There we discovered a huge bed with a soft mattress and piles of pillows along with three blankets. Everything was in shades of blue including the walls, and the floor tiles.
Two dressers stood against the opposite wall. One held clothing for her and one for me. I guessed I shouldn’t have been surprised, but didn’t feel that way after learning everything was the correct size for us both.
When Margaret was wearing a long light blue sleeping gown, she climbed into bed, pulled the sheet and blanket up to her chin and passed out without saying a word more than thanks.
I cleaned up, found a uniform, donned it and left the apartment intending to explore my surroundings. Outside the door waited one guard who looked surprised to see me.
I looked at him carefully and said, “If I’m to succeed in the task I’ve been assigned, I feel I’m required to acquaint myself with the lay of this building and the property around it.”
“I will show you whatever you wish to see by order of the king.”
And then we began a tour that left me feeling deeply impressed and overwhelmed.
The village looked quite earth-like having shops and diners, housing, hotels, pubs, and several types of manufacturing plants. People from young children to elderly adults were occupied and seemed to be relaxed and busy. I heard children laughing, and adults too. Off in the distance I caught the sound of voices raised in a loud argument that everyone ignored. There were no motorized vehicles, but plenty of animals that resembled horses, but something about them was not as it should have been. I wondered from what earth time period the original horses lived, but was hesitant to ask.
It’s best not to draw to much attention to yourself by asking a lot of questions, my mentor taught.
The walls around the town had from the outside looked like they were scrap lumber hammered, together as did the tower I avoided. None of that would stop a true assault I’d thought when I first saw it. Now from the inside I knew the opposite was true. The outside of the wall was a facade some kind of camouflage to fool invaders into believing the victory they sought would be quick and easy. Behind the scrap wood was a stone and concrete wall twelve feet thick and twenty-five high. The gates in the watchtowers rose from deep in the ground and once up in place, added steel panels several feet thick and as high as the walls.
I could think of only one way in or out once everything was locked down and that would be flying. Which was when I realized I’d not seen any air vehicles other than the ones that were flying around the place where the woman stepped out of a statue’s alcove. If that proved true everywhere else, then the woman and her family were indeed extremely powerful in this section of the ring world.
And they’ll be looking for me, and Margaret soon if not already. I doubt the king and his court will care to attempt to stop her if she arrives here with an army. And she has aircars, along with weaponry that can be used to attack and maybe defeat them.
Then I felt certain that escape would, need be sooner than I’d thought earlier.
As we began to walk around the last section of the village before returning to quarters, I saw a stone archway with a smaller archway in its center like a doorway into whatever once lay beyond. The outer archway was, supported by two columns carved identically with geometric symbols and small columns that were strictly ornamental. At the top of the largest columns stood warriors holding battleaxes and spears aloft. Their faces were obscured by vines but I could see they wore helmets with visors. None of it looked familiar but again I knew little about human history regarding warring with hand held weapons like swords.
The steps leading up to the center were broken in large and small sections as if eons of earthquakes pushed and shoved them aside.
Surrounding both sides of the entire creation were walls built from large cut stones. I stopped a second to look closely and saw the small center archway set maybe twenty feet back from the larger outer archway, was blocked from behind by boulders making me wonder if there had been many earthquakes during and right after the ring world’s construction. Seemed quite logical, but I was guessing. However, it was impossible to assume the age of what I saw, but my mind told me it was ancient.