Anubis Unit: The Book of Brocephalus
2
Translated from the prophecies of Uncle That Bastard, Prophet of Anubis Unit
Written by Thomas Duder, Author of the Things
Edited by Elizabeth Robbins, The Alchemist

There are many Hells, many Heavens, and many versions of Earth.  Ain’t that weird?  But only one Paradisio - the center of everything.  And it is there that the hammers of Heavy Metal’s power reverberate loudest.  Well, that and Banghead,” - Uncle That Bastard, Prophet of Anubis Unit 

Skulking and scrabbling, crawling about the blackened shores of the deepest Hells did the nameless drone sally forth.

Weeping and sobbing, assaulted by the cries of the damned.  Flame-drenched Hell, the various rooms and levels of Malbolgia.

Who knows how long the nameless drone, broken and weeping, there lay, upon the shores where red water, brilliant and unnatural, pounded upon the black surf.

Who knows for how many years the pathetic creature wandered afterwards.  “Malbolgia,” the name of the dimension of Hell, with its many layers and cast-off rooms, not truly the jail of Man but the jail of the Fallen, those who had sided with Satanus against the Holy Trinity of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, and Punk music.

Satanus, the most beautiful of fools, who fought against God regarding what would truly bring forth the Ultimate Sound.

And it is there in the ninth level of Hell that Satanus reigned, alongside its archdukes and empowered creatures, its Fallen brethren and worse.

The nameless drone, cast off and careless, saw it all for himself.  The constant elevator music that blared the Unholy Trinity of music into the ears of the tormented, the wicked laughter of their tormentors…and the fact that this was not a place for human souls.

The energy of Malbolgia had always been meant to only harass and harness those of the Fallen, and those born here.

The human souls were fettered only by their own issues, trapped here only by their own guilt.

So it was that the nameless drone witnessed the smugness of Satanus and the court, of the babies of Earth put through the Corporate Machine, where masks were drilled into their faces.

So it was that the nameless drone wandered, becoming numb to the relentless onslaught of cries and shrieks, the terror becoming dulled.

Not quite so terrible.

Becoming accustomed to the harsh daily life in Malbolgia, the drone began to forget even of its own existence and origin, seeing Hell for what it really was.  Eventually the Drone noticed something strange, a miraculous abberation.

Here and there were small pockets of religion, where even the tortured gathered to cry out unto God.

The symbols they used, the statues they worshiped, were nothing like the Drone had ever seen when it had lived, and the music.  Ahhhhhh, the music.

For a moment, each time the “rebel worshipers” gathered, there would be music like the drone had never heard.  For a moment, each time it heard that music, it would almost remember its own existence.

Nine levels of Malbolgia, through nine levels did the nameless drone wander through, beholding sights never before imagined in its previous life.

The Church of the Machine never allowed Drones to imagine.  The Drone never had needed to use such a thing.

Until now.

And so it dreamed, feverish and hot even in Hell, a walking, waking dream.  So it dreamed and, following instincts long since buried before even its inception, did the nameless, feckless drone find itself going further, further.

Falling deeper, deeper.

“Pocket levels of reality exist wherever the branches of Malbolgia reaches.”

The voice shook the very core of the broken drone as it crept through the gnarled, blackened roots of the eleventh level of Hell.  Beyond the first nine levels, the Drone wandered mindlessly, aimlessly, seeking...something.  Shivering though the Drone had long since grown used to the temperature (a rather comfortable one if you were used to heated climes), the voice did something to it, something baser.

Something primal within the broken drone began to awaken, heeding the call of the voice.

“You have followed instincts long since dead within you, creature,” the voice, the Voice, shook the very caverns of hard, packed earth the drone wandered along, dodging this stalagmite or that falling stalactite amidst the debris rocked loose by the powerful Voice that, even now, called him further.

“You…are not quite a Drone, are you?  You dream, aye - I see it.  You dream, and those dreams have led you here.”

“Who…who are you?” the voice it used was as broken and cracked as the bits of mask that still clung to its face. The drone, startled by the sound, reached up and wiped away those bits, rubbing at his eyes as he began to remember.

And, in the rush of memories, began to weep.

The drone saw, for the first time with clear eyes, the great wrong that was the Unholy Trinity, the Corporate Machine, and what was stolen with each Drone baby put through the Machine at the behest of Satanus.  It had forgotten its previous life, or even that it was tumescently male, and even now the Drone felt crushed under the absolute laws of reality.

“Aye, you would do well to weep, creature.  Weep now, but continue looking.  Look upon me as I truly am, creature.

