The earth below us was broken. Shards of stone jutted out into a sky as black as a cave. But there was light. The very cracks in the ground seemed to glow with it.
We had left the ruins of the city behind and followed this ancient trail out into the fractured peaks that lay on the western edge. Strange weeds struggled to grow underfoot, but our steps turned them into dust.
Were the weeds truly alive? Was anything on this Gods forsaken planet?
The stories of this world were whispered of in the darkest corners of the universe and they were believed to be the tales of madmen.
“There is no Earth to be found!” cried the naysayers. “No Sol System on any star chart.”
Where the rumors say it hung in the night sky was a spot of blackness, blacker than the darkest night. But one day, that fleck of blackness had faded and an ancient star system had lain in its center.
My companion and I had come to this ancient birthplace of the human species and we had come in search of answers.
“Answers to what?” you might ask.
What had happened here? What had brought the denizens of the darkest domain back to this moribund sphere? Where had they gone? The answer would always be knowledge, be it forbidden or dangerous.
Time was of the essence as the days left for it to circle its dying star grew short. Its magnetic field had begun to weaken and the atmosphere was dissipating into space. The oceans had lost much of their moisture, but the waves continued to slap the lonely shores.
It was with a shock of surprise that we actually found our quarry seated amongst the bones of this corpse world. We had believed it to be myth and fairytale, but our deepest hopes had been that there still lay a grain of truth in the legend, that the Watcher was real.
And it was.