Still stuck here. Still imprisoned. Sara was due to have us picked up today, but somehow I doubt that’s going to happen. I emailed ‘Sixteen’ about our situation yesterday and asked him to update Sara urgently. He confirmed last night that he had, so now all we can do is wait. It usually takes a while for his messages to get to her (And I don’t blame Sixteen for that in any way.). So, if we’ve learned anything from this experience (apart from plenty of investigation techniques, of course) it’s that we always need a direct line of communication with her in future.
That’s assuming we get out of here and decide to stay working for her.
Maddet is still bringing us food. He’s his usual, content self; but now when he talks to us there’s a low tone to his voice, an emptiness. And I doubt it’s got anything to do with being a puppet. No. He’s talking to us with such absolute neutrality in the same way I’d imagine an undertaker might talk to a corpse. He’s brushed aside all our questions by repeating that Breven will see us soon.
At least he wants to see us. After seeing what I saw the other night I’m surprised he hasn’t done worse to us than simply lock us up. I’m still trying to get my head around what happened. Though I remember going up to that door alone, I also remember Armbranch joining me at some point and I certainly recall how that eased my nerves. The door itself wasn’t much to look at. Just a small metal door covered with inscriptions. Though it was unguarded, something told me a kilo or two of C4 explosives wouldn’t have opened it. The energy of spells was thick around it.
Yet, the moment I laid my hands on it, it was like the metal melted away and I saw straight through it. Darkness. That’s all I saw at first. A darkness as thick as oil. And God how I wish it had stayed that way because when my eyes adjusted I saw something far below us that froze my blood so hard I still don’t think it’s fully thawed.
There was a pool down there. At first I thought it was a pool of water glowing a pale green from the kind of luminescent algae that can be found in deep caves. Then I saw the corpses bobbing about in it. There was a soup of bones and skulls and white, rotting flesh down there. I don’t know how many bodies—a dozen, two dozen, more? And it wasn’t any pool. No. It was some kind of living thing that was feeding off the dead. The more I forced myself to look, the more I saw how the ‘pool’ was hollowed out of some larger body. A great root. That’s what it looked like. The edges of the pool were a pale green and tiny strips of tendrils were interlaced between the bones as if feeding off them.
The sight turned my stomach, especially when a part of my mind kept reminding me how bad it must have stank in there. I could also vividly imagine how the victims must have screamed as they were tossed in there.
I didn’t see where that root began, or where it continued on to. And when I explained the whole thing to Armbranch, he had no suggestions as to what it might be. He could feel its energy, though, feel it through that door. And it terrified him.
Though I haven’t heard anything from Lailia for a while now, I sent her a description of what we saw. With luck, she might have some idea of what it was. That metal door wasn’t the gateway. No. But I’m sure it was overlooking the exit from the gateway and that the root thing was passing out through it from one world into another.