What follows is a series of diary entries, found on a voice recorder in an envelope delivered to BlogTarkin headquarters early Monday morning. In addition to the recorder was a file. The author is unknown.
I found the file in the stacks between the dusty atlases of forgotten continents. It was devoid of dust, a rarity among books in the Miskatonic extension school. The only people generally back here were library assistants, dutifully storing duplicates of soon to be forgotten theses.
Inside the file was only news-clippings, a few pictures, and hastily scribbled notes.
It was titled the Pyongyang Report. From the fragments inside was an entire alternate history of the hermit kingdom. It hinted at the aftermath of an existential war, not against the rest of the world, but at something lurking deep within it.
By all appearances, this war ended in 1972.
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake
The shadows lengthen
The victory was unheralded. It took decades, but official policy went skyward. It looked like an arms race. The rockets went upward. Satellites cruised the borders of space.
Yet space was never the destination. By all other accounts the collapse of North Korean rockets was an engineering failure. The file suggested differently. This was a concerted supply strategy. The goal was to get the parts under water. The last clipping from the file:
Pyongyang has admitted the controversial launch ended in failure and is investigating what caused it to fall into the sea. – ABC
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
I kept the file. It’s newness intrigued, and it fell into the longer pattern of wars on the peninsular. Somewhere in Kim Il Sung’s past, a deal was made. Nothing like the regular deals of a politician, arms and alliances for ideology. This involved something else. An emissary emerged, in the dark days of Japanese occupation. There are no details of the meeting except that it happened. Before the emissary Il-Sung’s forces existed only in a stage of fear, armed and hiding. Afterwards, they won the battle that built Il Sung’s career. History only records a strange caravan of fishing boats out to sea, all single file, all one way.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Whatever bargain was struck that day, it was paid in full in 1972. Whatever chance the Democratic Republic had at a normal existence extinguished that year. With the victory came a new cult, born from the nether gods. Founders became gods. The hermit kingdom became a workshop for hidden masters. Hands worked to the bone and bark stripped from trees. The materials of the land and the people worked raw to prepare the world for an underwater overlord
It was a compelling theory. Stuck in my research position, there was no way to get closer to the truth.
And then this happened:
On Thursday, four Scud missiles with a shorter range were fired into the sea off North Korea’s eastern coast –CNN
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die though, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
I’m sending this from the post office in Kuala Lumpur. I have no idea if my investigations will yield anything. My last additions to the file indicate that the King Below is hungry. Hungry for new people.