First Section: Monument
Chapter Three: The Group’s Mission
The group was back where they had started. They sat at a table in the east wing of the library and discussed their situation. Cara understood what the man from a few moments ago had said better than all of the others so she was explaining it to them.
“Essentially, we’re supposed to protect the Earth from invaders from another world.”
“Do you really believe that though?” Martha asked. Like the others, Martha didn’t trust anything that the strange man had said. Only Cara seemed to be so accepting of his words.
“Well that was the point of making the sky go dark and making Mr. Hall disappear. He said that he did that because he knew we wouldn’t believe it under normal circumstances. No one would believe a stranger telling such a crazy story. So he told us under these strange conditions.”
“So because we’ve seen these impossible things, it’s okay for us to accept this task we’ve supposedly been given?” Martha said sarcastically.
“I know it sounds like I’m all for this, but I’m not. I just want to explain it so that we can all make a decision on what to do next.”
“The library only has three floors though,” said John. “Didn’t he say something about a tower?”
“It’s an upside down tower,” Cara said. “So we would have to go down. This library connects to our world and the other world is below us.”
“Like through a secret passage or something?” Tracy asked.
“It’s our mission, so we need to figure that out,” Cara said. “But we need to decide together what we’re going to do. Do we accept or do we decline?”
“Right now we’re stuck in this darkness so I think we have to,” said Tracy. “What else are we going to do?”
“It’s not even a choice,” said John. “That guy said he was told to seal us in here. If we can’t leave, then we just have to do what we’re told.”
Cara didn’t like that type of thinking. Just because one option is favored or more likely to be chosen, that doesn’t deny the existence of other options. She believed it was okay to say ‘I’ll probably do this’, but never ‘I can only do this’. John’s belief that they had no options disappointed her.
“Cara, you seem a bit more energetic,” Adam said. “You say that you don’t accept this fully, but it seems like you do. When you were talking to that guy it seemed like you already knew what he was going to say. The conversation you two had seemed very unnatural to all of us.”
Cara had noticed it too. She was excited like a kid on an imaginary adventure and so she began to doubt herself. The sorcerer had told them that he had caused these strange events so that they would believe him, and that did make some sense, but there was something else that made Cara believe that the sorcerer wasn’t being truthful. That doubt was very weak compared to her natural belief in his words though.
“I don’t know, but ever since I…,” Cara began to say. She looked down while she thought to herself and then noticed the book she had been carrying.
She looked at it and realized that she wasn’t just carrying it; she was clutching it to her chest. That book must have had some sort of effect on her.
Earlier when she had found it, her fear had disappeared. From her viewpoint, it seemed like the book was the only thing that mattered in the world and she was compelled to pick it up. That book might have been the reason she was able to understand the sorcerer and the others weren’t.
“This book,” she said. “I found it in the study and ever since I’ve been wanting to open it.”
She laid the book on the table and opened it up. She skimmed past the first few blank pages until she got to a page full of writing. Her excitement vanished when she saw the symbols. Just like the cover of the book, the book itself was written in a language that Cara had never seen before.
Everyone leaned over the book and they had the same reaction. There was nothing significant about this book. So why was Cara so concerned about it? When they looked at her again, they could see that she was as disappointed as they were.
“It’s this book. Do any of you know what language this is?”
Of course, no one knew. Adam even commented that he had never seen a language like that before. The characters were completely unfamiliar runic symbols so they were probably from an ancient language. The odd thing though was that the book looked new despite the seemingly ancient language contained within. Not new as if it had been made with a printing press, but new as in showing no signs of age at all.
“I don’t think this book is going to help us. Let’s just look for a way to go down. If we can’t find one then we’re just going to have to find another way out of here,” said John.
They all stood up and started looking around the east wing. They were unable to find any doors or anything that looked like it might lead to another room. The group then moved on to the west wing. Several of the other students watched them as they looked around, but no one said anything. There wasn’t anything there either.
As they walked back into the main lobby, Cara remembered something. “Wait, those stairs felt weird, didn’t they?”
“What do you mean?” Martha asked.
“When we were walking up them they felt hollow. Maybe there’s something under them.”
“So what do you want us to do? Break the stairs and see if there are stairs going down underneath them?”
Cara ignored John’s comment and walked up to the stairs. Something hadn’t felt right on the second floor either. The stairs went up, there was a small landing, and then there were more stairs that went up to the second floor. On the first floor, the stairs wrapped around a square section that also felt hollow.
