42: Riddle of the Sphinx

The Cthonian trail leads to the Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza

Giza, Egypt, Africa:

23:57 PM:

A dim, grey light filters down the freshly chewed tunnel. The condensing carcass of the Cthonian releases a steady stream of fetid rancid odour and steam into the claustrophobic air, adding an orange tinge to the pale tendrils of surface illumination.

Covered in Cthonian slime, Trixie, Gupta, Joe, and the other investigators follow the course of the tunnel as it descends beneath the Nile towards Giza. Using miner’s helmet lights, the investigators are able to negotiate the deepening darkness.

The Cthonian tunnel separates. In the one direction it goes up and in the other direction it goes down. Ahead voices can be heard in Arabic. One is saying: “It will be here soon: They won’t be able to stand against it. They are just Muslims. The great day will be upon us soon. Don’t worry.”

The night sky can be seen a little further ahead. About 40 feet. But we will have to climb the steep Cthonian tunnel and be silent with no light source. Gupta and Irma climb silently while Natalja and Joe levitate. What awaits us? Do we really want to find out? There are lanterns and two men sitting close to the Cthonian tunnel. Behind them are more. And two trucks. At the moment the investigators appear, they have to act. Natalja shoots at the one facing the tunnel, Joe and Gupta the one with his back to the tunnel, he is killed instantly with his blood spraying across the other one, who screams before Gupta shoots him dead too. The one to the rear is shot dead by Irma.

The other guards at the trucks come running towards the Cthonian tunnel entrance, shouting. The silhouettes of the pyramids loom darkly against the night sky. Some chanting can be heard coming from one of the trucks… Grenades are thrown at each… Gupta switches to his Tommy gun and shoots one trying to flee, winging him.

“Arrrggghhhh Yog Sothoth!” Screams another!

Natalja is hit by fist of Yog Sothoth by the guy under the truck! She is badly injured. Joe sees a man with a grenade behind the other truck. The grenade explodes in his hands scattering him across a wide area.

At the other truck there is some Arabic cursing and noise – Gupta sprays the truck ineffectively. A grenade suddenly explodes near to the back of the truck! What happened? Gupta continues to lay down suppressing fire while Joe charges towards the truck. One of the cultists, heavily bleeding jumps from the truck to attack. Joe dispatches him in an instant.

Wesley patches up Natalja who is in a bad way. In the truck there is a box that looks like it was ready to receive the girdle? The cultists are wearing a symbol of an upside down pyramid with a black ankh on them. There was also a car here which has left. A big sedan. We think it was probably Shakti. We throw the bodies back down the tunnel and get into the only functional truck. There are six grenades and rifles in the back of each truck, Mausers. We drive off, Irma at the wheel, with Joe making sure we are following the trail. As we approach the pyramids, there are a number of cultists who are pleased to see us. Irma suddenly accelerates into them crushing one of them while Wesley and Simon shoot three more of them to their horror and surprise. Irma reverses the truck pulls the handbrake, leaving the engine running. The investigators jump out of the truck and begin to search the area. There are munitions nearby. And there is an open tomb with rifles and rope next to it. Also a large pole. To carry something? At the tomb there is a tunnel visible below…

It descends gradually into the darkness. The investigators, including the injured Natalja who is unable to run but can walk, decide to enter. Before entering the bodies of the cultists are hidden. Nothing can be heard below. We start to walk down the slope. Occasional drafts drift up from below. Wesley and Simon are wearing the priest robes. There are side tunnels and alcoves, some images on the walls, hideous mutations of men mixed with animals. Ahead, the tunnel twists off to the right. The investigators proceed with caution. The direction is North-North-East – parallel to the pyramid. Where does the tunnel lead? Are they heading towards where the sphinx is located? There is evidence of Queen Nitocris in the hieroglyphs.

The tunnels are man-made: Ancient Egyptian, probably. The investigators reach a junction. Left? Or right? Gupta hears nothing except his laboured breathing. Right goes towards the pyramid, left goes to the sphinx. There are footprints, sometimes barefoot. Joe suddenly sees something above him! It flees! A formless shapeless thing. We run after it but it is gone. There is a slight bend in the tunnel. There is no choice but to continue. About 500 feet. Reaching a side tunnel, we realize that it goes back in the direction we came already. Wesley suddenly loses his footing and stumbles into the wall, his robes covered in a foul ochre slime.

At the end there is a “T” junction, we turn right so that we are heading towards the sphinx again. Irma’s dish-dasher catches on a jagged stone and rips. The tunnel curves again, back in the direction we came from… After 5-600 feet there is another side tunnel. It is ignored. A little later there is another side tunnel, this time going in the direction the investigators also want go. The investigators ignore it. Suddenly, from behind, Wesley sees humanoid figures with animal heads charging towards him! They are like Egyptian gods! Wesley guns down the first three with his M16 – Simon follows up killing Cheetah-head! These creatures are insane and charge, Wesley guns down another three of them and Simon drops a fourth: Blowing its animal head clean off! The bodies are completely human, just the heads are animal.

Wesley looks down the sights of his M16 and sees only darkness. The animal-headed monstrosities are dead. The darkness forms into an abyss. Suddenly, the professor realizes that he is not looking into darkness.

The darkness is looking into him.

Journal Wesley

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