Chapter 1:

The piramid

The piramid

Since I was a child I liked maps, I spent hours reviewing a world map that my mother bought me. What I never had and always wanted was a globe, to admire the size and proportions of the entire earth. I wanted my room to be like in adventurers and explorers movies full of maps, exotic objects and mysterious relics from far away places. I fantasized about owning my own planet earth and mentally traveling anywhere in the world, from the north pole to the south, from ultra-known cities like Paris or New York, to the unknown Bismarck mountain range of Papua New Guinea or the tepuis of southern Venezuela. All of that would be at my fingertips.

However, my disappointment came when my father, obsessed with saving, decided that the world map was more than enough. After insisting a lot, I managed to get him to buy me a balloon, but this was not made of a resistant material, it was a small globe made of flimsy plastic, which had to be inflated with air; It was not what I imagined. As if that was not enough, a week later my childhood misfortune worsened when I saw that the balloon had been punctured. It was partially deflated, as if the interior of the planet was being sucked in, but it still had some air left to resist gravity. Despite being a disappointing gift, I decided it deserved to be saved. So I used special glue for plastic and looked for the crack on its surface. Finally I found it, it was located in the south of the Indian Ocean, guiding me by my geographical curiosity I noticed that the island of Amsterdam was located in that area of ​​the planet. A French overseas possession, an uninhabited island with a hostile climate that is only visited at certain times of the year by French researchers. After replacing the globe, I looked on my precious world map, which would never be punctured, and I noticed that near Amsterdam there was another island, that of Saint Paul further south. Reading in encyclopedias I discovered that they all belonged to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Why did those islands so small, remote and devoid of people thrill me? I don't know. Perhaps they interested me precisely because they were so uninteresting, because they were uninhabited, or because they were relatively close to Antarctica, the lost continent often called the end of the world. The ocean served as the boundary between the known world and the frozen and hidden mysteries of the southern continent.

Over time, and forgetting my disappointment with the globe, I looked everywhere for any information about those islands. The search was fun and interesting, but I reached my limit when I discovered something that was otherwise very obvious. Being uninhabited islands, there are not many people who could report on them and all those who have done so were French, whose language did not know. I settled for reading summaries of scientific papers and encyclopedia entries translated by Spaniards. State of the climate, type of flora and fauna, means of getting there and details of the tiny scientific station where its inhabitants live stations. Despite being trivial information it seemed to me a fascinating world, a mysterious place, but not extravagant. I myself was surprised by the obsession with that area of ​​the globe, however when there was nothing new to read, I just stopped paying attention to them. Every few months, at least once a year, he returned to look for data on that distant land of France, as if waiting for new news or a new discovery, no matter how small. But I couldn't find anything, sometimes I thought about studying French and thus expanding my search capacity, but I didn't dare. Studying a language was always difficult, and doing it just to satisfy my curiosity for some islands on the edge of the world seemed disproportionate to me.

I could talk about the vicissitudes I had to go through to choose the career I had to study once I reached seventeen years of age and the end of school was approaching. But whatever analysis or excuse you say will lead to the same conclusion, I ended up studying geology. It was eight long years where I lived all kinds of experiences, and I graduated with more than decent results. However, in those growing years I never forgot the islands at the end of the world that had so intrigued me in the past. From time to time the memory of that disappointing balloon motivated me, in turn, to look for data on the French southern lands, as an experience that arrives and does not leave me free.

By a capricious grace of fate, the opportunity arose for me to continue my training by doing a master's degree in France. Everything I had to do and think to decide to go abroad would serve to write a long essay, but it is not what I am interested in writing. The time in France was very interesting and enriching, I visited many places and met all kinds of people. Of course I had a lot of knowledge about geology abscessed. In one of my constant visits to the university library I found records of the positions or colonies, as some would tell you, of France. As if guided by an invisible force, look for everything related to the islands that obsessed me so much since I was a child. Without completely mastering the language, i was able to read the records of the scientific expeditions that traveled through these islands certain times a year. However, everything I read was not very different from what I had found in encyclopedias as a child. The only difference is that the information provided was more detailed, without being more interesting. When disappointment invaded my body, I remembered what it felt like to see that inflatable globe and from which I had started this strange obsession. Despite my discomfort, I decided to read all the information available so that nothing escaped me and thus be able to tell myself with complete certainty that there was nothing more to talk about overseas France.

