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The Tremors Of Abaddon
The Tremors Of Abaddon

The Tremors Of Abaddon


"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die".—Howard Phillips Lovecraft

A series of powerful earthquakes had shaken the world in the year 1925. I was a scientist and seismologist by the name of Roger Alvarado, who had been studying this insoluble phenomenon at the university in San Francisco. I was familiar with the causes and effects of earthquakes. In 1906, I survived one that killed more than 3, 000 people and devastated 80 percent of the city of San Francisco. The recent Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake in Canada was still fresh in my mind and observations. I had been there to witness the destruction and damage of the area. The earthquake had reached 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale. In all my years as a man of science, I would never experience the inevitable horror that was uncovered in that year. It was a lingering horror in its essence and manifestation.

For a whole week, I had been occupied with my attempt to decipher the unique similarities that were parallel in the Montana Earthquake, the Charlevoix-Kamouraska Earthquake, the Sydney Earthquake, the Santa Barbara Earthquake. All of these earthquakes had occurred during the year 1925. They could not be the result of a mere coincidence nor mishap. All had the same correlation of aftershocks and were compelling in their demonstration of damage. I was able to identify several patterns that were identical. I would never imagine that there would be a mysterious thing that would link each of them to the ancient terror that had dwelled, beneath the earth that were the tremors of hell.

I was well acquainted with the work of Richard Dixon Oldham, who had discovered the first clear evidence that the Earth had a central core and Andrija Mohorovichich, one of the founders of modern seismology, who had defined the boundary between the Earth's crust and the mantle. Plus, I had been studying the elastic rebound theory of Harry Fielding Reid, which was an explanation for how energy was released in the duration of an earthquake. The 1920 Xalapa earthquake in Mexico had initiated the scientific study of aftershocks and was my first genuine earthquake that I had used my seismogram, which was a graph output by a seismograph, based on a horizontal pendulum instrument, for the transpicuous detection of distant earthquakes.

When I was at my laboratory at the university, I had reviewed a set of photographs that were sent to me, by an anonymous person. At first, I did not notice anything beyond the ordinary that was destruction and rubble. It was until I had taken a closer look that I had seen what had appeared to be some animated beings coming, out of the ripples of the ground torn apart. It was a pair of ghoulish hands sticking out that I had assumed were human, but they had long fingernails and were hirsute like an animal. Were they the indisputable images of unearthly creatures? It was impossible to fathom that notion of fiction from the photographs. Had I misconstrued the images, or were the photographs drastically altered considerably to be credible? Nevertheless, they had seemed genuinely imposing.

I had dismissed the photographs, and instead concentrated on the matter that were the phenomena of the earthquakes, but I would be sent more photographs with the bizarre images of heteroclite beings that rose from the chasm of the underworld. This time, the images were more visible and tangible to my eyes. Again, the mysterious hands coming out from the surface of the ground. I could not concede to the thought that there were alien beings that were rising from the crust of the Earth. How could I possibly fathom such implausibility? I was a scientist, not a man that had believed in weird monsters appearing, from the deep cracks or crevices of the ground shaken. Whatever I had been viewing in the images had to have a logical and rational elucidation that was consistent in its analogy.

In the following week, I would receive a correspondence from a place called Abaddon, requesting my urgent assistance to a strong earthquake that had occurred in that town in California and had killed close to 50 persons. It was another earthquake that was connected to the others that had occurred, in that unforgettable year of 1925. Eight earthquakes within the span of a year with the same consequence, unsightly hands of beasts coming from below the ground photographed. This was only the precursor to the indicative madness that would predict the horrible aftermath. Intuitively, I had dreaded the worse had not transpired in Abaddon. Indeed, the worse was yet to come. What I could not expect nor suspect were the unnatural and preternatural elements involved.

When I had arrived at the town of Abaddon, I could descry the towering mountains they were situated on a mountain range. They were imposing and remarkable in landscape. The town was populated mostly by locals they were either trappers, hunters or merchants. There were plentiful, conifer trees in the forest that were inhabited with wildcats, bears and reptiles. Between the lustrious mountains there were narrow valleys, canyons and ravines. There was instant devastation all around the area and its vicinity. We were fortunate to be able to land, within a remote area near the town that was not effected by the earthquake. I had met at the landing spot, a certain professor by the name of Jacob Weismann.

