NEW STAR: HORIZON (THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES)

THE VILLAGE
Just over the hill, he said. Well he forgot the part about the twenty kilometers that was past it. Over the next two hours, Matt watched the surrounding landscape get flatter, the rocks get smaller and the sand recede. Old man mentioned he would come to a large knoll at least 100 meters high, and Matt soon realized that he was going to have to climb it.
It took at least 15 minutes to reach the top. Matt saw the amazing view of the desert plain all the way the sea. “Wow, climbing that strenuous peak was worth the trip.” From there he could see a vast array of launch pads surrounding a control center. The concrete launch platforms themselves were left abandoned, Battered, but felt haunted and weirdly beautiful in a complex once intended for something more ominous.
Beyond there, was the ocean. “The Colored Sea,” The Old Man didn’t know where they got the name. Just beyond that the right was and instillation. It is on the Gem River where the Khad Refinery cooling towers are visible across the Desert. The Khad had been very busy.
Matt knew that he should have been tired but he was too emotional to stop. He couldn’t get Jihan’s image out of his mind, he just had to get to the Riverside Village before her wedding took place.
The architecture began to turn decisively peculiar. Zygotic shell shaped huts with arches were everywhere. Most abodes had a large domed-shaped casing that made it difficult for anyone to see inside. The outer layer of the husk was scales that overlapped the coverings to the outside.
The human themselves walked freely among the reptilian populace. The only indication the humans were under rule came from the merchants who bowed whenever formally dressed Khad reptiles walked by.
Regular villagers wore traditional style hijabs for women. The men they wore robes. The dress was perfect for the desert climate allowing any breeze to circulate whilst retaining its practicality and modesty.
No one noticed Matt or considered him a stranger. Either people came and went all the time and the villagers were completely detached from their surroundings. As if they had become oblivious to their own captivity unaware that their freedom had been taken from them.
“FORCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL CAN TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING YOU POSSESS EXCEPT ONE THING, YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HOW YOU WILL RESPOND TO THE SITUATION.”

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