Papertrails Part 3 of 3

Much later, I guess. For a time I feel like me again. But I don’t have much hope that will stay this way. I now know more, and with the knowing comes the realisation that i’m in too deep to get out. In more than one sense.

Writing this record has become compulsive. A compulsion that comes from outside of me. This too I get now. Whatever is down there, it wants out, but failing that, it wants to leave a record. Probably to lure more puppets down there, who knows.

I have a premonition this might be my last entry, so, I will try to put as much in it as possible from what I know, and from what the voices know. Yea, you read that right.

Let’s start with… yes. The books. The are made from extremely durable materials because they were meant to be written in situ, under conditions not suitable for ordinary books made from paper. They even come with their own specialized writing implement (did I mention this before? Sort of a fountain pen, but not filled with ink. Doesn’t matter) In it, parts of the history of whatever it is are recorded. Nothing viable about itself, but descriptions about riches to be found near it. Precious metals, stones, the whole package. Stuff I don’t know about, something only described as “Exotic Matter”, as if this were a name and not a description. One just sees the lure that is thrown out to reel in the greedy. Then, what is a list of the people that got enslaved by it. But not only a list of their names, a whole history of each one of them. The books I saw above are only a fraction of the books that should be stored below. Then the secrets…. well. Sort of. The recipes for making the pipes for example. Turns out, they couldn’t have dug that deep without solving the same technical difficulties every deep mining operation has to go through, namely ventilation, cooling and basic logistics. They could not use large amounts of conventional material, because that would have drawn unwanted attention to their operations, so they (it ?) got this idea, to use the refuse from the dig to make the tools to go deeper and set up a cover operation the same time. Then other things… I got no idea what that is, it looks like math but is so far beyond my understanding I can not even begin to guess what it describes. I can only guess to why it is here… it is lure for future generations, where knowledge might draw more people than gold.

And, unfortunately, I think I can confirm the others theories about the dust. When the air became too gritty to breathe I managed to improvise a filter mask from a sock. This brought relief in more than one way, and quite unexpected. I don’t know how long this will stay effective, but, seeing that there is presumably no exit to be found a mile below the earth and the way back doesn’t help me much I think I’m due to a final job as digger when my mask is saturated.

For now I have to let it known I have no idea who Catherine is, let alone having left someone with that name in any state. And, the blues, I would actually be glad to hear them now.

Won’t happen. I am alone, with no one giving sight or sound. I guess, what that other one heard, what I heard, what he and I felt, the compulsion- it is all the dust. I don’t know how, of course not, but, everyone who was ever down here, who ever died down here, somehow became part of this dust. The dust carries the memories of the dead, their personalities. But all have become twisted, warped, to further the goals of that what is down there.

I cannot make from the notes of my predecessor if he left them going in or out, but, considering this ruin has not even a reputation for hauntings, let alone unexplained disappearances, i got my doubts about him escaping.

I don’t even know what is down there. Something that isn’t above spending human lives, that is for sure. Unfortunately, that doesn’t narrow it down very much.

But I will find out. Soon. And, maybe, then I will get finally out.

16/4/2037/20:35 Mission Log #730/37, Squad Chief Jules Kern

This is a continuation from ML #725/37 – 729/37, regarding the drug lab in sector 438. Our drones had successfully infiltrated the lab, and in accordance with mission rule #32c neutralized the suspects on site with their on-board sleeping gas. Two of the suspects escaped the effects of the gas by wearing full hazmat rigs, presumably stirrers for their mixing vats, as those are heavily toxic. We first tried the pursuit by the drones, but lost contact with the leading drone after short time due to signal loss. In accordance with mission rule #1 we withdrew the drones we still had contact with to reduce loss of valuable assets. After the arrival of the carrier we left the initial mission area in pursuit of the two fugitives. Both seem to have escaped down into a deeper cellar level. Gärtner will stay on site for the carrier crew and I will follow them on foot. Further mission logs will be deposited according to mission rules en route for the carrier crew.

// encrypted note, leading board only

S**t man, if I had known this before you roped me into this private sector police gig I would have said no, and you know that!

Our so called company consists of just 6 humans, and twice the number of drones. Only, half of each is either off sick leave or damaged beyond repair. And still you brag about getting the contract for the biggest lab bust in 3 years, with the least money spend. I don’t care if you are shagging my sister, I’m out after i get out of this! We don’t even have the air filter masks you promised for dust desert missions like this, and the tunnels are positively choking with dust. If i need new lungs after that, guess who is paying.



  • Puddin Tane

    Was expecting more of an ending. Didn’t say who the “OTHERS” were, or what this “dust” was doing to them or how it was controlling the people.