Trevor finds himself standing in an underwater city of strange spires and cobbled streets made from an odd black stone, the streets of this maddening city are covering with dead rust red sea creatures, and the ground seems to slope gently downwards; following the natural gradient, Trev arrives in a sort of town square that seems to be built around a large black hole or pit at the centre of it. Reaching down he picks up a stone and throws it into the hole, a few moments later there is a roaring sound and a dull red light shines from out from the bottom of the ravine; Trevor shudders as a cold sensation seems to play about the stump of his missing arm.
Looking around in panic for signs of help the settled dirt and silt seem to suggest no-one has been in the city for years but as he moves away from the pit Trevor spots a set of tracks, interspersed with other footprints, some barefoot, others almost skeletal, some modern shoe tracks; he is about to follow when he hears the roar again and a bright red light shines from behind him, a sensation of unhealthy warmth becomes noticable at his back. Screaming Trevor runs forward, risking a glance over his shoulder, he sees a huge amorphous black blob, with three pinpricks of red light, like three red eyes, shining out of it – the light from the eyes seems to bore into his very soul.
Deny is driving the three Whatley boys to a bolt hole of Horatios by the river when he is startled by Trevor waking up in the back of the car screaming about burning eyes; in shock his foot slips on the accelerator peddle and he plows the car into one of the metal supports by the side of the river, totalling it, and some of the barrier at the waters edge. Still covered in sweat from his nightmare Travor touches his arm and for a brief moment it feels chill and clammy as he relates the events of his horrible dream to the others; Horatio says that he thinks it’s some sort of conspiracy and that perhaps the statue is covered in some sort of deadly hallucinogen, this illicits a sarcastic response from Deny who asks what drugs can make a body dissolve a puddle of green slime. Whilst they ponder the matter Deny disposes of car by pushing it into the river, with a loud splash it slides into the murky waters of the Arkham river; they take the statue (wrapped in multiple layers of material for safety) into the Horatio’s small riverside hut, put it on a small table and sit down around it.
They eventually reach the conclusion that they’ve been double-crossed by Old Man Pierson and that they need some way to find out what’s going on; as they are talking the top of the bag has fallen open revealing one of the rubies on the statue, this seems to affect Trevor who starts shouting about the eyes and asking the others to shut the bag, puzzled Deny covers it up. Trevor wants to know why they’re carrying it and says it might have cameras in it so they can be tracked, Deny points out that they’re keeping it because the others want it; remembering the precious stones on the statue Horatio tries to pry one of the rubies out using a knife but is unable to find a seam or join to prise it loose and the knife slips off, his hand narrowly avoids brushing one of the poisonous spikes. Deny says he thinks the statue, and the others desire for it, is the only ace they currently hold and it might be the only thing keeping them alive; he remembers that he has a business card from an old colleague Charlie Hartwell and, removing it from his pocket, asks for a phone so that he can ring the ex-university lecturer turned black market dealer.
Horatio apologises but says he can’t help because he ate his simm card earlier to stop them getting tracked; initially Trevor is hesitant (thinking that the phones might be tapped) but eventually throws his phone to Deny just to get him to shut up; getting Charlie on the phone Deny is surprised to hear that they are all over the evening news for killing members of the ACPD and having a deserter from the army with them, but brushing that aside he asks asks Charlie about the statue. Surprised, Charlie tells them that he recently won an ancient manuscript in a poker game from another antiques dealer, apparently it once belonged to an ancient arabian tribe (from the middle ages) and he is in the process of translating it; the manuscript describes a religious idol that matches the description of the statue they possess. The translated part of the manuscript says that the spikes contain a reservoir of lethal poison, there is something about anointing it with water and apparently the tribe believed that it fell to earth from the sky, forming a huge crater that flooded. Deny arranges to meet up with Charlie the following morning to discuss potentially selling the profit, although Charlie wants a higher percentage than normal due to the danger of associating with known fugitives, Deny agrees to this and hangs up.
