At the Gates
As the sun secedes from the day to reveal the federal members of the celestial alliance, a mysterious figure appears on the landscape.
There is a scurry of activity in the encampment as the watchers set up their posts, firing up their beacons while oblivious to the presence of the visitor looking on from the distance. The gradual increase in intensity of the perimeter lights radiate outwards, meeting the approaching line of darkness head on, resisting its advance like an invisible wall. And so, the camp ritual starts over as its inhabitants prepare to take to their positions in readiness for what is to come.
With the ensuing darkness spreading ever further across the sea of sand, engulfing all that come within its reach, a solitary silhouette from the camp separates out of the darkness and meanders across the void towards the visitor who is unaware of the event about to unfold. The visitor, slowly being surrounded by the dark silence, focuses on the distant watch posts of the camp as the shadowy figure draws nearer.
Meanwhile, the deadly preparations outside the encampment continue under cover of the growing darkness. The unseen creatures of this work move steadily and quietly towards their ultimate goal scheduled for night’s end. The only indication of this activity is the stirring of the sands at the boundaries where light meets dark. Like miniature sandstorms rising and whirling around for a brief moment before settling back down to the ground.
As the deafly silence joins with the ever-darkening shades of night to spread over the land, finally swallowing up the last traces of daylight and daytime sounds, the visitor becomes aware of his predicament though not knowing what is to follow. He turns to see the figure from the shadows now standing beside him.
What will be his next move?