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On the 24th of May 1970, the Soviet Union started a project that would be known as the Kola Superdeep Borehole (Кольская сверхглубокая скважина). Although it has been long since abandoned the hole still exists today, and measures about 40 000 feet in depth.

Be it for research or whatever claim have been told; The Kola Borehole is not the only time Russia dug further than they should have, and several holes can still be found today, unprotected in the desolate Russian wilderness.

The biggest mistake of my life is going down one of these holes.

A year ago my work took me to a small Russian fishing village located in Siberia. It’s a tiny place populated by no more than 200 people, most of them fishermen or hunters.

It wasn’t the first time being a scientist had gotten me into strange situations. I’m a geologist, which is not important for the purpose of this story, but I have experience in search and rescue operations back home in the United States.

My Russian language abilities were less than satisfactory, and considering only two people beside my crew spoke English in the village, it was a challenge to say the least. However, with the right spirit and willingness to share a bottle of vodka, they were some of the friendliest people I’d met in my entire life.

I particularly enjoyed the company of the village’s only ‘police’ officer, Vadim, who happened to speak at least a basic level of English. His job mostly consisted of escorting people home after they had a bit too much to drink, although he oftentimes partook in the drinking rather than stopping it. Needless to say, we quickly became good friends.

We rather enjoyed ourselves in such a bizarre world, cut off from civilisation. At least we did until the ninth month of our deployment.

One of the local’s seven year old daughter had gone missing.

Her name was Daria, and she had been out playing with her friends around an old abandoned building widely believed to be a soviet era silo. The whole structure had been closed off for almost forty years and forgotten, yet the children loved hanging out in the area.

On that particular day the ‘silo’ was open. The doors were broken down which revealed a large room full of ancient equipment, and a large, dark hole in the centre.

The hole measured about 50 feet in diameter, and the depth was unknown. There was a basic elevator platform in the centre of the hole, like something used for descending mines. All that could be seen was endless darkness reaching into the abyss, Daria had fallen into it.

I immediately knew in my heart that the fall had killed her. A fall that deep, even if the bottom was a pool of water, it would be lethal.

The other children insisted that Daria had called out for help after falling into the hole, which gave out false hope to the terrified mother.

It was the first time I had seen Vadim efficiently work to put together a rescue operation. Calling for official aid so far out was a hopeless task, even if they sent help they would arrive too late.

Seeing as I had some experience in that field, alongside basic first aid, I volunteered, as did one of my colleagues, Stanley.

While the mechanics attempted to revive the old machinery, Including the elevator, I attached a sinker to a line in hopes of measuring the depth. The line wasn’t long enough to determine where the bottom was, even though the longest ropes combined measured almost 1000 feet.

After a couple of hours the mechanics announced that the elevator was ready, but they had found some sort of protective suits. According to the few documents found in the facility, the atmospheric pressure was quite high and the temperatures reached up to 150°F.

I knew then we would retrieve nothing but the body of a little girl for the family to bury.

“Gotov, ready?” Vadim asked us.

The suits were poorly fitted to our slightly untrained figures and chafed in places I didn’t know it was possible. We entered the lift, which was protected by a rusty metal cage full of holes.

We were given only one walkie-talkie to communicate with the people on the surface, in addition to some old flashlights.

“We’re ready, lower us down.” Stanley said.

The gears running the elevator platform started churning, a clunky sound echoed through the room down the hole. There was a small screen on the elevator with numbers signifying the depth. It was an excruciatingly slow process, no more than a foot per second. However, the change in atmosphere was imminent.

We descended…

100 feet:
Darkness had already enveloped us, the weak flashlights we had brought along hardly provided any comfort.

“You think this is dark, wait till you see winter in village.” Vadim said, his usual dull humour.

Me and Stanley both faked a chuckle.

“Would you please check if the radio works, Vadim?” I asked.

“It works, no worries.” He responded.

500 feet:
The walkie sounded for the first time since our descent almost ten minutes ago, the Russian was heavy and the static made it incomprehensible to a novice such as myself.

“What was that, Vadim?” I asked.

“Oh, they just ask how deep we are.”

“Shouldn’t we be able to hear them talking? We’re only 500 feet down.” Stanley asked.

“Yes, something strange here.” Vadim said.

