Land of Sorrow: Chapter 2: Conference

Cobalt watched as Pudgy scampered up through the forest and sat on the round door jamb.  His little friend had a look of concern, at the man’s blood covered chest.  Cobalt coughed, “do not worry Pudgy, these are just a lot of deep scratches.  I will be fine.”  He had hydrogen peroxide-soaked cloths and was cleaning his wounds, which sent a terrific jolt of pain throughout him as the antiseptic did its job.  Mr. Bear was outside talking to the Air Force personnel.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, “Cobalt, the monster came back.”  The man nodded and started to bandage himself up.  “I know Pudgy, but we have an added complication with them.”  Pudgy started to turn to face the forest and saw the men in the blue uniforms had finished a conversation and turned to face the underground home.  Their expressions were contemplative, but no other emotion could be discerned. 

The Colonel walked back and looked inside the big room, then leaned in to place the extra pistol that Pudgy had provided earlier on the banquette.  The colonel’s piercing eyes locked onto Cobalt, as he ascertained his condition.  “We have seen and heard all that we need to for now.  Your Bear friend vouched for you, so we will not be taking you back with us.  However, you are on our radar so to speak.”  The injured man nodded, and looked at the weapon, and noticed a card was tucked into the handle.  Taking it out, he noticed the Colonel’s contact information on it.  “If you see, hear, or find out anything …. you will call me immediately to inform us.  Is that understood?”  Cobalt nodded, “yes, I understand.”  The colonel barked at him, “yes what?”  With a confused expression, Cobalt said with a questioning tone. “Yes…Sir?  Umm, Colonel, I am not in the Air Force.  The recruiter laughed at me when I asked for information back in high school.  I was too heavy and wore glasses.”  The colonel smirked, “you and your little hedgehog friend are now in the Air Force, on a temporary classified basis that is.”

Pudgy bounced happily and tugged at the Colonel’s pant leg.  “Does this mean Pudgy gets cool call sign, sir?”  The Colonel laughed, “not yet Pudgy.  We will be in touch you two, and the military police will be stopping by occasionally to check up on you.”  Cobalt nodded, “thank you sir, I suspect the Kaiser and his demonic forces will be back soon.”  Cobalt started to stand up, and salute as best he could.  It was not proper but served its purpose, and as he did a wound opened and started to bleed once more.   The colonel laughed, “your salute needs work, we can fix that another day.  Tend to your wounds and protect your hedgehog friend.  We are going to take our leave now, and next time I will take you up on the offer of different footwear.”  Cobalt and Pudgy nodded and watched as the Colonel turned to walk towards the Major General.  It was a short distance walking, and after a slight conversation, the group of soldiers started to walk away through the forest.  When they had disappeared, Mr. Bear came walking up to the open doorway, and looked at Cobalt.   The man gave him a curious look, “so, when did you enlist?”

The tired brown bear grinned, “a long time ago, there was a program to allow animals to work with the armed forces.  The program was a temporary one, as with most government programs, the funding ran out over time.  Mainly logistics, but I also worked security with the military police.”  Pudgy bounced, “that is why you have the nifty black Kevlar outfit?”   Mr. Bear nodded while looking down at the hedgehog.  “Yes, that is correct, they let me keep it as it could not be used by anyone else.”  After a brief pause, the large animal spoke again, “Pudgy, was that the Kaiser?”  Pudgy nodded, “yes it was.  Pudgy saw him in the mine at Mt. Rainier.  Pudgy unsure how, the shades are back, but they didn’t seem right.”  Cobalt nodded, “I think the shades were a part of the Kaiser, and when you defeated them, the parts returned?”  The worried brown bear nodded, “that makes the most sense, the shades were an extension of his will.  The humans that used the power were a way to focus and pinpoint I assume.”  Cobalt nodded, “I agree with your theory, since that makes the most sense.  We need more magical information, so Angeliki and her Goddess Mother would be able to better explain this.”  The timid hedgehog looked at his two friends, “Pudgy talisman can defeat the shades, but the Kaiser is much stronger.  We need Goddess and Daughter help, to make that talisman stronger.”

