Gena coughed when dust from the cardboard boxes flew into the air. She pulled it forward then collapsed on the floor next to it sweating in the sweltering attic.
"Hey Gena, you ok?" Sam's voice came from downstairs.
"Yeah, can you grab this box when i hand it to you?" Gena got to her knees and shoved the box closer to the hole in the floor.
"Sure! I'm excited to see what was in that attic! It was sealed up so well that if we didn't have that pipe burst it probably wouldn't be found untill they tore it down!" Sam grabbed the box and set it on the floor then held a hand out to Gena.
"I know! This house was owned by my great grandparents years ago, i wonder why they sealed it up."
"I just got off the phone with grandma and she said that she never knew there was an attic." Sam scratched his head.
Gena rose her eyebrows then dragged the box to the couch. She pulled the tape off and slowly pulled the cardboard open. Inside the cardboard box was a metal safe.
"Woah! maybe there are something like old coins that we could sell for a fortune!" Sam's eyes widened.
Gena frowned and pulled the safe from the box and touched the handle. "Hey Sam try to open this."
Sam made a gutteral pur in the back of his throat and grabbed the handle and squeezed. the handle crumbled as he yanked the door off the safe. the safe went flying and a single glass tablet fell onto Gena's lap.
"Wow this si so wierd! she touched the surface gently. the tablet started to hum and words flashed over the surface.
"Well what is it?" Sam asked.
"It... It's a letter of sorts."
"Well read it then!" Sam flopped onto the couch across from Gena and popped a candy into his mouth. Gena started:
Location: Zirom, Stalgud // Lizenstran sat labs
My name is Mica. I live in a world that is enclosed by enormous steel walls. Outside of the expansive wall exists an endless wasteland filled with unspeakable dangers. But we are safe within the wall. We are protected.
I live in the only village in my world. Our village is small, the huts are plain and no more than twenty people inhabit it. Occasionally we are visited by them. The protectors. It is an honorable occupation. They bring us things we are unable to make such as iron pots for our cook fires and they protect us from that which would harm us. We are content to stay here, near our houses and fields and not stray past the river that cuts the land between us and the dark forest.
As I leave my dwelling, I am greeted by the yellow sun but the only sound is that from the wind that blows among the tops of the forest beyond the river. Dew from the night is just drying from the brown grass. As I do every day, I leave my house to go to my garden. We earn our living from the gardens, and the produce sustains our lives. We gather what we need systematically. We plant and gather our crops so that we will always have food at any given moment. Those who are lazy and do not tend to their plots must gain talents to convince us to share, or to take without notice. My plot is farthest from the village, closest to the river. Often, I have taken water from there to water my garden instead of tramping all the way back to the village well. We are not supposed to take water from the river because the river is infested with dangerous creatures that cannot be removed.
I had just gotten water from the river as I looked up across the river. Standing there was a person who was watching us work. I slowly backed up the steep hill not taking my eyes from the person. I hugged my bucket close against me, splashing most of the water on myself as I tripped. I stood transfixed at the top of the hill level with the being. He continued to scan the area until he saw me. He froze, then the next instant he vanished.
Gena paused and looked up at sam.
"Zirom... that sounds familiar. Wasn't there an earthquake there that caused a sinkhole in the middle of the grasslands?"
Sam looked at her, brow wrinkled. "Yeah, but it wasn't broadcasted much, almost like it was hushed up. I remember feeling funny when I couldn't find any data for my final thesis."
Gena looked back at the strange glass-like tablet. "I don't think we should tell anyone about this. Not yet at least. I have a funny feeling that the earthquake wasn't what we are told it was."
Sam nodded in agreement then they turned their attention back to Mica's story.
At orb’s turning, Boron fell silent under the hazy blue light. A lone figure walked along silently and half hidden by tall grasses and brush which lined the river bank. Mica stopped and stared across the churning water.
‘Who was that?’ she questioned herself as she searched the opposite bank. For a moment she felt the urge to cross the water.
But there are creatures in there! An insistent voice seemed to whisper in her ear.
She gazed at the dark blue liquid as it flowed and rolled over itself. Finally she shook her head and started to turn.
At the sound of a breaking branch, she spun around and plunged down the river bank. Within minutes she had crossed a fallen trunk and was standing in front of a grove of trees that seemed to be staring menacingly down upon her. She took a deep breath and plunged between the dark folliage.
The mottled shadows swayed on the forest floor. The quiet hush of the tree tops above muffled Mica’s footsteps as she stepped into a sheltered clearing. Standing still, she searched the area with her eyes for any sign of the person she had seen. Across the clearing some brush rustled. Mica moved forward as the leaves shifted beneath her feet.