice.” Said Mario excited at the prospects.

“Excellent! You always manage to surprise me, our guests will be most generous!”
===============
In the pit the creature absorbed the DNA from the blood and it’s body
began the metamorphosis. It’s body contorting and convulsing as it slowly
took on human form. He screamed at the unbearable pain as the nerves formed.

He lost consciousness as the muscles and the leathery skin changed to
it’s new genetically designed specification. His eyes changed last they lost their
red iridescence to be replaced by the blackest irises any human ever had.

When he regained consciousness his new human senses invaded his psyche.
How long has it been since he had been cast into this pit? Weeks? Month?
Perhaps eons? He could not tell.

He was alive, more importantly yet, aware!

He would soon cast his revenge on these puny creatures, this time he
will not be tricked so easily. He will not try to destroy them this time.
He had something more fitting this time. This time will be his time!!!

He had to find a way out of this damp and dingy prison, but how?
=====================
Mary finally arrived at Fiumicuno airport in Rome, She needed a cigarette real
bad after the long no smoking trip across the ocean. To make matter worst
she was nervous as she realized she was in a foreign country where she knew
no one and did not even knew the language.

She watch the carousel spewing out suitcases and bags waiting for her bag
to appear then it was the line to custom. The line slowly crawled forward
until it was her turn. She placed her suitcase on the counter and handed her
brand new passport over.

The custom agent was handsome, tall and looking smart in his uniform.
His cologne was however a real turn off. He asked her questions and
looked suspiciously at her nervousness. He opened her suitcase and
searched the content. Satisfied, he closed it and said;

“Welcome to Italy!” He smiled at her then turned his head “Next!”

She looked for the nearest exit and made for it and that long awaited
cigarette. She was almost at the door When she heard a male voice called
out. “Miss Hutchins!”

Surprised to hear her name she turned around. A tall, sharply dressed man
came toward her with a beaming smile. “I almost missed you! I am so sorry
but traffic was a mess, Oh! sorry! My name is Silversmith we sponsored
the contest!”

She felt relieved that someone was here to guide her. “Please to meet you!
But right now, I need a smoke!”

“Allow me” As he reached for her suitcase “You can smoke in the limousine
right this way please!”

Outside a driver in full livery was waiting by a long black car and when he
saw them he opened the door then took her suitcase and placed it in the trunk.
He returned and closed the door and walked around the car.

Mary took a cigarette out and the man light his lighter then got himself
a cigarette from a gold case like she saw in old movies and light himself.
That cigarette never tasted so good as she inhaled deeply and let the smoke
out slowly savoring it.

“Is this your first stay in Italy?” The man asked in his warm and pleasant
voice.

“My very first trip overseas in fact” She replied.

Her eyes were looking at everything drinking it all in in amazement!

“Italy is an ancient land rich in contradictions.” He said simply.

She could see what he meant ruins side by side with gleaming steel
and glass towers.

“I almost forgot this is for you” He said handing her an envelope.

She looked inside and saw more money than she ever had at any time.

“Two thousands US dollars” and the business card is in case you run into
any problem call that number immediately.” He smiled and in a reassuring
tone he added. “just in case”

When the car took an express way she asked “Where are we going?”

“Don’t be alarmed we are going to the Villa del Angelo, the official
company residence.” He pointed to a hill in the distance “There it is!
see the cream house at the top?”

“Looks like a mansion!” She said.

“Over the centuries it has been host to popes and heads of state!”

It was not bragging, but a simple statement of fact soon they arrived
and the gate opened and they followed the curved road bordered by vines
shrubberies and flowers.

“It’s really beautiful!”

By the time the driver opened the door a butler and a maid appeared.
The butler took the case from the driver and the man said;

“Angelo will show you to your room and perhaps you would like to take
a walk around the grounds and the rose garden after you are done unpacking?”

“Excellent idea, I need to stretched my leg after being cooped up in that plane!”
===================

Mark Ferguson’s plane landed at that very moment, soon he too was in front
of the carousel watching the bags going around and people selecting their
luggage and moving off. Still his suitcase did not show up, more came out
but his was not among them soon he was the only passenger left and the
carousel remained empty.

He saw a man in uniformed a few feet away, he went over to him and said;

“My baggage are missing”

The man looked at him with a confused look

“No baggage!” He said pointing at the empty carousel.

The man looked at him smiled held a finger up and took his radio and
said something in what Mark assume rightly to be Italian.

The man smiled at him once again holding up his fingers and kept looking
over behind Mark. So He turned around and shortly a man in the airline
uniform came walking toward them.

“Seems you have lost your baggage?” Said the man.

“No You did!” Corrected Mark.

The man invited Mark to his office and he had to fill a lost baggage
form and a claim as well in case they cant find them. He was still annoyed
by the time he cleared custom and was relieved when he sat in the cab and
gave the address to his hotel.

The ride there had been done at breakneck speed in a chaotic traffic where
everyone seemed to be cutting off everyone else and soon the cab screeched
to a halt in front of the hotel. A man in a strange uniform opened the door.
He was barely out of the cab that it took off again just as fast.

The clerk looked suspiciously at him, “No luggage Mr. Ferguson?”

“The airline are trying to locate them” He replied and headed for his room.

So he was in Rome, taking a deep breath as he remembered his history book
Julius, Caligula and company it all happened right here.

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