After we’ve explored this continent, we cross the narrow sea—it takes only two days—and travel across a second continent. It is slightly smaller, so we only spend seven Hassandri days there. The southern half is mostly grasslands, transitioning into forests the further south you go. There is a large desert on the eastern side. The northern half is narrower, and it’s mostly dense jungle that transitions to temperate forests closer to the pole.
On the other side of the desert is a mountain range, and deep within those mountains is a second portal. This one takes us back to your home planet of Earth. We must return there before we can go to our next location.
But we have one last night here on Hassandri before we go through the portal. Tonight I will tell you what happened to the dragons.
* * * * *
It was a day like any other on Hassandri. The sun rose and with it came the heat. The dragons loved the heat, basking in the sunlight. They flew in the clear skies. They hunted their prey and gorged themselves on meat. Mother dragons cared for their young, bringing them food and teaching them to fly. The little ones would hover a few inches off the ground, their small wings beating erratically as they exercised them. Everything was as it should be.
Then the sky darkened. The ground shook from the impact. A cloud of dust, ash, and pieces of earth filled the sky, blocking out the sun. The long winter began.
The death toll from the asteroid’s initial impact was high. Many creatures were killed by the force of the collision. Those who survived saw the long winter.
Since the sun’s rays no longer reached Hassandri’s surface, there was no warmth. Plants couldn’t photosynthesize, so they died in massive quantities. With no food to eat, herbivores perished. The predators were able to live off of the dead herbivores for a time, but the supply dwindled.
The oceans became acidic with detrimental effects on the already compromised ecosystem. The balance of life and death faltered, and mass extinction turned Hassandri into a wasteland mimicking Kareena’s barrenness during the Mistaza Era, the thousand years when the scientists lived in the bunker.
The mighty dragons who once protected Kareena from the outside world by guarding the portal were extinct. Kareena was now vulnerable.