While doing some research I ran across the following description of a Newbie’s personal experience of seeing the INSL pyramid in the Grand Plaza of Ada-Kar for the first time. I found it particularly poignant in that it is similar to so many other people’s reaction. I have lived here all my life and I still am awed by the pyramid. I often enjoy watching the reactions of people when they see it. Many of them, I am sure, are thinking exactly what Olivia Dollarhyde thought as she describes below. Here, republished by permission of the author, is her reaction.
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Though I caught glimpses of the INSL pyramid as I approached it, and wondered at its size and splendor even then, the building’s true magnificence only really hit me when I turned the final corner and saw it from across the Grand Plaza. It is, of course, the sheer size of the mammoth structure that hit me first. At one hundred stories tall, and with an internal area of over 3.5 million square feet, this is the largest building on Ada-Kar.
The blue ray of light shooting from the top of the pyramid can be seen even in the daytime. At night this incredibly bright beacon illuminates the streets in its strange, electric glow, which shimmers like the aurora borealis. To me, it looked like the finger of God reaching down from the heavens.
The sides of the pyramid are reflective glass, which seems to change color as the sun moves across the sky. On that crisp morning, the windows caught the sun’s rays and the side of the building glistened golden and green, like a calm sea at sunrise.
Only when I was able to tear my eyes from the building itself did the rest of the scene come into view. I was standing at the edge of the plaza, about half a mile from the great pyramid. The area between was a huge, open square filled with monuments, fountains, lush landscaping, and people. Lots of people!
They bustle throughout the square like bees in a hive. People of every possible nationality and time merged together, blending and separating like birds in flight. Children played tag on the grass as parents watched from nearby park benches. Humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and aliens from the farthest reaches of space came together in apparent harmony. Ancient Greeks hailed Zulus, and Alchemists communed with robots, while the pixies plotted pranks from the bushes.
What confounded me even more was how normal everyone found it. Everyone but me. To me the world seems to shift under my feet as layer upon layer of disparate visions clash in my head; a cacophony of sight that threatened to overwhelm me.
Then, more than ever, I felt the true weight of what being a Newbie in Valhalla really is. I was in a sea of life, separated from all I once knew, or thought possible. As the enormity of this thought receded, however, I realized that I somehow felt comforted by it. All the chains and boundaries of the old world were behind me. Ahead were possibilities.