Welcome to "The Diary of a Miner"; a blog detailing the adventures and mysteries that I, Syeonyx, embark upon in my quest to further my mining and survival skills! It'll be tough, there will be good times and bad times, but I'll always be alive to post my adventures... probably...

Day 92: I think OROTHO was right...

     As we had a long journey ahead of us, we set off before the sun had appeared fully over the horizon. From the base to the conducting tower, it was more or less due North the entire way! I remember the entrance being on the Northern side, so we would need to skirt around the edges of the forest until we faced the right side. From there, we could work out the details of the plan based on the number of guards that were currently posted there. The journey to the conducting tower was full of the same monotony. We kept moving the entire time, pausing briefly to allow UOPETA to scout out any areas ahead from a convenient vantage point. We had the advantage of low light cover for a brief period until dawn broke properly, and the sun rose higher into the sky. From then on, it was simply a case of staying within the shadows of the trees. Despite all of the sneaking and hiding in shadows we have done over the past few weeks, we have yet to bump into a guard let alone a Creeper! I'm beginning to suspect that something is happening with them that might not necessarily end well with us, but for panic's sake, I've kept it to myself. Doubtless, a few others have thought something similar...

     We've spotted the main antennae looming in the sky overhead. We're close. We're going to get a closer look from the three sides we pass to see how many guards there are, and then decide on the approach. If we did this from one side, we could underestimate and end up being spotted off guard.

"There's two on that side..."

"One there..."

By the time we got to the North side - the entrance essentially - we had spotted four guards at the most. That was one more than the last time we were here, so maybe they stepped up security a little. Had they noticed the missing papers? Regardless, we hunched in the cover of a large tree deciding the plan.

"Right. There are two guards always at the entrance to the base of the tower. They don't seem to move, but there are two other guards who are going back and forth around the other three sides, shifting from one side to the other. Once they get to the end of each side, they turn around and repeat. We need to remove the front two whilst the others are returning to the middle wall around the back. THEROS and I will go in and take out the first two. It will take a second or two to drop them, but once they're down, you move forward and to the right. You and THEROS will take out the other two guards whilst I check on the first two. Remember: Don't come out until the first two guards are down, and when you do, go to the right. THEROS will cover the left. Everyone clear?"

We both nodded, and I waited in the shadows, as THEROS and UOPETA crept forward with their blow pipes. I took mine out, and clipped the magazine to the side, ensuring it was secure. I wouldn't get another chance if I messed it up. The other two were still within the shadow of the tree, blow pipes to their lips. There were two rapid swish noises, much like the sound of a suppressor of a gun from films, and the two guards dropped almost immediately! Taking action, we all moved up, myself moving to the right, whilst THEROS went off to the left and UOPETA headed for the two downed guards. As I got to the corner, UOPETA whispered:

"Aim for the neck!"

Aim for the neck. Right... I actually hadn't had any practice with this at all! I sat there, peering round the corner, waiting for the guard to appear. I had a number of options available to me: take him out from a distance and risk missing and drawing attention to myself, wait until he's a few feet away, try and possibly miss, and end up getting caught, or hoping he won't come as far enough to see the entrance side, so I can wait until he turns around... I decided to go with the former. That way, I had the option to release a few darts if the first missed. A ranging shot so to speak... The he appeared. The guard's leg became visible, followed by his body, and then his head. He was holding a sword in his right hand... Worried I would freeze up, I decided to take the opportunity and I inhaled. Then, I exhaled violently into the end of the pipe. I felt the dart leave the pipe, and another slide into place. I was ready for another if it came to it. He stopped, clutched his neck and fell face first into the sand! I did it! I sat there for a moment, shocked at what I had done. I couldn't tell if I was more shocked by the fact that I had injured a human being, or because I hit him first time! I eventually went with the latter, and waited for THEROS. After another moment, another swish noise, and THEROS gave the all clear. I went over to my guard, cautiously and bent down. He was definitely out for the count. The dart had embedded itself fully into his neck. Removing it, I noticed it left no imprint or mark of any kind! Remarkable little thing!

     UOPETA flicked the lever above the hidden entrance, and like before, a portion of the wall slid back and then to the right. Stepping inside, one by one, we all had our blow pipes ready. But once again, no-one was here. Maybe they were all down below where the master portal was likely to be... As AMPHIS instructed, I began taking photos of the inside, hopefully giving him enough data to add to the report. UOPETA and THEROS began searching through the chests and tables again, but more thoroughly as they knew they could relax and take their time. I stood guard near the stairs, watching out for anyone. We didn't know if anyone worked here, if there were just HoN Co. guards here, but I was expecting to see at least one person in a lab coat!

"Nothing... A few bits about the portals, a load of equations... again! Nothing about 'node' portals, or anything similar... Looks like we're headed down then. Anyone coming up?"

There was a guard about two flights down from us. He was on his way up, so we would be able to catch him off guard by hiding behind him as he ascended. We all moved behind the stairwell, waiting for the guard to appear. Thankfully, he was whistling to himself which made pinpointing his location very easy! Eventually we saw his head pop up, and UOPETA quickly embedded a dart into his neck. UOPETA rushed over and took the dart out, leaving the guard otherwise unchanged.

"Right. Down it is! Keep your eyes peeled for any more guards... Last thing we want is to be pinned on the stairs!"

     As we headed deeper and deeper, I began to feel more apprehensive. The conducting rod drove deeper into the earth and centred the entire shaft, right to the bottom. Once we emerged from the stairs, the rod branched off and headed horizontally into a large chamber. We all slowly approached, partly because of the possible presence of guards, but mostly in awe! At the end of the walkway, was a fence. The fence led around to the left and followed another staircase going down into the heart of the chamber. A large support strut took up the centre of the room, supporting the conducting rod, which fed straight into a large obsidian wall... Was that the master portal? As I looked around, I became aware of something else... Portals! Embedded into the walls were portals, but each one had the same appendages like the one we found two days ago!

"Erm... I think we found the master portal..."

     We all made our way cautiously down the stairway, but there was no-one down here... There wasn't even a passage or another room where they may have gone to! There was no-one down here at all! Just five guards! Something was wrong... We all stared in awe at the size of the chamber. The main wall was taken up by a huge portal that had the conducting rod attached to it at multiple places. On either of the walls, numerous portals sat with their appendages, some active, others not.

"Is this is then? Is this the master portal?"

"It would seem so... What are those other portals then...? Why are only a few active?"

"I have a feeling OROTHO was right... Look!"

UOPETA motioned up to the ceiling. There were portals embedded into the ceiling! In the centre of four joining portals was a strange, glowing orb. The orb was attached to a golden part of the ceiling which also connected with the portal at the centre... What was all this?

"I think OROTHO was definitely on to something... These other portals... They're linked..."

THEROS had walked away from us and was examining a load of papers on a nearby table. We hadn't noticed until he called us over...

"Erm, gentlemen? These are more than just portals... They're counters..."

"What do you mean?"

"From what I can make out... They indicate how close to powering up the master portal is..."

"How? I see no counter!"

"Well... You see the active portals...? Work the rest out for yourself..."

Syeonyx signing off

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