Starting off February, I am posting Chapter 10 of The Story of the Windlenot Museum. As always, I hope you have been enjoying this story, and hopefully I'll get the rest of this one up by March. I know I try to only post one chapter of any of my fics a day, and that's because I don't want to overwhelm the board, as well as make sure other posters get read. I would, however, like to help as well by reading some things as well. I do tend to get busy, with family, and life, but if you'd like me to read some of your stuff, I'll do what I can. Message me if you want with a link, and I'll do what I can to check everything out.
Attention: Shivers is property of Sierra. Richard Cale is my character, and is used in other fics with my blessing. Michael McNeal is a creation of Mike N, who has fics posted on fanfiction.net as well. Carl is Carl Kolchak from the Kolchak: The Night Stalker franchise.
The Story of the Windlenot Museum
|Previous Chapter||Gods And Demons|
Chapter 10: Hidden Secrets
Carl Kolchak was thankful that they entered a normal hallway. The past few rooms had brought back many memories, and not all of them were pleasant. The rooms had reminded him of two vampire encounters, one werewolf encounter, and brought back memories of encounters with ancient deities. Most of those resulted in his story being rejected, at the least. At the worst, he had been banned from a few cities. The longer this night went, he was sure he might end up banned from this small town as well.
With that in his mind, he started to wonder how the two teens would be received when they finally got out of the museum. From what he had gathered, Richard was already a social outcast, and Michael was one of the few people who would try to find a reason for whatever happened. At least, he’d try to find a scientific explanation. In Carl’s experience, that rarely happened.
He was brought out of his musings when Michael spoke. “Well, we have two choices; left towards the end of the hall, or right towards some stairs. Which way should we go?” Carl glanced in both directions. If they went to the left, they would come to a door, and if they went to the right, they would climb some stairs with an apparent space theme. Something told him that they should make sure they had seen the whole floor before continuing up to the next floor.
Carl wasn’t surprised when Richard made his choice. “I think we should check the door out. We shouldn’t head to the next floor until we have checked this floor out in it entirety.” Richard’s logic was the same as his. “Besides, we might find something important in there.” Richard has struck another point, one he hadn’t thought of.
Carl walked over to the door, and opened it. Part of him was disappointed, and another part was relieved. It appeared to be a janitor’s room. He slowly entered the room, and could hear one of the boys following him in.
As he moved towards the back of the room, he noticed all the things that would be found in a janitor’s room. However, one thing seemed to draw his attention. In the back of the room, on a table, was a pile of rags. Something about how they were piled brought one thought to his mind. Something was hidden under the rags.
He was almost next to them when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He glanced back to see it was Richard holding him. Even thought the boy was in his teens, the Ixupi attacks had aged him. However, with the older appearance, Carl could see that the boy would have a presence that would command respect. “I think there is something lurking in those rags.”
Carl wanted to tell the boy he thought that something was under the rags, but listened for a moment. It was in that moment that he heard the sound of what had to be ripping fabric. He started to back away from the rags, now noticing the green tint to them. “You are on to something, Rich. Maybe it would be best if we came back to this room when we are better prepared.”
As they backed out of the room, he heard Richard agreeing with him. “Indeed, but this seems to tell me something about the Ixupi.” Carl wanted to hear that thought, but decided not to, at least until they were out of the room. Even at his age, he wasn’t sure if he could survive more than one Ixupi attack.
When the door to the janitor’s room closed, Carl turned to face Richard. “What did you learn? Something about how these things think?” He wasn’t stunned when Richard nodded.
Michael, who had remained outside the door, looked at the two of them. “Is this something that can help us defeat them?” This time, Carl was surprised when Richard nodded.
Carl devoted his attention to the Caucasian youth, who didn’t look that young right now, and turned on his tape recorder. “So what did you figure out?”
He watched as the lad leaned against the wall. He understood why the boy was doing that. It had to be close, if not past, midnight. “The Ixupi know that we’ll try and catch them. So, if they have moved the pots and lids all over the place, then they know we’ll hunt them down.”
Carl nodded, even though that fact was obvious. “I think we were all aware of that, Richard. Did you notice something else?”
Richard nodded again, and looked back at the door. “Yes. One of the pots or lids is hidden under those rags, and being guarded by the Cloth Ixupi. If one tries to get it without catching the Cloth Ixupi, they walk into an ambush.” Carl saw the logic in what Richard was saying, even though they had been up at least half the night.
He then heard Michael say, “What if what the Cloth Ixupi is hiding is something needed to catch it? Then we might not be able to catch it.” Carl had to admit that could be a possibility, but it didn’t seem possible.
Carl could tell Richard was thinking that possibility over, when something hit him. “It won’t be hiding either part of the pot to catch it. They are bound to the things until they take a person’s essence. Maybe it’s one of those that could be very dangerous if it got out.”
