Von Wartenburg’s Command (Hollow Earth Expedition Ssn1 ep.23d)

This is an ongoing story about a lost world of hungry dinosaurs, sinister villains, and non-stop action. If you’re new to Hollow Earth Expedition, I suggest starting at the beginning.


The other soldier backed off, raising his palms to show submission. Her hostage made a timid attempt to break free, but Celeste held the steel point against the soldier’s Adam’s apple and felt his body go rigid in fear.

“Okay, now what?” She asked herself, knowing that they didn’t understand English and trying to keep the tremor in her voice to a minimum. “Let me think. Let me think—okay, I got it. You,” she laid the flat of the blade against soldier’s throat and pulled him backwards, closer to the exit hatch. “You must know how to fly that plane out there. You’re going to buzz us out to safety. And then—then we’ll trade you for Jack. A prisoner exchange. That should work. After that, I can get in the drilling machine and just go home—”

She stopped when she saw a figure looming in the doorway behind the other soldier. This new person was silhouetted against the hallway behind him, but Celeste could see that he was over six feet tall, with a sweeping black coat and an officer’s cap.

The second soldier turned to the figure in the doorway. “C-commandant…” He stammered in surprise and terror. Celeste shrank backwards, instinctively afraid. This must surely be von Wartenburg, the man who struck supernatural fear into the hearts of the slaves throughout the city below—not to mention his own troops.

Von Wartenburg backhanded the soldier nearest him as casually as one might swat at a fly. The smaller man crumpled to the metal deck, holding the side of his bruised face with a quivering and unsteady hand. Like a well-trained dog, he would not rise until his master gave him permission.

The commandant took a single step forward into the cargo bay, his heavy boot producing a resounding thud on the deck. Light from the portholes now illuminated his face, allowing Celeste to see that his grey eyes looked to be made of steel while his square jaw might have been cut from stone for all the emotion it displayed. A thin fencing scar ran down his right cheek, so old now it was hardly visible. He seemed to be a man in his forties, but with an athletic physique that served to amplify the menace of his black uniform.

“Drop the knife,” he said in cold, precise English.

Celeste tightened her fingers around the pommel and pressed the tip deeper into her prisoner’s neck. She knew perfectly well that without that knife and without that hostage, she would have nothing between her and von Wartenburg.

RELINQUISH,” von Wartenburg said again. This time, he didn’t speak in English, and it wasn’t German, either. Celeste wasn’t sure what language it was, and yet she understood the meaning deeply, intuitively, the way a person understands fear and love without words because they come from a place deeper than words can take root.

With all her might, Celeste gripped the knife, clinging to it as if it were her own life. But when von Wartenburg spoke that one resounding word, her fingers uncurled and the blade clattered to the deck.



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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

About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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