Chapter 8: "Extraterrestrial"
Der Riese - Laboratories
Dr. Edward Richtofen
January 4th, 1940
Feeling and looking foolish in his protective body gear and eye goggles, Doctor Richtofen stood in the center of the MTD signaling Doctor Schuster that he was ready and activating the handheld recording device in his hand.
"Entry 42. Date: January 4th, 1940. Dr. Schuster and I, despite mounting pressure from Dr. Maxis, have continued working on the matter transference prototype. We have made great strides in the last thirty days and are ready for our first human subject. If our calculations are correct, we will send a test subject to the receptacle station sitting thirty yards away and behind a cinder-block wall."
"Are you certain you want to do this, Doctor Richtofen?"
"Nein, Doctor Schuster, this must be done. Quickly, put in your earplugs and power up the machine."
Edward's hands shook vigorously with sweat gathering at his palms. He had the many nights' worth of calculations and previous testing to show the test should indeed be a success, but regardless, the possibility of failure meant more than just another failure to add to the list, but it likely meant death.
Doctor Schuster placed his earplugs in, placing his hand upon the control panel and giving Doctor Richtofen the all-clear signal. Richtofen hesitated, before reluctantly offering his own. Edward shut his eyes tightly as Doctor Schuster activated the MTD, entrapping him within the test chamber. Edward opened one eye involuntarily, noting how cramped the walls of the device felt from the inside. For Richtofen, the whirring and buzzing of the machine was so much louder from the inside. He could not even hear himself think.
All that he could see was a bright, white light that seemed to become more intense than the sun itself. Then, sudden darkness and utter silence. Unexpected. What was once the sweltering heat of the MTD was now a bitter cold clamping down on Richtofen's exposed skin. As Doctor Richtofen reached for his belt to be sure the recording device he had activated minutes before was intact, his arm movement felt off, with much less force being required then normal, leading to his arm making an exaggerated motion to his side.
"Is there a power outage? Why is it so dark? I feel almost... weightless. How very unexpected. Doctor Schuster? Hello?"
No answer. Perhaps the teleportation process had taken longer in real time than it felt in Edward's head. The power must have gone out following the test and Doctor Schuster had left to try to find a new power supply and calm everyone else. Edward would likely lose his position in the organization after this. No matter. He was now far beyond the capabilities of Maxis or any two-bit replacements that would come after him. The Illuminati would be pleased with the successful test.
Edward began to feel around for anything solid to grip. What was around him did not feel like the metal inside the MTD, but more like rock. Bumpy and coarse, completely uneven. Odd.
Edward reached in his pocket for a lighter to hopefully illuminate the area. Click.
"Ah, I can see now.”
The lighter revealed a small space around the Doctor as a flame burst to life. Before him was a rocky wall, like that of a cave within a mountain. Looking upwards, there was a large metallic structure, its walls lined with strange, yet familiar symbols. Edward could hear machinations from within the metallic structure. He noted several vent-like markings spread across the metallic walls. Edward searched his memories, hoping to grasp the meaning of the symbols, and then he remembered a book Doctor Groph had shown to him many months ago detailing the ancient Vril-Ya's devices. By the vents, Doctor Richtofen searched his memory of Groph's ramblings, remembering mention of a device able to generate breathable oxygen with the use of Vril for power. Groph said this device was how many Vril were able to leave Earth's atmosphere to explore the cosmos.
Even more peculiar was the device at the center of the cave, beneath the metallic dome. It was a pyramid with a black finish so dark it appeared like a void, with Richtofen only being able to know it was a three dimensional object by placing the light close to it. The base of the pyramid was metallic much like the device surrounding it, with similar symbols inscribed into it as well. The front face of the pyramid's base held a large dial-like panel, with a protruding circle in the center and strange markings and grooves surrounding the center.
“Oh my god. I am standing in a circular cave, surrounded by some kind of machine like...it's like nothing I've ever seen before. It looks almost alien in nature. There's a pyramid structure at the center of the room. I'm going to try and carefully touch it."
Edward reached for one of the edges of the pyramid, hoping to get a feel for the material. As his index finger and thumb attempted to grip the structure, it sent out a sharp electric shock which numbed Edward's hand and jolted through his spine, startling Richtofen.
"Ahhh! Static electricity. It's sharp to the touch. Very cold. Not a speck of dust."
Edward turned his other hand into a fist and began to lightly bang on the strange structure.
"Hmm, might be hollow. The chamber's quite large. I see what looks like capacitors at the ceiling of the chamber. There are no obvious connections to anything electrical. What is this place?”
Breaking the silence of the secluded cave came a voice, whispering as if from nowhere.
“Doctor Schuster, is that you? Doctor Schuster!”
