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----- The dunesurfers whip over the hot sands of the desert, throwing up clouds of silt in their wake, cresting the dunes like boats cresting waves. I grip my sail tightly, angling it just so that it catches the suns precious rays and coverts them into energy. I know I can’t lose this race.
Scar, the black bearded, black hearted devil, the reason I’m even in this race, is the only person ahead of me. His dunesurfer is huge, with two extra sails on the side. The bronze of the dunesurfer glints in the noonday sun. If I want my life as I knew it back, I have to catch up to him, and fast.
Scar and I aren’t technically in the race. I’ve been chasing him over half of Arabia, and I almost got him, but he jumped into the race at the last second, forcing me to follow. Luckily, nobody saw us break through the fence. If they had, it would be all over for me.
Clutched in Scar’s hand is the proof that I didn’t steal the power source of my civilization, the great Sky Crystal. Hundreds of years ago, it fell from the clouds, and granted our people technology greater than anybody in Africa. It gave us the power to build floating ships like the dunesurfers, and made them so accessible that they could be used for sport. If I can’t get the crystal from him, I will be killed as a traitor, and he will be crowned a hero. If I do get it, our positions will be reversed. I look up to see Scar raise the crystal in his hand tauntingly, goading me on.
I dip my sail even lower down, the energy of the sun and wind almost ripping it from my hands, and my dunesurfer goes even faster, almost too fast for the weak bronze. Black smoke begins to sputter out of the engine as bolts begin to shake loose.
But I’m catching up to Scar, and there’s nothing he can do. Another bolt shakes loose from my surfer, and now I’m riding on only half a strip of bronze and a sail. I reach out and grab Scar’s leather racing suit, designed to stop sand particles from lacerating the racer’s skin. Slowly, I edge on to his surfer, suffering Scars kicks and punches.
With one hand, Scar holds onto the sail, and with the other he begins to attack me, trying to push me off the board. With a mighty heave I grab the hand holding the sail, the one with the crystal gripped tightly in it, and wrench the Sky Crystal out of it.
But before I can enjoy my victory, Scar lets go of the sail, and with a mighty kick knocks the crystal out of my hand, and hurls me off the board. I fall to the sand and struggle to get up, only to see the crystal smash against a sandstone rock.
The Sky Crystal breaks in half, the two jagged parts fly in different directions. There’s an explosion of light and sound, and I know it’s all over. The sky crystal is gone, the two halves buried in the sand, impossible to find. Our technology is gone forever, lost to the desert. -----
The archaeologist looks up from the archaic journal in his hands, which he found next to his excavation site, his head full of ideas about the supposed Sky Crystal. If the journal is to be believed, a race of beings with technology far beyond anything now lived right where he was sitting, 18000 years ago. It was almost too much to believe.
The archaeologist looked down at the excavation site, where his team was digging up the remnants of a civilization that was identical to the one in the journal. Then, with a start, he notices a weathered sandstone rock buried in the bottom of the excavation pit.
Grabbing a shovel, he jumps into the pit, and with the fervor of a madman he begins to dig around the rock. Suddenly, he sees something glistening in the hole he has dug. He reaches in and pulls out the two halves of the Sky Crystal. Maybe Scar and the narrator died, the archaeologist thought, but I’m going to be the real hero.
And with a click, he joins the two halves of the sky crystal together. There’s an explosion of light and sound, and a fleet of perfectly preserved bronze dunesurfers rises out of the sand, ready to fly for the first time in 18000 years.