Vote for Mithras, part three
The Atlantis Codex
Professor Ivan Harrington was crazy. Everybody knew it. The man was a certifiable, off the level – off the fucking planet – nutjob.
Of course, for Alfred Almosov, there was no point dwelling on that fact. After all, he’d followed Harrington to Greenland. By boat, of all things. And, then, he’d followed him deep inland to some horrific, frigid, moonscape left by a receding glacier. Almosov sat bundled in more layers than he cared to count, staring at the corrugated sides of the temporary shelter, sipping tea. Following Harrington felt something like traipsing into the Amazon with Percy Fawcett.
But he wasn’t following Harrington. He was following the tablet. What the media was calling the “Atlantis Codex.” Clever fucking journalists. And, perhaps, more correct than they imagine. The Atlantis Codex changed the nature of human history… But it was only the tip of the iceberg, if one believed in Harrington’s theories. And if one was just as crazy.
Almosov grunted to himself. Yeah. He was crazy. Just shut up and accept the fact.
“Just the facts, ma’am.” He muttered to his teacup.
The media also believed that the Codex was a hoax. If not perpetuated by Harrington himself (it wasn’t, Almosov knew) then by some ancient prankster. Another Voynich Manuscript. Though, as Harrington liked to remind his detractors, the jury was still out on that one, as well.
Here are the facts (ma’am): In 2009, an amateur archeologist quite literally stumbled across the Atlantis Codex while on a “working holiday” at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey – the wildly complex temple built in the 10th millennium BC which some used as an example of some forgotten ancient civilization, and the plain old nutters called the Garden of Eden. The whole thing was intentionally buried in 8000 BC which, yes, is similar to the storyline for the Stargate film. Which Almosov said at a press conference. And which resulted in a terrible silence from both the media and Harrington.
The archeologist — his name was Davidoff – cashed in on the find, went insane, and murdered his wife in a housefire in 2011. Which is entirely unrelated to the Atlantis Codex, but it’s (a) how Harrington got it and (b) amusing, because Davidoff was a cunt.
Harrington treated the Codex less as spectacle and more as science fact. He worked with every expert he could dig up and, ultimately, pulled a Joseph Smith. After a year in a primitive woodland cabin in Montana, he emerged with a “translation.” He said it came in a dream. And then he said he “reverse-engineered” it from Sumerian. The latter he said to the media, the former he confessed to his friends. Regardless, he was now on a mission. First to the Yukon and now to Greenland.
And here’s the thing – he’s right. The glacier that covered the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada had receded dramatically. And, there, after having been entombed for most of human history, artifacts emerged. This was happening around the world. Things in Canada, Siberia, and elsewhere that shouldn’t have been there were being revealed. The reason Harrington has funding to take everyone to Greenland and fucking murder them is because he’s not alone in his findings. It’s not just spear points and pottery turning up. There are clear signs of a new and undiscovered civilization.
But why weren’t there ruins elsewhere? The finds being made as the ice tombs vanished made Gobekli Tepe look like a fairly new McDonalds.
Nobody quite had an answer for that. And Harrington didn’t care. He was following the Codex. He was following some mad dream that he’d had after eating something poisonous at his stupid monk’s cabin. And Almosov was along for the ride. Probably because he was bored. Except now, in what seemed to be a lifeless valley in Greenland, he was still bored.
So tea. Number crunching. Charting and graphing. Waiting for the interns to get frostbite or vanish into the snowy darkness. That was life here on Atlantis. Even Harrington had started to mope. Until one day he burst through the door, letting in sweeping tendrils of cold air, and shouted incoherently before racing back outside.
Almosov, bundled against the endless night, stumbled out with two of the interns to Harrington’s position, where he was screeching breathlessly into the walkie talkie. What lay waiting? First a cave, then a dank and very cold passage, and finally a little box canyon seemingly scooped out of the mountains… And the Temple of the Old Gods. Intact, magnificent, and seemly constructed in a way that defied explanation.
Professor Ivan Harrington was no longer crazy.
* * *
Flash forward. Let’s leave Greenland behind. We all know about the temple, and the story of Harrington and Almosov are a subject for another tale. Let’s go, now, to 2021. In the White House is Robert Webb, a populist liberal who wasn’t elected to office. He took over when President Gwinn died shortly after taking office. Webb had himself a full term to play with, and he was the man behind the Old Gods Act.
Oh, yes. Sorry. The Old Gods. In Harrington’s frozen temple, as we know, lay the remains of several creatures that defied explanation. Skeletons as alien as the first dinosaur bones must have been. That’s where Dr. Preston St. James comes in. A DNA scientist best described as an amoral savant. He extracted DNA from the remains, he experimented, and he became the Father of the Gods. (Almosov referred to Jurassic Park during a press conference in which both he and Harrington condemned St James’ “ludicrous experiments’).
It wasn’t dinosaurs that St. James created. It was Mithras. A ten foot tall, bull-headed, bipedal beast bursting forth fully grown from the laboratory.
The IQ charts were off the scale. The aptitude tests mind-blowing. From day one, the world was child’s play for Mithras.
That’s where things got a little dark. For many people, Mithras represented the smashing of religion. He became, for lack of a better term, a new Messiah. Proof that the old religions not only existed – but were based on truly supreme, living beings. Supernatural no more.
St. James was on board with the whole deal. He bought into the Father of the Gods title and became, for all intents and purposes, the first high priest of the Cult of Mithras. Harrington retreated to his cabin – a surprise for many. He condemned St. James, Mithras, and just about all of humanity. When next he appeared in the headlines, it was when they hauled his body out of those bloody woods in 2032.
Almosov also avoided the Cult of Mithras, though he was less outspoken about it. He’s retired and not answering questions (or his door or his phone) at a third floor apartment in Puerto de Santa Maria, near Cadiz. A journalist once caught up with him on the beach and was caned nearly to death by Almosov’s hickory walking stick. So, you know, word to the wise in case you get any ideas.
By far, the most valued member of the Cult of Mithras was Bob Webb. He became enamored with Mithras in 2023. Here’s where things get hinky. 2024 comes around. It’s election time. Most of the country, up till then, wanted to get Webb out. But Mithras went on the campaign trail and, let’s be honest, how can you beat that? Webb won himself a second term, during which his crack team of spinmasters assisted in the creation of the Old Gods Act. Mithras became a US Citizen. And the Cult grew.
“And here we are today,” Peter told the young reporter from The Independent Voice.
“And what are you doing next, Mr. Willingham?”
“I’m going to walk down to Authentic Pho and get drunk.”
“No more campaign work?”
Peter smiled, then left the reporter. After all, he had a meeting to get ready for…
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