The professor had taken me to see the damage that was done to the town and the structure of its buildings. The majority of the town was still intact. I had brought my seismogram and seismograph with me to process my studies and proceed with my examinations. It was imperative that I recorded the earthquake's activities and checked on possible aftershocks that were certainly to occur afterward in some noticeable measure. I was expecting to verify my suspicion on the magnitude of the earthquake. I had made a diagram that had pin pointed each reference point, from where the earthquake had begun and reached its maximum point. It was extremely significant that we determined these calculations with efficaciousness, in order to know the full extent of its broad effects.

Professor Weismann had intimated that a bigger earthquake was approximating, and he had warned about this feasibility. I was in concurrence with his opinion, because I had studied the progress of the patterns of earthquakes, in the early 20th century. As a seismologist, I was aware of the instability of earthquakes and how difficult it was to prognosticate their variable state. We had coordinated our effort and time, with the period in which the earthquake had been the most active. It was the study of the vibration of the interior of the Earth that had defined our interest. In the earthquake of Xalapa in Mexico, the data from the seismograph had eventually made the determination that the mainshock was caused, along a shallow crustal fault that had not been detected.

To those persistent individuals, who are not knowledgeable with the difference between a seismogram and a seismograph, the first records, the seismic waves from an earthquake and the second, is the measuring instrument that creates the seismograph. To be effective both of these devices are necessary and pivotal to a seismologist. Both devices can detect and measure seismic waves, but only the seismograph has the capacity to record any known phenomenon created. Thus, without them, our principal study and evaluations would be then rendered futile. Science can only transcend the boundaries of our established reality with theories and concepts, when that reality permits itself to be unveiled and discovered.

The professor and I were able to speak to several persons that had survived the earthquake and were willing to discuss their experience openly. I was interested in knowing what they could relate to me that was of utible information. In my experience with earthquakes and survivors, their accounts expressed were always unique and distinctively personal. Although at times, there would be some that would embellish or enhance their narratives. I was keen on distinguishing what were facts from invented details. This would involve, sorting out what was pertinent and what was merely conjectural. California was a place that was very parlous to live, due to its position on the Earth and its movement, along the tectonic plates of the San Andreas fault.

The miasma of despair that generally accompanies earthquakes was there, but not that patently. It had seemed to me that the people of Abaddon had prepared themselves for the eventuality of an earthquake. I had wondered, how could anyone be prepared, for such a chaotic phenomenon? This would be more emphasized by a local preacher, who had began to spread baseless rumors that the earthquake was the sign of God's punishment onto us, for our iniquities and estrangement from his teachings and commandments. He was convinced that it was the Devil's work, but I was not. I who was a man of logic could not concede to the religious notion of the dire portent of an Armageddon. The preacher then began to say that it was stated in the Bible of the Old Testament that Abaddon was a place of destruction and the realm of the dead. In the New Testament Abaddon was embodied, as the place of Hell.

I had left the preacher to continue his sermon and headed back to the laboratory with Professor Weismann to deal with much more pending matters to solve. The professor had invited me to stay at his house during my stay in Abaddon, and I had accepted. I did not know at the time, how long of a duration I would remain in the town, but I was eager to register any aftershocks or be there for a possible occurrence of a new earthquake. I had discussed with the professor at length, the connection with this earthquake and the others I had followed, during the year of 1925. What was important was the fact that we had agreed that we would be present for any new earthquake or aftershocks. After all, it was our fascination in earthquakes that had stirred our interest.

That night, there was a strange fog of dust that had covered the entire town of Abaddon. It had appeared to be septentrional and would last until the early morning. I was uncertain, if the fog of dust was related to the after effects of the earthquake or something else of a different nature. I had collected a few particles of the dust and had begun to examine them. Professor Weismann had mentioned that the particles seemed to be coming from the area of the old mines. How much did the particles originate from contamination? That was undetermined. I was more concerned with the thought of another earthquake causing substantial damage to the town and area. Even though I was a seismologist, I could not prevent an earthquake. I could only study the genesis and the propagation of seismic waves in geological materials that were related to the earthquakes.

I was awakened the next morning by an aftershock that was one of several that would occur on that day. It would startle me, but I had gradually accustomed myself to its unpredictable effects. It had shaken my bed. That morning, I would be occupied with the examination of the occurrence of the strange beings that had been photographed, coming out from the surface of the ground. I would attempt to have the photographs magnified, so that I could clearly distinguish their unsightly appearances. Once again, I could not fully determine whether or not the images were from some wild beasts or a fanciful concoction. If the hands that were displayed in these images were in fact teratoid and alien, then where did they really come from? A week had passed, as the help from outside had begun the process of rebuilding.

