By Matt Ankney
(Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part story.)
The Cave – part 5
“Sir, we’re takin’ awful heavy casualties. The Sentinel refuses to relinquish the Artifact. Engineers have lost contact with the men farther in,” the Lieutenant reported.
Torches illuminated the cave’s one-hundred foot tall entrance. Faint amber light, reflecting off a small freshwater spring trickling out, projected hypnotic geometric patterns dancing and weaving across crumbling limestone. Glowing skeletal mules hauled carts of blasted stone as detonations deep within shook the ground. Dirt and debris from the high river bluff above showered the tactical conference below.
“My tools to fight this beast are limited,” shrugged the Academic, a professor of anthropology leading the original Artifact expedition. Killed in Kentucky, he wandered this cursed domain until joining the ghost regiment on the phantom road.
An intense, bone-chilling roar was heard from inside the cave followed by more muffled explosions. The Academic twiddled his waxed mustache, piercing eyes gazing into the frigid void beyond.