-The Archaeological Site –
“1:46 pm; and it already feels like 105 degrees out here,”
Jose Sr. grunted from the heat as he raised his head to the sweltering sun.
Contrary to the 95 degrees the meteorologist has stated on the car radio on his way to work this morning.
He reached into his back pocket where he kept an old handkerchief and uses it to wipe the sweat from his forehead, and neck.
“Hot enough out here for you, anciano?” his son Jose Jr. said in a somewhat joking manner as he approaches his father.A shovel in one hand and two water bottles lodged in between the fingers of his other.
Jose Jr. tossed one bottle to his father where he quickly opens the bottle gulps down the much-needed refreshment.
“Heat like this will only strengthen this Old Man, I should be the one worrying about you.” Jose Sr. pointed at his son and raised the bottle up before taking another sip.
“Nah, I’m straight, no worries here; you know how I work Papa,” Jose Jr chuckled.
“And how is that?” Jose Sr looked at his son, wondering what other smart remarks he would make.
Jose Jr. smirked, “Like the Energizer Bunny, like a machine, I work hard.”
“Or hardly.” Jose Sr shakes his head in reply.
“Don’t think I don’t see your hard work, I see you alright, I see you’re working really hard at making a fool of yourself in front of Ms. Allei.” he took another swig of his water wiping away the excess water.
“Who by the way, isn’t interested, it’s very obvious she fancies the doctor.” he nods his head in the direction of Allei and Dr. Beckham.
“Besides, don’t you think she’s a bit older and a little out of your league?” Jose Sr laughed as he watched his son dismiss his remarks.
Jose Jr took a chug of his water, “Maybe she is and maybe she ain’t.” Jose Jr shrugged his shoulders.
“We’ll just have to see. You just have to have a little more faith in me than that Papa” Jose Jr looks in the direction where Allei and Dr. Beckham were working.
Site 4B - Dr. Beckham & Allei“I believe we may have something here, Allei.” said the head archaeologist Dr. Neil Beckham.
“It appears to be well hmm, maybe a fragment of a vase or ceremonial bowl used for some sort of ritual.” As he lightly brushes debris from around the object.
Allei moved closer to examine what Dr. Beckham had been brushing.
“This is has got to be much older than what we have documented thus far. I can analyze and decipher these findings once I collected enough data” Allei pointed at the various glyph and symbols surrounding the dig site.
“These symbols look different from the ones we’ve seen at the other sites.” Allei started collecting the pieces the doctor was handing over to her.
“We have uncovered a lot here, I’m amazed this ist first dig and the funds are well endorsed. I heard horror stories of classmates begging for a board of directions to even donate the money for a damn bone saw” Allei and Dr. Beckham both chuckled.
Allei continued to dust off some of the broken fragments chuckling to herself.
“I’m pretty sure that with the generous funds provided, there’s far more to uncover than just a couple of bowls and vases. This is just a tiny grain of what we can find.” Allei lifted up a piece of fragment examining it.
“This is just the beginning” Dr. Beckham paced around the exhibit looking for more pieces.
Rotating and trying to piece some of the objects together, Allei turned and faced the doctor, “Based on the objects that we’ve found, it’s safe to say that we could be near maybe a temple?”
“Depending on how we stand and the region we’re in, this area is known for its hills and terrain. We can get a more accurate date for how long it’s been buried.” Dr. Beckham watched as Allei started to piece a few objects together.
“Things don’t start sinking down into the earth unless you have a location such as your swamp which has its attribute of being moist being wet and more importantly Vegetation; dying vegetation that is. You also have your other attributing factors: Wind and Water” Dr. Beckham ran his hands through the sand.
“So, it’s safe to say, even though we’re in this desert, which still has its vegetation and the amount of time it takes for the structure to succumb to being buried, we’d be able to get an accurate date?” Allei continued.
“Exactly! For all, we know we could be on top of a temple, maybe just a few yards away, or we could be literally knocking on the door.“The doctor stood up and walked over to the observation table.
“I see you’ve already pieced some of the bowls together. Parchments of paper. Oh, what’s this?“Dr. Beckham picked up a knife.
“Sacrificial Knife, encrusted with human bone...maybe?” Dr. Beckham reviewed the object.
Allei’s eyes widened, “Well, I am sure that if there were any of those, we’d be seeing---”
Neil interrupted “Remains.”
“No, no, I don’t think anything like that was done it looks more of worship or offering, but take a look here” he and Allei stared at the knife.
Brushing it off, he saw a glimmer of dusty and slightly cloudy crystal.
“Dotted along the side right here, are gemstones.” He pointed his brush along the handle of the knife as he and Allei tried to figure out which kind of crystals and gems the knife was decorated with.
“A very important and pretty piece” Allei was given the knife her eyes were glazed with intrigue as she continued brushing it off.
“Perhaps it was just a simple normal non-bloodshed type ritual, not to jump to human sacrifice just yet” Allei laughed nervously.
“My, My Dr. Allei, a bit jumpy on the subject of human sacrifices?” Dr. Beckham watched Allei as she carefully chipped away the caked on dirt.
“I keep my options open, and I am very optimistic” Allei twiddled with the knife in her hands.
“They worshiped something, which means another mystery to solve. If that’s the case, it’s a blood ritual, a human or animal offering for a gain of some sort, maybe even personal gain.” Dr. Beckham rubbed his beard.
“With this knife, they took much pride in what they were doing. Someone with a high status held this knife and they kept it with them at all times.”
“Ahhh. Makes perfect sense my dear” Dr. Beckham pondered for a moment as he watched Allei carefully finished her cleaning exposing more of the knife and its beautiful decoration.
“I’m so excited, you know we will be put on a pedestal for the recognition of discovering a new civilization in the middle of Nevada. I mean who would have thought right? She wiped the sweat from her face as she raised her eyes to Dr. Beckham.
His mouth curled into a smirk as he nodded his head in approval.
“You know Allei I truly appreciate your intellect and proactive nature.” He noticed Allie blushing as she slowed down her process in cleaning the items on the collection table.
“Thirty candidates and I picked you. Your ambition is what got you here and your willingness is up to par” He placed his hands on her shoulders and looked at her with reassuring eyes.
“This will be the beginning of a fruitful and successful career.” he turns around with one hand on her shoulder gesturing his other hand to the dig site.
“Thank you Dr.Beckham, that means a lot to me. I’m flattered and honored including a rise of other emotions that are trying to bubble up right now.....” She held a gaze at Dr.Beckham taking a deep breath and slowly gulping down a knot of nervousness back down her throat.
As she began her mouth to express her true inner feelings.
“You know Dr.Beckham...I always--” she was interrupted with a, “Hold that thought my dear,” his eyes shifted from holding hers in a desperate trance when he noticed in the corner of his eyes that the dig site held a few pieces still stuck under the dirt.
He turned back to Allei who simply mumbled “Oh....ok” as she gritted her teeth with a weak smile covering her anguish as he continued his sentence.
“Before we can move one, We must get some of these items cleared out....we need those two gentlemen down there.” He pointed at Jose Sr and Jose Jr.
