Title: The Pyramid
Sequel to: The Cave
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, AVP Cast, Brief John Winchester, Top Buchannan, and metion of Jack McAlister
Disclaimer: I do not own
Summary: When Weyland wants to meet with Chloe, she has no interest until she realizes that they might know something about Jack, who disappeared months ago. She and Lois find more than they were looking for while in the pyramid...as always.
Note: Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt of the story # 89: Shrine (or temple).
In contrast to the deafening storm above, underground, everything was calm, silent. Chloe walked in front of the others, their lights to her back, before letting her eyes morph and lighting up the whole cavern, a gasp of surprise leaving her lips at what she could see.
“What is it?” Lois asked in a whisper, at her side. “What do you see?”
“It’s---beautiful.” Chloe whispered.
Jerry lit a blue flare behind them, illumination the scene of surreal beauty that had Chloe speechless.
They were in an ice grotto, surrounded by giant stalactites and stalagmites made of frozen glacial water. Everything around them shimmered and pulsed in the light of the flare, and the walls were translucent.
But Chloe wasn’t looking at that.
Up ahead, the grotto opened out into a bigger ice cave. It was a vast ceiling vaulting off above them into the darkness. No one could tell how big this place was.
Lois pouted, wanting to see whatever it was that had Chloe so spellbound, and yet being unable to due to her own humanity.
“Stafford, be useful for once and get these lights up!” Lois ordered.
He glared at her before turning to his men. “Connors!”
“Any second now.” The man promised, busy working.
Stafford’s men were already unpacking multiple sets of portable floodlights. They began hooking them to power cables, which ran back up the tunnel to generators on the surface.
“I don’t understand.” Weyland looked around the grotto, breathless from the descent. “No equipment. No sign of another team.”
Lois sent a look in Chloe’s direction.
“Well, this tunnel didn’t dig itself.” Stafford pointed out.
“Well thanks for that, Captain Obvious.” Lois snarked, turning on him and letting out her frustration on him. “Would you like to point out something else completely obvious? Like the fact that it’s fuckin’ cold?”
“Now listen here you fuckin’ Chihuahua!” Stafford snapped, pointing his finger menacingly at her. “I’ve had it up to here with your senseless yapping and if I have to listen to it for one more second---!”
“You point that finger at me again and I’ll bite it off!” Lois took a menacing step towards him.
“We have power!” Connors’ voice broke into the tense moment, and as one, multiple banks of powerful floodlights kicked in.
The sudden reflections from the glacial ice was blinding.
Chloe hissed and she brought up her hand to shield her eyes as they morphed back to normal. Strangely enough, this artificial light felt so unnatural and wrong to her, whereas when it was her mutation giving her the sight it was just so right.
It was a little unnerving how natural her mutation seemed to her now.
Lois turned in the direction Chloe had been looking in, curious, and then she froze, stopping dead in amazement. Every single person in the room did the same, all awed.
The pyramid stood towering above them, the hundreds of stone steps covered in shimmering blue ice crystals.
Two thirds of the magnificent structure was fully visible, the rest buried in the translucent walls of the cave.
“Awesome.” Lois whispered, summing up what everyone else was thinking.
“Congratulations, Mr. Weyland.” Chloe turned from the sight to smile at the man. “Looks like you’ll be leaving your mark after all.”
She and Weyland shared a look, and despite being short on breath, Weyland cracked a broad smile and turned to the group.
“Thank you all for this.” He paused for a beat. “Let’s make history.”
The team made their way up the steps towards the entrance chamber, walking into an entrance that was located halfway up the pyramid.
Jerry Murdock looked down and took a bearing on his digital compass.
Chloe paused, illuminating a pictogram showing two creatures locked in combat. “This isn’t good.”
“You know what this reminds me of?” Lois asked, shining her light on the same pictogram. “Those tiles you said you found above the cave in the old Romanian church. The ones of the Templar knights battling the winged demons?”
“Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.” Chloe admitted, tracing her fingers over the carvings in the stone. “But none of these are humans.”
“Sure they are.” Lois leaned over and tapped the one wearing the armor. “That one is clearly humanoid.”
“Humanoid.” Chloe agreed. “Not human.”
Lois gulped, pulling her hand away immediately. “Maybe we should catch up with the group.” She hurried towards where Sebastian and Thomas were examining three lines of ancient hieroglyphics around the entrance.
