The Thirteenth
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EARLIER

— - —

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The proceedings came to order in the back room of an abandoned Somali warehouse.

Calvin sat at the head of a long plastic folding table, quietly picking at a fingernail. At the other end of the table were huddled the seven members of Delta Command, the high council of the Chaos Insurgency. Calvin had almost rolled his eyes when he’d been ushered into the room - for all their soaring rhetoric, they were still unable to come up with anything more substantial than dusty old buildings and cheap plastic furniture to conduct their business in.

Delta Command, he knew, had been formed by the Engineer to bring together the seven squabbling branches of what had once been called “The Insurgency”. Each of the seven groups sent a representative to Delta, and together they formed the larger resistance. The name was a joke, of course. According to legend, the Engineer had nearly given up trying to coordinate the bickering factions by saying “never in history has a more chaotic insurgency been mishandled into existence.” The name stuck, though Delta thought that “Chaotic Insurgency” wasn’t nearly distinguished enough. Thus, the Chaos Insurgency.

None of these people liked each other, nor did they care for Calvin. He’d had a distinguished career as a CI agent, first supporting and later leading larger attacks on the Foundation. He, like all those within the Insurgency, knew their place in the world; the purpose of the Insurgency hadn’t ever been to destroy the Foundation, just act as a check against it. A constant thorn in their side, never allowing the Foundation to become too complacent. If they were focused on the Insurgency, the logic followed, they wouldn’t be able to do as much damage elsewhere. Thus far, this strategy hadn’t panned out.

But Calvin was exceptionally good at his job, and was less a thorn and more a hacksaw in the gut of the Foundation. His contributions to the Insurgency’s goals had brought him swiftly through their ranks, and at one point in the recent past he had been considered as the next member from his faction to join Delta. Shortly beforehand, however, he was accused of mishandling Insurgency resources - limited though they were - in a raid on a Foundation site holding several potentially magical texts.

Although the investigation against his actions hadn’t amounted to anything of note, the incident came at the absolute wrong time, and he was passed over for ascension to Delta in place of a mid-level bureaucrat who had previously been a junior congressman for the state of New Jersey, Howard Kowalski.

Coincidentally, it was Howard Kowalski who spoke first.

“Good afternoon, uh, Calvin,” the portly man said, balancing a pair of thin glasses on the end of his pointed snout. “We appreciate you, uh, making the trip out here. As you know, we’re in the middle of uh, renovations, to Delta Command Headquarters-”

This was, of course, a joke. Delta maintained that their former commander center, the one built by the Engineer himself, was being renovated, necessitating the empty warehouses and dingy back-alley gatherings of the group. It was a public secret that the building had been leveled by the Global Occult Coalition nearly three decades prior, though Delta refused to acknowledge this.

“-so this will have to do, I think. Yes.” He nodded, and tapped a stack of papers against the desk. “I guess what we’re most curious about here, Calvin, is this uh, well, this document we hear you’ve recovered.” He leaned forward, the glare from a lamp catching his glasses as he peered over the stack of papers. “The journal. Do you have it?”

Calvin nodded. “If you allow me a moment of your time, I promise, we’ll talk about the journal.”

One of the other members of Delta, a tall, long-haired woman named Norris, made a sound in the back of her throat. “Don’t test our patience, boy. It’s bad enough that we had to suffer the journey out here, but I swear to god if we did it so you could bullshit around with some fake book, I’ll have your job.”

Kowalski laughed nervously as Calvin raised an eyebrow at the outburst. “Now now, Priscilla,” Kowalski said cautiously, “let’s just hear what he has to say. Calvin has uh, really done a lot for our organization, I think we can all agree-” grudging nods were had all around, “-and I think he deserves the uh, the benefit of the doubt, here.” He motioned Calvin to go on.

Calvin picked up his own sheaf of papers and opened it up. “Alright, so what you’re seeing in front of you is something I’ve been working on with a few people over the last few months - call it a statement of purpose. We’ve been working in conjunction with Dr. Vernon Alderman’s lab in Sydney, and the results of his team’s work has been… troubling. The Foundation’s continued testing of unnatural entities and phenomena has exacerbated the problem caused by those same entities - they’re itching at a wound. Couple that with the knowledge we gained from Lieutenant Horver’s team regarding Scranton Anchor calibration shifts in the last few years, and the evidence is clear.” He paused, and flipped to the next page. “We’re quickly reaching a point of no return.”