I was told that the person that took the photographs was someone from the town of Abaddon. When I had shared the photographs with Professor Weismann, he had concurred with me that it was still unproven to deduce what images we had been observing. He was willing to come with me to the address of the photographer, who was a local resident by the name of John Williams. When we had reached his residence, he was inside in his studio. We had knocked on his front door, and he had answered. When we had told him about our visit and reason for coming to see him, he was somewhat suspicious. He had wanted to know why we were so interested in the photographs. I had told him that I had seen other photographs before, depicting such unknown creatures that he had photographed.

It was then that he had allowed us to enter and see the photographs in his private studio. He could not describe the absolute nature of the images, yet he was fascinated to know what were our genuine opinions on the subject. After further examination, my thoughts were still inconclusive. It was unclear, whether or not the images were humanoid or beasts in their form. Professor Weismann needed to see the images more closely. He too would ultimately reach the exact conclusion. On the other hand, Mr. Williams had thought that the creatures were not relative to the area. In other words, nothing they were known to the inhabitants of Abaddon, but there was an old legend that had stirred my curiosity.

According to the legend the town of Abaddon was once a miner's town and there were mines in the 1840s. The Spaniards had called the town El Dorado. This had motivated the outsiders to come to the area, hoping to find gold and a quick fortune. Many men had profited from the gold rush, but soon a curse would befall upon the town and a major earthquake would bury the mines forever and kill hundreds of townsfolk. The name was then changed to Abaddon and it had since kept the name, as an abominable reference to the destruction of the mines and a great part of the town also. The earthquake had awaken the demonic souls of hell, who would rise to take the lives of the inhabitants of Abaddon.

It was an unfathomable legend, nevertheless, it was chilling and convincing in its narrative and presentation. Whatever was the true origin of these so-called beings of hell that had manifested with the earthquakes, it was disturbing to know that something comparable to these creatures were appearing in photographs mysteriously. How could something that was terrifying in its essence be plausibly linked to a series of earthquakes? It had seemed absurd, but in the end, it would be the case. I was always told as a child that such a gruesome place like hell was existential. The question that I had pondered was, did it once exist on the Earth. That question was as well shared by Professor Weismann. There was an unimaginative phenomenon that was attached directly to the other phenomena that were the earthquakes. The earthquake in Abaddon had lasted for several minutes.

That evening, another aftershock was felt and it had rattled us. The professor and I had been contemplating the seismic waves of the earthquake that were registered, when the aftershock was heard. Soon our conversation extended to the unexplained images that were on the photographs. Several townsfolk that we had previously spoken to on that afternoon had declared that they too had seen the images of the hands of unnameable creatures reaching out of the ground, during the earthquake. A Mr. Bradley, who was a merchant, had actually found a finger that he claimed was from one of these beings. It was difficult to surmise whether or not it was even humanoid or animal. Professor Weismann had pointed out the fact that it was hairy, but that was not enough to determine anything.

The aftershocks were beginning to become more frequent and fortunately, they would only cause minor damage. There would come a moment, when they would progress into a solid earthquake that could be more destructive than the previous one. If that was to happen, then I could only imagine what the consequences would be in their totality. The inhabitants of Abaddon had been busy with tearing down the buildings that were damaged and picking up the rubble that had laid in their streets. In spite of the recent earthquake, few of them had departed Abaddon. Those that had stayed behind were mostly people that had businesses to rebuild or maintain, but there was a sudden eeriness within their behavior that was uniquely strange to say the least.

Professor Weismann had accompanied me to one of the sights, where one of the supposed creatures from the netherworld had partially emerged. At the sight, I had begun my investigation there. There was a crater that was the size of a vehicle that was still visibly seen, a remnant of the prior earthquake. I had taken photographs of the crater and searched for any plausible traces of this so-called demon. As I was searching, I had discovered a hand that was severed, but it was no ordinary hand. It did not appear to be human. Professor Weismann was not certain, under what group the hand would appertain to its classification. The only thing that could be related to it that was indigenous to the area, would either be a bear or a wildcat. It was impossible to accurately determine the origin of the severed hand.

Thus, we kept the specimen and had returned to the laboratory of Professor Weismann to fully examine the hand, under the lens of a microscope. Once the specimen was magnified, we had dismissed the notion of it being a bear or any other exotic form of wildlife. There was no other viable method to make the determination of the authenticity of the severed hand. The only way was to have a living specimen, which meant a creature that was alive. That was a tall task to ask. We could not predict nor know, if such a being really existed. All we had as transparent evidence were photographs and a severed hand, as our proof. What we did not know was that Abaddon was on the verge of another earthquake, and this time it would be even more lethal and catastrophic.

