Chapter I – Unfortunate Discoveries
Ancient dust blows across the endless dunes of sand, a small space vessel streaks through the sky. Within the shuttle is Dr. Nexson, and Dr. Crowther, they were in the rear part of the shuttle, sitting in luxurious seats and enjoying expensive bourbon.
“We’ve been searching this desert for two years now, you say this is a different type of discovery?” asks Nexson of Crowther.
“Yes, absolutely” he chimes.
“How?” Rupert asks, glaring.
“It’s another work of technology, but it’s very different from the generators and transmitters we’ve found before” replies Crowther, Nexson stares in silence.
“You’re not going to tell me?” he asks.
“Any description I give you would be utterly inadequate, you’ve got to see it yourself, Rupert” replies Crowther as he slowly sips his highball glass. Nexson stares at his satisfied face.
“This had better be good, you’re holding up progress at the experimental weapons lab by bringing me here” he finally says.
“Rupert, when have I ever let you down?” Nexson considers the question.
“You’re right, Ben” he says with a smirk, he reaches over and they clink their glasses. “You’re always right” Benjamin chuckles lightly. The intercom sounds a tone and the auto pilot informs them that the shuttle is approaching the coordinates.
The shuttle turns as it flies toward a landing pad, situated next to a large, domed building, next to it was a camp for the excavation team. The landing thrusters fired as the shuttle began its descent, mechanical wines sounded as the landing gear sprouted from its compartments and caught the ground, making a small bounce. Two of the site’s archeologists, sealed in environment suits with domed helmets approached the shuttle, a wind storm battered sand against their suits. The sealed shuttle door made some loud clanks and vented gas before it opened. Dr. Nexson and Dr. Crowther step down from the ramp, wearing their own environment suits.
“Welcome to Mars, doctors” says Tim Morgan.
“Nice to see you again, Tim. This is the lead researcher at Echo labs on Deimos, Dr. Rupert Nexson” says Crowther.
“A pleasure, sir” says Tim Morgan “This is Linda Vadell”
“Nice to meet you Dr. Nexson, please follow us. We don’t want to take up anymore of your time than is needed” Linda says.
“That would be appreciated” he says.
The group walks toward the dig site, it was covered by a large white dome. They approach the dome’s doorway, Dr. Vadell leans against a sensor plate, the ID chip in her suit is accepted and the doors split apart. They walk inside, there were two other sets of doors inside and a cabinet for holding environment suits, the walls were a dull grey. Dr. Morgan approaches a computer panel on the wall and began the depressurization procedure, the chamber began the sequence, sweeping away the dry Martian sand.
The voice of the computer sounds, “Depressurization procedure complete” They place the environment suits in the cabinet and approach the doors. A cold wind blows from within the buried cavern, an ancient staircase is illuminated by modern lighting units, recently attached to the stone brick walls. The four UAC members descend the staircase, it seemed to go at least seven stories down. When they reached the landing at the bottom they found themselves in a large chamber, several tall stone doorways led in different directions. The doors were artfully carved with many images of the alien’s culture, each door and column seemed to depict a part of their celebrated history. Five different streaks of coloured lines stretched off into the darkness.
“We’re following the gold coloured line.” Says Vadell. They entered a passage in the middle of the room. They followed the gold line for almost an hour, passing mysterious hieroglyphic writing from an unknown time. They were soon led to a massive chamber, rust coloured rocks framed the sight, the ceiling was supported by massive stone columns, long hanging stalactites crowned the ceiling.
Before them were two tall control stations that still shone like emeralds, after all this time, step ladders sat at the base which the archeologists had set up. The pair of UAC executives walked toward a dusty apparatus sitting at the back of the room, examining the area’s most minute details as they did. The object was almost three stories high, it had a rounded convergence at the top, intricately carved shoulders flowed down the body of the machine, the centre had a giant circular cavity that was coiled on it’s inside. It seemed to be in disrepair. They walked further, the walls of bedrock revealed ancient tablets. The tablets were as tall as the machine, the writing on the stone was giant.
“What is it?” asks Nexson.
“We performed a full analysis on the apparatus, we think it’s a teleporter” Nexson was unmoved.
“A very impressive find, doctor” he says as he walks toward the left-hand tablets, the lines of hieroglyphics flew through Nexson’s mind, translating them on the fly.
Nexson approaches Linda Vadell, he whispers, “Has your team translated the tablets?”
“Yes, doctor.” She replies, “The writings describe how the teleporter works, the method of it’s construction, there’s a log of the jumps that were made and where they went, but this last tablet…” She paused as she approaches one of the left-hand tablets.”…this tablet describes a ceremonial ritual that is to be performed while the teleporter is running a specific mode of operation. It seems that this way our ancient friends could develop the ability to make a psychic scan of the extra-dimensional planes.” She says proudly, pointing at the hieroglyphs. “Isn’t this amazing sir?” she asks, turning to face Nexson.
He stood motionless, glaring at Dr. Vadell, he sighs loudly and turns to face Crowther. “This is a problem, Ben.” Nexson says quietly.
“Huh? What are you talking about? I thought you’d be pleased to see this before administration gets their hands on it.” Apprehension was apparent on his face.
“This type of discovery must be handled by the UAC’s paranormal division. Your being here is very costly, Ben” he declares.
“What? Paranormal division? The UAC doesn’t entertain that type of fringe-science!” He cries.
“You weren’t supposed to find out.” Nexson replies.
“Doctor’s please, what are you talking about?” Asks Dr. Morgan, loudly, followed by tense silence.
“This tablet that depicts the ancient rituals can only be seen, studied and handled by members of the paranormal division, and I’m sorry to say…” says Nexson as he pulls a pistol from inside his suit “…none of you were ever here.” He says calmly, levelling the barrel on Crowther.
“Rupert, no!” Cries Crowther. A small bolt of plasma lept from the weapon and burns through Crowther’s neck and impacts the stone wall behind him, he sank to the ground making sputtering, gargling sounds and holding his throat.
“Please Nexson, don’t!” cries Linda.
“We didn’t see anything, Rupert. We’ll do whatever you say.” Pleads Tim.
“I’m terribly sorry, doctors, this truly is an amazing discovery…” he says as he pulls a device from his pocket. “…it’s just standard procedure” Keeping the pistol steady, he holds the ultra-frequency transmitter to his lips, “This is Nexson, initiate bombing run on camp at dig site: alpha-zero-alpha. Confirmation: Romeo, three, Foxtrot, six, X-ray” he said.
“Roger, confirmation approved. Deployment underway.” Crackled the transmitter. Without saying another word, Nexson fires the pistol into the two archeologists. He holsters his weapon and reaches for his mobile, he flicks through the options and begins scanning the area, a beam of glowing light emits from the mobile as he recorded the data. Linda puts all her strength into raising her head and looks up at the research executive.
“Go… to hell… you bastard” she gently lowered herself to the dusty floor and fell into a final rest. Nexson soon leaves the dig site alone. Wearing the environment suit, he walks the surface of Mars toward the waiting shuttle. Two triangular UAC fighters swoop by above, dropping bombs below. The whistling of the falling bombs were heard before they exploded upon impact. Nexson boards the shuttle, it soon begins it’s takeoff and flies beyond the Martian atmosphere, leaving the disgraced dig site behind as smoke rose up from the camp.