As the trio of friends sat in and outside of the home, discussing matters, far away in Texas was Cedar Creek Lake.  Blissfully unaware of the events occurring far to the north east: Mr. Waffles was on an aluminum step leader.  He was taking down Christmas lights from the front porch of his home.  There had been a minor disagreement, so his exasperated wife had sent him outside to go do something.  She wanted to do the laundry in peace, so this was the best plan for now.  After heading to the garage to get the ladder and tools, he had set up at the edge of the covered porch.  As he noted in hi mind how much he had to do, this was the point in the tear down where he wished he had used far less staples to secure the lights.  Smirking as he started with a pair of needle nose pliers, much colorful language was spoken.  Removing the stable and tucking it into one of his blue shirt’s pockets, the light strand would fall down.  One by one, move the ladder, in time he started to make progress.  In the yard behind Pope, their dog was playing around, chasing squirrels.  The occasional bark meant that everything was all right.  So, it was once he had turned the corner to work along the front of the porch, when he noticed the barking stopped. 

“You ok boy, that squirrel didn’t get you?”  It was after that comment, and an uncomfortable silence, that the dog started to bark angrily.  Mr. Waffles chuckled, “all right, I am sorry.  Is that better?”  The words from Pope did nothing to ease the dog, which kept barking angrily and growling.  That sound rarely came from him, so as the man carefully turned on the ladder, he could see a swirling black cloud of miasma floating at the end of the sidewalk.  His body froze while he stood on the ladder, recognizing the creature from the lake when Pudgy came to visit him months ago.  Reaching for his pistol clip, Pope realized he had left his firearm inside the home.   Very slowly, while without losing eye contact with the monster, he descended the ladder.  He only had a pair of pliers, and a pocket full of metal staples.  He could stab it and blind it with the staples if need be.  “What do you want … Shade?”  The Miasma floated silently, staying at the edge of the property.  The dog lunged forward towards the creature, snarling and teeth bared. 

Effortlessly, a shadowy clawed hand reached out and grabbed the dog.  It was struggling in its grasp, and then without a second thought was flung far into the skies to the west of the home.  The clawed hand then lowered to its side, and with the opposite hand, it pointed at the man beside the ladder.  The shade continued to say nothing, only float and point.  Mr. Waffles started to back up very slowly, heading towards the front door of his home.  While he worried about his dog, the husband knew he had to protect his wife first.  The firearms were locked up inside the home, but with each step towards the door, the shadowy cloud moved closer to the house.  Pope could just barely feel the handle of the door and started to turn the knob.  Inside the cloud, blood red eyes formed and started to glow.  Their intense glare seemed to stare almost through him.  Deciding it was now or never, the man swallowed hard, and started to open the door.  The monster lunged forward, howling evilly.  The door opened slower than he wanted, but entry was possible, and soon he was safely inside.  That is until you consider the glass front on the door, which started to crack as the shadowy claws lashed against the glass. 

Mrs. Waffles came out from the back-laundry room with an annoyed look on her face, “Pope, what is it?  I said go….” She saw the terrified look on her husband’s face, as he was trying to brace the front door.  The shadowy monster was causing the glass to shatter in pieces.  Pope looked back, “get the fudging guns!”  His frightened wife nodded and quickly ducked into their bedroom which adjoined the laundry room.  The pale oak gun case was locked, and the key was hidden on top of it.  Mrs. Waffles cursed loudly as she struggled to reach the top, while her husband shouted in the background, “get my Hawken!”  Straining her arms, she was able to reach the key, and then frantically worked the lock.  She swung open the doors, and then grabbed a large rifle as well as a silver pistol.  Her husband kept them loaded in case of emergency, and this met the criteria.  She turned and started to hurry through their home.  The front door was barely holding together, so her husband had dragged a bookcase to cover the entryway.   The monster continued to thrash at the door, causing the bookcase to screech on the hardwood floor.  Pope pushed hard and slid it back into place and turned to look towards the hallway and his wife clutching the weapons.  

