This post is part of an ongoing story set in the pulp-era world of Hollow Earth Expedition. If you are new to this series, I suggest starting at the beginning of the story.
By the time Jack heard the shot, he had circled to the far side of the volcano and ascended the slope of loose shale to a small ledge. From his perch, he had studied the green landscape that extended out in every direction until it curved upwards at the horizon and disappeared into the misty clouds. Intricate river systems carved through the forests, while to the south—or what he guessed was south—a great lake or small ocean inlet sparkled blindingly under the noon-day sun. What drew his eye, however, were the ruins of an ancient city only a few miles away.
Peering through his binoculars, Jack had been able to see the stone buildings, wide roads, and tall outer walls of the city. All of it was crumbling and much had been lost to the jungle, but small groups of people labored throughout the city to fight back the jungle’s growth and rebuild the walls of the buildings. These people came in two basic types: the one in the shackles and the ones with the whips.
Those in shackles were men, women, and even children. Their skins had the rich, dark hues of people who lived in the open, and their clothing was simple, consisting of animal skins or thin fabric weaves. They stooped in the streets to clear away vines or strained in the hot sun to repair the roofs of the dilapidated buildings. Many of them heaved against heavy carts to drag mounds of rubble from somewhere deeper in the city out to the perimeter walls, where they formed long chain-gangs to pile the rubble into the gaps created by time and erosion.
The whip-wielding masters of this slave army were European, but Jack was too far away to recognize any insignia on their gray uniforms. They carried modern firearms—rifles, mostly, but Jack spotted a few submachine guns swinging from shoulder straps. It made Jack’s teeth clench. The year was 1936, for crying out loud—this kind of colonial abuse belonged to the last century. So who were these men?
Jack soon had his answer. Through his binoculars, he followed the roads inward, to the center of the city, where a tall obelisk rose up into the misty sky. From where he was perched, the tip of the obelisk was obscured by the branches of a nearby tree, but when he moved just a bit to his right he could see that a gargantuan zeppelin hung in the air above the city, tethered to that obelisk. And he could see that the side of the zeppelin was emblazoned with a white circle containing a black swastika.
“Nazis,” Jack growled to himself. Saying the word made him want to spit, just to clear out his mouth.
But that was the moment he heard the distant boom, and he knew it was a gunshot from the direction of the drilling machine. The Nazis would have to wait—Jack’s crew was in trouble.
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Hollow Earth Expedition was created by Jeff Combos and is property of Exile Game Studio. For more Hollow Earth Expedition action, check out ExileGames.com