The eye of a hurricane is the calm, the safe place, but to get to it you have to go through the eye wall, the most deadly, destructive, powerful part of the storm.
I dragged Doctor Zoe into the chapel expecting sanctuary, a kind of eye in the temporal, physical, psychic storm. I found nothing of the kind, no shelter from the mayhem nor our pursuers.
The foetid, slimy waters of the street flowed muscularly into the building bringing all their chaos and swimming monsters that could only be of another world, another aspect of our universe, one in which the beauty and wonder of life are dark and base. Two of the creatures flowed through the doorway as soon as I put it past me and torpedoed deeper into the ruinous edifice.
I watched as they went by swimming as my mind swam in the sights, smells, sounds, and what I could only describe as a tactile sensation of time being stretched and distorted. My mind followed them deep into the building.
Deeper and deeper it went, the interior of that building. In New Orleans no building had a basement, so what was I observing, how could such a building, euclidean on the exterior be so alien within? The floor dropped away and the waters swirled around the concave bowl of the chapel, carrying chanters, whisking them away as they still danced, sang and played.
The whirlwind, whirlpool within spun all around the hollowed interior from that chasmic floor up the walls, onto and over the vault of the ceiling high above, all studded with acolytes. In all the known universe, the wind the air, the planets, the stars, the galaxies themselves all spin on the plane, spin round a circular epicenter. This was like none other, spinning as it did in the spherical. How such a thing could occur I could never fathom nor even imagine if I had not witnessed it my very self.
This was no two dimensional vortex in a three dimensional world, but a three dimensional one which must have twisted four or more dimensions. It was all I could think of in the din and roar of the waters, air, pipes and throats.
Amid all the swirling flashed lightning and the past and future. Mixed into the cacophony of those ill-tuned instruments and adulational ululations were screams as the tentacled beasts made their attacks, dragging the choir within the waters forcibly. They must have past us after spying the target rich environment of the maelstrom.
I slowly, painfully, was forced into realizing the Doctor on my hip. In my adrenaline addled state I had become completely unaware that I was carrying her bodily. The pull of the vortex tugged at my legs and I was slowly succumbing to it, but additionally my shoulder blade sent pain signals to my brain as Zoe pounded on my back to get my attention. She was also screaming in my ear.
"My leg is broken. My leg is broken!"
"What?" I asked her, with complete absence of understanding.
"Don't put me down. Don't let go!"
My feet slipped, the current pushed me, my attention was drawn away again. I had spotted Brown, there above us, over head, swirling on the ceiling.
She was throwing her arms around her head, she sang with all the gusto of an enraptured soul. Parts of her uniform had been torn away by the howling wind, by the slashing waves. Everyone in that wailing pandemonium was being declothed by forces shearing against them.
I stood as solidly as I could, clinging tightly to the woman on my side, yet struggling against twisting consciousness to attempt complex thought and planning. How could I reach Brown, how could I get both the women out, out of this.
What was this? Where, if where was even a concept that could be applied to the situation, where were we, and how did it relate to our world, the world which I had to return. Was our world still out there?
My eyes swam round and round as my brain screamed courses of action hysterically, desperately. I searched for what my own mind could not supply, for an answer.
I saw there at the center of it all, a glimmer of the eye. The eye of this storm was clear, elemental, galactic, a perfect glimpse at the heart of the universe itself. Then the thought struck me that I was not at all sure it was our universe.
A particular, individual scream struck the consciousness of my senses. It was Brown. The currents were swinging her directly towards us, but she had three tentacles wrapped round her.
It had brought her to a realization of reality and she screamed my name.
Zoe screamed beside me as well, "We're going under, don't drop me, don't let go!"