“Pope … catch!” She called out as she tossed the Hawken over to her husband.  Her husband caught the rifle, which was a 50-caliber rifle.  The husband quickly turned, and then aimed the rifle at the glass oval of the front door.  “Merry Christmas mother fudger!” Pulling the trigger, the deafening blast of the gun, echoed throughout their home.  The monster recoiled in pain and was flung off the porch.   The rifle could not be loaded more than one bullet at a time, so Mr. Waffles started to reload causing the spent shell casing to fly out of the rifle.  There was a leather speed loader attached to the stock of the gun and had 6 large brass bullets with sharp tips.  Mrs. Waffles was crying, “what is that Pope?”  Her husband coughed hard and cocked the rifle’s firing pin.  “It looks like those shade creatures that we fought on the lake with Pudgy.”  Wiping away her tears, she crept closer to her husband, with her own silver pistol in her hand.  “Do you think you got it?”  Her husband nodded, “I think so …I….” Her husband trailed off, as he turned and saw the shadowy creature standing in front of their glass picture window. 

The creature thrust its claws out and smashed the glass in the window.   Shadowy tendrils wrapped around Pope, and then started to pull him towards the opening.  The man tried to hold onto a heavy piece of furniture but felt himself being pulled towards the creature.  It also felt like his strength was being pulled from his body.  Any worry was quickly wiped from the terrified wife’s mind when she aimed her pistol at the creature and fired several rounds.  “You let go of my husband this instant!”  With each connecting round, the creature was beat back from the window, and started to loosen its grasp on Mr. Waffles.  The man regained his footing and aimed the rifle once more.  Pulling the trigger, he blasted a gigantic chunk out of the creature.  Howling in a mixture of pain and anger, the shadowy creature retreated to the yard in front of the porch.  Both husband and wife watched as the black miasma started to swirl quicker, while its tendrils disappeared.  The creature flew quickly into the air, and then flew towards the north at a terrific rate of speed. 

While Mr. Waffles wheezed as he tried to catch his breath, Mrs. Waffles quickly walked up to her husband’s side.  “I thought Pudgy made that thing go away?”  Her husband nodded, “I thought so too.  We need to call Cobalt, let him know what is going on.  Do you still have his contact information?”  His wife nodded, “yes … let me get my phone.”  As his wife turned to walk back towards the kitchen, the worried husband nodded and started to reload the rifle.  A voice in the back of his mind told him that this was the start of a terrible series of events.  The husband and wife started to relax from their visit by the monster but were unaware at a series of events were unfolding all over the country. 

Far away to the north in Missouri, Stone Loki was having a similar situation in Branson.  The man had woken up like any other morning, did his morning show for you tube, and then had went to the kitchen to get a snack.  He could hear loud shouting outside, sop while munching on a toaster pastry, he went to his front window to look.  An elderly man he recognized as his next-door neighbor was standing in the front yard, pointing at a swirling creature of shadows.  “Fudge,” he cursed and ran to the kitchen to get his pistol.  “I thought Pudgy and I took care of that thing.”  He opened the cupboard, and took out the handgun case, unlocking it.  He quickly loaded the pistol, and then raced through his home.  Opening the front door, he pointed the pistol at the creature.  Shouting, “Wilbur!  Get inside, that this is dangerous!”  Not waiting for an answer, Loki fired a shot and struck the creature.  It roared in pain, and then started to fly towards his truck.  “Not my truck, it was just fixed!”  Wilbur nodded when the creature did not react to being shot and raced inside his home. 

Wilbur had lived in the neighborhood for years, and had been so nice to Loki when he moved in. Continuing to fire round after round, the creature continued its haltingly slow pace towards the house.  While Loki was reloading, he could hear Wilbur shouting.  Peeking around the porch, his elderly neighbor had his Korean veteran hat on, and was loading a double-barreled shotgun.  Firing at the creature, it fell onto the ground.  Loki laughed, “Thanks Wilbur, let’s teach this kraut bastard a thing or two!”  The two men alternated rounds, while the shadowy creature started to diminish in color and focus.  The rounds were weakening the creature, and in time, the monster had disappeared.  The elderly man cursed, while his wife inside was doing the sign of the cross and holding rosary beads.  Loki coughed, “I need to call Cobalt and Pudgy, to warn them that the shades are back.”

