Mess with the skulls
You decided to focus your attention to the skulls spilling with water. For some reason they all seemed to be turned in a particular direction. Their arrangement looked like a vector field to you- a series of arrows pointing towards a central direction. The length of their muzzles corresponded to how close the tiny spot in the middle was as you looked even more closely.
“Oh? Is this a pattern?” Casey took notice of what you were looking at. “It looks like a flower!” She commented about the way the skulls almost fanned out like petals around that central point.
“What’s that?” Barley approached with Beck still at his shoulder helping to support him. “A button?” He was actually what brought your attention to the space in the very center of the skulls. Their hard lines seemed to draw your attention in as your eyes focused on the spot they both helped you notice.
There was a skull buried in the center. All you could see were the teeth sticking out of the area in the middle. Just beyond the cage-like form of the hard keratin spikes- you saw it!
“You’re right!” You turned to thank Barley and Casey for their help and started to open the slender toothy maw of the central maw to reveal the button.
“You do the honors!” Barley said.
“Right! Go ahead hero!” Casey confirmed. You could see the others coming around to take a look. You could see Duke taking a sideways glance at you as his platoon gathered in support. It quickly faded away as you pressed your finger into the mouth of the skull before a loud clicking sound rang out into the large empty hall.
Suddenly, you heard the screens buzzing on. What you saw next shocked everyone. Each of the screens seemed to be some kind of altered reality. Every one of the fuzzy rectangles displayed a scene of each of the members of your platoon- everyone but you.
“What the heck!” Buddy said, shocked by the image of himself in some mysterious chamber. Each of your teammates were scattered into different rooms and each of them seemed to be doing some kind of ritual.
Duke was scaling a wall, Buddy was solving some kind of puzzle on a table, The twins were still together- holding hands around some kind of glowing object on a pedestal, Casey was doing something with a rope, and Barley was laid out on a table; covered in bright colors all over his pure snow white fur.
“Now what’s all that about?” You heard Duke barking from behind you.
“Yeah… That’s really creepy.” Casey added.
“What do you think this could mean?” You asked the others.
“I don’t know!” Duke commented. “You’re supposed to be the guide, right?” you could tell he was visibly shaken from the scenes on the televisions.
“Maybe it’s some kind of mind trick?” You pondered. “I mean! We’re all here now!” You added as you tried reassuring the group.
“Well how about this.” Duke continued. “We can do something with those little dials, maybe?”
“That sounds about right.” You continued “I think that’s a good idea. Thank you Duke.” He gave you a massive smile as you rested your hand on his shoulder.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 06 January 2022