“A wheel barrel and a few shovels will clear this up before we do more digging.” Allei was behind Dr. Beckham as she slipped the knife into her satchel and scurried over to his side.
He turned to her and smiled ” I will be here tagging what we have collected so far.” He smiled at her and she responded with a nod a lowered head and a slumped posture as she headed down to Jose Jr and Sr.
Jose Sr turned around and saw Dr. Allei venturing down, he quickly turns back around and whispered to Jose Jr.
“Well, here’s your chance, she’s coming to you señor Romeo,” Jose Sr. Subtly punched his son in the arm.
They both turned around and smiled.
Allei slowed down, she felt awkward as the two with weird smiles plastered across their faces.
Allei sighed and smiled back, “I need your assistance, Dr. Beckham needs a hand in clearing site 4B. We would need the wheelbarrow and some shovels.”
“Sur--” the wheel barrel was whisked away from Jose Sr by Jose Jr.
“I can do that, I think my old man needed a water break anyway” Jose Jr smiled, holding the wheel barrel, he subtly flexed his muscles.
Jose Sr proceeds to grab three shovels shaking his head and laughing to himself.
Jose Jr. swirled the wheel barrel next to Allei and tried to get as close as possible to her.
“So...ah. What did you find, so far...? Mummies, ancient curses, long-lost treasure, maybe?” Jose Jr. voice had a nervous jitter to it but he kept his composure.
“Mummies? Ah no...” Allei had a concerned yet entertained smirk on her face as she shook her head at the silly ideas Jose Jr spewed out of his mouth.
“That would be interesting” Jose Jr. tried to flex his muscles again.
Jose Sr coughs trying to hold in his laughter.
“Ancient curses----that would be interesting, but...nope, nada, niche.” Allei held in her chuckles.
“Actually, in these pits here....or what we like to call ”time capsules," Allei picked up a few of the contents from the pit. “Here we found a few broken shards, burned rocks, and animal bones. Possibly a deer.” she smiles and hands Jose Jr a deer antler.
“So, you my friend and your father are standing in a kitchen. Probably a very important kitchen, which is awesome within itself.”
“Or” She held her hand under her chin
“Or what?” Jose Jr twisted around the deer antler.
“This is a midden.” She saw Jose Jr’s confused look.
She rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“A midden is a garbage dump, to be frank. Everything in there tells us about everything we need to know about a civilization. You got your human excrement, animal bones like the ones you have in your hands.” she did a quick glance at hands then to his eyes.
Jose Jr meets his eyes to Allei and finally registered the term “human excrement” in his mind, thus fumbling the deer antlers into Allei’s chuckling hands.
Allei twisted the antlers in her hands, holding it up between her and Jose Jr.
“Fruit and vegetables, glass pottery, you know the works. Just like in years to come you may have an archaeologist looking into your garbage and discover what you used and ate.”
“That would be awkward for someone to be snooping around in my trash, thousands of years after my death.” Jose Jr had an awkward smile on his face.
“That is the raw reality of the fabulous life of an archaeologist. Our histories trash is the futures valuable treasure. No curse giving mummies or ancient living Gods waiting for centuries to devour the poor souls who walk into their tomb.” She raised her eyebrows and chuckled at his strange theories.
“Where on Earth did you get your....strange and slightly wild assumptions from?” She crossed her arms as she waited for his response.
“I do a lot of extensive research on YouTube and thoroughly search on Google for everything strange and unusual.” Leaning in and whispering to Allei.
“And you know what, not too far from here, there should be a secret military base where some major stuff is happening. Now I’m not done with my research there but I’ve read that there was some digging going on and some dude losing his hand and---”
“Ms. Allei! They need you and the doctor over at site 1A” one of the workers yelled out.
Allei looked over to Dr.Beckham and noticed he gestured his head to the direction of the other site.
“Well, Jose; you never know what you will find when you go digging around in the earth, there have been some controversial finds that have yet to be well” she chuckled “Authenticated” She glanced behind Jose Jr and saw that Dr.Beckham was halfway to the site.
“And before I forget go ahead and take the equipment to site 1A just in case.” She smiled as Jose Jr nodded, he rested his eyes on her lips and then back at her eyes and nervously s rubbed the back of his head.
He accidentally dropped the wheel barrel, smiling got down to pick it up; Allei had started walking away to the dig site.
As he raised up she was already running up to Dr. Beckham, he sighed and his father walked beside him trying to hold in his grin, but not doing to good of a job.
They looked at one another, Jose Jr tried to keep his face serious while Jose Sr shook his head grinning from ear to ear, jiggling from his chuckles.
“Soo, smooth.” Jose Sr shoved three shovels into Jose Jr’s hands and grabbed the wheelbarrow away.
Jose Sr walked off making a grunted laugh at his son, with his son eventually following behind.
“You don’t understand; it was going great. I reeled her in. She was biting” Jose Jr. said with confidence.
“Ah, right. right. right, I mean I saw the whole thing...she didn’t even nibble at the bait you were wiggling around.” Jose Sr took a drink of water as he pointed at Jose Jr.’s arms; mocking him as he ”flexed" his muscles.
Jose Jr sucked his teeth and moved away from his dad, turning his direction to where Allei and Dr. Beckham headed to.
“I think they finally found something over there,” Jose Sr and Jose Jr watched in a distance as Dr.Beckham and Allei walked up to the dig site.
“Another garbage dump” Jose Sr snickered.
Jose Jr saw another way to redeem his failed attempt to woo Allei, and the duo proceeded to see what the fuss was all about.
Doctor Beckham and Allei were on the way to Chad and Connor; two best friends, that shared military backgrounds who were lending a hand in this expedition.Connor tapped Chad on the shoulder, letting him know about the arrival of Doctor Beckham and Allei.
“Hello gentlemen, I was informed that you found something over here,” Dr. Beckham and Allei looked around for anything that could stick out like a sore thumb.
“Look,” said Chad with a little excitement, tapping the shovel on the ground.
Everyone looked down at the ground and then looked at Chad and Connor for an explanation.
“We were over here digging when my shovel hit something, so we tried to remove some of the debris and dirt from around it, we’ve already cleared off about six square feet, but still can’t seem to find an ending,” Connor said to the doctor while Chad continued shoveling.
“We’ll need some more manpower to uncover this,” added Chad.
“But, it’s safe to say we’ve definitely got something here. I can bet, he is gonna want a call” Connor tapped on his walkie-talkie.
Neil and Allei nodded their heads in agreement as they both glanced down to examine the area Chad already cleared off.
“But, first we are going to need to clear this off more” Dr. Beckham took out his ruler.
Jose Sr and Jose Jr made it to the dig site and was pulled into a cleanup task with other workers.
It took a little over six hours for the crew to uncover most of the debris from on top and around the object.
Examining the symbols, Neil called Allei over to compare their findings.“In the site with all the ceremonial artifacts, these same symbols appear over here. They look as though they could be Egyptian.” Allei’s eyebrows raised as she looked to Doctor Beckham.
