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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Chapter 7 - Mainland

Jude came to in the early morning. His body weak from the previous day's adventure, he broke open one of the cans in his bag and ate it. He then drank about half of one of his water bottles.

Not sure of what to do, he removed the cube he had found in the home back on the island. He turned the faces, trying to align them so that each face would be of one color. He instinctively knew that this was the objective. Right, up, left, down, forward, right, down - he was unable to figure out exactly how he could solve the cube.

Frustrated, he put the cube back into his bag. Looking at the land around him, he saw that it was much the same as the island upon which he was borne and bred. Not knowing where to go or what to do, Jude headed to the largest building that was still standing.

He arrived at the building ten or so minutes later. The doors to the building were apparently automatic doors, however no electricity had been given to them since the invasion decades ago. Fortunately for Jude, the doors were made of glass, and so shot a single low-powered beam from his rifle. The windows shattered in an explosion of heat and light. Stepping through the doorway and through the debris now falling where once there had been a door, Jude was surprised at what he saw.

The building's halls were made of marble, and farther down the entrance hall was a lobby. Entering the lobby, Jude looked around. A wooden counter still stood in one corner of the lobby, but the rest had been destroyed, likely by kryon invaders.

Looking around, Jude saw what appeared to be an elevator shaft, although after melting the doors, there was no elevator to be found. Looking downwards, he saw that the building descended into three or four basement floors, and looking up, he saw nine or ten more floors, and after that sky. The top floors must have been lost during the war.

Jude looked down the shaft again. Whoever occupied this building during the war, he thought, probably stored ammunition and weaponry in here. They are probably located in one of the basements, in case the higher floors were destroyed by bombings.

Looking uneasily down the shaft, Jude noticed an emergency ladder made only of small metal pipe handholds. He climbed down the ladder until it reached the next floor.
Jude swung off of the ladder into the room that was on the next floor down. He walked in, and did not believe what he saw.

There, on the wall, was a poster map that had somehow survived the war. Jude had never seen a map of the world, so he did not know whether it was of his own or of an alien world far away. But then he thought he realized the answer. The writing on it was not the language he knew, and he had been taught that it was the language that was spoken in this land before the invasion. Nor was it a language written in the same alphabet, but it was a flowing script with strange sigils, unusual accents, and odd punctuation. Stranger still, he realized that the text for each area of the map flowed in a fractal.

Jude was positive that this was the world responsible for the burning of his own: the world of Kryon. And he then noticed something else that guaranteed it to him. Lying there at the base of the map, was a skeleton. The skeleton was not a human one buy any means. Rather, resembled one octopuses Jude had seen in books, though it had a small body and what appeared to be close to one hundred or so arms.

In its tentacles it held a gun, though upon closer inspection, the gun was broken and unusable. Not even its battery release lever worked. Cursing, Jude threw it against the wall.

He went back to the elevator shaft and climbed down another floor.

This room had black burn marks across the walls, and both human and kryon skeletons were scattered everywhere. Ashes from shots covered the floor. It was very obviously the site of a battle during the war.

Jude wandered around trying to see if the guns had salvageable batteries. A few did, though not nearly as many as he would have expected. He figured the battle had lasted for some time, and that most of the batteries had died during the fight.

Jude went back up the two floors of the shaft that he had gone down. He left the building, and was surprised to see that it was already night again, and the aurora was out in full swing again.

And then it hit him. The text on the map was not based on any Earthen script, but on something else.

It was a script based on auroras.


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