Short Story #1 – New Rising (Part 2)

He came upon a large passage way that had a fork leading to two separate tunnels. The walls and ceiling of the passage way was unlike the entrance of the cave with their shiny and smooth surfaces. It was as though they had been thoroughly polished by some mechanical means.

Not knowing what lies ahead in either of the tunnels, Tar’Kari randomly chose one after putting down a red marker on the ground to indicate to the rest of the group that someone had been through here and was ahead.

The second tunnel progressively became rounder as he went deeper, placing red markers at roughly equal distance from each other. Before he knew it, he was in some kind of large chamber that showed size of large scale human activity. There were large columns, many wide as four men put together that went all the way to the top of the chamber. Instinct told Tar’Kari that these are support structure. Section of the chamber were carved by some kind of tools with some corners at a right angles — Nature don’t do right angles.

At the center of the chamber was a massive metallic, roughly spherical structure that took up three-quarter of the available space with half of it seemingly buried in the ground. It was connected to another elongate structure stretches as deep as the eyes can see in this strangely well-lit chamber. There were no visible sources of light. That alone fascinated him. He wondered how it could be done.

Tar’Kari followed a curved, yet rather slippery path, down to the structure below. As he got closer, he felt a deep sense of trepidation and at the same time, he was exhilarated. The moment he got close to the structure, it emitted a low rumbling noise before a red beam swept across him several times.

Then the structure asked, in Tar’Kari’s language, “Who are you? You are not authorized to be here.”

“I’m Tar’Kari, the wiseman for Huntsman Tribe. I’m here to find out more about the cave.”

“Interesting. So there are humans on the surface?”

“Yes, there are countless tribes like ours.”

The structure mumbled loudly, as though Tar’Kari wasn’t there, “That means the Black Plague has been defeated. We can begin the rebuilding process.”

Tar’Kari was puzzled, “Black Plague? Rebuilding?”

The structure ignored him and there were more rumbling noise coming from the rear of the structure.

“Multiple threats detected.”

Multiple tiny yet extremely reflective spheres shot across the air and went straight for the only entrance into the chamber and hovered there.

Tar’Kari saw the sphere, knew immediately what it meant and yelled, “Stop! Those are my people and meant you no harm. We are just here on a research expedition.”

A massive circle open up in the middle of the circle to reveal a massive sliver blob of matter that was human shaped moving towards Tar’Kari. He could make out the individual parts that made up this blob of matter. They were like extremely tiny machines. At the center of the blob was a shiny sphere that was emitting blue light in all direction.

Tar’Kari was both dumbstruck and awestruck by the sight. No words could ever describe what he was feeling or saw.

All he could muster was, “What are you?”

[To be Continued in Part 3]