Doctor Beckham brushed away the debris and noticed there was still more to uncover, he knew this was significant enough dig to contact Mr. Fletcher, he unhooked his walkie from his belt.
Allei had the biggest smile on her face, as she knew this call was important, and it shows that their expedition was not in vain.
Dr. Beckham tapped the talk button on his walkie, his voice was filled to the brim with enthusiasm.
“Mr. Fletcher, we got something down here that’s pretty interesting. We need you to take a look.” Mr. Beckham wiped away sand to examine a symbol.
A raspy voice was heard on the other side of the walkie-talkie, ”I’m on the way.”
Dr. Beckham turned around and motioned the workers to come over.
“Mr. Fletcher is on the way, please take all the fragmented finds to the observation table” Dr. Beckham scanned the area, looking to the horizon.
In the distance, a black jeep was driving towards the dig site.
Everyone had faces of excitement and curiosity.
Allei brushed the dirt off her blouse, while Neil kept going over in his head how he would present the find to Mr. Fletcher.
As the Jeep pulled up to the dig site, everyone stood at attention. The doors opened, and a yellow hard hat is the first to pop out of the door, brown slacks and then brown work boots hit the ground.
Dr. Beckham’s body language was proud as he rolled his shoulders and calmly took A deep breath, and Allei was nervous as she struggled to stop fidgeting her hands along the seams of her blouse.
Mr. Fletcher smiled “So, this is the jackpot?” he whispered to himself.Neil walked up to Mr. Fletcher and shook his hand.
“Thanks for coming Gary. I want to make mention that these symbols somewhat match those of cuneiform and hieroglyphics, buried beneath this sand is the answer to everything we’ve questioned as we only just scraped across the surface” As Neil walks Mr. Fletcher throughout the site, pointing out symbols and describing the structure.
Mr. Fletcher took his phone out and started taking pictures.
Allei watches Mr. Fletcher follow behind Dr. Beckham then finally leading him back to the original meeting point.
Mr. Fletcher noticed an interesting pillar and took a few pictures of it.
“Mr. Fletcher, a new culture, a slightly similar language system; Buried buildings.” Dr. Beckham looked at a collapsed pillar on the ground.
“It sure is Neil, fantastic work.” he patted Dr. Beckham on the shoulder as he circled around him and gravitated towards the fallen pillar.
“So, the first thing we are going to do is lift that pillar out of the way” Mr. Fletcher smiles at Dr. Beckham, still taking random snaps here and there.
Dr. Beckham had a confused expression on his face which changed to a slightly annoyed look.
Dr. Beckham looked at the pillar then back at Mr. Fletcher, furrowing his eyebrows.
“Gary, we don’t have the right equipment for that, what if we damage it?” He looked back at the uncovered dirt and thought about how the site wasn’t even uncovered.
“The time limit is duly noted and I know we have the money to get the right equipment. It’s just” He sighs and squeezed the bridge of his nose as he tried to formulate the words in his head.
“We haven’t even fully examined what these symbols are or where they originate, hell I can’t pinpoint if it has Mayan or Egyptian influence” Neil held his composure as he explained to Mr. Fletcher the dangers of moving the structure.
“I fund this, I know what I am doing Neil, you know I’ve been doing this for a very long time. It’s a fallen pillar, Neil, it would have to be lifted at some point in time...why not now?” Mr. Fletcher gestured from the pillar to the crane that was approaching the site.
“Mr. Fletcher!” Neil raised his voice, interrupting Mr. Fletcher.
Mr. Fletcher whirled around snapping a picture of the angry Dr. Beckham; causing Dr. Beckham to blink rapidly from the flash.
Allei ran over in support of her teacher “Hi. Mr. Fletcher, we didn’t get a chance to meet but---” Mr. Fletcher took a picture of Allei and the recovering Dr. Beckham.
“Ahhh” she nervously laughed.
“With all due respect Mr. Fletcher, we support you 100%, what Dr. Beckham is trying to explain is that it would be beneficial if---” Mr. Fletcher was still trying to take more pictures when he was interrupted by his phone ringing, he held up his finger gesturing to “wait”.
He looked at Allei and Dr. Beckham, lifting up his phone as if he was trying to get a good signal. “I need to answer this,” Mr. Fletcher walked up to the crane and motioned to the worker to start the machine and lift the pillar. He then got back in the jeep and continued on his phone call.
Allei and Dr. Beckham were standing there with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
Allei stood by Neil. “Dr. Beckham, I think that Mr. Fletcher has an excellent reason to want to move the pillar.”
Allei whispered to herself “I mean we’re only lifting it up. It’s not like we are bulldozing it.”
“Sometimes Dr. Beckham” she sighed as he didn’t bother to look her in the eye. “Sometimes you have to destroy something to obtain something else.”
Dr. Beckham finally softened his eyes and removed his glare from Mr. Fletcher.
“Whatever he plans to do, we will most likely get all the answers from what we will discover, apparently from moving this structure. It seems the artifacts scattered about on the top is nothing more than debris to Mr. Fletcher.” Neil crossed his arms, watching the machine start to lift up the pillar.
Mr. Fletcher moves the phone around trying to get better lighting.
“Hey, Jr.” Mr. Fletcher grins at the screen on the phone.
“Hey, Mr. Indiana Jones” a static voice echoed from the speaker.
“What’s up?” Mr. Fletcher leans back in the chair.
“Nothing much I just called to check up on you and give you a little update on your flight to New York.” Nancy smiles.
“Yes, I can’t wait, I haven’t been to the big city in quite some time. I finally get to see my little popcorn again,” said Mr. Fletcher
“Well, this little but not so little popcorn sure can’t wait to see you too dad, nothing much has changed here. The best excitement for me is having you come and us spending time together. It’s been too long,” Nancy picked up her cup of coffee and took a sip.
Mr. Fletcher chuckles “I would pack up my stuff right now if I could popcorn. But as of right now I am at the dig site, finding something particularity interesting.”
“You have discovered the lost ark?” she raised her eyebrows.
“No, no.” Mr. Fletcher shakes his head.
“Something even better?” She took another sip of her coffee.
“The team found a structure, looks like a temple and it’s underground.” His eyes followed the crane and watched it lift up the pillar. “We’re about to dig it up”
“A temple? In Nevada?” she rested her head on her hand.
“Extraordinary, isn’t it? ’Mr. Fletcher showed her a few photos of the dig.
“Amazing!” She looked at each one of the photos.
“So, have you started dating the civilization, collecting some artifacts? You know the usual.”
“No official date yet but we have acquired a vast amount of trinkets here and there,” He noticed Dr. Beckham staring at him, he narrowed his eyes.
“I have my ass buried deep in cases, and I barely have time to plan this wedding” Nancy brushed her hair behind her ear and exhaled.
“We both have some major digging to do” Mr. Fletcher winked.
They both burst out laughing.
“Well, I know you plan on digging into some pizza, you never got enough of it.” Nancy said as she wiped away her tears.
“I remember the last time I was there. I had the most perfect extra large cheesy pizza, ever to grace my life.” Mr. Fletcher gestured the size of the pizza.