“I recognize the Egyptian.” Thomas announced. “Not the other two though.”
“The second line is Aztec. Pre-conquest era.” Sebastian cleared, narrowing his eyes. “Third is Cambodian. Looks like a mixture of Bantu and Sanskrit.” He caught Lois watching him and smiled. “Impressed?”
She chuckled. “Maybe.”
Weyland smiled---for a totally different reason. “Then you were right. The pyramid does contain all three cultures.”
“That’s what it looks like.” Sebastian tore his attention from Lois and turned it to Weyland, excited. “This goes against every history book that’s ever been written.”
“…You may—choose—to enter.” Thomas tried translating the first line. “Those who choose may enter.”
“It’s like an ancient welcome mat.” Miller exclaimed.
Sebastian made a face at Thomas. “Who taught you to translate?”
Thomas snorted. “Funny, he looks just like you.”
Sebastian chuckled, shaking his head. “It’s not ‘choose’, partner. It’s ‘chosen’.” He stepped up to examine the writing more closely. “Only the…chosen ones may enter.”
From the back of the pack, Chloe narrowed her eyes at those words, even more uneasy than she’d been moments ago.
Verheiden took the first step through the entrance, stepping on an ornate stone tile, which sunk ever so slightly into the ground.
He walked on, not noticing it.
No one did.
Chloe frowned, hearing something distant and faraway, yet unable to locate its precise location or nature.
She knew she didn’t like it though, but she doubted anyone would listen to her if she spoke about her doubts, other than Lois of course. The others would think she was a mere female hyperventilating.
Sebastian and Miller were focused on their work while Thomas examined another section of the hieroglyphics.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” Sebastian admitted to Lois, who was shining the light on the writing for him. “The hieroglyphics look to be some kind of hybrid language…containing both Aztec and Egyptian characteristics.”
Miller was near a stone running a basic spectral analysis. “The reading says these stones are at least ten thousand years old.”
Sebastian looked at him, doubtful. “That’s impossible. Check it again.”
Miller turned to him. “I already did.”
“Come on people let’s get going.” Jerry dropped a small strobe light behind him, and then another. They’d burn for at least six hours and help them find their way back just in case something should happen.
Murdock led the team into the next chamber, their flashlights illuminating a large chamber with an impressive vaulted ceiling and bizarre ancient imagery chiseled into the walls.
Seven mummified cadavers lay on seven long stone slabs.
Chloe stopped as soon as her beams fell on them. “This so isn’t good.”
“These are…” Weyland’s eyes widened.
“Sacrificial slabs.” Sebastian finished, seeming in awe.
“Just like the Aztecs and the Egyptians.” Thomas grinned. “Whoever built this pyramid believe in ritual sacrifice.”
Miller studied one of the cadavers. “It’s almost perfectly preserved.”
“This is where they offered the ‘chosen ones’ to the gods.” Thomas announced, spreading his hands out.
“Those that were chosen would lie here.” Sebastian pointed to one of the slabs. “They weren’t bound or tied in any way. They went to their deaths willingly…men and women both. It was considered an honor.”
“The Good Ol’ Days, huh?” Lois made a face, running her fingers around a circular, bowl-like indention at the base of the slab. “What’s this bowl for?”
Sebastian walked towards her. “Some think it’s where the heart was placed after it was torn from the body.”
Weyland’s flashlight illuminated a stone grate on the bottom of the floor with small holes in it. Stafford struck a flare and dropped it in one of the holes.
It fell and hit something before.
“What have you found, Max?” Weyland asked.
Stafford turned towards him. “It’s a shaft to another level. Looks like another room down there.”
Weyland illuminated a huge pile of human bones. Most of the skeletons were still intact. “There must be a hundred people there.”
“At least.” Stafford agreed.
Everyone clustered around the mountain of bleached bones, Chloe more reluctant than the others.
Thomas tried his hand at translating again. “They gave their lives…so that the hunt might begin.”
Chloe took two hurried steps backwards.
“What happened here?” Rousseau asked, bending over one of the bodies still on the slabs. A hole had been punched through the bones.
Thomas hurried over towards her. “It was common in ritual sacrifice to take the heart of the victim.”
“Oh.” Rousseau frowned.
“That’s not where your heart is.” Chloe couldn’t stop herself from saying. “Besides, it looks like the bones were bent straight out.” She took in a deep breath. “Something broke out of this body.”
Lois looked up, eyes wide, going awfully pale.