Little did Loki know, that to the east, in Blacksburg Virginia, a similar set of occurrences had been started.   Sandra had just told her husband she was going to leave to head to the airport when the front door of her home had been ripped off its hinges.  A shadowy clawed hand wrapped around her waist and started to pull her out of the home.  The pilot screamed, which drew the immediate attention of her husband. Sandra watched as Raymond ran out of the kitchen, with an aluminum baseball bat in his hand.   Her angry husband furiously began to swing the bat striking the shadowy creature’s arms.  It roared in pain and dropped Sandra onto the floor.  She was crying and crawled back inside, while her husband stood protectively in front of her.  The creature recoiled, and then lunged back towards the open doorway.  Raymond cursed, and then started swinging wildly, continuing to beat back the black miasma.  “Get in the basement and lock the door!” Raymond shouted, while his wife continued to crawl on the ground behind him.  She whimpered, “but what about you?” 

Her husband had to act fast, knowing she would most likely want to stay by his side.  He swung again, and the creature caught the bat.  Its blood red eyes locked onto Raymond’s, and then swirled around his body.  The man could feel his strength being sapped, and the bat fell out of his hands.  As the metal sound echoed, a blood curdling laugh started to bellow out of the monster.  But Raymond was playing possum and reached for the lamp that was on a table by the door.  The lampshade fell off as it always did when you moved it, and then he hit the bulb against the wall causing a spark from the filament.  “Suck on this, you son of a gun!” Raymond cursed while thrusting the bulb into the creature’s red eye.  Electric sparks started to fly everywhere, as the creature began to be electrocuted.  This was also affecting Raymond; whose body began to twitch violently.  One by one the lights started to go out in the home, as the electrical breakers in the panel all were tripped. With howls of pain, the monster quickly disappeared, and the man was dropped hard onto the floor.  Sandra raced over to kiss and hug her husband and look out into their front porch.  “Pudgy, I hope you’re all right.”

A similar scene was playing out all over the country, as the Kaiser said, all those Pudgy held dear were having visitations by the shadowy monsters.  Samantha in Dallas was holding her daughter behind her as they stared in disbelief as a shadow creature was floating outside their dining room window.  Samantha knew some minor level witchcraft and had set up a salt barrier to keep the evil creature away.  Stellar Heather and her new kitty cat were barricaded in her bedroom, with the creature’s claws trying to pry the door off its hinges.  Blood Honey and her new fiancée were safe in their bathroom, as the creature roamed their house looking for them.  Brenda, who had been crafting had thrown contact cement at the creature, so it was not stuck on the wall, howling wickedly in anger.  Lori and Mexican Ironman had met in New York city for bagels, only to have their business luncheon ruined by shadowy creatures picking a fight with confused police officers.  Even Bionic Belly Button who had no contact whatsoever with the Kaiser’s forces, was desperately clinging onto her children while the shadow monsters floated outside their windows howling. 

The Kaiser’s monsters were not just located in the United States, and even appeared in the United Kingdom.  Purple Lady had just departed her home and sat down on her moped, when the shadow creature appeared in front of her carport, blocking her exit.  Reaching into her purse, she pulled out her mace, and sprayed it at the monster.  Starry-Eyed girl was desperately holding onto her one son, while the other held onto his younger brother.  They were screaming as the shadowy monster was trying to pull the youngest child out through the doorway.  One by one as Pudgy’s friends beat back the monsters using a varied array of methods, the scattered friends began to realize that something very wrong was happening.  All came to the same conclusion and began to use their various methods to try to reach Cobalt.  It did not matter what time it was; this was important.  Pudgy’s many adventures was a clue to this, and it would appear they were going to be on another one.    

