NOTW XLV The DOOM PROJECT * * * Link to video. * * * Chapter ?? As you stand over the huge rock slab in front of you, you hear an operative mutter, "Now, what are we going to do about this?" The group goes quiet for a few moments, with only the howl of the desert wind to break the frustrating silence. When no one volunteers an appreciable solution, another operative announces, "We're blasting it open with C-4." As he turns to procure the necessary explosives, one of the scientists cried out, "No! We can't risk any structural damage to the ancient architecture! It could cause a chained collapse of the entire system!" The mercenary barked back, "Well, quite frankly, I don't see any other option." You step forward. "We could try towing it a bit with the trucks. We only need enough room to squeeze through." The group ponders the odds. Finding no other option satisfactory, the consensus is reached. Using heavy-duty industrial chains, the mercenaries attach the large piece of rock to the expedition's pickup truck. Though the truck possessed a powerful motor and steel frame, the vehicle wailed in agony as the rock refused to budge. The driver paused for a moment and yelled, "We almost have it. We need a bit more leverage. Any volunteers?" You grab a crowbar out of the pickup's bed and, along with several other team members and their tools, wedge the tool under the slab. "You're not going to get too much room under the rock, but I just need a little bit to get going," the driver advises, as the engine roars to life once more. You thrust the crowbar downwards, hoping to get even an inch of the slab off the ground. The metal hisses under the immense pressure, but the combined efforts of you and your teammates forces the rock a few inches off the ground. The truck does the rest of the work, pulling the stone a few feet off towards the desert sands. With the rock slab now removed, an ancient stairway was revealed, leading downward into darkness below. An operative stepped forward. "I want the gunner and grenadier on point. We need a clean sweep, identification before initiation. Let's keep this..." An archaologist interrupted, "Now, come on -- this is an archaeological dig site, not an enemy bunker. We don't need to shoot up the place trying to kill shadows on the wall." He repositioned his large supply bag on his shoulder before descending down the stairs. The mercenary shook his head, then followed him in.