Miller was still examining the body he’d found interesting moment ago. “Incredible. The entire skull and spinal column removed in one piece.” He held it up for everyone to see. “The cleanness of the cut…remarkable. Straight through bone. No abrasions.”
Once again there was that hint of a sound that Chloe could barely hear. “Did anyone hear that?”
The entire team looked around and then looked at her.
Sebastian and Thomas seemed isolated in a pool of light, suddenly looking very small and vulnerable as they stood away from the rest of the team.
There was silence, and then there was a noise. It was faint, nearly imperceptible, but it was still there.
And this time Chloe wasn’t the only one who’d heard it.
Miller gulped. “Air...moving through the tunnels…?”
“I don’t know.” Sebastian answered. “Maybe.”
He moved forward, cautiously edging his way towards the source of the noise. The team shone their flashlight, cutting through the gloom like lasers as they illuminated the chamber, Lois making her way towards where Chloe stood.
Sebastian cast multiple shadows on the walls around him.
If anything, the lights were making it even creepier.
Miller started to handle one of the spinal columns hanging on the wall.
Sebastian looked at Miller. “Be careful with that.” He then crouched as he continued towards the sound, the ceiling of the back of the chamber clopping down drastically.
Around Sebastian everything was claustrophobic and dark, and then something fell from above and landed on him.
It was a creature with multiple legs and a long tail.
Sebastian fought it away from his face. He fell to the ground and the creature was gone.
Lois hurried towards Sebastian and fell to her knees next to him, and everyone crowded around him to see if he were okay, Chloe’s eyes narrowed as she looked for the thing.
Spotting it, Chloe walked up to and knelt by the creature, cautious. She reached forwards towards the small creature that had hugged Sebastian’s face moments ago and poked it carefully with her flashlight.
It was dead.
Miller knelt down next to her. “Whatever it is, it’s been dead a while. The bones have calcified.” He tested the legs of what Chloe was going to call a Face Hugger. Those legs were rock solid.
Miller turned towards Sebastian, whom Lois was helping to his feet. “You must have dislodged it from a crack in the ceiling.”
“No idea how long it’s been here but the temperature has kept it preserved.” Sebastian announced as he reached them, bending as well. “Looks like some kind of scorpion.”
“No.” Chloe shook her head. “Climate’s too hostile for a scorpion.”
Sebastian turned to her. “Ever seen anything like it?”
She took in a deep breath and reached for the Face Hugger, picking it up and turning it in her hands, studying it before shaking her head. “Never.”
“Maybe it’s a species of scorpion that’s never been discovered?” Lois asked hopefully.
Chloe looked at the Face Hugger again, concerned and unsure. “Maybe.” She handed the creature to Sebastian and stood up, dusting her hands off before unzipping her jacket.
Thomas looked at her in surprise.
“Haven’t you all noticed it?” She asked, shrugging off her jacket and placing it on one of the slabs. “The ambient temperature in here is a lot warmer than ground level.”
Now that she mentioned it they seemed to suddenly realize it as well, taking off their jackets as well.
As soon as Lois’ jacket came off her hoister and gun were in plain view, but she didn’t notice the looks the team were giving her.
Sebastian gulped, clearing his throat. “Uh, why the, uh, gun?”
She looked down at it in surprise, as if having forgotten about it, before looking up, clearly at a loss of what to say.
Chloe stepped forwards, saving Lois as Lois had saved her during the descent. “Not only is Ms. Lane my assistant, but she also has my protection to consider. She would be being remiss in her duties to me if she didn’t carry at least one firearm on her, despite the fact that she is perfectly capable of disabling any threat to my life with her mere hands.”
“Wow.” Thomas blinked. “So she’s like a Special Ops or something.”
Sebastian looked Lois over with even more interest than before.
Lois beamed under the gaze.
Lois decided to ignore him…this time.
Weyland turned to Stafford. “Time to move on. Let’s move to that lower room, Max.”
Stafford nodded and turned to the group. “Time to move on. Ms. Sullivan, do you wish to join us or stay here?”
In the sacrificial chamber? She snorted before moving to Weyland’s side. “I’ll tag along.” She turned to look at Lois.
The brunette was giggling at something Sebastian was saying.
Her cousin turned at the sound of her voice, eyes wide. “Yes Chloe?”
“We’re going to go down to the other level.” Chloe announced. “Would you like to stay up here and rest?”
