The Angeles Crack

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My name is Emma Strange and from 2014-2019 I worked as a department coordinator and assistant to the head of the Geology Department at the University of New Constantinople in Downtown Los Angeles. In late 2019 though I was picked to join a subterranean research expedition organized by the university. I have created this document to share my personal account of what happened to this expedition. The testimony I am about to give directly contradicts the UNC account in several places. I cannot fully understand everything that occured, but I will tell you what I truly believe happened to us down there. This expedition was in response to what the public later labeled the Icarus Seismic anomaly.

The anomaly was a massive earthquake that led to several aftershocks along faults in southern california. The damage was unexpectedly intriguing because while the aftershocks were throughout the state, the initial wave seemed very concentrated. Instead of the seismic wave dispersing out for miles, the intensity died down eighty percent faster than expected over a similar distance. This localization caused massive devastation for North Los Angeles as the epicenter seemed to be deep beneath the Angeles National Forest. This led to world wide attention by geomorphologists, volcanologists, and seismologists who wanted to investigate the unique seismic readings.

This widespread attention led quickly to another revelation, that the quake was so massive that it shifted the earth across the forest. Green plains were turned to rigid dust bowls, some rivers had their elevation shifted so much that they reversed direction, even huge slabs of stone were jutting out of the ground up to hundreds of feet as they were pushed from underneath.

Of all the tests being done though in this newly formed wasteland the most intriguing was from my own boss, Professor Mal Clario - Head of the Geological Department at UNC. Using his lab and equipment from the university, which was left barely shaken while miles away devastation was unleashed, Mal was scanning the internal composition of the Earth below the forest. What he discovered was that while previously very few disconnected tunnel systems existed in the area, post-quake scans showed a massive interconnected network of caverns and chasms.

This only threw fuel onto an already publicized fire of mystery and conspiracy relating to the disaster. Leading researchers from different fields stormed the press conference at the university where Mal planned to reveal the data for his findings. Many experts were frantically trying to rewrite the fundamental laws of their sciences to explain what could be going on, and Mal was sitting on the crown finding. They demanded to know how he could know such readings were true since the scanners in question were still very experimental and not readily available. This made an otherwise composed Mal lash out at the press briefing, it seemed he was truly caught off guard by the criticism and lack of acceptance of his findings. He told them righteously “If you do not believe my discovery, then I will prove it by venturing in!”, this caught several off guard and I am not sure if the professor had even planned such a statement or was caught in the moment..

This was the beginning of our expedition, a scientist and his pride. Nothing more was discussed at the press conference, but a few hours later I was called into a meeting with different leading members of the university. The professor had pitched them, and by the time I entered already convinced them of the plan for this expedition. He was aghast that experts would deny what he had discovered might have been the deepest tunnel systems ever possible to explore. The assembled heads of the university were more than happy to fund the crew, as Mal had sold such a venture as something that would bring international prestige to UNC.

I found out only on the closing of the meeting that Mal intended me to come with him. I protested initially as I had no spelunking experience. Mal countered my concerns with the fact that the primary responsibilities I would have were the secondary team’s leadership and logistics management. “As long as you keep the food and power flowing, the rest will just fall into place. You can be a part of something historic and grander than yourself” he tried to reassure me.

Within two days a team was assembled and ready with all necessary equipment. The team was composed into a primary crew made of thirty members including myself, and a research crew of sixteen which included Mal. The research crew was composed of eight mexican geologists and spelunking experts who took part in the Chevé Cave System expedition, the remaining 7 were international and recognized leaders in their field who volunteered enthusiastically. I was told that I should expect the research crew to simply observe everything we came across, that the secondary crew would be responsible for the labour of the expedition. The entire expedition crew was assembled at the university for a briefing before we moved on site.

In a small theater Mal assembled his fifteen scientists and my crew of thirty miners, spelunkers, and technicians; before us sat a projector and display screen. We sat through a presentation detailing Mal’s scanner findings to show what we should expect going in. The tunnel network was unbelievably deep, from the mouth of the system where we would be entering we should have an inclined route of roughly sixteen miles. “Now, while variations might exist, we expect this to be the deepest point and our expected destination.” stated Mal as he pointed to the very edge of his screen to a large cavern opening that was calculated to be at least twelve miles below the surface, a near insane depth.

One of the scientist’s hands shot up in response though and inquired “What is that graphing data beneath the highlighted destination cavern? It seems to be completely vertical and tapers off into static as it goes deeper”. On the graphed simulation there did indeed appear to be a shaft at the bottom of the cavern. “It might be magmatic activity, it might be even deeper water pressure that carved the shaft out. It also could just be static and noise from the scans, as you can see with the depth markers the final destination cavern is much deeper than what we should be able to see from the surface. The sonic waves should have stopped before getting that deep but something in the material allowed it to still bounce back, giving us this data”. The same scientist nodded in approval, but asked a follow up “There is a lot of uncertainty when going this deep, are you sure you have covered all risks and safety factors?”. A sly smile crept across the professor’s face “This is science ladies and gentlemen, there will always be risk. We venture forward out of our safety for the potential knowledge we may learn”.

We planned to be isolated from the surface for three days, although if quickened hopefully the journey could be made in two. We planned enough supplies to setup two locations as well, the primary crew would setup a way station eight miles in while the research crew would be able to deploy anywhere they made discoveries. Power was planned for by hauling a massive communication & power cable system about one foot in diameter, but backup generators were also brought to supply the way station in the event of an emergency.

As the sun set, we loaded onto a series of five trucks at the university all our personnel and supplies. Making the journey through to the cave entrance was very bizzare for many of us, as the devastated areas had been quarantined by the army. The ground was warped and shattered as the earth rose beneath the buildings and cement. Humanity’s efforts for civilization and order were washed away in just a few minutes, and now we passed through its silent memorial. There were no people in the area, as most evacuations had finished, but we came upon several abandoned buildings that the expedition crew claimed had shadows moving inside. Mal insisted time was ticking though, so the trucks never slowed for a moment through those twisting and often offroad paths.

I sat beside a younger woman who I found out was called Laura Southern. She specialized in long term isolation missions and had experience delving caves before. It was interesting getting to know her, and it helped pass the time on the trip to the entrance. She did express some concerns with me though, hoping I could reassure her “You do realize this is a spectacularly deep journey right? I know twelve miles may not seem like a lot on the surface, but twelve miles of stone and earth add up very quickly”. I understood her concerns but reassured her that hopefully the immense skill all our members brought would be enough to topple this challenge. She seemed less than satisfied with my answer “I hear things like that before crews venture down, usually they don’t make it back”.

