As the Prime Sentennel came into orbit around Ahn La’Krane, Zahrul ordered the prisoners brought to the transporter. “Keep them bound,” he told the guards. “Especially the old one.”
The moons of Ahn La’Krane glowed an eery blue-green, reminding Bruce of the Earth’s northern lights of the aurora borealis. As he peered out the oval window of the cell, he glanced at his cell-mate, who perceived the question in his eyes.
“They are taking us to the Emporer Zarwik,” he said.
“The Zarwik in your story?”
“Yes, and no. It is the same Zarwik, but he is not the same person anymore.”
“You don’t seem worried? You never told me what he wants with you.” Bruce had been intrigued by the history of the Anuchians, but he couldn’t help but sense the Wizard was withholding something. “From what you told me last night, he really doesn’t seem that bad. He did try to help our species, right?”
“He did,” the Wizard replied. “And he helped us more than he knows. But the Chamber of Secrets changed him. Now he seeks the very thing he freely gave away.”
“And what is that?”
The explanation left Bruce even more confused as the Guards opened the door of the cell and beckoned the prisoners. Their hands were bound behind their backs with metal clamps, and they were escorted down a long corridor leading to an overhead door. Bruce was amazed by the enormous size of the vessel. The transporter dock was about the size of a football field, with over a hundred shuttles anchored by some form of ray shield to the floor of the ship. The prisoners were escorted into a small shuttle, where they were locked inside an inner glass chamber.
Bruce was still trying to get his mind around what was happening. Here he was in an alien spaceship with a man who claims to be over a thousand years old. Never in his wildest dreams could he have foreseen these events. He thought about his brother back on earth; and whether someone had reported him missing. He couldn’t even tell how long it had been. Even time did not seem to have the same effect this far from earth. Was Robert worried about him? Would he ever make it home?
As the shuttle took flight, a giant circular doorway opened on the far side of the transport dock, revealing the sheer beauty of the strange galaxy to which they had come. Bruce glanced at the Wizard, who was staring out into the fathoms of space. “Penny for your thoughts,” he said.
The Wizard’s eyes seemed to dance as he turned them towards Bruce. “Have you ever written a story, Bruth? If you don’t mind, I will call you ‘Bruth.'”
“Yes, a story.”
“I have written a little, when I was young. I used to dream of being a writer, actually.” Bruce couldn’t help but wonder what this line of questioning was all about. “Why do you ask?”
The Wizard smiled, “Because I think I know why you stopped to help me that night. You have been assigned a task by the Architects, my friend.”
“What makes you say that,” asked Bruce.
“I can tell a lot by gazing at the stars. I just saw something about you. You have a nephew, correct?”
“Yes, his name is Daniel.”
“Ahh, yes… Daniel. Well, you and Daniel have been assigned a task. I want you to begin to memorize as much about this trip as you can; and as soon as we get some paper, you are to keep a journal of everything.”
“Will do, Boss.”
The Wizard smiled again as he returned his gaze towards the front viewport of the shuttle. They were entering the lower orbit of Ann La Krane, the capital planet of the Anuchians. Bruce was amazed at the technology he was witnessing. Though they were plummeting through the outer layers of the atmosphere faster than any comet, the shuttle neither shook nor faltered. They sliced through the fiery clouds before them with ease and superiority. As the lights of the city of Ahn La Krane came into view, the Wizard noticed Bruce’s eyes widening.
“It’s spectacular, isn’t it,” he said.
“Abso…abso…lutely… amazing,” Bruce gasped as he struggled to find his words. As he peered down at the thousands of lights and skyscraping buildings, he noticed that the towering sructures were twice as tall as any building on earth, with large floating discs above each one. “What are those?” he asked, pointing towards one of the larger discs.
“Those are meditation chambers, similiar to the Chamber Made of Secrets I told you about, only smaller. They help the Anuchians combine their consciences and solve problems.”
“Fortunately for us, this world is divided. Zarwik has all but restored an ancient order, the Order of the Zars, but there are many still loyal to Alar and his son. For the Azarians, those chambers are used to tell dark stories.” The Wizard pointed towards the center of the city, where a large, pyramid-capped dome rose high above the surrounding structures. Bruce squinted as he focussed on the sparkling surface of the temple, then quickened as he realized what he saw.
“It’s the stuff the cell was lined with!”. He exclaimed as he looked for confirmation in the Wizard’s eyes.
“I told you it was a long story,” the Wizard replied. That, Bruth, is the Chamber made of secrets.”
“What is it,” Bruce asked as he peered down at the eery temple.
The shuttle was slowing down as it approached, and Bruce could see what looked like a landing pad at the base of the monument, where a procession of soldiers in strange gear were rushing out towards the approaching ship.
“Why is it so secret?”
I didn’t say it was secret.” the old Wizard replied. “I said it was made of secrets.”