So, it was to the hedgehog’s surprise as he watched his human friend bandage his wounds, that Cobalt’s phone started to vibrate uncontrollably.  The man looked down as dozens of frantic messages started to come in at once, overloading the various messaging platforms he used.  Mr. Bear had maneuvered himself into the big room by the open doorway, since a soft rain had started to fall outside.   The injured man turned on a voice chat and could see Mr. and Mrs. Waffles huddled together on the couch. “Cobalt, what the fudge is going on?  One of those shadow creatures came and….” Mrs. Waffles started to cry, as she saw Cobalt beaten up and blood covered.   She covered her mouth with her hand, “oh no, are you, all right?”  The injured man nodded, “Yes, I see you had a busy day too?  Hey, it is not just you, I am getting calls from all over.  Let me merge the calls,” which Cobalt did.  In a short time, everyone who had ever helped Pudgy was on a massive video call.  There was a mixture of swearing, sadness, anger and fear in everyone’s voices.  They also saw Pudgy’s home for the first time, as well as Mr. Bear sitting in the big room.  After everyone had a chance to say what had happened, Cobalt cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention.

Cobalt, Mr. Bear, and Pudgy all explained what had been happening.  Pudgy also recounted his tale from the revolutionary war adventure and forward.  Many questions were raised, and the trio answered as they were able to.  The call lasted a long time, and as people would get angry, Pudgy’s scampering and cute behavior would calm fraying nerves.  Samantha was the first to speak after the discussion had ended, “Pudgy, we will help however we can, but we don’t know how to.”  The assembled group nodded on their video icons collectively, which drew a tired smile from Cobalt.  “Our current lead is that the Kaiser, or at least his human part, is from Germany.  I will email all of you everything that I have, and we can work on this collectively.”  Pope raised his hand, “maybe this is too big for any of us, and we should call the authorities.”  Cobalt chuckled, as Pudgy bounced on camera.  “Well, I suspect that they may know more than we expect,” the host said with a smirk.  As the various parties continued to calm their frayed nerves, the call continued a period of more discussion.  Pudgy ended the call with a big wave and ended shortly afterwards as everyone agreed to stay in touch. 

Cobalt sighed tiredly and looked down at Pudgy on the floor.  “Pudgy, could you make us some tea?”  The hedgehog nodded and scampered inside of his home.  The man looked at the large brown bear, “I did not want to tell them about the military, at least not yet.  I highly suspect that they are monitoring my communications.”  Mr. Bear nodded, “most likely yes.  Cobalt, what are we going to do?”  The man reached over and scratched the top of the bear’s head to get a couple of leaves out of his fur.  “We will do what we always do: research, plan, prepare, and then hopefully save the day.  But one thing is for certain, with the ability to use the teleportation stone problematic at best, Pudgy’s bi-wing airplane is not going to cut it.  Especially if we need to get him overseas, which means I am going to need to spend a lot more money.”  The hedgehog returned with a bear sized mug of tea, then scampered back inside, pushing out a human sized mug next.  Both Cobalt and Mr. Bear picked up their cups and waited for the hedgehog to return.    In time the tired critter returned, and then each took a sip of the steaming tea. 

After a long visit, and many hugs, Cobalt and Mr. Bear left Pudgy to return to their respective homes.  The hedgehog secured his home, lowering the barricades, and watched as his friends departed going different directions.  The hedgehog was extremely tired and scampered slowly into his soft bed.  After getting under all the blankets, he immediately fell into a deep sleep.  It was past sunset when Cobalt returned to his basement door, with a couple shrieks from a neighbor who watched him come through the back yards.  After exchanging a brief conversation confirming he was all right, the tired man entered his home through the basement patio door.  Like Pudgy, he was too tired to care, and after climbing 2 flights of stairs, he took off his filthy clothes, and tossed them in the clothes basket.  After a hot shower, and dressing his wounds, he got into bed and fell fast asleep.  Unlike Pudgy however, Cobalt’s dreams were filled with strange images. 

The man dreamt of a world war 2 documentary that he used to watch a lot, that features different types of aircraft.  One in particular kept coming to the forefront, a plane with a green color, glass canopy, and a painted black and white tooth on the front engine.  A black-haired woman was flying the plane and kept pointing at the clouds.  In time, the plane flew away, and as he started to wake, he could see something spelled out P-40.   Rubbing his eyes, the man reached over to get his phone.  He could feel a cooling feeling on his skin.  As he opened his eyes fully, a black swirling shade creature was floating beside the bed.  The creature faded away before he could scream or shout, and the man’s heart was racing.  This was a crystal-clear sign, that nowhere was safe.    Getting out of his bed, he headed to the bathroom, to get ready for the day.  His chest hurt, and he knew this adventure was going to be rough.  In a short time, he had prepared himself for the day, and headed downstairs to make a pot of coffee. 

