Considering we will finish this story in 2016, a Leap Year, we are now officially one third of the way into the King's Challenge!
Subdued lights come on everywhere, of soft blue and green. The angular design of the space proves this is the top of the Spire, within the pyramidal point. The perimeter hosts low counters filled with blinking lights, while a contoured chair squats in the centre.
I hunker beside the chair and realise there are windows all around at eye-level, when seated.
Setting my pack on the floor, along with the lantern, which snuffs as soon as I release it, I sit in the chair. The seat swivels, allowing me to view the world outside from all angles. This height gifts vantage to the territories beyond Arc and it is simply breathtaking.
To the south there are endless plains of both green and gold. Rivers glint. Dark, shivering lines upon those mighty expanses confuses me, until I understand the larger mammals are migrating … or fleeing the danger from the heavens.
West reveals shifting sands and beyond them are palm trees and an azure ocean. I have never seen the sea and I am entranced for a time. Massive birds wing through the sky.
Dawn sky, I realise, and shift to the east. Indeed, the sun rises over Massin. A tear slides over my cheek. It is beautiful beyond measure. I see the mountains of the plateau, and beyond, far distant, I notice snow fields and ice-capped peaks.
I slowly face the northern view, my heart pounding.
An instant later I bend over the blinking lights, heaving, panicked, frightened. The orb on approach is on fire! The asteroid will hit Massin within an hour. By the stars, this is Massin’s final morning. The sunrise is the last our world will see for many years if I do not do something now.
I lost track of the days inside this monolith! Swallowing dryly, I stare at the lights and symbols arrayed before me. What do I do?