The Artefact (Part 1)

posted in: Miscellaneous | 1
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They had arrived at their destination after weeks of journeying, a very ordinary mountain peak overlooking a stretch of land. It had not been easy to find the secret location, but the map had lead them true. The effort to find the map had been worth it. Hopefully the journey was too.

“We’ll have to wait for sunset before it will show,” the one traveller said, “Let’s set up camp, but be ready Albert – it is almost sunset.” The second merely nodded in agreement.

Food was cooked from the dwindling rations and the two ate in silence, watching as the shadows grew longer and the sun inched down. As it neared the horizon, the two packed up and hefted their backpacks.

Finally, the sun touched the horizon, beginning to sink into the sea. With that, a tiny glowing point appeared in the middle of the landscape before them. Albert took a hurried step forward, wondering how on time. However, his partner put her arm out to stop him.

“What, Verona? We’re going to miss it; you stopped us way too far. We won’t be able to get to it before the sun sets completely.”

“Look at it.”

Albert didn’t see anything that he hadn’t moments ago. “What?”

“It’s getting bigger. You’ve forgotten that its size depends on how much of the sun is touching the horizon. It’ll be the biggest when the sun is halfway gone, and then it will shrink. According to my calculations, we are in just the right spot.”

Albert watched the hole and, sure enough, it was expanding rapidly. It had been hard to spot in the first few seconds, but now he could see. A fiery ring grew through the landscape. The centre of the ring was dark, speckled with stars. In a few minutes, its expansion had slowed a few hundred metres from the pair. The ring was a couple kilometres diameter.

“Come, we must run to get into it before it begins shrinking,” ordered Verona and they both broke into a jog.

“Are you sure this is a good idea,” Albert questioned as they neared the fiery ring, “We do not know enough about what is on the other side. If there are creatures there that require the portal to be this big, we may have bitten off more than we can chew.”

“We will make it. We must. If we manage to steal it, we won’t have to worry about ever raiding again. I am certain it is well guarded, but we’ve been through many hard situations, this will be another to add to the list.”

They looked to one another, each remembering years of experience – journeys, danger and traps, and the jubilation of triumph. Each new adventure seemed to be the toughest one yet, but they managed through thick and thin.

“If we get through this, we deserve a vacation. And no one will be able to stop us,” said Verona.

With that, they held hands and jumped through the fiery ring.

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