I grimly gazed towards the sooty night sky as the shoggoth raised its pulsating mass in a faltering column, blocking my view of the smudged, crimson moon. The abomination that just hours ago took human form now loomed over me like a tidal wave drawing its power to crush and consume all that lay its path. Its deafening roar shook the wasted earth so strongly that I could not hear the sonic boom that accompanied the globe of electricity that blossomed between the monster and myself.
I knew that energy signature well. It was a galvanic tesseraction.
Qlippothic heard my distress call. My daughter was back. Maybe there weren't enough of us left to stop Yagi. Or perhaps...we now have half a chance.
The monster's roar stifled into a piercing shriek as Qli invoked a Voorish Sign.
[Darien. Help me. My life is ebbing...]
I felt the Founder's mental tap. But wasn't he just...?
Yes, there he was. A mop of crimson hair interrupted by a pair of broken horns rolled to a stop against a boulder.
"Yes, new priority," I grumbled. "Rescue the Founder's head."
I dashed like a drunken sailor and tripped again. The heat of the conflagration had apparently melted the rubber soles of my old army boots and they ripped clean off my feet. I hurriedly scrambled back up, slowed further by the pain of the jagged terrain jabbing at my wool socks. I was perhaps five strides away when Koen leaped down on all fours lifting Bloodwing's head by the hair.
I someone else shout "I'm open!" and he swung the head and hurled it up towards the crater rim.
Another neko caught what was left the Ancestor. From the energy flaring from the battle I was escaping I could see it was a white-furred neko in...a rather garish outfit.
[Koen? Two at once?]
"Yes. I'll explain later. Brian! Catch!" He tossed the head to a young boy in a student's uniform.
[After all this I am carried by a child like a piece of sports equipment?]
"Oh stop kvetching, Grandfather!" He pressed a medallion connected by a chain to his watchpocket to a golden obelisk with the Founder's symbol engraved in the side. The metal began to ripple like water.
"Get him to the Zero Chamber!" The boy ran through the shimming metal. The obelisk was so narrow, I thought the boy must be cramped inside with the Founder. What a hopeless place to hide!
Then this other Koen slipped through the surface of the structure himself just as his assistant did. I cocked a brow.
"No. It can't be..."
I could barely make it a familiar pneumatic wheezing as the obelisk faded into nothing.
"Well I'll be. I guess Koen did finally make something of himself."
"I heard that!"
The scruffy red-furred Koen lifted me over his shoulder like a sack of fish and hurried after his young compatriots.
"Oh yes, Koen!" I grunted as my ribs smacked against his improvised metal shoulder plates with each step. "Carry me back to the Apocalypse where its safe!"
"At least we've seen the worst of it!"
It's times like these I seriously consider retiring.