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To Summon Hundred Head Typhon
Holiday Blue Chapter 11: Hammer of Phoenix Khron
© 2022 James LaFond
The skiffs were out of the void and into the heavens of Blue, easily piercing the thin ceiling of life of the planet that it was said Jack’s brood stock had been taken from by Phoebus Khron in an unthinkably long ago.
From within Jack welled up a hissing admonishment, from a voice he had once feared and now held frighteningly dear, “Jack, my fleeting Kiss, you were kings once, on this lost and lonely world.”
He knew better now, then to think.
Phoenix Khron piloted his skiff off to the left, closest to the just fled smile of day, Amycus Baal brooding by his side, his wicked peltasts standing back with Blackie who grinned within his helmet as his master’s cool, calm narration accompanied them in their streak across the heaven that glimmered shield-like above Blue, as they, the three spears of Her ravishers, pierced her refuge:
“Observe the lights of Temporary Hubris, how their lanterns wax even as most feed eternity and their best serve the deathless.”
Amycus growled, “They should have remembered us!”
The voice of Phoenix calmly announced, “Magnetic buoys deployed. This is a hemispheric measure. Your brothers who hunt Canada and Mexico will enjoy more of slaughter than a hunt. The house Brawn will feed Eternity when the bright side darkens, using this orbital array. We have hunted before, together.”
The entire field of Blue, that darkened northern continent, containing their America hunting ground, lost its many lights, waxing brightest at the ocean margins. This world was now dark and Amycus laughed like a bear, “They fall, to creep and kneel, one and all!”
Jack’s stomach sank even as Blackie cheered and capered, for with the absence of light radiating up in such profusion from the cities of man, one could now see that the sky had been alive, along certain invisible lanes, with flying ships of various sizes and speeds, and that these streaked to the surface like gray wisps and then exploded in flame.
Amycus growled, “Served right to those temporaries greedy of flight.”
Phoenix indicated some rings of smoldering light, tiny pinpoints not previously visible, “Their piloted conveyances have been going down since uplift. The remainder, under automatonous control, are falling now. Their void buoys will be cast into Sol by The House Brawn, to complete the cleansing of Temporary Hubris.
“We hunt now,” queried Amycus
Phoenix cautioned, “Momentarily, Deathless Grace,” said the senior huntsman as they glided noiselessly down through a heaven that shrouded a world once again only lit by fire. "The rivers must be released—most have been blocked up to form high lakes. Torrential floods will sweep the lower valleys. Upon our descent to a thousand ells, Madam Circe’s party will hover and observe while we fly to the Great Lake Region to hunt the ruins of Chicago, peopled with much sub-automatonical game well-known to my Hound, Blackie.”
The bitter voice of Amycus growled in guttural satisfaction, not rising to the level of The Word.
“Deathless Geryon,” crowed Phoenix over the autonatomous helmet choir, “Eastward, at a stately pace, will grant thee a view of the Temporal Fall and bring your skiff to the eastern ocean, in time for indicting Dawn to break over the center of this smitten civilization. Population density and systems of control were so dense there, that the hunt shall be grand, to battle scale. I suggest New York—Atlas being well acquainted with the ruin.”
“Madam Circe,” Phoenix soothed, as Jack watched some flames explode far beneath them as they pierced the slight clouds of night and hovered above a moonlit mountain range, “you have the fairest range. The game, while thin, will consist mostly of hunters themselves, those few now caught unawares abiding their imitation of our Right. Pan and his hound are well suited for such vista-rich hunts. Yours, with the compliments of The House Khron.”
The Deathless Ones and their half-titan guards gave a keening that almost eviscerated Jack, and that he was sure would keep Bill addled to worthless for Geryon’s slaughter and set Blackie insane for blood.
