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Books of Prophecy
|Commentary (and advisory): These are the authentic texts that chronicle the beginning of our third age. They contain acts of violence that characterized our second age, particularly under the reign of The Tyrant. Novices and others not of age or of an appropriate disposition shall not read these words. -- The Council of Masters|
|The following is a transcript from the last known video tape of Cecil
van Dyke. As a teacher of high school English, Mr. van Dyke is
credited with the creation and archiving of the Books of Prophecy.
The diary entries from his students are the official record and
history of start of the Third Age, when our kind took their rightful
place in the kingdom of man.
The camera jiggles and shakes. A hand passes in front of the lens. A long, emaciated face looks into the camera, then backs away. A small, bookish man appears. His hair is disheveled and he looks like he hasn't gotten much sleep. He sits in a chair in a room that is lit by a solitary lamp. He is shaking.
"I..." he says, stammering. "My name is Cecil van Dyke." He tries to compose himself, but fails. There is tension in his voice when he blurts out "I didn't know? How could I?" He closes his eyes, shakes his head. He takes a deep breath.
"Today is October 11. Six weeks ago I gave my class an assignment. I teach English Composition at William Jefferson Clinton High School. It was a standard assignment I give every year. I tell my class to keep a journal. I believe to become a good writer, one must write every day. A journal is the easiest way to do this." Mr. van Dyke picks up a stack of papers. "This year," he holds the stack toward the camera, shaking, "this year was different."
Still panicked, he rattles on, "They broke into my house this morning. They tore the door down, their bodies covered with blood and through these at me. Forced me to read them. Told me to keep them safe 'OR ELSE!'. I was helpless. They were so strong." He starts to cry.
"The violence. The horror! Who could have imagined such a thing? Here," he picks up the first chapter, "a student brags about killing a boy at another school. And here..." he leafs through the stack and picks out a chapter, "incest and rape and then they kill another man. Never in my eighteen years of teaching have I ever..." He stops and jumps up, looking to the side, searching for what startled him. "I think they are still watching me. I must make this short."
Mr. van Dyke places the stack on the floor. "They told me how it ends. It's not written down. How could it be? It happened yesterday, and," tears flow down his cheek and he sobs, "oh the death."
"Mark Rothman had been found dead about a week ago. His son Todd is... was... one of my students. He and two other students, Larry Morgan and Eric Young," shaking his head, " a violent boy, had convened at his house. They called it a council of some sort. A violent man," he looks around and adds in a whisper, "a psychopath," then clearing his throat continues, "and his homosexual lover were with the boys. Todd and Eric blamed the psycho..., er, adult named Frank for Mark's death."
Larry convened the Council by banging his large fist on a table, cracking it. "Thanks guys for coming."
My students had become extremely muscular over the past month. I think they were taking steroids. Eric had always had a bodybuilder's build, but he seemed to triple in size and strength in a very short period of time. Just this past week, in a fit of violence, he had picked up my steel craft desk with one arm, lifting it to the ceiling as if it were as light as a feather, then slammed it into the ground and crushed it into a ball with his bare hands. I had only asked him a simple question in class, I didn't realize... I couldn't even imagine such muscle and power, but I digress. The boys had taken to wearing spandex shorts and shirts that clung to their hugely muscled bodies. They were very intimidating, and all three seemed to revel in their powerful look. The adults too were dressed similarly. As they sat in their council, the boys glared at the older men, flexing their muscles in a show of power and intimidation.
"He killed my Dad," yelled Todd, pointing at the man named Frank.
"Son, I would never..."
"Don't call me son! I'm not your son! Fathers love their sons!"
"Todd," Frank stood and Larry jumped up, getting between Frank and Todd, "you must believe me. I loved your father. I'd never do anything to hurt him or you. You and Jake are like my own kids. Mark and I raised you!"
"DON'T LIE TO ME. I SEE YOU DO IT! I can see it now," and Todd started to cry. Eric put his arm around him, and Larry turned to Todd.
"Todd, I know this is hard, but," he walked over, put his hand on his friend's shoulder, then, in a serious tone, asked "what do you mean you see it?"
Todd looked up, blood in his eyes. "I see it all now. It's my gift. I see your power, your glow. I smell it and I taste it. I hunger for it."
Frank and Joe were now moving toward Todd. There was a look of recognition in their eyes -- recognition and fear. Eric tried to stop them, but they brushed passed him, surrounding the young man.
"Todd," Joe said, "who gave you this gift?" He looked at Frank. Frank showed no emotions.
"My Father," said Todd.