“New York is the best and let me tell you the only place to be to have pizza baked. Hey, we should go to the movies, I can’t remember the last time we have been to a movie theater together and I know you’re a fan of Aliens and you know a new movie is coming out in May, maybe we should go see it together.” Nancy looks around and then looks back at the phone.
“Agreed. I know--” Mr. Fletcher was interrupted.
“Hey dad, my boss is coming, I’m going to have to call you back.” Nancy smiles “I love you” she ends the call.
Her office door opens and Mr. Carr her boss walks in.
“Hey Nancy, have you heard from Ken? I’ve been trying to call all morning but no luck.” Mr. Carr waited for her answer.
“Ah, No. No, I haven’t. You know it’s his day off, I’d imagine he’d avoid any and all work-related calls as much as possible” Nancy leans on her desk with a bewildered but sarcastic tone.
“Yeah, I don’t blame him but, this is something important I need to talk to him about. I know he’d want to hear what I have to say. So if you get in touch with him, please let him know to contact me.” Mr. Carr started heading for the door.
“Will do” Nancy smiled as Mr. Carr as he walked out and closed the office door behind him.
Nancy looked at her computer, then her phone, she searched for Ken’s secondary number and called it.
After the 3rd ring, Ken finally answered the phone.“Three times a charm I guess, right Ken?” Allei picked up her coffee mug and waited for his answer before she took her sip.
“Nance, why are you and boss blowing me up? I know he knows it’s my day off, I don’t want to deal with anything pertaining to work.” Ken grunted.
“I know, I know, but he was adamant on telling you something important, I’m pretty sure he really wants you to know about it right away” She twiddled with the pen in her hand.
“Ahhhh. OK” Ken hung up the phone.
Ken stared at his phone as if he was wondering whether or not he should call the boss.
He quickly made up his mind and put the phone in his cargo pants pocket.
Ken took a deep breath, turned around and began to walk down a hallway littered with graffiti and trash.
There was a faint sound in the distance that became louder and louder, as he got closer to the sound it was clear enough to hear the cheers and shouting.
He continued through the hallway opening the door and walking into a large room filled with a rowdy group of people. Ken walked and bumped his way through the crowd.
He saw a man holding a bottle of Jack Daniels, he swiftly moved to where the man was and snatched the bottle out of his hand. The man quietly protested the act only to be welcomed with Ken chugging down the drink and pouring the remaining liquid on the top of his own head and tossing the empty bottle to the side.
He glared at the man who held his hands up in a surrender, and continued shoving his way through the crowd, he unbuttoned his shirt and threw it to the side as he entered the center of the fight ring.
The air was tense as Ken stood across three very large aggressively anxious men. Although they were all physically larger than Ken, they each varied in size.
“Three against one... Perfect,” Ken said to himself.
All three thugs threw nasty insults and taunting words to Ken. His stance and attitude remained calm, he remained silent as he waited for the sound.
Ken closed his eyes as if he was preparing himself to go into a state of invulnerability.
The audience began to chant:
"FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!”
People were placing their bets, money clutched in various hands held in the air. Random numbers and wails of attention were screaming from the crowd. It looked like a moss pit of money, alcohol, and sweat as the crowd of bobbing heads was roaring even louder.
A well-dressed bald man with a bird-like mask to hide his face walked up to a podium and looked over the crowd. His large meaty fingers decorated with countless of rings were clutched onto a black and gold starter pistol while his other held a golden microphone.
He brought the microphone to his lips
“All bets are final!” He turned towards the ring “Everyone has their choices and you all know the rules”
He grinned facing the crowd.
“You came here to enjoy a feast flavored, grotesque fight. You came here to dump your cash into each other’s hand hoping the one you bet on destroys a poor saps limbs, probably crumble a few rib cages. You came here to enjoy a smooth first class drink as you watch someone’s IQ drop down to a negative as a finishing blow rocks and scrambles the inside of their brain. You came here to enjoy.. pure.. utter.. violence.” the crowd cheered in excitement.
“We are here to deliver! Broken teeth, shattered bones, the works guaranteed every time. Blue and Black bruises are simply”
He looked to the crowd and then faced Ken and the three with a sinister smirk.
"Child’s play" he then fired the shot.
Ken opens his eyes and watches as the three men rushed in to surround him, you can hear his knuckles cracking as his hands balled up tightly into a fist; pulling them up to guard his face.
Thug #1 began to swing hitting Ken in the jaw. The other two joined in with a few punches of their own, hitting Ken in his face and body.
He held a weak grin on his face as he continued to allow them to mercilessly beat him. His hands stay shy from even lifting or touching one of them.
Unknown to them, this is his therapy for the guilt of his wife’s death and loss of his daughter.
As the blows twists and turns his body, his hands fall to the ground, he absorbs another hit to his face and his mind begins to flicker into a visual of him driving a car.
His wife in the passenger seat, screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Jesus, Ken. All you do is drink. Everyday Ken. Drink your damn life away!” Anne sobbed as the car rattled and roared on the uneven street.
Ken heard this so many times, in meetings, from his parents, friends and even within himself.
At this moment from the constant nagging she gave him, Ken just did not care.
He pressed his foot a bit harder on the gas.
Anne held onto to the handle of the car, her eye widened.
“So, you wanna fucking kill us too Ken? HUH?! Is that what it is? You think you’re the only one suffering from this?”
“What do you want from me, Anne? That was my little girl too. OUR baby! Some sick bastard took our baby, OUR little girl, and there was nothing I could do!” Ken hit the wheel of the car.
“Your so consumed with work you fail to realize the family you still have, we need to get through this together. I’m tired of arguing... I’m just so sick of it Ken.” Anne used her eyes and pleased at Ken who occasionally turn away from the road to catch his eyes on hers.
“I’m trying, you gotta understand that. I. AM. TRYING!” He roared as looked at Anne, she focused on the road ahead.
“I want you to stop, stop ken...” Anne’s eyes were widened but her speech was slightly delayed from Ken shouting “I’m trying!”
“No Ken, stop the c--“. Another car rammed into them.
He felt another hit on his face as the vision of the wreckage and his reality of the fight fought for his attention.
Images of his daughter’s flashed before him, and he sees a glimpse of his wife’s final moments.
He remembered when her heart stopped beating.
A thunderous kick to his stomach brought his body to the ground.
At that moment, he felt satisfied.
Ken deeply inhaled the alcohol soaked air and the cigarette churning smoke, tasting the salty cold metallic flavor from his own blood that accumulated in his mouth.
Snorting at the dust and dirt beneath his face he lifted his head.
His eyes watch the three merciless contestants circle around him, mustering up the strength he quickly rolled over dodging one of their attempts to crash their foot down on his back.
He struggled to stand up but shook off the pain that was trying to torment his body. He spat out the blood from his mouth and focused on the three oversized piranhas that were ready to strike.
Thug#1 began to lunge after Ken but was dodged with a sidestep and fell into one of the others trying to sneak behind Ken, and they both went crashing down.
