He loved the velvet covering he’d hand stitched for the Codex. It’s texture pleased him so much so that oftentimes Jacob found himself rubbing the cover of the book while speaking with others. He’d had a special carpet commissioned for his Manhattan apartment made from velvet as well. The coverings of his new office furniture? Velvet. He stroked his face with his velvet gloved fingers in and out of meetings. Velvet made him feel closer to his Codex and to the ancient words within it that he’d come to praise as gospel.
It was an ancient tome predating Sumer. It’d been purchased in Istanbul by Jacob’s mother, a history professor, on an expedition that’d been financed by the family business. They were an upper-class family that made its money in the insurance industry. Gambling over when people would die and if they’d get cancers or have an accident was a profitable business. Marcus Melloney had started Melloney Insurance in 1902 and the company hadn’t seen a negative growth year until Jacob ascended to the throne as CEO last year.
Jacob was more interested in the tome he’d been helping his mother decipher since he was twelve than running any business. It’d become an obsession for his mother and thus their only way of bonding. As years passed and his mother with them Jacob fell to the allure of the books hidden secrets. It was written in an unknown language. Still, he, like his mother, understood it. Touching the book and turning its pages had somehow transferred the knowledge needed to read the language into him. With each touch he believed he could feel the knowledge of the codex flowing into him. It’d taken near twenty years of studying the text to finally reach a point where the text had something to give back.
The book detailed not only the lives of the ancient builders and their rituals but it also detailed the building of structures that could catch light and some claimed to be able to catch the moon or stars themselves. Pages depicted gods the size of galaxies and their twisted ever changing visages. If you read around the edging of the book you found a different story than if you read it’s center. If you read the first structures of each page you could compile secret messages from the writer, whom ever they may have been. These messages seeped through the cover flashing images into Jacobs mind. Images of temples, towers, and obelisks. He’d originally covered the black tomb in velvet to form a barrier to these images. To slow his interest. But there was no slowing. The book took to the velvet. Evolved and incorporated it into its being.
Jacob’s obsessions had led his company into financial ruin. He was to be voted out of his position by the company’s board of directors within a month. The bad part was that if he hadn’t built the new building he’d actually have run a fairly clean and healthy company. The tower he’d erected as the new corporate offices was of his own design. Itd been so elaborate with it’s many marbled and silvered areas that the company had spent over one hundred years of saved profits in just one year of building. It was hailed as being the most luxurious office in all the world, the company just didn’t have the money to sustain it.
It was a twisted structure that faced the rising sun in the east catching its light. As the sun passed over the building the hollow core of the tower illuminated in the shape of a funnel with open roofed terraced offices. The western side of the building caught the setting of the sun. A view Jacob had paid extra for as it required purchasing three other buildings, shortening them, and renting them out to new tenants. The sun’s path had to be preserved. At the start of the summer solstice, the sunlight would hit portions of glass in a manner that would cause the building to refract light into the red spectrum causing the tower to glow. Likewise, at the start of the winter solstice, the building would refract blue. Sitting areas looked like modern temples with columns and abstract art depicting a slurry of symbols from the Codex that only Jacob truly appreciated.
Lenses and mirrors were disguised as decorations so that when the harvest moon was full its glow would be reflected into the center of the tower creating a glowing sphere of pure moonlight. Just as the Codex described. Since the building’s construction, random men, women, and children had wandered in and been found exploring after hours. They all claimed to have been called there. Each had their own robes. Some were of the upper classes wearing amber velvet robes with fine trimmings as Jacob planned to later that night. Others came with the sheets of their beds as robes. Each robe, made from bedding or finer linens, had a white moon sphere painted or stitched onto it’s back. It was this same symbol that Jacob saw each time he donned his moon robes.
The followers were called, the Codex had seen to that. Jacob knew he was their priest. The decipher of the text. He who would lead them to their true future and into the realm beyond. Where men basked in the light of gods and gods devoured the souls of man. A fate all souls were called towards. A fate all who lived deserved.
The tower itself was a beacon drawing in those of weaker minds. Filling their dreams with images of robed rituals in the tower. For some they were rituals of orgies, others they were of blood and sacrifice, to some the dreams were of both. Men and women from all walks of life filled the tower. They wore robes and spoke only in tongues although none of them knew what they were saying. They were zombies drawn in by the mythical architecture of the tower. Hundreds of them filled the building, lining the terraces of the light funnel.
Jacob hadn’t seen his followers but felt their life force in the building. Something was coming. Something had drawn all these people together and placed Jacob at the group’s head. A high priest of Sumer in the modern day. With Codex in hand and his new robes shaken into a comfy lay over his nudity Jacob moved to the ground level of the tower to join his congregation.
The elevator felt like it moved faster than normal. The building itself was pushing him down from its peak to its base. The air around Jacob seemed to grow more dense so that when he finally did reach the ground floor it felt like he was being pushed out of the towers’ womb and into the warm embrace of his followers.
The strangers eyed him. Many smiled. Others nodded or gave him little half waves. There was a sense that they all already knew each other even though that was a lie. They were all there for one reason. The Codex had called them. Just as it had called Jacob’s mother to Istanbul. As it had called the antiques’ dealer in Istanbul to the fertile crescent to dig up a book that should have been tarnished and destroyed from thousands of years of resting under the dirt. The Codex had called them and the Codex would show them their new path.