Listening to Denys recount of the phone conversation Trevor says it’s probably a good idea that they didn’t throw it in the river, Horatio is dismissive of all this “mumbo jumbo”; Trevor jokingly suggests tipping a glass of water on it, but when Horatio takes him seriously (bringing out a bottle of water from the back of the shack) both Deny and Trevor run outside. Horatio waits for a few minutes after tipping the water over the statue but nothing untoward seems to have happened, he shouts to the others that it’s all mystical mumbo-jumbo and that their pursuers are after it because it contains precious stones.
As the water hits the statue, Trevor gets a strong feeling that someone is behind him staring at him, but when he looks he can’t see anyone; from further down the riverbank Deny can hear a faint, womans voice calling his name and sets off in pursuit of it, a dreamy look coming over his face. Seeing Deny heading off, Trevor pursues him attempting to attract his attention but failing he shouts for the assistance of Horatio who is still stood inside the hut staring at the statue. The voice is now unmistakably Scarlett’s and is coming from the river, Deny moves towards it whilst a befuddled Trevor (who can’t hear the voice) runs after him; in the early morning light a mist hangs over the river and the setting moonlight gives the mist a strange ethereal glow, Deny can see a faint, human silhouette in the mist and for a moment sees a flash of red hair, a female hand with red nail polish reaches out of the mist towards. The voice of Scarlett beckons to him saying that they can be together.
Unable to see where the river starts because of the mist he moves forward, but realising that Scarlett is dead Deny snaps himself out of the trance that has gripped his mind just in time to see the huge, bloody, gaping hole where “Fat” Abbot’s bullet ended her life, a tracery of green slime lingers about it; Scarlett tells Deny that the black city is waiting for him, all he needs to do is step into the water and they can be together forever. Shouting that she’s not really Scarlett, a look of horror on his face, Deny pulls out his gun and fires wildly into the mist; although Horatio and Trev can’t see the figure, after the gunshots die down the two of them hear something drop into the water as the body of Scarlett falls into the polluted water and disappears from view, Trev screams for Deny to get out the water.
Deny warns Horatio not to put more water on it, although as far as Horatio is concerned nothing has happened and he tells Deny that he’s tripping; getting tired after the days exertions the boys return to the hut where Horatio locks the statue in a safe with the code 14/17/21 and they all drift off to sleep after checking all the doors and windows are locked.
As they dream, all three of the Whatley boys find themselves back in the black city of Trevor’s previous nightmare, Horatio instinctively reaches for his gun but finds that in the dreamworld he does not have it, they try to talk, but no words escape their lips only bubbles of air; Trevor mimes to point the direction of the black hole from his previous dream and, following the directions, they arrive in the town square with the ominous black hole in the centre. Trevor picks up a loose rock and hands it to Horatio who skims it into the hole; Trev starts backing away from the hole, when suddenly a pale clammy hand grasps his shoulder from behind, he spins around to see the pasty figure of “Fat” Abbot Whatley, a large portion of his face still missing from where Horatio shot him. In a perfectly clear voice that sounds in their head Abbot tells Trev that he shouldnt have done that, Trev screams, panicked bubbles rushing out of his mouth.
Abbot claims to be part of a new order that is coming, a new family, and tells the Whatley boys that they could be part of it, riding high when it arrives; he tells them that Pierson set them up because they were supposed to be the sacrifice, but by accident it ended up being him, Scarlett and the others who are now part of the family. Horatio isn’t bothered by these events because remains steadfastly sure that it’s all a dream; as though hearing his thoughts Abbot dares him to step into the abyss and, despite Deny’s bubbing protestations, Horatio steps into the hole still claiming that it is all a dream, and is swallowed entirely by the blackness. Abbot attempts to persuade Deny to join but is rebuffed, he tells Trevor that he came so close to being part of the family, and that he could still be an immortal god free of pain and fear. Shouting his defiance of Abbot both Deny and Trevor begin attempting to swim away from the area.
