“You and I are about to be enemies.”
-The Handsome Man
12 August 2021: The Present
The old man with the older walking stick enters the crusty old HH and says to Felix Sand (still annoyed that the Christ bag, now smelling of mold, but no one but him seems to notice) that he is the sword and will be the sword, but that first he must tell a story, which catches Felix off-guard enough so that the old man mistakes his stunned silence for a hearing him out.
“The Giant’s Causeway in Ireland was built by a warrior named Finn McCool, or Fion mac Cumhail, as he was called then, and the reason he built it was so that he could walk to Scotland to fight a man that he’d decided was his enemy, Benandonner. He built it all the way across, and then, seeing how physically large Benandonner was, he swaddled himself and told his wife, who he’d brought along to see his conquest, to tell Benandonner that Finn was actually Finn’s infant son.
Benandonner, seeing how large the what he thought was an infant was, destroyed the Causeway so that Fion, who surely had to be a giant, couldn’t get to him. This relieved Fion-slash-Finn.
The point being that sometimes a combination of cowardice and the emergency cleverness that cowardice brings out in us all wins out.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“Nothing, that’s just a story I like.”
This is an event that nothing in his life has equipped Felix to even come close to dealing with.
“Listen to me, Felix. What’s about to happen is something that nothing in your life has equipped you to deal with, so you have to listen to me.”
Felix’s thought right now being, at least it’s interesting.
“Someone is going to come in here, Felix, and try to take that bag. It is very important that you don’t allow anyone to take that take-out bag. Do you understand?”
“Whose is it?” Humoring him.
“You will know. Actually, you might be better off just giving it to me to hang on to.”
“You see? Right there, just now, you failed. Don’t do that again.”
“He will try to bet you for it. As compelling as the offer will be, and it will be the greatest offer you’ve ever received in your entire life-“
“There’s people in line.”
“There are people in line. And you can’t take the offer. Do you hear me?”
“Now give the bag to me.”
“I guess not.”
“At least it’s interesting.”
3 January 2012: The Present
Then something very old, like an emotional muscle that hasn’t been used in a while, pumps or comes unglued or something active, and Lilly says “Daddy,” which Doc Earlyon’s always hated being called, except for in this case, and he responds with kind of a “well, well, well” type look.
“So you finally made it.”
Which is a statement that causes Lilly some significant confusion, which registers as a kind of expresionlessness on her very own favorite face.
“Although, of course, you have no idea what I’m talking about. Walk with me.”
The corridor that they walk down seems to stretch impossibly in directions that are somehow stranger underground. Lilly wonders when this was excavated and how no one in charge that she’s ever spoken to knows about it.
“Lilly, every single moment that has occurred in what you call your life has led you to this moment. And now this one. And now this one. But that’s not the point. The point is that it’s not a coincidence that you’re here. The point is that by attempting to go as far away as you possibly could, you’ve ended up right here, in front of elevator doors that open to reveal yours truly. Now I’m not sure what it is, but I know it’s not a coincidence. Because you were hired for McMurdo literally just as our project was heading in a direction that needed you.”
“Project.” At this point Lilly is simply intoning the same words back at good old Doc Earlyon, out of a combination of several types of confusion.
“Of course, you still don’t know what I’m talking about, and that’s because you scrub toilets for a living. But here’s what you need to know. There has been a very recent discovery regarding both energy sources and the application of different clays and metals. I’m not at liberty to tell you the theories behind the underlying science, because they’re just theories at this point, but the scientists have given it the name The Gehenna Source, which I think is kind of melodramatic.”
Lilly had been, up to this point, under the impression that McMurdo was mostly and environmental research facility, with occasional rocket launches.
“But, because of the circumstances and form of the discovery, we haven’t really been able to glean a whole lot from it. There was an incident.”
Lilly just now notices that her father is limping. “What do you mean, the form of the discovery?”
“The simplest way for me to answer that question would be for me to show it to you.”
Doc Earlyon enters what seems to be a pretty complicated PIN-type code into a keypad by a door, which unlocks it, and then motions with his hands for her to enter before she does, which has always been a habit of his that’s bugged her. He was always letting everyone go ahead of him. The door unlocks with more of a whoosh sound than a traditional hard-k type unlocking sound.
And the door brings them into a chamber and what she sees is essentially a giant either rock-shaped head or head-shaped rock, and then as she follows Doc Daddy, who is moving closer and motioning for her to do the same, she sees that the head is on top of a body which extends very far downward, that they are on a railed-off walkway that is itself very high up within this chamber.
The big thing is the color of clay all over, and if Lilly knew what a golem was and not just the idea of a golem that’s what she’d describe it as: a giant golem. She hears voices and sees small shapes moving around the thing’s feet-equivalents, and she realizes that they’re people, and that’s when she fully comprehends the magnitude of this thing. The thing makes voices small, is what it does. It makes ideas and voices and things that don’t even have a size dimension seem small.
Doctor Earlyon gives his small voice some room: “this is what we’re calling the Nephilim project. That also sounds melodramatic, but I named it that so I like it, so don’t criticize it. This is a giant, as you can see, with some kind of internal power source that we can’t identify or, as of yet, find a way to utilize outside of itself. It is, as far as we can tell, some kind of organic metal clay, though we haven’t been able to break off a piece for analysis, so we could have a new element on our hands. More probably we have several.
“Another thing we discovered is that it is a thing that must be piloted for it to do anything. There’s a cranial opening that it can be entered with, and once inside, the pilot can control the subject. It’s a complicated system that will take some getting used to.”
“What happened to your leg?”
“We’re calling it Rei 1, and hopefully with your help we’ll be able to replicate the Nephilim.”
“You named it after Mom?”
“That I did.”
 Or Golem, a rock/ground type Pokemon.