What lies here kills the body.
rating: +4+x


A single word, etched into eternal rock, sat in front of Praut as he stood with his team on the edge of the forest. A word that marked the first entry of every other log of the journey he was prepared to depart on, and the last. Praut felt nothing of his surroundings, rubber coveralls and latex gloves sealing off his senses. Fog crept along the bottom of his visor as he dragged air through the filters. It rose and fell with each breath like the tide, never quite disappearing. Rafe, behind him, shifted her weight around to position a sealed box. Inside was a device recovered from another archaeological site, presumably still operational and marked with a symbol that supposedly mirrored that of the obelisk they were searching for. It would be hard to miss, they were told. Creed took a picture. The flash scared the shadows back into the forest as they stepped, crossing some undetected threshold. A single, ear-splitting click marked their entry into the wood. Nobody knew why. They carried on anyway.

The forest was silent. The trees themselves were nigh-lifeless, leaves yellowed and unhealthy. Detritus was waist-high. The trio almost waded through the leaf litter. There was no life in this stream of brown, however. Only the crunch made underfoot. Something stood before them. It was a large shape, made of strange stone. A frequently seen building material for the era the artifact inside Rafe’s container. Concrete, it was called. Not carved rock, but moulded. It was pale. No vines defaced it, but it was clearly ancient. Creed took a picture. Praut moved around the thing before them, its smooth walls unblemished. There was an opening. Inside there were the remnants of something crafted from wood, withered and gnarled. A metal box and an instrument consisting of several, equally sized square buttons lay on the floor. A mid-2000s computer. They were certainly in the right place. Their lights danced across the room. Nothing of note. They continued. The miles of their journey were slow, but their progress became known once the tenth had been reached. Ahead, there was a strange clearing. The forest cut away abruptly, all foliage disappearing within a few feet. A scorched, white and barren field stood between them and what seemed to be the center of the clearing. A massive rectangle stood alone in the blistering sun. A symbol was etched into it, large and visible from the edge. Three triangles met, equidistant from one another, and a small circle obscured their points. Another click sounded as the group entered the clearing. Another. They grew faster now, as they approached the center. They were coming from Rafe’s box. They were faster now, buzzing and furious. The rectangle stood before them, impossibly tall and gray. Rafe’s device continued to shake, almost seizing. Writing was present on the surface of the obelisk.

This place is a message.
and part of a system of messages
pay attention to it.

Sending this message was important to us.
We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is not a place of honor
no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here
nothing valued is here.

What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us.
This message is a warning about danger.

The danger is in a particular location
it increases towards a center
the center of danger is here
of a particular size and shape, and below us.

The danger is still present
in your time
as it was in ours.

The danger is to the body
it can kill.

This place was best left undisturbed.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License