The Technologist and the Tower - Part 6Date Posted: December 7, 2022
The guard gave an apologetic look as he escorted the two Elezen to the front gates of Syrcus Tower. He said something about Beq Lugg to Tad while keeping his distance from Amon. The scowl on Amon’s face could have turned someone to stone – or so he’d like to think.
Maybe in his past life, he could have made something like that happen.
But in this lifetime, he was being ushered out of his own Tower. Removed by some anteater thing and people who didn’t belong there and should have no say on whether he was there or not. As much as he wanted to fight the situation – he’d only just come back home, after all – Tad once more prompted him to keep his cool.
Even for Tad, this was difficult. Especially as Amon felt the looming crystal tower at his back, only a long series of steps leading downwards, stretching before him.
A passing thought shifted through his mind -- how much time and effort it had taken to build a foundation for the Tower. As grouchy has he felt, he admitted it was fittingly majestic.
Tad finished up whatever conversation he was having with the guard, then came to join Amon. Both of his hands were thrust in his pockets, a sign that he knew exactly how heated his cousin was.
“That little beast-thing cut us off, hasn’t he?” Amon growled the words.
“And you’re just going to take that treatment? We’re here for a reason, Tad.”
“No, I don’t plan on just taking that treatment,” the Elezen responded quietly. “But fighting with them openly would only raise their defenses. We need them to forget about us.”
Amon felt his anger residing, and chided himself for letting his emotions get the best of him. Of course Tad would have a plan. The Kouris line was a family of clever thinkers.
“Aye,” the bard finally said. “You’re right.”
“Where’s your head lately, Amon?” Tad gave a follow-up chide.
“I don’t know. I’ve just been so mixed-up ever since…”
They both fell silent. Tad must have understood, because he spoke kindly after the pause in conversation.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten what we came here for. I was just trying to go about it the way that would give us the most freedom and least worries, so that you could focus,” his cousin said. “But since the Exarch isn’t here to give me his blessing, and our access is being blocked, I have other options in mind.”
Amon nodded to that, following Tad as they began to walk down the long stretch of stairs.
“I know you’re anxious to get started on you research but, I think you might like what you find in the Crystarium.”
The Allagan sighed in return. More setbacks. Always setbacks.
“Come on,” Tad encouraged. “Just give it a look.”
“The Crystarium is the name of this place, then?”
“Aye. I don’t know everything about how it came to be. I just know that the Tower appearing here was what saved these people.”
“Oh?” Amon couldn’t help but be interested in that. After all, he’d waited and waited for the Eorzeans to finally realize the worth of Syrcus Tower to their civilization, rather than to just close it up in fear of the unknown.
“They built the whole city around it,” Tad motioned with his hands.
For the first time, the bard took in the visions beyond the stone stairs and the circular plaza below. He saw great domed-shaped structures of crystal-like glass framed in thin and elegant dark metals. Tall spires of stone and metal rose between the buildings, some upholding tall bridges that stretched into the distance.
People strode across the walkways, moving in their day-to-day lives. Some were guards, but many were what appeared to be normal citizens of this settlement, just as varied as the people in the cities of Eorzea.
Amon felt a tightness in his throat at the sight of it. It wasn’t exactly the city he’d known as a lad growing up in the Tower, but the heart of the concept was close enough. People were living at the base of the Tower, much like they had in the Allagan age, looking to it for protection and sustenance.
They viewing the Tower with the appropriate respect.
As the two Elezen made their way closer to the smaller row of buildings, one particular place caught his eye. The windows reflected vials and tubes, organized on shelves and stacked with tools that were unmistakably alchemical in nature.
“’Tis an alchemical shop,” he mused out loud, walking through the doors to investigate.
Careful not to touch anything, he simply browsed the racks and inspected the tools they were using. Immediately, he could see things that could be improved upon for better optimization.
“Hello, welcome to the Spagyrics,” said a lady alchemist cheerfully. “Is there something we can do for you today?”
No, but there was plenty that he knew he could do for them.
“Uh, no. No, thank you. I’m just looking,” Amon answered before realizing that it wasn’t every day that someone just walked into an alchemist shop just to browse things.
She gave a slight smile and said nothing of it. This only encouraged him to investigate more.
What was alchemy like in a whole different world – a copied shard of their own world? Did they have the same plants, minerals, and compositions, or was this a whole new realm of information for him to—
He stopped himself. What was he even thinking?
He’d come to this world for one thing, and one thing only – to access the records of the Tower and find the truth about himself. To learn how he was connected to the Ascian, Fandaniel. But most importantly, why he was created to take the place of the original Amon in the Tower.
As nice as it was that these people were living all comfy-like next to his Tower, he couldn’t allow himself get attached to this. He had too many other things to do.
Amon gave a sigh, turning his back on all the unanswered questions that still tickled his mind. Thankfully, Tad was there, waiting.
“You done?” his cousin asked.
“How about we grab a bite to eat?”
The bard’s ears perked up at that suggestion. “I could go for that.”
Tad gave a shruggy-shoulder beckon and then turned to saunter his way towards one of the dome arches. It was nice that someone knew their way about the place, Amon decided as he strode to follow. But even as he walked, his gaze kept wandering back to the small alchemist shop.
The Crystarium food wasn’t all that otherworldly. In fact, it was somewhat bland, if a little off-tasting to Amon’s sensibilities. Their idea of a tavern was also more like an eatery, dressed up in crystal and stone and sleek metals like the rest of the city. It was wide open with no walls to enclose it, which didn’t make him all the comfortable for conversation.
He and Tad chose a table out of the way of others, and there, his cousin began to try to fill Amon in on what this world – The First – was. He spoke of a calamity in the form of a flood of light that nearly took all the life and landmass of the star. Such a thing could have only been at the orchestration of Ascians, similar to the theories as to what befell the World of Darkness.
Tad also explained how the Tower had been instrumental in preserving what life had remained, under the hand of the leadership of the Exarch. Without the Crystarium, the survivors of the calamity would have been hard-pressed to fight off the creatures they called Sin Eaters – things that could infect others with an imbalance of aether and create more of themselves.
Amon was of mixed feelings on this – on one hand, he was somewhat grouchy that The Cat was at the center of star-saving and civilization nurturing. On the other hand, it was about time that someone saw the Tower for what it was meant to be – the piece on which society could thrive and grow strong.
After they’d finished their meals – apparently the currency of gil worked in both the Shard and the Source – Tad introduced Amon to the Cabinet of Curiosity, which served as a kind of public library. Taking a look within, the Allagan’s impression of the area of learning was favorable, especially given the situation these people survived.
Like much in the Crystarium, the library was circular in shape and hosted a number of welcoming nooks and crannies to settle down for one inspired who was to research. In fact, thought this was not where Amon meant to spend his time the first day he’d regained access to the Tower, he found himself drawn to the volumes in the library, reading through histories and theories to better acquaint himself with the world he was now visiting.
After all, Tad had never said anything about how they would return to the Source. If that was even possible.
But he could not worry about that up front. There was too much else to do. And so, Amon spent a good chunk of the evening with tomes of the First scattered around him. Until his eyes were so heavy that Tad finally coaxed him into the room of the local living space – a place called the Pendants.
And there, Amon of Allag took a solid night’s sleep, being far more exhausted than he realized he was.