Five Word Challenge: Week 2 – A trip through the gate

Here is my story story for week 2 of the Five Word Challenge and once again I have left it until the last minute until I started this. It’s like I hate myself.

The five words to include this week were

  1. Ancient
  2. Gateway
  3. Metal
  4. Cat
  5. Politics

A very interesting mix, OK on with the story.

 

“Where are we going? And why is it so important that you woke me up in the middle of the night to take me there?” Dan asked still half asleep in the back of the car.

He had been woken up at 2am by a phone call from a number he didn’t recognise, his initial thought was to leave it but whoever it was determined to get through to him and get ringing. Eventually he had pulled himself together enough to answer it to discover it was an old Professor of his that he had studied under and worked with some years on archaeological dig sites around the world.

That brought a smile to his face, remembering all the bits of history he got to visit, all the wonderful places he got to visit around the world, that was all before he met his girlfriend, Michelle.

Professor Sophia Scott sounded giddy with excited on the phone but she didn’t tell Dan much, she had told him to get dressed, quickly pack his bags for a trip and that there would be a car waiting outside him in about five minutes before hanging up

When he had worked for her Dan was used to such calls, but he hadn’t worked for her in seven years, he hadn’t even spoken to her for the past five years. He had been busy lecturing at university looking to start a family with Michelle while Sophia continued her work which took her around the world.

Dan had sat on the edge of his bed for what felt like an eternity wondering what the hell to do. Five minutes later a car pulled up outside his house, he stood in the window for a minute looking down at it, still unsure of what to do.

Dan’s phone started ringing again, it was as if Sophia knew he would be indecisive about what to do, she shouted at him to hurry up and get ready before hanging up again. It was the push he needed, he started getting dressed and packing a bag before he woke Michelle and told her he had to go away for a few days on an emergency work trip. It wasn’t a lie so it was OK Dan reasoned to himself even if he didn’t fully believe it.

“We’re here” said the driver of the car bringing Dan back to reality.

“Where’s here?” Dan asked trying to look out of the window.

The driver said nothing but got out of the car, walked around to Dan’s door and opened it before going to the boot to grab his bags. Dan got out of the car and found himself on a small airstrip in front of a plane.

“Here you go mate” the driver said as he threw Dan his bag “they are waiting for you on the plane”. With that the driver got into his car and drove off. With nothing left to do Dan walked up the stairs into the plane.

Inside the plane there was no one except for a lone stewardess. “Hello Dr Cahill, we’ve been expecting you. If you will follow me to your seat.” The stewardess let Dan to one of the empty seats.

“Excuse me but do you know where we are going?” Dan asked as he sat down.

“I’m sorry I don’t, I’ve just been told to make your journey as pleasant as possible and get you anything if you need it” she replied.

“I see, is it going to be a long flight do you know?” he asked in reply.

“It is, I’d advise you getting some sleep. You’ll be met by Professor Scott and her team when you arrive”.

“OK thanks, I’ll try and do that” Dan said as he started trying to get comfortable in his chair. Once he was comfortable Dan quickly fell asleep.

Dan awoke to find that the plane had already landed. He got up out of his seat and walked to the nearest window to take a look outside to see if he could work out where in the world he was. Looking out of the window all he could see was jungle.

“Oh you’re awake” the stewardess said as she walked in to check in on Dan. “If you’re ready to leave Professor Scott and her team are waiting for you”.

“OK thanks, just let me grab my bag and I’ll go and say hello” Dan said as he had a little stretch trying to work out the stiffness of having slept in a chair.

As Dan walked down the steps of the plane a young girl came frantically running over to him screaming “Dr Cahill. Dr Cahill over here”. Dan stopped at the bottom of the steps to let the girl finish running over to him.

“Hi Dr Cahill” the girl said panting trying to regain her breath “my name is Beth, I’m one of Professor Scott’s students, she told me to wait here for you while she and the rest of the team make their way to the temple. Don’t worry it’s not far and we are only half an hour behind”.

“Hi Beth” dan said offering the young girl his hand “what temple? I’m afraid I haven’t been told much about what is going on”.

Beth shook Dan’s hand “Professor Scott said you hadn’t been told much of what’s going on and that I should fill you in the best I can. Oh and we want to head off that way” she said pointing to behind Dan and a small trail leading into the jungle.

“OK great let’s go” Dan said picking up his bag and heading towards the trail “so what can you tell me about this temple? Actually wait first it might be helpful to know where I am?”

“We are in South America, beyond that it’s probably best you don’t know exactly where” she answered as she pushed past a bush on the trail.

“You know it’s not fair to give an answer like that without giving a little more detail” Dan said with a smile.

“That’s true I guess” Beth replied with a little chuckle “I don’t know the full details but we don’t quite have permission to be here studying the temple. The politicians are still arguing over things, who does what, how will the research be shared, payment. All that boring stuff basically”.

“Ah yes the dance of politics that must be done before any trip. A right pain in the arse but it still needs to be done. You can’t just sneak into a country and start digging up their history for yourself. Well not anymore at least”. Dan said as he followed Beth along the trail.

“I know and I agree with you Dr Cahill, but Professor Scott believes that this temple is very important and worth ‘bending’ the rules for she said. She things it holds the answer to some ancient secret or puzzle, but she wouldn’t say what until we are here. The couple of military guys that are ‘escorting’ us haven’t really filled people with confidence either if I’m honest” she said half whispering as if she was scared of being heard.

“Good to know” Dan said mulling it over in his mind. “how much further until we get there?”

“Not long” came the reply “another five or ten minutes give or take”.