Our transition from the ruins of the northern part of the city into the national forest was no less bizzarre. The place before the quake was bright with greenery especially with recent rain, and wildlife was abundant enough that you often crossed paths. Now it seemed more like a combination of the arid plains of the Al-Nafud desert combined with the isolated and rugged Himalayas. I could not get over the eerie quiet that dominated this place now, there were not even birds here anymore to overlook the devastation of their homes. The trucks finally came to a stop and I heard the order for us to get out. When we jumped out of the back of the truck, myself and the expedition were face to face with the malicious cave mouth, our demon ready to swallow us whole.

The entrance to the cave system was an archway that stood almost fifteen feet at its central peak and was just under twenty feet wide. This allowed us to carry some of our larger supplies for the way station in a cart behind us, but we didn’t know how narrow the path might get or if it was traversable at all. While the expedition unloads the trucks and prepares their backpacks Mal stood alone and silently at the entrance. “Are you really that eager to get down there?” I ask Mal as I sling my own bag over my shoulder. He doesn’t turn around at all but responds calmly “I can just feel it. My destiny is calling me here, almost pulling me in to meet it. All my aspirations will be realized once this is finalized, once the world can’t deny my genius any longer.”

The expedition starts with myself and three others taking point. The journey immediately separates you from the surface mentally, at the first turn when natural light stops reaching us you feel like you're already hours deep into this dark maze. The stone that makes up the wall is dark, almost absorbing light sources making it feel even darker, and at many times smoother to the touch than I would have expected. The air itself also felt damp, almost as if the humidity was raising as we delved deeper.

We did what we could to ease the journey though, our team at the front was responsible for deploying the collapsible lamps. These had a small three hour reserve battery but we intended them to be hooked up to the power cable as they caught up. At the back of our expedition, people were laying the power cable and communication line to keep us connected to the surface. The communications device we had brought was specifically designed by the UNC faculty to work deep underground and with the cable system we were using, this device was called the Hermes relay by the UNC designers. As they made it to our lamps they clamped the magnetic adaptor around the power cable, charging both the reserve batteries and the lights themselves. This did make the creeping darkness of the cave easier to deal with, but several members of the expedition were expressing concerns for safety or even getting lost.

The systems winded at times and split into dead ends at others, but otherwise our descent was a simple matter as it usually seemed to be the larger pathways continued to our goal. As we made it around another bend we found ourselves entering a small circular cavern about 40 feet wide. The room at first view wasn’t complicated, it only had one entrance and exit but it did also have a body of water on the left side. I told the crew to setup two lights in this room and that we’d take a quick break. I called back down the line for Professor Mal, just to update him on the status so far.

When Mal finally made it to the front of the expedition he seemed in such a rushed state. Almost out of breath he asked “Why have we stopped? We are making excellent progress and need to keep at that pace.” I responded back to Mal “We are already 5 miles into our journey, we can take a breather for just a moment”. Mal opened his mouth to most likely argue to continue without stop, but as he did the two lamps had finished being erected and illuminated the entire room. Mal’s eyes went once around the room but never returned to mine, “How could you not notice this?” he asked us.

My gaze followed Mal’s which was on the wall directly over the pool of liquid in the room, it certainly was not another rock formation. On the wall it appeared someone had painted something in a red dye or ink. It looked very simply done, either by hand or in single brush strokes. At the top of the drawing there seemed to be drawings of stick figures, a total group of 20 which were identical but one was drawn lower and with an object in their hands. At the bottom below the figures, a huge spiral had been painted with one stroke or line. From this spiral came three separate lines, two of which branched towards the outside but the middle line neared the lone stick figure who wielded something.

“This is beyond intriguing” Mal chimed in “We are far too deep below the earth that people could ever make it down”. The research team finally made it from farther up the tunnel and all had different reactions to the mural. At least a third of the research crew almost immediately declared these must be fakes, that in no way could humans have ever been in these caves as they only became accessible days ago. Another few though shared Mal’s fascination and tried approaching the mural, but as they got closer one of the researchers slipped and fell into the liquid pool in front of it. I had quickly met the man who fell in, Victor Rasqual, at the theater orientation but never spoke a word to him.

The expedition had assumed the liquid was just water, very dark and murky water, but as Victor fell almost fully into the pool the consistency showed itself as bizarre and alien. He had only fallen half in with his shoulders, head, and right leg going under. His remaining arm and leg were grabbed, pulling Victor from the pool onto the dry rock. The liquid was almost sticky in a way since it held onto things it touched, it was almost like moving through a self repairing jelly-like substance. Not only was he tough to pull out, but the liquid stuck to his outfit in blobs.

We brushed the substance off Victor and sat him up against a wall. At first he just sat there wide eyed resting against the wall, we were not too worried at first as we summed it up to the sudden shock. We at first thought the pool was shallow since we could not see into it, but to our surprise it held more unknowns than anticipated. Another scientist probed the pool with a measuring stick, to her surprise though her collapsable 10 yardstick did not reach the bottom. Victor began to slightly stir from his stupor, but he still did not speak and only dipped his hand back into the liquid. “Don’t keep touching the liquid, we don’t know what chemicals are in it.” I told him as I took a sample of the liquid. Mal all the while ignored most of what had occured, instead he was raptured to the cave wall and this strange painting.

The professor waved over two more researchers who had followed behind him. He quickly spoke to them like a dragonfly darting between different locations, only for a moment would his head be turned to give orders before he snapped straight back to the mural. Finally after a few minutes of this he left the mural and returned to speak to me. “This discovery only fuels speculation and theories on my discovery and confirms suspicions I had. I am sure those on the surface will be intrigued once we return” he reassured me, “We need to keep moving though, report any further findings to my team immediately next time”. I got so caught up on his phrasing though “What suspicions?” I thought to myself, but Mal was an isolated and hard to read individual.

I did what I could, which at that moment was to simply agree and order the point group to continue exploring down the tunnels. “So soon? Shouldn’t we address…. Wait…. Did we move him?” one of the crew asked me, before pointing back to where we had left Victor. It was true, but I can’t explain why, he was gone. This single room was filled with seven members of our expedition by this point, and one of them had simply vanished. I was partly furious but also dumbfounded because I could not believe this had happened. I interviewed each expedition member in the room before continuing, none had any idea but were now becoming more cautious and concerned as I clearly didn’t have an answer either.