He re-centered his focus away from the voice and back towards the peculiar pyramid device. Edward looked to the front panel, carefully placing his gloved hand onto the bumpy surface and studying the symbols present.
“Look at this. It appears to be covered in some kind of hieroglyphic language. I've not seen anything like it before.”
The voice came back, more clear than before but yet still a whisper, as though it were coming from someone right next to Edward.
Frightened by the closeness and the tingling in his ear, Richtofen cringed and turned his head to face Doctor Schuster, but there was no one in the cave with him.
“Why are you whispering to me? There's no need for that."
In his frightened state, Richtofen had leaned back onto the pyramid's front-facing panel, causing the grooves to spark and the dial to turn.
"Was ist los? Do you hear that? It sounds like..."
The sound of static filled Edward's ears and a similar light to the MTD appeared then faded soon after. What was once an eery, void silence became running water and the buzzing of flying insects. The air felt hot and muggy. Edward was not appropriately dressed for this occasion.
The ground below was grassy and dry and the skies were clear and bright as the sun beat down on Edward and an abundance of vegetation and flora surrounding the area. On the horizon, Doctor Richtofen spotted a tall, man-made stone structure. Behind him was a similar, yet smaller structure. Through the darkness within the doorway leading within, Doctor Richtofen could see the vague outline of a pyramid, identical to the one in the cave.
"My god, what happened? I seem to be in some kind of jungle. I can't be certain of where I am."
As Dr. Richtofen gained back his bearings, he dusted off his lab coat and looked towards the tall man-made structure in the distance, before looking closer to the ground and spotting a congregation of men wielding spears and assorted clubs approaching from the underbrush to his immediate left. A man at the head of the group pointed towards Edward, bellowing a cry of anger as his followers did the same, charging towards him.
Edward went into a full sprint towards the man-made tower, unhooking the recorder from his belt and sending it to the ground to be trampled by Edward's attackers. His arrival through teleportation must have drawn the attention of the natives. The temple around the pyramid may have been sacred ground.
Edward dashed past man-made architecture made from stone, and with each structure came more natives to give him chase. There were temples and staircases to homes made by these people. Edward panted from the running as he brushed aside leaves and ferns, nearly tripping on a vine in his path. Edward ducked into a thick collection of plant life, hoping he could find some safety behind a fallen tree. He reached for his pockets searching for anything to defend himself, finding only his lighter and gripping it tightly hoping to formulate a plan. Mere moments later a spear came flying from the sky above, piercing the dirt at Richtofen's feet. Edward looked above the log to see the natives had spotted him, and he returned to sprinting away towards the tower.
After emerging from the underbrush he ascended the stone stair-case leading up the tower. Richtofen tripped as a flying rock slammed into his lower leg, and his face hit one of the stone steps. Persistent, Richtofen continued climbing before halting as two towering figures atop the temple brandished stone knifes and came down towards him. Looking back at the wave of natives chasing him and then to the two defenders of the temple, adorned with ceremonial tattoos and piercings, Richtofen panicked, holding the lighter towards the guardsmen and flipping it open. The two men halted their approach, backing away. Taking the opportunity, Richtofen pointed the lighter towards those giving him chase and stood his ground. The lead of the charge, wearing an ornamental headdress, called out to his followers to halt, stopping just before his spear pierced Richtofen's abdomen on the stair case. All stood silent for a moment, before Richtofen clicked the lighter, igniting a small flame. The natives all gasped, many howling and shouting at Richtofen, before silencing as Richtofen waved the flame around.
“Yes...Yes, ok, hello. My name is Doctor Edward Richtofen. Erm, I'm not sure if you understand me, but I have great power in the form of knowledge! I can make you whatever you may want. Just back away with your weapons...”
No one in the crowd moved or responded. Edward took that as a sign they weren't looking to kill him just yet. He ascended the staircase further, pointing the lighter towards the two guards as he did so. The two inevitably dropped their spears, and fell to their knees as Richtofen stood atop the platform overlooking the village. Everyone below had spread out and looked to each other expectantly, fearing what he might do next.
“Please, help me.”
A voice called out to Richtofen, but it spoke in English, not some native tongue. It wasn't coming from someone in the crowd, but from Richtofen's own head.
“Erm, okay, what I'm going to do is-”
“Only together can we prevent the destruction of your world.”
“Gott...okay I will help you in exchange-”
“Why do you fight us, Edward?”
“You have to help me. Please. I'm trapped here.”
Frightened by the outburst, all of the natives dropped their weapons and lowered to their knees, even the village elder at the forefront of the mob.
“Well, that's one way of doing it, I suppose. Now, everyone, gather around.”
Edward lifted the lighter into the air for all to see.
“It's how we'll all end up.”