“Before we go anywhere, we have to stash the ZX643 somewhere. I think we should put it in one of these holes behind one of these remains. Make it look as if no one has touched it. We can come back and get it when we know what the fuck is going on. Axe, Pogo, you guys take care of that. Q is turning it off now, so gentleman, back to flashlights,” I said.
I then went over to Q standing by the ZX643, “From all that your training and schooling has taught you, what do you think is happening Q?”
As he turned off the device and handed it to Pogo, he replied hesitantly. “The oxygen levels are four times higher than we are used to. The atmospheric pressure is increasing as we walk. It is as if we are walking towards a giant hyperbaric chamber. I checked all the vitals of the guys and every one of them has a lowered heart rate, and their insulin and blood levels are that of young kids. Everyone is feeling alert and strong. This is kinda scary because we don’t know what the light is, but at the same time it is exciting. We might be discovering something new, or something ancient that we could make new again. The remains of the bodies in the holes, the hieroglyphics on the wall, all say that someone or something has been here before…I feel great Manny. It makes me excited to see what is up ahead, but it is also a little scary, you know? It is all speculation at this point…It’s like the first day of RB1 training,” he chuckled sarcastically and winked. “Oh by the way, my instruments only work when the ZX643 is turned on, so we will be going in blind from this point on.”
It was silent as we made our way to the light at the end of the tunnel. This long hard journey had given all of us time to heal and be ready for anything. We were all on alert with weapons ready as we made our way to the last 200 yards of the journey. As we got closer to the light we could see its color was similar to the ZX643 and the fireflies we had seen four days earlier, or was it five?
Suddenly, a shadow darted across the tunnel opening.
“Holy shit, did you see that?” exclaimed Sticks.
“10-4,” I replied. “Did anyone see what it was?”
“I think it moved like an animal,” said Axe.
“No, more like a person with a limp,” Bronco shot back.
“Stay close to the walls of the tunnel. Standard operating procedure gentleman, let’s see what we have here. Stay calm.”
The last 50 yards had our adrenaline pumping harder than ever before.
“Any volunteers for recon?” I asked.
Everyone put up their hand as usual for RB1, but Bronco was already in motion.
“Fuck it, the suspense is killing me. I gotta find out!” he mumbled to himself as he walked away.
We waited with lights out in silence as Bronco made his way to the entrance of the cave. I could see Bronco’s silhouette checking for mines, trips, and traps. Then he got to the mouth of the cave and stopped dead in his tracks. He stood up, and the shadow dashed across the entrance again, right in front of him.
Bronco didn’t react at all to the darting shadow. Instead he turned back and yelled down the tunnel to us. “Come on guys get up here, you won’t believe this! It’s awesome! Woo hoo!”
We quickly made our way to the light. When we got to the entrance we stood there in awe: in front of us was a paradise. There were birds, trees, a waterfall, and grass around a canyon. It all looked beautiful, but was it too good to be true? How could this be? We were five miles underground.