Mal felt cold and unconcerned due to his fanaticism with the expedition, which had only grown since we got deeper into the caves. When I brought up Victor, he didn’t even seem to care. He stated that maybe he ran into the tunnels and had gotten lost, that there was a chance on our exit that we would find him. I told him that was overly wishful thinking and we need to address it now. Mal simply waved me goodbye dismissively as he goaded the crew into resuming the descent. I surrendered and told the crew to continue on as I stood for a few more moments observing the mural. It felt ominous and hiding some deeper truth, as I turned to continue with the crew on the descent I could swear though I thought I saw rippling on the usually still liquid.

As we continued deeper the levels of humidity in the air only increased further, and the crew could feel a level of stickiness in the air that started to bother and agitate certain members. We also continued to find more pools and reserves of the dark sticky liquid. “I can feel it all over my body. Even when I cover up my skin, I can feel the dampness almost seeping through the rigging and into my bones” some would tell me, but I knew I had by this point been forced into a situation of pushing the crew deeper. The conditions of our expedition had already deteriorated beyond what I thought they would over the entire journey, and we had not even reached our maximum depth yet. I tried again advising Mal that we needed to reassess the value of the expedition. We had already found what may have been a major discovery in the cave paintings and partially confirming Mal’s initial scans of the system. Mal responded in a determined although slightly exhausted voice “Turn back now? I will not return to the University as a failure. We will reach the final marker before returning to the surface”. I could tell the expedition’s experience by this point was making him see both failure and success in our journey, and he was ready to take a leap of faith to achieve success.

Our route through the winding tunnels finally brought us to another large and open cavern. The cavern had an upper plateau that we emerged onto, while the other half of the cavern dipped down into a lower level. In the lower sections of this cavern there was another pool of liquid, this time we noticed a slow dripping of the liquid from the ceiling into the pool. There was a branching off of tunnels from this lower section, about five new tunnels alone just in this cavern. As the rest of the expedition caught up with us one of the crew members, a woman from Anchorage, Alaska named Sarah Hucks came up to me and alerted me to a checkpoint “Miss Emma, we just crossed the eight mile marker”. I had trusted her with the responsibility at the start of the expedition with tracking our distance. I responded with a great sense of relief “Good, it is time to setup the way station then. Only the research team is going any deeper now”.

I had the crew setup tents, generators, radios, a stove, and lamps on the upper plateau looking down on the rest of the cavern. Mal had been carrying the only mobile Hermes relay device, but after the first tent was pitched me and my team had access to speak with the surface again. We shared all the details the expedition had seen so far. I was slightly shocked though when the surface crew had repeated to me everything Mal had reported. Mal had been very detailed and thorough in all his status updates and reports back, but had made no mention at all of Victor going missing or the cave painting. A director of the university who was at the surface camp expressed displeasure that someone had been lost, but understood Professor Mal’s convictions to not turn back.

As I was updating the surface camp though and when the rest of the expedition was catching their breath preparing for the rest of the journey, all communications were suddenly severed. The first instance I noticed nothing was coming through, all the lamps flickered for a moment and I heard a large whirring as the emergency generators we just finished preparing hummed to life. I ran out of the tent to find several members huddling around the generators. One of the more rugged yet distressed men James Malark, a miner from Appalachia told me “The generators just kickstarted themselves and it seems…. Yes. We are no longer getting power from the surface.” Mal came up from behind me and chided me “Emma I am more than happy your team got the backup power ready in time. I could not be more upset though that your team has failed to keep a consistent connection with the surface”. I tried to respond quickly defending ourselves against a baseless accusation “We don’t know yet why we lost…” but I was soon cut off again. “See to it that the connection is fixed. My team cannot afford to wait while you fix these mistakes though. We will begin our further descent off the backup power from the way station.”

I swallowed my pride at Mal’s ignorant attitude of lashing out. He was not like this back at the university, although he often isolated himself in the lab, but now I could see that he was like a wounded animal being backed into a corner. The harder the expedition came down, the harder he would push forward. “I only hope he will not drive us all off some cliff” I heard James mutter, before I told them to be quiet until the professor’s departure. The professor grabbed his researchers and experts, and gave them a speech before being the first to delve deeper through one of the several tunnels. His team at this point was cooperative but very anxious, none even dared to question if he knew if that tunnel was the correct one.

As the last of the researchers hauled off their equipment and supplies, I gathered my remaining crew to update them and hopefully revive some of the expedition’s morale. I let them know we are expecting to hold this spot for anywhere from twelve to thirty hours, the majority would watch the camp while only two or three would be needed for maintenance to restore the wiring. When the professor’s team reaches their destination and returns, we will all begin the trek back to the surface. Some of them were thankful and were joyful “Thank the stars, I don’t think I could take another step unless its back out of this hell”. Others were still anxious and cautious, James and another man inquired about Victor. “I want to do everything we can to find him and bring them with us. At the moment though and due to the circumstances we don’t know where to even start” I responded, which some accepted while others were made only more fearful.

Most resigned back to the stove which was cooking up a hot meal, but I picked three who were still lively and willing to do some hiking, one of which was Sarah. I grabbed a bag of repair tools, insulation, extra wiring, and solder to repair the connection. We followed our exit back to the surface, tracing the wire we left as if it was a trail of breadcrumbs. We didn’t know what we were really looking for, but it was out of the question to just leave our connection to the surface severed. Our supplies could last us a bit longer, but the backup generators would not last as long as Mal will probably demand and I prefered to avoid any electricity rationing.

After an hour hiking back through the tunnels, we finally found our suspect. At the bend in one of the tunnels, we found the heavily insulated cable that held both the communication and power wiring cleanly cut. With its position against the rock wall and the pressure of being pulled at the turn, the crew I had brought assumed it cut itself on the wall’s sharp rocks. It made sense and we started stripping some of the insulation off to repair the internal wiring. It wouldn’t be long to repair the entire connection, I couldn’t help but think though how odd the insulation had also cleanly cut. Most of the time when wiring was ripped by force, it tore and created uneven surfaces. Here though the wiring had a flat cross-section, something I’d see more when using wire clippers to cut through instead of tear apart.