"But your father is dead," said Joe.
"I believe the boy refers to me," said a voice from the doorway. For all the strength and muscle displayed by the men in the room, the man in the doorway was far larger and more muscular. He was shirtless, wearing only the same spandex shorts worn by the other men, though his bulged larger in every way. His pecs were massive slabs of beef that raised and lowered with each breath he took, causing his eight-pack abs to ripple with obscene definition. The man's arms were huge, larger than a world-class bodybuilder's chest. They were laced with a network of veins that fed his muscle with life giving blood. The spandex shorts clung to his thin waist, then stretched to cover massive glutes, so defined that each striation was visible as he walked toward this Council. His legs were larger than any tree trunk, displaying convex muscles that hung over his knees like shelves. His calves were diamonds, the muscle's hardness obvious to all.
Todd went to the man and the four others surrounded them. The stranger stood in the center, Todd kneeling at his side, and looked at each in turn. "Todd calls me Father, but you might know me by my given name, Claudius. You may call me Claude," he said with a small bow, his chin moving into void between his massive chest and his abs flexing with perfect control to lower his torso ever so slightly.
In unison, as if some trigger had gone off, the four muscular men jumped at Claude. With lightning reflexes that belied his massive size, Claude swung his arms, tossing off his attackers as if they were nothing more than insects.
"I remember a time when people were treated with respect when they were invited guests in a person's home," said Claude, looking down at Todd and smiling, "not attacked."
Larry got up from where Claude had tossed him, flaring his massive body. His muscle was unmatched on the Council, but it paled to the bulk and symmetry Claude had. He stepped forward, challenging the man. "I know who you are. I know you kill us, but you have never met the likes of me. Today this ends. There can only be one winner who emerges."
Claude smiled. With slow, deliberate motion, he expanded his back. It was like a bat spreading it's wings. The man's back muscles grew larger, wider. He tensed his massive pecs so that thick ropes of muscle appeared under small skin. He bent his arms at the elbow, flexing his biceps into massive mounds and forcing his triceps into deep, dense horseshoes. He pulled his arms in, bending slightly and once more showing his chiseled stomach. He moved one leg forward, flexing his quads to show a topology of high peaks and deep valleys. His shoulders became huge round rocks below high mountains that covered his shoulder blades and reached to his ears. He showed every huge muscle to its maximum, all the while grinning. In a booming, deafening voice, he said, "This is muscle, boys. There will be only one winner, and it will be me. I will add what pathetic power you have to my own, feeding off of it, leaving you a dead, weak husk." Then he laughed a laugh that cut deep into any man's soul.
Larry approached. He seemed to grow larger with each step he took. Every muscle burst into relief. The spandex could not contain the growing mass of muscular energy, and began to tear. Larry struck the same pose, his muscles bulging huge, only a size slightly smaller than Claude's. He spoke, but not in his own voice. It was ethereal and strange, with an accent that sounded Turkish. "No, Claudius. The time of your downfall is at hand. Sons who kill their fathers must eventually confront the Furies. No myth of your own creation about Julius can save you now."
Claude's expression changed as if he had seen a ghost. "So, we do live in prophetic times." He looked over Larry. "You have escaped Hell father? No matter. Did you bring your power with you? Did you place it in this husk?" There was no response. "No matter. I shall have it again."
Larry stood upright and said in a calm voice, "No." He threw a massive punch into Claude's stomach that sounded of thunder. Claude stepped back and Joe, Frank and Eric advanced.
Todd intercepted the trio. He grabbed Eric and threw him aside, taking the boy by surprise. He then lunged at Frank, grabbing him in a bear hug. "This is for my Dad!" he yelled.
Suddenly, Frank screamed as if Todd's touch was like fire. Todd's body began to expand, ballooning up and straining his clothes. At the same time, Frank's incredible physique began to shrink, loosing size and muscle tone. Joe ran to Frank's aid, but Todd kicked him away, draining the strength from the man held helpless in his grasp.
Claude and Larry exchanged blows. Larry placed both fists together and slammed them into Claude, sending the big man flying. "Todd, stop. Claudius is lying to you." He jumped at Todd, breaking his hold. Frank had shrunk to about half his size and fell to the floor. Larry slapped Todd across the face. "Concentrate. See the truth!"
"He killed..." began Todd, but Larry slapped him again.
"No, he didn't!" Shouted Larry. "SEE! I COMMAND YOU SEE THE TRUTH!"
