Haley has just walked through the Blue Door for the first time, and is now imbued with all of the power and knowledge it has to offer, but she is still a ten year old girl.
She was standing upon a tall rocky promontory beside the open Door amid a ring of standing stones, each capped by enormous lintels. Outside the ring several free standing monoliths stood before a low rock wall set with frozen wooden posts. Occasional flurries of wind driven snow sporadically obscured her view, but visibility was otherwise shockingly clear. The sky was cloudless, blue, and occupied by the same yellow sun, distant and cold at half the size. A small silver moon fled across the sky, jagged and broken, like a half eaten cookie. Several miles away a mountain rose above an icy plain. Halfway up, a huge cave contained numerous stone buildings stacked atop each other, rising nearly to its roof. A stone road performed switch backs from the icy plain, disappearing where it touched the base of the mountain. There wasn't any movement in the distant village that Haley could see, but to make certain, she turned to the archway and placed her hand on the key stone again. A second panel appeared below the first. Symbols scrolled upwards as she made a simple query. Haley could read the strange language, comfortable in its complexity and order. The script told her a tragic story of disaster and neglect, of a cool but inhabited world which had suffered under a diminished sun. The tears that welled up in her eyes froze on her shivering cheeks.
“Lifeless. This world is dead”, she said sadly to herself.
Her bare feet were beginning to ache from the snow on the dais. Haley turned around to look at the archway. The other children were still standing on the other side of the doorway, in the warm fertile world of Haley's birth, wind roaring past them into the cold and bleak one, and could not hear what she had said. Thick frost was already beginning to form on the stone archway as the moisture from her world was swept inward by the difference in air pressure. Bonnie started to walk towards the door, but Haley shouted to her, “Stay where you are! I'm coming back in just a few minutes. I want to try something out.” Haley shut the door to stop the roar of the wind. The world around her became deadly quiet, an eternal tomb, and a place where all life had been extinguished by a cold and pitiless fate.
Haley looked down at her hands. They were beginning to turn blue from the cold. She wanted to be warm again, but before she could reopen the Door and return, her mind activated something old and dormant in her flesh. A crawling sensation covered her skin, stronger and more immediate than ordinary shivering. Every muscle in her body tensed in a startling series of spasms, very nearly toppling her skinny frame. Haley felt something moving up through her legs. A strange sensation within her grew, as bits of material from the dais penetrated her bare feet and entered into her flesh. Moments later, fine threads of glassy fiber erupted from every bit of her skin with the whispered shushing sound of wind across dry leaves. They pierced her clothing without damaging it, curling in long graceful loops. As she watched transfixed, they wove themselves into a pure white garment which covered Haley's body completely, protecting her from the deadly cold. The sapping frost could no longer reach Haley's skin.
The story uses nanotechnology extensively, and this is an example of how it behaves. The material of the dais, upon which the Blue Door rests is imbued with billions of nanomachines which follow every command and need of its Keeper, which in this case is Haley Cork. As long as she is in contact with the Blue Door, this sort of thing is possible, but the technological and mystical nature of the Doors of Vesalago are more profound than this little scene could ever express.
I'm posting this due to popular demand, but nothing within it is in the public domain. All portions are Copyright 2008 M. Andrew Sprong.