A brilliant academic uncovers a cosmic plot fomented by the NotBeSpeak, demonic beings who exist beyond space and time.
Aided by the mortal corruption that caused Ireland’s banking collapse, the NotBeSpeak plan to bring about the end of the world by initiating Terminal Transit.
After the academic’s suicide the only people left to stand between the world and the NotBeSpeak are an elderly professor and a young child.
The next evening and Mac sat thinking in his chair. Inteachán sat beside him waiting. The coals in the grate cracked and whispered. Menace clung to the room like a funeral drape. Mac thought some more and then, just when she thought he had fallen asleep, Mac leaned over and placed his hand gently on her arm. He smiled.
‘I have to ask something of you, Inteachán,’ said Mac tenderly. ‘I have to ask you to do something that I don’t want to ask you to do. Your father made me swear that if the worst came to the worst that I was to look out for you and treat you as the grand-daughter I never knew.’ Mac shifted uncomfortably.
‘I hate myself for asking but I am too old to go and I really don’t think that we can trust anyone else with something as vast and secret as this so it will have to be you.’ In Mac’s troubled mind Inteachán was capable of anything. He just knew she was. Inteachán looked up from her tears. Her small face was red and smeared. Everything was far too much for her to bear.
‘How can I possibly help?’ she asked the old man. ‘What do you want me to do?’ Inteachán began to sob but Mac did not react. His mind was made up and nothing was going to deter him.
‘It has come to my attention,’ said Mac, ‘that the Flute of Thelema has recently been rediscovered and is now residing in this country.’
‘The Flute of Flelema?’ asked Inteachán. ‘What ever is that?’
Mac nodded. He loved nothing more than having an audience, even if it was only a grieving child. Sibeal used to be his sounding post and though she used to tease him when his ‘sermons’ got too much he knew she really loved to hear him speak, or at least he thought she did.
‘It was in 1923 that a certain Raoul Loveday commissioned a local silversmith from the port of Cefalu to craft an ornamental flute which he intended to offer as a tribute to the noted occultist Aleister Crowley who had recently established his infamous Abbey of Thelema in the vicinity.’ Mac smiled wryly.
‘Sadly, however, Raoul drank from a local spring and succumbed to enteric fever before the flute was completed. Another version of the same story suggests that he died after drinking the blood of a cat. Either way Crowley was forced to leave his Abbey that same year and so the Flute became another tale surrounding the legendary occultist and his life.’
Mac’s smile ended and the agitation in his voice began to rise. The menace descended lower now.
‘It has long been the predilection for billionaire rock stars and other hapless creatures to collect occult and esoteric memorabilia – cloaks, spell books, wands, papers, powders, vials, grimoires, goblets and other such gruesome gimlets. Most of these misguided creatures simply place their collections in vaults or leave them laying around their mansions to be worn on special occasions or passed around at dinner parties for the pleasure of their guests.’ Mac snorted his displeasure at such behaviour.
‘However, and according to your late father’s intelligence, it appears that Bartholomew Hamson, the biggest rock star this country has ever produced, and known to the world as Bart, has recently acquired the long-lost Flute of Thelema. At midnight tomorrow Bart and his band will be performing their latest homecoming concert in front of 80, 000 adoring people at Croke Park and apparently, at the climax, so your father understood, Bart intends to play the Flute.’ Mac looked worried again.
‘At this stage I have no way of knowing why Bart would want to do this but it clearly cannot simply be in the interests of popular composition.’ He looked at Inteachán. ‘I need you to go backstage, locate the Flute and prevent it from being played.’
Inteachán had seen the posters around town; four men wearing skullcaps and too-large sunglasses, cowboy boots and leather waistcoats. Even though she couldn’t name any of their songs, Inteachán knew just how much this band meant to so many people. Mac continued talking.
‘Given the nature of the Flute’s origins, the site chosen for it’s debut and your father’s findings, I firmly believe that the sound of this infernal instrument is somehow intended to engage directly with the NotBeSpeak.’
‘But what’s so special about Croke Park?’ asked Inteachán. She placed another piece of bread on her fork and began to toast it on the fire as Mac spoke.
‘There is an ancient ley line called St. Michael which extends out from Ireland into Europe and then the Middle East. This line intersects with various sacred sites dedicated to the saint himself. There are various amplification points along this line, including Skellig Michael, the so-called holy rock that stands in the Atlantic Ocean. Unbeknown to everyone but a few, Croke Park is also another amplification point.’ Inteachán felt a slight shadow descend.
‘If the Flute is played at such a point of amplification then who knows what will happen next.’ Mac put down his plate. ‘As if that wasn’t enough, Croke Park also stands in Ballybough and Ballybough is one of the darkest parts of Dublin.’ Mac looked at Inteachán.
‘There is an old cemetery in Ballybough where the City’s undesirables used to be buried. Thieves, robbers, highwaymen and suicide victims, hence the name, the Suicide Plot.’
‘The worst thing of all,’ continued Mac, ‘was that each corpse had a stake driven through its heart so that they couldn’t further bother the residents.’