“You can’t keep that bullshit up forever. Come get some and stop running like a bitch!” Thug #1 exclaimed as he rushed towards Ken attempting to grab and tackle him to the floor he was, however, met with a flying knee to the face.
Thug #1 flew back and hit the cage, he bounced off just to be hit again with a barrage of painful punches from Ken.
A large gash on his nose and a split lip were painted on his face.
“Hello, do I have your attention now?” Ken asked with a menacing grin.
Ken proceeded to hit him with a left hook to the body, then a right and another left.
A hard elbow to his temple leaving the thug #1 dazed and winded.
Ken attempted to throw a thunderous finishing blow but was grabbed from behind and was flung into the air. However, Ken manages to land on his feet like a cat, only to be met with a crushing punch to the face by thug #3.
This knocked Ken back into the arms of thug #2 who bear-hugged Ken from behind.
Ken thrust the back of his head, knocking it into the face of thug #2. Causing him to lose his grip off of Ken, allowing Ken to swiftly maneuver around to the back of thug #2.
Ken kicked thug #2 on the back of his knee which caused thug #2 to drop to both of his knees, Ken then dived over the now kneeling thug #2 into a front roll, grabbing dirt in his left hand while in this motion. Completing this roll onto his feet thrusting towards his opponent while tossing the sand into the eyes of thug #3.
Finishing with a crushing superman punch with his right hand to the jaws of thug #3 shattering it and rendering him unconscious.
Ken got up and wiped the blood from his mouth, and turned to face thug #2. He noticed that thug #2 momentarily looked into another direction. Causing Ken to look in the same direction to see what thug #2 was looking at. Following his line of sight, he saw that there was a pipe laying on the ground nearby Ken.
Ken reaches for the pipe and smiled with the trickle of blood seeping down his chin.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” Ken asked as he held the metal pipe in his hand.
He then tossed it to the ground at Thug #2′s feet.
Thug #2 then picked up the pipe causing Ken to chuckle a little bit.
“Who’s the bitch now?” said Ken.
Thug #2 replied with a grimacing look on his face, “Let’s find out, seems to me that you have a death wish, if you wish to die so badly, stand still and let me come over there and crack this pipe across your skull. It’ll be quick; promise it won’t hurt.”
“Anybody ever tell you that you talk a lot? But ok, you can come over here and have at it.” Ken drops both arms down his side, letting down his guard allowing thug #2 to approach him.
Thug #2 swings his pipe with malicious intent. Ken dodges, his reflexes were too swift; his counter-attack was frightful proving to be more superior then thug #2.Thug #2 was disorientated by Ken’s movement but before he could do anything about it he felt his head and face smashing against the floor teeth flying from his mouth.
His body lying there bloodied, beaten and without a doubt separated from its consciousness!
Ken turned around to face thug #1 only to realize that he was already out for the count.
When all was said and done boos and cheers emitted from the crowd.
Fans patted Ken’s back, shouts of happiness as well as grunts of defeat for those losing their bets.
“There you have it folks scrambled brains for breakfast to go with your early morning vodka and a side of teeth to honor your candy dish” Carl shouted into the microphone.
Bloody face, swollen eye and bruises that may last longer than expected, and he couldn’t forget that his knuckles were cracked from the punches thrown.
Ken ignored the pain and went over to grab his used to be crisp white t-shirt using it to wipe his bloody and sweaty glazed face; as he pushed is way towards the exit.
Before he could actually make it all the way upstairs, he was stopped by a voice; he turned around and looked at the bottom of the steps where he saw Carl West also known as Pinch.
He ran up to Ken “Hold On!” with a wad of money griped on his heavily ringed fingers.
“Hey, Hey. Big Fella; here’s your money. You almost left without it, again. You know I have to make sure you get paid. I don’t wanna lose a good fighter, I gotta keep them coming back.” Pinch gave an unflattering gritty smile.
Ken looked at the money in his hands and looked at Pinch directly in his eyes, putting on the buttoned-up shirt he mumbled, It ain’t about the money, you keep it”.
Turning his back towards Pinch he continued walking upstairs and before he reached the last step he yelled out “Don’t worry, I’ll be back, I always come back.”He opened the door and exited the building with Pinch at the bottom stuffing the money in his shirt and walking away back into the underground.
--Back at the Site--
Starting from the Conversation with Nancy & Gary Fletcher
"I love You,” Nancy said with the video chat ended.
He watched the picture of Nancy on the screen, her smiling with the red words ”call ended” etched across, he sighed “I love you to popcorn.”
Mr. Fletcher placed his phone back in his pocket.
A worker pointed at the pillar and shouted to Mr. Fletcher “There’s a hole under there. We can’t tell how big it is.”
Mr. Fletcher got out of his car and looked at the small crack giving away a glimpse of what was beneath it.
The pillar being raised showed a hole underneath it. Everyone at the dig site took a step to look.
“So, I’m thinking this is the moment where I can safely and honestly say this is how ancient curses start. There is a hole that’s pitch black with weird symbols all around the dig site that we have no knowledge of, whatsoever.” Jose Jr pointed in various directions of the symbols and the pitch-black hole.
“Plus, the fact that we have two seasoned archaeologists here; I mean it ain’t like they would accidentally read from a book that obviously says don’t read from this book after you read from it” Jose Jr whispered to his father, he folded his arms.
Jose Sr had an amused look on his face as he watched his son fidget around.
“Well, I know for a fact that they send a worker down first, kinda like a king’s food tester, you know like a buffer.” His dad snickered. Jose Jr. tries to get a good view of the hole.
“Yeah well poisoning isn’t my thing, but in this case, I’d take that chance. I’m pretty sure whoever falls down there is gonna get more than just poisoning.” Jose Jr tripped a little trying to back up.
The worker in the cab began to feel some restraint on the controls, he looked over to Mr. Fletcher.
Mr. Fletcher yelled out “Keep Going!”
The man shifted gears and tried to use more power, it lifted just a few more feet higher, the crane then stopped and dropped the pillar. The weight of the pillar dropping from the crane hit the ground and broke the old and fragile flooring of the structure.
The ground began to crumble beneath their feet and in a split second, everyone descended to the bottom.
The workers above yelled out their names but no one answered, the sun from the top beamed down bright enough to see movement but they couldn’t see who.
Finally, the sound of everyone below emitted into the air as the groans and grunts of pain echoed through the hole.
“Arggghhh...What the fuck just happened...Da--...Dad are you ok?” Jose Jr. searched for any sign of his father.
Jose Sr. grunted, “I’ll tell you what the fuck just happened...” he held onto his son’s shoulder as he was being helped up.
“An opportunity for a muchos grande lawsuit settlement is what the fuck has just happened”
“Hey...watch this! Ooooh, my neck my back.” Jose Sr wailed
“Oh...just cut it out papa!” Jose Jr rolled his eyes as he started shaking his shirt and pants, rummaging his hands through his hair, it felt like the sand would never stop rolling off his body. His father in the same predicament, grabbing his hat and emptying the sand inside it, he tossed it onto his head.
