Black and ominous, the spirits of Dagon and Hydra swirled above the circle of cars. Minerva had seen such entities before, but was still awed by their unearthly appearance. The spirits undulated with liquid grace as they filtered into their physical hosts like jelly fish. Perry was the first to let a muffled cry out, shouting for God and Jesus. Helen let out a whimper, followed by an animalistic moan.
“This is the W.P.D.” announced the Sergeant through a bull horn above the din of Deep Ones chanting. “Step away from the hostages.”
The Deep Ones all chortled with raspy croaks and charged towards the Sergeant’s voice. If anything, the SWAT team would provide some distraction and allow August to get closer. When he saw the terror reflected on Minerva’s face, August was glad that he didn’t have her psychic prowess.
“We can’t just give up, Minnie. We gotta try. C’mon!” shouted August.
Minerva nodded and followed August, sheepishly at first, but then with more resolve. All of the Deep Ones, heedless of any threat to their ritual aside from the police, had charged into battle with the police. Their terrible language echoed through the night, assaulting August’s ears. Hearing their speech brought him back to the night Sarah died. She had trusted August to save her, and he failed. He couldn’t fail Perry too.
August studied the ropes the Deep Ones tied Perry and Helen with. It was woven seaweed, and easy enough to cut. However, Perry’s eyes were rolled back in his head and his lips were flapping, mumbling the cursed speech of the Deep Ones. August wouldn’t cut him free just yet.
“The Shroud,” cried August. Minerva already had the gossamer sheet unbound; it flapped in the wind as she cast it like a net over part of Dagon’s ephemeral body. The shroud draped over part of the dead Elder God’s spirit, giving it form and mass. The spirit body was long and serpentine and about as wide as a man’s body. It tapered where it crawled its way into Perry’s mouth. There wasn’t much time; the spirit was moving quickly. August grasped the hem of the shroud and squeezed it tight, wrapping the tubular body like an enchilada. He could feel the mighty, roiling body of Dagon struggling beneath it and squeezed hard.
Minerva pulled at the Shroud, helping August as he struggled to pull the unholy creature away from Perry. The god struggled, twisting and turning, but August and Minerva were making some progress. With a desperate pull, they managed to wrench the god’s spirit body out of Perry. August wrapped the writhing form under his arm and unfurled a scroll. The god tugged and pulled, lifting August from his feet.
“Away! Away! Into the darkness of oblivion,” shouted August as he read from the scroll and struggled to keep the monster under control. Minerva leaped on the form and wrapped her arms and legs around it, hoping to restrict its movement and keep it from throwing August.
“Death had called thee. Thou art a mortal thing, constrained to the limits of the mortal coil. Thou art bound to oblivion. The end has come!” With the final word, the earth seemed to tremble. The creature dissipated without much warning, sending Minerva and August sprawling on the ground. Minerva rolled to her hands and knees and reached for the Shroud.
“One more to go!” shouted Minerva, stumbling towards Helen. August followed, but skidded to a halt. Helen’s body was already changing, and Minerva had no ephemeral form to toss the Shroud over.
Helen’s eyes bulged out of her head, seeming as though they would burst. A grating scream broke from her mouth. It was doleful and eerie; it was the scream of a goddess in mourning and it soon turned to fury.
“Forward!” cried Evan, leading the Deep Ones in battle. The SWAT team held their ground bravely, using their shields to keep the vicious Deep Ones at bay.
“Break them!” shouted Evan. He couldn’t believe that the mammals were putting up such a struggle. He would have admired it, if they weren’t such inferior creatures. He saw one of his kin pull the shield out of an officer’s hands and smiled, ready to relish the spilling of human blood. The Deep One clawed at the officer, but its claws didn’t rip his body armor. Evan recognized protective magic when he saw it, and immediately knew that something was awry. He glanced back at the circle and saw two humans, and then he heard Mother Hydra’s cry for help. He had been tricked. He started to shout, but was cut off when he was hit in the back of the head with a rubber bullet.