As darkness claimed its place in the night sky, I saw something that puzzled me. A map dated from the 1980s and whose title was simply Saint-Paul-et-Amsterdam. It was not very different from the other maps of the region that I had already read, except that a place south of Saint Paul Island showed a third island. Only a 16-mile sandbar was visible on the other maps, both ancient and modern. This was the first and only one that indicated the existence of a third island, which had no name or rather its name was Unknown Island. This finding reminded me of what I had felt when I was mentally traveling through my world map and looking for unknown places. For several minutes I was stunned looking at that tiny dot on the map, confirming that it was real, that it had the right elevation to be considered an island. You might have expected new reports on bird migration, changes in climate, or the maintenance of the scientific base. But the existence of a supposed third island was something completely unexpected. The most disconcerting thing was the fact that no one else on any map or report spoke of that unknown Island, neither before nor after.

From that day something began to haunt my mind, I must go to the unknown island. It was an idea that parasitized my head since I saw that enigmatic map. Any discussion or work I had to do seemed irrelevant to me or I only cared if it related to the French islands of the South Indian. Despite everything, I was able to complete most of my studies, but I couldn't help but be known as the weird guy obsessed with some islands at the end of the world. This could have given me a bad image, even so I insisted, look for new data, historical accounts about its discovery and colonization, etc. In no other place or occasion did I see mention of the unknown island.

Thanks to my monomania, I was contacted by a group of multidisciplinary researchers who worked with the flora and fauna of that region of the world. It was not easy to explain why I was so obsessed, I also mentioned the third island. Most didn't take me seriously until I showed them the map that started it all. Almost everyone concluded that it was a mistake, perhaps the sandbar that was in the same coordinates was confused on one occasion, and it was left in the record without any subsequent correction. Despite everything, I did not want to stop believing that there was a third island, however I put that issue aside and concentrated on getting them to invite me to Saint Paul and Amsterdam, the recognized islands.

After several months of insistence and training I was sent on the summer expedition. He would have to study the geological formations and support the rest of the researchers. The two islands had a very different extension: Amsterdam has a surface area of ​​58 km 2, that of Saint Paul 8 km 2 . Both are dormant volcanoes, part of a narrow continental plateau surrounded by depths of more than 3,000 meters. The island of Saint Paul is characterized by a central crater invaded by the sea. The island of Amsterdam is more massive. The climate is temperate oceanic, it is not that cold, but it is very windy, none of them experience snow or frost. On the island of Amsterdam there is a permanent base, the Martin-de-Vivies base. Since 1949 it has been hosting missions of 23 to 35 people per season. There is no human presence in Saint Paul and evidently there would not be on the unknown island, if it exists. The average annual temperature is 14.1ºC. There are no trees and the vegetation was herbaceous. The fauna consists of populations of sea lions and sea birds that come to nest on land.

Upon arriving at the Martin-de-Vivies base, there was no rest time, the research and support activities were very intense, despite the fatigue I was able to admire, at last and in person, that island where the fissure of the river was located in the disappointing globe that affected me so much as a child. However i was not entirely happy, every time i saw a map of the two islands, i could not help but remember the intriguing map with the unknown island. In a strange way my desperation to discover the truth increased, I spoke about my interests to someone who had already made many expeditions over the years. The experienced researcher surprisingly believed my words, apparently spotted something that was not a simple sandbar at the same coordinates where the unknown island was located.

Several days later we went to Saint Paul Island, its climate and flora were not very different from that of Amsterdam. After spending several days on the expedition I felt satisfied that I had witnessed for myself the two islands that had occupied so much of my attention, on the other hand I could not control my mania with the unknown island. The most intriguing were the nightmares that visited me at night, they were strange visions, difficult to describe, I traveled mentally just as I had done as a child, but instead of going to Berlin or Delta Amacuro, I saw bizarre countries, incomprehensible places and outside vintage that he had never seen even in the weirdest movies. I insisted on all my colleagues to fulfill my greatest wish, including the veteran who had agreed with me. I'm not going to detail the internal and external debate I had with everyone to decide if it was worth going.

