After a Baphometic Cult tried to recreate their God, they were horribly surprised when Ho-Ip, a lovable lump of questionable sentience, came out. Baphomet was particularly amused and made Ho-Ip his new vessel. But the company that created the technology Ho-Ip was made from is planning something in the shadows.
The clouds rolled lazily across the high rise windows of Magnacroft Industries. But hundreds of thousands of feet below them, deep below the basement of the mirrored tower, the watchers were celebrating.
“How goes it?” asked a uniformed Chameleon like creature after exiting the vacuum of the airlock and entering the low ceilinged chamber. “They just shipped out.” replied the equine thing at the console overlooking the shallow sunken portion of the room hosting three, recently emptied, stasis tubes. “You got what the doctor ordered?” it asked, spinning its chair around to face his colleague. “Double triple on a raft, paint it red and let it swim?” asked the reptile, holding the wrapped sandwich out to the technician. He took it graciously from his friend and began to devour it hungrily.
“You’re disgusting, you know that Zascht-Qom?” chuckled the chameleon as he sat down with his own revolting concoction.
That was when the wasp in the janitor’s smock saw his chance. He pulled his cap down over his face to hide his tattoos, and pushed the cart through the double doors, and into the room where Zascht-Qom and his companion were enjoying their meager late dinner. Luckily any notice they took of him was quickly overpowered by their repulsive sandwiches. Sweat coated his hands as he pushed his cleaning trolley into the elevator. He was nearly home free. On the main floor, he tried to look absent minded as he mopped an area he had made sure had already been covered by the real cleaning crew, so as to avoid any of them noticing him, but inside his mind was racing. He slowly made his way to the janitor’s closet, mopping the odd floor, and scrubbing the odd bathroom so as to not arouse suspicion, but as soon as he got there, the smock and cap hit the floor as he leapt into the ceiling vent he had entered hours earlier. It had felt like so much longer. He crawled through the constricting air vents, until he was back on the streets. The van then flashed its lights at him and he climbed into the passenger’s seat. After they were a few miles away the driver asked “Did you get it?” The wasp nodded and allowed his esophagus to expand for the first time in what felt like forever, and their prize forced its way out of his mouth. He began to gasp and cough violently as the canister hit the floor. “You’ve done a service to us all, my brother.” He turned to face his companion. His tattoos shone in the red light looming over them from the traffic signal. “His will be done.” replied the wasp. “His will be done.”
Three Years Later
“Sir, it is ready.” a confident bull-like man in a dark robe said as he cracked the obnoxiously tall doors into the office. Pi-Oh the Archdeacon turned around in his chair, his face cloaked entirely by his hood. His eyes glowed the same unfeeling red they always had, but his antennae twitched excitedly. “He is ready, young one. My son is ready.” His monotone voice betrayed the obvious excitement in the way he scuttled out of the room. Hooded heads bowed as Pi-Oh entered the chamber, at the center of which was a glowing stasis tube with an infant Ohpinian inside. “Soon, loyal followers, your heads will never again be bowed not to me, but rather to the messiah: Pi-Bes: The true reincarnation of Baphomet!” With that, Some hooded Acolytes began the procedure that their insectoid brother had stolen from Magnacroft those three years ago. White light from the tube flooded the torchlit room as the splicing procedure began. Pi-Oh began to laugh. Whether from joy or maniacal devotion none could have told. When the light cleared the tube was full of smoke. “And now the moment has arrived: Our lord has returned!” Pi-Oh then opened the cannister and lifted the infant messiah for all to see. “GraAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaGggggggHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhHHHH” wailed Baphomet’s new vessel. Though none could see it, the triumphant smile faded from Pi-Oh’s face as he turned his newborn around. The gene splicing had been a failure. Pi-Bes had been brought into the world with the desired Goat-like appendages, but the parts of him