In silence we busied ourselves laying out the charges and wiring them together. It was hot, sweaty work and under the oppressive gaze of the slowly turning Leviathan it was a gruelling task. I caught Mason eyeing my backpack as I pulled bundle after bundle of dynamite from it; curiosity was written across his face but he was good as his word and asked nothing. Clambering about the ruined temple it was easy to see the hole dug by the archaeological team all those years ago; stone had been laid across and then the temple built on top around the Leviathan. I placed extra bundles around the base to make sure we opened the hole nice and wide.
It took nearly twenty minutes but eventually all the explosives were placed and I only had the plunger to wire up. Mason was unravelling the scroll he had brought, “I’ll need to read this first, then you blow the charges and when it’s clear I’ll toss the scroll on top to seal the site.”
“And then we teleport the hell out of this jungle before Sally nukes it,” I added.
“I would suggest that to be a wise course of action,” he beamed me his wolfish grin. I got to work on the detonator as he began to read. Strange words tumbled and fell from his mouth, words that felt thick and wriggled in my ears, words that moved inside my mind as if burrowing around. The Leviathan reacted immediately; it shuddered to a halt, bolts of green lightning crackled from its surface. The air around us thickened and began to vibrate. I looked up nervously, glancing across at Mason and gasped at the sight; his eyes had rolled back into their sockets and his lips moved in a strangely fluid manner that suggested he was not in full control. The words kept coming and, with a slow long screech like steel sheets being torn in half, the Leviathan began to turn backwards. The air began to move past me as if a wind were blowing towards the dread gateway and I realised that the hole was sucking it in, that somewhere below it a vacuum had opened and was beginning to pull everything it could in.
As if in a trace, Mason turned his head towards me and with a voice that was not entirely his said “Now man, do it now.”
I pushed down hard on the plunger.
“Now!” he cried.
I tried again and still nothing. I looked back along the wires and saw that the vortex had dragged a branch down and it had pulled a connection free. “I need to fix the wire!” I bellowed over the rising tempest and leapt over the plunger. I wrenched the branch free and it skittered off towards the ever-strengthening draw of the temple. A quick twist repair and I was all set; I stood and was giving a thumbs up to Mason when a blow to my leg felled me. From my thigh jutted the shaft of a crude looking arrow, blood welling up where it had penetrated.
Through the tress I saw three natives charging towards me and before I knew it I had my webley in my hand. The first shot was wild, but the second and third found their target and the nearest native tumbled to the floor, dead before he hit. Arrows thumped down into the ground around me as I took aim on the next chap, my fourth shot only winged him but the fifth and sixth dropped him like a stone.
There was no chance to reload so I prepared to fight off the last native with the empty gun and my bare hands. He came running at me like a bull, his axe raised high and face spitting hatred as he leapt at me like a wild animal…
To be continued…