The Technologist and the Tower - Part 9

Date Posted: February 23, 2023

The rest of the day was spent with the two Elezen being constructive in different ways. Tad put himself to work in cleaning up the dusty chambers, opening the windows to air the place out and let the light in. He claimed if they were to be staying there for any duration of time, they needed to be able to breathe fresh air.

Amon, on the other hand, started hunting down tools from the surrounding labs and workstations he knew of throughout the nearby Tower floors. He spent his afternoon face-first (literally) in a maintenance shaft for the power modules of that sector. Redirecting the aether to jump-start the energy in the Tower, and to do it in a way that wouldn’t be noticeable to prying eyes, was a bit more difficult than he originally thought it might be.

As the shadows began to fall long, and the first strokes of evening fell over the Tower, Tad appeared bearing food from the world below.

“Hey, you haven’t any a bite to eat since breakfast,” the Elezen slapped the side of the wall near the shaft where Amon was working. “Come on. Take a break.”

“I’ve almost got it.”

“You said that two bells ago.”

Amon groaned and grumbled, but the smell of food was too enticing for him to pass up. With a bit of a heft, he pushed himself out of the shaft and unceremoniously flopped on the floor with his back to the wall.

Tad sat down next to him, making a great display of bringing food out of the bag. He’d even brought some tea.

“Wasn’t sure what’s to your taste anymore.”

“Pretty much anything,” Amon commented, unwrapping a sandwich and taking a bite without looking at the contents.

“So, no different from when we were lads,” Tad chuckled.

“Aye, you could put it that way,” the Allagan spoke with his mouth full.

His cousin took note of that and chuckled before unwrapping his own sandwich. “So…”


“What was with the whole giant thing, if I can ask.”

“Giant thing?”

Tad motioned in the air before swallowing his food to talk. “Giant furniture in your room. You being giant?”

“Seemed like a good idea at the time,” Amon evaded the question by sticking more food in his mouth.

“Come on. Really.”

“You’re serious.”

“I am,” Tad was not to be dissuaded. “Why did you do it?”

“I honestly don’t know,” Amon leaned his head back, looking up. “At the time, we were exploring primal genetics and the aetheric properties they could bestow upon individuals. I’d always experimented with reinforcing the body’s structures – especially with my clone division – and ran across this. But…”

His cousin just ate quietly, watching him. Doubtful he understood anything the technologist was trying to say.

“But now I wonder if ‘twas subconsciously inspired by my dreams,” Amon admitted.

“What do you mean?”

The technologist shook his head. “I have a hunch… Apparently there’s some connection between myself and this Fandaniel. Who was an Ascian - we know that much. But for some reason I feel as if my dreams have connections to this, too.”

“What dreams?”

Amon ran his hands over his face with a sigh. “I suppose I never told you about them.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“I discounted them for years, though I’ve had them for as long as I could remember. Sometimes they vary – sometimes they are about Allag and Xande. But the ones I’ve had from my youth… I was always someone else who was living in a paradise world. Islands floating among the clouds, somewhat like what Azyz Lla once was.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“No, except, whomever I was in that world wasn’t happy to be there. Something about it was wrong. Something only he seemed to be able to see. And no one would listen, so he suffered the feelings in isolation,” Amon shook his head again. “’Tis hard to describe… ‘tis more a feeling than anything substantial. Which is why I shoved it aside, despite the fact that I dreamed it night after night. And it felt so real, as if I’d been there before.”

“Hmm…” Tad made a thoughtful sound, then asked. “What does that have to do with using primal genetics to enhance your bodily structure?”

Amon laughed at that. “So you were following.”

“I’m not as dense as you think,” his cousin gave him a light knuckle-punch in the shoulder.

“Very well,” he smirked. “The people in my dream – a whole civilization of them – were of such stature. I’m not sure what made them that way. And mayhaps they didn’t even see themselves as overly large since ‘twas normal for them. But ‘twas obvious to me.”

“So you replicated it?”

“I… I don’t know,” Amon looked at his hands and the half-finished sandwich. “I did a lot of crazy things I did’t understand back then. I wasn’t in my right mind for some of it – I know ‘tisn’t an excuse, but ‘tis a fact. I can’t follow the paths of logic I used… which is why… I can only answer that it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“Alright. Fair enough,” Tad gave him a pat on his shoulder before getting up and brushing himself off. He seemed to sense that his cousin was starting to feel a little distressed at the turn of conversation, and chose to let him off the hook.

The technologist finished the sandwich and tea without additional words. He was lost to his thoughts – he’d never tried to put his dreams into words for someone else before like that. It was something so innate within him, it came as a surprise that he’d struggle to explain it.

Amon had also left out the descriptions of what he always thought to be the end of the world. Fire raining from the sky. People running and screaming, searching desperately for shelter in a crumbling city. Why did it feel like he had been there to see it?

Why him?

Shrugging off the questions, he hefted himself back into the maintenance shaft once more. He was determined to have the lights on in that quadrant before nightfall.

And he was close.