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June 16th, 2013

Inspector Simpkins,

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 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[i] 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[ii]The NecronomiconGhorl Nigral[iii]Cultes des GoulesDe Vermis Mysteriis[iv], and Las Reglas de Ruina[v]. 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.

Later, we sat around Milo’s large dining room table listening to him recount the last weeks of his life as he gorged himself on a dinner fit for a king. His resurrection had left him famished. Milo explained that it was Saul Lupov who had replaced Fasid as the new High Priest of Cthulhu and the two were in a battle to accumulate as many of the Star Spawn of Cthulhu as possible – Lupov wanted them to hasten the awakening of Cthulhu and Milo wanted them to prevent Lupov’s mad plans. From what I gathered, the Star Spawn of Cthulhu were artifacts which act as a gateway for consciousness of the ancient Deep Ones. These Star Spawn came from the deepest reaches of space in some long forgotten epoch of time with the Deep Ones. They appear in various guises but most people would mistake them for strange metals.

Milo thought he was winning the chess match with Lupov because he had managed to secure many of these artifacts, but Lupov was well aware of Milo’s location and chose the opportune moment to attack him and take the artifacts from his mansion. Tanner asked Milo if he had any idea where Lupov might be taking them. I don’t know how he knew it, but he replied, “The Wetumpka impact crater.” And within the hour Milo, Tanner, and I were driving to a local airstrip where Milo kept his private jet. Devon remained at Milo’s estate to pore over those accursed tomes in search of something Milo had instructed him to find. We flew to Alabama and landed at a small airport just outside of Coosada. On the way Milo laid out his plan to us. The plan seemed insane to me but the previous forty-eight hours of my life had been one madness piled atop another. I asked him what made him so sure that Lupov would be there. He explained that he had learned why the crater was so important to the Cthulhu cult. It was the location where the Great Cthulhu and his Star Spawn had landed on Earth in the dark, distance past. He further explained that if his assumptions about the moon phases were correct, Lupov would be active this night – it was the 25th of May; a full moon.

Milo had an SUV waiting for us at the airstrip. Before setting off to Wetumpka, Milo phoned Devon and the two conversed for nearly a half-hour. The entire time, Milo wrote copious notes filled with strange words, symbols, and diagrams. It took us less than thirty minutes to snake our way through the backwoods of Wetumpka that led to the caldera of the impact crater.  Tanner drove and we navigated by his GPS. Milo directed Tanner to pull over at the bend of a dark road and we all got out. Tanner rummaged through a backpack with God knows what gear in it and produced two flashlights. He also pulled out a machete and a pistol. Milo said, “We’re going to need a different sort of weapon tonight.” Tanner didn’t even acknowledge the comment as he shoved the pistol into the small of his back and thrust the backpack at me. With me carrying the backpack, Milo carrying his notes, and Tanner leading the way hacking the foliage with the machete, we set off into the thick woods.

After what seemed like an eternity of steady progress through the thick forest, we eventually saw a light emanating through the woods in the distance. Milo ordered us to quench our flashlights and we began to creep forward as quietly as possible. Painstakingly slow and stealthy we inched forward until we could finally behold a small fire burning atop a large stone altar. The flickering light from the fire illuminated what could only be the figure of Saul Lupov draped in a large cloak. He was kneeling before a large, ornate book reciting some foul spell of conjuring in the wispy, hissing syllables of a grotesque dead language. As he chanted, he rocked back and forth with his hands raised to the night sky.

Scattered about Lupov were numerous objects of various shapes and sizes. All of them appeared to be metallic and many of them reflected the firelight in shimmering dances of light which had me mesmerized; colors that no man had yet seen or named. These were, of course, the Star Spawn of Cthulhu. And, as I watched, I saw these strange metallic objects begin to change and morph and even move across the ground as if imbued with life!

We watched from the cover of the trees for several minutes and then Lupov reached up to the cowl covering his head and pulled back the hood. What I beheld sent a shock through my body and I reflexively gasped in horror nearly giving away our position. Where there should have been hair upon his head, there was a mass of writhing, churning tentacles. They were long and slimy and the skin was lumpy and venous. Each one ended in a sort of rudimentary mouth that seemed to suck or grope the air as if searching for something to latch onto. The effect was made all the more nightmarish by the flickering lights cast by the fire, the shimmering colors of the metallic objects and the sickly, yellow glow cast by the full moon high above.

