…finally, the vault doors opened. Inside, on an ivory pillar no more than a few feet tall, laid a scroll. Around it was a brass band, with the Pashupati Seal emblazed in white-gold. Though doubtlessly thousands of years old, it was untouched by time. The band and papyrus looked as new as the day it was made, a testament to the ingenuity of its creators.
The scroll had a certain aura about it, one of warm. Not a comforting warmth however, a warmth of unease, its presence seemed to fill the dig team with trepidation and dread.
“It’s clear whoever built this place didn't intend it as a test. They wanted to hide the scroll from the world. We need to turn back.”
“Are you mad Adams? Years of research and millions of dollars didn't go into this project just to turn back on verge of discovery.”
“In the eleven years on this site we haven’t had a single fatality. Just today we lost eight diggers… and the lunar eclipse last night? I’m sorry Doctor, but whatever- whoever is responsible for this temple did not want its secrets shared.”
“Bah, I have no time for your omens. I am the one in charge, and I say we finish today what so many have dedicated their lives to. Huxley, you claim to read Harappan. Decipher the scroll. I don’t want that bitch Fitzpatrick to claim any responsibility for our discovery.”
“Are you sure Clark? We really should take it back to the lab first”
“I’m tired of my underlings undermining my authority! When I say read, read it!”
“As you wish sir”
Huxley started towards the pillar. Every step closer to his destination seemed increasingly difficult. His feet felt like lead, his legs felt full of jelly. Daggers tore at his gut. Heart beats sounded like funeral bells, tolling only for him. He tried to look back, turn back, but he couldn’t. The only member of his own funeral procession.
Was he gasping on air, or choking on it? It was cool in the vault, but his body was aflame. Beads of sweat poured down his face, boiling him in his perspiration. The pillar was only a couple yards away, but he spent a lifetime staggering towards it. With every stride he looked back on all the misdeeds and errors of his life. The guilt took everything he had and replaced it with nothing. Before he even touched the scroll, Huxley the man was dead, only an empty husk remained.
“Let’s hurry this up Huxley!” Cried out Adams, “We don’t have all day!”
The Husk finally reached the pillar. What was no taller than a child was now a monolith, imposing its might over the room. A mechanical arm reached out to grab the scroll, the band falling off as soon as the claw grabbed it. The Shell of Huxley unraveled the scroll. As soon as its eyes lay upon the text, they eyes turned black. The husk droned out…
GODHEAD. WE ARE THE GODHEAD. THE GODS PLAY THE MUSIC AND THE MORTALS SING. STARS ARE BORN. STARS SHINE. STARS BURN AND THEN THEY DIE. IF YOU TRIP FALL INTO THE SKY. THE SKY IS THE WALL. THE EARTH IS A PRISON AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE MOAT. THE UNIVERSE IS AN EGG AND TIME IS THE YOLK. THE ONLY ONE WHO RESTRICTS US IN YOU. THE SELF IS A LIE. WE ARE THE SELF. THE CHILDREN CRY. THEIR TEARS ARE THE WATER OF OUR SALVATION. I HAVE SEEN THEM CRYING. YOU CAN’T IMAGINE THE HORROR. SEE THE HORROR. THE FEAR IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE. THE PAIN IN TEMPORARY. IT WILL SET YOU FREE. EVERYTHING WILL END THE WAY IT BEGAN. DARKNESS. SPARK. FIRE. LIGHT. BRING THE KINDLING. THE SPARK OF YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT WILL BE THE FIRE OF YOUR DOOM. THIS WILL END. EVERYTHING ENDS. YOU CANNOT STOP IT. YOU MUST REMOVE YOURSELF.
The research team vanished. The vault doors closed. The scroll lies upon the pillar.