The Post-Modern Masks of Nyarlathotep

Episode XVII: A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes (Part 6)

On their way into the pagoda, Sheila intercepts Freddie and Mirabelle. “Go find Auntie,” says Freddie to the little girl. “I’ll be along shortly.” He and Sheila sit down in her office.

“Freddie, I’m very busy and I don’t need you meddling with Eloise. I’m very busy. You’re trying to manipulate my people. That’s what you do. It won’t matter. What do you want?”

“The same thing I’ve wanted for several years now.”

“You still want to marry me.”

“As far as I’m concerned, nothing’s changed.”

[Flattery spend by FP.]

“You are aware that I’m planning to end the world tomorrow, right?”

“Well, Sir Aubrey wants me to come with him, you know. I think he’s going to die along with everyone else.”

“Pretty sure if Sir Aubrey thinks he can go through the portal, then he can do it.”

“Which raises an interesting question: why are you going along with it?”

“I was shown by Hypatia that this is the way things have to be, so this is the way things are going to be. But it should be done right. And I’ll try to kill as few people as possible.”

“I spent an unfortunate amount of time with Hypatia, and she never had fewer than three things spinning at once.”

“Yes. I admired her for that.”

“So, logically, there is another plan? There are still some things to be done, yes? Some aspects that we don’t know? For example, having a building dropped on her head didn’t prevent me from seeing her on Desolation Island two weeks ago.”

“I wish I had seen her there…and the ceremony. I don’t know what you want me to tell you, Freddie. Your friends are probably going to try and stop us, and I am going to stop them.”

“Why?”

“That’s just the way it has to be.”

“I’m fairly certain that Hypatia only said that Aubrey’s plan was going to work.”

“No, I just said it had to happen.”

“You know, I appreciate that you’re a fantastically competent manager. But maybe you’re overlooking something Hypatia wanted you to do?”

[FP is trying to nudge Sheila towards what he thinks was Hypatia’s plan—to screw over Penhew. Sadly, that wasn’t Hypatia’s plan.]

“Listen, Freddie, I don’t know who you think you’re talking to—”

“The love of my life.”

“She’s dead.”

“No, I’m extremely delighted to see the version here now.”

“Look, I have to go. I have to get ready to end the world tomorrow. And there’s a lot of guns to check before Ceremony.”

“Let me know if there’s any way I can help.”

Freddie strides out of Sheila’s office and walks to the sitting room appointed to him. Jax is reading a dime store novel and chain smoking in the corner, while Mirabelle plays with a doll on the floor.

Freddie sits down next to her. “Mirabelle, dear?”

She looks at him with her slightly unnerving, intense gaze.

“When you dream, do you have a great deal of control over your dreams?”

She nods.

“Do you think you could dream about speaking to either Francis or Jimmy?”

“Why?”

“It seems to me that this is the only way I have to communicate with them.”

“What do you want me to tell them?”

“Well, it seems to me that you have a great deal more power in this situation, so why don’t you tell them everything you think is necessary?”

“I don’t have to dream to do that. Dreams are where I talk to Daddy. Why don’t you just walk over to talk to them?”

Freddie rocks back, and pauses before saying quietly, “You can do that?”

“I can. Do you want to come?”

“Could we take Jackson?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve never tried to take people with me.”

“Jax,” says Freddie, “ready for a short trip?”

“I guess if I die here or die in another dimension it’s all the same,” says Jax, standing up. She grabs Mirabelle’s hand, and Freddie grasps her other hand. They take a step forward—

Pain. Disorientation. The molecules! I can see them moving! The space oh the sound and—




“Yes, where is Freddie?” says Jimmy.

There’s a bright flash of light, and Freddie, Mirabelle, and Jackson are suddenly standing in front of them.

[Eight point Stability test to watch Reality do things it wasn’t supposed to…]

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