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Temple of Zahn
Temple of Zahn Search Day 28
April 5, 2096
It’s been almost a month since my team and I set search for the Temple of Zahn. Supplies are beginning to run to low and the search is running thin. Ever since that other temple in Guatemala mentioned another temple full of riches to the east we’ve been heading in that direction for the past month. But I’m beginning to fear I was wrong. As the leader of this group I feel I should end this investigation. The food will last a week if we’re lucky, we should use it to get out of the jungle. If we don’t find anything soon we’ll have to pack everything up and lea…
“Zac! Zac,” screamed Lydia, “Get out here quick!”
“What is it,” I replied.
“Follow me,” she said.
I followed Lydia out of the area where we set up camp into the jungle. It was noon and the heat was unbearable even with the cover of the canopy. The 100 meter walk out of camp felt like forever. The excitement I saw in Lydia’s face made it all worthwhile though. The last time I saw a smile that big on her face was back in Guatemala. It made me wonder, but no time for that now. I could see the rest of my team all crowding around something. Beck, Kurt, and Angie were all starring at an object on the ground. When I finally got over to the rest of the team I realized why they were all shell-shocked. A Mayan stone tablet laid in the ground half covered in mud and dirt.
“Is that what I think it is,” I asked.
“If you think it’s a stone tablet then yes,” Beck said.
“What should we do now,” asked Angie.
“You and Beck are going to dig this thing up and take it back to camp. Analyze, translate, and copy what it says,” I commanded. “Lydia and I will search the surrounding area.”
“What about me sir,” Kurt asked.
“Kurt, I want you to help Beck and Angie get the tablet back to camp and when your done doing that come find us in the jungle.”
Everyone understood and began doing what they were told. I was glad to see the team working together again. I was just hoping the “Jungle Madness” or whatever they called it didn’t mess this all up again. With that in mind, Lydia and I went out into the jungle to see if we could find any more evidence of the temple. We didn’t have to find it just another clue or something, anything. We were in great desperation but both Lydia and I knew we were close to something, something big.
“Zack,” Lydia said, “I don’t think anything else is out here. Everything is just wet grass and sloppy mud.”
“I know,” I replied, “I don’t think anyone would’ve written a message in this crap. No, we need to find some stone.”
“No kidding, I just want to find the temple and get out of this god forsaken jungle.”
“What? You don’t like this place?”
“Not really. There’s bugs and snakes everywhere, it’s always hot and sticky, and to top it off things go from dry to wet in a matter of minutes.”
“It’s all apart of the adventure though.”
“You actually like this stuff Zac? Unbelievable.”
“Ya well, you get use to it.”
“Blah, men and the thing there use to.”
“Speaking of men, where’s Kurt? Shouldn’t he be here by now?”
“I don’t know how long have we been out here?”
“About half an hour.”
“Better head back and make sure he’s ok.”
As Lydia and I headed back camp we heard a wild scream come from the direction of our camp. We ran through the jungle dodging the bases of trees, ducking under loosely hanging vines, and jumping over large puddles. It took Lydia and I no more than a minute to reach camp. But when we did a very frightening sight bestowed us. Beck was lying on the ground cringing from what seemed to be pain while Kurt was swinging a mighty machete at him.
“No,” Lydia yelled.
“Die you worthless worm,” Kurt screamed.
And the machete fell right on top of Beck. Blood flew all around.
“Why Kurt why,” I questioned.
“Didn’t you see that bloody thing,” he asked, “It was squeezing the life out of beck.”
I saw Angie run out of one of the tents with a first aid kit over to Beck. She and Kurt pulled off a big, long, yellow creature. I ran over to them to see what was going on. The yellow creature was a snake, a Boa Constrictor to be exact. I had no doubt in my mind that it would’ve killed Beck if Kurt wouldn’t of swung that machete. The snake was cut cleanly in half, two pieces laid on the ground in front of us. But Beck had some serious injuries. Angie, our group doctor, said that Beck had a pretty bad bite mark, two bruised ribs, and shallow machete cut because someone swung a little too hard. Either way, Beck was going to be out of commission for about two days.
