The events leading to the second apocalypse.
“When she torments the oceans flow, they will all be washed away by the angel and her symbol, 2000 years from start to end, 2000 years to recover and 2000 years due”
Chapter 1: Discovery
“Alex come and look at this!” I screamed across the damp underground tunnel “I think I've found it!”
Alex wasn't a large man by any means but to call him slim was also a little unrealistic, that was the thought going through my head when I spotted him getting stuck in a small opening between the tunnels two main chambers.
“Can you make out what it says?” Alex asked squirming around trying to release himself.
I looked back to the small parchment of dark yellow cloth and carefully brushed off the last few crumbs of dirt from it,
“Yes and I’m pretty sure this is what the company has asked us to retrieve, then again, if it isn't then I quit, no bit of ancient literature is worth this much pain” I explained whilst thinking how lucky I was that I hadn't damaged my fingers more ascending up the jagged stone only a half hour ago, I was sure the first glimpse of bone was starting to point through the tips of my bloody right digit.
Alex was finally standing next to me; his faded short blonde hair was brushing against my face as we both looked carefully over the words on the parchment.
“What do you think it means?” Alex was never one to keep a curious question to himself.
“It doesn't matter” I snapped folding the text gently into the palm of my none damaged left hand,
“We aren't paid enough to ask, look, spy or think, we do as we are told, even if it sounds crazy to do what the company asks of us” I paused, looking at Alex's startled face. “I'm sorry I didn't mean to lash out, what I am trying to say is... the company doesn't want your opinion, so keep your mouth shut and finish what you’re doing!”
“OK Alicia, I understand, you don't have to speak to me like that though” I could hear Alex was beginning to act like a child but what I had said, it was for his own good, the last thing I wanted to see was my partner losing his job over curiosity, but at the same time maybe I did go a little overboard.
“Alex” I smiled “Don't be a baby, Momma still loves ya”
Like clockwork the big baby smiled for the first time since we'd come to this damned place, and as he did the embarrassment of being shouted at by his much more attractive and younger colleague seemed to melt away, and as it did his eyes wondered back to the small opening in the tunnel wall where I had extracted the parchment.
“Ok now let me just...” He removed his hand crafted thick leather gloves and placed them over his right shoulder and thrust his entire left arm into the small crevice with such force I could have sworn the whole wall vibrated with the impact.
“What are you looking for?” I asked impatiently,
“Just trust me” his lips had thinned out to form an over confident signature,
And as if performing a coin from the back of the ear magic trick he pulled out a small black wooden box, smiled, and continued, then came a lead pipe and what looked like a necklace made entirely of crystals,
“OK, anything else 'Merlin'?” I'm sure I showed a little malice using my face aimed at his forceful nature around delicate items and precious resting places.
“Nope, that's all of it, and before you ask how I knew....” I was sure his speech was going to be the biggest pile of crap I'd ever heard but I mistakenly let him continue.
“Every adventure movie from the early 70's through the ages up to today always teaches you one thing. If you find something in a deep dark scary cave-like place, there's bound to be other bits of less meaning-full but 'expensive to the outside world' items accompanying them, so I say...”
I abruptly stopped his words using my own.
“We take them since the company hasn't asked us to retrieve them right?” Alex's face lit up like a mischievous five year old child watching his mother taking that freshly baked chocolate cake from the oven, “No, we bag them and take them back to the company along with the parchment, these other items may be connected to the writing so it would be a very bad idea to steal what the executives might do a lot to retrieve if you follow me?” I had one eyebrow raised as if I were the one who caught him with that first handful of cake in his greedy palm.
Just as Alex was coming to his senses and bagging the three extra items a small whistling noise started vibrating through my head, it was agony, but this was a child whistling, and this tune was not playful or fun but creepy and sinister.
“What the hell is it Alisia?” Alex was also holding his hands over his ears in pain.
I made a hand gesture to him telling him to follow me, and with that we made our way, rather quickly, into the next door chamber to the side of us making sure the goods were securely fastened to any equipment we had on us.
The noise was a little quieter now but still constant, it sounded like the source was moving away from us now, back the way it came, and moment by moment the sound diminished like footsteps walking down a set of stairs until finally only the slight ringing over our ears was existent.
“Hmm well I have to say I wasn't expecting tha...” Just before Alex was done with his sarcastic remark another noise shot through the air, like the first shock wave of an atomic blast miles away pulsating through the ground and seconds later the entire floor shook hard.
I was thrown to the floor with a force like I had never felt before, my right arm was to be the victim of my body-weight, typically, and my fingers were doomed from the start of this 'expedition'. Alex was already unconscious in the corner of the room and had a small deep red gash coming from just over his nose; I had a couple of seconds left until I would be under too. As I lay there, as still as I could out of fear of having a broken neck, I gently moved my eyes around the small room to see if our find had been lost, they hadn't, on top of a small mound of dirt and rocks lay the parchment, somehow it had made its way out of my pocket and next to it the lead pipe and the now half crushed crystal necklace, and then the fear came.
Standing behind the items I could just make out the dark auburn hair of a small girl, filthy with dust and wearing some old rags and there was the small black wooden box, cradled in her hands.
I took one last deep breath as things began to darken and I started to slip into unconsciousness and as I did I heard the voice of an innocent child gently glided past my ears and into my mind...
“Mommy wants it back”.