I told two of them to stay and resolder the severed connection, from Sarah though I asked her to place reinforcing studs on other sensitive parts of the wire. Before I turned back to return to the waystation, I pleaded with the crew members “Be safe, and keep to the wire. Do not, under any circumstances venture away from it or into any diverging tunnels. I want everyone back on the surface by the end of this”. Sarah managed to hold onto a sense of humour “You want us actually to make it out?” she laughed to herself “I feel like if it was up to the professor he would be happy making it back out alone with his discovery”. I tried to reassure them “This entire expedition is in the hands of Mal. He calls all the shots, got it approved, and will have to explain the costs once we are out of here. That’s the current situation. If things keep going like they have, we might have to force his decision in our evac. We are human beings, not his disposable and automated servants”.

After a long trek, I finally made it back. Unfortunately, things had become frantic while I was away from camp. “Did you see them pass you? Did you stop them?” Laura Southern asked me as I started to walk up. “Who? What’s happened?” I inquired, when I left the camp the majority were still stable and cooperative but when I got back it seems people had become very distrusting and distant from each other. “A man came through the tunnel back from the surface. Initially we thought they were from the group you took to repair the wires. They didn’t say anything though, they just walked up to our barrel of fresh water and tipped it over, completely emptying it” she frantically told me. I was shocked, we had enough fresh water for two more days but I now noticed the busted open and emptied barrel by one of the tents “Where did they go?? Which of us did it?!”. My frustration at this latest incident shined through my question too much, one crew member started backing away muttering “We were sure it was one of you… After tipping it over they ran back up the tunnel, we thought you would pass them on your return…”. The man retreated back to an isolated group in the corner, he seemed to tell them the news, but while some were shocked others had an almost distrusting glance towards me.

One of the crew members with me, a local man named Larken Rothsberry, pulled me in closer to whisper something “Several of us thought we… We thought we saw something wrong with the man as well”. I could see his face was pale and his words almost trembled out of him but he continued “He almost… He almost seemed to…”. Larken kept struggling to say it but another person interjected for him “Something was horrifically wrong with one of their legs. For one several witnesses seemed to say they saw iridescent patches of skin glowing. Another said when they saw the figure tip over the water barrel, they saw the figure’s right leg bend the wrong way. Almost like a knee of some birds or animals”. James entered the group and interrupted though taking an almost confrontational tone “That's ridiculous. He was clearly a human being. Only one person claims to have seen the leg bend that way and the colors the others saw could have been an item of clothing. The figure ran off before the majority of us even noticed or got a glance. We need to be asking the more dire questions of who they were. I for one saw them only for a moment, but thought they looked like that missing lackey of the professor’s, Victor”.

By this point I could tell the crew was filled with animosity towards each other. They might be at each other’s throats soon, and here they were bottled up miles underground with no space. I did my best to try to calm everyone, but it did not work as well as I hoped and they all left to different parts of the camp without speaking. I went to check the generators and they were at sixty seven percent of their reserve fuel stock. As I was checking them, an indicator lit up that showed the surface to waystation power had been fixed and reconnected. The indicator flashed back and forth but this made me assume, while not fully repaired, that the wiring would be finished soon. I ran back over to the Hermes relay to message the surface camp, but no response had come back. I kept trying for twenty minutes but my only companion back was static and silence.

I switched the signal over to Mal’s personal Hermes relay that was connected into the research team’s own wire to the waystation. I put out a message indicating some of the supplies are rapidly dwindling while others were sabotaged, that if possible we needed to cancel the forward’s team delving to return the expedition to the surface. I waited what felt like ages but was really a few minutes through the silence, wondering if I had the authority to declare an evacuation if I was cut off from Mal. Finally to my extreme displeasure, a voice pierced the static “I am let down by the failures of the integrity of the way station camp. You will begin rationing light, food, and any reserves of water in people’s canteens. You will hold the camp together until further notice”. I did not know our pleas would fall on such deaf ears, even worse it seems several crew members congregated outside the tent to overhear the message as well.

‘You can’t do this! This spelunking expedition has gone off the rails” yelled one of the crew as I approached the generator. I had no choice though, for as much as I knew Mal was wrong I also knew we would run out of all backup power before he would even return to the waystation. As I modified the controls, the whirring of the generators reduced to a crawl. The lamps illuminating not only the camp, but the tunnels from the surface to the research team began to dimn as their amperage reduced. Where a single lamp may have fully illuminated a tunnel or cavern, the three we had setup in camp could barely keep the shadows at bay with the new power levels. Many of the crew who were isolated in the corners of the cavern fled closer to the lamps as the walls fell into darkness. The dark ebony stone that composed most of these caves only amplified the effect of the shadows and darkness, creating almost a nightmarish veil we couldn’t see past.

As I announced the rationing of food and water, the anger in the camp nearly came to burst. Several members openly criticized the entire expedition, labeling it everything from a death sentence to a mad man’s journey into the fire. I agreed with them that a top priority had to be getting everyone back to the surface, but pleaded with them that we cannot do so until the research team joins back up with us. Many of them suggested we should leave the research team to die, that we needed to start leaving for the surface before anything else occurs. I pushed that we all needed to return to the surface, we couldn’t leave fifteen people over ten miles below the surface.

While many accepted the rationality of the assessment, many others' anger could not be easily calmed. They resigned back into being isolated individuals, cliques, or groups; anything that gave them some sense of safety. As many were settling back in, I noticed James and another man hauling buckets from the lower section of the cavern and the tent with the stove. I made my way over to the tent and discovered the two men were hauling buckets of the dark liquid from below. I inquired about the purpose of such a task, “Now you have such urgency for our safety?” James replied defiantly. The other quickly told me the purpose though “If we are out of clean water to drink, we need to come up with something. We will boil and prepare the water from the pools the best we can before drinking”.

I was shocked and tried to convince them against such options “We can’t start drinking that liquid! We don’t even know if it is really water, there could be any bacteria or chemicals in that dark mixture”. The first man who did tell me their intent snapped at James “This is what I was warning you about” before looking back at me to respond “First you tell us there isn’t enough to go around. Now what? Will you restrain us to stop us trying to get more?” I recognized the man better now, this was a member Mal had personally introduced back at the university. He was introduced as Poe Radler but I remember something feeling off. He wasn’t a member of UNC faculty like the rest of my team was. The professor declared he was an old associate, like a family friend, and had experience spelunking. I was told he would be an asset, but he seemed by this point unstable and past being of any help.

Poe was clearly beyond his breaking point and spoke in a manner that made it seem like he was ready to do anything. I realized this was a fight I would lose trying to physically stop what was going on, and that I would not be able to convince those who lost all trust in me. I backed out of the tent with a final warning that we didn’t know what would happen drinking the liquid. Poe and James barely reacted to my caution though as they continued to haul more of the liquid to boil.

