He checked his watch, 9.27pm. The date 2/07/2017. His lamp battery was diminishing, blood seeped through the makeshift bandage on his thigh. He removed his climbing gear and tossed it to the frozen mountain top.
Edward croft a professional rock climber had tested himself to ascend the famous CRAGGY ROCK. Tales of gold artifacts and diamonds hidden at the summit. This goliath of a climb fired the adrenaline of many climbers to be the first. A compulsion to reach the top for every climber, with greed more a factor than climbing for passion. Many had failed, never making it past the half way point. Edward had trained hard for this day. It had took him two days and nights, finally reaching the top. He was the first to make it. He hoped to find the riches he deserved, but only to be greeted with a large holed entrance at the peak, leading down into the heart of the mountain itself.
'How can this be? How could man have possibly tunneled a hole through the summit, into the mountain. It was way to high and way too narrow to bring mining equipment to the top.'
Edward questioned himself. He sat on a frosted rock at the entrance to the tunnel and adjusted the ligature on his thigh.
'There's no way of making it back down, not with the injury, I'm gonna have to take the tunnel down. There has to be a way out' Edward contemplated. He looked around, sharp gusts of wind shook the ice crystals from his matted black beard as he took in the magnificent views of the surrounding mountain tops.
He removed his backpack and began to pack away his climbing gear whilst taking a blast of his oxygen supply. His last can was registering 13%. If he used it sparingly, he would have 4 hours supply, not enough to descend the mountain, even without the injury, it was impossible. He now knew he had no option, but to take the tunnel. Edward pulled the strap tight on his rucksack and made his first steps inside the entrance cautiously. The mouth of the tunnel's interior was a smooth circular opening, as if bored out with a tunneling drill, 12 feet in diameter. He was bewildered by the way this was, it did not seem man made.
He Clambered unsteadily, further down through the tunnel, loose rocks tumbled under foot echoing off the walls as they bounced down into the dark chasm. There was no going back up to the entrance. The pain in his thigh was accelerating, Edward began to sweat profusely. He tapped on his lamp, it flickered, giving him a little more illumination for a second, then back to it's low beam, his view limited to under two feet, as the energy from the batteries depleted some more. He stopped and looked around the walls of the tunnel, his lamp ill illuminated his surroundings. Edward reached to the right hand side pocket of his rucksack and produced an emergency flare. He ripped off the top, causing the flare to spark and burst into a bright red glare, now lighting up the tunnel walls around him. Edward noticed strange markings on the walls, plastered all around him, the markings looked very similar to the ones he had studied in college. The Dresden codex, the oldest surviving book from the Americas, dating to the thirteenth or fourteenth century. He could not decipher its meanings, but the artwork was amazing. He moved the flare to the left and right of the tunnel walls before moving the glowing red flame toward his feet that were unbalanced under the loose rocks beneath him. Or what he thought were loose rocks. He dropped the flare from his hand in shock as he noticed the tunnel floor consisted of hundreds of human skulls, trailing down into the dark chasm of the tunnel. Each skull looked as though they had been polished clean.
Edward froze, breathing heavily he looked back towards the tunnel entrance. He rubbed his hand over his forehead with frustration, he had no option but to carry on forward. Picking up a piece of wood from the tunnel floor he used it as a crutch, as he made his way forward once more, navigating his way through the pathway of skulls, His lamp now flickered, nearing complete depletion, his bandage on his thigh was now soaked and dripped with blood. Edward fired up another flare and noticed the pathway of skulls now leading into the belly of the cave which consisted of a sea of human skeletal remains, all of which were also polished clean. There was an array of clothing mixed in between the skeletal remains. He noticed an open-circuit oxygen system and a pair of reindeer skin boots to the left of him. He was dumbfounded, he was not the first to climb the rock, the year was now 2017 and the equipment that he had found dated circa 1953. Alongside these artifacts was at least a kilo rough cut bar of pure gold, he quickly stuffed it into his rucksack. Along with scriptures that he had recognized once before on his trip to the Saxon state library in Germany. Scriptures illustrating hieroglyphs. He now realized that the remains inside the cave were where other climbers had succumb to a grisly end. his lamp now fully depleted of its battery, rendering total darkness.
It was at that point Edward heard a vibrating humming sound coming from the entrance to the tunnel, something was heading his way. He sensed danger and was filled with fear of the unknown. He could just make out a place to hide and quickly shuffled over to a crevice in the cave wall and used the skeletal remains around him to cover himself.
He watched as a bright blue light beamed down into the tunnel, causing him to squint with the brightness. It lit up the cave exponentially, Edward inhaled sharply with surprise, as he saw the cave in full light, there were hundreds, not just climbers, there were also child skeletal remains. The vibrating hum grew louder as it moved further down the tunnel slowly. His breathing became irregular, he began to to feel faint with the blood loss from his thigh. He reached into his rucksack and produced a clean roll of bandage, unwrapped the blood soaked one and replaced it with the fresh one. The bleeding was subsiding as he tightly wrapped the dressing. The object entering the tunnel seemed to stop just before the mouth of the cave, the vibrating hum echoed eerily off the cave's walls. It was still out of view from Edwards stand point.
There was about 15 seconds of stillness, just the object's hum invaded the cave, before the object let out a sound that could only be described as a single alphorn. Edward threw his hands onto his ears, the sound was immense. After around 10 seconds, the horn stopped. From the back of the cave, bones slowly started to displace themselves, something was coming from below.