49: Nyarlathotep’s Helter-Skelter

“Look out
Helter-skelter, helter-skelter
Look out ’cause here she comes.
When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride…”
(Excerpt “Helter-skelter” The Beatles, 22 November 1968)

“I was old when the Pharaohs first mounted
The jewel-deck’d throne by the Nile;
I was old in those epochs uncounted
When I, Nyarlathotep, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.”
(Adapted excerpt “Nemesis” H.P. Lovecraft, November 1917)


The Battle At Luna Park
The Battle At Luna Park

A cloak of inky darkness. The lights are out thanks to Simon’s shot on the searchlight. The investigators can’t see much but neither can those who set the trap. Inside the large building, upon the roof of which Gupta, Irma and Simon are standing on, there are crates and beds and such. Meanwhile Joe and Myles are making their way along the roller coaster ahead of the helter-skelter. Myles spots an unusual cable or wire going down to near where the mortar was. Why? What was it for? No time or light to check. Maybe for radio communications?

The lights suddenly switch on in the building and there are four men aiming up with bolt action guns, narrowly missing Irma. Gupta drops his grenade through the hole and it lands close to the four, instantly killing three and badly injuring one. An Australian accent growls: “Fuck!”

Joe and Myles are under fire, and Trixie and Wesley spot the muzzle flash and return fire. Definitely a hit but impossible to tell if the attacker is down. Myles and Joe run across from the roller-coaster to the water slide. They realize that the whole range is booby-trapped. The lights in the building suddenly go out.

The investigators are unsure what to do next. There is movement below in the building with the glass roof.

Gupta: “Let’s get off the bloody roof!”

Donelly and Myles head across towards the other building opposite the glass roofed one. On the roof both Simon and Gupta throw hand grenades but fail to throw them through the holes in the glass roof. And miss. The two grenades go off shattering glass everywhere but luckily without injuring any of the investigators.

Myles and Joe here some movement from nearby – outside of the building. They also hear someone trying to detonate the explosive trap near to the mortar which Myles defused (taking the dynamite).

Back on the roof Simon hears something and tells Gupta: “Gupta, listen old boy, there are some rum chaps climbing up over the wall. Brace yourself!”

Gupta: “Yes sir, Mr. Simon, Sir, they will get a taste of Mr. Tommy here if they do!”

Irma prepares to throw a grenade and slides and rolls down the glass roof towards the wall. A graceful manoeuvrer that helps him arrive soundlessly at his goal. There are ropes hanging out of the windows. The remaining Nyarlathotep cultists in the building are fleeing. Including the Australian with the lightning gun!

Irma’s grenade is ready…

A Nyarlathotep cultist injured by Gupta’s first grenade emerges from the side door, looking for a target. But instead he becomes a target, and Trixie does the honours.

Irma throws his grenade at the fleeing cultists, they have no cover, but he only manages to catch one of them in the blast, injuring him. He crouches next to the wall. The Australian shouts:

Australian: “Run! Run! Get the dag out of there, mate!”

Simon Grand slides down the roof to join Irma while Myles and Joe jump the wall and ambush the Australian: Joe shoots him dead with his BAR – his head explodes like a Halloween pumpkin filled with dynamite. Not a pretty sight. The remaining Nyarlathotep cultist flees for his life: Simon pursues him.

Natalja, in the truck, is almost at the main gate. But her driving skills sadly fail her and the truck goes into a barrel roll! It crashes into the wall!

Simon guns down the fleeing cultist. Irma shoots another cultist. Meanwhile Myles picks up the lightning gun and slings it across his shoulder. Trixie lays down some suppressing fire on vehicles out on the opposite side of Nyarlathotep-infested Luna Park. Natalja kills the lights and the engine of the truck but lies low suspecting a sniper. “It is not possible my driving skills were at fault. I am excellent driver. Russian driver.”

Irma opens the large door to the building opposite the glass-roofed building. The smell of oil emanates from within.

Myles: “Bruce? I’m comin’ in, cobber!”

Gupta slides down the roof to follow up on Irma, who is moving around the building and looking up towards the helter-skelter. Natalja climbs cautiously out of the truck. Irma spots a cultist next to the car.

Trixie: “See where the return fire comes from, honey, I’m gonna take a shot.”

