‘They were just lying there?’ Aaron picked up the key.
‘Yes, I dislodged a stone when I stumbled and saw something glinting. I moved the stone and there they were, the lock and key.’
Ben examined the lock.
‘I wonder what they’re for?’
Ben put the key in the lock and turned it.
Sparks flew and he was knocked to the ground.
Aaron dropped to his knees to check on his friend.
As Aaron touched Ben there was a loud crash, a hole opened in the earth and they both slid down a chute.
A being greeted them ‘Welcome to Gaeapolis I am Z.’
‘I’m Aaron and this is …’
‘Welcome Aaron, welcome Ben.’
‘How do you know my name?’
‘We know many things, when the lock and key are held, we know who touches them.’
‘What is this place?’
‘It’s a city.’
‘But its …’
‘Underground? 3000 years ago the earth moved and took our city underground and our people, the Homogaea, with it. The motra has transmitted a warning, your people are to build over us. Our city will be destroyed if your people build above it.’
‘We installed a warning system it transmits conversations that contain threat held on our land.’
‘I hope your city isn’t destroyed.’
‘We asked for help, and you are here to help us.’
‘How can we help?’
‘You need to stop the building work.’
‘We can find out who it is, and you can speak to them.’
‘No, the Homogaea must not meet humans they will perish.’
‘But we are humans.’
‘If you can access Gaeapolis you must be part Homogaea.’
‘What?’ Ben and Aaron said in unison.