"Can you read this? Why don't we try sounding it out. See? It starts with an "s". " sh-i-t. Shit. THAT'S WHAT HIT THE FUCKING FAN WHEN THE VERY FIRST PORTAL OPENED. Somewhere out there, Cthulhu, THE Cthulhu is starting to wake up. Do you see the fucking problem? Now, we don't have much time. Let's hurry this shit along"
He was angry. I may have underreacted just a little to Ry'leh's threat. But I had changed my mind. It was a big deal.
"What's the latest intel? I asked"
"Portal seven has grown to thirteen kilonewtons per micrometer on the subspace structure, and the entropy influx is at 55 megawatts. The area is uninhabited so we called off the search teams. An eighth portal opened downtown, influx 62 watts, holding at 60 newtons per micrometer. Other than that no real news"
I was always impressed at how effortlessly he could rattle off combat data. I guess that's why he was the general and I wasn't.
These portals were a major problem. Entropy is the tendancy for everything to slowly become both homogeneous and chaotic at once. Entropy is the waste left over when any form of useful energy gets used up. It isn't good for much.
Ry'leh, near as we can tell, is filled with entropy. Entropy is one of the things that keeps Dread Cthulhu in his slumber. Even an Elder God would prefer to sleep through that much entropy. There is also the Force of Stars, and the ancient runic spells, but the vast amout of chaos helps, and the stars and the runes can't hold him alone.
But recently, the portals have been showing up. Wormholes, really. Held open by a dark and ancient force exerting pressure on the structure of space itself. The entropy is leaking into our world.
"Portal 7 at 66 Megawatts and counting. Predicted critical in ten minutes, I'm outta here"
Shit. This portals buisiness is new to us, because every time he tries to escape, it's a bit different, but our best physicists predict that it will cause quite a kaboom. Their predictions haven't failed us yet.
"Everyone OUT of grid sector G-14 NOW. Leave all equipment behind. MOVE"
Not that anyone was thinking of staying, when the equivalent of an atom bomb was about to go down.
The screens in the control room blinked, 102 Megawatts, subspace pressure 70 meganewtons.
Nothing to do but wait, and hope this wasn't the killing blow for our resistance effort. 150 Megawatts, 100 Meganewtons, 3 minutes to critical.
We had no idea what would happen. The world could end. The area could blow up. Maybe the numbers were wrong and nothing would happen.
I thought of contacting my family, but quickly realized the ham radio they had back in the storm shelter was useless in this much entropy flux.
One minute left. Every one of us was prepared to die. Us. The resistance. The ones who fought off the cultists when they found the Bind-Sign of Azathoth. The ones who defeated an avatar of The Eye that Takes and Does Not Sleep. The ones who solved the cipher of the Well of Night. We were ready for the end.
I will tell you now that I have never believed in miracles. Even Dead Cthulhu's power comes only from his strange and twisted laws of physics in what the public would call a Large Extra Dimension.
But when I saw all eight portals dissipate out of existance, for one moment, I believed. The criticality event had shunted enough of the holding force to one point that the other portals were forced shut by the casmir force. The remaining force in the critical zone tore of a region of subspace's infinite fabric, sending it right back where it came from.
The Great Cthulhu's plan was doomed from the start. The only chance it ever had of suceeding was us. Our attempts to prevent the Criticality nearly gave Cthulhu enough time to escape. Maybe that was his plan all along.
That day, it was not Ry'leh out to destroy the world, it was us. Though I have never beleived in anything beyond the Outer Veil of Dreams, nor in anything outside the endless gaze of Yog-Sothoth, I gave thanks to whoever or whatever might be listening. I did what no true American ever should and gave thanks for failure.
All was quiet. The portals were gone, the entropy was gone, and nothing was left but the rain, to wash the taint, and the tears, and the sins away.