I finally managed to get the boat to take a 20 km detour towards the supposed sandbar. During the trip the weather worsened, the blizzard was strangely aggressive, and the heavy rain seemed out of season. When we reached the coordinates everything was covered in a static haze, we were not able to distinguish any direction. Until we saw it, a small island, full of dark trees covering its interior like a veil. No one could understand where it came from, even the veteran did not remember seeing the unknown island in that way. I had an obsessive urge to go to that place as soon as possible, but the rest of the crew preferred to think about it a bit more. It was a bloody wait of almost half an hour, enduring the inclement wind, until they decided to send five men including me.

We all went in a small boat, when we reached the coast we felt that we were in a different world. The water on the beach seemed puddled, as if it had been there for a long time, the sand was black, as expected in volcanic islands, but in this case they gave a macabre air. When we got off the boat we had a disconcerting sensation that could not be perceived from the distant boat. I could feel my feet pressing against the boots and the sand at the same time, but something told me that it was not real, that the sand was not sand. As we entered the coast, the fog was very thick and we could not see the boat or the boat. Several of my companions went to check the trees, I just stared at the small portion of the island that I could see in that incessant fog. I was saddened, and from time to time I would get bursts of disturbing thoughts that made me feel lonely and vulnerable. As if we were the first human beings to visit her, thinking that upset me too much, as I had no reason to suppose.

Then I heard a cry of astonishment, I ran to the source of the noise and saw my companions, apparently they had determined that the flora of that place was strange, the size of the trees was too large for that type of climate and geographical location. This species did not have individual leaves, but leafy like ferns, although not the same as these. Its size was around 5 meters, with a long and thin trunk, devoid of branches, and topped with a crown formed by fronds. These fronds were similar to the palm of a hand with its fingers, from which branched off. The botanist could not identify what species it was, he only said that they had a very old structure.

The five of us decided to go further inland, although we all assumed that there was not much else to see considering the size of the island. We walked for almost 15 minutes in that disturbing forest, we never saw or heard any animals, we even removed rocks and dirt, but we did not see even a miserable earthworm. After traveling several meters, it seemed strange to me not to reach the other side of the coast, I already imagined that the island was larger than expected hidden in the intense fog, but what really blew us away was that place.

In what seemed like the center of the unknown island, we saw a huge and exotic pyramid. The structure did not seem to be typical of the place, it had several sections marked by colors, the base was black, the middle gray and the top white. The pyramid was in good condition, it had no trace of erosion, its surface was very smooth. We went around it looking for something that would explain what it was, but we didn't see any sign, or mark, nothing that would indicate its origin or who had built it. For some reason I could not take my eyes off that pyramid, when I did my mind turned like a kite in the air, for a moment it filled me with a childish euphoria and I felt like the explorers of the movies that I had liked so much. And then all of a sudden I had a huge urge to flee, a disproportionate anxiety that told me that this structure was cursed.

Despite the initial strangeness, everyone thought it would be a good idea to call in more people to record the intriguing structure, but upon hearing those ideas I screamed that we shouldn't do it. Everyone looked at me without understanding and I could only tell them that they had to enter as soon as possible. The problem was that there was no such thing as an entrance, we touched the bricks in case there was a secret entrance. We looked for patterns and designs, but the ominous pyramid showed us nothing. So I suggested digging to see how far the pyramid went, but everyone said it was impossible, no one had a shovel, and because of the size it would take a long time. At the end of the day the ship took a detour, there are no provisions to endure so much.

A strange and absurd anger circulated through my body, telling me that I must discover how to enter the horrendous pyramid. Every time I thought about her, it seemed more and more horrible, but at the same time I felt panic to be away from her. Then my companions decided that it was necessary to return to the base, request new supplies from Paris and then arrive with everything necessary to study the island. A normal person would seem acceptable, but not to me. I myself was surprised by my changes of character, for a moment of sanity I agreed to return to the ship, because if I didn't I would stay on that island, even if it were alone.

Upon returning to the ship, the five of us told the rest what we saw, many were excited by this new discovery, the veteran congratulated me for confirming my ideas and his old sighting. But I couldn't get that excitement, I couldn't stop thinking about how to get to that pyramid, and I didn't even care about any of the three islands, I just wanted the pyramid. The wait until I gathered the adequate supplies, helped me to rest, to my surprise, the obsession subsided, but not the strange dreams that did not reach the level of nightmare, but continued to disrupt my night's rest.