They could all feel the electricity in the building die as Jacob reached the center of the ground floor. He stood on the top of a marble structure which had been intended to be used as a sitting area full of natural light. Now the area worked as a small stage. The building lights were out. Air without power nearby felt different. Somehow drained. Still, the tower felt more alive. Jacob could sense its heart in rhythm with his own. The ambient sound of the ventilation system circulating air was gone leaving only the stale silence of a deaf crowd.
The crowd fell to their knees and bowed as Jacob began to speak. The funnel shape caused his raised voice to echo throughout the tower for all to hear. The tome cracked open in Jacob’s hands. He worried the pages would rip each time he turned them but they remained pristine, lacking any frayed or bent edges. The final page of the Codex compelled Jacob to read. The Codex forced its words though Jacob’s mouth.
He was speaking in new tongues. Sloshing through words he could feel the meaning of but did not know previously. It was a language of emotion and knowledge. The crowd began to bow in unison with their arms raised high above their heads. Each lift shifting their robes lower, until at long last they were nude.
The moon was full, as the Codex knew it would be. Full and seemingly closer now than ever before. The moon filled the top of the tower perfectly so that no sky could be seen around it. It’s light illuminated the darkest corners of the tower filling it with an ethereal presence. Mirrors, lenses, and metals strategically placed in the funnel of the tower, disguised as artwork and stylized supports, refracted the moonlight into a green hue forming a glowing green ball at the center of the tower. The green was of a blinding brightness that subsided to a dull blue while the moon seemed to draw closer.
The moon’s surface cracked and peeled aside like an eggshell revealing a rippled mass below it. A surface of undulating muscle lacking skin with thousands of mouths retching outward. The blue light condensed itself. Jacob felt his feet slowly lift from the ground and the Codex floated next to him. Ecstasy filled his being. There was only pleasure. The velvet cover Jacob had put on the book burned from an unseen flame and fell as ashes.
The followers all rose as well. Smiles adorned them as they reeled in ecstasy. Each receiving their own desires. Some equivalent to a good hug, others the joys of penetration, or the power of penetrating. All the same they reeled and rolled as they floated towards the light. Some contorted their bodies like gymnasts as they lost physical control. Still, more shook from the pleasure.
Jacob pulled the Codex to his breast. It’s leather binding melded with his skin pulling its way into him. Blood trickled from the growing hole in his center mass. The Codex sank deeply into his body somehow without inflicting pain on Jacob. A miracle he thought. He’d had to have found the true god. Not the one from churches and temples who’d ignored its followers but the real god. The one who’d commanded the praise of men for thousands if not millions of years. The true being who ruled over existence. Ak’Thu’Sarm. He could feel the being’s name. Ak’Thu’Sarm, an old god of the cosmos.
Bones crackled and popped as the men and women floating highest were folded in half. Their gasps and breaking bones went almost unnoticed against the pleasureful moans of the lower elevated congregation. But Jacob saw. He was not so far removed from his senses that he didn’t realize the horrorscape above him. Their bodies were compressed together. Bones cracked to near dust and waded in with their muscles and skin before their crumpled masses were shot upward.
Jacob had to repress his ecstasy to feel rational fear. To know he’d done this. He was the cause of all these sacrifices. He and his obsession. Was it all the Codex? Had it done this on its own? Or had Jacob been a willing participant in this massacre? He was indeed its orator, the maestro of these strangers demise.
Jacob’s skin cracked open as it would have if cut by the sharpest knife. The sigils and symbols of the Codex exploded in cuts across his flesh. He could feel the mass of the Codex dissolving within him. Knowledge of the Ancient Ak’Thu’Sarm grew in Jacob’s mind. His eyes flashed with images of Ak’Thu’Sarm traveling across the galaxies feeding on the prayers of its followers until it came to a deep rest over the once desolate Earth before life could even bloom here.
He could feed it. Sustain the god. Now, these poor people would be sacrificed. Blood and souls to make up for centuries of starvation. The middle tier of the congregation was compressed into the body wads in a manner that caused a light misting of blood to cascade down across the remaining floating followers. The blood seeped into Jacobs wounds. “Yes!” he said, “I shall bring word of you to the people. Grow your presence. Just spare the last of them! A congregation to start with! We can all be loyal!”
Bodies were snapping still, bones being crushed, ripping skin, and still the pleasureful moans persisted straight through to the death of each floating person. Until at last there was one person left alive aside from Jacob. A slender woman who looked nearly starved. She was cleanly groomed and adorned in lavish jewelry. Jacob watched her twitch and moan as he felt a hunger grow inside himself. Ak’Thu’Sarm’s hunger for the essence of life. A hunger of such depth it could never be abolished. A need to feed that surpassed logic or planning. It crushed her.
Jacob dangled in the air. He was still. There was no emotion or regret. There was only the pressure of Ak’Thu’Sarm’s hunger eating at his soul. He’d feed Ak’Thu’Sarm and Ak’Thu’Sarm would spare his life and his soul for now. The tower would be his new temple.