He scanned down further on the page. “Now, our current models estimate that we might not make it out of the 2020s without a major, public, supernatural event, and then not even another five years past that before we start seeing things too big for even the Foundation to deal with. That’s not good, and is the reason why we need to address this now - if we wait any longer, we might not be able to do anything of any value.”

Sylvester Sloan, the oldest member of Delta, hacked out a queer cackle. “Our value comes in inhibiting the Foundation’s efforts. What it sounds like you’re about to say is that you intend to interrupt them entirely.”

Calvin leaned back slightly. “More than that. I intend to uproot the Foundation, leaf and stem.”

A thick silence plopped down over the group, as if someone had just thrown a rotten egg into an elevator. Herman Van Gandry, another one of Delta’s veterans, was the first to laugh. The rest followed in quick succession.

Kowalski tried to keep a straight face, but even he was rubbing his eyes before too long. “Calvin, look, I know you mean well, and you know you’ve got a lot of respect from all of us, but come on. That’s a fool’s errand.”

Priscilla sneered down at him. “When you can come up with the money, men, and equipment to destabilize the world’s most powerful, secretive, influential agency, you come let us know and we’ll make you King of Shit Mountain. How’s that sound?”

Calvin raised both eyebrows this time and took a deep breath as he flipped further forward in the stack of papers in front of him.

“To this end,” he continued, “I’d like to cite the procedures established in the Summa Modus Operandi.”

Delta fell silent. A few of them looked towards each other, confused. Sylvester Sloan’s eyes suddenly became very sharp. “Is that so?”

“Hang on now,” Dane Blank said, flipping hurriedly through his own papers, “what’s that? I haven’t heard about that. That sounds important, is it important?”

Desdemona Vance, the youngest member of the group, pulled a thick, filthy binder from a bag sitting beside her. Cracking it open, she leafed past the introductions to a spot a few pages in, and began reading. “We hold the following to be inescapable truths…”

Calvin held up a hand. “I’ll save you the trouble. This document was written by the first Delta Command at the behest of the Engineer himself. If we take this document at its word, then you don’t need to destroy the Foundation to destroy the Foundation. You just need to destroy the Overseers.”

Priscilla barked out another laugh, one that was not shared with her fellows. “Yes, of course, that will be so much easier. Thirteen immortal demigods that have no doubt long since buried themselves in spells and witchery. How simple.”

But Sylvester Sloan was still watching Calvin very closely. “The Thirteenth Overseer has assured immortality for the others, so long as he sits on the Council. You’d have to find him first… well, you’d have to find all of them at some point, which would be itself impossible, unless you had…” his eyes narrowed, “unless you had the journal.”

Calvin nodded, and reaching into a pocket inside the chest of his jacket, produced a small, blue, leather bound book partially wrapped in brown paper.

“Holy shit,” Kowalski said, “where did you get that?”

Desdemona peered at it quizzically. “What is it?”

“Years ago,” Kowalski said, “we received a report that one of the Coalition’s finest agents, some fellow with a weird codename, had been putting together a report about the Foundation Overseers - where they live, places they frequent, their habits and activities. In other words, if you wanted to find the Overseers, it would be the perfect place to start.”

“I still don’t understand,” Priscilla said, “don’t we keep tabs on the Overseers? We know where they are, don’t we?”

Sylvester scoffed. “No. We tell our agents we do, and every now and again we’ll get some report of one of them passing through and somebody getting a glimpse of them. If we really had to, we could probably come up with the real-time locations of maybe half. A few more if we got lucky.” He extended a crooked finger towards the journal. “But those Overseers aren’t why that’s important. It’s important because it supposedly contains the location of two Overseers - including the Thirteenth - who have never been seen before, ever. Until that book was written, nobody was sure if they actually existed.”

Kowalski was furiously rubbing his temples. “Ok, ok. Slow down, let me- let me think.” He looked over the sheaf of papers in his hands again. “Alright, so say you can find them. That’s great, that’s a, uh, that’s a good start. But there’s more to it than that. The contract - they’ve got a contract with Death, and as long as they’ve got the contract they can’t die. That wasn’t true when the Summa Modus Operandi was written, so that’s why it’s always been seen as more of a guideline than a hard and fast protocol, because you can’t kill Death.”

