Deep in a Gold Mine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Something alien is found deep in a South African gold mine that gives some insight to how life started here on Earth.

Submitted: July 21, 2012

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Submitted: July 21, 2012

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Deep in a Gold Mine  by Rolf Luetcke

 

I got the call on Tuesday morning, when things had been hectic at the lab.We had been testing new metals and there had been an explosion at the lab and the cleanup had been a real disruption.  All the experiments that had been going on were ruined and I had to sort it all out.As head of the lab it was my job to sort out all the data that was ruined.

I worked for the largest metals testing lab in the country and we worked closely with the government.As its head I had a lot of responsibility.It had done a real number on my home life and the wife had gone to visit her brother in France to let me finish sorting things out at the lab.

I had not been home in a week and she was not too happy but then we had been having trouble for a while now.It even looked like we could be headed for the big D if things didn’t slow down for me at work.

That was when the call came from the office in DC.I had been the one they decided needed to go to South Africa and there was no time for me to get things together.I would be picked up in minutes and rushed to the airport.

I tried to get a word in but was told this was top priority and everything else could wait.  The information I needed would be supplied to me when I was on the plane and in the air.

The military jet was on its way only half an hour after I had gotten the call.  When I was escorted onto the plane there were a number of people already on board.I knew some of them but there were so many uniforms that I just took the seat I was ushered to and sat down.  A packet was brought to me and set on the folding table and I opened the envelope and began to look through the documents.

As I read my interest was beginning to reach a peak.My mind raced with the possibilities the situation raised. 

In the deepest gold mine in South Africa, something had been discovered that should not have been there.  I was being brought along to test a number of the metals and unknown elements that had been discovered.My first thought was some new kind of mineral deposit but the next paper erased that thought.Seems the discovery was some kind of underground chamber that had been made.It was beginning to look like the chamber that was found was nothing anyone had recognized. 

At this point it was still hush-hush and experts from several countries were on their way.

The implications were enormous and I was beginning to get excited.My mind began to fill with alien images.If this was not from mankind, where had it come from.Was it some kind of space ship that had crashed and was now buried deep in the earth?  Did it have aliens aboard? 

When the plane landed in South Africa we were all taken through the back to a large government bus and it left without any customs involvement. 

There was a lot of conversation on the bus between the various groups but I sat pretty much on my own.I listened to what they people were saying and theories were all over the place.  I would hold my thoughts until I saw the chamber that had been found.

I asked a colonel if there were facilities available to do any of the tests I needed to perform.A lab had been set up already at the mine and there was a staff of people that had been assembled to assist my work.

When we got to the mine called the Western Deep Mine, there were South African troops all around the gates entrance.We were ushered through immediately but the gates were closed right after we went through.

This was one of the most guarded situations I had ever been in and my heart was pounding as we excited the bus and were taken into the main building at the mine.

We were all seated in a circle of chairs and one of the South Africans in a gray suit came into the center and gave us a rundown.  As I looked around the room I saw Hans and our eyes met for a moment in recognition.  Most of the others I didn’t recognize.Hans had gotten here on another flight.

I was one of three men that would to go down into the mine and view the chamber and gather things needed for lab analysis.The other two were Hans, the chemist from Germany that I knew and an Archeologist from England.  I had met Hans at the conferences I had been to in Berlin.Hans Manheim was a man in his 50’s with short gray hair and thick glasses.  He stood a slender six feet tall with a slight limp when he walked.He came over and we shook hands.My German was pretty good but his English was also good and for the sake our English third member we spoke English.  The English Archeologist was named Chad Whenswick and had written numerous books on Archeology. Chad was short and built very stout.His hair was black and hung oddly over his forehead.  He wore a small goatee and had long sideburns.His brown eyes were small and intense.He had crooked teeth when he smiled but he carried himself well.His handshake was strong and to the point.Hans and Chad knew each other and Hans introduced me to Chad.We made small talk as we were heading to the top of the mine that went deep into the earth.

There were several factors at these depths, first you were down three and a half kilometers and the temperature at this depth was about a hundred and fifty degrees.There were cooling systems here to allow men to survive but this created a number of problems.  The humidity was very high and the cooling of the hot rocks created problems.  Since the pressure at this depth was over nine hundred times that of the pressure on the surface it could cause rocks to explode.Many miners were killed every year from these spontaneous explosions in the rocks.  All of this made me wonder how a chamber had survived all the outside factors from being buried at this depth.

There was not much talk to be done on the freefall down the shaft.  It lasted longer than I had ever thought possible before the guard warned us to brace for the slowing.  He was right the slowdown was so fast I nearly fell to the floor.If he had not warned us I am sure we all would have been in a heap on the floor or the cage.  We met two uniformed guards and two South African officials that led us down the tunnels to where the chamber had been found.

The mine was ventilated but the temperature was close to a hundred degrees in spite of the cooling and the humidity was hovering near a hundred percent as well.The sweat practically poured down.We wore mine hats with lights and walked in silence after the South Africans.

In the literature I had read on the plane it was explained that a “man made” room had been found deep in the earth of the mine and it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen.  It had taken several weeks of attempts before they had been able to enter the chamber since the metals of the walls were unlike any metal that they had ever encountered.Special laser beams had been needed to finally break through the walls.When the men had entered they knew right away that it was something very special.

The word had gotten out to all the governments and the best experts from around the world had been assembled.My lab had been chosen to do the chemical analysis of the various things found in the chamber.

