Here we go again... (Part II of II)
Location: Portal Complex (Site B), Pangaea
Timeline: MD02 1030
Previously, on Here We Go Again
Alanna nodded. "Two isn't enough to determine a pattern. I find it fascinating that these caves work the way they do. Do we know what their purpose was?"
Calaban shook his head. "The fae didn't exactly give us any warning. One moment it was screwy gravimetrics, the next, boom, planet, sun, asteroids." He looked down at the red painted line. "Ladies first?"
She looked down at the red line and grinned at Calaban, then stepped inside.
And now, the conclusion
There was no obvious movement but her own. She walked down the narrow tunnel a few feet begore it opened out into a new cave. The only sign was one moment the flood lights were behind her and then there was darkness.
Alanna caught her breath. Now she wished she'd brought a flashlight.
"Woa. Dude." Said calaban from behind her. "That is so cool. Are the ladies present?"
Even further back Dell switched on a flash light. It illuminated a cave, roughly eleven meters square each wall had an exit, just natural clefts in the rock. In the center was two tall hewn pillers, pointed at the top like elongated tears, standing a meter and a half apart. Between them stood a statue of a humanoid, thin slanted cat like eyes in a thin point face, in ancient looking armour and a crested helm. He sttod at attention, with a spear planted squarely, held firmly in its left hand.
Alanna carefully approached the statue, stopping a short distance from it. "Incredible," she whispered.
Calaban came over, tricorder out. "What do you think, igneous? Or Metamorphic?"
"Igneous." She picked up a piece of obsidian and ran her tricorder over it. "Nice."
"Either way, its not the Portal we used," Dell said. "The one we had was covered in quartz. Like being inside a geode?"
"That could be interesting. I've never actually been inside anything like a geode," Alanna said. "So, where is this place?"
"About five fifty meters in and three hundred twenty meters down." Dell replied. "Beyond that, I can't say whats around us or above us. Or below. We should try another room."
"Let me have a good look at this first," Alanna said, taking her tricorder and walking around the statue to get every detail so she could recreate it on the holodeck later. Then she went around the two columns.
As she stepped towards them, the statue drew in breath. Then, with the ghastly sound of grinding rock it held its spear out, the sharpened tip pointing at Alanna. "Góshé śatam?" it asked. "Sas saptá mezēnai!" the voice was guttural, and yet had a strange echo, as if multiple speakers were speaking at once.
Alanna stopped and held out her hands. "My name is Alanna. I come to learn from you and the people who lived here." She wasn't sure if it/they would understand, but she hoped it would speak enough for the Universal Translator to pick it up.
"You are from the Starfleet," it said, suddenly speaking fluent Standard. "Does Isha t'Vaurek command you as she commands me?"
"No. What does she command you to do?" Alanna asked, her eyes flicking to Calaban for a moment.
The rock statute moved, fast, stone grating on stone as he attacked. The spear swept down, catching Alanna across the stomach with the shaft of it, knocking her away from the portal pillars. She was thrown backwards, and the statue came to rest in a defensive crouch, spear pointed at her.
"You could have used words," Alanna joked, rubbing her stomach. "Okay, got it. "You could have used words," Alanna joked, rubbing her stomach. "You passed the test. t'Vaurek will be pleased."
The statue began to slowly advance on Alanna, spear tip pointing at her throat.
"I don't think he's buying it." Calaban helped Alanna up, the started backing towards one of the exits. "I think its time to boogie."
"Yeah." She turned and walked away. "I don't think I could have pulled it off the first time, either. Probably some code word or super-secret hand shake or something to get past him. But it's interesting to know who controls this particular passage."
"Its more worrying its not got the memo about Isha t'Vaurek" Leonora agreed, slipping around the side to join them as they backed away. The statue didn't try and rush them, just kept them away from the two pillars. It watched them with eyes that looked nothing but carved stone.
"Would you be happier if someone had come down here to give it the memo?" Alanna asked. So maybe her sense of humor was a bit warped. It still made her smile. "Not knowing means it isn't communicating with anyone."
Cal looked slightly spooked. "A whole army of golems with out of date orders, most of which we still don't know? This place gets better and better. Totally lets go."
Leonora took both their hands. "Lets see if this one respondes to intention." She shut her eyes, trying to recall every detail of the cave with the cardassian Portal and stepped back, and over the threshold.
Alanna tried not to focus on anything so that only Lenora's thoughts would influence the portal, if it was driven by intent. She didn't think they'd want to find themselves in the middle of a thriving Mayan settlement.
For a moment there distinct feeling of sun and heat, and something feathered seemed to brush against her mind, and then they were standing in a dimly lit room, a thousand tiny lights.
No, not a thousand. One. Dell's lamp reflecting off countless surfaces. The floor was uneven, and littered with the grit of crushed minerals, but the walls and ceiling was covered with fingers of purple amethyst, interspersed with the occasional piece of pure quartz. It was the inside of a giant geode.
Dell looked around, like the previous time, there were two pillars in the centre, and between them stood a stone statue. But she recognised this one. "This is it. This is the portal."
Alanna was distracted, looking around at the amethyst and quartz. "It's amazing," she whispered. Then she turned to Dell. "Where are we?"
Calaban checked his tricorder "About 12 meters below where we were?"
Leonora was examining the cave, eyes critical. "Its the cave we used to go to Cardassia the first time." She indicated the twin pillars. "right through there is cardassia IV in the year 2370"
"Excellent. Can we get back here again?" Alanna asked.
"Well, I'm guessing that since we're here now, it must be possible." Leonora said. "It must be a case of just keep moving until we go through a passage that responds to intention, and brings us here." She looked grim, "and hope our cardassian friends don't mess it up."
Alanna nodded. "There's definitely that chance." In fact, she suspected the Cardassians had their own agenda. She wished she knew what it was.
Ensign Calaban Bel Asher
Assistant Chief Science Officer
Deep Space Five
Lieutenant (JG) Leonora Dell
Deep Space Five
Lieutenant Alanna Wells
Chief Science Officer
Deep Space Five