“Do you know how Beck’s doing,” asked Kurt.
“No, Angie’s still bandaging him up,” I replied.
“Oh, ok. Where did Lydia go?”
“She’s in the evidence tent translating the tablet. So anyway, what exactly happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“What happened with the snake and all that?”
“Oh, that. Well it started when we dug up that stone tablet. We had just gotten it back to the camp area and it weighed a ton so all three of us were tired. Angie and Beck sat on the ground and I went to lean on a nearby tree. Well, I didn’t even bother to look at the tree before I went to rest on it and I ended up leaning on the tail of the crazy beast. I felt it begin to wrap around me so with all my might I stopped it and threw it to the ground. But the snake landed right in front of Beck and you know the rest of the story.”
“You’re lucky it wasn’t a cobra or an anaconda,” I replied.
“Doesn’t matter, I’m the reason he got hurt.”
“Don’t blame yourself; you’re also the one who saved his life.”
“I guess, but still.”
“Hey remember that cobra about a week and a half ago?”
“You mean the one that almost bit you?”
“Yes. If it wasn’t for you it would’ve. But right as it was striking you cut its head off and it flopped around like the slimy rat it was.”
“Ha-ha, ya that was pretty funny.”
“You’ve saved half this teams life. Not many people can say that you know.”
“True. Thanks Zac.”
We heard the zipper of one tent over to the left of us. When we looked over we saw Angie popping out of it. Quickly we went over to her to see get the news on Beck.
“So how’s he doing.” Kurt asked in a concerning tone.
“Beck’s going to be fine but he needs to take it easy for a while,” Angie answered, “One day of rest and another day of sitting back and doing just about nothing.”
“Well, thats good,” Kurt responded, “Glad to know he’s ok.”
“I agree,” I said, “But this is still an investigation site, we won’t be doing any good just standing out here and worrying about Beck.”
“Understood, we should probably check on Lydia and see how she’s doing translating the stone tablet,” Angie said, “Besides, Beck is fine now. We should just let him rest and regain his strength.”
“Ok good, now let’s check up with Lydia,” Kurt said.
We made our way to the tent where Lydia was working. She was looking back and forth very furiously trying to translate the thing. She looked so serious,frustrated, mad. She was a sight to see. Ten minutes of furious work turned her into a crazy looking person.
“How’s it coming,” I finally asked.
“How’s it coming,” Lydia asked, “I can translate anything mayan in a matter of seconds but this is impossible! I’ve been on this for at least half an hour now and I’ve barely gotten half of it done. I swear, it’s the hardest translation of ever seen!”
“Ok Lydia,” Angie said, “How about you calm down a bit and get something to drink? Give us a shot at it.
“Huh,” Lydia said furiously, “Maybe your right?”
“Ok then, I’ll come with you.”
“Well if Angie is going with Lydia then you should probably stay with Beck just in case. I’ll stay here and continue translating the tablet” I said.
“Alright Zac,” Kurt said “Your the chief.”
As I saw Kurt walk away I began deciphering the mysterious ruin. I began where Lydia had ended. “The Temple Of Treasures, the Temple Of Zahn. For all who wish to locate it’s existence must first travel...” It surprised me that Lydia only got that far but she did say it was hard. No wonder she was going a bit crazy. Half these symbols i had never seen before. After twenty minutes of tiring concentration I had uncoded a little bit more of the tablet. “For all who wish to locate it’s existence must first travel through and across the substance of life...” I was really exhausted at this point and decided to get some rest. I looked up into the sky and realized it had gotten darker. When I looked around I couldn’t see anyone anywhere. They’re probably already in bed I convinced myself. I headed to my tent to join my team in the land of dreams. I laid down in my makeshift no better than a gurney. But my pillow gave my head such comfort I closed my eyes and slipped away into a deep sleep.
