Date: November 11, 2014. Time: 1315. Location: Mulberry, KS.
- Wh-wh-wher am I? -
The large dog lifts his heavy head from the cold floor. His eyelids are heavy and are fighting against his opening them. His body aches, it's like he had been playing with one of his litter mates all day or out chasing the bad smelling things. It takes him several minutes to rise to his feet. They feel unsteady under him, like they are not his.
- Wh-wh-wha's rong wif me? -
He stands in place unmoving. Trying to move his head brings him back to the floor. His insides hurt. Coughs and convulsions grip his body. Opening his mouth the contents of his stomach rocket out.
- Bad meat. - He growls from the floor. He's felt similar to this before, last time his favorite parts disappeared. This is worse though, he worries that his new favorite part is gone. With renewed tenacity he struggles to regain his feet. He looks at each one in turn making sure they are his. He looks between his legs, a wave of relief flowing over him, it's still there. After several more failed attempts he is able to not only stand but look around.
The room is lit but just barely, a high placed window allows some sunlight in. He looks around for his people he doesn't see them. He smells the air unwilling to trust his eyes which he knows show him funny things. Only the musty smells of rotting wood, dust, and mold fill his nostrils.
Slowly, carefully he walks around the room. He finds the door and scratches at it. It rattles but does not open. He smells under the door. Nothing. He barks. The sound echos around the small room and hurts his ears. The pain makes his eyes go funny. He won't do that again.
- Where ar dey? -
The dog wonders why his people locked him up. He strains his memory trying to recall what happened. He remembers the people playing with his friends. The bad meat. Then… He walks the perimeter of the room again looking for anything. Coming back to the door he jumps up slamming his giant paws against it. It shakes but again stays closed. He looks at the window. Five feet off the floor the window sits. It looks big. He cocks his head to the side trying to figure out… An itch distracts him. He scratches at it with his foot and tries to chew it off. It goes away, - Dat il teach itch to bodder me. - His task complete Scooby sits down wondering where his people are. He looks at the door. Then the window. He scans the room. A pile of large crates are stacked near the window. Scooby walks to the door. He scratches at it again. Still locked. He looks at the window. Somewhere an idea is growing in his canine brain.
As he sits staring first at the door then the window he hears it. A faint almost inaudible scream. It's his person. Shaggy. He stands growling. What he heard lasted less then a second but it was enough. Scooby charges the crates throwing his weight against them. Once. Twice. The third time they topple, several breaking in the process.
Others fall in front of the window. He climbs on them carefully placing his feet with each step. The window is just the right size. He could go out it but not only is there glass but also wood on the outside. This perplexes him. Sitting on top of the boxes head again cocked to the side Scooby tries to make a plan. As he sits he hears keys at the door. He turns looking at it. Rising up. He smells the air but can't tell who is on the other side. It might be his people. As the door knob turns Scooby lowers his head and bares his teeth. His instincts telling him it is not his friends. It opens, "Now just what the hell is going on in there?" The man says no more. As quickly as he opened the door the Great Dane is upon him, his powerful jaws sinking sharp teeth into the man's jugular. And just like that Scooby Doo is free. He stands over the man letting loose a long menacing growl that would terrify even the bravest of men. He looks left and right. Seeing an open door to the outside he heads for it. Carefully he looks, listens, and most importantly sniffs the air before leaving. The smell of people is faint. He steps out into the sun. The building where he was a captive is directly across from the church. He runs across the street to the open church doors. He enters with a snarl only to find it empty. Quickly he put his nose to the ground and searches for his people.
Left and right the dog walks swinging his nose. Sweeping for a scent trail. Finally he finds one. It is almost gone but its enough. He follows it out of the church and down the street. He comes to a door. Pushing his muzzle against it it opens. Inside all is black. He is at a loss. His instincts tell him to run away. But his people are there and he knows its not good. Pacing back an forth in front of the door Scooby tries to make a decision. Instinct is a powerful thing. Then he hears it again, the scream of his person. Before his mind understands what his feet are doing he is through the door. Darkness envelopes him. His eyes are no good, but his ears and his nose… He tracks the direction of Shaggy and Velma with efficiency, the winding path designed to confuse and confound no match for his mighty nose. His sense of smell takes him directly to a large door. Pushing against it it stands closed. Defiant to his strength. He scratches at it to no avail. The smell of his people is strong from under it. As is the stench of blood and gore. He knows they are on the other side. He jumps against it. Digs at the floor. Nothing works. Inside he can hear the rising discord of a group. Above them he hears the loud voice of the man in the robe. Louder still the screams of not just one but now two. Shaggy and Velma scream, their voices booming throughout the underground labyrinth. The combination of the noise and the scents drives Scooby into a frenzy. Again and again he jumps at the door slamming into it.
The timeless wood absorbs each impact. Others stronger then this one have tried to enter the chamber which it blocks none succeeded.
Inside the scene is one of utter desperation as Shaggy and Velma plead and scream, their fear mounting with every breath.
