"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi

Newgrange neolithic burial chamber, 1925:

The shaft of light had traversed the chamber floor and stopped just as it touched the far wall. It was as if a divine finger was pointing the way.

Running to the wall he knelt down and brushed energetically at the loose dust with his sleeve. Blowing the debris of millennia away in urgent breaths revealed a small raised section of stone floor. This stone looked like it had at one time been polished and prepared with such care not lavished on the rest of the floor, although this had not been previously obvious. Carved into it was an oval shape with a triangular sail on top and two spiral circles behind, looking closer he could make out four deep etched lines within the oval. 

Running his fingers around the edge he could feel a deep groove just above where it joined the floor. He pulled and pushed with all his might but the stone remained firmly anchored.

"Uncle!  Wait.  I think I have found the ship with four travellers.  Something must be under this section of floor.  I just need a tool to prise this stone free."

Desperately, he looked around for something he could use when his eyes fell on the shovels propped against the wall.  Liam jumped up and grabbed two shovels, he jammed one of them into the side of the stone and stood on the handle to gain maximum leverage.  At first nothing happened, then just when he thought the handle might snap the stone started to move hesitantly upwards accompanied by a loud hissing sound, as though an ancient seal had been broken and an imprisoned spirit was escaping.

Using the second shovel, he pushed it into the gap between the raised flagstone and the floor and knelt on its handle.  This gave him the purchase he needed to force his fingers underneath and to lift with all his might.  Under the strength of his desperation the stone moved steadily upwards until he was able to cast it aside.

Sunlight poured eagerly into the exposed opening and as he bent over to take a closer look, a drip of perspiration fell from his forehead catching the sunlight for a brief moment.  About 18 inches below floor level he could clearly see a blackened box.  Reaching down he grasped it firmly and pulled; it yielded easily to his eager efforts.

Placing it carefully on the ground beside him, he took a moment to study it carefully.  It was small and appeared to be of considerable age, although exactly how old he could not be sure.  On the side facing him was a black iron clasp that may have once contained a lock, but was now long gone.

Glancing back into the hole he thought he could make out the darkened shape of another object that had been lying underneath the one he had just removed.

Turning his attention back to the item beside him on the floor he grasped the clasp and eased the lid to open.  Liam's eyes widened involuntarily at the sight of what it held.

As the protesting hinges creaked open, he could see immediately that the box contained a book; but one like no other he had ever seen before.  The dusty red leather cover was almost completely obscured by raised gold artwork that was alive with precious stones, they seemed to be on fire with all colours of the rainbow at their release from darkness into the radiant early morning sunlight.  Upon closer inspection he could make out some gold writing on the cover. Studying the words closer he could make out what they said...

NORAD Command Centre inside Cheyenne Mountain, present day:

“Find me the source.” The urgency was wrapped in concern.

The display shifted from the sea cliffs to sweep slowly inland.

“It is moving towards those concentric arcs of rocks. It will be coming into range any moment.”

The room went silent for a second and then erupted with exclamations.

“What is that thing…there must be a fault with the equipment…it looks almost like an animal…more like a reptile…how can it move like that…”

“Sergeant, increase the power and bring us in closer.”

Tearing his gaze away from the screen, Steve manipulated the display to increase the satellite’s power output. The shadowy image slowly increased in definition on the wall screen.

“Hells teeth, what have we found.” Dwayne clasped his hand over his mouth and stared.

“It is turning…look. I think it has seen us.”

Just as the screen clicked into final clarity, there were gasps of incredulity from around the room. Then with an almost imperceptible waver everything went dark.

In a single heartbeat all the lights blinked off, every single screen shut down simultaneously and the wall clock faded slowly although the display of “8:14” could still be seen until the residual luminescence unwillingly succumbed. Even the ever present drone of the ventilation fans slowly decreased in pitch as they spun down to silence.

The darkness pressed all around them.

“What the hell is happening! Where is the emergency lighting?” General Hubert felt for the telephone in the pitch black. There was no dial tone, the silence screamed at his ear.

“The backup power must be down also, sir.”

“Something must be working…I can hear a motor humming somewhere.”

“I think that sound is the Blast Doors shutting automatically. They have their own battery backup.”

“Oh great! We are being locked in.”

There was a distant thump as the blast doors closed followed by the rumbling sound of giant carbon steel bolts locking into place. Then everything went silent. Cheyenne Mountain had shut down.

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