When I opened my eyes I was starring at a mayan statue in an enclosed room. The statue was about seven feet tall and four feet wide. I looked at it with great curiosity. It was a person with a very black stare, it seemed as if the statue was starring back at me or even through me. I decided to look around the room and I saw pre lit torches on the wall and many symbols covering all the walls from ceiling to floor. I set my gaze back on the statue and took a step forward. Suddenly something below my feet moved and I heard a hissing sound to my left. When I looked over I saw at least a dozen arrows flying at me. I woke up in a cold sweet and studied my surroundings to realize I was back in my tent. I fell asleep again and didn’t wake up again till mourning.
Temple of Zahn Search Day 29
April 6, 2096
“Yesterday we discovered evidence that the Temple of Zahn exists. Today we are going to be packing up base camp and begin traveling in the direction where we I think we’ll find the temple. I suspect today will be a restless but rewarding day. Though it may be slow also, because of Beck’s injury. Either way, today will hopefully be a good progressive day.”
After I wrote in my journal I went outside to check on the team. A few steps outside and I could see everything that was going on. Beck was trying to help Lydia make breakfast but his injuries kept getting in the way. Lydia seemed kinda annoyed by this but kept a straight face. I saw Angie in the evidence tent working on the stone tablet. It looked like she was working hard by the amount of sweat that was on and dripping off her face. I didn’t see Kurt anywhere though; that probably meant he was still sleeping. I Headed over to Angie wondering how far she had come to decoding the stone text.
“How’s it going,” I asked.
“Oh, hey Zac,” Angie responded, “It’s going just fine, almost got this decoded.”
“Really? Are you serious?”
“Ya. I’ve been working on it for about two hours now.”
“Well what does it say?”
“It says... The Temple Of Treasures, the Temple Of Zahn. For all who wish to locate it’s existence must first travel through and across the substance of life. Then they must fall from the giant overlook and trust their fate with the substance of life. After your fate is decided they will travel down a path of knives and blood. Then the resting place of the temple will be hidden at the bottom of a great dip.”
“Wow that’s amazing,” I said, “Is there anything else?”
“Well yes,” Angie replied, “But I asked Lydia and Beck about these final symbols and she said she had never seen them before.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it now. But we’re going to be packing up camp and begin searching for a river. Hopefully we can find the first set of clues before the end of today. If not we’re going to head back.”
“Alright. I’ll go tell the others about the plan.”
After a quick breakfast and some demolishing of our camp, we had everything packed up in the back of our two jeeps. We got in them and drove in a south eastern direction looking for a river of some sort. It took us about an hour and a half before we hit any kind of water. We found a huge river at least 50 meters wide with nothing but roaring and splashing life. We knew this was what the tablet referred to as “the substance of life.” This also means we were going have to find a way to cross this river. We went downstream looking for a sandbar of some sort so we could cross the river without being dragged away. Instead we found a humongous water fall. “Fall from the giant overlook and trust their faith with the substance of life.” No way was I going to dive off of this rocky cliff and do a cannon ball in the water below. We drove back into the jungle and tried to find a more safer, smarter path to the bottom. After thirty minutes of “improvising” we found our way to the bottom of the waterfall without anyone having to jump. The water was much more calm at the bottom giving us a perfect opportunity to cross. When we did we say a field of extremely sharp rocks with sharper edges than glass. This was obviously the path of knives the ruin talked about but we would’ve been cut up alive if we were to walk across. With the risk of popping tires we decided to send one jeep flying through at twenty miles per hour so it would demolish most if not all of the rocks. I was driving the first jeep and just went all out, no one wanted to ride with me on this little out take so I was all alone in my joyride in the jungle. the others followed behind slowly being sure to dodge any sharp pieces of rock. After we passed the jagged rocks I found a small but worn out path through some really thick trees. We had to go on foot from there. We carried all our equipment down a long winding path. After about fifteen minutes the path ended and opened up into a large clearing. Tall nearby trees stood over us with a leafy disguise making this entire area undetectable by air. In the center of this clearing I saw a giant stone floor.