I stared bewildered by the shock of what I beheld and tried to control my nerves, but things suddenly took a drastic turn for the worse. Suddenly, my attention was drawn to another figure entering the circle of firelight and I realized that it was Milo Brecklin. He had heard something in that alien babbling that had alerted him to the fact that it was now time to strike. The only recognizable words I could make out were “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh” from Lupov. Milo held the notebook beneath the beam of one of the flashlights and began to chant a different but just as alien phrase while casting what appeared to be a fine powder before him. I felt a tugging at my back and spun around in fright swinging wildly. Tanner ducked the haymaker I had sent his way and grabbed me shaking me to my senses. He was merely trying to get the backpack from me. While removing the backpack Tanner and I were startled by a piercing shriek. It was Lupov howling in fury like some wild monster. He had finally seen Milo.

Lupov left off his chant for a moment as the rage spread across his deformed face. He started up another phrase that was thick and low, apparently trying to counter what Milo was conjuring. Then he broke into a full run and slammed into Milo, smoothly tackling him and driving him to the ground. Tanner leapt away towards them pulling something from the backpack that looked like a large, cruel dagger of some unknown substance.

It was at this moment that I first noticed the smoke. It was low to the ground and seemed to be forming a great circle around the stone altar. Dark and sinuous, it began to coalesce and swirl in an increasing counterclockwise motion. Lupov drove several strikes into Milo’s face but Milo continued to chant the weird phrase through the blows. Then Lupov lowered his face to Milo’s and the tentacles shot forth and latched onto Milo’s head. Milo howled in tormented pain. Tanner arrived just then and grabbed Lupov by the back of the head and raised the dagger high. The smoke had begun to thicken considerably and the last thing I saw of the three men before the smoke completely enveloped them was the Star Spawn of Cthulhu wash over them like a liquid, metal wave and Tanner driving home the dagger into Lupov’s back.

It’s hard to say whether it was Lupov or Milo who had succeeded in their respective spells because whatever demon that crawled forth from the abyss at that moment didn’t choose sides. All three men were taken indiscriminately back into the void from which it crawled. The smoke had formed a huge pillar that completely shut out the firelight and a loud rumble announced the arrival of the beast. It was as if the earth were violently heaving forth some massive behemoth. I wasted no time in hanging around to behold much more. I ran out of primitive, naked fear through the dark woods not even noticing the briars and branches that tore at my body. A cold wind rushed past me and I glanced back one last time to behold a malformed, giant appendage emerge from the smoke. It had to be nearly ten feet long and looked like the antennae of a giant insect. At the tip of it was a massive compound eye that scanned the darkened woods and I swear to God that it locked on me! But then I heard the final cry from Milo Brecklin through the chaos of the blackest insanity I have ever known. “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!”[vi] And then I ran and never looked back again.

Once I was out of that accursed forest, I entertained the idea of contacting the local authorities, but what would I tell them? So, I just drove. After a while I decided to call Devon and explain to him what had happened. After hearing my frantic retelling of the night’s events, he told me that there was no use contacting the police. He assured me that they would find no trace of the three men.

I suppose that there is nothing more to tell. My testimony, along with this box of documents, gives the entirety of the tale. I trust that you will have the fortitude and the resources to take this information and continue the work of Milo Brecklin, for now I see just how important his work was.

And finally, as for me, don’t bother trying to find me. The chaos and the fear have enveloped me to the point that I can longer escape their sway. By the time you read this, I will have ended this madness!

Good luck and Godspeed, Inspector!

Jonathan Spencer

[i] This is a reference to At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft.

[ii] This is a reference to The Book of Azathoth Tarot Deck created by Nemo.

[iii] A Cthulhu Mythos invention by Willis Conover and used by Lin Carter.

[iv] A Cthulhu Mythos invention by Robert Bloch that translates to “Mysteries of the Worm”.

[v] A Cthulhu Mythos creation by Joseph S. Pulver which translates to “The Laws of Ruin”.

[vi] A reference to The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe and At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft.

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