The tunnel we were walking down was dark but up ahead I saw bright lights and there were others in the tunnel ahead.

There was a crude hole that had been cut into the metallic wall of the chamber and as we approached I was allowed to go first to inspect the metal of the wall.  I had a small kit in my pocket and took out several tools to check for hardness, acid vulnerability and magnetism.Nothing was giving the results I expected.

“Did anyone cut a small sample from the opening to take up to the lab” I asked the South African that was watching what I was doing.

“Yes, several samples have already been tested without any rational results.  That is why you were brought aboard to answer the many questions we have.” He answered back.  “We are mostly here to have you tell us which of the objects inside we need to take to the lab for you to study.”

I stopped looking at the wall and looked into the chamber and stood in silent awe.It was a fully functional looking lab with odd looking instruments and clear containers with things inside.  I stepped through the opening and walked into the room.

There were compartments that looked like drawers but different.  Much looked familiar in its use but nothing was quite like anything I had ever seen.I slowly walked around the chamber and carefully studied all that was on the counters along one wall.There was an instrument that looked like a microscope but again not exactly. It had some kind of lens toward the counters surface but no optics that I could understand.There were some kinds of electrical devices I had never seen in my life and I could hardly think what they may have been for.There was one chart above the counter but the symbols and writing made no sense.

This chamber was definitely not from our time but looked even more advanced than even modern labs I had seen.I was completely engrossed in my study of the things on the counter when I noticed that Hans and Chad were in the room as well and studying the room with the same concentration as I was.  We studied the room for nearly half an hour before Chad finally broke the silence and made both Chad and I jump. 

“This is certainly not terrestrial” Chad spoke.

“I would like to know just how long this has been here” Hans asked not to anyone in particular?

“There are a lot of materials in here I do not recognize and I know it is going to take a long time to make sense of it all” I spoke to both of them.

We spent the better part of the next week without sleep or much food in study and discussion about what had been found.

The room had held many more secrets than what we had first seen.The closed compartments were full of fantastic objects.  Each one had opened up more questions that it had answered.

The charts and notes we had found were not in any language anyone was familiar with and we could only guess at what it all said.The writings had been passed onto the proper departments in photographs to see if they could be deciphered.

There were clear containers with some kind of liquid with minute things floating inside.They looked like microbes I had seen but without magnification I could not say.

Every finding we had made was documented as were the studies done by Chad and Hans and all were dispatched to our corresponding governments. 

The second week we answered a few of the questions and had all three come to a consensus as to the origin of the chamber.It was definitely not something man had built.  Even the age of the chamber had at first eluded us.The only way to get an idea of how long it had been here was to carbon date the surrounding rock layers.  The Earth had been estimated at around 4.5 billion years and the rocks of this depth of the mine had formed a bit more than 3.5 billion years ago.The date was astonishing for what we had found.The questions this had all raised were mindboggling.The mines lab was now full of people from all over the world that had been brought in after our initial start. The microbiologists had determined the microbes in the containers were indeed early forms of life like that thought to have first formed on Earth. There were still years of research to be done but the top people decided it was time to make a report to the world.

We were called into the main conference room of the mine and there were dignitaries from all over the world here.The government had decided that the whole discovery should be made public and we were to give our findings in a group report on our studies.

Chad, Hans and I had spent all morning in discussion as to exactly what we thought the chamber represented. The word had come to us and we were guided to our seats along with the rest of the men from the lab on both sides of the podium.

There was one representative chosen to give an overview and then the scientists and press would be given a chance to ask questions.

This is what had been concluded from our studies.

The chamber had been built by visitors to this planet in the distant past.It was a kind of seeding lab that introduced new planets to life.Seems some of the science fiction writers had been on the right track when they said life had actually been seeded here by aliens.

The lab we had studied had shown biological experiments done here ages ago and the resulting microbes that had been produced were probably released into the planets early waters.The biological microbes that had been found preserved in the chamber were all ancestors to the life that had been found in the fossil record and had been extrapolated from what was here now. 

It seemed that someone or something had come here and designed the life to start what was on Earth today.

There had been lots of speculation as to why the chamber had been left here.It is possible that the ones that left it here knew that when intelligence had developed it could be found and then the inhabitants would have the answers to how things had begun.  The find had been taken in every way one could think of and some had said it had completely been made up by the scientists.Some became fearful that the aliens would return to harvest what they had started.  Some were happy to know we were not alone.  Whole new religions had formed when the news had hit the world.  After a couple of months people had gone back to pretty much the same as they had been before the discovery.

I was still studying the materials from the chamber to see if we could make them to use in our industry.  Anything that lasted over three billion years was definitely worth producing.

Chad had written several books on the connection between the Earth and the rest of the Universe.He was now a bestselling author. 

Hans had been working on the chemistry behind the origin of life and had come up with some radical theories from what he had studied in the chamber.He had also been able to link many of the early theories to actual specimens found in the chamber.

The world went on but now we had a thousand more things to think about than we had had just six months ago.

As I walked out to my car to go to dinner with my wife I stood next to the car for a moment and looked at the stars.I had not been able to look up at the sky the same way since the discovery.I sent out a wish that the beings that had put the chamber here would return and we could learn about each other.  I smiled as I got in the car and kissed my wife and we drove off to our favorite restaurant.

 

 

Copyright Rolf Luetcke


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