“Okay,” Tegan said, looking at his paper. The doorways in the ziggurats mostly just went to other ziggurats. They were all connected by magical portals, which was pretty cool. Tegan was leaving markings and drawing himself a map so he didn’t get lost as he went through all the doors.
Most ziggurats had one or two doors in them. The great ones had several, and so far one door in each great ziggurat had led to a huge circular room on five levels that was full of the doors. It was obviously the hub that connected all of them. If each door in here went to a great ziggurat, then by simple analogy, those probably all had ten or more doors in them. By simple math, there were more doors than there were ziggurats in Yavhore.
Each level of the hub also had writing on the walls in the same script that was on the sides of the ziggurats, which probably gave clues to where the doors went, if Tegan could read it. But he couldn’t, so he ignored it, focusing on his map, which was mostly a lot of numbers right now. He was just numbering all the doors, leaving markers behind in case he repeated himself. When he was done numbering them all, he’d explore the ziggurats themselves and find out where they all went.
If nothing else, Tegan figured he could revolutionize mass transit on Nova, which would go a long way to earning him a position as a Main Character. Maybe his eventual future boyfriend would be like, an angry carriage driver who Tegan had put out of business by discovering that it was possible to teleport literally anywhere in the world for free. They’d fight a lot and then fuck a lot and eventually fall in love. That would be fun. Well, maybe not the fighting, Tegan wasn’t that confrontational. Though honestly at this point Tegan would take it. He was so touch-starved that getting yelled at sounded fun, and so horny he wasn’t worried about bruises. Hell, he’d fuck the carriage driver’s horse if that was what it took.
Oh, wow. He should probably take a short vacation; he hadn’t spoken to another human in a while and probably if he was really so horny he’d fuck a horse, Tegan might be a little overworked.
Anyway, Tegan had a lot more exploring to do. He’d finished all the doors on this level, finally, so now he had to go up. Problematically, there didn’t seem to be any stairs. There were a bunch of platforms that were probably supposed to magically lift up, but no matter what Tegan did on them, they didn’t move, so he was just going to use his grappling hook.
He managed to hook it on the second level about twenty feet above himself, and pulled hard, making sure it was tight. Then Tegan started to climb. Climbing a rope freehand wasn’t his favourite activity, but he was athletic enough to pull it off and wanted to prove that to the Audience. Maybe he should take his shirt off? But no, he might get rope burn. The Audience could just ogle his tight ass as he climbed up the rope or something, or…oh, shit.
Tegan had time to think that before his back hit the stone floor, only after which did he realize his hook had come loose. “Ow,” he tried to say, though he couldn’t with all the breath that was supposed to be in his lungs out there mingling with the air.
He managed to sit up just in time to see the floor vanishing above his head. “Huh?”
The platform was moving down, and Tegan managed to stand up. The force of him hitting it must have triggered it, he thought. Okay. It brought him down to another level, lit by glowing ceiling lights, with more doors. “Why are these doors special?” he asked, hopping off the lift and going up to one, rubbing his back. He’d have to add them to his map.
But first, his curiosity. He went through one, into immediate and overwhelming darkness. Tegan sighed, took a small lantern off his belt and started to light it. He struck his flint and lights came on, lines of deep blue and purple illuminating a tunnel. It was damp down here, and smelled like salt and mildew.
Tegan followed the tunnel, which eventually came out into a dome full of furniture, mostly chairs and tables. The dome was pitch black, but…no, something had just moved on its surface. Or on its other side.
“I could use a clue, here,” he mumbled to the Narrator, looking around. No clues were forthcoming, of course.
Tegan went behind a long counter, and… “Oh.”
There were skeletons here. Looked like about a dozen of them, laid out carefully on the floor, like someone had put bodies to rest here.
Tegan crouched in front of a skeleton. He didn’t know fuck-all about bones, but these looked like they’d belonged to someone taller than a human, but with short legs and arms and too many ribs. The skull’s eye sockets were in the wrong places and it didn’t seem to have had a nose.
All the other skeletons were like that too, and Tegan sat down next to them. “So you built all this shit, huh?” he asked. “And the Narrator fucked you guys over too.”
He sighed. There had to be a reason the Narrator was funneling him towards all these mysteries. Maybe he’d solve them someday.
But right now, Tegan didn’t really see how any of this mattered. All he wanted was his family back, not to solve the myriad mysteries of his world. Why couldn’t those be someone else’s problem?