Calvin nodded. “You’re right. You can’t kill Death. I don’t think you have to kill Death, though, you just need to break the contract.”

Sylvester leaned forward, responding now with carefully chosen words. “If you wanted to break the contract, you’d need something that could steal someone back from Death. You’d need… well, you’d need something that hasn’t existed in a hundred years.”

Calvin fished back into his pocket and pulled out a small, glass vial of clear liquid. He set it on the table with a pronounced thunk.

“If you could break the contract, what then?”

Whispers surrounded Calvin. He was suddenly aware of the presence of something great and terrible; something whose furious attention he had immediately gained. In the stillness of the warehouse, behind arcana and beneath the world above, the presence passed through — and then it was gone.

Then, as they had so many times before, Delta dissolved into chaos.

Holy shit Calvin, how did you-

What is that—

The Fountain was dry, they emptied—

-doesn’t matter, even if he-

It knows, It knows, we have said too much already, we-

—it would become possible to destroy the Thirteen Foundation Overseers.

It would be possible to fulfill the Summa Modus Operandi.

Kowalski had given up maintaining any kind of order to the stack of papers, and laid them out idly around him. “Where in the world did you come up with that?”

Calvin returned the vial to his pocket. “When we were moving against the Foundation storehouse in Bangladesh, when I was told I was misappropriating Insurgency resources,” he glared at Kowalski out of the corner of his eye, “this is what we were looking for. It wasn’t there, granted, but this-” he held the vial up to eye level, “I found this the same way I found that journal. Luck.”

Sylvester nodded slowly. “If that is what we all here think it is, then I think you’re right, Calvin. I think that would do it.” He stroked the handful of wiry hairs on his chin. “Do they know you have that?”

Calvin hesitated. “No.”

Desdemona leaned forward. “So what’s your plan?”

Calvin slid the journal forward and set the vial next to it. “We find every single one of those rotten bastards, using this-” he pushed a finger down on the journal, “starting with the Thirteenth and working forward. Once they’re in the ground, the Foundation will be without governance and will fall apart. We sweep up the pieces, and with the Overseers removed this world can begin to heal.” He leaned back. “Someday down the line, we all wake up one day in a world no longer under threat of the supernatural. A world free to choose its own destiny.”

Kowalski continued to flip through the papers Calvin had stacked in front of him, more slowly now. He paused on one passage, and then looked up.

“Alright. I’m convinced. Our resources are limited - if you’d wanted to attempt this like, twenty years ago, we might’ve been in a better spot to help you.” He drummed a finger on the table. “Of course, you didn’t have that journal before now, which is really the game changer here.”

Kowalski turned towards his colleagues. “Any of you in opposition to this? If we do this, we have to do it - there’s no half-assing it. I’ll be the first to admit we’re wildly outmatched, but if what Calvin says is true we’ve at least got surprise on our side, which counts for something.” He nodded. “All in favor?”

They all spoke in unison. “Aye.”

Kowalski turned back to Calvin.

“What do you need?”


NOW

— - —

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He had asked for three individuals - specialized and experienced agents each. The logic was straightforward enough: the Foundation was a massive, inexorable machine. Moving the means of the Insurgency against it would fail, as it had time and time before. The Insurgency had never quite recovered from being shattered by the Foundation all those years ago, and the squabbling factions and schisms within that group were only barely held together by Delta. Trying to turn that disorder into action would be disastrous.

But a group of four, a group small enough to sneak past the all-seeing eye of the Foundation, might make it work. The Insurgency had resources, enough to create distractions where they were needed and reinforce the team if necessary. But Delta had made it very clear: their reach had limits. If the group passed beyond Delta's ability to support them, they would be on their own.

The first of them was Anthony Wright, a well-seasoned British agent of the Insurgency in his fifties with a kill-list nearly as long as his list of accolades. After Delta came into power, the Insurgency had still only been little more than a handful of groups of beleaguered and chaotic idealists - but throughout their history, Anthony had been a voice of reason and direction. He had maintained the original goals of the Insurgency and had been looked to for guidance for as long as anyone could remember. Whenever Delta had an opening, it was often thought he would take a seat at the table, but he had always refused the position.

The second was a woman, younger slightly than Calvin but not much. Her name was Olivia Torres, and until a few years prior she had been known within the anomalous community as the famed anartist "Ivory". Her installations were well known, especially in the Three Portlands that she had called home. The Foundation, long believing that she was active within AWCY? circles, had pursued her relentlessly. When they finally closed in, she fled to the Insurgency and had started fresh there.