“Maybe you would like to rest?” Sebastian asked as he made to go with Chloe, Murdock, Weyland and Stafford.
Lois hesitated, looking at the dark tunnel the others were about to go in.
Chloe, sensing the fear in her stubborn cousin’s body, turned to Stafford and gave him a charming smile, resting her hand on his arm. “I know that your people are very professional, but I know that with you, Mr. Stafford, I’ll be safe enough. Why don’t I just allow Lois to stay behind and keep an eye on the others?”
Lois looked both amused and grateful, not wanting to admit the fact that she’d been too afraid to go any further.
Chloe didn’t want her to come either.
If something were to appear in the darkness below, she didn’t want her cousin to be in danger.
Stafford looked shocked silly that Chloe was touching him, or giving him such a compliment. He then cleared his throat and nodded, a surprising blush appearing on his face. “Yes, of course. You’ll be safe with me.”
“Thank you.” Chloe smiled before turning to Lois. “Take care of them and yourself, okay?”
“You too.” Lois whispered.
Winking at the brunette, Chloe let go of Stafford and followed as Jerry headed down the tunnel.
Hanging back momentarily, Stafford watched her go before shaking his head and turning to the others, refusing to look at Lois, instead talking to Thomas and Rousseau. “You, stay here.” He turned to Rousseau. “Stay with him. Keep a team with you.” He turned back to Thomas. “Catalogue everything.”
And with that he hurried after the others.
Thomas took out his digital camera and began filming.
Quinn stumbled through the whiteout.
He was terrified and alone and not sure what exactly had been unleashed upon them in the fury of the storm.
Unable to see much through the white of the storm, he cried as he ran straight into something, falling backwards down on the ground.
Cursing, he rubbed his head and looked up, eyes widening in horror as he realized that what he’d run into was a dead body.
It was Klaus…
…Or what was left of Klaus.
Unable to keep looking at the remains of his friend, Quinn looked away, eyes widening as he saw three more bodies. There were all strung up by their ankles, swaying in the wind.
His whole team was dead.
Quinn noticed Klaus’ gun half buried in the snow. He reached for it, but as he brought up the Desert Eagle, from out of nowhere a creature appeared, as if having conjured itself from the air itself.
It was large, humanoid in figure, covered in mask and armor, with dreadlocks.
The creature knocked the gun out of Quinn’s hand, but Quinn found a piped buried in the snow and picked it up. Unwilling to go down without a fight, and still filled with fury and despair for his fallen teammates---his family---he charged the creature, this predator, but the creature swatted the pipe away as if it were a toy and backhanded Quinn in the chest.
The human went down hard, stunned by the creature’s power.
He picked himself up, unwilling to surrender, but while he was doing so the predator stepped on his leg, snapping it in half like a piece of wood resting on two rocks.
Quinn screamed in agony, his voice mixing with the howling wind.
The predator kicked him in the ribs, sending him into the air and down the mouth of the tunnel, Quinn screaming as he continued to fall at a breakneck speed. His hands grasped desperately at the icy walls, the cabling of the winch system, anything to help slow his descent.
He pulled out his ice axe and struck it into the ice to slow himself down, shards of ice spaying everywhere.
The cloaked Predator stood above the entrance of the tunnel. His ghostly outline flickered and changed with the eddies in the wind as he let loose a Predator battle cry.
From behind him two more wraiths stepped from the storm.
The three hunters stood together at the mouth of the tunnel, looking down at the darkness, to where their bait and their prey awaited.
The middle Predator activated his wrist computer, and displayed on it was a three dimensional representation of the Pyramid below the ice.
From the very heart of the Pyramid there was an electronic pulse, a homing signal of some kind, which the Predators were clearly following.
Flashlight beams cut through the darkness.
Jerry checked his digital compass. “We should be directly beneath the sacrificial chamber.”
Up ahead there was a small amber glow.
Chloe, Weyland, Jerry, Sebastian, Miller, Stafford, Verheiden, Bass, Stone and Connors entered a vast chamber of some kind, where they found the flares Stafford had dropped through the gate in the sacrificial chamber.
Looking upwards they quickly realized that the sacrificial chamber was directly above them, linked by a stone shaft of some kind.
“We’re at the heart of the pyramid.” Sebastian whispered, clearly in awe.
Chloe narrowed her eyes, noticing something, shining her light on it. “Is that what I think it is?”
The rest of them trained their flashlights on the object as well.
