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The Ruin
by JD DeHart



This real-time doc is presented in partial fulfillment of the generous Harley-Dawkins grant. The purpose of this study is to delve into the first archeological depths of the X culture, a Latin American tribe only recently discovered.

The structure of their once-flourishing habitat is astounding and what is more astounding is the covert nature of the ruin’s location. We have only recently discovered the city, being nestled securely in the tree-covered shade of a rich valley.

The central hub of the architecture is a familiar ziggurat, but the outlying structures indicate more advanced technological engineering - there is an interconnected series of towers, along with a multi-leveled garden structure. Our expedition will include only the ziggurat structure, but future expeditions (funding pending) will involve the outlying structures.

Our transporter touched down on the island’s exterior last night, and we are now making our way through the final steps of the descent into the valley. Our team consists of five members: Myself, Dr. Alexander Cree, Dr. RA Bensworth, and two guides provided by your institution.

Dr. Cree is an expert in linguistics and will help us interpret any hieroglyphs or pictograms we encounter; Dr. Bensworth is versed in architecture and will keep us apprised of any dangers as we move through the structure; I have made this ancient culture my personal study, as well as the cultural differences among other ancient Latin American cultures.

We are now approaching the steps of the ziggurat, which is in remarkable condition. A few vines have displaced stones, but this is a small amount of damage. Everything is remarkably preserved. Upon entering the doorway, there is a message carved into the wall.

Dr. Cree tells us this is a greeting and... that the people have welcomed us.

There is more writing along the wall as we continue down a horizontal pathway. Dr. Cree informs us that the language reads, “We are a proud people, an ancient people, and are proud to share our history with any visitors. Beware to anyone who enters with false ideas about us.” Accompanying these words, there are pictograms of prehistoric creatures, as well what appears to be a king or leader with his people, perhaps commissioning the building of this structure.


The path becomes steeper, leading into the bowels of the structure. The pictograms become more complex. We see a small number of people becoming a greater number of people. Then there is a remarkable discovery - a queen of some sort. She is humanoid, with a regal headpiece that has many panels. This queen, or goddess, stands twice as tall as the other figures in the image.

Then there is the miraculous image of a circle, or orb, levitating or rising above the people and the queen reaches out to gather this object. She is most definitely a deity and this... orb... must be the representation of the sun or some power. Perhaps it was a time of good fortune in the people’s history.

The next image may need further study. It is of the queen/goddess holding the object. Lines emit from the object and seem to project tablets or larger structures, resembling buildings. Further images feature the orb as a central theme, each time projecting with the same series of lines. There are images of large beasts, of a cloud, and of larger groups of people. It is hard to discern in these ancient images where metaphor ends and reality begins.

One of our guides has stepped onto a tile which Dr. Bensworth has informed us will result in a trap of some kind. Dr. Bensworth is telling the guide to step forward quickly and drop into a roll. The guide does so, rolls forward, and a beam of light (this is hard to describe) emits, striking our poor guide. This is a new and much more advanced kind of trap. There is some discussion of moving back, but we have enough revival stems to restart ourselves and leave safely. We flag the spot and make a note to return with a revival stem.

This is an excellent opportunity to say thank you once more for the generous funding you have provided, which has brought us a supply of revival stems.

We continue and note now that the pictograms have shifted to the building of the outlying structures. We are again seeing the queen/goddess as a central figure, always holding the orb. She is clearly directing the group.

Then there is a strange absence of images. Perhaps this was a time of famine or war. It appears that our assumption is correct; when the images resume, there are many images of battle - great battles among very large people groups. The queen is always hovering above the conflicts.

There is another absence of images and the path becomes much steeper. There is a series of tombs containing few objects. We continue on.

Now there is a stranger image. It is of the entire island and there is a symbol at the approximate location of our landing. We see a small group of people.

Next, we see images of people hurting one another. These are images of a small war and there is much wealth represented in the image, held only by a few. Dr. Cree tells us that the message accompanying this image is: “Beware to those who have made greed their god.”

We now see the small group again, contained in what appears to be a shaft of light. Within a few blocks, there is an image of the queen again, who has been missing from the past few pictograms, standing with her people.

Dr. Cree tells us that the message accompanying this pictogram is, “Welcome again, discoverers and those who study. You have made our journey possible.”

There is a small sound behind us, like growling, and we turn to see the queen herself. This is... impossible. She is translucent, inhuman, standing tall... very tall. We are running. Please send a support group. Support group.

Dr. Cree, hurry. Oh my God. Dr. Cree. Someone has grabbed me, I am over someone’s shoulder. The images on the wall... they are showing me the queen, they are further in to the structure, she is levitating over... everything... over us. The pictures show her standing above... all the nations.


She is coming.




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