“What is that stuff?” Mike panted, and pointed at the ceiling.
Eddie ran his flashlight across the overhang again. “Writing,” he said. “And pictures.”
“No kidding.” Mike’s side ached. “But I mean… who wrote it?”
“Someone who’s dead now.” The guitar player ran his light over the structure. A sort of ladder, consisting of a single straight tree trunk with rungs lashed cross-wise to it, leaned up against the side of the building.
“Not necessarily,” Twitch contradicted him.
“Looks similar to proto-Eblaite,” Adrian squinted. “Or Reformed Egyptian. My guess is it’s one of the Primals.”
“Yeah,” Eddie agreed. “This is the place.”
“What do you mean, one of the Primals?” Mike felt dizzier with each new rush of information, though he was well through the looking glass and this point and no longer questioned anything he was told, not really. With the Hellhound and Baal Zavuv on his tail, doubt wasn’t worth it. “What place is this?”
“The Primals are the three original languages spoken on this planet at the moment of the Fall of Adam,” Adrian said. “Really, they’re dialects of the same language, but you say potato, et cetera.”
Mike groped for understand. “What do you mean, like, Latin?” he asked.
Eddie laughed sourly. “Latin is a late arrival on the scene. Latin is practically modern.”
“I mean Angelic,” Adrian said, “and Infernal, and Adamic.”
“You speak these languages?”
Adrian chuckled. Mike thought his laugh sounded a little condescending, and he hadn’t been so exhausted, he might have bristled a little. “Oh, no. No human being has been able to speak or understand the Primals for thousands of years. Not since the Tower of Babel. We’re not capable of it, since we were cursed.”
“Nor are we,” Twitch added. “For entirely different reasons.”
“We?” Mike fumbled. “Who’s we?”
“As for what this place is,” Eddie said, “this is the place we came looking for. This is Dudael.” He cleared his throat and spoke again in his recitative chanting voice. “And the Lord said to Raphael: bind Azazel hand and foot and throw him into the darkness!” And he made a hole in the desert which was in Dudael and cast him there; he threw on top of him rugged and sharp rocks. And he covered his face in order that he may not see light; and in order that he may be sent into the fire on the great day of judgment.”
“That in the Bible again?” Mike asked.
“Nah,” Eddie said, “but it should be.”