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Monday, March 29

Grace Under Pressure: Part 3 – In the Mouth of Madness

The agents entered into the labyrinthine passageways of the sunken nightmare city.

"From what I could decipher from the laptop on the Joey," began Guppy, "there's three cultists down here. Cho Chu-Tsao, Agent Powers, and William Davis Ko."

"So Powers wasn't the only defector," said Caprice.

"No. In fact, it looks like Majestic ended up funding Ko's research. They gave him access to some piscid humanoids, codenamed BLUE HADES, retrieved from PROJECT JENNIFER—"

"Deep Ones," corrected Archive.

Guppy looked at him. "Okay, sure. Ko got his hands on some Deep One DNA."

Hammer nodded, his eyes tracking signs of Chu-Tsao's passage. "That explains the fish-hybrids we found in Chicago. Tiger Transit was originally funding Ko's work."

The trail led through broad and high corridors overgrown with dimly glowing algae and fungi. Mysterious reliefs on the walls depicted nightmarish horrors.

"Right," said Guppy. "And I think Majestic-12 wanted access to Ko's experiments. But I guess he was a double agent."

"So Ko's research for Majestic-12 picked up right where he left off with Tiger Transit?" asked Caprice.

"Yeah," said Guppy. "Worse, actually. He stumbled upon a flu-virus under PROJECT PI. The Pi prion can convert human DNA to Deep One DNA in a matter of hours."

Jim-Bean paused for a moment, coughing.

"You okay Jimmy?" asked Hammer.

"I'm fine," said Jim-Bean. He kept walking.

"They tested it on the native population," continued Guppy. "And from the gist of the emails, they were going to unleash it on Ho's men too."

"So we did Ho a favor!" laughed Jim-Bean.

"Yeah," said Caprice slowly. "A favor."

The twisting trail led to a stone slab hallway that descended at a slight grade as it proceeded into a small hillock. There were signs of a lot of traffic in and out of the temple. The agents filed inside, weapons ready.

The entrance opened into a passageway nearly ten feet wide and fourteen feet tall. Toward the bottom, where the walls were better protected from the elements, strange hieroglyphics covered them. The floor sloped at a nearly twenty degree angle.

"So what are the cultists up to?" asked Hammer. "They want to turn the whole world into a bunch of fish people?"

Archive shook his head. "That's not enough. They need a leader."

"Or a god," said Jim-Bean. He pointed ahead of them. more


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:27 AM

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