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Chapter 5: Core Values
In the darkness of the early morning hours of The Void, the city finally slept soundly. Tower Metro was completely empty.
“Now that they have Amy, they are going to need the Book of Memories,” Eight spoke to himself, walking into Historia Town, “I’m going to need some help with that.”
Eight, with a determined stride, continued into the dysfunctional district until he came across the remains of what appeared to be an old tower.
“They have Amy. How do I get back to Jayl without walking right through the front door?” Eight spoke, as if into the air at nothing.
A male voice answered him back, “To get into Over Tower without Jayl Cel’s knowledge, you have to...pass through the core of The Void.”
Eight recognized an uneasiness in the tone of the voice. “Is that bad?” He asked.
“If you go there, you might learn something that you must be prepared with the mental fortitude to keep to yourself...and not let it get to you.”
• • •
Inside of Andata and Via’s apartment, Sixty and Amy sat on the couch as the other two girls brought cups and a kettle of tea over to the coffee table. Well, actually, it was mostly Via; Andata brought over the three notes, hoping to get some answers before everyone collapsed from exhaustion.
Before Andata could start asking Amy questions, Via offered a much simpler one of her own, “Anyone know what happened to that other guy? You know, the one with the lightning hands, who just jumped in out of nowhere?”
“I think he vanished, right before the shadow girl and that thug Xander retreated.” Sixty answered.
“Ah, good, that means he’s the only new weirdo so far who actually has a freakin’ place to live.” Everyone shared a laugh, while Andata playfully nudged Via as she sat down.
“Aw, come on, isn’t it fun to have guests?” Andata smiled as Via rolled her eyes.
“Um, if it’s okay, uh, could I have some tea?” Amy asked, trying to be extra-polite.
“Oh, of course!” Via poured Amy a cup, “My name’s Via, by the way, you already met Andata, and that’s Sixty sitting next to you.” She handed off the cup of tea.
“Oh, right, ha ha, this feels so weird,” Amy began, taking a sip, “But I actually knew all of your names before today.”
“Huh?” Sixty turned, “How? We literally just met.”
“It’s kind of a long story, um, but when I first woke up here, I was next to the ruins of what looked to be a tower…”
Andata thought to herself, “A tower…?” She noticed that Via too was wrapped up in a thought of her own.
Amy continued, “A man wearing some sort of hooded-shawl-type thing found me, and helped me to my feet. The area we were in seemed completely abandoned, save for the new criminal types that had taken a liking to it.”
“That’s Historia Town.” Via filled in.
“Right, Historia Town...this guy never told me what happened to the place when I asked, but it wasn’t before long that my...power...began to go...awry. If he hadn’t calmed me down, I would’ve, well…” Amy made an explosion noise and showed one with her hands.
“So it was you! The explosion out beyond the city!” Andata realized, “I knew that’s what the note meant.”
“Yeah, that was me…” Amy seemed embarrassed. “A ‘note’ told you about that?”
“Yup, well, I heard the explosion and me and Sixty went to see the site for ourselves, but while we were there, we found this note that assured there was only one person capable of causing it. A note that Sixty received earlier mentioned you, Amy, and I got a note too talking about some book of memories.”
Amy was intrigued. A little weirded out, but very much intrigued. “Can I see them?” She asked intently.
“Sure.” Andata handed off the three notes. Amy read them over, and noticed the last one was signed “From Lock.”
“Did you meet that guy, too?” Amy asked, confused, “Why didn’t you mention it yet?”
“What guy?” Sixty asked, “The one in your story, you mean? I don’t think so.”
“But, you did, see?” Amy pointed to the signature, “He signed this note right here.”
Andata, Sixty, and Via all looked, and came away with similar reactions. She was right!
The four hadn't much else to say after that, and basically started to fall asleep right where they had been sitting in the living room.
"Hey guys?" Amy began, quietly breaking the silence in the room, "...Thanks. I haven't had much of anyone to talk to lately."
Andata and Via were asleep, but Sixty replied, "It's no problem," a tad less confidently than it looks being written out. He then added on, "Everyone needs some friends to talk with, right?"
"Yeah. Right." Amy replied. The two fell asleep shortly after.
• • •
“NGAHHHH!!!” Kami screamed at the top of her lungs, feeling as though her body was ripping itself apart. The walls of Jayl’s penthouse bedroom in Over Tower rattled as she stood there enduring the pain.
“Do you realize what you have done?!” Jayl demands an answer of Xander, the both of them watching in horror as Kami is tormented.
“I-we-it was a simple mistake...we underestimated the possibilities…” Xander tried to reason with Jayl.
“A simple mistake, huh...yes, I suppose it is, one that will only cost the small price of both your lives.”
“What are you talking about?!” Xander was unsure whether he was just handed a death threat or a deadly premonition.
“If we don’t get Amy’s power, her soul, sometime soon...who knows what will be left of any of us, but certainly you two...will cease to exist.”
• • •
Eight followed the voice’s advice, and proceeded into the wreckage of the tower in Historia Town. In the center of the structure, he found a staircase leading down underground. Eight, somewhat reluctantly, followed the dark stairwell until not a step was left.
Suddenly, an electric neon purple glow lit the path of an unseen corridor in front of him.
“What is this place…?” Eight wondered, heading in.
At the end of the hallway, a doorway led into a large room, in fact, an impossibly huge room, spanning up to the surface ceiling all the way down until Eight could no longer see from his high vantage point.
In this cylindrical underground shaft, a giant machine took up most of the space. Very futuristic and complex, the apparent processor, and subsequently, the main input unit, of the machine lined up with the bridge that Eight was standing upon, coming out of the hall’s doorway and stretching across the shaft, all the way to another hall.
“This is the creation of Jayl Cel. I don’t know what he plans to do with this machine, but from what I can gather, it seems to be designed in such a way that a power source, entered into a compartment on a lower level, can be sustained and controlled via this unit here.” The voice from before resounded.
Eight looked around, confused. Surely the voice he heard outside, like someone was just nearby, could not have come from all the way down here. The voice must be following him, which means in this large area, it must be close.
Just as he suspected, a figure stood in the far doorway, across the bridge.
“So, you’re showing yourself now,” Eight walked towards the doorway, “How about a name next?”
“My name? You could have asked earlier, you know, if it’s important to you. Folks around here call me Lock. Lockand Key, in full.”
To Be Continued...