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One could almost hear the echoes of screams from decades long passed and torments now forgotten. Horace racked another round in the twelve gauge as he stepped through the rusted, creaking old doors. Such base devices were a last resort for Dr. Van Meter, when the preternatural skills he had spent more than a lifetime to acquire simply held no sway. Sometimes, though, he found that in order to deal with a problem, one must resort to old fashioned firepower.
The hallway had grown quiet, the rest of the residents of this forgotten asylum ward put to temporary rest by a series of invocations from Dr. Van Meter, intonements that reached into the power wells of Azathoth and old Yog Sothoth to weave a dreamstate of calming glamour about the bizarre inhabitants of the cells. Still, not all would succumb to such machinations. For some, either consciousness itself was long since lost to a state of anger and bloodlust, while still others could find no rest even in the forced calm of his ancient magics, wrapped as they were in the mortal fear of knowing they were the prisoners of a sadistic and powerful magii.
Shots had been fired in two cells now, as the creature cowered by the door, at once afraid to see the man coming for him, then the next moment, inching his bulbous, somewhat cataracted eyes to the barred window in the door in anticipation. Chains hung from his hands and arms, chains that had been broken from the wall to which he had been held. A gibbering noise came from his throat, filtering out between the rows of sharp teeth that pointed in conflicting directions. The creature knew to be afraid of the doctor, his primitive mind awhirl with fear. Fight or flight was all the remained in him, and there was nowhere here to fly.
The door burst open on the thin limbed being. He hit the floor with a thud, skittering a few feet away and cough-cackling a noise meant to incite fear in his attacker, but which only met derision.
“There you are, you little bastard!”, Horace bellowed. “I should have left you there, to cower in the shadows of the Nyhlloghast’s lair.”
The shotgun’s k-chack sound as it cocked sent a visible shudder through the creature, now cowering in a tearful mess on the floor.
“Something is coming, but you already know that, don’t you.”
The creature nodded.
“This is your one opportunity, then, to extend your pathetic existence.”
Horace stepped forward, towering over the creature, the barrels of his shotgun pointed close enough to it’s face that the smell of cordite overpowered it’s senses. What lips it had quivvered back past the hideous teeth.
“I know your kind. You are ‘ghul’, a slave creature at best. You were the last of a group of your kind left to be fed upon by the Nyhlloghast.”
The ghul nodded ever so slightly.
“And you recall exactly who dropped you into it’s lair?”
“And if I show her to you, you will point her out, yes?”
“And if I said her name?”
Once more, a nod.
The ghul froze, stock still on the floor beneath the shotgun, his head slowly, almost painfully lowering to show his affirmation of the doctor’s statement.
“Get up. You will come with me. Your lack of verbal abilities aside, I believe I may have use for you yet.”
As Dr. Van Meter withdrew the gun, the ghul slowly gathered himself, his hunkering form taking it’s place beside the doctor as they walked back to the way the old man had came, the poor, malformed creature unsure as to whether it would have been better to have lied and died on the floor.
The roundup from Cincinnati Comic Expo 2014: first off, thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the preview chapter of Apocalypse Girl! This promotional section of the book is officially SOLD OUT including all the sketch cover variants! Met some great folks and got conversations started on a number of interesting new opportunities for us here at Sixus1, so hopefully there will be details to come on a number of new developments. On a personal note, got my New Teen Titans #s 1-3 signed by the legendary Marv Wolfman and George Perez , and in the setup time before the show started sunday, met the living legend, Neal Adams. Anyone who has followed my work for any amount of time knows I count Adams and Perez among my absolute biggest influences, so getting to finally meet these guys was just an amazing experience. Both were true gentlemen of their craft, classy and humble. This is probably our last show for the year, as it is time for us to get the last of the pieces together for the big Apocalypse Girl kickstarter campaign, as well as finish up some lingering client and internal projects, and get prepared for the roller coaster ride we know 2015 will be when we will be getting Apocalypse Girl off the ground, moving further into developments with Skystorm Games, possibly looking at a new film project (details to come…), getting our convention tour under way, launching our first foray into our own tabletop gaming property, and at some point in the middle of it all, moving into a new studio! Scary part is, as I think on everything lining up right now, there’s more beyond all that… 2015 promises to be a very hectic, but very cool year.