Other than the electrical hum of the ancient elevator, and the sound of Stanley nervously shifting his weight, we couldn’t hear the chatter of people just above us.

“Very strange.” Vadim mumbled to himself.

Something about Vadim seemed off. I had never seen him worried like that before.

“Guys, is it getting really warm here or is it just me?”

“Yeah, I’m sweating bullets already.” I responded.

1000 feet:

“Pomogite!” A soft voice cried out from the depths below.

“Did you hear that?” I asked.

“Hear what?”

“Someone called for help from below.”

“I hear nothing.”

I put a finger to my lips, gesturing for silence while listening attentively. Then I heard the voice again.

“Help!” The same voice, but slightly louder.

“There it was again!”

“Yes, I heard it.” Vadim said.

“Hold on, they called for help?”

“Yes, you heard it too?”

“Of course, but it was in English.”

It wasn’t too unusual for the children to pick up on an English word or two while we were visiting, but this wasn’t that, it didn’t make sense for a young girl to know that word, not in a tiny Siberian village.

Vadim called out for the voice, but no one responded.

“Damn it, can we make this thing go any faster?”

4000 feet:
More than an hour had passed and we couldn’t see the bottom yet. It had been quite some time since we heard the voice and I had developed a throbbing headache from the heat.

If someone had really called out from the bottom we should have reached it already.

“Guys, I see light!” Vadim announced.

“What are you talking about?”

“Light, at bottom, look!” He frantically jumped up and down while pointing towards the darkness below.

“There’s nothing there, Vadim.” Stanley said.

“How can you not see, it’s so bright!”

I glanced over at Stanley in confusion. My first thought was that Vadim was going crazy due to the heat and darkness.

5000 feet:
None of us had said a single word since Vadim told us about the light. Our moods were descending much faster than the elevator, on top of that my headache was almost killing me.

Out of nowhere the elevator stopped, shaking violently in the process. It knocked me straight to the floor and I was out in an instant.

A few seconds passed while I came back to it, and I saw Stanley lying unmoving next to me. Vadim, however, was nowhere to be found.

“Stan, are you alright?” I shook his shoulder.

He grunted as he sat back up. “What the hell just happened?”

“I don’t know man, but Vadim’s gone!”

“What, where did he go?”

“I don’t know, he just vanished.”

We looked around, there was no way out of the elevator, although there were a few holes in the metal cage surrounding us it would still be impossible for a large man such as Vadim to get through.

“Hey, I found the walkie.” Stanley said.

“Try calling the surface.”

He called for help, but static was the only response. We tried to call out for Vadim, but he was far gone. The elevator started descending again.

“Fuck this, let’s go back up.” Stanley pleaded.

I clicked a few buttons on the panel.

“How? The controls are broken, only the ones at the surface work.”

He started screaming for the people up top to bring us back, but we both knew there was no way they could hear us all the way down there.

10 000 feet:
It had taken more than four hours to get that deep, the heat getting worse for each feet descended. I had already passed out a couple times from dehydration, despite having brought an ample amount of water.

“Why haven’t they brought us back up yet?” Stanley asked with a weak voice.

He was quite a bit older than myself, so he was rapidly deteriorating from the heat.

“I don’t know. Is it even possible to be this far down?”

Stanley didn’t respond. He had fallen unconscious, but I lacked the energy to wake him up.

I was about to pass out for the nth time myself. I was only jolted back into consciousness by what sounded like singing. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, in Russian and I didn’t understand what it was about, but it was so serene, so pure.

“Stan.” I called out with my fading voice. “Can you hear that?”

“Who’s singing?” He mumbled, half asleep.

A light appeared in the depths, and the singing got louder.

“I see it! The light!” I said.

The elevator stopped once more. Stan was gone. Just like Vadim he had vanished into thin air, but the light remained, the beautiful warm light. It started moving towards me, and the closer it got, the more at peace I felt.

The light ascended until I saw nothing but the brightness surrounding me.

Then there was nothing…

I woke up in a hospital one week later. I had been found in the middle of a forest in eastern Russia, by a pair of hunters. I had no documentation or proof of who I was, and as they claimed: My story didn’t add up.

No such hole existed according to public records, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but when I dug deeper I realised the village I had stayed in for the better part of a year wasn’t even on the map.