that were Ohpinian were horribly deformed. His eyes were misshapen and facing opposite directions. His body was a sickly pale green with the texture of rotting fruit. There was not the slightest spark of sentience, sapience, or understanding of any kind. Pi-Oh threw him to the floor, where he lay motionless. “Get that abomination out of my sight. This is no Baphomet. This is no Pi-Bes.” The door to his study slammed behind him as the entire cult was forced to watch the mutant child they had created lay face down on the sandstone floor. The dejected wasp then cradled the misshapen child that had been his life’s work. He couldn’t simply toss the poor abomination. No. A proper burial was all that could be said for the-- it was still breathing. The thing was alive. “It’s alive.” exhaled the wasp, just barely audible even to himself in the still silent chamber. “Pi-Bes is alive!” he said, just loud enough for the followers to hear, careful not to let Pi-Oh hear in the other room, “Perhaps… Perhaps he truly is blessed with Baphomet’s presence!” A follower from the crowd laughed at the remark. “Baphomet? Pi-Bes? Pi-Bes was the Archdeacon’s fantasy. That thing is the opposite of everything Pi-Oh needed. It is more of a Ho-Ip than anything. And Baphomet? This thing is about as much Baphomet as the roadkill it was made from!” Get rid of him Ba-Zen. It’s not even fit for sacrifice.” The engineers were already deconstructing the stasis tube, and those that weren’t on the production end were begging Baphomet for forgiveness of their foolishness. It was midday when the van reached a point deep enough in the meadows that they began to melt into forests. Ba-Zen opened the back and picked up the pitiful creature. It couldn't be reared as a child, and giving it to a zoo or something would raise far too many questions. At least out here it had a chance, however minuscule.
“Here you go Pi-Bes”, consoled Ba-Zen. The name sounded ridiculous even to Ba-Zen’s more sympathetic ears. “I suppose you were always Ho-Ip after all. Not too bad a sentence I’d say. Being the opposite of Pi-Oh. Reverent man, if a bit sour at times. All the time...”
At that point Ba-Zen noticed that Ho-Ip the goat boy had been completely sedentary in all of the time he’d been talking to him. Standing completely still right where he had been set down. Realizing that it was futile to talk to the thing, he patted it on the head and drove off. Ho-Ip turned around on its cloven hooves and watched as the only Ohpinian he had ever interacted with left him in his rearview mirror, and felt nothing. He began an aimless journey into the shade of a nearby tree. He tottered out into the light again and looked up at the sun. The searing light caused pain, but he knew not how to remedy it. The pain only grew in intensity until the entire sky went black. A single bolt of vermillion lightning struck the lost soul and all was right again. Ho-Ip then waddled on into the forest, not realizing, that he had fulfilled his purpose. Within his misshapen goat-like form now rested the spirit of Baphomet, god of Balance.
Magnacroft’s results were vastly different. Their team of experienced geneticists had worked round the clock, and now they were ready to try again.
Zascht-Qom sent the three stasis tubes into the next room. “Well. that’s three batches done. You lookin’ to celebrate?”
“Pfft. Like we’ll have time. You know how this works. Give ‘em a minute and they’ll have three new ones in, and another year of our lives go to “project divine right”.
“Speak of the devil” grumbled Zascht-Quom as a small bell rang to signify that a new batch was ready. “I think they’re losing their edge up there, they’ve not put any samples in the tray.”
The chameleon spun around in his chair and rolled over to where his colleague was examining the empty phials. “You weren’t looking hard enough, there’s something in that one there.” he chided, gesturing to a cloudy white test tube.
“Huh.” Quom grunted as he picked it up. He’d have sworn nothing was there a second ago. At his touch the gas turned pale blue and the pressure change created by the heat his hand had created in the glass caused the top to fly off and the gas to fill the room. When the cleaning crew arrived, they found them dead on the floor with their hands on their necks and their faces wearing expressions of pure and unadulterated agony. The janitors simply dragged the bodies away without a word to places unknown.