He looked around viewing nothing but cloudy dust and barely the silhouettes of the others. He looked up to the only source of light, peering down from the massive hole they fell through.
The next to get up was Chad who then found Connor almost buried under the sand “You ok bro?” as he helped Connor to his feet.
Connor nodded “Yeah, yeah I’m good, that escalated quickly. Is everybody else ok?” He tried to see what was around him.
“I hear Jose Jr and his old man, they seem to be ok.” Chad and Connor looked over to the Jose’s.
“What about the Dr.Beckham and Allei?” Connor asked.
“Dr. Beckham! Ms. Allei!” Chad called out.
“Yeah, we are on the way over to you!” Allei shouted back, she and Dr. Beckham shuffled through the sand following the voices of Chad and Connor.
“What a fall, I hope no one is seriously injured, Allei and I have a few minor bruises here and there and sand dust in our eyes” Dr. Beckham dusted off his shirt.
“But we’ll live” Allei coughed a little and started to redo her ponytail, as she dropped her arms to her side, she glanced around the group and noticed Jose Jr and Jose Sr was missing “Where is Jose Jr and Jose Sr?”
“They should be coming to us now. I heard them talking behind us.” Connor turned around and called out to them “Hey you two follow my voice we need to group up.”
“Here we come, almost there!” Jose Jr answered back as he and his father joined the group.
They all shifted their eyes to the hole; Dr. Beckham dug in his pockets looking for the walkie-talkie.
“I have to find the walkie-talkie, let’s retrace our steps from where we came from” he and Allei went back to their original landing point and started digging through the sand.
“It’s so dark, I can barely see my own two hands.” Allei sighed, still searching for the walkie-talkie.
“From all the years that I’ve known him, I just can’t believe how he could be this reckless, as to the disregard of our safety, just...just putting our lives in jeopardy.” Dr. Beckham sighed as he still searched for the walkie-talkie.
Suddenly a strange faint voice was heard causing Jose Jr to jump.
He looked around at the others who didn’t notice the sound.
“Ok Papa, tell me you did not just hear that.” Jose Jr called out to his father with a nervous look.
“What, what are you scared? Why are you talking like your afraid or nervous?,” Jose Sr. examined his son’s face.
“Nervous no never that; now afraid it sounds better than being utterly scared, we literally just fell underground---” a voice interrupted him.
“Respond if you can hear me”
It was the walkie-talkie, Jose Jr followed the voice and grabbed the walkie-talkie somewhat buried beneath the sand just a few feet away from him.
“Hey, Dr. Beckham I found it!“He called out as she shuffled through the sand reaching the hands of Dr. Beckham.
“Dr. Beckham!” Mr. Fletcher’s voice was heard over the radio.
Dr. Beckham took it from Jose Jr’s hands and held down the talk button.
With frustration and disappointment he lifted it to his mouth, “Gary, this is Neil. We are all accounted for---” He was interrupted by Mr. Fletcher.
“Jesus Christ! Neil, I didn’t hear from you I suspected the worst. Is everyone alright?”
“Everyone is alright, no major injuries just a few cuts and bruises and an ungrateful back pain.”
“Can you see anything down there?” Mr. Fletcher asked.
“We landed on a pile of sand, we can’t see anything down here. We’ll need lights, flares and definitely a way out.”
“Yes, I am preparing for supplies to come down now. We have limited supplies; a few flashlights...two more walkie-talkies and a sufficient amount of flares. As far as getting you all out of there give me some time.” Mr. Fletcher responded.
“Mr. Fletcher, that was a horrible idea. What were you thinking, a lot was damaged.” He sighed and squeezed the bridge of his nose.
“Yes, it was a rash decision, those pillars must weigh more than I anticipated” Mr. Fletcher sighed.
“The damage has happened, it is done, and what we must do now is pick up the pieces. I can look around while we wait for your plan to get out. Just..get us out of here Gary.” Dr.Beckham looked up and saw a dark silhouette of Mr. Fletcher’s hard hat popping up from the opening.“Stand clear, I am about to toss you some supplies!“Mr. Fletcher yelled down.
A duffel bag was tossed down.
Chad and Conner started to rummage through the bag, distributing the supplies.
“We don’t have much in supplies, so we need to distribute them accordingly” Dr. Beckham nodded at Chad.
3· Dr. Beckham, Conner, and Jose Sr. were given flashlights.
2· Chad and Conner were given the walkie-talkies; Dr. Beckham already had a walkie-talkie (1)
10· Conner & Chad received the flares, 10 in total.
Chad started three flares and threw them in various places.
The room was illuminated with the crimson lights swallowing up the darkness, revealing the large room that they inhabited.
Finally able to see their surroundings everyone was in awe.
“You know with the lights illuminating from the flares, this place is soo much bigger than I thought it would be” Allei walked around.
“And has been under us this whole damn time.” Dr. Beckham walked next to Allei, admiring the symbols on the pillars that surrounded the enclosure. They both stopped at one to examine the markings.
Chad and Connor scaled along the walls, hoping to find another way out.
“Man, this is crazy. We’re stuck down here in this sandtrap.” Chad complained.
“This doesn’t beat the time we couldn’t move for hours in one of our recons.” Conner laughed
“No, it doesn’t, but I have a feeling that we need to get out,” Chad sighed.
“Yea don’t say,” Connor said sarcastically.
Jose Jr. looked around, “You know at least we would never go hungry down here.”
Jose Sr looked over and internally cringed at what was going to come out of his son’s mouth.
“Because of all the SAND-Which-Is-here." Jose Jr mimicked the drum roll.
Jose Sr started off with a chuckle and ended up with a cackling laughter. He had seemed to really get a kick out of his son’s joke, Jose Jr. chuckled and began to laugh with his father. Just as soon as Jose Jr was getting into his laugh, Jose Sr.’s laugh had stopped “No son, I was being sarcastic.”
Jose Jr didn’t realize that his father was not amused on his attempts to make light of the situation that they are currently in.
“Papa, you have the flashlight; you’re just standing in one spot not moving; go ahead and fork it over to me, I really just wanna explore a little,” Jose Jr looked at the flashlight in his father’s hand.
Jose Sr. moved the flashlight to the left “This is sand” he moved the flashlight to the right. “This is more sand”, he then proceeded to flash the light in Jose Jr’s face,“And this is someone who wants to explore a room that is filled with nothing but sand.”
Jose Jr shrugged. “There is nothing else better to do while we wait for them to rescue us.”
Jose Jr reached for his phone in his back pocket.
“Great a massive crack and I’m at thirty percent” He shoves it back in his pocket
“Damn, my battery is low, I could’ve used this phone as a flashlight.” He looked over and saw Dr. Beckham and Allei talking, he made his way towards them.
“This marks as a very messy, and still rewarding discovery.” Dr. Beckham smiled.
" I wonder how deep is the sand that we are standing on and what’s buried under it,” Jose Jr chimed in.
Allei shined her light around, her curiosity peaked as she noticed something shimmering in the distance.
Allei’s eyes widened.
Again, the object shimmered.
