A shovel pushed down into the soil, slowly lifting the dense material up and tossing it into the large container in the center of the pit. The shovel was in the hands of one of three men, coated in sweat as they struggled to burrow deeper. Occasionally the container would be lifted up to be emptied topside, before being lowered down again. During those moments the men leaned on their shovels and drank from their canteens.
"What the hell do they think they're gonna find down here anyhow? Ain't found nothin' so far but dirt and rocks, and you can get that just as easy with a lotta short holes." The others nodded, before another spoke up, "And if they really want to dig down deep they got tha' machines to do it. Gotta be easier and faster than havin' us work our hands to the bone."
"Shutup and get back ta' work!" A voice called from above, as the container was lowered down again. A few muttered swears preceded the joining of shovel blade and ground. The tossing of the dirt slowed as they went deeper, the soil harder and thicker. For hours they dug, before the sun finally began to set and they were lowered a ladder.
After a simple and cheap dinner the men went to sleep, meanwhile a second team of men worked through the night to dig deeper still. As the night reached its darkest moments, one of the diggers suddenly vanished. His fellows looked over to find he'd reached some sort of cavern and fallen in. Before they could call for help, the ground beneath their feet crumbled and sent them down after him.
The man awoke in what looked like an old building, filled with patches of water and mud as well as plant life. The occasional insect and lizard crawled by him in the dark. Picking up his lantern, he pulled a matchbox out of his pocket and lit the lantern. Looking around he spotted his two fellows who'd fallen after him.
Approaching them he found one had landed on his shovel, and lost his head. The other looked fine, so he roused him only to discover he had a broken leg. Not willing to abandon someone here, he looked around the room before finding a few broken metal beams as well as some thick vines. Using them he fashioned a primitive splint, and offered to let his companion lean on him until they found something to use as a crutch.
Further examination of the room lead them to a singular door, half open and oddly shaped. As they approached it shuddered, before opening completely of its own accord. Not willing to question their good luck just yet, the two men ignored it and made their way through the door into a long hallway.
Odd stains littered the floors and walls, along with the occasional patch of broken concrete. Vines covered segments here as well. They soon found another oddly shaped door, this one closed. But when they approached the door shuddered to life and opened. Once they walked through it they found a larger room, with dim lights above, and a pit in the middle filled with murky water.
The man with the broken leg sighed and told his friend to continue on ahead, as there was another door across the pit. He shook his head, and sat at the edge of the pit to see how deep it was. Not willing to go too far off the edge, he found the water was at least up to his waist and probably deeper. His wounded companion wasn't going to make it across, so he bid a farewell promising to return.
Climbing into the water he began to swim across, noting that it was too deep to walk. Once he reached the other side he climbed up and exited through the door into another long hallway. At the end of it was another large room, with a very large machine sitting in the middle of it.
The man cautiously approached it, examining it and finding it was nothing like any machine he'd ever seen. He poked at it slowly, before examining the tarnished metal. He jumped back when groaning noise erupted from the machine. The groaning and creaking of old joints moving again, the slow whir of a computer.
He slowly stepped back and watched as the machine lifted itself up, and it was only then that he noticed it was attached to the ceiling. The thing lifted up completely off the ground, before a bright yellow light on the front of it turned on. It stared at him like an eye, before he heard a robotic voice reverberate around the room. "After all these years, the testing can commence again..."