“My god…” Weyland whispered.
In the center of the room lay a Sarcophagus.
They headed towards it, while Stafford lit the ornate room by placing flares in every corner.
Sebastian carefully examined the Sarcophagus. “Some kind of sarcophagus…Egyptian in design…These were built to protect the dead for their journey to the afterworld.”
Weyland ran his hand over the Sarcophagus. It was encrusted with ice crystals, glittering in the half-light.
“Max, Verheiden.” Weyland spoke up. “Open it.”
The men moved to opposite sides of the Sarcophagus. The pushed hard, but the lid wouldn’t move. They dug in and pushed with everything they had, but still nothing.
“Excuse me.” Sebastian cut in.
Stafford and Verheiden took a step back as brains replaced brawn.
Sebastian stood over the Sarcophagus, his flashlight illuminating three metal dials inlaid into the stone.
“So you noticed those too.” Chloe announced, going to stand next to him.
Sebastian nodded. “It’s some kind of combination lock.” He knelt by a line of pictograms and hieroglyphics that ran around the edge of the stone slab, studying the designs. “This is The Long Count…the Mayan calendar. Days, months, years.” He looked between the hieroglyphics and the combination lock. “This must be the combination.”
“Days…months…years…” Chloe illuminated the three metal dials on top of the Sarcophagus. “But what date?”
“The dials are set for…” Sebastian hesitated for a moment, looking back at Chloe. “1904.” He rechecked the hieroglyphics, not quite believing what he was seeing. “Exactly one hundred years ago.”
That bad feeling in the pit of Chloe’s stomach was growing in intensity. “So someone opened this a hundred years ago?”
Sebastian gave her a look. “Only one way to find out.” He turned the first of the metal dials on the top of the Sarcophagus.
It moved slightly.
He turned to look at Chloe again. “What’s today’s date?”
“Should we really be doing this?” Chloe refused to answer. “In 1904 the people in the whaling station disappeared---maybe after someone decided to open this thing. Do we really want to run the risk of something happening?”
“Of what happening, exactly?” Connors snorted. “Dying of asthma brought on by ancient, cursed dust?”
She glared at him.
“It’s October 10th.” Miller answered Sebastian’s earlier question.
“10…10…2004.” Sebastian turned back to the Sarcophagus.
“You sure this is going to work?” Weyland asked, excited.
“I don’t know.” Sebastian admitted.
Chloe shook her head, realizing that she’d been right.
They weren’t going to pay her worries any attention.
As the tension mounted, Sebastian turned the remaining two discs.
The entire team was stunned as the lid to the Sarcophagus began to open under its own power.
Chloe cautiously took a couple of steps backwards as the lid finished opening and slid to a smooth halt.
The interior of the Sarcophagus was dark, so dark one couldn’t see within without peering dangerously over the edge.
Chloe wasn’t about to be the one to take that chance.
Taking in a deep breath, Sebastian cautiously approached the edge and slowly peered inside. “Take a look at this.”
The others crowded around the Sarcophagus. It’s interior contained…guns.
Chloe narrowed her eyes at this unexpected, and very unsettling, turn of events.
Three futuristic weapons of alien design sat on hoisters inside.
Sebastian spoke quietly, ominously. “The master culture.”
Quinn’s body lay near the tunnel entrance. He was covered in frost, appearing as if he’d never regained consciousness after his descent and had frozen to death.
His eyes suddenly popped open. He was alive, but barely. His body temperature was incredibly low and his heart barely beating. He could hardly move.
Suddenly the frost around his face began to crack and melt as this once fearless man sweat with undeniable fear as the three predators appeared at the mouth of the grotto.
They headed straight towards him, and Quinn tried to struggle away from them, but he was frozen stiff. All he could do was watch helplessly as the predators got closer and closer.
He didn’t realize that in their heat vision, the half-frozen Quinn was virtually invisible as the bright lights illuminating the pyramid blinded them.
He held his breath, unable to believe it as the predators walked straight passed him, so close that he could reach out and touch them if he’d wanted to---or hadn’t been frozen solid.
After a moment, Quinn craned his neck to see where the predators were going.
He saw two shapes headed straight for the Pyramid.
But just when he thought he was safe, he turned around as much as he could and saw the third predator standing right over him.
It had never been fooled, only waiting for Quinn to show himself.
Quinn, frozen, couldn’t even scream as the twin blades scythed down towards him.