The mines were dull. Every day the same job. Get mineral, put it in the wagon and sit tight until it arrives.

Smell the poisoned smell of Sulphur, of air with a very small quantity of oxygen, humid and wretched feeling that you're choking. People passing beside you, their sweat in the air. It was just another day in that mountain mine. Inside was coal, various minerals, and certain death if you don't use the oxygen pump wisely. The air is limited and its quantity is defined by your small oxygen tank you use deep in the caverns.

There is no treasure, no legends, not a wretched shiny diamond or gold. Every day is the same. Come to the spot, dress yourself in the suit, get the tools and hurry into those mines. Get to work.

This morning, a little earlier than before, the running into the mines was heard. It had to be Willy, he was so excited with work in the mine that breathing iron and feeling like you're gonna die didn't disturb him. They used to call him the Manic Miner! Bill was there, in the clothing room, looking lazily at Willy, running for his suit and preparing to enter the Mines! To do the routine and job he's been doing for years.

So excited with the underworld, beneath the ceiling that waits to be destroyed by a slight earthquake or something similar. Lowered down into the mines with a pulley, Willy was smiling. He shouldn't have! No one felt anything after that.

As Willy stopped at the ground, deep in the mine in his workplace, a quake hit the mines. Only Bill ran after Willy to save him, but devoured by a huge gap, they both fell into a large cave, hearing the creaks of some kind of machines and felling the ground so soft above their legs.

"What kind of room is this?" Bill asked.

Willy was still in shock, looking to the quicksand beneath them, lowering and lowering.

"Obviously some kind of Cavern, but jump out of this sand, it is taking us with it..." Willy said in astonishment as they started to pull themselves out of this sand. But this was obviously no sand, it was an unstable ceiling of the lower platform, and they eescaped just in time, as the platform collapsed!

"Some kind of Central Cavern!" Said Willy as he observed the wide room they've been trapped in.

Billy was scared and Willy was anxious. Their eyes met a few times, and Billy was looking terrible for a brave miner he was. His thoughts were obviously directed to the sound similar to some kind of sinister mechanics.

"What could be that sound" Asked Bill.

"Probably some ancient gear machine..." Said Willy, while tracking the sound of the machine. The platform beside the wall got smaller and smaller, so they had to work quickly.

"There is no future for us if we continue left, if we go there, we are history!" Willy exclaimed as he observed the ledge shrinking. Bill was still frightened. He looked down and all he say was abyss!

"Willy, we will die here!" Said Bill, terrified by the rock dissapearing into the oblivion from the ledge.

"No one will die if we act normally... For example, a normal miner would follow the light if there was any... But since there isn't... We..." Willy was lost in thoughts. Frightened himself, he looked strangely down, it was something like red stone.

"Let's give it a shot, Bill... Let us jump down there and continue." Said Willy as he saw the hope down at the stone.

"Not down there..." Said Billy as he saw the height to down.

"We could climb down there... The ledge is secure to the point..." Said Willy, but was stopped by the collapsing ledge, which sent poor Bill into the darkness.

"Bill! Bill! No!" Shouted Willy as he saw his friend falling in the abyss.

He had to work fast, this collapsing ledge was frustrating and he had to go down quick, so he chained himself to the ledge, so it would smooth his fall. Then he jumped! The ledge constantly fell apart as his hook made it so, and he landed on a nice and a bit bouncy ground. The gear sound was heard more and more.

"This must be it, poor Bill, he will never know what these gears mean!" Said Willy to himself as he walked on the platform. The crumbling stones were heard as hitting at the abyss. Ledge was so strangely smooth and soft, but it was walkable and safe.

Willy continued a few meters when he arrived at the place where this platform stopped and another one continued upside. he climbed. A few steps forward, he hit stone, old sandstone wall right before the crumbling ledge. He ran. The closer he came to the next platform and climbed up, more he'd hear the gear sound. Coming up, he saw the big Conveyor belt, moving and moving in a perfect shape, despite the sticky dust on its surface.

Willy did want to explore, but his foot stopped as he saw a mechanic gear machine, walking on the conveyor belt.

"What on earth is that?" Cried Willy as he looked the brilliant mechanical contraption of this thing.

The roaring sound became louder and louder, so Willy jumped on the conveyor belt to get closer to this strange and irrational creature.

"So some ancient miners do live here..." He whispered.

"Miners... How ancient... How marvelous... Willy!" A voice said. Willy jumped in terror and saw a man on the top of this room, at the highest platform.

"Let's play Mountain king, one who reaches the higher, wins!" Said the man calmly. Willy was assured that ne living being exsist in this cavern or any other... He was wrong! Hearing the man calling him, he got closer to the monster and then passed between its feet. Climbing on the other ledge on the other side of the conveyor, he saw the monster turning and closing to him. Its mechanic hands coming to the end of the conveyor and then turning back!

Somewhat intelligent, the creature was returning from the certain death. Willy was more concerned about the 'Mountain king' game. As much as he'd love to follow this stranger into the obviously nice civilisation, he was afraid of strange occurences that would follow him. After climbing more and more, he approached to another ledge, leading straight to another sequel - The Cold Room.

To be continued...