June 16th, 2013
My name is Jonathan Spencer and I must first explain to you that it was not I who stole your case file on Milo Brecklin. The person who stole it was Tanner Wallace and I’m sorry to report that he is now dead. Every page is accounted for and you’ll notice that I’ve included one additional letter. It is the letter I received from Tanner Wallace requesting my help, dated March 24th, 2013. The reason I include this letter is so that you’ll see that Wallace was already close to uncovering the thing that you were no doubt trying to uncover yourself. My only knowledge of Brecklin goes back to the original letter I wrote to him at Wallace’s and his behest. Brecklin responded with some vague response that said he may at some later point contact me depending on certain outcomes to information he was looking into. I never heard from either one until Wallace contacted me this past March. Oh that I had never responded to Wallace’s wild entreaties to help. But I was curious about the mad suggestions in his letter and thought that it couldn’t hurt to at least hear him out. How wrong I was.
I will set down here the events of what happened and maybe the holes will be filled, the questions answered, and the whole story explained. It is a mad tale to tell and, while I think we have incurred a major victory over those vile forces of ancient chaos, I believe that the war is ultimately a futile struggle. The reason I tell you this story is so you’ll understand and continue the work that Milo Brecklin went to his grave pursuing. I cannot do it. I have seen things that have shaken my soul and left me despondent, morose, and full of hopelessness. I have become a shell of man who wallows in depression and believes that the cosmos is a bleak and cold place where mankind will meet its inevitable doom. Our time will be brief, meaningless, and forgotten under the tread of forces much too great to comprehend fully. Once you have received this, I will be long gone so don’t even bother trying to find me.
After receiving the letter from Wallace, I replied back and told him I would be interested in meeting with him. We agreed to meet in Boulder at Brecklin’s estate. Of course I was skeptical about him saying I had this power he called Virtutem Superandi Mortuis. But what happened in Fiji was still an unanswered mystery that I had never fully come to grips with. The first thing that Tanner did to bring me around was to produce the case file that you and Division 212 were compiling. You have no doubt wracked your brain trying to figure out how someone broke into your high security facility and stole the files. Tanner said that it was actually easier than you might think. After all, he was in a Special Forces unit that specialized in going into places where they weren’t supposed to be and getting out undetected. After reading the case file and hearing him explain many other questions I had, I began to understand that this was something much more complicated than I had first thought. The fantastic nature of so many things made the talk of strange powers over the dead seem like just another element in a convoluted web of incredible and clandestine conspiracies of dark magic and paranormal phenomena. After talking for quite a while, he told me that he had exhumed Mr. Brecklin’s remains.
Tanner showed me to a room in the basement where Mr. Brecklin’s coffin was sitting on a large table. He asked me if I wanted to look inside and I gave him an emphatic “no”. I wanted to wait until the time was at hand before looking in there. We spent another day waiting on the arrival of Devon Schottenreich to arrive because we were clueless as to how to proceed. I had only used my so-called power once and that was completely by accident. Tanner apparently had a similar story. He didn’t even know if he really had the power for sure.
The next day Devon arrived and he and Tanner talked for quite some time while I mostly listened and asked questions. Maybe you expected to find out that Khalid al Fasid to be Brecklin’s murderer but I learned from them that Fasid had been dead for many years. Apparently, it was Devon and Tanner, with the orchestration of Brecklin, who had been Fasid’s downfall. This was all a part of the retribution from the Ain Hith incident and the end result was the death of Fasid, the then High Priest of Cthulhu. Tanner and Devon had also secured the metallic meteor taken from them on that expedition. Then who had killed Brecklin? Tanner and Devon had theories but didn’t know for sure.