The last was Adam Ivanov, which caught Delta by surprise. Adam was young, inexperienced, and was not a fighter. He was good with computers - a prodigy, even - but was next to useless with a gun. Calvin, however, was adamant in his decision. He knew about Adam before Adam had known about him, and had made a series of actions over the past several years that led Adam away from the Ukrainian separatist group he had been involved with into the waiting arms of the Insurgency.

Calvin had history with Anthony and Olivia - he had trained with and fought alongside Anthony for the better part of the last decade, and Olivia had been assigned to him on a handful of raids before his exile. Both responded to his request eagerly. Adam, though, was hesitant. He had taken some convincing. Even still, Calvin could sense a desire in his heart. Adam had spent his youth as a Foundation D-Class assigned to SCP-610 by virtue of his parents being Ukrainian political prisoners. A raid on a Foundation labor camp had liberated him from the horrors of his captivity, and Anthony had carried him out of danger himself. When the young man heard that his savior was among those he would serve alongside, he quickly submitted to the request.

Thus it was that a scant three months later, their small ship wrestled against the waves towards a jagged black spear that pierced the stormy waters of the southern Atlantic, looming with silent malevolence. Calvin stood on the ship’s prow as the tower came into view. He could feel the mnestics burning in his mind; he could see the shimmering glow of the tower’s anomalous nature. A scar, he thought.

“What is it?” he heard Olivia say as she took her place beside him. “It’s magic, right? A cognitohazard, maybe?”

“No, not a cognitohazard. It’s an antimeme. The Foundation didn’t build this. Something else did, a long time ago. Whatever they built it for isn’t there anymore, so the Foundation has repurposed it.” He laughed. “How do you escape a prison you don’t even realize you’re in? Or in our case, how do you find something that isn’t on any map? That can’t even be on a map?”

Olivia shrugged. “I was wondering the same thing. How’d you find where this was?”

Calvin produced the small blue journal. “This was the personal journal of someone who had studied the Overseers and their methods for decades." He flipped it over and back. "It sat in a box for years before somebody realized what it was. When Skitter Marshall picked it up, he realized he’d struck gold.”

“So how much did it cost?”

Calvin shrugged. “Nothing. I stole it.”

Olivia nodded and looked back toward the tower. “It’s beautiful, in a way. Otherworldly.”

“It is.”

A wave smashed against the side of the ship, surging up in front of them in a blanket of freezing sea foam. Calvin instinctively reached out to shield her. Olivia stepped back, but gave him a smile.

The muted whine of the foghorn rose up behind them. Calvin turned and hurled himself up the stairs of the wheelhouse. There, Anthony Wright gruffly tugged at the wheel — in-between taking long, hard puffs from the fat stogie that dangled out the side of his mouth.

“This is stupid, Calvin,” Anthony said, furiously chomping on the cigar. “There’s nowhere to land. I haven’t even been on a ship in sixteen years. This was your plan?”

Calvin squinted at the tower. Their mnestics would only last so long; afterwards, they wouldn’t even be able to perceive the tower. This had to be quick — and the seas were not helping.

“The entrance is above,” Calvin pointed towards an opening in the rocky face. “Think you can get us up there?”

Anthony looked at him like he was mad. “I’ll get something up there. I hope you don’t need the boat afterwards.”

Calvin slapped him on the back and grinned. “There are always more boats.”

Anthony rolled his eyes and spun the wheel, bringing their ship around. “The next swell, we’re going to gun it. Tell them to hold on down there, because the only way we get this done is by wrecking the boat. You get that, right? This’ll wreck the boat.”

Calvin nodded.

“Alright, then. Let’s wreck the boat.”

Calvin scurried down the stairs to find the others. Olivia and Adam were in the hallway; Adam looked ready to vomit. He grabbed them both and pulled them toward the galley, shoving them toward a pillar. “Stay here and hold on!”

He turned to go back up — just as the ship slammed into a massive wave with the force of a thunderclap. The whole vessel lurched down, up, then forward. For one instant, Calvin could feel his guts squeezing up out of his throat, pressing behind his clenched teeth. By the time he reached the top of the stairs, the ship’s hull was screeching. Iron and wood grinded across harsh, merciless stone.

