By R. John Quisenberry
The cloaked figure stepped from the shadow of a rock on the desolate world. The weak light of the nearly dead sun of this planetary system glinted off of the multihued stone glowing warmly. It was positioned high on the middle of her chest, close to the base of her throat. She wore a billowy white dress that had seen better days. Over the dress, she wore a black cloak that, when closed, would cover her to just above the dusty ground.
This world had been dead for many centuries. Decayed remnants of buildings protruded resolutely from the dirt and gravel of the dusty ground. Debris swirled around in the stagnant breeze, ever blowing west. Her hair fell loosely to her shoulders as she pushed her hood back. She pointed a small rod at the dirt at her feet. A round hole formed at the spot she aimed at. She quickly stooped down and placed a large bundle in the hole. Flipping the rod around, she aimed the other end of the rod at a pile of rubble and pressed a protrusion on it. The rubble seemed to blur and shift to a lighter shade of grey-brown.
She took a breath from the canister she carried at her waist. She took a sip of air before walking out 30 yards from the rubble. She walked a slow circle, a constant 30 yards from the rubble pile. She stopped every ten feet of the circle to take a sip of air and drop a spike in the dirt. Once the circle was finished, a line formed in the dusty ground that connected the spikes. She knew the line was an actual hardened carbon wall that extended at least 20 feet into the ground. The circle in the dirt began to grow upwards. The wall it formed was an iridescent blueish-white. Once it extended 40 yards into the air, the parts of the wall directly over the spikes began to extend 30 yard long filaments straight up. Once the filaments reached a length that would reach the center of the circle, they started to lean towards the middle. When the ends of the filaments touched at the center, they began to send tendrils out to weave together into a canopy. When the canopy was complete and sealed off the area, it began to slowly shift into a domed shape. The woman began spreading seeds all around the dirt of the dome. She had to use the canister of air less and less as the dome solidified and thickened. Once the seeds had spread evenly through the dome, she dropped four spheres on the ground. Each sphere released clouds of gnat sized drones in a cloud.
“Find my gift soon my beloved son!” the woman whispered into the life sustaining air of the little oasis she had created, as the simulated dawn illuminated the dome at the base of the wall to the east.
She put her palm up as if pushing against an unseen door. The air shimmered in a large circle around her palm and she stepped through the portal she had created and into a different universe. The tampering with a dead and decaying universe would bring him here, if nothing else, to see how such a thing could be.
Even now, the dome was providing a delicate mist of water and triggering the germination of the seeds.