When the ship was ready to go, my mind decided to give me one last test. An anguish coming out of nowhere told me that it was not a good idea, I should go home, not even to France, I thought that the pyramid was like a drug that kills you, but you cannot leave. Even so I decided to return to the unknown island, no one else seemed to be upset and I had not even finished my studies, I really had no idea what to do after this trip and I noticed a singular inertia motivating me to continue.

A very large team landed on the island, everyone was amazed and scared. Despite a month that had passed the sinister fog was still there, the trees seemed to have increased in number, and it was unusually difficult to find the pyramid that second time. When I found it, my whirlwind of absurd thoughts returned, I looked for a thousand possible ways to find an entrance, but no one was able to find anything. When they gave me a shovel I dug with a morbid obsession, for hours I made a hole under the pyramid. But it turns out that the structure was still underground indefinitely. Every time I and my frightened companions dug, only extensions of the pyramid were found. Someone suggested that the building was huge and buried. But taking into account the size of the island, the remoteness of the place and the supposed depth at which its base would be, the very existence of the pyramid was absurd. The straw that broke the camel's back was when another of my colleagues told me, something that seemed obvious, but that I did not bother to think about until now, and it was the fact that São Paulo and Amsterdam never had an indigenous population, the oldest were small European colonies a few centuries ago. But in no case would there be any reason to believe that simple whalers or sailors would build a pyramid of ridiculous proportions on a huge island in an eternal mist.

This mystery would intrigue any curious person, but in my case the anger at not knowing how to enter blinded me. I just wanted to enter the damn pyramid, I did not care about everything else. I even reacted nonchalantly when botanists discovered that the trees were virtually identical to those of the Wattieza genus plants that had existed 360 million years ago and were extinct today. They collected all kinds of plant samples, one of my colleagues insisted on doing my work as a geologist and looking for rocks and soil samples, but my sick task of looking for the base or entrance of the pyramid was a priority.

Before I knew it, I had already dug several feet deep, creating a diagonal tunnel that followed the contour of the doomed structure. Many people were just as intrigued as I was, but none matched how deep I was. After a week they told me that we should go back. I ignored them, I kept digging convinced that the entrance was close, I didn't care about the time spent and the lack of results, I must continue. When everyone was ready to return I practically lived in the tunnel, surrounded by earth, used to the dark and with an unusual confidence to achieve my goal.

Someone whose name I do not remember, nor did I care, went down to my underground world and had the intention of forcing me to leave, I yelled at him with a huge rage and made all kinds of gestures for him to leave. I kept digging confident to achieve my goal. Another day five men arrived carrying a rope, it was evident that they were going to arrest me and take me away from my precious job. Without further ado I uttered a plethora of unspeakable profanities and nearly smashed one's head with my shovel. They left and I remained confident in achieving my goal.

In one night trying to sleep, I managed to rest for five minutes and when I woke up I had a moment of clarity, I wondered what I was doing, how I got so deep and why I had not found the damn entrance to the stupid pyramid. Then for another moment my calmness collided with my anxiety and I had a horrendous panic attack that made me rush to the surface. It took me half an hour to get out, I hadn't measured the distance but it was too long to have been dug by a simple man; I felt that this tunnel was not my responsibility.

When I glimpsed the cloudy sky, the arcane pyramid was still there, but its essence was unhealthy, it upset me and made me feel a singular pleasure to see it, I hated and adored it at the same time. I did not even realize that there was no one there, my companions abandoned me; But I knew it was my fault I did not mind being alone, rather I saw that the mist had withdrawn and I could see the top of the pyramid, I began to curse the mysterious builders of that ominous thing. Then, as if he had responded to my insults, it started to rain, it was the first time it had happened and I didn't know if it was something good or bad.

I decided to spend the night on the surface, I slept next to the pyramid, waiting for it to tell me something. For a while my dream was pleasant, too pleasant, safeguarding what was left of my sanity. Then I had lustful desires to enter the pyramid, a morbid pleasure crept through my mind telling me that I should find a way to desecrate and deflower the pyramid. But something blocked the way to my dreams and they were dissonant and disturbing sounds that boosted my spirits. I woke up and desperately searched for those noises, over time I noticed that they were from the same pyramid, but they also came from the tunnel. My curiosity was greater than my fear and I entered the tunnel, the darkness was absolute, I could only go forward, my obsession told me that when I got closer I would know everything. Before going half the way, I felt that I had entered the dream world, at first I was only disappointed to fall asleep being so close, but then I saw the same pyramid this time inverted. It seemed that it was underground and from the surface it grew like a stalactite, the colors were the same. For a moment I felt an unexpected peace, as if there was nothing else to do, then my tranquility disappeared when I saw a hysterical scream coming from an inhuman throat from the pyramid. As I got closer I heard in more detail how they laughed and made fun of me with hideous ululations. Panic began to run through my body, even so I decided to stay, I felt that this inverted pyramid was what I wanted to see.