Outside Scooby's rage boils over. He uses his body as a battering ram slamming repeatedly into the door. A door that has stood the test of time. A door that rested the Vikings. A door that has resisted gods. He has no chance, yet with the loyalty demonstrated only by canines he struggles on. Man's best friend. The first beast to be coaxed out of the darkness by the waiting hand of man. A creature who for millennia has stood as guardian, protector, companion, friend. A beast whose heart is true. No guile. No deceit. No jealousy. Just the purity of an evolutionary track that brought man and dog together. Never before has the door faced such clarity of purpose. Never has it faced an opponent free from the commission of sin. The magics which bind it, which give it strength, begin to wane under Scooby's selfless determination. Blood courses down his side, from his paws. His nails begin to break under the unabated clawing. The blood drips to the ground. The rock digests it as it has all the life fluid that has fallen upon since before time began. The wood cracks.
He hears the words of his person. Begging. Pleading. Scooby doesn't stop. His throat horse from his endless barking. The wood gives. The door bursts open. Something unfathomable. Scooby's eyes immediately fall upon his people. Tied atop one another on the macabre stone. Their fur is missing. Their screaming is continuous. A man stands in front of them back to Scooby. Above his head he holds a blade. Surrounding them a crowd of people lost in trance, bodies swaying in erratic fashion as they shout recitations.
Scooby runs towards his people. The incantations never cease. The followers completely engrossed by the primitive words. The giant dog launches himself at the man before him. He sinks his fangs into the back of the mans neck knocking him forward. The sharp blade in his hands nicks the ropes tying Velma and Shaggy down. Seeing their canine companion the two struggle against the ropes. Lacerations spread as they fight the binds. Scooby drags the man to the floor dropping him like a rag doll. Father Flagg coughs and chokes as blood fills his lungs. Power escaping his body as the followers continue on, their trancelike state holding them rapt.
The rope holding Velma and Shaggy gives. After several more determined twists they are free. From the sarcophagus they fall to the ground, bodies bruised, battered, and bloodied. With fire in her eyes Velma reaches for the man at whose hands she suffered. Her small hand wraps around his throat digging in. He does not struggle. "You?!" Her words angry as she recognizes the man before her, his expertly applied prosthetics having been torn off when Scooby attacked. She had seen his picture before; he was a sociopath of the highest order, a master manipulator and hypnotist, rumored to have psychic abilities, a known agent of Cobra, Crystal Ball.
A wretched smile creeps across his face upon her recognition knowing his reputation had preceded him.
"Why?" The one word spit from her throat like venom.
"The Great Old One. He has spoken. He has chosen."
"There is no Great Old One."
"Blasphemer!" Hissing blood he knows how this all ends, as do his followers. "Our GOD has demanded it." As if addressing an unheard voice he continues, "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for…" The blade enters his heart without a sound. The body crumbles to the ground. Velma stands bloody knife in hand. She watches as the blood drains from the corpse. The ancient stone taking in each droplet. The chanting ceases. Without a word the people file out of the cavern leaving Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby in utter silence.
"Where are they going?"
Velma turns and watches as the last of the believers exits the cavern. "To their graves."
The three stumble and struggle their way back to the Mystery Machine. The streets of the town empty. The full moon high. They do their best to tend their wounds. Velma refusing offers of help from her friend. Instead Shaggy focuses on his dog. Between each pass of the alcohol soaked bandage Shaggy scratches Scooby behind his ears. He takes the dogs head in both hands and looks into his deep black eyes, "Thanks Scooby Doo." A big wet tongue is Scooby's reply. Shaggy finishes with the dog then works on his own wounds knowing there are some that no amount of antiseptic will heal.
"Let's go." Shaggy turns to the words to find Velma bandaged and dressed. Wearing one of her trademark pleated skirts, knee socks and combat boots, her sweater replaced by a tank top. In her arms she struggles to hold an M-60, ammunition draped over her shoulder. On her belt several fragmentation and thermite grenades.
"Don't Shaggy. We are ending this town."
"Oh I'm not gonna stop you. I just want to know where I can get one of those." He nods towards the big weapon.
"You can have this one. It's too much for me anyway." He stands and takes the hefty machine gun.
"It's gonna feel better in a minute." She grabs a SAW. The weapon is lighter and more manageable then the M-60 but just as destructive. They had procured the military weapons from the home of a self-proclaimed gun nut, Craig McConnel, the same guy who had given her the file on Crystal Ball as well as other Cobra operators who meddled with the macabre and otherworldly. He said he had no more need for either the weapons or the files, he was going to head to the sea and spend his last days surfing the waves. He had gone on about how weapons couldn't save him at the end of the world. Now however, while they might not save Velma and Shaggy from the end of the world they just might save their sanity.
Charging the weapon, "You ready Shag."
"You better believe it."
The night is filled with the reverberation of machine gun fire. Much to the chagrin of Velma and Shaggy none of the towns occupants put up a fight. They find them lying in their beds awaiting the Grim Reaper. When the smoke clears the streets are flooded with the blood of the guilty. Velma and Shaggy head to the building from which they escaped the terrors of the underground lair. They toss several grenades into the coal-black passage. The explosion rocks the very foundation of the town.
Velma, Shaggy and Scooby silently limp their way back to the Mystery Machine, replace the weapons in their crates, buckle up and drive into the night.
Deep underground the concussion from the blast knocks one of the votives from its pedestal. It shatters upon the floor, the broken stone revealing the decrpit body of a creature identical in appearance to the statuary. It takes but a single breath with which it lets out a nightmarish shriek before shriveling and being consumed by the timeworn rock.
Upon the dais the Sarcophagus has sat unchanged since its creation. Defended and protected by the demons at the five corners. With one destroyed their power wanes. A crack appears in the ancient container. Green light escapes. From somewhere within and beyond a laugh.