Dateline: October 12th, 1923
After the blasphemous ritual and the fight in the lower temple, the group was dumbstruck. A cry for help from above shook the investigators from their fugue.
Moishe Abelman dashed up the stairs to see a pair of headlights shining from the dark road below. He entered the motor pool tent to find Lawrence Nightengale, held prisoner by three Quebecois gangsters. One of the men ordered Moishe to surrender his weapon and Abelman complied. A few minutes later, Everett W. Harrington and Franz Schwarze were caught and ushered into the tent as well. Their weapons—save Harrington’s small knife—were confiscated as well.
The investigators were soon greeted by none other than Simon LeCloche, himself, accompanied by a handsome Latin woman (presumably Canditta Domingues.) LeCloche lit a cigarello and interrogated the group. After taking extreme umbrage to being called “LeRoche” and threatening their lives, the crime lord had them all thoroughly searched. Thanks to Abelman’s expert tailoring skills, the golden tablet remained hidden in his secret pocket.
Meanwhile, back in the temple, Kenneth Wells planned an ambush and Horace Mars discovered a smooth touchstone on the wall. He depressed it, causing the slab of stone blocking the pit to slide back into place.
The rumbling noises of the slab caught LeCloche’s attention. He and his gangsters led the investigators at gunpoint down into the temple complex.
After a quick “light ‘em up” gesture from Harrington, Wells set the pool of gasoline at the foot of the stairs ablaze (potentially immolating poor Nightengale). While the French Canadians were blocked entry by the burning gas, the investigators descended into the pit and closed the entrance behind them.
The pit itself was tubular with a ramp winding it’s way around the perimeter. At the bottom was a stinking pile of human remains several feet deep. Among the charnel debris, Mars found a scrawled note reading “ALIVE BUT HURT. FORCED TO FLEE DEEPER. HELP ME. WD”.
The pit opened onto a much larger cavern complex that seemed to throb with an eerie insectoid buzz. At a fork in the tunnels, the investigators headed northward. They soon encountered a strange subterranean biome of unearthly phosphorescent fungi—molds, slimes and giant mushrooms that towered over their heads. As they followed the massive tunnel, which soon widened to over 1000 feet, the bioluminescent brightness of the fungus became oppressive, causing their heads to ache. Behind them, they heard the telltale rumble of the temple slab sliding aside once more.
The investigators walked over a mile down the glowing tunnel when they came upon a side tunnel, perfectly circular and 8 feet in diameter, thickly overgrown with fungus. They worked for nearly an hour to clear the fungus but only succeeded in getting about 12 feet further in.
Just then they saw one of the alien horrors pass by outside. The horrid sight of the creature was too much for Schwarze’s fragile psyche and he suffered a panic attack, clawing and squirming his way deeper into abandoned tunnel, before regaining his wits.
The investigators followed the creature back the way they had come, only to see two more of the awful things ahead, milking the giant fungus. In a failed attempt to sneak closer, Franz Schwarze alerted them to the investigators’ presence.
In the ensuing battle, Kenneth Wells managed to shoot two of them dead, but not before being electrocuted with a strange “lightning gun” one of them carried in its pincer, and nearly killed himself. Harrington buried his knife in the carapace of the third, and Wells finished it off with a bullet to the brain-face.
Abelman recovered the lightning gun and inspected the creature, which, disturbingly almost seemed to be made of fungus itself. A still addled Schwarz smeared its vile remains on his face under the somewhat dubious theory that any others might accept him as one of their own.
Just then, the investigators heard the distant sound of the temple slab sliding closed once more…