The train travels onwards. As you boggle at L and Spadey, the train suddenly rocks from side to side, jolting.
“What was that?” you cry, falling onto Spadey who stabilises you.
“We’re in red territory now,” L says, her eyes floating towards the window.
“Every time you finish a ‘chapter’ of your adventure, you’ll have to make another move. It’s all part of chess. At the moment you’re a pawn, with one-step moves, but if you make the right decisions, you might move up in rank- and then you’ll see how your moves change.”
“Here, we’re on the third square; you went from white, on second, to red on third. When you move through your first challenge, you’ll be back on white and safe to continue. Do you understand that?”
“I think so,” you remark, trying to count on your fingers all the points that L and Spadey together have said. It’s a lot to remember. And you don’t even if know if you are ready to face such a strange world.
“Good. See if you can get all the way to the eighth square.”
When he has finished saying these things, the train screeches to a stop. The world outside is peppered with little shrubs, black as if they’ve been set on fire and put out time and time again. Finally you depart the train.
“Watch out for the pieces along the way. The red ones will want to take you instantly,” Spadey calls.
And on that note, he cheerfully leaves you. You watch as L glides away in the train herself, and, after a minute, look around the place. It’s not a train station you’ve arrived at, but a…