Malick passed through the resistance, as a ghost would walk through a wall. He was halfway to the pillar when he noticed Kitty walking beside him.
I said to wait behind the resistant field.
I may need to move quickly, and I don’t want to worry about you.
Frustrated, he proceeded toward the green pillar resigned to the fact Kitty was following him. The dome was much bigger than he had previously thought. He continued for what seemed to be hundreds of feet before finally coming to a stop in front of the pillar. The pillar was actually an obelisk—a single, triangular, emerald crystal standing ten feet tall and three feet wide. A carving of an equilateral triangle rested just above his head. A relief of a bird similar to the one on his medallion rested within the triangle. Below his shoulders was a carving matching his medallion in the emerald. Another carving—this one of a flower with many shoots—sat just below the bird likeness. The shoots laid outstretched from its stem. The obelisk revealed no other markings. Curious, he held up his medallion to the crystal and placed it within the engraving—it was a perfect match. The obelisk flashed a brilliant green, blinding him momentarily as he yanked his medallion free of the pillar.
Kitty see only green.
I know. It blinded me for a minute too. I’m not sure what was supposed to happen, if anything. I hoped for another vault of information. Maybe even the appearance of the One.
Kitty see nothing.
I don’t see any differences either. The pillar remains the same.
No. Kitty sees no friends.
Whirling around, he saw only an empty dome. He ran swiftly back through the invisible field, continuing through the open doorway as sand stung his eyes and wind ripped at his clothes.
Malick saw no one.
Plodding back into the dome, he raised his eyes. His sole companion was his cat.
Where little metal friends? Where silver eyes?
I don’t know. I see no trace of them outside.
Kitty can’t hunt. Little metal friends hide good.
As Kitty stared at the floor, he did too. His footfalls and those of his cat made the only prints in the sand. Not even a single latent infrared print to indicate his group had ever passed through the portal remained.
It was as if they had never existed.
Malick muttered a single word.