I began to worry even more and grow anxious. I had lost any sense of safety or precaution while in these caves, I felt like the risks only ever stacked higher against us. Now I sat in the waystation, desperately fiddling with the Hermes relay trying to reach the surface again. Outside the tent I saw several haggard shapes of the expedition, at times just seeming dead exhausted and others seeming distrusting or almost malicious towards the rest. Things only seemed to be getting worse, and my body was failing to keep up trying to fix everything. I felt a deep exhaustion slowly overtaking me and I knew I had to rest. I pulled up my bag and leaned it against the Hermes relay’s table, I sat down against the bag and just started to rest my eyes.

In the sleep, I momentarily felt relief, as if I was somewhere else entirely. I tried to not focus on the troubles of the camp and just escape. I was laying on my back across a body of water, peaceful and restful. I could see stars above me, tiny beautiful lights dotting the sky. I felt so at peace I just wanted to stay here forever. I felt my body slowly begin to drop down into the water, barely noticeable at first. My calmness was suddenly interrupted when my body moved all the way below the water line. I tried to move myself but I felt so much resistance from the water, like it was keeping my body both in place and sinking. I thought, I cannot be sure, but thought I heard a voice whisper “Isn’t this peaceful?”. My mind began to race and I tried to open my mouth to only have the water rush into my lungs. I felt like before this moment I had only dipped a few inches below the water line, but as I struggled further and started to regain my mobility, I realized the surface was much further than I thought. I tried moving more and with more urgency under the water, but it kept trying to hold me in place. I finally regained partial control and reached for the surface, still farther than an arm's length away. I kicked my legs to thrust my way up, covering what seemed like fifteen or twenty feet of distance. I finally reached the surface and burst forth trying to breath. For only a flash I saw above the waterline a short shoreline with people standing along it, and then I awoke instantly back in the expedition camp.

I awoke from the nightmare and startled one other crew member who had taken refuge in the Hermes relay tent. I realized this was the already shy and nervous member Larken. “Are you alright? You were moving around and struggling in your sleep” he meekly whispered out. I was still panting and gasping for air, before I could respond I heard a shrill yell from inside the camp. I tried to stand but felt incredibly dizzy after the nightmare, luckily Larken grabbed me before I could fall and helped steady me. I exited the tent and saw a woman laying on the ground with a bloodied hand surrounded by the rest of the camp. Rushing over I knelt beside her and recognized her as Sarah Hucks, the person I told earlier to reinforce the way station to surface wire with studs.

Sarah leaned up against the nearby lamp and tried to sip from her canteen, but it was emptied. She began to speak but it seemed very taxing “I was kneeling down and hammering another stud in when someone came up from behind me”. Larken quickly interrupted “Did you see who? Did anything seem wrong with them?”. As they asked Sarah began to cough, the last few which seemed the most violent also had blood coughed up. “Lets get her inside a tent and pull and medical supplies we can to stabilize her” I asked the surrounding crowd. As a few people picked her up she muttered out a few more words “I didn’t… see them clearly. The eyes though… Their eyes glowed so bright… Too bright… I tried to push them away… but when I grabbed their shoulder… It burned me so badly.” As she was taken into the tent her palm stopped clenching and I saw it more clearly, with her testimony I could only imagine what happened. Her palm was not cut, broken, crushed, or any other normal injury; it resembled something more akin to chemical burns we saw in laboratory settings.

As we set her down I hoped the other two I left to repair the wiring were safe. I desperately wanted to warn them but I had no way of reaching them. I considered sending out a rescue crew to find them, but was I putting them at even more risk? We didn’t know what was out there and that made things so much worse. It seemed the people we were coming across had strange abnormalities and mutations from something, and without knowing how to deal with them anyone I sent away from the camp at this point may have just been a death sentence. At best our expedition only prepared ourselves with a few flare guns, no weapons were expected to be needed so deep under the earth.

I brought in several rags, acid neutralizer, and wound sanitizer into the tent for the injured woman. As we laid the woman down, the Hermes relay began to come to life. “This is the forward expedition team back to way station, over” said the voice from the device. I answered the device back “This is Emma at way station, we need an immediate status update from your group”. A few seconds passed, during which James spoke out “Don’t listen to those demons. We need to leave for the surface”. I looked back at the group, which fluctuated between anger and fear, and responded “We cannot leave them behind. I will convi—”. Before I could finish the voice came back from the Hermes relay “This is Professor Mal. I can confirm we have reached our final destination and confirmed our suspected findings”.

I shot back almost immediately to respond “Then we need to begin evacuations and get the expedition back to the surface. Mal… Things are happening in these cave systems I can’t explain. People have appeared that show some type of adverse mutations, I think they have been attacking the crew and sabotaging our supplies and communications. This isn’t an acceptable loss situation, we need to get your team back to the way station and leave immediately”. After my plea to the researchers the machine sat quiet. Minutes passed by but even the crew with me in the tent was silent, the tension had strung us all up and made it impossible to speak. Finally the machine woke to life and the voice returned to us “We have several wounded from a sudden ceiling collapse. They will need assistance to make the return trip. Send rescue immediately”. The shock and disbelief we had in the tent was overwhelming.

The majority of the expedition went into a fury outside the tent “If they are wounded they won’t make the trip back themselves! We need to leave or let this cave be our tomb!”. I sat there with them with my head in my hands, I did not raise my voice to counter them at all. Others shared rumours that had only been whispered previously “If they want help they need to message us back explaining things. They are tricking us into venturing further into these cursed tunnels!”. Then on top of everything else, several members of the expedition were passing out cups to the group. In their anger, fear, and extreme emotional states almost none of them questioned the drinks, but sipped or gulped the serving down. It was only as the last of the cups reached me that I realized what was being served, the dark and eerie liquid expedition members were convinced to call water.

I refused the cup and asked why they would be serving it. The crew member looked me in the eye before answering and I noticed an almost pale and foggy nature in their own eyes “I just want everyone to be happy. I had this urge that I would make people happy if I served them delicious and refreshing water”. I felt so at a loss on top of everything else going on, I stood up and decided to make an announcement “This has all gone too far. We are not sitting here any longer just waiting. I will go myself to drag whoever is left of the research team back here so we can leave”. Many went silent as to most the task was a death sentence, most were arguing to simply leave without the researchers. One though, strangely spoke up with the last thing I had expected “I wish to stay”.

