While investigating the ruins of an ancient temple, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Head Archaeologist Dr Harrison Gates Jr. is currently avoiding flying spears, trap doors, falling spikes, quicksand pits, and dozens of other lethal booby traps.
In addition to these, Gates has reportedly had to solve no less than 5 elaborate puzzles involving stone weights, pulleys, precariously balancing platforms, and archaic riddles.
“I’ve heard of legs for days but this is ridiculous
!” Gates said with a wry smirk across his grizzled yet perfectly proportioned face as he entered the third stone corridor in a row filled to the brim with venomous tarantulas. “Would it kill ya’ to give a guy a break?” he added before deftly dispatching hundreds of arachnids with a golden scimitar the people of Ulaangom, Mongolia once gifted him in thanks for returning the town’s population of Emerald Ash Borers.
The temple, located in a remote part of Northeastern Turkey where the Kaçkar Mountains meet the Black Sea, was built over 4,000 years ago to honor Tarhuun – the vengeful god of zebra mussels. It is curated by a mysterious priesthood that took a blood oath to protect its most sacred treasure – a crystal idol that, if separated from its energy-focusing pedestal surrounded by a river of flowing mercury would turn the world’s zebra mussel population to dust.
Gates was able to find its secret location when, while cataloging artifacts in the DNR’s 50,000 sq ft warehouse, he came across a forgotten ancient stone tablet that referenced a sinister plot to spread zebra mussels across the planet.
“When the [mollusks] reach to the ends of the earth, then Tarhuun will rise in blood and fire” read the tablet in Old Akkadian cuneiform.
Gates then traveled to Turkey and hang glided under cover of darkness into the closely guarded remains of the ancient stone city of Hattusa. When he inserted the tablet into a perfectly shaped gap in the walls of the South East Lion Gate, it completed a hidden map to Tarhuun’s temple.
At press time, an exhausted Gates had finally reached the temple’s inner sanctum only to find his old nemesis, Dr. François Escoffier already there, stroking his mustache and menacingly exclaiming “well well well… so we meet again”.