1) Do you swap brand stories by the chemical fires in the glacial waste of Old New England?
2) Has Kanye's uploaded consciousness upstaged his physical form yet?
3) Did you sneakernet listicles across the Atlantic on a corpse raft after the flood of 2029?
4) Android, iPhone, or a radioactive brick?
5) Which fragmented internet city state has the best memes?
6) Have you found hidden meaning in the miles of scrawled twitter handles and tumblr names covering every gas station bathroom from the Houston desert to the Boise toxic plains?
7) Have you taught Taylor Swift to the mockingjays?
8) Does it hurt to get the implant? Can I see it? Can I touch it?
9) How far down through the crust of impacted garbage and downed skyscrapers does your mesh network penetrate?
10) Did that underground warehouse of surplus google glass make for good DIY sunglasses when combined with the shards of gorilla glass that rained down after the Cupertino Bombing of 2051?
11) You see a tortoise struggling to right itself. What do you do?
Hamilton, Richard. Journal Fragment. c. 1912. Miskatonic University.
"I have stolen a few moments for reflection in my quarters at a countryside inn. I will take this chance to record some thoughts so as not to lose any detail of the day's events in a future recounting.
Today, the true nature of my curious benefactor was revealed. It is one month after entering into residence with Prof. Pope and, this evening, I could no longer suppress my interest in the sounds emanating once again from the underground levels of his mansion.
The sounds were simultaneously mechanical and animal in nature. I had questioned the servants numerous times, but they dismissed it as a mysterious quirk of the house's antiquated heating system.
'Steam and gears,' they'd say. 'Nothing more.' This explanation did not sit well with me. The sounds were the root of many sleepless nights and I soon took to pacing the hallways when their volume was at an apex.
It was during one of these nightly walks that I first noticed the ajar door of Prof. Pope's bedroom. Wondering if he, too, was disturbed by the sounds, I respectfully knocked on the door. Hearing no answer, I peeked inside. He was not there, and my subsequent exploration of the premises found him nowhere. His automobile, however, was firmly situated on the grounds and there were no signs of his departure.
Again and again I noted this correlation: on nights when the sounds could be heard throughout the mansion, Prof. Pope was nowhere to be found. I became determined to uncover the source of these nightly terrors and, tonight, finally mustered the courage to explore the Professor's study in the dead of night.
I discovered nothing unusual in Prof. Pope's papers and library–just books on electro-mechanical studies and drafts of academic publications. What I did notice was that, when I stood at his desk in front of his chair, the grating, shrill noises from below were slightly louder. I felt ridiculous doing it, but I put my head below the lip of his desk. There, I discovered with horror that the sounds seemed to be coming from directly below me.
I felt the floor with my fingers, seeking out seams or hinges. Indeed, I found an edge that I could only so slightly wedge my fingers under. Pulling upwards I was assaulted by the noise in a dimension hitherto unfelt as it poured forth from an opening in the floor. It sounded as though a dry, dead leaf was being dragged over broken glass in a stone basin, amplified one thousand fold. A low rumbling, which seemed to threaten the very foundations of the planet, resonated in my breast.
Somehow, I became aware of someone coming towards the study. A light was growing in the hallway outside the room. I knew that I would be promptly escorted away–or worse–for prying as I was, and in a panic I opened the panel the rest of the way to escape. A dark, grimy staircase awaited me, pitched in darkness. I plunged downwards, pulling the panel shut behind me, more terrified of the sounds enveloping me than I was of the pitch dark and smell of decay.
The sounds became deafening as I descended. I lost count of the steps as I walked and before long I could think of nothing but the noise. I felt as though I were but a vessel for the awful sound, suspended over a chasm of infinite depth. This image so distracted me I lost my footing, and tumbled the rest of the way down the stairs. Luckily, it wasn’t far, but I came crashing into a heavy wooden door at the foot of the steps.
In the room within which I came to rest, the noise was unbearable. I could pick out human screams, now, amongst the nightmarish racket I have already described. My eyes adjusted to the light and I could see the back of Prof. Pope, hunched over a large table. On it lay all manner of wires, machines, and devices, only the most basic of which I recognized from my studies. Beyond the table was a seething mass seeming to consist of nothing but jagged edges of light. It appeared to revolve in mid-air, and, when I looked about in panic, I realized it was surrounded in a semi-circle by human forms strapped onto tables. The poor souls trapped on the beds were writhing and screaming what sounded like glossolalia.
I could think of nothing now but ending the terrible sounds, which in my maddened state I could not disambiguate from the hideous mass in the center of the room. I picked up a heavy chair resting against the wall behind the professor–who was completely absorbed in his dials, knobs, and switches–and lobbed it with all my might at the heart of his bed of spidery wires.
Prof. Pope's equipment was torn apart and strewn across the floor. The seething, jagged orb began shaking violently. Before it dissipated completely, I could discern within the orb hundreds of iris-less eyes widening and staring with fury. They folded over themselves with a flash as the orb finally disappeared.
I did not wait to see the professor's reaction. I paused only long enough to retrieve a thick, lone manuscript from a table adjacent the workbench and then fled back up the stairs and out of the mansion, knocking past agitated servants.
This inn was the first establishment far enough away from the professor's mansion in which I felt safe. I made it there by luck after receiving a ride from some gracious folk headed towards the city. I could hardly believe what I read in Prof. Pope's manuscript, but the sights I had seen that evening compelled me to read on.
Apparently, his interest in telegraphy, electro-mechanical engineering, and radio had a singular purpose: to somehow invite an ancient being into our modern world. The professor refers to it in varying ways, but I have copied the most frequently used characters: Qb'ath'agu. It was unclear whether this name represented the dreadful noise that plagued Prof. Pope's mansion or the amorphous, jagged orb. Whichever, the effect such a being would have on the world around it was obvious: chaos, madness, and destruction.
As soon as I'm able to get through, I intend to alert the authorities to the professor's activities.
For now, I will try and rest."