The group spent the next two days scouring the temple complex. Clara kept a close eyes on the tribesmen, it appeared they did not like lingering here and the last thing she needed was for them to get any ideas.
On both sides of the pyramid there were channels which led all the way to the top of the structure. Clara noticed how these shafts had been heavily reinforced.
“What were these for,” Clara asked.
“Not sure,” Jonesy said.
“Used to bring up stores,” Father Allen asked.
“Garbage shoot,” Jonesy guessed.
“Drainage,” Father Allen mused.
“Good cover,” Clara said. “No one can see what is going on from either side,” she added.
Clara walked into the channel and disappeared from sight. Only those who faced her directly were able to see what she was up to, which proved her point.
She pulled out her canteen and took a quick sip. The water was refreshing and cool as it ran down her throat. Alas she had something else in mind for what remained.
“Oops,” Clara said after she dropped the canteen.
The water was initially absorbed by the ground but soon began to pool. It seemed that the theory that these were drains had been wrong, at least for this side.
Without a word, she picked up the canteen and handed it over to one of the locals to refill. Meanwhile she pictured the ziggurat in her mind and realised that this particular channel received the least amount of daylight.
“No obvious markings or pressure points to trigger a mechanism,” Jonesy said.
“No,” Clara said. “Just the way they would want it,” she guessed.
Before Father Allen could speak, Clara cut into the palm of her hand with her crucifix. She then smeared an area just inside the nook with blood.
For a moment nothing seemed to happen, but the blood was slowly absorbed by a portion of the bricks. The break in the streak clearly outlined the concealed doorway.
Jonesy barked out orders and within moments three lanterns were brought forward. Since they were about to descend, the locals had also been instructed to make camp.
Clara had never seen so many people go pale with dread. With a good six hours of daylight left, Clara made a note to ensure they were back before then. She had an odd feeling their camp would not be ready as instructed.
Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!