The Dais

He brushed away at the tablets, slowly revealing the ancient etchings. The heat was unbearable and dehydration was creeping through his body, but there was no time to spare. He was meant to be gathering the last of his belongings. The camp was to be evacuated by sundown, but he couldn’t abandon his research now.

The answers were all right before him. Each stroke of the brush brought another secret into the light of day. The knowledge carved into the earth here was worth dying for. It could change the entire course of the war! He had demanded more men be sent across the desert, to delay the onslaught even for just another day, but those betting against him won the day and the decision was made.

Their heads would roll if he could even bring back a fraction of the stones, and what he had uncovered so far was enough. It was time to record his findings, report back to camp, and get something to drink. There was no way he could stop himself at this point. Every new glyph brought another epiphany. He could feel the breadth of his consciousness expanding, becoming ever closer with the universe. Life was not worth living if it wasn’t this every moment forward.

A gust of wind, like dragon’s breath, rose up from beneath the tablets. Panic suddenly broke him from the spell. A coughing fit overtook him. He reeled back, grasping for breath, only to get lung fulls of grit. The ground rumbled, and he fell atop a smooth surface. The banks of sand that had surrounded him were gone. Peering through sand filled eyes, he noticed the entire area was suddenly clear. And he was at the center of it.

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