“Come on, Aubrey, hurry up!” The girl tugged at her brother’s hand, darting down the hallways of the temple. Her new white robes dragged on the ground, nearly tripping her as she ducked behind a pillar. The young boy that followed her wore similar robes, slightly too short about the wrists. The priestesses would notice soon enough, hauling him away to get new ones, but they could barely keep up with how quickly the pair was growing out of their clothes already. He quickly darted behind the steel pillar beside his sister, biting his lip. He put his hand gently on Zadie’s giggling lips.
“Shh.” He cautioned. “They’ll be here soon.” Zadie nodded behind his hand, biting her lip to stop giggling. He peeked around the corner to where the altar sat. The chamber was lit by the light of a thousand candles, the only sunlight filtering through a large, round hole near the back of the room. Water poured through the hole, bubbling up and over the lip through a pool behind them, and the sunlight reflected off the surface across the massive chamber. Despite the number of candles and the clear, sunny day, the chamber still felt dark, the blackened walls swallowing the light quickly. Aubrey ducked his head behind the pillar as voices echoed down the corridor.
“They’re coming.” He whispered, tucking back in behind the pillar in the corner. Zadie nodded as he removed his hand, quickly sobering up. The voices got closer until they entered the chamber, their voices echoing loudly within the curved chamber.
“Watch your step, Avery.” The High Templar’s voice echoed loudly as she stepped onto the oddly curved floor. Aubrey peeked out as his eldest sister entered the room, wearing her new red robes. She’d looked so proud when she had shown the two earlier, but now she looked nervous, looking about the room as if seeing it for the first time. Aubrey wondered if perhaps it was her first time, and she had never even peeked in before. Her gaze drifted towards the back corner and the pillar that stood there, and Aubrey ducked back quickly before she saw him.
“This is the Ampitheater. It is said that one day, the Gods will speak to us again, and when they do, it will be to the priestess within this chamber.” Avery stared at the chamber, taking it all in.
“I’ve never seen a room so large.” She said breathlessly. “How will the Gods contact us?”
“How?” Aubrey could hear the frown in the Templar’s voice. The awe in Avery’s voice faltered.
“I… well, how will we hear them? Will it just be a voice in our head? And if the priestesses only in here during the Hours of Twilight, how do we know we aren’t missing messages?”
“The priestesses did say you were a clever one.” High Templar Clara sounded mildly frustrated beneath her warm voice. “No one has heard the Gods in generations, my dear, and all the writings we have of them suggests the voices will come just as the sun is setting. But now that you are a priestess, this room is open to you should you wish to meditate here in wait. Come.” The pair of footsteps echoed throughout the Ampitheatre as the pair approached the alter at the back of the room. Zadie peeked out at the pair as Aubrey inched around to stay out of view.
“This is the holy altar. The floor here will stain your robes should you meditate here too long, but there are prayer rugs beside the door you can use.” Avery lightly brushed the altar with her fingertips.
“There are so many symbols here. What do they mean?” She asked. Clara laughed gently.
“You do ask a lot of question. Come, I will show introduce you to Master Lawerence in the library. He may be able to help you find your answers.” Aubrey pressed his back to the pillar as the footsteps left the room. As they faded to silence, he breathed a little easier.
“Come on, Zadie, now you’ve heard what the room is for, can we leave?” He asked, tugging her hand lightly. But his sister was already heading for the altar, heedless of his pleas.
“So this is where they hear the Gods.” She said in a hushed voice, running her fingers over the altar to mirror her sister’s movements. Avery whined, still tugging her hand.
“You heard Templar Clara, no one has heard the voices in forever. Now let’s go before they catch us.” But Zadie was fascinated by the ridges and raised circles upon the altar. As he watched, she ran her finger along the edge of one circle. The circle gently spun beneath her finger, and Aubrey gasped as a quiet sound slowly raised in volume, echoing through the room.
“-ar me. Repeat, planet Alpha 69274, is anyone there? Can you hear me? This is Star Voyager Delta, requesting landing. Please copy if you can hear me.”