Darkness is turning to light. It has taken longer to get here than I had predicted. But I have made it before dawn—just barely. I’m too exhausted to celebrate. As good as it is to finally arrive, I still have no idea what my mission is other than delivering this book to the observatory.
The building’s walls are made from three different kinds of stones climbing up to the 10-storied observatory. No windows, no doors. Until I’m inside and have made contact, I haven’t really accomplished a thing.
On the fourth side, there is a patterned outcropping of stones. Hah, it’s a climbing wall. Normally, I wouldn’t hesitate, but I’m beat. I still could do it, but I can’t convince any part of myself that my balance is strong.
“What choice do I have?” I ask myself out loud.
I leave my pack and coat on the ground. As I start up, I realize it’s going to be more difficult than I had calculated. It’s slippery from the night dew. About twenty feet up, I lose footing…
My eyes snap open. The rain is gone. I’m staring up at a clear sky, but there’s a distortion. I realize that I’m inside the observatory’s dome resting on a comfortable bed. The body aches are gone–including the pain in my shoulder.
“How did I heal? How did I get in?”
I check to see if I’m numb from any painkiller. I slowly get up and stretch. I am good. Yet, I don’t understand why there isn’t the slightest pain. But that can be figured out later.
I continue my visual exploration. Masks!
How did I not notice them when I got up? They were looking over me all the time. Very different and powerful vibes from each of them. Were they used to heal, make rain, or celebrate? I doubt that these masks could bring rain or heal the sick, but I couldn’t deny they had a powerful presence.
I start to get a little paranoid. “Why was I sleeping next to these masks?” I wonder. Why are these masks in a building dedicated to science?”
I can’t explain it, but as I focus on individual mask, a newr question pops into my mind.
“Outside of family members, What person do you remember most when you were a child?”
“How often would you say you get what you want?”
“What thing always makes you smile when you think or see it?”
Answers from the questions start bumping into each other. My mind goes into overload. Too much to process, so I don’t understand anything.
“Move on. Come back later if you choose. “
My eyes shift to the telescope. It’s cone spans 200 feet.
Never been this close up to such a big and powerful instrument. How deep into the universe can it take me?
I marvel at its majesty. Then my mind wander off to the seeming contradiction of science and superstition sharing the same space. Across the room a voice interrupts my thoughts
Startled, I turn to see a very tall, powerfully built man dressed in working clothes with long boots approaching. He is over seven feet tall. His tone and broad smile are comforting. This must be my rescuer.
“Welcome! I’m Oman”
As I begin to nod at him and introduce myself, a sudden screeching shatters the calm. A large object in the sky is descending upon us at a menacing speed!
I freeze knowing Zard has found me.