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The Maker frontAfter a series of adventures, the small group of miners and marines, end up on the distant and mystical planet of Shakazhan. They find nothing but desolation on the surface, but underground, the planet teams with life—most of it hostile. A sophisticated A.I., who goes by the name Sentience, helps them settle in and get ready for the coming of the Kahlea. The only way to reach her lair is to go through The Halls of the Hallowed Dead, a crypt of fallen warriors of a long dead race, the Timokuan. These crypts house the memories of the men and women whose remains are kept there, their faces depicted in the cold, age pocked metal.

Muttering to himself, Wil walked down the long corridor from the Sentience’s lair to the Halls of the Hallowed Dead.

Wil felt compelled to deviate a little further to the west than usual and wandered to the very end of the branching hallway. His feet led him to a monument whose importance was overshadowed by other, more recent additions to the Halls. Long neglected, it stood on a wall by itself. Probably one of the original tombs placed here.

Wiping dust of ages off the plaque on the tomb, Wil deciphered a little of the legend carved there. He’d had been teaching himself the language, he christened Old Speak, compiling a database as he went. A word here and there stumped him, but he memorized the characters, intending to look them up later.

His left eye caught the hint of a bas relief, some sort of picture. He spit on his sleeve, using it to clean the plaque. Rubbing vigorously, he managed to wipe a six by six inch area relatively free of accumulated dust and grime of ages past.

Wil gasped. The area exposed showed a face—his face. There was no doubt in his mind that the visage depicted there, centuries old, was that of Wilhelm VanLipsig, The Lone Wolf. He saw the same firm jaw, the high cheek bones, chiseled features, it was all him. The most striking thing were the eyes. Crafted of onyx, they were black as night, glittering like a dozen stars.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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