It had been 18 minutes since the bang. We knew something had happened in the mine. Did a shaft collapse? Early TNT detonation? Elevator failure? There was no point in playing the guessing game, all I knew was the rescue crew and I had to get in there immediately.
Although we were all trained for such an incident (whatever it may be) there seems to be something emotionally wrong with sending in fathers to look for their sons, and vice versa. In such a small town, we have no other choice. An outside crew would simply be too far away, and keeping them on site would be an expensive, logistical nightmare. I can see the strain on their faces. Sadness and nervous tics rolled into one. No matter how strong you are, nothing can prepare you for what may lay in the caverns below.
“Matt, go into my office and bring me the layout,” I ordered.
Matt ran quickly into the main office, papers flying everywhere – bull in a china shop. Even in this trying time, I slight grin came on my face. Witnessing Matt pulverize my office. “Stop, be professional,” I mutter.
Matt smacks the blueprints on he hood of my beat up Chevy. Quickly surveying our options, it is clear we will need to detonate from the other end of the mountain, and work our way in. Estimated time to stranded crew, 3 days. The uninjured would survive, albeit dehydrated and famished. The injured, well, we all knew the circumstance. There was no doubt in our minds that there would be a death toll.
Holes were drilled, the mountain was lined, and we all took our positions. The landscape rocked with thunder. The slight shockwave hits your chest like a boxers punch. A boxer at 10% power, that is.
The adrenaline was racing, and we were almost 15 hours a head of schedule. The earth was hard, hand tools were borderline useless, and most of our diamond tipped equipment was down in the mine. It was a rude reminder as to why we chose the other side of this behemoth. But we drudged on.
Strike after strike after strike, we began to feel air rush our faces. We had found them. Without hesitation, a head count began. We were missing one.
“Where… where is my son?” Matthew questioned hastily.
A severely injured man simply pointed, directing our attention to an open chasm. I peered down the rabbit hole, and saw a faint purplish glow. Intrigue took over, and I strapped up and began my descent. What lay before me was something not of this world. A large, purplish object stood tall directly in front of me. What I can only describe as a portal. If Matthew saw this, he would for sure jeopardize our mission, and the mission was to get all our people out, dead or alive. This secret would have to remain with me, for now.