The stars are impossibly bright, a blend between the lake at the bottom of the hill, and a perspective beyond an open airlock. It’s the hazy version of something so much brighter, and totally unbreathable.

Isles, so-called sections of space with varying speeds of time, are constantly changing their boundaries: sometimes to outer space. They surround the Grevan capitol, Ixis, making it nearly impossible to assault.

I aim my laser at a tree near me, but it doesn’t appear. The tree must be long gone, ages past in seconds with respect to my own position. Like the light of a long-gone star.

No one has ever survived crossing a zone line, or at least, returned to prove it.

My machete clanks as I sprint. I’ll leave my partner’s body here, he was impaled by the other IC-V. He tried to shoot it like a normal rifle, and the scope went 2/3 into his skull. It’s a shame I don’t have time to grab the gun. What a dumbass. I told him not to do that.

Armed with the intercontinental, kinetic cannon (IC-V) he stole from a military installation, Raptor faces almost sure death. The Isles have moved, disconnecting his entrance path. It’s anyone’s guess if an exit still exists, despite surviving crossing the zone line itself.

Delving deeper into the isles, he discovers the notes of fallen Grevans, lamenting on a legendary feat: The Climb. Hopefully he can execute it before he starves to death.

Ixis is strategically placed at “the top” of the Isles, or in the fastest zone. That’s why it doesn’t break apart from the moving zones. If he can find a sequence of connected spaces increasing in their speeds of time, he must inevitably reach the capitol by convergence.

But he’ll need to travel deeper first. Who knows what histories about the Kingdom of Grevania will be revealed?

Or how aged he’ll be when he returns.