“Is this it,” I asked.
“It can’t be,” Lydia said, “The only thing here is a giant slab of stone.”
“They only made slabs that big for floors,” Beck pointed out.”
“Wait,” Kurt questioned, “Did they ever finish this temple?”
“It doesn’t look like it,” Beck said.
I was in complete shock. It couldn’t be. In a matter of seconds all my hopes got shattered. A month of searching, wasted on something never finished. Why? There was probably a mayan god somewhere sitting on a cloud watching this moment and laughing. It wasn’t fair. So much work, research, restless nights down the drain.
“Wait a second,” Angie yelled, “The Temple of Zahn isn’t here because it never was.”
“What do you mean,” asked Lydia.
“Just read the translation of the stone ruin we found.”
Lydia silently read the translation to herself.
“Angie’s right,” Lydia said.
“Why, what does it say,” asked Beck.
“The last line,” Lydia pointed out, “Then the resting place of the temple will be found at the bottom of a great dip.”
“We haven’t seen a great dip yet, maybe there’s still hope,” Kurt said.
“If there’s still hope we’ll have to search for it tomorrow,” I said, “It’s getting dark out and we don’t have a fire or any of our things set up.”
“Zac’s right,” Beck said, “If we don’t hurry up we’ll be stuck out here defenseless.”
“Alright,” Angie said, “We don’t have time to look now, let’s get our tents set up and a fire started before night falls.
We spent the next hour or so setting up our tents. Night descended quicker than we expected and we ran out of time to start a fire. We also heard what we thought to be a pack of wolves nearby so we thought it would be smart to seek refuge in our tents and not be out collecting wood. But right before we heard the howling of the wolves I was able to catch a closer glimpse of the stone slab in the middle of the clearing. It seemed to have some markings on it but I won’t know for sure until mourning.
My eyes opened when I heard a giant boom. Everything was really dark and I was falling. I froze in horror as I felt gravity pushing me down. I saw the rest of my team falling all around me along with tents, grass, and a giant flame. CRASH. I was on the floor of my tent. I stood up and walked out of my tent into the clearing. The sun was just beginning to rise and the new base camp was silent. The dream really messed me up and I was a bit afraid to go back to bed. I decided to take a look at the carvings I saw in the the giant stone slab. It may’ve been light out but it was still dark enough I couldn’t tell what it said. I decided to get a fire started right away so the daily dose of bugs didn’t annoy us to much. I went over to a tree on the outskirts of our camp and began chopping it down. I choose a good sized tree, fifteen feet tall, and about a foot and a half wide. I guess my chopping woke everyone up because pretty soon I saw them stepping out of their tents.
“What are you doing,” asked Kurt.
“Ya, cmon, can’t you see it’s early,” said Lydia.
“Why are you even up,” said Angie, “The sun’s not even awake yet.”
“Well,” I began to explain, “I couldn’t sleep and I saw these carvings on the stone slab over there and I wanted to see what they were. It isn’t light enough to actually read them so i wanted to start a fire so I could see them and so we would have something to cook with.”
“Fair enough,” Kurt said.
“Just try to keep it down,” said Angie.
“Huh, no promises,” I responded.
They began walking back to their tents as I began to chop the tree again. After about three swings or so the tree began to snap and crack as it began to tip. Soon it was in full speed, falling to the ground. CRASH.....CRASH. When the tree fell there was a big loud noise proving how hard it hit the ground. But what really confused me was the second crash I heard about three seconds later. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary until I looked near the top of the tree. It looked like the tangled mess of leaves was hiding something beneath it.
“Kurt,” I yelled “Kurt!”
“What? What,” he asked, “Didn’t I just tell you to keep it down?”
