The man who stood before my entombed living body was a manifestation of me beyond what I had been in my first form. I studied him with my ascended eye. He was taller, stronger, older. He had a sharp look, a thick face, and a black heart. Something infused within him granted him a multiplicity of strengths.

How had his bones grown? Or had this one been greater from the beginning?

I reached for him, but felt repelled.

He spoke to me in a tongue my accelerated eons within a heart of gravity had not prepared me for, a knowledge I desperately lacked. He called out to me; he commanded me, but the words had no meaning.

My response was to dim under his overwhelming presence and withdraw into my vessel further.

He spoke to himself through me. Different kinds of words, but still not familiar. Some meaning was there. He spoke of an idea, a thing, a person.

Who did he speak of?

He waited for something, anything, but I did not respond. I could sense his disappointment. The man placed the cube containing my deathrat onto my prison and walked away in silence.

I stayed there still. My living body dulled into the darkness. Sounds of heavy machinery echoed in the far distance within that deep chamber under the pyramid. They were taking something apart, or putting something together.

With the man away, I felt I could reach out again. I sought meaning in the surrounding area. This was my home, but it was not the home I originated from, it was different.

In a surge of direction, my mind connected to another body. I felt myself slip from this moment, through realities, and to another place and time.

I did not assume control. Instead, I came to that body as an observer.

Two men were walking through a dark underground passageway. They both wore the full body gear meant for traveling in worlds beyond breaches. There was a thin atmosphere here. Stale, toxic.

“Did you feel that? A… presence.” My body said. I was shocked and disturbed by my sudden arrival, the oppressive weight of my mind.

Another man ahead of me stopped and listened to the quiet for a moment. “No.” He said over the crackling radio and then continued walking.

I attempted to better conceal myself. My mind relaxed some, and my body also continued forward.

[Strange. It was as if… my suit had filled with water… or… mercury… a suffocating heaviness…] I could hear the echo of my body thinking. It felt afraid and wondered about the purpose of this mission. I thought to probe his mind, but did not at this moment wish to disturb him, and so quieted my curiosity.

The walls were of a tan stone. On them were carved hieroglyphics. In some places they were crumbled, other places scarred from strikings. There were humanoids depicted within the pictures, but in the carvings their knees bent in the wrong direction. They were not the reason we had come here.

We reached a thick sealed stone doorway that showed the scorching signs of having been drilled into from the other side. The opening was just big enough for us to squeeze through an arm’s length of stone. We went without hesitation.

“Nearing the ping.” The other man said.

[How could it even be here? An unlogged world… unless they had lied… or…]

Through the hole led to an endlessly large open space held up with many tall and wide pillars. I was reminded of the great and hidden tombs of Ozymandias, Ramesses the Great. Once filled with vast treasures and everlasting death, now…

[Lead… and blood…]

There was equipment here. For digging. Plastic cases full of unused supplies. We went further into the hall.

My body gripped its long gun with shaking hands. All around, our lights reflected off the bodies of a crew. Some dismembered, all crushed, mangled in various places. All wore suits like we wore. All were covered in settled dust. On the pillars were splashes of long dried blood and pockets of exploded chunks of stone where bullets had been embedded.

“What— ” my body said.

“Shh.” The other man cut me off. He carefully read the scans his suit was making of the large chamber.

I looked at the readings of my visor, still a watcher within this body. Terror surged through me. The ping was within that massive hall and was surging closer.

As Above So Below!

Never miss a chapter release. Join the + Subsoap Newsletter for free.