Part 8

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With the ominous sound of the approaching rocket muffled to a whisper as the heavy reinforced door closed behind them. They stumbled into the small cinder block room their eyes wide in anticipation of the strike and their likely deaths. A shudder and an audible rumble rolled over them, but they were most assuredly alive. John Brown looked around through at the bare whitewashed walls and the lone fluorescent light recessed into a drop ceiling. He knew something out of the ordinary had just happened. "Jaden how are we here right now? That rocket should have been the end of us."

"Would you believe me If I told you by the time that door closed you had traveled a safe distance from the blast? That's a little trick we borrowed from our friends the Arox. It's based upon the manipulation of gravitational fields."

"To answer your question, no I would not believe it. But here I am just the same. Where is here exactly?"

"We are two hundred meters beneath the ground."

By their expressions upon their faces Jaden could only assume that the presentation of this fact was more of a shock than that of their unlikely survival. Carlos chimed in, "How is that even possible?"

"It's called the façade illusion, an extrusion of spatial dimensionality. We are in effect two places at once."

"How did this come to be here?"

"This is the last of a handful of Arox relics left on Earth. They had an affinity for this planet. In ancient times they came often here. I will explain on the way. In the meantime, I would have you recall what I said about a secret. Well, this is the secret. I would have you keep it for no one should know of this place's existence. Come along there is more I am going to show you."

Jaden waved his hand in front of a specific spot on the whitewashed wall and an opening appeared above an ancient stone stairwell dug into the earth. Jaden stepped down into darkness and the walls on either side of him began to shine with a light, bright enough to illuminate the path. With some trepidation, the others followed suit. "Where is this leading us to?" asked Carlos.

Jaden turned and responded, "Again I hate to keep saying this but, It would be far easier to show you." After several hundred meters of stairs and corridors all similarly illuminated they came to an open gallery that was filled with consoles, displays and all manner of other unidentifiable devices.

Jaden walked forward onto a small set of stairs that led to a small platform. He turned toward the others and spoke, "This is an Arox extrusion engine. In this case, it is powered by a gravitational field generator that uses the Earth's magnetic field as a power source. They had many different types; some were powered by captured black holes or static supernova."

Pat was mesmerized by the things he was seeing there. He felt compelled to ask about it. "How long has this stuff been here, under the ground?"

Jaden was more than happy to provide the answer. "From what I've been able to gather, this ship was sent here during the Younger Dryas Cataclysm as part of a rescue mission. Thousands of people were brought aboard for a time to avoid the floodwaters and the fires that had ravaged the continent resulting from the comet strike."

They looked at him perplexed for these events that were unknown to them. John Brown, however, remembered a story he had heard as a child. "Jaden, in a legend, the Zuni speak of a race of creatures who during a period of great hardship brought the people into the ground for safekeeping. Could these creatures and this place be the same as in the legend?"

"It is not my place to dispel long-held mythology, there are however some marked similarities. Either way, this has been here a long time; it would be difficult to know for sure. Anyway we're here on business, shall we? " He gestured toward the controls "I'm going to fire up this old engine. Pat and Carlos, I'm going to need you to make a trace on the command sequence on that rocket launch we need to know the exact location of its origination. John, come with me. I'm going to need your help."

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