“Ya, ya,” I said, “Look I need your help.”
“Moving the tree I just chopped down.”
“Ahhh, are you serious?”
“Yes, yes now come.”
We headed to the tree to move it. Once we got there and we moved Kurt and I both noticed a giant hole in the ground. Looking into it we saw it when down pretty deep. We called the entire team over to see (except Beck who was still actually sleeping.) We all stood around the hole in complete amazement.
“Wow, this is amazing,” Lydia said.
“How deep do you think this is,” I asked.
“Wait,” Angie said, “Did you just say deep?”
“Then the resting place of the temple will be at the bottom of a great dip,” Angie said.
“You don’t think,” asked Kurt.
“That this is the Temple of Zahn,” I asked.
“It is,” Lydia said, “It has to be.”
Pretty soon we all began to jump for joy. We were whooping and hollering, just celebrating like there was no tomorrow. But our joyous moment was soon shattered by the shattering and splitting of the concrete floor below us. In an instant me and my entire team was falling into the hole. It was just like my dream. Me and my team falling down into a dark room. BANG, SNAP, CRASH. Heard all three simultaneously. I couldn’t speak. The wind was knocked out of me and looking at the rest of my team proved they had injuries of their own.
“Is everyone...ok,” I muttered out.
“No, I think my legs broken,” Angie cried out.
“I think I’m ok,” Lydia said.
“Ahhhhhhh,” we heard someone cry out in excruciating pain, “SOMEONE HELP ME, QUICK!!!
“BECK!!! He’s still in his tent,” I realized, “Kurt we have to help him. Kurt?”
“Ahhh,” screamed Lydia, “KURT’S DEAD!
“What,” Angie and I asked.
I looked over and saw kurt laying on the ground with blood dripping out of his mouth. I saw his spine popping out of his back and the sight of his mangled dead body made me puke. One of my best friends laid on the floor dead. A giant pool of crimson red started forming around his body. I couldn’t stand the sight of his body laying there all helpless and lifeless. That’s why when I heard Beck call out again I wasted no time to help him.
“Someone help me please! Anybody?
“I’m coming Beck, just hang on,” I cried to him.
He was still in his tent when the floor collapsed around us so I had no idea what was in store for me when I opened the flap. I slowly opened the tent to prepare myself. When I finally saw Beck he was lying on the ground of the tent holding his arm tight.
“Are you ok,” I finally asked.
“No I’m not ok,” Beck hissed, “Look at my arm!”
And he wasn’t ok. His arm was snapped cleanly in half. I could see his bone popping out of his arm. It looked like he had a second elbow. The thing disgusted the crap out of me. I almost puked again but I held it in. I was able to move Beck from the tent out by everyone else. Pretty soon we bandaged up Beck’s arm and got a splint on it along with Angie’s leg.
As time began to pass the actuality of Kurt’s death became more and more real. We just sat on the ground silently. Thinking, processing, hoping. Thinking of a way to get home, processing the reality of our situation, hoping we’d survive.
“We have to get out of here,” I finally said.
“We can’t,” Angie said, “Or at least not Beck and I.”
“What do you mean,” I asked.
“Look at us,” she said, “I have a broken leg and I’m positive that fall made Beck’s bruised ribs cracked or even broken. We won’t be able to walk far but you and Lydia can. You guys can find a way out and come and rescue us.”
“No,” Lydia screamed, “Were not going to leave you two to die.”
“We won’t die if you two can get to a jeep and drive out of this jungle,” Angie screamed,” Now go!”
“Not without you Angie, not without Beck.”
“No,” Beck spoke up, “She’s right. I won’t last very long walking around. You need to go. Get out of here. We’re only going to survive if you two survive first.”
“Are, are you sure about this?”
“Yes we are, now go.”
