In the beginning.
With the screech of diamonds on smooth black rock, a troop of Highland Sliders comes skidding to a stop ten yards from you and your schoolmates.
“That’s what I want to do when I leave school,” says Dagma. “Being a Highland Slider looks like so much fun.”
Another classmate shakes his head. “Yeah, but my cousin went mining and struck it rich on his first trip out. Now he owns two hydro farms and his family live in luxury.”
You look around the small settlement where you grew up. It’s a beautiful place, high on the Black Slopes of Petron. Far below, past the sharp ridges and towering pinnacles, the multicolored fields of the Lowlands stretch off into the distance. At the horizon, a pink moon sits above a shimmering turquoise sea.
But the beauty isn’t enough to keep you here. You could never be a farmer or a merchant. You’ve always dreamed of travel and adventure.
Maybe mining is the right thing to do. You imagine heading off into the wild interior looking for diamonds and the many secrets these glass mountains contain. Imagine striking it rich!
Or do you become a slider like so many others from your family? What would happen to your home without the protection of the Highland Sliders? How would people move around the dangerous slopes from settlement to settlement without their expert guidance? And who would stop the Lowlanders from invading?
Your part in this story is about to begin. You will leave school at the end of the week and it’s time for you to choose your future.
It is time to make your first decision. Do you:
Start cadet training to become a slider?