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Science Fiction Horror Suspense

Wednesday 04/17/2067:

I couldn’t quite believe my luck today! The sky was clear and sun was bright which meant exceptionally clear (and slightly warmer) waters! Definitely the best the conditions I’ve had the week I’ve been here. The detail on the outside of the building is truly incredible for its time period and considering how long it’s been submerged. I believe it was a significant building to the community based on the love and effort that’s gone into its craft. The clarity meant I was able to make copies of the symbols I’d noted carved above the entrance, not sure of the language, or if it is even a language! But perhaps there will be more clues inside. It seems the entire stone structure is etched in imagery! I got a brief look at the whole thing but really focused on southside today. It depicts the sun in its center and is surrounded by carvings of trees and flowers and animals, some unbelievably small and intricate encircling the huge swirling central sun. The whole thing looks and feels very warm and joyous. It must have been quite the sight when the engravings were still sharp. Another note I made, the stone at the very bottom of the building is very smooth, and there looks to have been a step into the entry way, so I am wondering if it was always partially submerged? Perhaps the lake just used to lap at its base before this land was flooded. Hoping the light continues tomorrow so I can get a good look at the north side in its entirety.

Thursday 04/18/2067:

We’ve returned to cloudy. Although thankfully the warmth of yesterday’s sun has kept the water mild, not quite warm enough to remove my wetsuit, but, I live in hope. As I had to use the torch anyway, I decided to spend the day exploring the interior. The grand entrance hall I’ve already described, and there are two doors out the back on either side, leading to back chambers as expected. BUT, I am rushing because I discovered a third door today, well really I say door in the loosest sense. It is no more the size of a small window, big enough to fit myself through and not much else. It is also up high on the wall, would have had to have been accessed by a ladder and then pull yourself in on your stomach. Even swimming thorough is a chore with the air tanks and equipment! Given that, I thought it would be storage space, yet inside is a smallish room mainly taken up by a gold alter entirely covered in jewels! Potentially the most ornate thing I have ever seen! Honestly incredible. It may be a career defining discovery. I can’t stop picturing it in my mind. Definitely a shrine of some description and certainly to something important. Unfortunately I succumbed to the cold, but I go back first thing. What a find!! 

Friday 04/19/2067:

Went straight to the alter room (of course). It’s a better discovery than I ever imagined I’d find here! With the entrance so high up on the wall, may it have been a secret room? How did they get the gold alter in there through that opening? Piece by piece? It’s as if the building was constructed around it! I really noticed how much cooler the water is and I am wondering if that’s because it’s so cut off from any natural light and current? As you can tell, the whole thing has my imagination racing, it’s created more questions than I have answers for. The bejeweled alter is utterly outstanding!!! It’s a similar size to a fireplace but made entirely of gold and looks to be inlayed with rubies, emeralds, sapphires. More precious stones than I could name if I am honest. Gaudy, for sure, but marvelous all the same. While I was inspecting it, trying to find out what may have sat atop it or what it’s a shrine for, I had a terrible fright! I could feel a presence over my shoulder, and I turned and there was nothing there, but I felt it again, and again, there was nothing there. When I looked a 3rd time, a Marlin was right in front of me, its face right by mine, I almost jumped out of my skin!!! It swam of as quickly as it had appeared, just fitting through the entry way. Not the kind of shock you need in a pitch-black underwater shrine, after being by yourself for almost 3 weeks, I can tell you!! That aside, an incredible day!

Saturday 04/20/2067:

This morning was glorious weather, so I took my opportunity to get a good look at the North side of the building. Similar and yet opposite to the South, a crescent moon is its center feature. In place of the flowers there are stars and instead of rabbits and deer there are owls and wolves. It’s striking. This chapel must have been revered. As the water was a bit warmer, I spent a bit more time out there than usual, back to the alter room. It’s so hard to get a sense of its size and shape as even with the torch I can barely see my hand in front of my face. I can’t wait to come back with a crew and light it up, take photos! It gets so cold it’s hard to spend any time in there but still I am trying to map it out, find out what it was used for. Why it was so special yet so hidden. It seems like there may be some fire damage om the wall opposite the alter. The stonework is stained black as if something was burnt before it maybe? The room is quite small, and I can’t find any ventilation holes? Hard to believe anyone could get out and down to the main room in time after setting a fire. So baffling. The room is earie as all hell! Very glad to be back in the research hut and in dry clothes and a blanket as I am writing this. My side note for today – I am wondering if a Saturday nightat home would be any different - sketching ruins with a cup of tea and cold tinned food? Pretty standard!

