I


Sebastian awoke to a sharp pain in his left leg, as if his muscles were wrenching and tearing in opposing directions. Leaning forward to alleviate it, the pain subsided almost immediately. He couldn't understand the instantaneous cessation of the pain, but in his delirious state, he found it hard to focus on anything. He was lightheaded from his loss of blood, glazed in a dream-like stupor.

"I'm alive, how can I... how can I possibly be alive?" Sebastian said.

As he reached out to touch the screen covering his face he could feel that his helm had cracked, realizing that it had not been functioning for some time now. Images of the crash flooded his mind—claustrophobic panic locked inside a chrome coffin, hurdling towards an inhospitable planet. He could recall abandoning his unit's ship and the mutiny that had been boiling onboard. Sebastian pulled his leg towards him to examine it and the uneven expanse that surrounded him.

Belfour's atmosphere and surface as detailed in his briefings were exceedingly incorrect. Its surface folded in emerald grass, dancing along swift inclines. Onyx stone aimlessly pierced its terrain and shimmered in an auroral light. The planet's landscape was shrouded under a phantasmal and impossible hue from the ubiquitous moon, hanging on the horizon—stealing one's gaze from the crypt beyond. Even the night air was breathable, something also theorized not to be possible due to the region's absence of a solar body or star. He couldn't make sense of it.

Sebastian's wound had seemed to close up, but his lower leg was broken. Furthermore, as he was becoming more lucid he was realizing how little blood there was surrounding the area beneath him. He could not even locate the crash site from his pod in the rolling expanse.

As he scanned the plains he noticed a series of colossal columns rising from Belfour's surface. They were black as ash and pierced the sky intertwining into it. The monoliths bent inwards towards each other the higher the structure rose, like the legs of an arachnid. Broken pillars, buildings, and possible idols laid around its basin in the distance.

The sight of the monument intrigued Sebastian, yet something quietly rang in the back of his head. He felt as if he could recall the geometric structure from before the crash or perhaps after it. His memory following the impact was enveloped in total darkness. Sebastian Azure's recollection of the event had effectively vanished with the absolution of a black hole. There was a gap that did not exist for him or no longer did—murmuring nothing throughout an untold plunge. A gap that he could not account for nor reason with under these irregular, uncertain, and somewhat mystifying circumstances he found himself in. Sebastian felt as if the ruins were calling to him. Echoing answers to a fallen legionnaire in search of salvation.

He pushed his arms back up against himself and clenched the grass beneath him. He leveraged his right leg in an attempt to pull himself forward, struggling while also trying to keep his other leg straight. He shifted his arms and leg under his body and leaned on some stone in front of him, pausing to take a couple of breaths. Sebastian knew he couldn't walk in his current condition. He planted himself into Belfour's ground, pulling his right leg forward and subsequently repeating the pattern as he proceeded to crawl. He was determined to find his ship and seek resources from the pharaonic architecture that reposed maybe two-hundred meters south of him. He knew if he could locate his pod he might have a slim chance of telecommunicating with his former squadron if they haven't yet left the region.