Wednesday, July 13, 2016

With Cthulhu in Antarctica

How could it be that the ancient horror is revealed in plain sight and yet the world is not capable of recognizing their peril, capable of realizing that even now the Elder Things stir in the frigid black wastes and that Cthulhu must laugh at the endless stupidity of the biped mammals.

The people of the world are so gullible. They are told that one or possibly two scientists have gotten suddenly deathly ill in the remote wastes of Antarctica, but we are not told what has happened to them. We only know that two men must be withdrawn from the icy wastes at great risk. Only one kind of airplane can make the hazardous journey to Antarctica in this season, the Twin Otter. Two of them have been sent, one for backup, and one to make the complete journey.

They have arrived, and the men will be withdrawn.

But what evil have the experienced? What are they not telling us? I remind all who have the willingness to brave this knowledge to reread those paragraphs from near the end of At the Mountains of Madness:

I have said that Danforth refused to tell me what final horror made him scream out so insanely—a horror which, I feel sadly sure, is mainly responsible for his present breakdown. We had snatches of shouted conversation above the wind’s piping and the engine’s buzzing as we reached the safe side of the range and swooped slowly down toward the camp, but that had mostly to do with the pledges of secrecy we had made as we prepared to leave the nightmare city. Certain things, we had agreed, were not for people to know and discuss lightly—and I would not speak of them now but for the need of heading off that Starkweather-Moore Expedition, and others, at any cost. It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth’s dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.

All that Danforth has ever hinted is that the final horror was a mirage. It was not, he declares, anything connected with the cubes and caves of echoing, vaporous, wormily honeycombed mountains of madness which we crossed; but a single fantastic, daemoniac glimpse, among the churning zenith-clouds, of what lay back of those other violet westward mountains which the Old Ones had shunned and feared. It is very probable that the thing was a sheer delusion born of the previous stresses we had passed through, and of the actual though unrecognised mirage of the dead transmontane city experienced near Lake’s camp the day before; but it was so real to Danforth that he suffers from it still.

He has on rare occasions whispered disjointed and irresponsible things about “the black pit”, “the carven rim”, “the proto-shoggoths”, “the windowless solids with five dimensions”, “the nameless cylinder”, “the elder pharos”, “Yog-Sothoth”, “the primal white jelly”, “the colour out of space”, “the wings”, “the eyes in darkness”, “the moon-ladder”, “the original, the eternal, the undying”, and other bizarre conceptions; but when he is fully himself he repudiates all this and attributes it to his curious and macabre reading of earlier years. Danforth, indeed, is known to be among the few who have ever dared go completely through that worm-riddled copy of the Necronomicon kept under lock and key in the college library.

At the Mountains of Madness

Washington Post Article About Rescue

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