All eyes in the camp darted back to the voice, in the corner of the camp was a more ragged crew member who was holding their arm up. It was Poe, the associate of Professor Mal’s who had spoken up. I tried to calm Poe who seemed more gaunt and exhausted than earlier when hauling water “Stay…? At the camp..? Of course you may stay while I retrieve the others, only those willing to come with me shou—-” but I was interrupted. “No… stay for good” Poe responded back. There were a few minutes of further silence caused by the sheer confusion of their request. “Everyone is coming back up to the surface. Everyone” I told the group in a more commanding voice “There will be no exceptions”.

I ordered the four sanest looking crew members who seemed to have their minds still in check. I decided to pick James, Sarah, Larken, and Laura “I will need you three to come with me, and Sarah to stay behind to keep the camp in check. I worry… about some of the crew members if we leave them alone” I implored the group. The three of them were willing to come with me for the retrieval. I asked Sarah to watch the camp and operate the Hermes relay, once we made it to the camp the researchers had setup we could signal back to the way station. The four of us got our bags and equipment ready, we knew where we were going since we would just follow the wire but we truly didn’t know what we would meet down there. As we left the way station I noticed Poe had found some type of ink or dye in the camp and began painting it onto the walls.

Our group treks through the tunnels delving deeper than we expected at the start of this expedition. We are exhausted from the miles of caves already, and yet here we are plunging deeper into the gates of the underworld. As we continue Laura begins to mutter prayers to themselves, I am beyond objecting to such things in these conditions but Larken chimes in “I do not think that will do any good. A place like this…. Its far from the sight of any human God”. He continues with an ominous warning “If they do know this is here, it must be like their Tartarus. What horrors will we discover that they have locked away out of sight?”. We continued deeper and the tunnel also began to grow thinner, I pondered “If that is true, then may we slam the door shut behind us and keep these horrors locked away forever”.

Eventually the thinner tunnel did open back up into a small room, one in which the research team had left a lamp to illuminate it fully. Along the sides of the rooms were six small pedestals made from the ebony stone of the caves, they did not appear to even be moved there but instead carved out from the walls themselves. We fanned out, each examining a pedestal ourselves, we discovered that each pedestal had an object placed on top. We counted three knives, two bowls, and one statue. The knives seemed very ancient, beyond what we could reasonably guess, and seemed to be made of bone hilts and obsidian blades mounted into them. The bowls were simple with no etchings or symbols of any kind, they seemed to be made of clay and had a dried red pigment on the inside. The statue though was the object that most drew our attention, and before we moved on our group gathered around it.

Both the statue and pedestal it sat on seemed drenched in the same red pigment that was in the bowls, it seemed to have dried and caked onto the surfaces over such a long time. The statue itself was only a foot tall, but seemed to be a large animal of some kind with many arms. James spoke up “It seems almost…. Like a bear? It's standing upright on its back legs but.. They gave the animal three pairs of arms”. I tried wiping away the dried red pigment off the drenched statue, when it flaked away a bright green jade was revealed underneath. “Wow, it's incredibly beautiful. I wonder how any of this even got here though. The bone, obsidian, and clay in the other tools seem like ancient craftsmanship but this jade… The skill, resources, and refinement to make something this precise and detailed from that material” remarked Laura. Larken though was not intrigued at all by these strange and anachronistic artifacts, “Let's proceed to the team quickly, we said we were spending no more time in these caves. I dread to consider what any of these objects were used for, and how this red pigmentation was harvested in the first place”.

We pushed past the odd artifacts and the possibly ritualistic room, the tunnel continued though only three feet wide. We managed to proceed single file through, but the combination of the stickiness and humidity in the air with the claustrophobic passageway truly turned this segment of our journey into an ordeal. I took the front lead of our group but Laura behind me started into a panic attack, “I can’t deal with this anymore… I don’t want to die here!” she began to scream as her breathing became erratic. I grabbed onto her to try to calm her down, but James in the back stated resolutely “Then we need to keep going forward. The faster this is done the sooner we can flee this damned place”. We proceeded the best we could trying to keep ourselves stable. The dark and twisting passage seemed to never end and here we relied only on our helmet lights. Finally though we saw a new light source, it must be a lamp from the research team.

As we rushed forward though an abrupt wall emerged in our way. The tunnel itself did turn into what seemed like a dead end, but a small hole in the wall could be climbed through to get to the other side. It was about a seven foot long crawl until you reached the other side, barely large enough to fit through. I could not see much of what was on the other side, but I saw our lamps, tents, and other miscellaneous items which meant we found the research team’s camp. As I crawled through the hole first, I landed on the other side and could now fully see where the team camped. With the rest of the crew following behind, we witnessed a massive cavern larger than any other we had come across. The room overall seemed roughly circular and the hole we emerged from pierced one side of the cavern. We didn’t see any other similar entrances or exits, this seemed to be the only way back between the research camp and our waystation.

The cavern was actually in large part a lake, with only small pieces of shoreline hugging some of the outer cavern walls. The ceiling must have gone up at least over a mile, the very top was dotted with stalactites and a strange iridescence I couldn’t quite recognize. Along these massive walls though was something incredibly striking, while the stone itself was a rough and natural dark ebony, lining the walls in seventeen places were what seemed to be smoothed and engraved pillars of the same ebony stone. We thought it must be some strange aberration of natural compositions and formations. Any ancient artifacts or signs of intentional craftsmanship so far was simplistic other than the jade statue, a few bone hilted knives and cave murals were not hard to believe. These pillars though… If they had been made and carved by people, by humans… It would have taken years if not decades and hundreds of workers to carve these massive monuments, they seemed to be almost five feet on each side and had engravings six inches deep we could not decipher. There is no way imaginable how ancient humans could delve so deep into the earth for so long and with a workforce of that size; the longer I stared at these pillars stretching from the shorelines to the ceiling, the longer I felt my own understanding and rational slip away. “Things like this… They shouldn’t be possible…” I muttered under my breath, and only after had hoped no one heard me as it would only further rattle the crew.

“Where did they all go.. What happened here?” Larken asked, snapping me from my excessive focus yet lack of comprehension on these monuments. The camp seemed in shambles, things were scattered about and while two tents still stood the rest had been collapsed. I collected myself with what we were coming to face with and told the crew “Lets fan out. Find any survivors or journals. We are not spending longer than five minutes here”. Each person went their own separate way rummaging through piles and inside of tents. I walked over to one of the remaining tents and found it was someone’s personal quarters. I went over to a makeshift paper that was covered in documents and maps of the cave system.