He watched as Richard Cale started towards the stairwell they had seen. As the lad reached Michael, he heard Michael say, “Good grief, that makes sense. If the Cloth Ixupi were to get out, everyone who wears clothing would be at risk. That would be disastrous.”
He and Michael followed Richard up the steps, as the other teen spoke. “That would suggest that the Ixupi have some sort of hierarchy. Of course, that would mean that there would be a leader to the Ixupi.”
The question went unanswered for a moment, as they all reached the top of the steps, and entered a room full of space themed exhibits. However, what stunned them most was the large solar system model, and the detailed space map on the domed ceiling. For a brief moment, Carl had a flashback to the invisible aliens that had invaded Chicago. He repressed the memory, and hoped that the room would remain on the safe side.
Michael McNeal could not believe everything that was in the space themed room. Some of the exhibits, which included the solar system model dominating the center of the room, and a flying saucer, fit in with the space theme. However, the model of Stonehenge didn’t seem to fit with the theme.
As the three of them walked around the room, he could see that Richard was speechless. He turned towards Carl, and saw the man looking at what appeared to be a space suit. “Hey Carl, any idea why some of these items are in displayed in here?”
He watched as Carl glanced over at Stonehenge. “Well, I know for a fact that there is still some debate about how and why it was built. Some theories seem to think that aliens helped in some way, or that Stonehenge was a beacon to aliens. There have been tons of discoveries that lead people to think aliens got involved with our ancient ancestors.”
Michael shook his head as he tried to comprehend the idea. It didn’t sound like something a normal person would think up, but more like the ramblings of someone who hadn’t had enough sleep. Ever since they had entered the museum, they had literally lost track of time.
Before he could finally respond to Carl’s comment, he heard Richard say, “You mean like the Nazca Lines in Peru?” He heard a slight sound of disapproval come from his friend as he asked. He turned to see Richard opening a square panel on a circular stand. “I find it hard to believe that aliens came down and helped the ancient cultures. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Michael was glad that Richard agreed with him. It made him feel better since he had no idea how long they had been awake. “He has a point there, Carl. Why would aliens come down to help the ancient civilizations? It makes no sense at all.”
He saw Carl walk over to the solar system model, and point to the planet Earth. “Then answer this. From the ground, the Nazca Lines make no sense at all. Once you get into the air, you see they make shapes. You can’t say that it doesn’t mean anything. And look at the pictures from the one book we found. Four cultures had images of flying space craft and their occupants.”
He glanced over at Richard, wondering what his friend would say to that. Richard wouldn’t dismiss something like that. He had remembered during one of their days in the school library, how they discussed about the multiple great flood stories. He wondered if Richard might agree that the idea was plausible, even though he wasn’t sure if he agreed with it because of lack of sleep.
Michael was surprised when his friend finally spoke. “Carl, do you remember which four cultures had images in that book?” He glanced over at his friend, and was stunned to see Richard had fully opened the square panel. Inside it, he could see twelve panels, each with a drawing on it.
He then saw Carl had pulled out the notebook that they had marked down things in. After flipping through the pages, Carl finally answered the question. “Nazca, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and China. Pretty far away from each other, so there has to be something to it.”
He watched as Richard pointed to the panels, and said, “Or it’s another puzzle. All these images are in line with places, and they must match up to do something. The locations are opposite three panels on each line.” He watched as Carl then walked over to Richard, and they worked to put all the panels in place.
As the two worked, Michael walked over to a button near the door. Soon he heard the familiar voice that described all the rooms. It told him that the room was devoted to space, aliens, and the idea that ancient aliens might have met ancient cultures. When it was done, he turned to see the top of a model flying saucer opening up. “Hey, I think you two should see this.”
They all gathered around the flying saucer, and were stunned to see an animal head in it. As they all looked at it, Michael saw something familiar about the shape of the base. “Hey, I think it looks like it would go with the pot we found in the clock tower. What was that one again?”
He heard Richard reply. “The Crystal Ixupi pot. When we finish searching the rest of the rooms, we will get it so you can capture that one.” They all stepped back from the flying saucer exhibit, and Michael could tell that Richard had remembered something. “Hey, weren’t we talking about which Ixupi might be the leader?”
Michael nodded. “We were. I think it would have to be the one that would be most dangerous if it got out of here.” He started to think about which ones they had seen, and all the symbols in the book. Finally, something hit him. He looked around the room, and thought about everything, including something Richard told him long ago. “I think I know which one is in charge.”
The others looked at him, and he could see that they both wanted to know what he had figured out. He also saw that Richard must have started thinking on the same lines. Finally, Richard came to the same conclusion that he had. “Good grief. That’s why this place still has power. It’s the Thunder and Lightning Ixupi. It’s keeping this place going.”
He watched as the realization hit Carl. “If that’s the case, then it must know everything we are doing. But why would it keep the place going?”
