Chapter 1

Across the Narrow Sea

The air was dry and devoid of moisture. The suit that I was wearing began to supply water to my skin, thus enabling the body to stay cool. Out in the middle of nowhere, a sandstorm was approaching. Quickly I headed for a dense row of bushes. The howl of the winds along with the mass of sand temporarily blinded my vision. After the storm had cleared, I could hear some commotion coming from the area just in front of where I was hiding.

Cautiously, I peeked out my head just enough so that I could see. There were a row of tents arranged in a semi-circular pattern. The tops of these tents were of various colors.

Nomads? As far as I knew, there had only been occasional travelers that would have likely ventured into this surrounding. To see what looked to be a large encampment certainly struck me as peculiar. I initially hesitated, but curiosity eventually got the better of me.

I quickly darted around the bush hedge to get a closer look. The people that I was able to see did indeed have the look of the ancients Some animated talk startled me, causing me to crouch behind some boulders. A tense exchange in a foreign language reached my ears. Two soldiers made the way in the direction of the boulders. I did my best to remain absolutely still.

"See anything?"

"No, you heard something?"

"I thought for sure that I heard the sound of someone running nearby." A mouse scurried by them.

"See, it was just another filthy rodent. Your mind is playing games on you my friend, no thanks to this glorious heat."

"I suppose so." The footsteps began to move away. Breathing a sigh of relief, I stole another glance. No less than 50 feet to the perimeter. I began to run when I hit something that felt like a brick wall, causing me to fall back onto the ground.

I nervously looked up to see a guard standing above me.

"Hi there, I was just measuring the soil outside of your camp and I must say, it's surprisingly glass like," I said with a forced smile. There was no reply from the soldier.

"So, is this alright?"

He took the butt end of his spear and whacked me in the forehead. My world turned to black.