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Unspeakable Journeys


gwangi32
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Susan bites her lip for a moment and sighs, "Yes there is, and I hope you won't tell anyone what you see on the other side of this door." Her hesitant speech gives way to fast action as the door at the top of the stairs begins to splinter. She moves to a section of the wall covered by a book shelf, moves a particular book and gives a shove. Soundlessly the bookshelf pushes back into a second room. Flashing lights around you see crates of alcohol, mainly Scotch Whiskey, though there is one marked Sasha's Special Selection. Susan quickly blows out the candles that had bin lit while Toth and Ray move into the smuggler's hole. Susan comes back and closes the "secret door" and she pushes over a latch that locks the door shut. The room is at least twenty feet square walled in cut stone and barren save for the crates. The wall behind you has the bookshelf door but across the room is an empty doorway looking into darkness.

 

"Go that way (she points to the wall opposite the door you just entered) and you will find a passage," she says. Pausing for a moment she adds "I think I'll take a bottle of this stuff (taking a bottle from one of the crates) for our trouble. Do either of you gentlemen smoke?"

 

Using your electric torches, you can see the passage, also walled with cut stone, this is a sturdy set up and apparently older than the house, it has a feel of age. At this point you can hear the loud crash of a door being shattered. Then shuffling as something comes down the stairs in the room you left behind.

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Toth eyes the scotch for a moment. "I believe I'll 'confiscate' some of this as well, Ms. Arwell," he says with a grin as he also takes a bottle. "And yes, I do smoke. Why, do you want one?"

 

He tries to ignore the sounds coming from the room they have just left, though he shudders a bit when he thinks of what might have happened if the secret door hadn't been there. "I'll take one of those packs, Ray," he says to the other man.

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Ray whispers quietly, "I don't smoke but a bottle of that doesn't look bad at all. We need to slip through here as quiet as possible because that bookshelf isn't going to stop those things if they get it in their heads to come through. We need to get back to town or at least somewhere secure so we can look through everything we've collected to see if we can piece together what's going on here."

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"No thank you I don't smoke," she replies. "I need the lighter or a match." At that she reaches into a pocket and pulls out a handkerchief. Removing the top from the bottle she picked she stuffs the hankie into the top and smiles. "This Sasha's Special is nearly pure alcohol. They use it to mix up other bottles," she says. "Arthur told me that there are more uses for alochol than drinking and this should work. But let's not light it until we are outside."

 

She leads the way across the room and into the passage. After a hundred feet or so you come to a door. You listen but hear nothing.

 

"At the top of the stairs there is a trap door. It opens into a shed, that's just off the driveway. We should be behind the truck. It's not very big in there and there might be some snow blocking the way. Who want's to go first?"

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"I'll take point," Toth says. He fumbles in his pocket for a moment, and comes up with a box of matches. "Here you go, Susan. If I give the word, light that baby up an' get ready to throw it," he says. His humor sounds a bit forced, as if he knows there will be something nasty waiting on the other side of the door. The way today's gone, I'd be surprised if there wasn't, he thinks grimly.

 

Shouldering the shotgun once more, he begins to move up the stairs.

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Before you know it you have made it through a trapdoor, out of the shed and you are standing next to your vehicle. Occasionally you can see figures shuffling around in the house, there is a crash of furniture being broken. It is late in the day, you can try to start the vehicle and get back to town, or ...

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Toth gives Ray's suggestion a moment's thought, then replies "Let's not be to hasty, eh, Ray? No sense in calling attention to ourselves if we don't have to. Besides, they're slow. How about we try the truck, and then worry about those things if it doesn't start first try?"

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There is a small lag in getting the truck started but the engine coughs to life and you roll away witout incident. The figures in the house do crowd out the door in pursuit but the shambling undead never pose a threat and after you have left the property you can see them stumbling back to the house to continue whatever they were doing.

 

You drive in silence for a bit, absorbing ehat you have seen. Without warning Susan confesses, "Arthur and I were more than friends. We were intellectually compatible and physically close. It's been tearing me up since he was reported missing. I know his research only on the surface. He claimed he was protecting me from something. But reading through the lines I know he found something in South America and he found a related artifact in the prehistoric mound near his home. It's getting late now but tomorrow I want to go to the mound."

 

Just so you know the dice have been in your favor for a bit. A little insanity could have really changed things.

 

A couple of search rolls turned up a map in the backpack and a note written in English on what appears to be a piece of reptile skin "parchment". The note is: I have found the proof, but what do I do with myself now? For whoever finds this know that I decided to return to a world that fits me better. I am happy! (signed) Earl Latimer.

 

Susan says, "Earl Latimer was an explorer out this way fifty years ago. I had seen some of his notes in the library, he was a believer in Atlantis and a connection to the Indian Mounds as well."

 

At this point you arrive back in town and it is evening and the sun has just set.

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"I wouldn't mind seeing those mounds myself," Ray says when they make it back to town, "but I think it might be worth our while to see Latimer's notes from the library before we do. We are missing some huge pieces of this puzzle and I'd like to have as good a picture as I can get before meeting up with those things again, or worse."

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Susan laughs, "The library is always open for me. We should go straight there. I think if we look through the books and papers that Arthur was using in the last few months we might actually see something now that we've experienced the horrors of last night."

 

The night wears on and there is a brief visit by the Sheriff, some water and sodas are provided and some crackers and cheese. All the clues come together to say that:

1. There is a subculture that believed Atlantis existed.

2. Atlantis put colonies throughout Europe, Africa and the Americas.

3. When in sank these colonies were on their own but they were advanced cultures surrounded by barbarians and in most cases the colonies dissappeared well before recorded history. Some colonies were influential in the subsequent civilizations of Egypt and Meso America.

4. This fringe science approach was putting Arthur's reputation at risk.

5. He found a clue in the tome Nameless Cults and explored a site in South America to find proof for his theory. What he found was a "key", the crystal skull.

6. The mound on his property was an Atlantean outpost, prior to becoming a Sacred Site for the Native Americans. It was what caused him to purchase the home, and may have had something to do with the bizarre history of the place.

7. This outpost in North America was not a city but an experiment by the Atlantean wise men.

8. It became apparent to Arthur that the Atlantis myth was wrong in some way. There was a history of humanity stretching far back, there were forgotten ages but all that history was muddled into the legend of Atlantis. And the mound was important for developing a hypothesis for this new view of history.

 

It is now past midnight. You have pile of papers and books spead around the library. You have not delved into the Earl Latimer papers as yet, which are locked into a small book safe with a few other library treasures. Susan is nibbling at a cracker and sipping on a wiskey and water. At that moment there is a soft knock on the library door. Susan stands up and walks toward the door.

 

What is your plan for the door?

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