The hurricane gale lasted for months as the air, both in pressure and composition, reached equilibrium between Earth and the world beyond the Rings. In the end, Earth was measurably cooler and drier but not inhospitably so.
Within a year of the opening of the Rings, the Imperial Expeditionary Force, the Seekers of the Light and a few dozen desert prospectors had all passed through a Ring to an alien world beneath an alien sky and into an uncertain future.
Through each Ring the first travelers found a vast city, empty of life and covered in the dust of eons.
END OF PART ONE