Statement of Jonathan Sims regarding his exploration of the tunnels recently discovered below the Archives.
John is tired and not fully recovered from Jane Prentiss' attack on the Archives. Although he has been officially off work for a month he has been exploring the tunnels beneath the Institute for a couple of weeks on two different expeditions, even before he officially returned to work.
As Martin is no longer living in the Archives, he was able to get the key from Elias' desk and get into the trap door one night. Equipped with a torch, he descended into the trap door and down the steps. Underneath he found that the corridors were all different shapes and sized, winding around unpredictably and organically.
After half an hour of exploring he found dead worms, with a clear line between worm filled and worm free corridors. After an hour of searching he grew concerned that his torch might run out of power and decided to turn back. On the way he found several doors, including the one to the room with the worms in a circle on the wall that Tim mentioned. The circle was 10 feet in diameter and the stone within seemed warped and wavy, as though it was liquid before solidifying back into rock. There was a channel through the worm corpses on the floor, suggesting someone else had been in the room. He surfaced at 3am.
After a week's worth of recovering, John ventured into the tunnels again, ready with 3 torches, a day's worth of batteries, food and water, white chalk, a large knife and a CO2 canister from the Archives. As he explored, he marked an arrow on the walls pointing the way he had come. Within half an hour he was further than last time, into where Millbank Prison had stood.
John reflected on Millbank Prison: it first proposed and designed in 1799 as a panopticon prison, with cells arranged around a central guard tower, but this design was abandoned in 1812. From there, it passed through various designers before Robert Smirke was brought on in 1815, and saw the project to completion in 1821. Smirke's design was fairly similar to the original, but instead of being geometric and easy to navigate, Smirke's was built as an eccentric maze. It was closed in 1890 and subsequently demolished.
Eventually John found a set of stairs which went up into a stone wall, and further down. He decided that he would explore all of the first level before he continued downwards, but soon found another staircase with an arrow he did not draw pointing downwards. Following it, he came into a straight angled corridor and heard soft footsteps up ahead. Four levels down, he found an old wine bottle from 2003. After drawing an arrow on the wall he looked up to see the turn at the end of the corridor had disappeared. He turned around and found the way he had come had gone. Stepping back in astonishment he bumped into the wall behind him. The walls were closing in on him without seeming to move. After a few minutes, he heard a single word from the darkness: "leave". He did and returned to the Archives. He ends the statement by saying "finding whatever secrets might be lurking in those tunnels is my primary concern".
John does not care too much about the tunnels, but really wants to discover the cause of Gertrude's fate. He believes someone at the Archives is responsible. Elias is the most likely person, but any of his colleagues could have done it. He intends to make supplemental recordings on his spare tape recorder and will hide the tapes whilst he investigates what is happening at the core of the Archives. He hopes that by overstating his interest in the tunnels, his colleagues may let their guard down.
|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This section contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- Related Entity: The Buried and The Corruption.
- In MAG 80, Jurgen Leitner admits to using The Seven Lamps of Architecture to move the upper levels of the tunnels in order to keep John contained.