I discovered that this tent was indeed Mal’s personal residence, but he was nowhere to be seen. Observing his maps and comparing them with what we had seen though, it did appear that this cavern was the deepest one Mal had set as a goal back in the theater at the university. I continued rummaging through the items to find if anything could help discover what had happened. I finally came across a small leather journal I recognized with bright red print across the spine, this was a personal journal of the Professor. I opened through it and flipped through some of the dates. The majority of entries were older and not relevant, but a few of the entries did date to the last few days. The first entry I found was dated the day before the massive Icarus Seismic Anomaly earthquake, and references to it caught my eye. “How could you be talking about seismic studies before the quake?” I pondered to myself as I read deeper.

“The equipment has been gathered and the tools have been calibrated for the correct area. These tools should allow both precise readings while also mapping out subterranean activity. My dreams leading to this moment have taken such a strange turn. Before I would see things, places, or events unfolding; such as the earthquake out of Angeles forest. Lately though… voices have begun talking through these vivid and realistic dreams. I cannot always comprehend what they are saying, but last night I could understand them. They told me so much about myself, some things I didn’t even know about my family lineage. As it all came to a close, I just kept hearing an echo of *soon* from them. All I know is I have prepared the sensory equipment on the coordinates I saw highlighted in my dreams… I will be ready for whatever happens.”

Another entry was dated after the quake, possibly the morning of the press conference revealing his findings.

“The day has finally arrived! All of my hard work will be repaid today. All the preparation and planning has led to the greatest findings of my career. Scientists are scrambling across the world to understand what happened… And I stood there ready and waiting before it was ever felt… People are asking me how I knew though in the first place something might be. I can’t explain it to them… I can’t even explain it to myself. All I know now is though I have my findings and data, they don’t need to know how I came about it. I do not worry about anything else… but last night in my sleep… the voices returned and were not pleased. They attacked me that I had not done enough to prepare, and that I had failed to utilize their gifts to me. They tell me that because of my failings no one will believe me today at the press conference. I will not be beholden to these voices in my head any longer, I will reap my success in just a few hours”.

Another entry was listed and dated as the first day of the expedition. It might have been on our initial descent or soon before.

“We will lose sight of the sun very soon. I must complete my trials for the outside world to finally believe and recognize me. I have done everything in my power to assemble this team and get them to follow me down. I have every faith that we will be successful. I know I am trying to resist listening to these voices but their advice on who to bring might have been too essential. I have failed myself by not listening to their guidance before, so I made sure each member they told me to bring was on this expedition…. Each individually hand picked, the expedition assumes it was me who did so… And they are partially correct, these voices are just an extension of my own consciousness. Only a genius of my scale could put together such an expedition after all”

There was one final entry in the journal but it has no date and seems hastily written, everything after this has been left blank.

“We have finally made it to the final chamber of our journey, our ultimate discovery. I have seen this place before in my dreams. I have read the words sprawling across these ebony tributes, the confessions of our amalgamated wills. The others did not understand and were afraid, but the voices gave me the wisdom I needed to convince them. I gave them all the water from the lake, and I repeated what the voices had told me that these waters were the wellspring of truth and reality. After consuming the liquid the fog before their eyes was cleared and they joined me in singing praise to our discovery. Some of the final members refused to acknowledge our immense discovery, but enough of us were unified in purpose that we forced the elixir of enlightenment down their throats. They resisted and struggled, but they eventually saw the truth we spoke. I can feel the voices so much stronger now while I am here. Before I could only hear whispers in my dreams, but here I listen to the roaring trumpets of their glory deafening out the lies of our reality. Their glory is truly infinite and wise. They speak to me again about the final steps we must take. I repeat the voices to the others, commanding them to inscribe onto the great ebony obelisks. We have a blank spot we were destined for, we engrave *Exscensio* while half of us throw ourselves deep into the lake. The remaining few engrave next *Iungo* into the pillar, before they throw themselves into the lake. I am left alone now on the shoreline, I have inscribed the last word of my new deity *Exedo*. I must now join with the rest and ascend to the truth of our reality. I will be rewarded for my loyalty and determination to pursue the truth”

I was sickened and shocked by what I had read. These appeared at the time to be the mad ravings of a lunatic, but allude to some type of ritualistic mass drowning. One thing I did know for sure though… There was no one to rescue, and no reason to stay in this hellscape. I ran out of the tent and called my crew over to the other tent with the Hermes relay. James and Larken joined me, but Laura was far out by the water and did not hear me. As I sat down at the device I felt it was a blessing that it actually worked. I relayed to the way station camp and Sarah answered that they were still there. I told them we would be returning immediately and she should prepare to leave as soon as we arrived.

Sarah asked though “What happened to the research team? You are bringing around fifteen back with you right?”. I broke the news that we in fact were not bringing any of the forward team back with us, and that we had reasons to believe they were all dead. This sent an uproar back at the way station that we could hear over the relay device. “We will never return to the surface without appeasing them” and “We need to leave this place before we anger it further for trespassing” came through the device from the bystanders with Sarah. I then heard her try to calm them and tell them it was time to go but then I started hearing violent yelling from the crowd back “It's already too late to leave. We have offended it's great sanctuary and now must appease it to have any chance at returning to the surface”. We heard the yelling turn into a commotion, but eventually the machine cut off and only sputtered out static to us.

As I turned to order my team we needed to leave, we all heard a shrill scream that only lasted a moment. We ran out of the tent and looked to where Laura was, only to see no one there but the water rippling near the shoreline. James screamed out across the massive cavern “Laura! Laura!” but he was left with no reply. Larken though pointed out across the water and alerted us “There in the distance! I can see a person in the water!”. We peered out onto the lake and we did in fact see a figure in the middle of the water. They were still and not moving in anyway we could see, only their torso, shoulders, and head were visible above the water line. James, Larken, and I began to panic but I tried to regain my composure. I grabbed the shoulder of Larken who had started hysterically crying and told them “You gotta break out of that, we gotta move out of here now!”. As he does so though an eerie warning is carried through the cavern “Why would you want to leave?”.

James cautiously whispers “Doesn’t that… Isn’t that Professor Mal? He is still alive??”. The figure is facing away from us and is so far away, but I do see some resemblance to the Professor. Before anyone could respond the voice returned without any movement from the body in the water “Of course I am alive, more so than ever now. Don’t you just love the lake we discovered? It's almost a divine place really”. I cried out “Mal if that's you, you need to get out of the water now! Swim back to the shoreline we need to leave immediately!”. I gave this warning to try and save the man I once knew, but I worried due to what was in the journal if we could trust him.

