The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
They were insistent, if not else, on having their way. The invaders were tall, over seven feet tall and wore skins for clothing with sharp blades that they carried at their back and their side. They were men from the Upper Regions who had found their way through the tunnels above. They called themselves explorers, but he knew better. Their leader, Sgulf Andersen, was a tall scruffy man with a beard that threatened to drag on the ground. His eyes were a fierce blue and his lips pouty and bloated, not the sign of a man used to obliging others, but rather having his way...at any cost.
"You will let me in, or my men will hack this door to pieces, and then they'll hack you to pieces!" Sgulf had declared in his usual gruff manner.
Arian had learned their bluffs and tirades the hard way, as had many of his people. They were a simple civilization who had been granted sanctuary when the world above had been flooded horribly by the imbalances in nature created by the civilizations of that time. He was their leader. He was now over a thousand years old, and his youngest members were now nearing five hundred. They had no more children. After a time they had learned that no one grew older, and no one ever got sick. When they realized the import of that, they stopped having children.
That sounds simple enough, but it wasn't. They didn't decide to do that, they just lost the desire to procreate. There seemed no need for it, and his people never were a lust-bound peoples, as the Vikings were. They lived in harmony with the earth, much like the Indians of their time, who had once communed frequently with the Ancient Ones, who had taken them in.
The Indians, much like themselves, had found the entrance through visions and led their people, being harassed by the dark souls above from Europe and elsewhere. They had been given sanctuary, but many of the braver ones would journey back, the long and treacherous journey to the top world again to spread the news of their salvation in hopes of persuading more of their red-skinned brothers to join them in the paradise they had found.
But the Indian tribes had been soured by the intrusion of first the Spanish, then the French and the Germans and the British and began to fight amongst each other for control of what little land they still were able to hold onto.
So eventually, Arian's friends in the surrounding tribes had less and less frequently gone to the surface to befriend the lost ones above.
They called them lost ones, because even the Indians had lost their roots in the sacred Earth they used to worship and hold dear. They had lost contact with the Gods of Within in surrender to the God of without, the harsh driven economics of the nations invading the Americas.
"I will not surrender this door to your foul nature, Sgurd." He hollered through the door.
He dropped back when a heavy smashing sound echoed from it.
The Ancients had said that the door was constructed of living materials. They could not die, nor ever be broken or defiled.
He hadn't understood the technology of it, but some of his younger villagers did now, as they trained in the Higher Sciences to take their place in the enlightened society of Agharta, the nation of the Hollow Earth.
While their society dwelled mostly below what was called the "Ako-Yet ," or the Sacred Spiritual Mountain, which others called the Mountain of Shasta, or Shasta Mountain, they were not disconnected from Agharta.
Arian, who was not a very tall man, stood about a foot shorter than most of his villagers. The air here, the vibrations as the Ancients called it, nurtured both spirit and body. The Ancients themselves were not short at all, many of them standing as tall as sixteen feet. They were giants compared to most of the world and they were the ones who gave the legends of giants on the earth their start.
For they had once inhabited the upper crust of the earth, but when man fell from the worship of the One Light and began worshipping metal objects and false gods, they withdrew slowly into the interior of the earth, guided by the spirit of Earth...Gaia, who taught them the ways of harmony and peace that they had already been on the path of, but at a higher level. Soon they were able to build devices that did not harm the world, but could fly anywhere. They learned how to communicate with their minds and to build objects with thoughts.
The Ancients were powerful, but wise. But one thing they did not tolerate was negativity. They constructed barriers to stop the dark souls from above discovering their world. Sometimes the barriers were lowered according to the will of Gaia, but only for those who entered to learn lessons...sometimes hard ones, sometimes not.
And so over the thousands of years legends of the Hollow Earth had grown, many fueled by direct contat, but most by whispering and gossip, without a clue of the might or majesty of the empire below.
The door smashed loudly again. "You will open!" Sgurd threatened. "Or I will personallly sew your eyeballs to my shield and eat your heart for breakfast."
Arian was silent. An Ancient had appeared next to him, as they sometimes did. He had to stoop so as not to bang his head on the lower ceiling of the passage.
"You must let them in!" He ordered.
Arian was dismayed. Terrified. "But..."
The Ancient, whose name was legend, looked into Arian's eyes and he melted like butter. This Ancient was the most ancient of all and second only to Gaia. "It is written that they must learn a lesson. And you shall teach it to them, dear Arian. But whatever happens after you open the door, you must not turn around, your must not look back and you must not touch one of them in a harmful way!"
Arian nodded. Tears wet his eyes. "They will soil your world."
The Ancient touched Arian on both shoulders with his gentle, but giant hands. "Have you no faith after all this time, my young friend?"
Arian sighed, then moved to open the door. It was held closed by a secret combination of vibrations that had to be activated by touch in the right sequence. As he touched a number, it would light up and a new series of numbers would appear. He completed the last number, then stepped back as the door began to slowly open.
Sgurd stood with his massed warriors behind him, all with axes, hammers and spears ready to act.
"Because you have opened the door, I shall let you live to see my glory, miserable one!" Sgurd exclaimed, his eyes glowing with the taste of victory.
Then the Ancient stepped in front of Arian and outside the door.
Sgurd and the other Vikings dropped their weapons in terror as he stood before them.
"You dare to defy the All Father!" The Ancient cried out. "Be gone while your miserable souls yet burn in your bodies."
Sgurd gathered his strength, and unslung his great sword. He hefted it. "I dare!" He shouted and rushed the Ancient.
He stabbed the sword into the Ancient's heart.
The Ancient stood there, looking down at the sword a moment, then at Sgurd. "Your loss weighs upon my soul. I will see you yet again, but not in this life!"
Sgurd kicked the Ancient in his chest and he tumbled backwards, almost taking Arian down with him, but Arian managed to step aside. As he did he grabbed the Ancient and tried to set him down without dropping him.
"Let me go!" The Ancient whispered with his drying breath. "I have done what the One Light has desired. Remember what you...promised....me!"
He collapsed to the floor and the other Vikings rushed in and began hacking on him. As they did his body spattered the walls with a kind of golden blood. Where the droplets struck the wall, the wall sprouted flowers.
The Vikings again fell back in terror, but not Sgurd. He raised his might sword to take off the Ancient's head. "I shall mount your head on my ship when we return home!"
He raised his sword to swing downwards, then Arian rushed forward to stop him. "Have you no sense of dignity. You've slain him. Isn't that enough?"
Sigurd grabbed Arian by the throat with one hand, then before his eyes swung the sword down with the other hand, severing the Ancient's head from his body, allowing it to join the mutilated pieces of skin and bone that were scattered about the floor.
Arian felt his vision growing dark.
Sigurd looked into his face. "You really should have listened to him better."
Samuel felt a massive fist strike his heart, then he gasped for air and sat up, his chest hurting like it had been broken.
Jimbo stood next to him, scared to death.
Nanny was pale as a ghost.
"Sammie, you're one stubborn sonuva bitch, but one of these days your hearts going to stop and never start again."
Samuel clutched at his chest a moment, then slowly rose from the ground where he had been laying. "That day hasn't come."
A clattering sounded from above, then loose stones began tumbling down the path onto the landing. Nanny ran over and looked up.
"They've found us!" She cried out.
Samuel joined her to look up. A horde of men dressed in black and red with gold helmets shaped like Nazi helmets and the symbol of the Swastika on it were rushing down the path. They clutched powerful looking rifles in their hands. When they saw Jimbo peek out too, they cried out and began firing.
The landing was spattered with intensely bright spears of energy that burned holes several inches deep in it, and caused other areas to begin to melt.