We were visited by the preacher, who once more had told us that a new earthquake would shortly be arriving, and that it was God's will to punish us for our corrupted and perverted souls. He had reiterated his bold assertion and portentous predication of Armageddon. He had forewarned the townsfolk about the imminent peril and destruction with his claim. I was not certain, whether he was delusional or merely a fanatical man of religion. The preacher had made me cogitate the assumption about a hell on this Earth. I began to read biblical texts from the Bible, the Torah and the Koran, hoping to find references to a hell on Earth. In the end, there was nothing that was truly specific about the theme, but I had begun to imagine, that scenario deep down in my thoughts.

I was interested in examining the previous gold mines that had been destroyed and covered up, by the fallen debris of the earthquake. Perhaps, there we would be capable of unraveling the mystery of Abaddon and its lingering past. Once at the old mines, we began to seek evidence of their presence. The mines were located on a steep mountain ridge that had a ravine beneath it. We had looked around the area for any possible sighting of wild animals, but none were found. Eventually, we had discovered some evidence that the mines were indeed once active and operable. We were aware of the hazards of old explosives, chemicals or the threat of bats with rabies, poisonous snakes or spiders.

It was risky to be removing any of the stones or rocks from the mines, because of their dilapidated state, and the structure of the former open shafts and water-filled pits. I was no expert on mining gold, but I had read that gold still existed in the veins of the abandoned mines. I had once read of the discovery of ancient relics and artifacts of Mayans that were found in an abandoned mine in Mexico. What we mostly found were remnants of minerals not gold. There was evidence that the mine was possibly aligned to the fault that had caused the earthquake. That was my general assumption. It could explain why the town of Abaddon was affected as well. It was probably due to the fact that it was close to the fault.

Another aftershock had occurred, and it was to be the last one before the major earthquake would rock the town of Abaddon with sheer horror. The potential earthquake had begun to haunt me in my lurking nightmares. I would dream about the horrendous event that I had experienced, during the earthquake of San Francisco in the year 1906. I still had recalled as a young adolescent, the horrific images that I had to witness on that memorable day. They were not fond memories to reminisce. I could not foresee what would transpire in Abaddon the following afternoon. Nothing would prepare me for the inscrutable tragedy and horror that had ensued from the earthquake that would destroy the town of Abaddon.

In the morning of the earthquake, I had spent my time with Professor Weismann studying the aftershocks. There was none in that morning, nor was there anything that could have foreshadowed the earthquake to its degree of ruination. I had written a letter to one of my fellow compeers back at the university, relating my experience at Abaddon with the aftershocks. I had omitted the strange images on the photographs, since it would only conjure an unexplained perception of reality. I did discuss the issue of the mines and their proximity with the fault. It was disturbing to know the extent of the fault and how fragile it was when deliberately stirred. Even to the locals of Abaddon, the memory of the earthquake in San Francisco was yet fresh on their minds.

The local residents of Abaddon were very superstitious people who were faithful to the history of the town. Many of them were the exact descendants of the first settlers that were miners or Spaniards. They had many elaborate stories to reveal of the ancestral past of the town. I had heard on several occasions, stories about the origins of California, with its mixture of Native American, Spanish, Mexican and American roots. It was not uncommon to come to these sorts of towns and meet people, who were similar in their beliefs to others. I did perceive that Abaddon was a place that had secrets that were linked to its past. Secrets that remain an enigma and should not be unveiled.

It was precisely at one o'clock, when the earthquake had struck and shaken the core of Abaddon, with a reboation. I was at the laboratory with Professor Weismann. The earthquake had knocked down pieces of furniture and instruments that we were using. It was powerful enough to knock us to the ground. When we could rise to our feet, we could descry the images of buildings fallen down and people on the streets running for safety. It was a chaotic scene, as the ground had shaken and roared. I could see the images of shadowy creatures, from the dark chasm of hell rise onto the surface of the Earth. First it was their hands that were seen rising, then their bodies had crept slowly afterwards, as they climbed over the rubble.

