. . .
He took a deep breath and started to pull the energy he sensed beneath the land. Older than all, and crafted in creation, pulling from the territh was arduous. Every energy source was different and each had a unique vibration, a signature. But all were tempestuous. He wasn’t sure if their true nature was chaotic or just in confluence with forces beyond him.
First, Qudin had to attune to the energy and then he could focus the disorder. The effort of drawing energy through obstacles of matter took strength, but it was the best source at the moment. Qudin drew in what he could, binding the energy to his own. Once captured, he could convert it to uses other than the original form he drew upon. Heat could become light, and light could become motion. With the captured energy, he streamed a trickle of electricity into the symbol.
The gate erupted to life. It pulsed and vibrated like an awakened ocean kraken. It began to discharge arcs of blinding blue-white lighting that whipped and crashed around the ancient courtyard in sixteen-foot lengths of unpredictable lashing bursts. Each blast destroyed the silence of the cold wasteland. Then the gate’s moving parts of metal arches began scraping alive, and it groaned in its resurrection. The coarse desert sand compressed out of the grooves and flew into the air.
The energy was mounting, and the ground started to shake. Building fragments broke free and crashed nearby. With his satchel in hand, he ran to get his horse. He found it in a frantic state, trying desperately to pull and gnaw at the tie. The horse’s muscles flexed with each tug, while his hooves stamped and dug for leverage. Qudin approached him with caution. Slowly he placed his hand on the proud animal, moved his face in close, and whispered gently in a rhythmic tone. A faint glow from Qudin’s hand cast out as he patted the upper shoulder. The horse calmed. He plodded the horse back in the direction they had first arrived and set him free. He was confident that the horse had a good enough memory to make it back to civilization.
When Qudin returned to the gate, the gold-plated center was slowly retracting to reveal a vertical mirror of liquid light suspended in the gateway’s eye. The glowing white pool of refracting light reflected in his goggles, with colors that flared at the edges. He lifted the strap of his satchel over his head, and with a growing grin on his face, Qudin stepped into the light.