‘I wonder how my fellows are feeling?’ mused Jack…
And they were gone, two streaks of darker night marked by folding starlight, darting away east. Pan, Circe, her cringing wolves, her ominous hoplite Guards, Madam Bethal Khron, his master’s betrothed. This titaness bride was his charge accorded by wicked Hate, residing as she did in his very blood, and Jack, bobbed there on a sea of night above a wester land that should have been dreaming, but was seething with flood waters roaring half-seen below, lit by flames of scorched metal and timber and gazed down upon by those that would hunt the smolder of dawn.
Lisa stood with Deb between the Phone Store of Death and the Highway of Worse, where some cars had flipped and wrecked and in most cases just rolled off the road, their head lights and engines cutting out.
“Are we the only souls left in Kamas Valley?” wondered Deb out loud.
Lisa pointed to the moonlit line of the west hills, which had of a sudden lost the ambient light cast up from Salt Lake City on the other side of the Divide, “Deb, look.”
Deb followed Lisa’s pale finger and they both watched as a gray streak of something descended behind the hills accompanied by a delayed sound of concentrated wind rushing at a distance. Then a flash of flame flickered for a second and came the dull, distant sound of a punching crash.
“Oh My hell, the planes are dropping out of the sky.”
“And the valley is entirely dark—it’s just us and the moon...and the stars…” mused Lisa.
Deb was limping over to her tractor, “My side-by-side will work fine. It’s old. My Husband made sure we got one that would be good in an EMP blast and that the government couldn’t shut off if we reported seeing multiple shooters at a country music concert!”
Deb grabbed something and on came a flash light beaming out across the road, looking at the wrecked and stalled vehicles and the dead ghostly occupants.
Scanning the cars with the beam Deb remarked, “I don’t know any of them. They must be Park City people, or tourists.”
Deb handed Lisa the flashlight, “Shine it on the dash and then turn it off when I get her started up. I’ve got headlights. I’m gassed up. But we need to stop by the station for more gas.”
Deb started up the side-by-side and the sound of its lawn mower like engine filled the valley, a valley where Lisa did not see a single light on this moonlit night.
Deb turned the vehicle around and began driving up the center line, as most of the stalled and wrecked cars, mere shadows in the distance, seemed to be on one side or the other.
“Thank you, God, for bringing me this angel. I suppose Mom and Dad are with you.”
Lisa then realized with embarrassment that she had been praying out loud and Deb said, “That’s okay, prayer is good—oh my, maybe Heavenly Father heard. I think we are getting beamed up!”
The side-by-side had begun to shake from side-to-side, so Deb cut it off, and it still kept shaking, because the world was shaking.
“Earthquakes too?” cried Lisa, tears wetting her cheeks.
“Oh, shit!” exclaimed Deb, “we’re down river from the canyon Dam!”
She cranked up the side-by-side and they were off, headed north. A gas line exploded ahead of them near the bridge, crossing the river, and Deb kept the vehicle on track, wound out as fast as it could go. The shaking stopped after a few moments.
Within a few minutes they were streaking across a cracked bridge over a cool river, gas flames burning off from a burst pipe alongside the bridge to the east, on Lisa’s side and elk and deer, a coyote, horses, cows, steers, raccoons and a few feral-looking dogs, were tearing out of the surrounding pastures to the right and up out of the gaslit river bed and running north along the road, as if they knew something bad was coming from east to west.
“Well, we have company,” mused Deb, in a dead pan way. “I think we’ll skip the gas station, its in the flood path. I have a can of gas in the garage, and live up on the bench—got food for two years.”
Lisa could not believe the sight in their headlights, a menagerie of wild and domestic animals running up the road ahead of them, and not trying to get away, almost seeming to like the presence of the two humans in the tractor car.
“It’s like Noah’s Ark, if it were a rodeo!” thought Lisa out loud.
Responded Deb, “My husband always said Noah held the first rodeo.”
On they sped into the night, with the only light higher than their headlight, hanging like a grinning goddess in the sky.
Word Automaton
holiday blue
by the wine dark sea
orphan nation
time & cosmos
on the overton railroad
when you're food
the greatest lie ever sold
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