“Why would you ever want to leave me?” the voice pitches out from the dark liquid abyss “It’s been so long, and I will not lose all my new company”. The body finally begins to raise out of the water, but as it does it reveals a horrifying sight to us. The upper body and head of the figure did appear like Mal from the back, but that is where the similarity ended. As the body raised out of the water it revealed the skin from the chest down was scaled and turned into a long tentacle that descended into the dark abyss. The face of the figure was misshapen and almost blurred, lacking rigid shape or symmetry as a human face has. There were no eyes or nose, less a human mouth and more a ringed opening where a mouth should be. As it rose from the dark liquid, the ceiling of the cavern also came to life, sudden shaking had knocked stalactites loose but the luminescent lights dotted across the ceiling began to glow so much brighter, in a warped way it almost resembles a starry night sky.

The tentacle now slowly began to move from the center of the lake towards our shoreline. As it did so the dark and insidious liquid now created waves that formed in our direction. As the warped and hideous Mal-like puppet got closer, other strange and alien limbs began to rise out of the water. The limbs were all scaled and looked as though they were slime covered, but the ends of the limbs all had unique and horrifying visages of grasping limbs, thrashing teeth, ever-watching eyes, and other organs I could not even begin to fathom the function for. I could now tell by the twisted mass approaching us and the physics of the lake that something massive was lying just under the waterline, something so massive that its movement was causing the lake to surge towards us.

I only had my bag and Mal’s journal with me, but I grabbed the shoulders of the james and Larken before running towards the exit. I hoped we could jump through the hole before the wave overtook us. As we reached it though and I had my hands around the opening, the massive wave hit our backs. The liquid smashed against the cavern wall before receding back into the lake, but we had been drenched in the foul ichor. I was gasping for air but I could feel the liquid sticking to my clothing and skin still. My eyes were closed after the impact for a few moments, but I suddenly had colors and visions bleeding into my closed eyes. I had not let go of the opening in the cave wall even as the wave overtook us. I used what strength I had to pull myself through to the otherside, when I looked back though I saw an image that has burned into my memory. I don’t know what that entity was that rose out of the water, it had no definite shape or mass. It had flesh that seemed to morph between fluid and solids, while the colors also were constantly in flux. I saw my final two crew members, James and Larken who bravely ventured deeper down with me, dragged and vivisected by the creature’s limbs into that damned lake. As I turned away for the last time I noticed the warped figure on the tentacle staring directly at me, the creature did not need eyes for me to know its gaze was upon me. I felt the cold gaze like chains across my body, and had to resist immensely to keep moving.

The entire cave system begins to violently shake as rocks and ceilings start to collapse. As the shaking commenced the path behind began to fill with that dark liquid. As I looked into it rising in the tunnels behind me, I almost heard whisperings from the liquid “Don’t leave us” and “It's been so long since we’ve heard new words”. I do what I can to push forward though and get ahead of the rising waters while avoiding the falling parts of the ceiling. My vision continues to fail me as I attempt to flee, the visions caused by the lake keep seeping into the corners of my eyes. I eventually reached where the way station camp is set up halfway to the exit. I expect to find the crew and prepare to yell to leave all the supplies and documents behind, to just follow me in the escape.

As I round the corner to the camp though, I find it a bloodied carnage instead. It appears fights broke out between everyone, they all seem to have cuts and impacts from the mining and exploration tools in the camp. The most macabre though was on the wall near the camp. Blood had been smeared to draw symbols across the walls. I did not understand them at all, but recognized it after a few more seconds, these were too similar in style to the initial mural the expedition found. In front of the bloodied mural along with several eviscerated corpses, one body stood out. It was the body of Poe; left sitting in front of the mural. Instead of several gashes like the others, this body only had one injury of a knife that was plunged into his heart. Poe must have then died sitting upright, as his corpse stiffened and kept the almost ritualistic pose.

Echoes of rushing water and screams came again from behind me from the direction of the lake. I began running up the tunnels away from this cursed expedition. The earth resumed violently shaking though, and the tunnels started to give in at several sections as I ran past. I never looked back after that, but heard horrific things behind me as I ran. What seemed like garbled screams and voices constantly chased after me but I never stopped moving. Finally I nearly reached the exit to the surface. I recognized the equipment we left at the entrance, and even for a moment saw the sun shine through at the top of the cave entrance. My hope was extinguished though with another violent upheaval of the earth around me. The visions overtake me and throw me to the ground. I see things… shapes… approach me and wrap some type of limbs around me. I heard a voice whisper to me “You will be happier with us”. The ceiling above gave out, and the cave collapsed on my head. There was only darkness and pain for those last brief moments.

“Your not going to leave us so soon are you?” the voice echoed through the darkness.

The flash of the horrors I witnessed caused one last jolt of energy in me, but when I forced myself to rise I was no longer in the dark tunnel systems. I was in a hospital bed, with a nurse by my side surprised but relieved “Good! We thought you wouldn’t wake up. We thought you were leaving us for dead”. I said I needed to speak with the university immediately but the nurses reacted as expected to my sudden hysteria, telling me to calm down and threatening me with injections if I couldn’t. I calmed myself the best I could and the nurse at a minimum called in the hospital’s doctors for me.

The doctors began recollecting the official events that were told to the public. Her expedition had lost contact after a certain depth. The UNC monitoring center on the surface sent in three seperate crews after them but none returned either. Another massive quake like the Icarus Seismic Anomaly occurred, causing the Angeles Crack to seal shut. I was almost to the mouth of the cave system, so the team who began excavations found me buried in the rubble. Follow up scans would show nearly the entire Angeles Crack had collapsed, and that access to the deepest sections of the discovered tunnels was likely gone forever. The UNC released a statement that all members of the expedition crew and recovery crews were lost in the second earthquake and subsequent collapse of the system, I was the only one that could be recovered from the rubble and that was not made public until I woke up. I had remained in a coma state for a full week, which allowed the UNC to finalize the story for public interest in the lost expedition.

When I awoke from my hospital bed, I tried telling the UNC professors everything that happened to the expedition. Due to the nature of the story, it was deemed I had suffered brain and memory damage due to the head trauma and subsequent coma. I was discredited by the institute and released from the UNC faculty. Local newspapers were both pressured and incriminated to not publish the account of a madwoman, the UNC account is now the only recognized explanation for the Angeles Crack expedition crew. I am documenting everything that occured to share my testimony of what really happened with the world. This document is now the only counter explanation of what really occurred.

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