I could not suspect the nature of these demonic beings, nor the gravity of their horror. They were grotesque in appearance and gargantuan in stature. Their eyes were full of a crimson glow that had frightened, and their teeth were sharp-like fangs that pierced the flesh of the locals. They were darkled as sable and had walked on two feet, devouring human flesh and crunching human bones. They were demonic ghouls. One of the ghouls had entered the laboratory and had grabbed Professor Weismann and had snatched him. When I had looked to see where he had been taken it was too late, the ghoul had eaten his flesh and the professor was dead. It had happened so fast that I did not have time to react, nor to save him.

I ran onto the street, as the building that was the laboratory was shaking before my eyes. I had sought shelter in a building that had not collapsed yet. I was horrified by the carnage and the rubble that had piled into a heap of heavy stones. The creatures were ravenous and numerous. I was feckless to stop the madness. A small child and mother had ran to where I was at. She had pleaded with me for help. She had begged me to hide her child. In a matter of seconds, she was grabbed by one of those foul creatures and murdered. The earthquake would not cease to terrorize, nor would the ghastly ghouls. They were everywhere and merciless. I had protected the boy as best as I could. I would take him into the cellar of one of the merchants of the town, whose body had laid listlessly and dead.

I had stayed in the cellar with the child, until the earthquake and the horror of the ghouls had abated. They rode with the puissant winds outside that blew. I could hear the haunting echoes of the wind and screams of the local inhabitants of Abaddon. It had looked like a scene from the daunting end of the world, just as the preacher had once forewarned. I saw the preacher on the street, with his bible in his hand and saying prayers to rid the town of the demons. It would seem that the preacher was the chosen one to save the people and the town from its damnation, but he too in the end would succumb to his gory death. The demons would take him underneath to the abyss of hell. They had torn his flesh off completely. It was sickening.

There was a pervasive fog of particles of dust that had begun to cover the area. It had blinded my vision and the vision of the townspeople. It was hard to see clearly for that period of time. I had concentrated on seeing, as much as I could see. The beasts could be heard, as they walked the streets of Abaddon, in search of their prey that were the local residents. They had shrieked, and their breath was a hot vapor of death. Hot coals had fallen from their bodies, like acid onto the ground. There was nothing that could stop their savagery and onslaught. They were destined to cause havoc upon the town. Not even the holy man that was the preacher could stop them. Whatever evil had been unleashed, it was not coincidental in its nature.

When it was finally over, the madness of the demons and the earthquake had ceased its horror. I had grabbed the child with my hand and took him out of the cellar and onto the street. It was utter ruin and slaughter of death. The horrible beings that were ghouls had returned to the earth from whence they had risen. I did not want for the boy to see such ghastliness in person, but I could not conceal the reality that he had witnessed, which was the destruction of Abaddon. It was so surreal yet real, what had occurred on that unforgettable day. I had left the child in the hands of the townspeople, who had survived the terror. They could better tend to the boy than I. Shock was still visibly seen in their faces.

No one could have realistically expected that this scatheful earthquake would be tenfold times worse than the previous one. The calamity was disproportional, but there were survivors, who had survived the massive earthquake. Each tremor was loud and roared with a ferocious clamor. The beasts of hell had terrorized the town of Abaddon, and they would not be forgotten. They left few clues in the way of actual evidence of their presence, but they did leave a horrific vestige of the ineffable images of what a hell would be like in its comparative notion and realization. The incredible images that I had seen would not be easy to ignore, nor the events that had befallen on the town of Abaddon.

I had gone to the laboratory and had tried to retrieve as much evidence that I could of the earthquake and the creatures. Fortunately, for me, my instruments had survived the earthquake and were still intact. I had expected the worse, with the lability of the fault. There was extensive damage to the laboratory and other rooms, but compared to the other parts of the town, they were minor damage. Instantly, the memories of San Francisco had entered my mind. The only difference was that the town of Abaddon was obliterated. Whatever was left standing was a shell of what it was in its quondam form. That was a sobering thought to have to imagine. As for myself, I had seen sufficiently to know what had destroyed Abaddon.

When I had left the town afterward and returned to the city of San Francisco, I had chronicled the horrendous destruction of the town. It was reported in the newspaper, but there was no mention of unholy beasts devouring the townspeople. Who would believe such illustrated tale of a monstrosity? I would not reveal the actual account of what had occurred in that town. It would be a secret that I would only disclose at my discretion. For some unapparent reason, the reports or photographs of the demonic ones would cease. No one could describe them nor truly know their inherent origin. In the years that had passed, I would attempt to rationalize in my agnition what had happened at that forsaken town, but all I knew for certainty, was that it was an unnatural phenomenon that had destroyed the town of Abaddon, with facility.

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13 Jun, 2023
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