Michael didn’t have an answer, but was surprised when an answer came in a familiar voice. “To lure more of your blight here, and free my brethren so they can complete their task.” All three turned and looked at the speaker by the door. Until now, Michael had never been scared by all the strange stuff. Now, it was different. Now, the Ixupi had made contact.
Richard Cale felt his blood freeze when he heard the voice come from the speaker. He had not expected that one of the creatures would actually speak, let alone in English. He was also hoping that it had been some sort of freak thing. He glanced at both Carl and Michael, and could tell they had heard the same thing. He quickly motioned the others closer to him, and said, “I suggest we run for the next room.”
They all nodded, and quickly ran for the door. The fact that the Ixupi spoke to them was unnerving. The fact that it seemed to speak English since it was an ancient Mayan, or Inca, creature was terrifying. However, it was how it made the voice that had been in the recordings seem malevolent. The trio quickly ran for the door, and Michael was the first one through. Carl was the second one through, and just as Richard reached the door, the creature spoke again. “You should do the right thing. Give yourself up, and spare those you care about a worse fate. Take our place in the pot, and don’t end up stuck in a wall, in a canyon. Even the girl you love would be better off like that.”
Richard felt himself freeze in the doorway. How could this creature know about Yvette, and how could it even suggest something so horrible? Part of him wanted to yell at the creature, face to face. He even felt himself starting to lean towards the speaker, but felt himself pulled away from it, and into the next room.
When he heard the door close, he realized he was facing Michael. “Richard, what were you about to do? Don’t you know that thing was pulling a trick on you?” He understood what Michael was upset, but Michael didn’t know why it bothered him.
Richard looked right into Michael’s eyes, and responded. “Michael, I don’t know how that thing knew, but it sounded like it was threatening Yvette. Now if it was listening to us, I can understand how it might have known, but I care about Yvette, and there is no way I’d let anyone, or anything, threaten her life.”
He watched as Michael stepped back, and then continued. “Sorry, Mike. I’m a bit on edge since we’ve been up so late. I think we should avoid pushing the buttons playing the introductions to the room, unless we really have to.” Michael nodded, and he also noticed that Carl nodded in agreement.
They all started to walk about in the room. From what he could see, this room was most likely still setting up. Everything still seemed to be in crates. He walked over to one of the crate, and lifted the lid, finding an ancient tool. He closed the crate, and stepped back. “This doesn’t seem right. Why would an ancient stone age tool be in a museum to the unknown.”
He heard Michael respond. “I don’t know. Stone age tools don’t seem too bizarre, unless this room is not related to historical items. Maybe it’s theme is something else.”
Richard started to walk over to a dividing wall, and saw Carl was studying a pyramid face that was along the one wall. As Carl was studying it, he heard him say, “Maybe it has something to do with human nature. Like something about creativity, or maybe ingenuity.”
Richard had to agree with that remark when he saw the huge crate on the other side of the wall. One word on the crate stuck out. Alchemy. He had read about the idea of Alchemy. One of the most notable ideas was turning base metals in to valuable ones, like gold. According to the crate, someone had developed a machine to do that.
It seemed impossible to him, but his curiosity was getting the better of him. He quickly walked over to the crate, and tried to peek inside. His attempt was greeted by the sound of the side of the crate falling to the floor. The sound it made when it hit the hard floor made him jump back, and caused Michael to come running over. “What happened? Did something try to attack you?”
Richard shook his head. “Nothing attacked. I just tried to check this crate, and it fell open. But look at this weird machine in it. I’ve never seen anything like it.” They both looked at the huge machine, and studied it for a moment. After a few moments, Richard finally spoke. “Do you think it might be another puzzle of sorts?”
Michael shrugged. “It could be, but I’m not familiar with the topic of Alchemy. Do you think Carl might know something?”
Richard smiled. He had remembered reading that one of Carl’s stories from the past included something about an Alchemist. He quickly turned around the dividing wall, calling out. “Hey Carl, can you help us with something?” He froze when he looked over at where the pyramid was, and saw that Carl was no where to be found.
He quickly ran over to the pyramid. “Mike, Carl disappeared.” His friend followed him, and they both called out for the missing reporter. Inwardly, Richard hoped that Carl hadn’t fallen prey to any of the Ixupi.
In moments, Richard heard Carl’s voice, coming from the other side of the wall. “It’s all right. I think I stumbled onto another secret passage. One of the bricks on the pyramid opens it.”
Richard looked at Michael, and they both started pushing on each brick. After trying almost every brick, Richard felt one move, and the stair face lowered, and the two teens entered the now open passage. Just to the left of the door, Carl was standing, and was taking a picture. “Looks like there are more secrets in this place. Shall we find out where this passage leads?”
Richard looked down the hall, noticing that there appeared to be some steps, and then he looked down the other direction. “It might be a good idea. There may be something else down these halls, and if it’s a faster way to places, it will be better to know the path, and all our options.” Richard then started down the hall that was to the right of how they entered.
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