Seth took the lead, still bathed in Sarah’s light he could see a few feet in front of the group. The trio traveled in the passages encased in a bubble of light. The maze closed in around them, suffocating smallness. In places the roof tapered low allowing them only to pass if they stooped, forcing them to walk this way for hundreds of yards. Their backs throbbed from the effort. At one point they had crawled through the smallest of passages on their knees, rubbing them raw and bloody.
There was symmetry to the passages. Evenly spaced openings alternated from the left wall to the right wall every 30 feet. The halls seemed to travel circular though they couldn’t completely tell, but Adam had noticed a slight curvature. They had remained on the passage they had started on, at least they thought they had. Still, they felt no closer to either an entrance, or an exit. Only the evenly spaced openings on the walls as they passed.
Throughout the cave’s maze the sounds of a thing that could not be of the earth. Moaning howls, then grunts as if the thing was burdened against restraints, trying to bust free. Shrieks. Agonizing shrieks filled their cavern, then low weeping, then again, howls, shrieks, grunts.
Whatever this poor creature was, Adam could not bring himself to understand why anything should be put to such torment. It was clear that this maze, these caverns where there for this thing. Something so horrid that it needed hiding deep within the earth, in such a puzzle of passages that neither it could be found, nor could it find its way out.
But the binds. Adam listened to the thing as it fought the chains that bound it to its hellish prison. The sounds traveled through the entirety of the maze, unimpeded. No matter how far they walked, the painful howls would sound the same.
The mazes illusion was that any passage was only a few feet in-depth. Adam had probed some, finding that the illusion lasted only a few steps into the opening.
“It’s time we choose an opening and try” he said. Seth and Sarah stopped. An opening in the left wall was near their side. Sara’s light shone the illusion that the opening was only a few feet. Adam stepped into the opening.
Had it not been for the light Sarah held at the portal’s edge, Adam could not tell that one passage had ended and another had begun. The illusion so strong it disoriented him, spinning in his mind like a child’s pin wheel in the breeze.
“Come now” Adam said. Seth and Sarah stepped into the passage.
By chance they came upon a plaque near one of the openings. It was the only discernible thing against the otherwise completely smooth surface. On the plaque was written a code, looking part mathematical equation, part mechanical drawing.
“Sarah, can you make anything of this?” He asked.
Sarah came close to the plaque, studying it closely. The she ran her fingers across its surface, feeling the cuts and grooves of the symbols and drawings.
“No, I can’t make anything of the symbols and it gives me no imprint of thought. It is just a plaque to my eyes.”
Adam knew Seth’s powers were of the physical realm. He could offer nothing that Adam didn’t already know.
“What do you think it means?” Seth asked.
“I’m sure it is some sort of map, some way of calculating how we could find an exit to this horrid maze.” Adam said.
“Whatever that poor creature is, its pain is immense.” Said Sarah “I can sense the pain and suffering.”
The howls had not subsided in the long time they had been there looking at the plaque. Adam did not want to move a foot away from the plaque. He feared if he did the illusions of the walls would take the plaque from his vision, then they would be trapped in this forever, or until they died of thirst, starving.
Adam set the messenger bag on the floor. The bag opened slightly so Adam could see the tablet sitting there in the bag.
He reached in the bag and pulled out the tablet. He switched it on and in a few seconds the screen came to light with a menu of selections. One of the selections was labeled “search for what you see”. Adam touched the menu selection. When he did, a box of text showed on the screen.
The text read:
Hold the tablet’s face to the puzzle or symbol you see, then say search the answer, the tablet will then give you all the information you require about the object you see.
Adam did as the text said. The menu on the screen transformed to a swirling pattern of light and colors, swirling smaller and smaller in concentric circles until the circles made a point of light. Then the screen filled with words and pictures. The picture was the same as the plaque on the wall.
“What does it say Adam” Sarah asked.
Adam read in silence for a moment, then started to speak what the tablet was saying.
“It says this is the symbol of the Minotaur’s Labyrinth. In this maze the shame of the queen has been hidden from the world. The Minotaur is the child of the queen born of the god Poseidon. When the king had gone off to war, he had asked of the god Poseidon to guard his kingdom. Poseidon had been pleased with the king and agreed. But in exchange he would have a child with the queen. The king agreed.
“But when the child was born, it was with the body of a boy and the head of a bull. The king and queen took shame of the child and devised a plan to hide him, yet not take his life so as not to displease the god Poseidon. They enlisted the help of the kingdom’s best architect Daedalus.
“Daedalus devised this Labyrinth, and lead the child Minotaur to its center where food would grow and water would flow so the Minotaur would live until the end of the world.
“To find his way out once he lead the Minotaur to the Labyrinth’s center, Daedalus left a trail of twine to find his way out.
“This is the plaque of the Labyrinth’s design. Solving the equation will give those who have the answer the way to find the center, and the Minotaur.”
Adam read on. The tablet had solved the equation for him. The answer is the ratio of 1:4:9. To find the proper passages one need to follow the pattern of the first, the fourth, and the ninth openings on the left wall for the product of the ratio numbers. The product of the numbers, 36.
“If we take the first opening on the left we come to, then the fourth after that, then the ninth after that, and do this 36 times, we will find the center of the Labyrinth, and the Minotaur.” Said Adam.
“But will the Minotaur kill and eat us”? Asked Sarah.
“I do not know Sarah, but we have Seth to protect us should we be in danger. Let’s begin now. I’ll count the passages, Seth, you keep track of the products, Sarah, you keep the lights on.”