Attack on an Evil God
by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson
Chapter 10: The Whole Evil Scheme Explained
Maggi was disturbed when he, on his way to school, heard the news on the radio: someone had gone down a street, door to door, and killed people in their doorways, seemingly at random. There were numerous witnesses, but police were silent about details.
The killer had gotten five in a basement of the first house in the line; one of them he had stuffed into a barrel for some reason. Then the killer had gone the street to its end, killing one in every four with some sort of knife or sword. Information was vague yet.
Everybody was talking about it, with deleterious effect on studies. Anna looked scared. Freyja looked even worse trying to hide it than if she had just rolled with it. Hansi looked at ease, even morbidly amused. He pointed at Maggi to follow him when he finished his last class. He had obviously been waiting for Maggi for a while.
“Here, I’ll drive you.” He pointed to his Cadillac.
“But my car—”
“I’ll take you back to it. Just come for a drive.”
“Okay. You drive this thing then?”
“Well... it’s my car now. The only one I have.”
They went off the lot and onto the main road. Traffic was picking up but was not congested yet.
“You realize what just happened, don’t you?” Hansi asked.
“Your friends went on the warpath?”
“No. I think they were the first to die. They activated the killer robot they’d stolen.”
“You believe that?”
“You are starting to believe that.”
“You think this is somehow my fault?”
“Ah... but do you think it is?”
“So you don’t think it is my fault?”
“It was their own damn fault. They didn’t read the small print. Or, seemingly, any print.”
Hansi took a turn up the ramp towards the Pearl. It is a weird glass dome on top of some water tanks. There used to be a fancy rotating restaurant there, but now there was only a coffeeshop and an area rented out for exhibitions. He parked in front of it.
“We know the device works. You know it. It kills fascists and anyone who thinks similar to a fascist.”
“But that’s impossible,” Maggi protested.
“It’s magic,” Hansi insisted.
“It killed a mother holding an infant, you know that?”
“Infants don’t have ideologies,” Hansi said, stubbornly.
“Not what I meant.”
“Speak more clearly then.”
Maggi sighed, annoyed. “Couldn’t you kill them more directly and cleanly with a spell from home?”
“You can’t kill people directly by magic. Only indirectly. That’s why you have to create a magical weapon. Like the robot.”
Maggi was silent.
“You take this all rather easily,” Hansi said after some pause.
“It isn’t coming after me.”
“What about Freyja?”
“If she has really reached apostasy, she should be fine.”
Maggi shook his head, still amazed and angry, but he mostly contained it. “You must feel really good about yourself.”
“Sometimes. Right now, yes. Sometimes I feel nothing at all: void. It’s good. Preferable to the alternative.”
“You feel void?”
“Everybody should experience the void every now and again; it would do them good. But no, right now I feel fine.”
“How can you?”
“You are really unhappy about me feeling good, aren’t you?”
“You kind of disturb me, yes.”
“You don’t really need me to feel bad to feel better yourself. You got a completely wrong mindset. Forget it. Feel the way you want independently of me.”
Maggi shook his head, and stared out the window. They were silent for a few moments, just looking at the Pearl before them. It was grey and featureless, as a pearl and some water tanks would be.
“In a couple of days, there will be a conference there,” said Hansi, “where dear leader Dora will meet with some European representatives. That is, if the magic killer robot doesn’t get her first. I’d like you to help me create a diversion for me here.”
“So you can kill her?”
“She is not our primary target. Actually we don’t need to touch a hair on her head.”
“But she is the Antichrist.”
“If you must use that word for simplification, yes.”
“You just want me to create a diversion?”
“You don’t need to do much, just deliver a package,” said Hansi. “I’ll show it to you tomorrow, and you will believe everything I have ever told you to date.”
“And meanwhile you will be... eating crisps?”
“Meanwhile, I will be going to the parallel universe and hopefully kill the evil god that Dora hopes to let in,” proclaimed Hansi.
“If that doesn’t work, you may need to fight. It all depends on exactly how parallel our universes are... or will be in two days.”
“You’ve lost me,” Maggi complained.
“I’ll explain later. If I come back.”
“And how do you propose to kill this evil god?”
“As you see, I have the whole kit already: I have at home the Tome of Summoning, and I have a 1970’s car and a shotgun. All I need to go through a portal of evil and fight some supernatural monsters.”
Maggi blinked. “Take me back to my car.”
“We’ll be in touch.”
* * *
The conference was to be held in two days. The police put extra effort into finding the mad killer. The main problem was the absurd description they had to go on. Some kind of a robot with claws. It had one eye on a tiny head and weird antenna. And massive long claws. At least a foot each. It was not very bulky, more like a section of a street lamp with feet.
Nobody looked like that.
The police closed areas, one by one in sections, doing a sweep before moving to the next area. M4’s and MP5’s were at the ready.
Nori the magic robot saw them do a sweep. He was hiding in a basement. They did not see him. One looked right at him, but didn’t realize what he was looking at and moved along.
It scanned them all as they passed. None of them knew the difference between senate and congress. The highest reading it got was 67%. Factoring in the NSDAP, one made it to 68%. It wondered if it should lower its standard to 60%, but decided against it. It needed to be at least 70%. It had been in the mood for an 80% limit last night.
It waited in the basement until night came. Then it went out and started knocking on doors.
* * *
In the night, operatives laid a wire around the perimeter of the Pearl, and did a number of other small things here and there in preparation to the conference: they brought in special chairs made of a special alloy, padded with fabric composed from three different types of hair. In this fabric was woven a special snowflake-looking emblem, or rune. This would help the nameless evil god to reach in and affect the persons sitting in the chairs until the stars became wrong.
But Hansi and Freyja did not know this. They had avoided research on how to bring evil gods into their dimension. They had accidentally communicated with the god once, and that had been enough to scare them away.
* * *
The police had little to go on in their investigation of the string of murders. They checked the starting point, and made a cursory examination of the one victim who had lived there. They had gone to where the other three victims lived, one of them having been at home, and found a small amount of drugs and lots of empty pizza boxes.
They recalled having already searched one of the places but looked it over once more anyway. There was not much there apart from a box that gave them all the creeps for no reason. The former occupant of the place had a girlfriend, and they gave her the keys to the place and free rein to rifle through it once they left.
She went in with three of her friends, and they picked up the long box, put it in the back of a Toyota Hilux and drove off with it.
Proceed to Chapter 11...
Copyright © 2017 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson