Oct. 25th, 2011

For your consideration: The Harrowing of Hell.

Burr drags me down the steps into the darkness. I want to feel carefully ahead of me, so as not to lose my footing, but Burr won't let me slow down.

"Even so did the dead descend unto Sheol, the pit," Burr says melodramatically. His voice echoes in the close confines and pitch blackness. "That was what early Christians believed, anyway. When you died, there wasn't really a Heaven or Hell. There was just the old Hebrew notion of a final resting place for souls. All this business about heaven and hell is strictly a New Testament matter."

"Where are we going?" I interrupt.

"I told you," said Burr. "We're going down into the pit. The final resting place."

"I'm useless to you, even as a hostage," I say desperately. "The Chiefs won't give a shit; they'll shoot us both if it'll take you down."

"I know. I know," says Burr reassuringly. "I have another use for you."

We reach the bottom and walk a ways. There's uneven terrain, a few short steps up and down, several squeezes through narrow gaps. I curse Burr roundly, in part out of envy for his Process-altered eyes, the rest because he's a bastard. Burr accepts all this in silence.

He releases me into an open space. There's a flash of light, and I shield my eyes. Burr has broken a glowstick; it illuminates the chamber greenly. The murals on the walls are faded, but I can still make out the Eye of Horus and other Egyptian motifs. A sandwich of steel plates has been drilled into the center of the floor, and the detonator wire snakes into a bundle held in its center. It's a shaped charge, even I know that – a big one, designed to blast downwards.

"Behold the door to the Underworld," says Burr. "We're going to blow it open."

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