Brilliant blue, blinding bright. The portal swirled and snapped shut without a whir or a sound, like the eerie silence of a snow filled night. Not a flap of clothes or a puff of dust was disturbed in the frozen ruins, and the light was gone.

A pause.

The chamber exploded.

Perhaps it was the change in light, or perhaps he’d lost consciousness for a moment, the boy saw darkness and specks of light. He rubbed his eyes, taking a moment to remember where he was. His everything hurt, bad. He could feel a trickle of warm blood run down his nose, he wiped it away with his sleeve and sat up.


His voice carried far through the dark stone passages, but none returned to answer.


He got up, limping a bit from a broken leg. His eyes began to adjust and he saw a pile of rubble where the archaic platform once sat. His cold fingers ached as he tried in vain to move the stones, but a child’s strength only goes so far.

“Father, please…”

He turned over a stone and noticed a faint glint. It was the ring his father had always worn. The boy slipped it onto his finger and kept digging, the cold metal burned his finger but he didn’t care.

A few hours had gone by, he’d uncovered part of the platform and was met with astonishment. No bodies were there, and the controls were shattered to unrecognizable bits. He took a seat against the wall, defeated. He noticed a knapsack nearby, it had been his mother’s. He crawled over and dug around inside, finding a torch and flint. He struck it and soon had a small fire to keep him warm.

He didn’t sleep that night, for he was not alone in the ruins.

He was far from alone.

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