As I endured the bestial screams, I noticed that they increased in intensity and the top of the pyramid began to crack, suddenly and for no particular reason it broke like a very weak crystal. The glass fell close to me and as I got closer I saw images of abominable bodies, indescribable beasts that lurked on the other side of the mirror, in an amoral and obscene dimension. Then those hideous things looked at me from the glass and made fun of my vain attempts to understand them.

That's when I realized how incredibly stupid I was, how I ruined my life and the best thing would be to end it all. Without meditating at all, I sought the peace of dying by cutting my neck with the crystal and I fell to the ground. As I was swallowed by the jaws of death, I received enlightenment. As if God or something more benevolent felt sorry for me, he decided to reveal a part of the secret to me before leaving. I received images of an ancient and unpleasant late Devonian civilization that inhabited the land, as part of their rituals built pyramids eons before the first pharaohs of Egypt. Then the collapse of the ozone layer destroyed everything they had done and only a part was left in ruins, to make everything more confusing the entity that revealed this information to me showed me that the pyramids were made to contain something vile and perverse, which was rising from the ground and the pyramids were the only thing that could contain it.

When I went to see what was inside, I woke up, it was the same place where I fell asleep, I did not understand what was happening. But I do remember hearing something from the tunnel, something crawling in the dark and emitting nasty screeches. My body froze and I didn't move until suddenly, I saw it. After a slight stirring that betrayed its ascent to the surface, the entity came into view. Immense, disgusting, this deformed species appeared like a formidable and nightmarish monster, at the same time that it looked at me and emitted vomiting screams. I think I went crazy then.

I don't remember very well the details of my frenzied and delusional flight across the island. I sang and I laughed until madness. I have the vague memory of a storm, shortly after reaching the coast; I know I heard the crash of thunder and other noises that nature made, I never bothered to check that that thing was following me. Suddenly I tripped and fell on a stone, and my mind went dark; I didn't know anything else. When I came out of the shadows, I was in a hospital in Paris; I had been taken to the capital in a few days and I did not wake up in all that time. I spoke of my delusions, but no one had listened to me.

Those who had rescued me were my companions of the expedition, they returned to the island with better equipment to arrest me and force me to return, but they did not need it when they found me inconsistent. No one knew anything about the appearance of the amorphous creature that had emerged from the bottom of the infernal tunnel, and I did not think it necessary to insist on something that I knew they would not believe.

On the sixth night of my hospitalization, when the moon becomes waning, I remember something terrible. He had wanted to forget it, but the medication only gave a temporary cessation. There is something disastrous on that island that could destroy everything we know and care about. I have to go back to that cursed island and so I'm going to put an end to all this, and more so now that I have told what happened to whoever has the good or bad luck to read it. Many times I wonder if it is not a product of a fever that I suffered on the ship. I ask myself many times; but a monstrously vivid vision always appears to me in response.

Sometimes I want to believe that this island was not real, that it was the product of my decaying mind, but if that were true, then everything I did was in vain. Deep down I want it to be true to justify my attitude and obsession, why else would I go to some tiny and useless islands in one of the most hostile places in the world?

I cannot stop thinking about the depths of the tunnel and shudder at the hideous entities that perhaps at this moment are crawling and shaking, unpleasant beings who justified the construction of that detestable pyramid. I am afraid to witness the day that these things emerge from the sea, and take the frail humans in their claws.

Doubt eats away at me and the only way to prove that everything was true is to go back there, I can't go home, I couldn't live knowing what I know! Damn the one who created that map where they showed me the location of the island! Who was the idiot who did it? Maybe someone just as unhappy as me? I wish I could forget what I did or in any case, disappear and not have to worry about it. I hear a noise at the door, as if a huge and disgusting being is struggling. You won't find me. Cannot be! I have to run out the window!

The end