Deny wakes up to find out that the gurgling, thrashing that he was hearing wasn’t Trevor swimming next to him, but infact it is the sleeping form of Horatio who is coughing and spluttering with river water gushing from his mouth, nose and ears, Deny slaps Horatio and eventually manages to wake him up, which seems to stem the flow of water. Deny wakes up, remembering stepping into the blackness and then being surrounded by the recently dead, all standing around him in the blackness applauding as he walked between them, like some sort of twisted ceremony or initiation; behind them was a large black, slug-like shape that had three burning red eyes approaching him – one of the eyes split open like a mouth, containing rows of spike-like teeth, it reached out towards him and that was when he woke up; he is confused that Deny and him shared the same dream. Deny wakes Trevor up and explains that they all appear to have had the same dream.
Whilst Deny and Trevor are talking Horatio notices a tapping sound on the outside of the shack, like something scraping or banging on the walls of the hut and peeks out of the shutters, he sees numerous silhouetted figures moving in the mist, slowly emerging from the waters of the river and approaching the small hut, he shouts “Boys, we have a situation.”
Trevor wants to get rid of the statue whereas Deny thinks throwing it in the river would make it worse and says they should get some guns and bust their way out of their and escape; unfortunately Horatio doesn’t have any of the bazookas that Trevor recommends for this situation but says that they should grab the statue, fight their way out and burn the shack down; Deny opens the safe, but he sees that the spikes of the statue appear to have grown and are bursting through the bag, Trevor shouts for Deny to get away from it, saying they should burn it and run however Deny refuses to leave the statue for the figures outside to take it. Trevor feels himself drawn towards the statue (as though a will other than his own is acting on him) but is able to resist the compulsion, he shouts for Horatio to get the door open so they can run.
Deny says they need to destroy the idol but setting it on fire isn’t going to work, rooting around in the various gear lying around, he locates a net and a large metal case, using the net he drags the statue into the case and locks it. Deciding that the time is right to make a break for freedom Horatio boots open the door, preparing to go out all guns blazing, when skeletal hands grab hold of him and pull him into the thick mist; the others can hear Horatio’s voice calling for help from deep within the mist and they see occasional flashes of weapon fire. Wasting no time Trevor runs out towards the flashes firing wildly with Deny behind him, they find Horatio up to his waist in the river water with numerous green encrusted skeletal arms pulling him down whilst he fires his gun erratically into the water. Deny pulls the net out of the case and throws it over Horatio, with himself and Trevor pulling it they are able to drag Horatio free from the sucking mud and water, he scrabbles back up the bank as shambling figures, dripping green ichor, begin to stumble out of the river after them.
Trevor runs away from the river, Horatio untangles himself and bolts whilst Deny grabs the case and makes a run for it after them; the figures part and the almost skeletal form of an old man who they recognise as Asaph Peabody emerges from the crowd and tells the Whatley boys that if they leave the statue they’ll be allowed to go free, when the figure says the word ‘statue’ a darker more burbling undertone says ‘Glaaki.’ Trevor shouts for Deny to leave the statue, but he refuses saying that there’s no guarantee the figures will keep their word, he curses and drops the case as suddenly the spikes from the statue burst through the metal of the case and Asaph says “Glaaki awakens.”
Trevors runs for it as both Horatio and Deny snap off shots and follow suit; a few hours later finds the boys holed up in another of Horatio’s emergency shelters on the outskirts of the city where they collapse from exhaustion into a fitful sleep.
The next morning they are woken up by a newspaper vendor shouting about mysterious disappearances; Horatio buys a copy of the newspaper and finds that the headline story is “ACPD baffled by disappear of 50 residents from the Riverside District of the city”, the story cites that the only clue was an anomalous biological residue found in the houses of the residents, but that the police have yet to comment on this; with the sensationalism of the disappearances the police (and emergency services) seem to have forgotten all about the hunt for the Whatlet boys. Reading on they discover that the entirety of the Whatley family (besides themselves) are listed as amongst the missing but that there is no mention made of the statue under the section where it talks about the ACPD sweeping the river area.
As the months and weeks pass, with no-one to impede their progress Deny, Trevor and Horatio use their contacts to take over the underworld in Arkham City, and the memory of their experiences by the river fades until it seems like little more than a bad dream; however as the months stretch into years everytime they hear the river they can’t help thinking about Abbot’s new order and wonder whether or not this will be the day they’ll finally feel his clammy hand on their shoulder for the last time.