Weep…and despair.”

The Drone roared, wordless and loud, a solid scream that began from his gut and erupted out at the very sight of the master of the Voice.

The Black Dragon, bound by mystical chains and held upside down, the foundation, the supporting column that held up the entirety of the eleventh level of Hell.

Scores upon scores, mile after mile of powerful scales and rippling muscle, the Black Dragon glared down upon him with red, glowing eyes that scoured the darkness.  Its long, humanoid arms tipped with powerful, red claws, rippled with power even as they were bound, crossed, to it’s mighty chest, the creature was beyond measure, beyond power, and beyond imagination.  About the immense creature wound a song, the Song, a sound too powerful for the drone to comprehend.  Cast off echoes from its voice clung to reality itself, the Song pierced the Drone’s dulled core, burning it with a sweetness greater than he had ever known.

The Drone, eyes weeping blood, nevertheless held his ground and beheld the entirety of the Dragon.  Accepting the immortal nature of the creature, of the Song that drove him mad and reformed him even as he accepted it.

“This, then, is the beginning and the end for you.”

The air about the Drone shook and wavered as the Dragon turned his full attention upon him.  The Drone’s voice cracked as he pitched forward, never tearing his gaze from the Dragon’s, trying to talk back.

The Dragon, realizing that a full minute had passed, frowned as the Drone coughed, never tearing his eyes away.

“Why, you disturbed little shit,” the Dragon growled, grinning despite itself, “You’re not dying further?  Not driven into torments beyond even my existence?”

The Drone shook his head, licking his lips before speaking, a mere whisper, “No.  I’m here.  You’re there.  And…that’s…

That’s okay.”

The Dragon laughed, “You, YOU!  You little mongrel creature!  So.  This, THIS is the answer I have been waiting for?  YOU are, ultimately, the answer I seek?”

The Drone furrowed his brow and shook his head, realizing how big his hair had gotten in his years of mindless wandering, once again becoming prescient for the first time in a countless age, “I…I don’t know.  But I’m here.”

”Fine then.  You may ask three questions, creature,” the Dragon rumbled deep in its immeasurably massive chest, grinning wickedly in ill humor.

“I…I want to know,” the Drone licked his chapped lips and then blurted forth, “I want to know…you must be…uncomfortable like that.  How can I help you?  How can I get you down?”

”…help…me?”  the Black Dragon’s eyes widened as it blurted out, almost stunned at the very thought, “Help…ME?!  AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, CREATURE, DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO I AM?!”

The Drone held on for dear life as the Dragon’s laughter sent storming gales forcefully throughout the cavern-strewn underground system that was the Eleventh Level.  Shaking his head, the Drone grinned back, having relearned how to grin by watching the Dragon, “If I ask that, it’ll take up one of my questions.  Tell me, if you wish.”

”YOU CHEEKY EPHEMERAL,” the Black Dragon laughed, “I, IIIIIII am the Black Dragon.  THE Black Dragon!  First and absolute KING of my kind!  Absolute and Ideal both, as one.  I am the Voice, the [FIRST SOUND] that begat the ultimate knell, the final dirge, the absolute of the Ultimate Sound!  I-”

“Wait, wait,” the Drone held up both hands, realizing he was clothed only in tatters and ashes. Sighing at his blackened hands, the Drone patted down his afro and frowned, “I don’t know what ANY of this means!  Please, I…I want to know.

Tell me how I can help you.”

The Black Dragon blinked again, murmuring in a low rumbled, “The first note of Heavy Metal is what I am.  You cannot help me, for I have failed you and yours.  In order to remake Malbolgia, the entirety of Hell, in ITS image, Satanus has placed the Corporate Machine in the heart of the world.  Through it, the enslavement of your kind is guaranteed.  The power I once held is now dormant, dust.

Dead.

But…you.  You stand before something that is older than the gods themselves and you wish to aid me?”

The Drone gazed upon the Black Dragon as it drew closer, testing chains that hadn’t moved since the dawn of Time itself, gazing down its prodigious snout to grin at him.

“I, who once led a rebellion in Hell, can only be helped in one way.  If you wish, pick up the gauntlet I have thrown down.  Take up my challenge and I will tell you.

I will tell you everything, O Creature.”

The Drone, gazing into eyes older than the stars above, nodded slowly.

“Teach me.  It’s why I’m here, I think.”

And so did the Drone fall just a bit deeper, just a bit harder.

And with it did our dark misadventure take another step further.

****