Sunday 04/21/2067:

If the sides of the building are day and night, then I believe the front is dawn. There is no central image, but it mirrors the trees and animals from the sides with both owls and rabbits and stars and flowers. The main difference is that it also has symbols across it, which look to be in lines like text. It almost looks like a poem etched across the scene. I would love to know what the markings mean. Not sure if it’s because of my Marlin encounter but I have a funny feeling, like being watched, obviously it’s just the fish but hard to tell what’s there in the darkness, you must have your wits about you. I avoided the room today, took a little swim around some of the lagoons and rockpools on the site around the chapel, trying to swim this uneasy feeling away. Nothing note worthy to report back. Occasional fish, and seaweed my only friend.

Monday 04/22/2067:

Forced myself to go back into the chamber today and it was worth it because whilst examining the floor, I found a small metal box. It’s strange, the complete opposite of the opulent gold alter. It is small enough to sit atop the palm of my hand and the metal is dull and rough. Hard to tell if it’s old or has just been damaged by the water. The biggest disappointment is that I can’t open it. I have tried to be gentle and prize the top up but it’s not budging. I’ve got some tools I could use but for now it sits on my bed and hopefully it will acclimatize to the warm and be more giving to me. The uncomfortable feeling remained being in the chamber though. I just can’t work out why is something so ornate and grand hidden away in this little alcove? Why not have it in the main part of the chapel? Even if it had no door from the entry hall you couldn’t spot what the hole in the wall would contain. It’s so dark it’s like any light is swallowed right up, even the torch light shining off the glorious golden mantel. Once I had found the box that was the only excuse I needed to leave.

Tuesday 04/23/2067:

I am writing today with a racing heart. I avoided the chamber today but after finding nothing of interest in either back room, standard artifacts for a chapel of this period, I decided to have a quick dip in the alter room before returning to my makeshift ‘home’. I am weirdly drawn to it despite the perturbed feeling it gives me when I’m in there. Everything is as it usually is and despite another sweeping of the ground, I found nothing else. So I went to leave, not sure what I would write for you in this daily log. Except as I got my hands on the entrance hole, something pulled me back. As I sit here and think about it, I am really not sure what happened or how to describe it. I didn’t feel a grip. Maybe something caught on my flipper or maybe it was just a current somehow? But the more I pulled myself forward, and believe me, the panic I felt, I was pulling! The less I seemed to move. I kicked desperately and didn’t let my arms rest and after what was probably only a few seconds I was shooting through the little hole doorway. But it felt like a long time. I feel like those few seconds have aged me 10 years! I was too panicked to even shine my torch behind me and see what I was caught on. I think perhaps the isolation is getting to me this trip! Unusual. 

Wednesday 04/24/2067:

I think this will be my last post as I plan to leave tomorrow. I am just waiting for the extraction crew to confirm they can come a week early. 2 weeks it seems has been enough for me. I can’t shake the anxiety that courses through me and it’s been affecting my sleep and causing the strangest dreams about being lost in the forest at dusk as panic starts to set in. I would usually write these diaries at the end of the day, but I am here in the morning, sitting on my bed rather than the desk. Not even going to dip a toe in today. When I return with a proper crew, we will get a much better picture of just what it is that’s been discovered here. I have the metal boxed resting beside me, I will shortly be putting it in my backpack to return with it. Still no luck in opening it but I get a distinct feeling when I look at it deep in my stomach. I think that feeling is dread.

Thursday 04/25/2067:

Extraction is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I can’t explain why, as I’ve never felt like this on any other expeditions, but I can’t tell you the relief I feel at being able to write that I will be leaving in less than 24 hours. This place really has me spooked, and it takes a lot for someone as seasoned as me to admit that! I have packed up and I am now twiddling my thumbs. Looking over the alter box, which still hasn’t yielded to me. I am actually considering putting it back, I have a day to waste and somehow it doesn’t feel right removing it from here. It suits the darkness that encompasses the room in which I found it. When I went on my first expedition, I was in Peru examining ruins 80 miles south of the Inkas and I met Carmen. Who, I say with pride, is now my wife. The happiest days of my life discovering lost civilizations with the woman who stole my heart, and I think I knew it then too, that those were the days I would look back on most fondly. Thinking of them now from this hut in the waste lands of central Sumatra, I am beginning to wonder why I am still doing this? I think this has galvanized my decision! I will return this box to where it belongs and then I will do the same with my very self! See you on the other side!

*Connection Lost* 

Hello commander, please see above log found at exploratory base 372. Alan Turner still unaccounted for.

April 26, 2024 16:04

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1 comment

Felix Corbyn
22:42 May 07, 2024

Wonderful submission, Jean! This left me feeling on edge, I would love to know what happens next. Excellent job.


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