CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-EIGHT
“Can you knock again?” Alex asked after they’d gone six feet.
The pounding knock came to their right and in front of them by a few feet.
“We’re close,” Seth said. “I’ll go to the wall. Alex, if you will, check the mechanism that shot arrows at us. I’d hate it if it magically reloaded.”
“Sir,” Alex said with a nod. She walked ahead to check out the defense mechanism that had shot arrows at them.
“Vince, you check the other wall,” Seth gestured to the wall behind the bookshelf on their left. “You never know. It could just as easily be our way in.”
“Sir,” Vince said, and went to the wall.
Seth walked to the wall. His hands stroked the surface to see if he could feel anything that might indicate a doorway. He shook his head and stepped to his left. He continued down the wall until he reached a pile of old clothing. He knelt down to clear the clothing out of the way.
“I’ve found the door,” Seth said.
He knelt down to what looked like a pile of rags on the floor. A man’s desiccated body lay on the floor. He held an object in his mummified hands. The man had managed to reach and open the door to the salt mine before he died. His feet were blocked a hidden sliding door from closing.
“Detonator?” Seth asked.
“Looks like it,” Troy said. “Don’t touch it. It’s bound to be radioactive.”
“Roger that,” Seth said. “We’ve found the scientist. He’s blocking the door.”
“Are you seeing this?” Alex asked.
“Is that the detonator?” Margaret asked. “In his arms?”
“Looks like it,” Alex said
“He must have died here,” Vince said. He touched the man’s clothing. “Machine gun.”
“He probably got them from his Nazi pursuers on his way here,” Seth said.
“Managed to make it all the way here,” Alex said with a nod.
“And died,” Vince said.
“It’s always the small acts of nameless people that disrupt the powerful and cruel,” Seth said. “The historians want us to believe that the Nazi’s couldn’t have built a nuclear weapon.”
“Low grade uranium,” Vince said.
“Exactly,” Seth said. He nodded to the man. “Even if that is true, this man did not know that. His small act of resistance easily destroyed the Nazi nuclear program and changed the course of the war.”
They stood over the man and stared at his dead body.
“I know that feels disrespectful, but we should leave him here,” Alex said with a nod. “If we move him, we don’t know that we’ll be able to get into the mine again.”
Seth and Vince nodded. Alex held her hand out to Seth. He took her hand. With her help, he stood.
“Oof,” Seth said.
“You okay, sir?” Alex asked.
“Bruised and battered,” Seth said with a grin. “Will make my wife think I was a hero.”
“You’re a hero to me, sir,” Vince said.
Alex grinned her agreement.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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