The Technologist and the Tower - Part 7

Date Posted: December 9, 2022

The next morning, Amon awoke to find breakfast cooling on the table, but no sign of his cousin. Picking up a sweet roll and sticking it in his mouth, the bard discovered a quickly sprawled note tucked under the corner of the food tray.

Stay put, will be back.


Amon frowned at that, wondering just who Tad thought he was to order him around. Even though, he reminded himself, his cousin was the Warrior of Light, even if was a from time in the distant past.

That was fine, however. More breakfast he didn’t have to share. Besides, after cruising through space and time to reach another world, Amon was in strong need of a bath of some sort. And so, he set about making quick work of the food and then washed away the grime of travel as best he could.

 It was early afternoon, the best Amon could judge, when the door to the room opened, admitting Tad. His cousin gave him a quick look over before bobbing his head back over his shoulder.

“All ready to go? We need to check out pretty soon, and I have some thoughts to fill you in on.”

“Well ‘twas sudden,” Amon stretched and gave a slight grin. Not that he minded finally getting things in motion. When Tad decided it was time, it was time. “What’s the plan?”

“I spent some time checking out some other passages into the Tower,” he responded, green eyes flicking around to ensure no one was listening. “They appear to be unnoticed and unguarded.”

Other passages into the Tower, Amon mused as they walked out of the Pendants area.

Of course, with a structure of that size, there were all sorts of nooks and crannies. The original makers of Syrcus Tower appeared to be very aware that back doors and secret passages needed to be built in. In fact, Amon had spent time as Lead Technologist setting up surveillance of said passages and keeping watch over comings and goings.

Still, never did he attempt to remove or block them despite knowing they were there. One did not know when a secret passage might be to one’s advantage.

And this was just one of those cases.

“You had this in mind all along,” the bard murmured.

“Didn’t you?” Tad shot a teasing grin over his shoulder.

“Aye. Aye, of course,” he fibbed in return.

It didn’t take long for them to skirt the stone stairs, slide out of sight and mind of the common day folks doing their morning things, and climb to a much lesser-known passage into the Tower. From below, it was made to look like just another irregularity in the wall’s crystal – there was much of that, so it was easy to conceal things like actual cracks and passageways.

This one was small, requiring them to duck down and squeeze through. Instantly, Amon could feel the pressure of the aether within the crystal all around him. It set him at ease, once more the sensation of coming home.

Finally, they came to a place in the passage that opened up and allowed them to stand. While it was still close quarters for a while, and the passage was somewhat darker than other areas in the Tower, they had no issue in following it into what seemed to be some old, forgotten containment area.

Tad had to shift a large shelving unit aside in order to move into the further room. Once Amon popped in, they both put the obscuring structure back, hoping that the passage would remain unnoticed.

“The people of the Crystarium have been busy excavating the lower reaches of the Tower. It seems they’ve left much of the upper reaches alone,” Tad informed him with a sniffle. “I don’t know if ‘tis due to orders by the Exarch or for some other reason.”

He then gave a cough, covering his mouth and nose with a cloth. The place had certainly seen better days, and the amount of aether dust that filtered through the room spoke of the lack of air circulation. Another system that the people of the First likely weren’t aware of.

Amon also covered his mouth as they picked their way through the dejected tech parts and pieces of metal that never saw their purpose. He’d have to see the records of the store room to be sure what this was all meant for, but there were more important things to think about.

“You got something for this?” Tad asked, poking at an unlit control panel next to the door. This was most certainly the exit to the containment area, untouched for as long as the Tower had been asleep.

“Mayhaps,” Amon responded, stepping forward. It was time to put things to the test.

Slowly, he reached out one hand, placing his palm against the identifying plate in the door’s panel. Nothing happened at first, so Amon willed just a trickle of aether into the device to help give it momentary power.

Just like that, the doors hummed, the panel lit up in recognization – his name flashing across the screen momentarily as the security system identified him. With much effort, and more slowly than he hoped, the doors finally slid open just enough to allow them to pass through.

“Nifty,” Tad commented, shoving himself through the crack between the doors.

“These internal systems are extremely drained,” Amon commented, following suit. “We need to get some of them back online.”

“Would that alert others to our presence in the Tower?”

“Mayhaps… it depends on how much they know about the tech here.”

“I can’t tell you one way or another,” Tad frowned.

“We’ll just have to take a few risks, otherwise, all of this is pointless,” the bard frowned in return. “If I can’t get systems to connect to the data banks, then I can’t research.”

“I know… I know.” His cousin peered around the dim-lit hallways with a frown of uncertainty. “So where to now?”

Amon paused, thinking for a long moment. Then he responded, “Let’s see if they’ve left my quarters untouched. If so, ‘twould be the best place for us to use as a hiding spot. I once had the halls so packed with security, not even a fly could enter without me knowing.”

Tad snorted at that. “Sounds like you.”

He just nudged the other Elezen. Then, getting his bearings, he led the way in the direction he thought would take them to his old living quarters. He couldn’t help but feel a trickle of excitement at returning to a place so familiar. Though, he was also worried what he’d find there after all those years.

There was only one way to find out.