The hull went on to make several undignified creaks and pops, then came to a stop. Calvin stumbled up to the deck; the boat was now fully docked inside the tower’s entrance. Behind them, the ocean continued to rage.

Adam was the first to crawl out behind Calvin, but only so he could heave the contents of his stomach over the rails.

Anthony — who, by some miracle, remained mostly dry — walked down past Adam, unlatched the anchor, and threw it over the side. It made a dull, metallic thunk as it slammed into dry rock.

“Land ho,” he announced.

Adam wiped spittle away from his mouth with the back of his sleeve. “Madness. You are mad. This is madness. I can barely… urk… this whole place makes me dizzy.” He tried to stand, stumbling backwards. “You people, you old people, you’re on your way out. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me, and you crash us into the side of a mountain. Very considerate.” He turned back to the railing and heaved again.

Calvin patted Adam on the back. “Patience, Adam. You’ll stay here with Olivia and Anthony. I’ll go alone.” He looked back to Anthony. “Make sure nobody follows me.”

Anthony nodded. “Remember what I told you. Don’t trust a word. They’ll say anything — lie through their teeth. Be careful.”

Calvin reassured the older man with a clap to the shoulder. “I will. I’ll need you — all of you — very soon. But this part… I can handle this alone.”

Calvin leapt over the railing and down to the stone below. The entryway narrowed into a tunnel; he followed the passage into the darkness ahead.

It ended at a freight elevator after forty meters. He could still hear the distant roar of the ocean echoing off the smooth stone walls. In the dim light, Calvin could barely make out deep cuts in the stone — almost like lacerations. He pulled the iron railing open, stepping inside and hitting a button. Just before it started down, it occurred to him that the entrance looked like it had been smashed into the tower — rather than cut.

He could not say how long the descent took. After a few minutes, the smooth metal of the shaft gave way to rock. The elevator’s interior grew cold; he could make out the faint sound of something beating below. Calvin reached into his pocket and touched the vial, reassuring himself that it was still there.

The elevator stopped. The carriage shuddered, and — with a groan — the gate slid open. He had arrived at a massive chamber lit by torches, each burning with a smokeless emerald flame. The walls were carved with ancient runes that spiraled up into a yawning darkness; the same darkness yawned beneath his feet. Nothing stood between it and him — save the elevator, and a steel, segmented walkway extending out from it.

The walkway reached the center of the chamber. There, a column of stone rose up out of the pit. When Calvin took a step toward it, a pebble glanced off the side of his boot and fell below. He waited to hear it land.

Two minutes later, he stopped waiting.

He crossed the chasm across the walkway. His footfalls were the only sound he heard, save one — the soft beating that came from below. As he drew close to the dais, he could make out its solitary occupant: Seated on a small, plain metal folding chair — bound to it by thin, gold chains — was a human corpse.

Calvin opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a sound. It was like a stale rattle — a horrid, empty noise. It filled the room like a chorus, echoing off the walls. It was laughter. Mocking laughter.

He approached the corpse, examining it. Hollow, rotted sockets were all that remained of its eyes. Despite this, it stared at him with a fierce intensity. He felt the familiar chill again; suddenly, the beating below stopped.

“A visitor.” The corpse’s mouth did not move; nevertheless, a voice creaked out from it like a draft through a tomb. “How peculiar. I don’t often receive guests.”

Calvin hesitated. “You’re O5-13, correct?”

That wretched laugh spilled out again. “In a sense. This body was once that of Dr. Felix Carter; The Meddler. He was the Thirteenth. I reside here, in his place.”

Calvin nodded. “So yes, then. Good - you will commune with me. I have come to renegotiate your contract.”

Something flashed across his vision. He saw endless fields of corpses; fire and blood. He saw a parade of red horrors, — and a silent figure watching from above. Calvin shook his head and looked away. When he turned back, it almost looked like the corpse was smiling.

“You have no authority here, Calvin Armand.” Calvin stepped back in shock. “Yes, I know your name. Yours is not one of the thirteen penned on the contract. Your hand cannot break it.”

Calvin collected his nerve. “You’re right. It’s not. But humor me, if you would. Your contract — what are its terms? What were you promised?”

Somewhere inside the corpse, something growled. “Fine. No harm in humoring the soon-to-be-dead. The contract offered an escape for the Thirteen from the hand of fate. Life everlasting.”

