CHAPTER 5: THE BLACK SCORPION
I am not weak, thought Mabus.
I am strong, and Hell has made me so.
As he stood on the balcony of the Chamber gazing out at his city he gripped the railing and felt the solid stones beneath his feet. I am solid, he thought. I am durable. I am not a wet lump of tissue and nerve endings bottled in a glass womb, I am free. I am whole. I am strong.
And Hell has made me so.
Mabus turned to Groethuis.
“Forgive me Doctor.” he said “I was somewhere else.”
“Where, if I might be so bold to ask?”
“Out there.” he said, stretching a spindle-like finger out to where the line of the storm broke and blurred the red horizon. “He’s out there waiting for us. Out there is Dis, the infernal city. Pandaemonium, where the devils hold council in golden chambers. Out there is Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea…Out there is Judecca. Out there is the Black Throne. And out there…”
“Out there is a little girl looking for her father.”
He fell silent.