Cara went to the wall to the left of the stairs and knocked. It was definitely hollow.
“I think there might be something hidden behind this wall,” she said. She ran her hand over the surface of the wall and found something that stuck out. A very small metal ring was attached to the front of the wall. Cara grabbed it with her hand and pulled back.
The wall felt like it had moved forward but had stopped on something. So Cara pushed forward instead. The wall moved, but again it was stopped. This time Cara tried to turn the ring. It took some effort, but she was able to twist it clockwise so that it was in a vertical position.
It felt like something had been released so she pushed forward. The entire wall swung inwards.
“This is crazy,” commented Adam.
“I still don’t believe that there are ‘invaders’ on the other side, but this is worth checking out. Normal libraries don’t have hidden passages built into the walls…” Martha said.
When Cara looked beyond where the wall had been, she saw a ladder. Without waiting for the others, she grabbed onto the stairs and began climbing down. Once she had done so, the others moved forward. John observed the other students and to him it looked like they were frozen in place.
He turned to tell the others about this and saw that they had already descended. John quickly climbed down the ladder. When he reached the bottom he noticed an unnatural darkness. It was as if the ladder had led to a sort of nothingness; an empty void. In that void, there was only one thing that he could spot: a spiral staircase, made of rusty metal, that led downwards.
At the bottom of the staircase, the nothingness was lifted although an extreme darkness remained. He was in some sort of small enclosed room. The only direction that he could go now was forward through an unusually small passage that looked like it had been removed from a submarine and placed there. John was concerned that he still couldn’t see the others, but that was the only way they could have gone.
After a short trip, he emerged into a rather spacious chamber. Like everything else that was under the library, the chamber was very metallic and rusted. John couldn’t tell whether that section was or wasn’t older than the library above. It was in that cold circular chamber that he noticed the others.
They were all stunned. From what they had seen, they could no longer deny the possibility that there really was something beneath the library. The idea of the ‘upside down tower’ started to seem believable.
Cara was standing in front of a large metal door. There was no obvious way to open it, but she reached out anyways. Before she could touch it, a loud screeching sound rang out close to where John was standing. Everyone turned around to find that a rusty metal door was sliding out of the wall to seal the narrow passageway.
John rushed towards it in a desperate attempt to stop it, but the passage was so narrow that it took not even two seconds for the entrance to be closed off.
The doors in front of Cara then swung inwards with the same screeching sound. As the doors swung open, an unnatural light lit up the old chamber.
“What… is this place?” Martha asked.
Cara didn’t know the answer, so she gave a simple response.
“Let’s find out.”
Cara and her friends stepped forward into a room with rusty metal walls and a dull green floor.
An elevator waited at the other end of the room. The room was lit by old panels of light installed in the ceiling. The light seemed weak and it gave the room an ominous feeling.
Cara pressed the down button on the elevator and the doors opened. All five of them stepped inside. They were scared and frightened but they trusted Cara who seemed eager to find out where they were.
They all faced the doors and watched them shut. The elevator began to descend and a recorded female voice spoke through the speakers.
“You are now l-l-leaving the Monument Sector. Destination: Initiation Sector. If you do not have the proper-if you do not-not-not have the proper credentials please return to the Monument Sec-…”
The voice was covered by static and then faded away.
The elevator continued to descend taking all five of them to an unknown destination. The voice returned almost as if it had fought its way through the static.
“…monument sek-k-k-k-tor. Warning: An evacuation order has been issued. Please make your way to the nearest emergency exit. The power to the main elevator will be stopped after it reaches its next destination. Please make your way to the nearest emergency exit. Evacuation Order Type: One-Zero-Seven. The premises have been infiltrated by an unknown entity. Warning: An evacuation order has been issued. Please make your way to the nearest emergency exit…”
The notice continued on until they reached the bottom. The doors opened and the lights in the elevator shut off. They all stepped out into another closed room. Much like the above room, the walls were a rusty metal and the floor was a dull green.
A new door awaited them.
None of them wanted to go forward through that door, but that decision wasn’t theirs to make. The wheel of fate had been turning and was pushing them through. The sorcerer who appeared in the dead of night had already decided their fate. Yes, he was worried that his plan wasn’t going to work, but now that the five had left the Monument sector…
They had reached the point of no return.
END OF FIRST SECTION: MONUMENT