Novel – Chapter 2: Revelations

The moment we emerged from the elevator it was apparent to all three of us that we were entering into a passageway cut from the rock beneath the city.
It was no natural cavern, but it also was not made by conventional construction techniques.  The walls of the passageway seemed to be cut out of the rock by some precise tool that left them smooth.
The tunnel was dark but as we rounded the first turn we saw that a faint glow was eminating from the rock near the top of he walls casting a light that was just enough to allow us to navigate down the tunnel.
We walked silently,  each of us lost in our own thoughts about what had just happened to us.  I could feel that the tunnel was descending as we walked.
After walking for what seemed like an eternity,  we came to an area where the natural ilumination was brighter and we could see we were approaching some kind of a chamber.
We stopped just outside the chamber entrance and looked at each other.
Nadivah was the first person to speak.
“Porter,  what is this place?” She said
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Pradosh said.
I looked at both of them while I was formulating my response.  They both looked scared.
When I finally spoke I picked my words carefully.  I didn’t want to alarm them any more than they already were.
“I’ve been running this same question over in my mind since we stepped off the elevator.” I said
After a brief pause I said. “Here’s what I know so far.  The tunnel we are in isn’t listed in any map.  I’ve been down here off and on for months and in other parts of the city and I know for sure this area isn’t mapped. The tunnel (if you can call it that). passageway is probably a better word, was not made by any conventional construction techniques I’m aware of and the light that we have isn’t coming from electric lighting,  it looks more like natural luminsescence.
My best guess would be this was here long before the city.  Native or indigenous people probably made it. “
When I finished Nadivah and Pradosh just nodded.
“Let’s go into this chamber” I said and slowly looked around the edge of the entrance into the chamber.  I looked back.  Nodded once in the direction of the chamber and started into it.
The chamber was immense.  The ceiling had to be at least 60 feet hight.  The chamber was obviously made using the same technique as the tunnel.  The walls were smooth and went straight up for about 15 feet,  then curved gently in a perfect dome and went back down the other side. The chamber was about 50 feet across and in the centre of the chamber there was a circular platform with steps leading up to it.  At the centre of the platform was a large arch that you could see through.
We made our way into the middle of the chamber and up the steps to the platform with the arch.
There was a thick layer of dust covering all surfaces and you could see our footprints in layers of dust leading up to the platform we were standing on.
The archway was about 10 feet across and 15 feet high.  It was made of stone that looked like it was cut using the same tool as everything else.  There was one difference however. The arch had some kind of symbols or pictures carved into its surface all the way around it.  About 5 feet off the platform and sticking out from the right side of the arch was a block with a picture symbol on it.  It consisted of a spiral and a figure standing with the spiral and a few other markings.


Just as I was about to speak,  I noticed something laying on the floor about 3 feet from the platform.  There was a flashlight covered in dust just laying there and something flat beside it.  I went over and picked up the flashlight and the flat object and brushed the dust off both.  What I saw when I wiped the dust off the flat object sent me reeling.
The flat object I held in my hand was an identification card with an alligator clip tether on it.
Written in lettering across the ID Badge was the name Carl Slayden and above the writing was a picture of my father.
I sat down rather abruptly on the edge of the platform.  Sat down is probably not accurate, it was more like I crumpled into a sitting position.
Nadivah and Pradosh sprang quickly to my side with a multitude of questions escaping from their lips.
“Porter! are you alright, whats wrong?” Nadivah Said.
“Oh my! Porter!” was all that escaped out of Pradosh that I could understand.  The rest was in another language which i assumed was Hindi.
This…Ummm…This is my Father’s…I said breathlessly.  My heart was racing and my head was spinning.   “But How?  How is this possible?”  I managed to eek out.
“I don’t understand Porter, what is this?  Whats going on?” Nadivah said
“This is my father” I said.  “This is my father’s ID Badge, and I assume this is his flashlight too”  I finished.
“Your father works for the city?”  Pradosh said questioningly.
He did.  Over 13 years ago before he disappeared.  He was never found and no clues to his whereabouts or what happened to him exist”   I said ….”errr existed” I corrected.
“Oh my god Porter, this is amazing!”  Nadivah said.
I thought she meant the fact that I had my Father’s ID badge in my hand and had just found evidence of where he was before he disappeared, but when I looked over at her she was examining the arch on the dais.
“These are some kind of indigenous symbols or carvings but they aren’t like anything I’ve ever seen.   Nothing in this room is anything like any of the sites I’ve visited in this area or Alberta or any other part of North America on my vacations.” Nadivah said
I could always count on Nad to say something completely unexpected.  I chuckled a little and said. “Gee thanks for your concern Nad”
“Sorry Porter, but this room we’re standing in, this passageway, all of this is way out of place….. Nadivah said.
“Yeah so is finding evidence that my father was here at some point” I said sarcastically.
“…..and what is that lighting in the hallway. Where are we and how is this all possible?
Nadivah paused realizing what I had said…”Oh my god, you’re right.  I’m so sorry Porter! My curiosity is getting the better of me.”  she said.
You mean you have no have no idea what happened to your father for the last 17 years and now you find this?  Are you ok?” Nadivah Said.
” I mean, yeah I think so, I’m just a little blown away that’s all.  I didn’t expect to ever find any evidence about my Dad, but here we are in this weird place and I have.   We need to get out of here and figure out what this place is and what my father was doing here.” I said.
“Getting out of here sounds good to me, so how do we do that?” Pradosh said.
We made our way back along the passageway to the elevator.  Along the way we looked for any other exits or passageways that might lead up towards the surface, but none were to be found.
Once back at the elevator we opened the trap door in the roof so we could figure out how to get back up the elevator shaft.
Further up the shaft we could see a ladder on the side of the shaft that was there for elevator maintenance techs to use when a decent into the shaft was required.
there were about 4 stories between us and the bottom rung of the ladder.  The elevator was pitch black, but we could see some light coming down the elevator shaft from the top which served to illuminate things just enough for us to see once our eyes adjusted.
We decided as a group that we would climb up the elevator cables until we reached the ladder, then we could use the ladder to get out.
We were fortunate because all of us were in decent physical shape, so although the climb proved tough, it was doable for all of us.  Pradosh enjoyed rock climbing in his spare time and Nadivah also was into mountain and rock climbing as hobbies, so I was the odd man out as far as cliimbing experience went.  Luckily for me I was in good shape, so with a little instruction from both Nad and Pradosh I was able to follow them up the cables to the ladder so we could make our way out.
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