“They already had the Fountain of Youth. Why did they need you?”

“The Fountain had run dry. Even then, it could not save them from me, only keep me at arms length. When they began to die, the First came to me to bargain. I offered to stay my hand — in exchange for a seat at the table.” The rotted voice laughed again. “It was a simple negotiation.”

Calvin walked behind the corpse. His eyes traced the sigils along the walls that surrounded them. “And as part of the contract, they gave you this man? Gave you his life?”

“No. His life was insured, as part of the contract. They gave me his body. He lingers on the edge of death eternally; his mind is given to the sublime ecstasy of near-death.”

Calvin cocked his head sideways. “He’s not dead?”

The corpse scoffed. “No.”

Calvin pulled the vial from his pocket and pulled out the cork.

“Good. Drink up, you crusty old bitch.”

He reached out from behind the corpse, seizing it by the chin; with just a squeeze, he forced its mouth open. With the other hand, he emptied the contents of the vial into the pit of its throat — taking care to ensure not a drop was wasted. When the vial was empty, he released its face and stepped in front of it.

“What was that?” its voice hissed. “Where did you get that? How did-”

The change was immediate. Color rushed back into the corpse’s face; blood surged through its body. Fresh pink tissue filled the gaps where its skin had flaked away. Glistening knobs of white swelled up into its sockets. The emaciated torso spasmed, then expanded; the corpse lurched upward as it took in a gasping, choked breath. A violent, painful coughing spasm forced ages of collected dust to evacuate its lungs. Its arms lunged down to grab its chair.

In a span of only a minute, the corpse had become a nude man. The convulsions began to settle. His eyes — hazel-gold and now filled with fear — darted back and forth.

“What have you done?” he shrieked, his voice hoarse from disuse. “What have you done?!

Something dark and silver began to seep out of the man’s eyes, nose, and mouth. It was like smoke, but thicker. It shimmered in the air above him like a cloud. His eyes rolled back toward the shape; he cried out like a panicked animal.

“No! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! Don’t-”

Calvin leveled his gun at the man and squeezed the trigger. He buried one slug in his temple, then another in his heart.

Dr. Felix Carter jerked away with a final gasp. His body slumped into the chair; his head fell back. He stared into the darkness above.

Calvin grabbed the back of the metal folding chair and dragged it to the edge of the dias. With a firm shove of his foot, he pushed the chair — along with its occupant — into the pit below. There was a brief clatter of chains; then, nothing.

Calvin felt the presence again. When he turned, he found a silver woman draped in darkness standing alongside him. She peered into the abyss. Her eyes looked sad.

“The living body of the Thirteenth,” she said. “The contract is invalid. I am released from my obligation.”

Calvin swallowed and nodded. “Should fatal peril come to them, you will no longer stay your hand against the other twelve?”

“I will not.” She did not look away from the pit. “They are free to die.”

Calvin sighed. “Good. That is enough.” He turned back to the elevator, taking a step. Something made him pause. He looked back to the pale figure, struggling with the question he wanted to ask.

“Why didn’t you stop me? You have the authority and power to do so. Why did you stand by and do nothing?”

At last, she turned and regarded him. Calvin felt an overwhelming swell of solitude — of melancholy — rush through him. “Something festers at the heart of the council. Something that will not die. I thought that, perhaps, if I had a seat at their table, I could find it, make it die. But I couldn’t. There are things in this world beyond even my reach, Calvin Armand.”

She turned back to the pit. “Perhaps you will fare better. Perhaps not.”

— - —

Delta Command sent another ship to fetch them. Shortly after they boarded, Calvin was approached by Desdemona, who handed him a briefing.

“Did you have any trouble?” she asked.

Calvin shook his head. “Getting here. Getting in.” He looked back to where the tower had been. “I can’t even see it anymore. Like it was never there, and yet…” He reached into his pocket, pulling out the journal. “This guy knew about it a decade ago.”

The young woman laughed. “Yes. Well, I’m sure your mystery agent had his own way with things. Just like we need you to have yours. All of our plans are in motion now, Calvin. They all rest on you performing your duty.” She nodded in the direction of the absent tower. “With any luck, the rest of them will be as simple as this.”

Calvin laughed and shook his head. "That's unlikely. We got a good first lick in while they weren't looking, but there won't be any surprise next time."




- BACK -


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