Rhule and his followers searched the Datasphere. It was a daunting and emotionless space, cold and sterile. The only things that moved were fragments of data, which whizzed through the dark in a flash. Rhule led the party to follow one of the beams, hoping that it may lead to a discovery.
Inside the beam, shards of images came in and out of view. They looked like places on Bello Realm. There were mountains, trees and lakes – all things that the Augmentors recognised. Spurred on by these similarities, the brave explorers tracked the beam across the empty expanse of the Datasphere. The voyage was arduous; just when the beam appeared to be shortening, it would unexplainably lengthen. It took Rhule and his followers deeper and deeper into the unknown and further from the place they called home.
Eventually, just when the journey was beginning to seem unending, the beam began to disperse. Rhule and his followers were relieved. They had, at last, reached its end. The fading beam of light flickered toward something peculiar. A little way in the distance, there hovered a large curve of stones shaped like an archway.
The explorers approached it tentatively, they were both guarded and curious. It was not clear how the stones were held together, though they appeared weathered, they seemed perfectly sculptured. Beneath them, there lay a void, desolate and black. Rhule approached the archway before his followers in order to inspect it. To his astonishment, a piece of engraving was etched into the top-stone. Though it was not fully clear, Rhule could make out the words ‘This is the passage to the Grid, where the Masters of Data reside.’
Still weary from their travel, the words both enthused and disturbed the party.
‘Are these Masters of Data what we have been looking for?’ Headeron eagerly asked. ‘Do we take the passage and see where it leads?’
To this, Rhule was unsure. He could hear his sister’s voice urging him caution, but his heroic desire was insatiable. After a few moments of contemplation, he spoke:
‘I do not know where this passage will lead, my gallant companions, but I am of mind to take it. When we set out, we did so with the goal of discovery. Perhaps these Masters of Data will reveal to us the secrets of Bello Realm and where it is we come from. We did not follow the beam for so long, just to turn back.’ His voice deepened, spurred on by his thirst for exploration. ‘I know it may be perilous, but that has not stopped us before. We are the first Augmentors to ever travel the Datasphere. Follow me now, one more time!’
Rhule’s rousing speech galvanized his company. They would take the passage together. One by one they passed under the archway and disappeared.