She takes out a headlight. He fires back and hits Trixie, her skin saves her, but she takes some damage from the shot. Wesley returns fire, narrowly missing. Irma sneaks around the building and Gupta drops down from the roof, and follows Irma.

100 yards away from him, Irma can see a number of people around a vehicle. Wesley fires again, Trixie sees the muzzle flash of the return shot and also fires, but misses. Natalja begins to climb the stairs up to the waterside. Irma spots someone up on the building that forms part of the main gate.

Irma sneaks towards the cultist in the Arabesque gate while Gupta follows up. Two more cultists appear. Gupta notices the sniper sneaking out of the helter-skelter and guns him down at range! “Aaaargh!” Two of the cultists run out of the main gate. Shouting. Confusion.

Simon: “Myles there is no time!”

Wesley, Natalja and Trixie try to shoot from range the two occupants of the truck, but only Trixie hits and annihilates the passenger! Great shot! The gate is opening inwards so that the two remaining cultists on the ground can escape. Sadly, for them, they are unaware that on the other side Myles and Simon are waiting and ready. The driver of the truck puts his foot down and drives towards the gate. Cultists are running behind the truck trying to use it as cover. Myles guns down one of the Nyarlathotep cultists at the gate and Simon takes the other. Irma spots a wire from the Helter-Skelter to one of the swings: “Gupta, RUN!” screams Irma. The truck and the cultists are brought to a stop by the gate closed by Simon and Myles. There is still a gap and they try to fire through the gap. Myles shoots two but Simon misses. Irma shoots and hits him.

Myles: “I say, I fought with some of you chaps and you were jolly good fighters. Surrender now and you will have a chance to live!”

Natalja also hits one. Gupta leaps up onto the wall just as a huge explosion erupts from the helter-skelter and playground showering shrapnel in all directions. Luckily, no injury to Gupta or Irma, who are just on the edge of the blast radius.

Australian: “Close the bloody door!”

Can be heard from the main building next to the gatehouse. Joe throws a tear-gas grenade into the gatehouse.

Australian: “Shut up, get outta the way!”

An Australian accent can be heard again. And some coughing. Joe hears that something heavy has been knocked over within the gatehouse.

Australian: “You think this is it do ya? The Great Old Ones are immortal and we will enact their will!”

Gupta shoots out the window so that Joe can throw a grenade in.

Australian: “Shut ya whiny mouth!”

Screams the Australian.

Myles suspects that there is an Egyptian who may wish to escape and calls to him in Arabic:

Myles: “Escape from the infidel! He wishes to die but you can live!”

The Egyptian responds:

Cultist: “I am sick! Help me!”

Joe throws a grenade in and it detonates with a dull thud.

Australian: “Come over here you fuckers! You have no idea! You fools, we know so much about Nyarlathotep! That which is dead and can eternal lie! Come in here you fuckers!”

Irma throws a grenade into the gatehouse window. Inside the gatehouse there is a maintenance hatch. Gupta hears a fuse burning and fear freezes his blood as he desperately gestures towards Irma. Two shots ring out from the water-slide and hit their target: Natalja. An explosion blows the doors out. High pitched frequency. Deaf. Pressure wave. Shock. And then it appears, a creeping green alien radiation: A dirty bomb. Everyone nearby runs. The last of the cultists emerges. Badly injured. Natalja puts him out of his misery. Gupta jumps into the truck, pushing the dead Nyarlathotep cultist from the driving seat and drives it out of the main gate as Myles opens them. The truck is not in great shape but it drives. In the back is a suitcase with an Australian passport and clothes and money. The other building previously contained an ice rink. There is a locked door which Irma blasts.

The room contains the Yithian communicator and the books stolen from the investigators. And more passports and money.

Irma and the others grab whatever they can. The truck Natalja crashed is torched after the license plates have been removed first. The dead sniper also had one of the investigators Mon-dragons. This is now a landscape of destruction and desolation populated by the dead and the soon to be dead. Smoke and dust is still billowing from the several explosions. Luna Park, which started life as an amusement park before becoming a field hospital in the first world war and then finally a hideout for the nefarious activities of Nyarlathotep’s cult of the Black Pharaoh and the cult of the Sand Bat.

The investigators return to the Palace Hotel as discretely as possible to get cleaned up and changed. It is early in the morning on Sunday. The call to prayer of the Muezzin rings out across the cool air of dawn.

Journal Wesley

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