I also learned why Tanner was in Antarctica and why he was so affected when Brecklin was killed. Tanner had gone to Antarctica to retrace the path of the Peabody Expedition in order to discover those strange ruins that lay somewhere in the nether mountain ranges of that frozen wasteland. It was another attempt of Brecklin’s to discover answers to the metal and the Spawn of Cthulhu for purposes which none of us could completely figure out. The strangest part of the whole expedition was that Tanner and Brecklin were linked through some strange sorcery so that Brecklin’s mind inhabited Tanner’s body remotely. Brecklin could explore the ruins firsthand but still be back in Boulder. Apparently, whoever killed Brecklin knew that he was vulnerable and chose it as the right time to strike. The resulting sudden abandonment of Brecklin’s mind from Tanner’s body was a psychic shock to Tanner’s mind and that is why it took him so much time to recover.
Devon gave Tanner and I a crash course in magic that left me reeling from the inundation of knowledge I never dreamed existed. I made sure to copy down some of the names of the arcane tomes that he used to educate us in our task of raising Milo: The Book of Azathoth, The Necronomicon, Ghorl Nigral, Cultes des Goules, De Vermis Mysteriis, and Las Reglas de Ruina. Inspector, you might be quite familiar with these abominable texts, but if you’re not, I would recommend approaching them with the utmost caution. Their forbidden knowledge holds the key to some of the most deeply disturbing mysteries of our place in the cosmos. To this day, I am still struggling to come to grips with just the limited amount of information that I was exposed to. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can square that knowledge with any worldview that doesn’t leave me wallowing in the depths of depression and I feel the only escape is of a final sort.
Once Devon felt that we were sufficiently prepared, he set about preparing the room where Milo reposed in his coffin. He explained that the use of our powers was augmented by certain signs, symbols, and other artifacts. Finally, the evening arrived when he declared that everything was in order and we adjourned to the basement. I must say that the candles, symbols adorning the walls and floor, and open tomes felt like we were going into the most blasphemous of black masses. What really gave me a shock was the body of Milo Brecklin laid out on the table. He was mottled with discolored splotches and bloated quite a bit. Rigor Mortis had set in and his arms were locked out at wholly unnatural angle. It was my first time beholding a corpse in such a condition and my mind immediately went back to Fiji. I thought of Tevita’s cousin George and thanked the Lord that I never beheld that shambling nightmare that I had unwittingly unleashed on that poor village. I only hoped that Devon and Tanner were right in their assessments of what this mysterious power of Virtutem Superandi Mortuis could achieve. What really left me worrying was the fact that Devon had taken the precaution of placing a loaded double-barrel shotgun near at hand just in case things didn’t go quite as planned.
Devon began by reciting from The Necronomicon and Tanner and I would echo certain phrases that Devon had coached us on – their alien pronunciations were barely expressible in many places and I wondered if the language was even invented by humans. The rhythm and pace of the incantation began to take hold of me and I drifted into some type of hypnotic state – partially aware and partially dream-like. Time took on a convoluted quality and I can’t really say how long this went on for, but at some point Devon gave me the nod to begin my portion. I placed my focus on Milo and began to recite the passage Devon had me memorize. Over and over I said it and a change began to occur with my vision. Everything became blurry and colors started to coalesce together. I reached out a hand and placed it on Milo and a faint light began to radiate from him. It slowly grew in intensity until it filled the room. There was a wobbling kind of shimmer in the light and a low moan escaped from his mouth. And then, suddenly, the moan turned into a great scream of anguish. I recoiled in surprise and my vision returned to normal. I felt weak; drained of all energy and thought I would collapse. Devon was beside me, helping me to remain standing as he yelled at Tanner, “Now, Tanner! Now! The spell!”
Tanner rushed over and clutched Milo while he chanted a different incantation that he had memorized. The screaming subsided and slowly Milo began to change. His body morphed, undoing the process of decay in just mere moments. Devon had assisted me to a chair and I sat there in my enfeebled state staring in disbelief at the transformed Milo Brecklin. His eyes fluttered open, he gazed around the room in bewilderment for a few seconds and then a huge smile spread across his face followed by peals of deep, full laughter. The laughter was infectious and pretty soon Tanner and Devon were laughing too; I just stared with my mouth hanging open and wondered if I had just lost my mind.