ArrivalJuly 2005  –  I was overcome by nausea as I arrived and within seconds the tension in my tired body disappeared.  The first few times Slade and I linked while underground was not a pleasant experience.  I often became ill for a few minutes after arriving at our destination.  Slade on the other hand handled the transitions with ease.  He laughed at me constantly while I recovered.  The after effects soon disappeared and I promised Slade I would get even, but now that would never happen.  I quickly discovered the unpleasant side effects were reduced as I became more experienced at linking.

My link now complete, I tried to focus my eyes on the surroundings but unfamiliar light clouded my vision.  I opened the small book in my hands but was unable to see the linking panel clearly.  I swallowed hard.  Lack of food and water did not help my weakened state and I fell forward face first.  I lay still for a few minutes until I had the energy to stand.  I wiped blood from my nose and gathered my senses.  I felt the sickness rise in my throat as I struggled to my feet.  My eyes gradually adjusted to the new light as I gazed around.  I appeared to be standing on a high mountain.  Clouds reached out to the horizon as far as I could see.  A small structure ahead sat prominently on the upper side.  A few small healthy trees were scattered about.  I walked forward and fought off the urge to be sick.  To my left were four delicately carved pieces of heavy round wood, each emblazoned with the same symbol and embedded into the shallow hillside.  Off in the distance a smaller peak nosed through the clouds.  For the moment my mind turned to thoughts of food and I wandered to the door of the small hut and opened it.  Inside were two small bookshelves and a large wardrobe type closet.  I opened the doors of the closet in search of something to eat and only found a few simple clothing items.

I pulled the book from the left case and opened it.  Inside was a linking panel.  I was surprised to see a familiar site on the page.  The image was clearly an area of D’ni that I had visited a few months back.  For an instant my mind and my stomach reminded me of the supplies that I had taken from unsuspecting explorers.  I closed the book and placed it back in its slot.  The other case contained a variety of books with inscriptions that I recognized.  I opened the books and found the writing to be a crude but elegant form of English.  I recognized a few of the passages as those that Slade would recite while drinking heavily.  I tried to make everything make sense in my mind but I had to find something to eat.

I stepped back outside and approached the four round logs.  I stood for a moment and reflected on what had just happened in the hole near the volcano.  My head was spinning with confusing thoughts about where I had arrived and what I should do next.  I replayed the vision of the young woman over and over in my mind.  I was physically and mentally exhausted and I questioned my ability to think rationally.  For a moment I stared at one of the symbols on the logs.  I reached out and touched it.  I instinctively knew what would happen.

I watched as the top face of the log opened to reveal another linking book.  I touched the remaining three symbols on the other logs and linking books were resting inside each of them.  I knelt and examined each linking panel.  I did not recognize any of the images.  Would there be food and water in these places or should I risk linking directly into the heart of the city?  Either option would be risky at best.

I sat down and thought about Slade.  I repeated the words of the young woman over and over in my mind..  “Some will seek that destination, but you must continue your journey”.  In that instant in the hole I had a choice.  Did Slade also have a choice?  Had Slade also seen the young woman and chose only the destination?  Perhaps.  The more I thought about it the more it made sense.  This might explain why Slade was bordering on insanity and drinking so heavily.  My gut feeling told me I might be right.  And what happened to his body?  What other powers did the young woman possess besides being able to materialize out of nothing and vanish into thin air?

I could stand the hunger no longer.  I had five choices.  I could spend weeks or months wandering around desolate ages starving to death or I could link directly into the city and get food.  I decided to risk it.  I walked into the small hut and reached for the single book in the left case.  I opened it and touched the linking panel.  I knew I would be weakened upon my arrival but I had no choice.

My will to survive would be rewarded..

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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