Nox Bizarre – Landscape One
Believe in other worlds or don't. The in-between will mess you up. This thought occurs to me as I walk through the desert alone. Why? I don't know.
Environmental scans reveal nothing. No flying creatures overhead. No sounds of any kind. Yet, based on what I've seen so far, this world feels all at once both occupied and vacant.
I enter a valley. As I move through a dry riverbed, I detect the presence of something artificial. Something out of place among the organic elements of this landscape.
Getting a fix on the object, I proceed south in its direction and after a few hours come to a boulder the size of a two story home. Perched like a gargoyle on top of it rests a large backpack.
In moments, I've scaled the rock and stand peering down at the bag. It's caked in rust colored dirt. On its side is an IOA patch with tattered stitching. I pick the backpack up. Three pounds / five ounces. Light for it's size. Now, to inspect it.
I open the pack and begin arranging its contents on the surface of the boulder. The first item I uncover is a map, rolled up in a metallic tube.
Unrolling the parchment, I see 32 border regions depicted on it. And other details.