Checking his phone messages, an email from the Colonel was waiting for him.  It was a form letter, with contact information.  It was a friendly request for assistance, and any information that could assist.  He scrolled past the message and found an email for a radio-controlled plane.  This came from the same company that made the bi-wing plane he used to make Pudgy’s plane.  They just happened to have an array of larger scale planes, in various eras.  He clicked the link and scrolled through the inventory until he found a plane that matched the one from his dream.  “A Curtis P-40 Warhawk?  That is it, the one from the dream.  But I wonder who the devastatingly beautiful black haired female pilot was that was flying that plane?”  The man heard a giggle behind him, and as he turned, he could see Hecate’s daughter leaning on the archway that led into his kitchen.  “My mother was in a flirtatious mood last night, sorry about that.”  Cobalt laughed, “well it is easy to see where you got your good looks from.” 

Angeliki laughed, but when she saw that Cobalt was heavily bandaged, she grew concerned.  “Cobalt, what happened?”  As the man turned, he gave a short summary of what occurred.  The story was dark; however, everyone seemingly was all right.  The woman was quiet, and had a contemplative look on her face.  She looked up at Cobalt, “why do you call me a woman, Cobalt?”  The man looked confused, “I didn’t say anything.  I thought to myself, what is that woman thinking.  Let me guess, you can read minds?  Ok, what are you actually then,” he said with a laugh?  Angeliki stood proudly, “I am the daughter of Hecates, the Goddess, although my father was a mortal.  This makes me a demigoddess.”  Cobalt nodded and thought to himself to remember to call her a demi-goddess.  She shot a look at him, and gratefully accepted a cup of coffee after her host poured her one.  After taking a cup for himself, and adding some milk, the two retired to his living room couch. 

The two were quiet for a long time, until Angeliki spoke.  “My Mother and I have been trying to determine who and what the Kaiser is.  He is a false king we know for certain, with a mortal core.  What we do not know is what is the source of his power.  Cobalt, do you remember anything that our little hedgehog friend told you?  Even the tiniest detail might help,” the demi-goddess asked with a kind smile and softly glowing blue eyes.  The man pondered, “well, not really.  I am at a loss myself.  The air force stopped by yesterday, and they want a copy of all my research materials.  I was about to fire up the computer to send copies to them as well as all Pudgy’s friends.  Angeliki, it was not just our forest attacked, the Kaiser went after everyone who ever met Pudgy.  That monster has declared war on all of us.  One of the shades was watching me sleep last night, and I woke up with it still floating in my bedroom upstairs.”  Cobalt noticed Angeliki’s hand shaking a bit, causing the coffee to slosh around in the cup slightly.

Standing up, “ok let us head downstairs.”  He took his cup of coffee and motioned for her to follow him.  Down the stairs to the basement, he went.  With Angeliki following, she smiled when she saw Pudgy’s bi-wing plane sitting on a table.  The man headed over to his computer setup and turned everything on.  After a couple of minutes, he had everything on, and was pulling up his research documents.  The demi-goddess pulled up a squishy chair and sat beside the man and watched as he opened a series of folders.  Cobalt had taken copious amounts of notes, and pictures of various portions of Pudgy’s adventures.  It was a treasure trove of information, which caused her to almost bounce in her seat with excitement.  As the man flipped between the various folders, he started to narrate what he had determined so far.

