Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chapter 16

Lagolen makes a crash landing onto the shore of the river at the base of the gorge. He works his way to the top of the gorge and through a rice field until he arrived at the main Temple. There he followed the long tradition but recently outlawed practice of bowing before the Temple to honor their religion and their former leaders, the Masters. Knowing his action would alter his future forever, he fell to his knees in the prescribed manner and honored his traditions. Immediately, he was captured by the Temple guards but, as he was being taken away, he overheard that the Kevutian man in charge (the maceoran) was dead and managed to tell others before he was taken away to the dreaded detention center.

An excerpt:

Lagolen’s feet hit the wet ground on the bank of the shallow central river, but he had come in too fast. He toppled over himself and rolled head over feet, then sideways, until he ended up flat on his back on a bed of wet stones and gravel. HIs bodysuit helped protect him against cuts and scratches but his hands were left unprotected and now had several bloody abrasions. He gathered himself together and moved to the edge of the moving water to wash his hands. He wiped his wet hands along his forehead and noticed some additional blood: a cut on the side of his head just before the hairline. It did not seem serious. What was more difficult than the scratches was the overall pain in his body. It reminded him that he was no longer young and agile. Muscles and joints ached. He moved slowly and assessed his pains to make sure there was nothing serious.

Satisfied that his pains were mostly just bothersome he moved away from the river and walked along its stony bank, heading north. On either side of him, the walls of the canyon rose straight up. It was dark down at the bottom because the sun’s light was fading, but the slit of sky above him was still bright and tinged green. He was not in a hurry; the dark of night would be what he needed to complete his journey. He was able to make out a stairway that led to yet another bridge overhead and made his way up the steps until he reached the top. By the time he had worked his way there, it was mostly dark.

He headed east and found his way into a rice field. With the fading light on his back, he simply pushed forward through the wet grass. By the time he reached the other side of the field the landscape was almost completely covered in darkness but this was no impediment to him. He knew his way all too well. He had been making this journey all his life, though he usually approached from his home in the north. He knew that soon the wet rice field would become more dry and solid and then he would reach the graduated terraces that led to the chantry.

When he did reach the first of three levels, he stopped to catch his breath. From here he could make out his objective. The torches set inside the chantry lit its interior and shone as a shining landmark in the dark. It was large; in fact, it was several buildings connected together, for it once served as the residences and the administrative center for the Masters. All the buildings focused on one central but forward edifice that stood higher than the rest. Inside were the symbols that represented the Masters and the history of the people of Myshka. It was the focus for adoration and consecration. It was also his goal. He could just make out the corner of the tower of that building from this angle. He was approaching its northwest corner and would need to come around to its front to complete his task.