December 4, 2005

Iapetus Saves Manhattan

Chapter Seven

"Vanished?" thought Dr. John Maland to himself. "How can an enormous snow-white monster vanish like that?"

Dr. Maland was gathering all the information about the ultra-yeti that he could get. If he were going to ask Iapetus to help with their problem, he was going to have to know where to send him.

The last report Dr. Maland read was that "Bob the Bumble" vanished somewhere in the Ottawa River basin. If he got into the St. Lawrence Seaway, the young ultra-yeti could end up anywhere along the Great Lakes. He could menace anywhere from upstate New York, to northern Minnesota. That was a long stretch. It was not enough information to give to the mythical creature Iapetus.

"Why am I doing this?" he asked himself. "Iapetus doesn't exist. All of this work for a silly notion. I have finals to score. I shouldn't be wasting my time fetching mythical beasts."

Dr. Maland scratched his head and paced the floor for a few minutes. He did not like all of the pressure that was suddenly put upon him. With this pressure of this sort, he often found himself talking to himself. "On the other hand," he continued. "It would be a great opportunity to see their summoning ritual. It would be worth that."

"But, where do I tell them to go?" he continued in his internal debate. "How do I tell them to send their protector there?"

Dr. Maland paced some more and internally debated himself over the merits of the trip. The deciding factor to go on this journey was the ritual. However, he was going to need to find out where the creature was. Without this information, his trip would be useless. He decided to call Dr. Claude LeFleur to see if he had any more information.

"Hello?" enquired Dr. LeFleur as he answered his phone.

"Hello Claude. This is Dr. John Maland calling."

"Hello John. How are you?"

"Fine thanks. The reason I'm calling is that I'm going to need to know more about the young ultra-yeti's whereabouts. I can't go summon Iapetus without some knowledge of where I'm sending him."

"He vanished in the river. We don't know where he is..."

"You don't have any ideas? You can't even guess where he is going?"

"Your guess is as good as mine. I've been put out of the loop. I now get my information from the same place that you do."

"I'm sorry. OK then, I guess I will talk to you later."

"I'm sorry too. Thanks for your help on this."

"Sure thing. Good bye Claude."

"Talk to you later John."

"That wasn't much help," John thought to himself. Then he realized it did not really matter where to send the creature. "This is a mythical beast! I'm only here to see the ritual. It isn't like he's real or anything. This trip isn't going to affect anything."

"So, where do I send him?" John continued with his internal debate. "I shouldn't make it too hard. Something easy. I know. I'll send him up the Hudson River. New York should be easy to find!"

Dr. Maland created a map of the eastern U.S. He made sure that the Iapetian Island was included. That way, he could direct the natives on where to send Iapetus.

"That is..." Dr. Maland continued. "If they wish to do us this favor."

John gathered up his supplies and filled his sailboat. His finals were going to have to wait. His research was going to come first this time. His students would understand.

Dr. Maland sailed into the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, and did not have trouble. He arrived at the island, and he was greeting in the usual fashion. It was an unscheduled visit, but it appeared that they expected him to come. A couple of the Iapetians met him at the beach as he arrived.

He asked to be taken to the tribal leaders. He wanted to initiate the plea for help as soon as possible. There was no need wasting time. After his meeting, the village came to life. They agreed to ask their deity for help.

The preparations began on the beach. There were two massive carved pillars sunk deeply on the beach. They almost looked like two highly tattooed legs sticking out of the sand.

Between these pillars, they began digging a deep trench. The natives lined the trench with palm leaves. Once the trench was fully lined with leaves, they began filling it up with fruits of all types.

The native trees produced plenty of fruits. It was a major element of the Iapetian diet. They were using their excess as an offering to Iapetus their god. "This is pretty standard sacrifice," Dr. Maland noted. "It is generous of them to perform their ceremony for someone else's benefit."

Once the Iapetians had filled the pit, they built a fire farther up the beach. Around the fire, they placed their drumming equipment. "They are going to use dance and song to bring their deity to them," Dr. Maland continued in his notes. "I hope I can follow the ceremony as I assume it will be in their native language."

