1. The Initiation
Zule fasted and cleansed himself for days as prescribed by the lawgivers before ascending into the holy place. His pilgrimage was required as a rite of passage for male members of the Clan before they were accepted as adults, and accorded all of the privileges that came with that status.
Although Zule had eagerly anticipated the coming of years that would allow him to make his journey, he was also filled with foreboding over it. Clan legends and ritual he had heard since small had told of the great battle fought long ago between Numis, the Lawgiver and invading spirits from the skies. Although Numis had been seared by bright burning lights controlled by the spirits, he had fought back mightily with the land itself, smashing the evil spirits with a great stone until they could fight no more.
Clad in skins of the rock beast, Zule then began his arduous ascent onto the the very mountain where Numis had fought for the preservation of his Clan. His muscles ached and he had only bitterberries to sustain himself, but Zule climbed the rugged terrain and hours later reached the summit. Pausing to say the sacred prayers that he had been taught, Zule settled his nerves and strode forth in search of the relic.
Within minutes Zule found the lustrous spherical disk of mysterious silvery metal, almost as wide as the arms of a clan member could span, metal that was unknown to any members of the Clan. The disk had been pounded and almost flattened by the great blows the heroic Numis had delivered to it, but the strange runes upon the metal surface could still be seen despite their erosion over the years. Perhaps the sages of the Clan would one day determine what "NASA" and "United States of America" meant.
Then as males of his clan had done for generations, Zule overcome with emotion fell to his knees and began worshiping the Stone of Deliverance that rested beside the smashed metal abomination, tears filling his singular large eye...