Timeo stared at the portal, uneasy with the wash of pale light that emanated from it. He’d heard from Gellis there was nothing to fear on the other side of the portal, but Gellis had been through it so many times that he seemed immune to the odd feeling of the light as it lingered on his skin.
Gellis also didn’t seem to notice, but he was a little different after every trip to the outer realm. It was hardly noticeable unless you looked back and saw how much changed happened.
The first time he noticed, Timeo started monitoring everyone who want through the portal. Anyone who was gone for a significant amount of time came back changed in a similar way. The degree of change tended to vary by person, but it was always the same type of change. Timeo was surprised that no one cared when he pointed it out.
“It’s fine. Nothing to worry about.” they’d tell him. He wanted to believe them, but he’d done his research and new that what they told him wasn’t true. His presentations and appeals fell on deaf earths. Fennrel actually laughed at him.
Today was the day, though. Timeo could no longer put off going through the portal. If he did not contribute to the enclave’s well-being, he would be cast out. And then they’d force him through the portal, anyway. Today, he had an appointment with his destiny.
After making sure all of his gear was prepared, Timeo took a deep breath, opened the glass shield, and stepped through the portal. The sun beat down on him, various creatures screamed into the air, and Timeo took his first breath of fresh air. Resolute despite the cancer-causing orb in the sky, Timeo strode off toward his first day of college.