“Dr. Beckham, look over there. Do you see that?” Dr. Beckham walked next to Allei and watched as she moved the flashlight back and forth.
“Yes, I see it. What do you suppose it is?” Dr. Beckham asked.
“Only one way to find out, let’s go over there” the three traveled over to the shimmer.
It appeared to be the top half of a head on an ancient statue, sticking out of the sand against the wall.
“Hey Jose, go tell everyone that we need shovels and anything they can find that fell down here with us.”
“Roger that”Jose Jr scurried off, moments later the rest of the crew approaches Dr. Beckham and Allei “We found three shovels.”
“Can you do me a favor and start digging over here, be careful not to damage the statue.”
Chad, Connor and Jose Jr began shoveling away.
The sand was compacted but pretty easy to shovel it out the way, it wasn’t long before more of the statue was revealed from beneath the sand, along with what appears to be the top of an archway to the right side of the statue.
“This is crazy, will you look at this?” Connor said.
“Is that what I think it is?”
“That looks like Ruby lodged in one of the eyes of the statue.”
“Holy crap, that is one of the biggest rubies I ever seen” one whispered
“How much do you think it’s worth?”
“Hell do we get some of the money for making this discovery, technically we did find this first right?....right?” Jose Jr looked at each person.
“Technically, there is no technically. You cannot keep any items you find on this site, this belongs to Mr. Fletcher.” Allei sternly said.
“Then why don’t Mr. Fletcher come down here and come dig it up”
“Tell me about” one of them whispered.
“Jose Calmarse (Simmer Down)” Jose Sr
“Just kidding” Jose Jr “Besides I wouldn’t want to bring something back and something ELSE follows me to retrieve it.” Jose Jr backed off.
“Solo Sigue palear a José (Just keep shoveling Jose)” Jose Sr. instructed.
They were all stunned by the beauty of the statue, although old it still was well-preserved and encrusted with glittering gems. It was the head or what appeared to be a large metallic reptile looking deity with ruby lodged in the eye sockets; the team continued to dig shoveling their way around it revealing its neck and the top portion of its shoulder, and even more of the archway that the statue was standing beside of.
“This statue his huge”
“Yeah, I know it has to be at least 15 maybe 20 feet tall.”
“Hey guys I think I see something right here, this arch looks like it belongs to passageway
He continued to shovel, the sand rolls down allowing the arch to open up even more.
Dr. Beckham watched as the opening got an even bigger allowing him to look deeper, it was still dark, the flashlight did little to help his sight.
Chad moved over to try to help Dr. Beckham remove the sand where the opening was.
The sand beneath them starts to shift.
Allei’s smile was brief as the sand started to roll down and before Chad could grab anyone, the sand shifted and they all slid further down into another dark hole. Flashlights and shovels along with them.
The landing was rough but no one was injured.
Chad was the only who did not fall and moved to the opening “Is everyone ok” he yelled down to where the rest of his team that fell.
Slowly the group began to get up.
Shaking the sand off their bodies, “Yeah...” Dr. Beckham coughs. “Yeah, everyone seems to be OK.” Dr. Beckham grabbed the flashlight and double checked that everyone was accounted for.
“I have another flare, so heads up!” Chad threw down the flare.
Illuminating the area, the flare lit the darkness.
The group was relieved now that a little light helped. They all noticed there was less sand the deeper they went in.
“We didn’t roll down too far, not like the first fall.” Jose Jr chuckled
“Yeah, at least you didn’t break your neck on the way down, now I think something else is broken” Jose Sr cracked his back.
“We should be able to get back up. Help shouldn’t be too long” Conner dusted himself off and glanced around.
Connor threw a flare further down into the darkness, the flare revealed a long and narrow hallway what seems to be going downward, with gigantic statues lined up on both sides.
“Statues...” Allei examining it in awe.
“This just keeps getting more interesting!” Allei she said to herself.
Everyone began walking down the hallway, cautiously.
Chad stuck his head out, “Hey, Doctor Beckham, I’m going to stay up here and wait for help.”
“That’s a good idea”
“Chad you scared buddy?”
“Hell yes,” Chad said confidently, “I’m not trying to be that black guy that dies first, like in all those movies,” Chad said jokingly he added.
“Just kidding, whos gonna be up here when the help arrives? Walkie-talkie me on channel 2; but I gotta ask you, man, do you think it’s ok to venture further into the dark unknown?”
“Bro, shit I don’t know you tell me, we got this far, you stay up there and let us know when help is here.”
“Roger that, just be careful; we ain’t getting paid that much.”
The team began to make their way down the long corridor, venturing further down.
On both sides of the hallway are glyphs and more statues.
“These look different, the statues of Goddesses?” Allei broke the silence.
“They used to be worshiped it seems, I’ve noticed the glyphs at the base of these statues, you can see people are worshiping them, see look” Dr. Beckham pointed his flashlight.
They stopped to examine the glyphs carved at the base.
“How old do you think this is? “Jose Jr asked.
“I believe it would be about, let’s see, I would date it, Ancient” Allei muffled a laugh.
“That was a good one” Jose Jr felt slightly embarrassed.
“Honestly they are very similar to Mesopotamia, or Sumerian. I want to say pre-diluvian, can’t say an exact date. I can state I am amazed by all of this down here, they look like they’re in great condition.” Allei ran her hands over the statue.
The group slowly continued down the hallway, their eyes and minds were attentive, each one of them gazed at the fourteen feet statues.
Jose Jr tried to stay close to Allei, Connor was in the back with his flare, with Jose Sr slightly trailing behind Jose Jr. And Dr. Beckham in the front.
Jose Jr started feeling uneasy, “You know, I been in many fun houses, this hallway is pretty long....strangely long” Jose Jr groaned.
Everyone waited for his antics.
“In fact, you guys didn’t notice that we’re not going so straight anymore” Jose Jr. got a little louder catching everyone’s attention.
“Like we are going----”
“Down,” he and Allei completed his sentence.
“Yeah, I didn’t really notice it until you said so” Jose Sr tried to look down the long dark hallway.
“I’m going to radio up top to see what’s the latest on our rescue mission,” Connor pulled out a walkie-talkie.
“Hey Chad, this is Connor, what’s the status?” Connor’s finger pressed against the talk button, their footsteps echoed down the quiet hallway.
“Still nothing, but he did tell me that he sent somebody out to get a rope ladder..it could take a while.” Chad’s voice was low and static.
The words on the other side started to fade out.
“Well the signal is lost, should we turn back?” Connor looked at Dr. Beckham.“Help is on the way, I guess we should be getting back, this will always be here, and it looks like a dead end anyway.” said Connor.
Dr. Beckham and Allei ignore Connor and the two walked closer to examine the glyphs on the wall, as they got closer to the dead end wall you can hear the faint sound of water emanating on the other side of the wall.
“This wall is not the same as the hallway; it’s made from a different type of stone or maybe some clay.”
“Maybe it’s a door, gotta be a way to get to the other side, maybe a lever or a button” Jose Jr started taping and pushing at the wall.