"When the sun touches the distant waters the ceremony will begin." Dr. Maland learned from the tribal leaders.

Just as the sun began to set, the drumming began. The islanders began their chants. They were chanting the word for "join us" in their language. It was a very hypnotic chant. The drumbeat was very deep and rhythmic. It was as if the entire island shook with the beat of the music.

After several minutes of drumming and chanting, it stopped. From a nearby hut, out stepped a Priestess in ceremonial garb. She had a dress made from woven leaf fibers. They had taken the fibers and made a thread of them. They took this thread and wove it into an intricate cloth. It was surprisingly strong and soft. The cloth was very time consuming to create, and they used it only in ceremonial clothing.

The Priestess began dancing closer and closer to the pillars. The drummers played softly. She was gyrating and waving her hands in a fashion similar to a hula. "It is very reminiscent of Polynesian dancing," Dr. Maland wrote in his notebook.

She danced closer and closer to the pillars on the beach. The drummers played louder and louder. A rhythmic pulse began pounding and pounding throughout the beach. The entire party was rocking back and forth with the beat. She got closer and closer to the pit. When she reached the side of the pit at the farthest point from the sea, it all stopped. Dr. Maland noted that the rhythms and the sound were very hypnotic. At every point when the drumming stopped, he felt himself jerk.

The Priestess dropped to her knees at the mouth of the pit. She began bowing to the sea. Up and down she went. The drummers let her proceed in silence. After a few bows in silence, she sat on her knees and began her song. Dr. Maland struggled with the language, but he wrote his notes in short hand. He tried to get as much as he could understand, and this is what he noted.

Oh oh great Iapetus
Thankful are each of us
We give you this offering
On this fine day of spring

Oh oh kind Iapetus
You are so good to us
Such a kind protector
We hate to ask of ya

Oh oh fine Iapetus
You are very generous
My sister has a friend
Help could you send

Oh oh good Iapetus
Our love is strong and such
Trouble is in the north
We ask you to sally forth

Oh oh strong Iapetus
We count on you so much
The fruits of your island
Are here for your hand

Oh oh hungry Iapetus
If it is not to too much fuss
Come snack on our beach
You tongue can take what's in reach

Oh oh our Iapetus
You are strong and stuff
We shant forget-tie
Your slaying the ultra-yeti

Dr. Maland had difficulty understanding the rest of the chant. He just did not have enough grasp of the language. However, it did sound as if she was inviting Iapetus for a date. Much of what he translated sounded very silly to him, and he tried to take the ceremony seriously. However, occasionally he had to suppress a laugh.

At one point, he was suppressing a laugh when the waves around the beach became very choppy. They looked very different from a regular tide coming in. When the strange waves began reaching the shore at a regular interval, the priestess stopped her chant. She sat in a prostrated position and the drums began playing softly again.

Out of the corner of his eye, Dr. Maland thought he spotted something in the water. The darkness was growing slowly, and he thought he was imagining things. The hypnotic drumbeats slowly grew in intensity. Dr. Maland thought he saw something in the water again. "Are some whales passing by?" Dr. Maland asked himself silently.

The steady drumbeat became louder and louder. Dr. Maland felt himself swaying with the beat like the natives. Another passing image from the sea caught Dr. Maland's attention. "Am I hypnotized?" he asked himself. "Does this ceremony create some sort of mass hypnotic field that causes ships to run aground?"

As the intensity of the drums grows, the Priestess begins her dance again. The sea becomes dark. The irregular waves continue but the water becomes white with foam. Off the coast, the water is very dark.

Suddenly the drums stop. Dr. Maland is startled again, and notices the creature. The enormous lizard-like creature emerges from the water and consumes the offering in one gulp. "Iapetus is real!" Dr. Maland screams. With that rush of emotion, Dr. Maland fell unconscious.

Posted by deg at December 4, 2005 8:54 PM

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