The ordeal had taken a toll on my mind, leaving several gaps in my memory, though I could recall a few phone-numbers for my colleagues.

When I called them their numbers were all either disconnected or reached completely unrelated people.

After a lengthy investigation I was allowed to travel back to the United States on an emergency travel document, my finger prints matched some documentation of my existence, which helped; Not criminal records mind you.

When I returned home I discovered that my house was owned by someone else, and had been for at least ten years. It took me a long time to figure out what had happened, but some changes were too big to be a horrible coincidence.

Putting aside the personal changes I’ve experienced here, even world history doesn’t match what I remember studying. Geography is vastly different, heck there’s an entire continent missing from the map.

Denial is a powerful tool. It took me months to come to terms with a very simple, yet complicated fact…

…this is not the world I belong to.


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

I laid there in the same spot where Meg died for a few more hours as I faded in and out of sleep, the others too exhausted, too confused to even talk about what had just happened.

When I did come to I saw our supplies were restored, fresh food and fresh water given to us. Then I shook Adam awake and asked if he had seen how it had happened.

"Who knows? It probably just appeared out of thin air," he muttered. He didn't even have the stomach to eat anything.

"Don't you get it yet, Kelly? This place, you were right about it all along," he stammered. "Maybe it's hell."

I know a lot of you think maybe we're dead. I don't know how to feel about that given that I feel everything happening to us.

Still in pain until we finally give up all hope.

I looked at the large stain on the carpet and thought of Megan.

I forgave her and then she was gone. There was no reason for it. This place simply took her.

“Do you... you know, want to talk about your dad?” Adam asked.

I didn’t have the strength to face that topic again.

“He was a dick. Destroyed our lives. I wish it was him stuck in here instead of us.”

“I’m sorry,” Adam said as he put his arm around me.

I didn’t know what to say or how to feel.

“I’m sorry too. Sorry i’ve been a jerk this whole time. Maybe we do deserve to be in here,” I told him.

“Megan was a victim. She didn’t deserve that. No one does. Whatever this thing is, I don’t think it brought us here to receive forgiveness,” Adam insisted.

Cole was next to wake and he silently checked the supplies and then tossed them on the floor.

"What's gotten into you?" I asked. His eyes were red and puffy from all the tears he had shed for Meg.

"I'm not going to be a puppet anymore," he shouted. "I don't care if I die. I would rather fight to live," he snarled.

Over the course of the next few hours he disabled all the cameras.

Not that it was going to do any good, we all knew that in our hearts after what happened to Meg.

That it could happen to any of us next.

And as though to prove its power over us when we rested the next time and woke up the cameras were restored as though nothing had ever touched them.

I stared up at the ceiling, the feeling of dread growing stronger as another realization hit me.

The room was just resetting itself. Exerting control over us.

Cole got up and smashed them again.

"What are you doing? It's pointless," Adam muttered.

"I don't want to die," Cole admitted weakly. He was close to sobbing.

"Do we even have a choice?" I whispered.

"Of course we do. It wants us to live for a reason remember. To confess. It wants to absolve us of our fucking sins," Adam said as he stood up and looked at the new camera.

"Hey! I ain't playing your stupid game anymore!! I don't believe in all this hoodoo voodoo crap or whatever you're doing. So nice try but yeah, you gonna have to do better than that!! I ain't confessing shit!!"

He was just about to flip it off when the lights started flickering gently.

"What the...?" I muttered. "Looks like you pissed them off," Cole joked to Adam.

They started flashing faster and faster and then I saw his pupils start to dilate. "Oh god," I said. But it was already too late. His eyes rolled in the back of his head as he fell down to the floor and began to convulse violently. "What the hell??" Cole said as the flickering lights grew faster and more sporadic.

"He's having a seizure!!" I said as I fell down and tried to hold him in place.

He moaned gently as foam fell out of his mouth, shaking uncontrollably as he continued to spasm.

"Give me that washcloth!!" I shouted to Cole as I saw Adam open and close his jaw. I had to make sure he didn't bite down on his tongue.

Cole frantically passed it to me and I placed it in Adam's mouth. Then he got up and stared at the camera, shouting obscenities. "Please! Please!!! Fucking stop!!" Cole yelled.

Finally the lights returned to normal and Adam lay there unconscious and numb.

I got up on my feet and covered my mouth, trying to hold back another fit of hysterics.