The rest of the walk was done in silence. After a little under ten minutes they came into a clearing, in the centre of the clearing was what appeared to be a giant mound, covered in vines. Stood just in front of it was Professor Scott and what Dan assumed was her team. Dan and Beth slowly made their way over to them.

“Danny” Sophia said with a huge smile on her face as they walked over to her “it’s so good to see you, it’s been too long”.

“Hi Sophia” Dan replied going to hug her “it really has”.

“So what do you think of the temple?” she asked gesturing to the giant mound. It was just like her to get straight to the matter, no friendly chit chat, no time wasting.

“Well Sophia it looks like a giant pile of dirt” Dan answered tongue in cheek.

“Wait until you see inside” she replied enthusiastically as she grabbed him by the arm and started pulling him towards it. “It is absolutely amazing and wonderful inside”.

She pulled him to the base of the mound where some of the dirt and vines had been cleared away to reveal a stone door. On the stone door there was a carving of what looked like a human warrior holding a spear in one hand and shield in the other, however this warrior had the head of a jaguar and possibly a tail, but Dan couldn’t be sure about the tail because of the wear and tear on the door.

“Now tell me what you think” Sophia asked with the same level of enthusiasm.

“We may have just found the secret liar of man-cat, half man half cat, he uses his trusty spear to hunt down crime”.

Sophia burst into laughter “oh Danny I forgot what a wonderful sense of humour you have”.

“Why don’t you tell me what’s so special about this place. That might save us all a bit of time”. Dan turned around to look at the rest of the team. While he and Sophia had been studying the door they had gone about unpacking and were in the process of setting up a small camping area for them to stay in.

“OK” she said whispering moving into close to Dan, “this” she said pulling out a strange piece of metal out of her pocket handing it to Dan. “This is why we are here.”

“A lump of metal?” Dan asked looking quizzically at the metal.

“Yes, but it’s not any ordinary kind of metal” she said still whispering. “It’s been analysed by some of the top scientific minds back home and it’s no type of known metal. It’s stronger and lighter than anything we’ve ever seen”.

“Well that explains the military interest I suppose” Dan said nodding to the military escort.

“Exactly” replied Sophia in a hushed voice “the person who discovered the metal said they found it in this area and when the area was explored they found that temple so…”

“So naturally they contacted you” Dan finished for her.

“Exactly Danny. You are as sharp as ever. Those army boys want us to find out what this metal is, where it can from, and how to get more of it”.

“Of course they do. I’m guessing our Government has not exactly been forthcoming with the news of this new wonder metal?”

“No, no they have not, which made explaining why we were so desperate to explore this place difficult, but my job is not to debate the politics but to explore, research, and study, and that is what I will do. It does however mean we need to be quick” she explained to Dan.

“Well then in that case we better get started” he said to Sophia. “Oi big boy” Dan said turning to biggest member of their military escort “you want to give me a hand with the door?”

It wasn’t until he walked over to where they were standing that Dan realised just how tall the man was, he was easily over 6’5, broad shoulders, lots of muscle, the definition of being built like a tank. He gave one mighty push and the door swung open revealing a dark downwards sloping tunnel.

“Thanks” Dan said amazed at the man’s size and the fact he had opened the door so easily. “Shall we then?” Dan asked Sophia as he looked into the dark tunnel.

The team spent a couple of minutes arranging their gear for exploring in the tunnels. They all put on helmets and grabbed a torch each, Beth was in charge of carrying the first aid kit while another of Sophia’s students was in charge of carrying some food and water. The military personnel that had been designed to escort them were going to take up positions at the front and rear of the group to provide cover.

“Right then” Sophia said to the group, “is everybody ready? Remember we do not know what is in there or how big it is, so we are going to take things slow and steady”.

With that Sophia switched on her torch and entered the tunnel, the others took it in turn to follow her lead until they were all in the tunnel. The tunnel was so dark that without the torch light they would have been completely blind and unable to see. The tunnel was in a bad state of repair forcing the team to travel through it slowly and carefully to avoid tripping and falling on some loose stone.

After half an hour of careful travel down the sloping tunnel they reach a door identical to the one that they had entered through at the top of the tunnel. It had the same half-man half-cat holding a spear and shield on it, except it had suffered less wear and tear. The same man who had opened the door at the top stepped forward to open this one, however unlike the first door he couldn’t manage to open this alone. It took the combined effort of half of the team to slowly force the door open.

Behind the door was a large chamber. The team slowly made their way into the chamber scanning it slowly with their torches. The walls of the chamber were made out of the strange metal, Dan ran his hand along the wall and discovered that they were completely smooth.

Beth started walking into the centre of the room tripping over something on the floor and falling into something table height. All of a sudden there was a mechanical sound, like gears slowly warming up, and a series of lights started to turn on all around the room.

The centre of the room was raised up like an altar or platform upon which there was a giant archway made of the same metal. The mechanical sound got louder and they realised it was coming from beneath the platform. There was a bright flash from the archway in the centre of the room which blinded the team for a moment. When their sight returned they noticed a strange glow coming from the archway.

One of Sophia’s student whose name Dan never caught looked as if he was hypnotised by the light, he slowly walked up to up to it and went to touch the strange light emitting from it. As he touched the light he was sucked through the archway in the blink of an eye managing a brief but terrible shriek that sounded as if he was in a lot of pain as he was sucked through.

The whole team was in a state of shock when deafening and blood-curdling screams start coming out of the archway. The team collapsed to their knees covering their ears in pain when a shadowy figure appeared to be stood in the archway.

“My God it’s a gateway” Sophia struggled to say as she collapsed.

The End.

 

Sorry that this story is a bit long. I got carried away. Also sorry it’s a bit rushed. I will start the story earlier so that I can actually take my time with it.

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