While Larry had been saving Frank and dealing with Todd, Claude recovered. He grabbed Larry's arms and pulled them behind him, pressing his knee into the small of Larry's massive back. "Now you diabolic wraith, I shall vanquish you for another millennia!" He pulled harder, then forced Larry forward, knocking him into a wall. The house shook with the force of the impact.
Larry screamed and his body began to convulse. Claude's amazing physique hardened, growing more powerful. Larry's body seemed to fight back, trying to retain its size and awesome power. It was a loosing battle. Like Frank, he began to get smaller as Claude dominated him. "Yes..." he slithered as his body grew and strengthened, "you do have the power of my father. So much power..."
Todd stood frozen, staring into the room. Eric and Joe had been helping Frank, but Frank saw what Claude was doing to Larry. Even in his weakened state, he acted the hero. He lunged at Claude, trying to break the hold on the boy. Joe reached around the two. "Just like before," he screamed at Frank.
Claude laughed. "So, that is how you killed my beloved. No, such foolishness will not work on me." The two men screamed, unable to move, stuck to Claude like with some magnetic-like force. Like Larry, their massive bodies began to convulse and shrink. Once hard muscle became soft. Massive size became thinner, withering into nothing, while Claude's hulking physique continued to add more muscle. "I taste my beloved on you. At last, I shall avenge him." Claude smiled, his body growing as he looked at Frank weakening. The spandex around Claude's legs snapped as his quads and hamstrings expanded. His thin, chiseled waist became more defined, eight diamond hard ridges with deep valleys between them.
Larry struggled but his decreasing might could not hope to overcome the massive Claudius.
Todd remained transfixed, staring into the room, ignoring the plight of his friends. Eric ran to Todd, grabbed him and shook. "Todd! Todd, snap out of it. He's killing them. He's killing Larry and Joe. We have to help them!"
A tear ran down Todd's cheek, but he didn't respond. Eric ran to Joe and tried to pull him away. Instead, Claude reached out a foot. Wrapping it around Eric's legs, he tripped the boy. Eric fell, and Claude trapped him between his legs. Eric screamed and fought, but Claude's ever-strengthening legs were more powerful. Eric's body began to convulse. Like Claude's other prisoners, Eric was now trapped, his power draining into the massively powerful Claude. Claude's size was now increasing at an incredible rate as he drained his four captives.
Slowly, Todd turned. He looked at Claude. Through his eyes, he saw the hulking man shine with unlimited power. He was like a star that illuminated the sky -- bright with power. Within that star, Todd saw a black heart. He looked into the room, saw his dad's death. However, it was not Frank killing the man, but Claude. We watched as Claude dismembered his father, raping him, his father fighting for his life. He watched as the echo of Claude walked to the doorway and waved his hand, changing the shimmer, turning the echo into a lie. Todd saw his friends growing smaller, limp and weak. Claude growing more powerful. He ran toward them.
"NO!" Todd grabbed at Claudius's leg, which was now as thick as Todd's own massive body. He tried to raise it, but couldn't. Eric fought to help him, but was powerless.
"Son, I know I promised you this one to you. Once I have their power, I will share it with you. I know how." Claude looked at Larry, the lust for his growing power evident in his eyes. "You will never know the feeling of so much strength. I kill you once again."
Todd jumped up and grabbed Joe, who was now limp and frail. "Joe! Help me, concentrate!" Todd raised the man's arms up, joining with him and wrapping them around part way around Claude's bulk. "YOU...ARE...NOT...MY...FATHER!" said Todd, straining, exerting his new power against his creator. "YOU...KILLED...MY...FATHER..."
Claudius's head snapped toward Todd. There was a strain on his face as he felt the power feeding him ebb. The growth of his body began to slow, then stopped.
"Help him, men," Frank whispered, who was now just skin and bones. "Take back what is ours."
Each man concentrated. Claude begin to writhe, trying to push Todd away, but Todd hung on. The men's body's began to convulse once more. This time, however, Claude was shrinking and the other's growing. Frank's body began to fill out. His flat chest got pecs that expanded to their familiar massive form. Larry's swimmer's body returned to that of a bodybuilder then larger. Joe's power returned and Eric's expanding body now forced Claude's feet up and apart. Todd was the conduit, sapping the strength and feeding it to his friends. Muscle power flowed from Claude into all, driven by Todd's will. Seconds passed, and Larry was once more Claude's equal.
"It is over son," said the voice that was not Larry's.
"Never." Claude fought, trying to regain his edge, take the power. The strain was evident as sweat beaded on his body, then ran down the now shrinking contours.
Eric was the first to experience the overload. His body began to spasm and he was forced to lift Claude's leg. "Too much. It hurts!" he cried as he jumped free, his body red and shaking.