"Is he going to be okay?" Cole asked. I nodded dumbly as I checked his rapid pulse. "They're just reminding us who is in control," I said softly as I sat back down and ran my fingers through my hair.

Cole sat down too and took a couple of deep breaths. Once I had managed to calm down I lay on the floor and muttered, "I told you we don't have a choice."

"Hell..." Cole said as he paced the room.

"Confess and we die? Is that our only option?"

I didn't know what else to think of. He sat back down and tended to Adam while I looked at the journal.

I knew what had happened to Meg wasn't a dream, we were stuck inside a creature more powerful than we could ever imagine.

I closed my eyes and thought about Abby. Would she have wished this on me?

It didn't seem like her.

And Jared? Would he have done this to me if he knew the truth?

I know what you're all thinking. Why not just say it? Just get it out there.

Because I'm just like Cole. I don't want to die.

I don't think anybody does.

I occupied myself with deciphering the journal that Adam claimed to have to written, trying to see if there was more to it.

Maybe there was a way we could obtain forgiveness of these sins. To break free from this curse.

As Adam had suggested he had seen to it that each day he wrote in the journal he would use a certain code. And the numbers on the pages at the body corresponded with the numerical values of those letters respectively. I could see the pattern.

That gave me the key word to the entire journal and after about six hours of reading it, something seemed to click and the messages made sense.

Finally I could read for myself what he had said about me.

I was both surprised and flattered to find that the first entry was on the very same day I had moved here.

"Dear Diary,

A new girl came to school today. She is so beautiful she is turning all of the guys' Heads, mine included. She is absolutely perfect. Dark hair, soft hazel eyes; cute butt and a sparkling smile. Everybody immediately liked her. But I'm not really sure she noticed me. Why would she? There are clearly so many other guys here that she could choose from. Not that any of them deserve a girl like her.

I chuckled gently at the cute note that he had wrote. I hadn't any idea that Adam ever had a crush on me. If he had, he had done an excellent job of keeping it to himself.

I skimmed a little here and there as I read several poems he had dedicated to me and it occurred to me that it seemed he wrote the journal almost every day. Some of the entries were starting to jump out at me.

"Dear Diary,

My class schedule got rearranged today thanks to the principal and I got to sit by Kelly. She noticed me and talked to me, and to me that's like winning the lottery. I don't know why I didn't play it cool though. She told me that she has a boyfriend. Guess we chalk that up to another loss for me.

I remembered the day in question. And I felt a little guilty for lying to Adam like that. Truth was I didn't have a steady boyfriend at the time, but he had been maybe a bit too over eager to be my friend. Even though he had just wanting to talk, as a girl I could tell.

But why had he even written this in code? I wasn't seeing anything outrageous. As I kept going though, I realized that his opinions of me were starting to borderline an obsession.

"Dear Diary,

I see Kelly sit down on the other side of the cafeteria almost every day. She probably will never know I exist. A lot of guys flock around her. I would sure love to knock out their perfect teeth and take her for myself. Or better yet bash their skulls against the window for even looking at my girl.

I stared at the wording he had used for this particular entry.

My girl. At some point in the journal he had suddenly decided that he was going to be with me, no matter what it took.

As I kept reading, a sense of dread was overwhelming my body.

"Dear Diary,

Kelly's been sick lately and I haven't seen her at school much. But that's okay because I found a way to get close to her house without her mom or dad noticing. There's a line of trees a block over that rises above most of the houses and the branches make it easy to climb. I can watch her here whenever I want to. Usually I sneak out and watch her sleep.."

"Dear Diary,

Kelly is so perfect. I would love to get inside her skin and just be with her every single day, walking around and seeing things from with her eyes. anybody else that is looking at her doesn't even deserve to. I should go buy an ice pick and gouge out their eyes. Maybe I will. Not that she would notice anyway.

"Dear Diary,

I brought a knife to school today. One of the older seniors was joking with me about how he got a hard on just thinking about Kelly in the girl's locker room. I'm going to tell him to meet me behind the bleachers behind the football field so I can show him my album of Kelly. Truth is though I'm gonna cut off his dick. I'm gonna cut it straight off and then make him eat it. It's what the fucking prick deserves.

My hands and palms felt sweaty as I kept reading.

