National Jaxographic Special # whatever-and-change
Previous - this entry written on September 07, 2006 at 5:16 am - Next

To get to the airport from out here in Gresham, you first go down to 181st and head roughly east, eventually ending up heading down a long, multi-lane street. As you drive along this stretch of land you'll see lots of plain, drab buildings, huge ones. Some of them are lined with cargo bays to which semis pull up, fitting into the opening so completely that you can't see within the cargo bay once it opens. Some are full of windows on a lower level, transparent, letting you see into a gaggle of neat, sterile offices, but giving no hint at what is contained in other floors or in the center of the building. Some have only tiny banks of windows near the top, the glass semiopaque, giving a hint of motion and light but not actually letting you see wht's going on. Some seem to have no entrances or exits at all. All are dull off-white in color, frequently with names like Omnicorp or Exceleader or VisIon, names that sound vaguely productive without being particularly memorable or giving the slightest clue as to what is, in theory, being built or sold there.

Beneath he ground... that's a different story.

If you could look beneath the parking lots and faceless companies, under the roads, you would see a network of huge tunnels. The water table is high here, and most of the tunnels are completely flooded; the rest are still full of fairly deep water, but contain rickety, rusting catwalks as well. Every so often there will be a shaft leading upward, sometimes small with a ladder, sometimes huge, concrete-lined, with water trickling down the sides. There are spots where the water seems... deeper than it should be. The water is always moving slightly through the half-full tunnels but in those deep places there is a sense of stillness, motionlessness... a feeling that there is something waiting in the dark liquid.

Once they would travel through the river, unimpeded. When Men settled this area, they took to the land somewhat, digging to the north of the river, finding and forging new tunnels, new safe places, beneath the dirt and the rocks. Then something changed - some new force drove them from their haven and across the river, led them to what is now their home. They learned from the Men who continued to build, made pacts with a few. Success, money, power, fame even... they could affect the world of these humans enough to draw convers to them, building their influence until they were interwoven with all those in power.

They do not feed often, nor do they rise from beneath the waters save to speak to a chosen few, those who know the secret, who keep it, who build new connections to those Below and who bring them the offerings that are food and drink. It is known, it has always been known, that something lurks, waiting, in the deep waters. If it was known what is waiting for the chance at revenge, no Man would set foot within a hundred miles of the river again.

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