The Technologist and the Tower - Part 1

Date Posted: June 22, 2022

Amon shot the oddest looks at his cousin as Tad led them into a deep trench. This had never existed at the base of Syrcus Tower during Amon’s time. In fact, what he remembered was the miles of sprawling city-settlement as far as the eye could see. Time and calamities had taken their toll on those memories. 

Thus, they entered the dirty, musty trench that unceremoniously surrounded the Tower now. 

“Are you certain ‘tis the right way?” he finally asked, half-burying his nose and mouth into the cloth of his shirt’s arm to avoid breathing the air. 

“Trust me,” was all Tad said. Not very reassuring from a Kouris. 

Finally, after walking a distance, they came to an area of the fissure that butted up against the Tower’s wall. Rubble covered much of the location, scattered about haphazardly. Amon imagined the stone and grit exploding up as the Tower re-emerged from the underground into the Eorzean sunlight. That must have been an incredible sight to behold. 

Tad had begun clearing some of the rubble in a not-so-haphazard way. He grunted slightly as he shifted aside some stone, “Could use a hand here.” 

“Where’s your special Warrior of Light rock dissolving powers?” Amon teased. That was the first time he’d joked about the whole Warrior of Light thing, a sign that he was coming to terms with it. 

“If I could, I would.” 

The Bard grimaced and walked over, helping to heft the stones at Tad’s indication. Eventually, they had a small area cleared away. That’s when his cousin stepped forward, lifted one hand and wiped the side of the Tower, like someone cleaning condensation from a pane of glass. 

As the dust shifted away, Amon could make out a dim but unmistakable glint of crystal within the wall. A direct piece of the Tower itself stood there, within his reach. His heart leapt into his throat, fears churning within him – should he touch the Tower, would it even recognize him anymore? 

Nothing but a clone of a clone and a seed of a soul, he wasn’t even the real thing. Would the Tower know he was a fake? 

“Are you ready?” Tad’s voice came as if from a great distance. 

The Bard blinked at him, shaking out the thoughts rattling around in his head. He cleared his throat and nodded slowly. “I was born ready.” 

“We’ll see about that,” the sly grin on his cousin’s face was all the warning he needed. 

Something unforeseen was about to happen. Amon was absolutely along for the ride. 

Tad reached out once again, this time pressing his hand against the crystal surface. An outline of faint light traced his palm, then pulsed outwards, rippling over the stone and turning it into a shaft of energy. 

Amon held his ground though he fought the instinct to step back. This was some unknown form of aether – not just from the Tower, but something else mingled within it. A Warrior of Light trick, perhaps? 

That’s when Tad stepped forward, and with a glance over one shoulder, vanished into the shimmering pillar. The elder Elezen took a gulping breath at what he’d just seen – this was a portal of some sort, to take them inside the Tower, perhaps? 

Not one to just stare at the unknown, Amon moved forward quickly. He forced his eyes to remain open as he pierced the light and stepped into something that looked like the night sky itself. 

It was hard to breathe. He felt as if he was being both pulled and squeezed in every direction. There was no place for his feet to stand – he was floating, moving towards something in the distance, a specific point of light. Strange, translucent crystal-like structures drifted past him, familiar sounds and sights embedded within the stones. His past, perhaps? Or something else? 

His senses blurred. It was hard to make anything out. Nothing but stars. And crystals. And light. Overwhelmingly bright light… 

Just as sudden as the light became unbearable, Amon found himself stumbling, trying to find his footing on a slick floor. Tad reached out a strong arm and helped to steady his cousin, his voice teasing yet also tense and tired. 

“I warned you ‘twould be quite the trip.” 

The Allagan breathed heavily, unmoving, letting the rapid beating of his heart calm before lifting his eyes to try to make sense of where they were. Immediately, he knew. 

This was the Ocular – a chamber in the central heart of Syrcus Tower.