Lydia and I began walking through the room, we were in trying to find a way out. After a short time of searching we found a path out of the room we feel into. We ventured down the path we found but it only went deeper and deeper into the ground. Each step was a cautious one. We had no idea what was around every corner. Eventually we came to a room with three more paths. One lead straight, the other lead down, and the last one lead upwards. We decided to take the way that went up. It didn’t go up much but it was better than nothing. We must’ve wondered around the temple for hours with no luck on finding a way out. On multiple occasions we thought we heard wind from the surface. The temple had trapped us in the crazy maze it calls it’s basement and know it seemed like it was mocking us.
Step after step we thought we came closer to the surface but really it felt like we were only sealing our fate of death in this forsaken place. We took a step forward and instantly spears shot out of the wall intending to impale us. Lydia and I barely talked, instead we took each step slow protecting each other from any danger. It was hard to see, every room, every hallway was dimly lit with thinly spreaded torches. We then saw this one room shining brighter than ever. When Lydia and I walked in the room I saw the same mayan statue from my dream. Lydia walked towards it slowly. I was in complete shock, frozen solid. Everything was here. The writing on the walls, the torches, and the same blank stare on the statue. I saw Lydia was still walking slowly towards the statue and I realized what happened at the end of my dream.
“Lydia! Wait! No!”
But it was too late. Arrows began flying left and right puncturing every part of her body. I began to cry as I watched another one of my friends die. I promised myself I wouldn’t lose another. I’m going to find a way out of here and save Beck and Angie. I just hope they’re holding up alright. I found a small opening behind the statue and went threw it. It took me to the thrown room. There was gold everywhere around me. Only it meant nothing to me now, not without my friends. I can’t let their lives be in vein now. I just found the thing we’ve been searching for this whole time and I’m the only one to see it. I was about to leave the room when I remembered that every thrown room had a secret exit to the surface. Quickly I jumped into each pile of gold shifting through it for some sort of door or something. Finally I found what I was looking for. It was more like a narrow crawl space but it would do. After what seemed like an eternity of crawling through mud, worms, and maggots I found a giant mass of greenly trees and leaves all over. I was greeted by a cool brisk breeze after my escape from the temple. I was happy to be out but I had no idea where I was.
It was dark out and there was no evidence of civilization anywhere around. I could here the sound of water off in the distance. Where there is water there is people; or thats what I learned in survival school anyway. I headed to the source of the sound when I finally found it. It was a small river but it would do. I began making a boat so I could ride it down stream without a worry in the world. I finished the boat right as the sun was coming up and I could only think about Angie and Kurt. If they were ok, if they were even alive. But I couldn’t worry about that now, I’d have to wait until I got out of the jungle.
I sailed down the river in a make shift boat. It wasn’t great but it worked. Then I began hearing a giant roar and the river became wider and more intense. A quick look at my surroundings and I knew where I was. The roaring became louder and louder until I saw the thing I was fearing. “They must fall from the giant overlook and trust their faith with the substance of life.” Kept repeating in my head. I was about to go down the waterfall. I tried paddling to shore but the current wouldn’t allow it. I was going to go down the waterfall and I was going to die, I knew I was. Then I went over. I was falling fast and I was falling fast. SPLASH! I hit the water and was being tossed around like a rag doll until I washed up on shore. I couldn’t believe I was alive. I looked around and saw the path of knives lying in front of me. I stood up but fell back to the ground. I cringed at the pain. I must’ve broken my leg when I went down the waterfall. The jeep wasn’t too far away and I knew I would be able to escape this jungle if I made it there. I crawled across the sand and across the path I pre made with the jeep. The sharp rocks were cutting into my chest, cutting me up unbelievably bad. I was bleeding from every part of my body now. I was so close to the jeeps I could taste it. When I got there one of the jeeps was missing. Angie and Beck must’ve escaped somehow. It’s strange so exhausted. The very people I promised I would save might just save me now. I don’t think I even have enough energy to climb in to the other jeep. I’m just going to lay here and go to sleep. I’m just going to sleep here and wait to be rescued by the people I promised to save.