Frank was the next to experience the overload. He hung on for nearly a minute more, but was suddenly thrown free, muscles cramped and red. He fell to the ground, breathing deeply as he recovered his composure. "Damn, that's a lot of muscle power."
"Your vessels are overloaded, father. I am too powerful," said Claude, even as his massive physique now had shrunk to the size of Eric's and Frank's.
"No," stated Larry. "This body can take back all the power you have stolen and more."
Joe began to shake and sweat, but he held on.
Todd watched with his new vision. He saw the giant that enveloped Claude shrinking, closing in on the man's material body.
Larry's body continued to grow, absorbing muscle and strength. His body pushed into Claude, Todd and Joe, forcing them out into the room. Still, he clung to them, taking more.
Todd saw that Joe was struggling. "Force the power into Larry. He can take it. HE MUST TAKE IT!"
Larry's body surpassed Claude's original size and continued to grow. He looked like some superhero, all muscle and power. His eyes were closed, a contented smile on his face, like he enjoyed the enormous power that was filling him. The spandex that tried to cover his muscles stretched and ripped. His shirt exploded from his body. His pecs created a shelf that extended more than two feet over his thin waist. His thighs were rigid ellipses of muscle than hung above a solid knee cap. Larry continued to grin as he felt the incredible power fill his body, changing him into the most incredible muscle god the world has ever seen.
Todd saw the ephemeral form collapse into Claude and heard his scream. His bodybuilder's physique shrank to a swimmer's build, then to nothing. His arms became thin, his stomach distended as his once might abs lost the strength to hold in his internal organs. His legs couldn't support his body and Larry had to hold him up. His handsome features melted to that of an old man. His hair turned gray. With a final shudder, the life left his body. As he collapsed, his ancient body turned to ash.
Todd and Joe stepped back and tried to take in the huge form Larry had become. As Claude had done when he entered the room, Larry flexed his new body into a most-muscular pose. His biceps crashed into his massive pecs, his backs pushing his triceps forward. Each leg forced the other aside as muscle fought muscle for room. Larry smiled at his incredible body.
Standing upright, he said in the voice that was not his own, "It is done. Now I can rest." Larry collapsed.
"That's when they came to me," said Cecil van Dyke. "They carried Larry in, and each told me the story in his own words. Eric and the psychopa..., er, I mean Frank, didn't seem to be paying much attention. Instead, they seemed to be engaged in some competition of strength. Frank always won. I think I heard him say to Eric, 'Should have hung on longer, kid,' as he flexed his arm up and down, watching the massive bicep peak high then stretch long and thick."
"When Larry woke up," Mr. van Dyke continued, "he seemed confused."
"It's all kinda blurry. I remember some of it, but the past month, it's like I haven't always been myself."
"Do you remember fighting Claude?" asked Todd.
"Kinda," he said. He made a face, like it was coming back to him, "I kinda remember fighting him twice. Once, he killed me, then I killed him. Weird."
"Do you remember anything about Julius?" asked Frank.
"That wasn't his name," said Larry, looking kinda surprised that he knew this. "No, Claudius made that all up. It was his father that he killed. All of the man's sons had powers. Some were morphs. Some batteries. Claudius was like a super-anti-battery -- he drained the life from those he took power from. When he killed his father, his brothers turned against him. It's been a blood feud ever since. Claude didn't want us to know that -- to know that we're all brothers -- so he created the false Tome." Larry paused, then said in a quiet voice, "I remember one more thing. We must find the rest of Claude's children. If they don't join us, come back into the family, we must kill them. The feud must end. It's what he wanted."
"Larry ordered the boys to go and get the journals and bring them to me as he told his version of the story," said Mr. van Dyke. "He told me to keep them safe while they left to find the remaining children of Claudius." Cecil van Dyke looked at the pages in front of them. "They scare me," he whimpered.
Suddenly, he jumped up. "Who's there?" he screamed. In the shadows, the form of a large muscular man is visible.
"Ric said you were fuckin' wimp," said a man's voice that has since been identified as Frank's.
The tape ends at this point.
Obituary of Cecil van Dyke
Cecil van Dyke died in his home on October 11. The death was due to severe trauma caused when his house exploded. Police suspect a broken gas main was the cause. A series of explosions rocked the dwelling, forcing it to collapse on the sleeping Mr. van Dyke. Neighbors report hearing a series of thunderous explosions and the screams of a single voice as the house collapsed. There are unconfirmed reports of a solitary man of unusual muscularity walking away from the scene.
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