"Dear Diary,

No body can take care of Kelly like I can. I wish I had a place where I could keep her all to myself. All the outfits I have bought for her she would be able to try on. She would be mine the way she is meant to be and no one else would ever hurt her again. I've seen how sometimes she is sad about her dad leaving. I want to find that prick and give him a piece of my mind. Or a sharp blow to the head. With a 42 magnum.

"Dear Diary,

I bought a gun today using the money I stole from dad. It's for Jared. She came to me sobbing the other day about how he had left for good. I told her I was sorry and got to hold her. It felt good to know she trusted me like I wanted her to. I have been following her boy toy around town. I know his daily routine pretty well by now. Won't be long before it's me she starts calling me hers.

"Hey, you okay?"

I jumped and slammed the book closed as Cole sat down across from me. My heart was pounding out of my chest. "Yeah... just trying to figure out if there are uh... any other codes in here," I explained.

"What did it say?" he asked.

Was Adam somehow involved in what had happened. Was this all his plan, to get me for himself?

"Hey, are you zoning out?" Cole asked me and I shook my head trying to focus on the present.

"Sorry... just thinking. Did you say something?" I asked.

"I was wondering if you found anything," he asked. I swallowed a mouth full of saliva.

"No... not really," I admitted weakly. He took the journal from me and skimmed through a few of the early entries.

"Reminds me of those old codexes Jared used to make for Dungeons and Dragons man those were the shit."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Jared studied all kinds of weird stuff when he was younger, esoteric shit and even a little mysticism. That way he could get the spells right for the game," Cole explained.

A few things now fell into place.

"I lied earlier, about... about the journal," I said.

"Okay cool! Is there like a secret key that can get us out or what?" he asked.

I knew he was trying to lighten the mood but I wasn’t laughing.

"I think Jared is dead," I told him flat out.

"What?" Cole said frozen in shock.

"Cole... that journal. I deciphered it. Adam was planning to kill Jared."

"Shit..." Cole said as he dropped the book. We stood there quietly for a long moment.

"Tell me more about those spells."

"What does it matter? Shit slow down with all this info," Cole said.

"If... it those spells were real... how do they work?" I asked.

"Well uh... I mean like a binding spell. It keeps you in one place like what we're dealing with here," he replied.

"So there is a way to break them?" I wondered excitedly.

"You're sure this is really what you read?" he asked nervously.

I shrugged. I didn't know what to believe anymore.

"Yeah... I think so. I think Jared is dead."

It felt weird to say. But Cole was more concerned about something else.

"If those spells are real... and if Jared really did conjure this place up... then him being dead muddies up everything."

"How so?" I asked.

"The spells work a certain way, the seal can't be broken unless the caster is present. No caster, no way out," Cole whispered.

He was balling up his fists, trying not to over react and go beat Adam to a pulp.

"Jared might have something to do with why we are even here Kelly. What if Adam did something to Jared, what the hell does that mean will happen to us," he told me.

"That's why I need to figure out if this journal is real or not," I explained. Cole thought about it for a while and then said, "We're going to have to interrogate him."

"What?" I asked in surprise. "If we ask him out right, he is going to just lie about it, or deny the whole thing. We need him to see that we want a straight forward answer and the only way that's gonna happen is if we force it out of him," Cole decided.

I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew he was right. As much as I hated to even do something like that to Adam, the choices in front of us were limited. I wanted to keep going, the three of us in that room for as long as possible; make it last. But first I needed to put any doubts aside. Forcing Adam to tell the truth was the only way, although I wasn't entirely certain how we were going to do that.

"There's all kinds of ways we can bind him to one of the chairs," Cole explained. "Most effective would be rip up some of the stripping on the edge of the carpet and use it to tie his wrists together," he added.

I nodded and then the two of us started to get to work on the task, taking up the material from only our side of the room and then Cole weaved it together to make small tight knots that could be used like a makeshift rope.

I was still trying to psych myself up to do it when Adam was beginning to wake up and then Cole and I hid the rope in the bag. "How long have you two been up?" He asked as he took a bite of one of the sandwiches. I looked toward Cole nervously unsure what to say. "Long enough, let's eat," Cole said and then gave me a warning look not to do or say anything. I knew in my heart what the plan was.

As soon as Adam is asleep again, we were going to act and find out the truth about his words.



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