As he leaned against the wall the old corroded structure gave way to his weight, it crumbled causing Jose Jr to fall to the other side.
He fell to the ground and let out a low but sharp wince from the pain in his hand.
Allei and Conner helped him up.
“Hey clumsy, you alright?” Jose Sr brushed the sand off Jose Jr.
“Yeah, just my hand” Jose Jr replied.
“Jesus Jose what part of be careful so you don’t da---” Dr. Beckham gasped
Allei reached into her satchel and pulled out an antibacterial spray and gauze.
“Here, take this” she handed him a numbing antibacterial spray and gave him a gauze.
“Thanks” he sprayed it and wrapped the gauze around his wrist and palm. “You sure are a full package, you got everything in that little bag...just prepared.” Jose Jr. smiled.
“Just try to be less... Damaging to yourself and anything or anyone else that surrounds you.” Allei’s eyes wandered off and she slowly walked past Jose Jr joining Dr.Beckham.
The sound of water was much louder.
On the other side of the platform there were steps and on both side leading into a spiral.As the group soaked in at the beautiful sight of the room Dr. Beckham’s flashlight went out.
“Damn. My light went out”
Jose Sr quickly gives the flashlight to Dr. Beckham.
“Thanks,” he followed the path he made with the new flashlight to scan the enclosure .“This just keeps getting more interesting” Dr.Beckham he noticed a flight of stairs leading even deeper into the cavern-like enclosure.
“How far down do you think we are Dr. Beckham” Allei stood close to him.
“I really don’t know, I can only gauge based on when the walkie-talkie lost signal.” He looks at the steps and eerie feeling swept over him but soon left.
“Who is brave and willing to follow me down the steps of Hell ” Conner threw a flare down the stairs.
Jose Sr looked at his son and then shook his head in a no gesture, Jose Jr parted his lips to speak, Jose Sr groaned.
The word “I don’t mind” escaped from Jose Jr.
Jose Sr mumbled to himself “Here we go.”
Jose Jr. moved in the front as he descends into the darkness with Connor following behind and the others on their tails.
It seemed like forever but they finally reached the bottom.
“Holy Shit” Jose Jr. said before pushing past Connor. Connor tried to pull Jose Jr. back but he was just too fast.
Gold, Silver, Jewelry, Gems, Crystals, Statues, Relics, littered the ground.
“We are rich, we are fucking rich” Jose Jr gawked the ground and statues.
The rest of the crew made it down there, examining that they found on the ground.
“What do you think doc?” Alley questioned.
“Looks to me, that so far from all the stuff on the ground; these things look like offerings of sorts, but to who or what I am not sure” He walked to a pile of artifacts. “This doesn’t look like anything on this planet; the statues don’t even look human...some of these objects on the ground here look alien. ” Dr. Beckham picked up a few strange pieces.
Everyone walked around gazing at the objects that littered the ground.
Dr. Beckham and Allei were impressed but what really caught their eye was a platform surrounded by water; there was one walkway leading to the platform.
On the platform and what appears to be a sacrificial table with hieroglyphs on each side
Connor and Jose Sr admire the view of treasure, almost stumbling on their steps, their eyes struggled to not miss a single glimmer or shine.
“Well I told Chad, he could have gotten something” Connor picked up a large pink diamond, it barely fit inside his hand.
“I could buy a couple of houses, cars, land...whatever with this loot.” Jose Sr sat down.
Dr. Beckham and Allei proceeded across the bridge and made it to the middle where they saw a slab of limestone.
“So, to answer that question. The sacrificial chamber is a yes” Allei nodded “No skeletons....yet” Dr. Beckham joked.
“There are always bones at a site, no matter what. Did you rule out animal remains?” Allei slid her hand across the slab.
Jose Jr examined the room, gawking at the huge statues surrounding the room.
“Let me get this straight, they go to the temple and descended deeper and deeper into this chamber and sacrifice...but the question is to who?” Allie raised her eyes to Dr.Beckham.
“Those statutes we passed in the hallway? The ones that are in here don’t help There are many statues in here but I really can’t pinpoint which particular deity or person they could have worshiped and had human sacrifices.” Dr. Beckham scratches his beard.
“Also, the questions remain, why were there sacrifices? Who was being sacrificed? Animals, men, woman... Children?” Allei looked at the slab to see if she could find any clues.
“I also noted, there isn’t a ceremonial knife.” Dr. Beckham looked at Allei, she turned around facing the slab, then back to Dr. Beckham.
“What about the knife we found on the surface” Allei pulled it out of her satchel.
Jose Jr, walked around on his own until he finally meets up with his father.
“Old man” Jose Jr laughs. “Now this...this is amazing!” He sat next to his dad shaking him.
“Do you know how rich we could be?” Jose Jr grinned.
“We are out of our league you can’t take any of this, they would check your pockets so fast, and deport you; legal or not” Jose Sr cackled back.
Jose Jr. rolled his eyes, he looked down kicking the sand and gems on the ground, he knocked over a pile of gems revealing a giant Ruby at his feet. He glanced up and looked at his father who was lost in his own digging; he then turned over to Connor’s direction who had his back turned too busy examining the huge pink diamond.
Jose Jr reached down and slowly put the ruby in his pocket, his father pretends not to see his sons action all the while he himself sneakily scooped up a few gems that were lain at his feet.
Jose Jr then gets up and walks away, while his father’s eyes follow him until he disappeared behind a large statue.
He hears the faint conversation of Allei and Dr. Beckham as he rotates around the ring dismissing fading voices of Dr. Beckham and Allei as he walked further away he continued to entertain his curiosity and examining the tall statues that resembled giant humanoid lizards each different and unique with a tunnel behind each one.
The scales appeared to be made of white quartz, and the eyes were large lucid gleaming rubies.
He continued along, spectating a fallen statue running his hands along the gem-encrusted structure while he strolls around it.
He uses his cell phone light to brighten the view before him while he hands admired the details of each gem and stone; occasionally attempting to pull any loose gems from the statue.
“Very nice,” he said to himself.
As he slowly turned around he noticed another statue that was much smaller than the others.
He flashed his flashlight from the base of the statue, up to its slender torso that had phantom-white mini scales creeping up to its neck and a bone-chilling snowy white face.
It was frightfully amazing.
He shined the light towards the eyes of the statue, it’s ruby-red orbs looked real which caused the back of his hairs on his neck to stand up.
“This one looks almost real,” Jose Jr thought to himself.
The view startled Jose Jr., he felt uneasy yet intrigued.
Jose Jr. shivered with a cold and unsettling feeling.
He knew this feeling, he has never felt it before but his body and mind knew exactly what it was.
It was his blood signature on
The creature bared its silvery razor-sharp teeth protruding from death-black gums as its mouth barred a sinister growling smile.
Overcome with fear, Jose Jr was frozen, he felt like all the wind had left out from his body. he wanted to yell to his father but his mind wouldn’t allow it to happen.
He knew that this was the last face he was ever going to see, death was standing right in front of him. He will never see his father’s face again to tell his dull jokes, or even experience what it may feel like to have a son of his own one day.