To the demi-goddess’s horror, she noticed a folder marked Auschwitz.  Placing a hand on the man’s shoulder, “Cobalt, why do you have a folder named that?”  He turned to look at her, “Pudgy told me that he dreamed he followed the Kaiser during the lead up to your rescue mission.  I had to press him hard to get the details, which caused him to cry.  I hated to do that, but I needed to know what he had seen.  Our hedgehog friend described a series of empty series of well-preserved brown and orange brick buildings.  There was a wrought iron gate with words Arbeit Macht Frei.  Angeliki, if the Kaiser is based there …” Cobalt trailed off, while watching his female friend nod while speaking, “then he would have a source of unspeakable evil to draw from.  Le us hope that is not where the monster resides.  Wait, go back a couple of pictures.”  Turning in his seat, Cobalt scrolled back through the research material, until he felt her tap his shoulder.  “There, what is that?”   On the large flat screen monitor, there was a map of a place called Obersalzberg.  “This picture is from the peaks above where Hitler’s summer retreat was.  There is a museum there now, and a hotel nearby for visitors.  But, when I showed Pudgy this picture, he immediate recognized it from his dream.”

Angeliki sipped from her cup of coffee, “Cobalt, this is a good lead.  That location is the resting place of many horrors of war.  The Kaiser if collecting artifacts to increase his power if your research’s current theory holds true.  It is as good a place to start as any, and I can be there shortly.”  The man turned again, “Angeliki, before you go, can you answer something?  Is there a way to boost the talisman’s power, so Pudgy can do more damage?”  The demi-goddess shook her head, “no, the talisman’s powers are limited to that of the user.  Prolonged usage can cause adverse effects upon the body,” She trailed off.  Cobalt nodded, “I see, that explains the splotches in his fur.  Level with me, is it dangerous for him to use it?”  She frowned, “I think it is best for now, to not use it as much as possible.  In time, the negative changes can reverse themselves.  Now, I must be off, I have a lead to follow up on.”  She patted Cobalt on the shoulder and set her cup down on the desk.  She faded away, and then exploded into a shower of white sparkles.    

The basement office was quiet once more, with only a faint trace of the sweet perfume from the woman remaining in the air.  A soft voice whispered in his ear, “demi-goddess.”  Chuckling, “ok, ok, I will make a sticky note already.”  He formatted the materials in such a way that he could send the files in a compact distribution.  One by one he added the names to a big email chain, and sent the chain email off with the subject line: Pudgy Adventure.  The air force email was much more detailed, and could not fit in one email, so multiple ones had to be sent.   It was a couple hours of work, but soon the chain email started to explode with responses.  What took Cobalt months, was starting to be done in hours, as the collective group was researching the finer details and obscure minutia of Cobalt’s files. 

After a brief trip upstairs to get some more coffee, and attend to some business elsewhere, the man returned to his computer and then pulled up the radio-controlled plane store site.  There was still 1 complete Curtis p-40 available, it was expensive, and rated at extreme difficulty on the website, but he was sure he could put it together.  Selecting rush shipping, the delivery would come by freight in 3 to 4 business days.  The man hoped that nothing would happen, and that everyone could relax for a moment.  That brief respite was shattered when Samantha called Cobalt sobbing.  “Hello, Samantha what is wrong?”  After a couple minutes of hysterical sobbing, she sniffed her nose hard, “Eris is in Germany.  The Kaiser is from there, what if she is in danger?”  Cobalt blinked, “wait, why the hell is she in Germany?  And where in German is she?”  The hysterical woman coughed, “she went on a business trip, and I can’t reach her.  She’s in some place spelled…..o..b..e…r..s..a…l…z…b…e..r..g?”  Cobalt started cursing loudly, and after confusing his friend on the other end of the phone, he calmed down.

“Hecates daughter just stopped by, and she and I were going over the research materials I have from Pudgy’s adventures.  That place is a possible target for our investigation, so she headed out there to look around.  It is the location of Hitler’s summer retreat, though that has been demolished.  There is a museum that stands there now, and she said it houses many evil things.  Keep trying to reach Eris, we need to let her know to get out of there as soon as she can.  How is Purple and Starry doing?”  Samantha made an agreeing sound, and whimpered, “they are fine.  I am so worried about them.”  After some reassurances by the man, the call ended.  Afterwards Cobalt began to curse again loudly, while starting to pull up all that he could on the area.  “I hope nothing happens, otherwise we are going to need to rescue her from that peak.”  The order confirmation appeared on his computer’s notification bar.  “Please Angeliki, if you are listening, keep Eris safe.” 

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

One reply on “Land of Sorrow: Chapter 2: Conference”

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