S3E09: Tiamat Gnaws
Season 3 | Episode 09
Meanwhile, the E-DEN mining shaft is attacked as well.
The grinding screech of rock followed by a bone-rattling explosion knocked me to my knees. Dust and debris rained down as emergency sirens began blaring throughout the cavern. I scrambled to my feet, ears ringing from the blast. Around me, Anunnaki workers were shouting and scrambling for safety.
“Damage report!” I yelled into my communicator over the chaos. Static answered. The network was down.
Making my way through the haze, I began checking on the injured nearest me. Most had only superficial wounds, but several had been caught in the collapse of scaffolding and pinned by heavy equipment. Their cries for help spurred me into action.
“You there, help me lift this off him!” I called to a large Anunnaki worker. Together we strained against the massive drill pinning the young Anunnaki beneath it. With a final heave, we rolled it aside and pulled him free.
“Stay with him, Medics are on the way.”
I continued working my way deeper into the mine, the dust beginning to clear. The devastation became clearer with each step. Huge sections of carved rock had collapsed, leaving piles of rubble blocking much of the main tunnels. If there were miners trapped on the other side, it could take days to dig through.
My heart clenched when I saw the first signs of human workers caught in the destruction. Their fragile bodies stood no chance against the onslaught. I whispered a prayer over them and moved on, sorrow a bitter knot in my chest. There would be time to mourn later. Right now, lives hung in the balance.
Finding a small contingent of Anunnaki miners, I organized them into search and rescue teams. We quickly set up triage for the injured while others headed into the unstable tunnels to look for any survivors. It was dangerous work, but we had to act fast if there was any hope of pulling more workers out alive.
Hours passed in a blur of activity as we struggled to shore up collapsing sections, dig out trapped miners and tend to the wounded. I pushed my team to keep going, even as exhaustion threatened to take over. We could rest after we’d gotten the last person to safety.
Finally, we recovered the last buried survivor – one of the few human miners well back from the initial blast. I breathed a deep sigh of relief as we emerged back into daylight, the line of rescued workers proof of what unity and determination could achieve.
The feeling of accomplishment soon faded as I took in the full scale of the damage. This was no ordinary collapse due to unstable rock or improper structural supports. The explosion had been centered on the most critical juncture of tunnels deep in the mine. Someone had known exactly how to cripple production with a single, strategic strike.
Rage simmered in my heart as I realized what this meant. No accident – this was an intentional, orchestrated attack. And I knew without a doubt who was behind it. The same one who had tried to raze Eden and had callously murdered my beloved Dumuzi in cold blood: Enlil.
Fury rising, I made my way quickly to where I knew my father, Enki, would be found. He stood nearby surveying the devastation, his face grave.
“Father, this was no cave in,” I said without preamble. “You know who did this.”
Enki’s jaw tightened, eyes flashing. “Tiamat. It bears all the hallmarks of my brother’s signature.”
I nodded. “He has become ruthless beyond measure. Today he targeted the source of our civilization’s mission. The humans and Anunnaki now lie dead or dying by his hand.”
“And it will only get worse, I fear,” Enki replied heavily. “He will not stop until we are all under his heel…or dead.”
I met his gaze unflinchingly. “Then we will stop him first.”
Enki searched my face for a long moment before replying. “So it has come to open war between us at last. I pray we have the strength for what is to come.”
He embraced me fiercely then, pride mingling with sorrow in his eyes. I returned it with equal fervor, heart swelling. The battle lines were now clearly drawn. If Enlil wanted war, then, by all means, war he would have.
After sharing counsel with my father, I returned to organizing the recovery efforts at the command center. Reports told the rubble still held countless deceased to be recovered and honored. Their sacrifice strengthened my resolve to make Enlil pay for every precious life lost here today.
While coordinating with rescue teams via comms, a thought struck me. We had evacuated all the miners we could reach…but what about those in the most remote shafts and caverns? There could still be trapped survivors far below that we had not been able to get to yet.
I quickly assembled a team of Anunnaki and Igiggi volunteers. “There may still be those unaccounted for in the deepest tunnels,” I messaged them. “We have to search every chamber, leave no stone unturned.”
My team readily agreed, their courage fueling my own. They gathered equipment and descended back into the unstable mine, heading for the most isolated, dangerous areas. If there were any survivors left, we would find them.
Progress was agonizingly slow as they squeezed through collapsed corridors, climbed over piles of rubble, and reinforced crumbling sections. They called out periodically, straining to hear any response over the groans and shiftings of stone.
“Lady Inanna, we seem to have picked up some sounds… what?… a second my lady…”
Finally, they picked up the faintest answering cries ahead. My heart leaped.
“This way! We’re coming for you!”
I heard over the comms, my heart racing with hope.
“My princess, we have survivors over this section, will report soon. Over!”
Having found the lost miners, all that remained was getting them safely back to the surface. The journey out was painfully slow, but my team kept spirits high with songs and stories. The humans’ courage was humbling. Even those in great pain made little complaint.
At long last, they emerged into blinding daylight. A cry went up from the crowd still gathered at the mine entrance. I, myself, wept tears of joy here at the command center, thanking them profusely for saving them.
The survivor’s gratitude left me deeply moved. We had aided them simply out of duty and compassion, not for thanks. But knowing we had given these people their lives and families back made all our efforts worthwhile.
As the rescued miners were tended to, I disconnected the comms and found a quiet corner and sank down exhausted but filled with purpose. We would need that sense of unified strength in the dark days ahead.
Enlil wished to destroy our spirit, extinguish the light of knowledge and crush humankind back into mute servitude. But we had proven here that when united as one people, we could overcome the greatest obstacles. And united we would stand against Enlil’s malice until the light prevailed.
This was far from over. But now my father and I knew definitively that open war was upon us. No more hiding or attempts at reconciliation. The time for true justice had come at last.
“Lady Inanna! I’m sorry to interrupt, but a tragedy at Babylon is underway…”
“A tragedy… what happened?”
“It seems the city was attacked fiercely during the festivities, you should come as soon as you can, the people need you!”