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Monday, November 23

Landscrapes: Part 9 – PELLUCIDAR

The cavern opened up above and below and to each side. Hundreds of the tiny, fire-like lights provided dim illumination. The light revealed a dome at least ninety feet above, and a canyon below it running approximately three-hundred feet to the northwest, before a bend hid the rest of its extent from view. The sound of a river gurgled up from the canyon floor below at least two hundred and fifty feet away. The opposite side of the canyon was the source of the light, as it twinkled in sparkling profusion from the windows of a majestic cliff dwelling.

The place was large enough to have its own atmosphere. It smelled odd, and strange clicking and buzzing sounds reached their ears.

"What is this place?" asked Hammer.

"I don't think it'z on Earth," responded Jim-Bean.

Up ahead was a pentagon-shaped building made of similar black obsidian. A pentagon-shaped door lensed open before Jim-Bean as he approached.

Inside, the floor was smooth, black obsidian rock. Strange fungus growths were everywhere. They moved to the next room through another pentagon door.

It opened to a similarly sized room emitting loud buzzing and clicking noises like a swarm of wasps. Inside were tiny, winged lobsters, clambering around eating spores from massive toadstools and other fungal growths that filled the chamber, while little black worm larva crawled everywhere else. An organic, transparent membrane stopped the creatures from escaping.

"That iz their young," said Jim-Bean matter-of-factly.

"You're starting to creep me out with that mask," said Hammer.

Metal shelves on the walls held various cylinders, some occupied, others empty. Strange appendages that looked like speakers were also on the shelves. One cylinder had recently been opened and left unfinished.

"We already know what's in those." Hammer swallowed hard. He'd seen a man's brain sucked out through his face. That image would stay with him for the rest of his life. He refused to look inside.

They moved on to the next room. It contained strange alien tables created in human shape. Next to the beds were translucent egg shaped vessels with pipes pumping liquid into them from valves in the ceiling. Inside each vessel were human organs and body parts such as lungs, hearts, eyes, leg muscles and intestines, kept alive and functioning by the strange fluids.

"I remember thiz place," said Jim-Bean, his voice evincing a hint of nostalgia.

"That's not…yours, is it?" asked Hammer.

Jim-Bean didn't answer. Maybe he didn't want to know. He walked to the next room.

It was bare except for the back wall covered in strange runes.

The runes on the wall glowed. A large, pinkish, fungoid, crustacean-like entity stepped out of it.

It was the size of a man with a convoluted ellipsoid composed of pyramided, fleshy rings and covered in antennae where a head would normally be. Its crustacean-like body bore numerous sets of paired appendages. It also possessed a pair of membranous bat-like wings. Alien dog. Mi-Go. Mothman. Whatever it was, Jim-bean stood before it unafraid. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:54 AM


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