Into the Tower
Mirain and Sam were the last two to reach the Tower. As they entered the square, the sun began to set and the trees behind them gently closed, leaving no trace of them ever shifting in the first place. When they looked around they counted 28 other people. Like them, some had brought backpacks, while others had nothing – though there were also a handful that were lugging around suitcases. Then, almost as if she hadn’t noticed it immediately, Mirain looked at the tremendous Tower that sat before her. As she took in a breath, she also took in the Tower and all of its glory. She felt an overwhelming rush of energy course through her body, causing her to feel as if she had just woken up from a nights sleep. She reached for Sam’s arm and squeezed it gently.
“Sam,” she exhaled, setting her backpack onto the ground. “Can you believe it?” Her eyes scanned the monumental structure; her gaze following its shape upwards until she began focusing her attention on the Golden City hanging above them. To her the city seemed monstrous in comparison to the already colossal tower, though when looking at the city she felt uneasy. While she felt rejuvenated from staring at it, she also had a haunting feeling that they were all being watched. Sam and Mirain exchanged a nervous, yet excited, glance and Mirain grew a smile as big as a child on Christmas morning. “It’s real,” she squealed. She jumped onto him, hugging him around his neck.
Sam grabbed her waist and set her down. He put his arm around her hip and they looked up at the city together. “You were right,” he said in disbelief, shaking his head. “You were right,” he reiterated, laughing to himself. They picked up their belongings and walked over to the group of people huddling in front of the Tower. From a distance, the 28 other people looked as if they were all together, though as Sam and Mirain got closer to them they realized that wasn’t the case. Some were sitting and others were standing. Yet, while technically they were in the same area, they were still separate. Most were huddled around those who shared a common language, or anything else they could find in common with each other.
Quickly after Sam and Mirain made their way over to the group, a man came over to them. He was dangerously tall – about 6’5” – short ash–colored hair that looked as if it had just been freshly cut. He wasn’t middle–aged but he wasn’t young either. He was just beginning to get his first wrinkles across his forehead, and in the corner of his eyes. Mirain looked him up and down as he approached them. He was wearing an olive green dress shirt with the two top buttons unbuttoned revealing his dark curly chest hair, accompanied by his light washed jeans with black leather shoes. He looked very fit, in fact, almost too fit. As he reached them, an overpowering aroma of cologne slapped Mirain across the face.
“Hello,” his voice was deep and brash. It was the kind of voice that you tried to prepare for because you knew it was coming, but it still had the impact of two cars colliding so you were never really ready for it. “You, two, speak, Eng-lish?” he said in a dragging tone; verbally crossing his T’s and dotting his I’s.
Mirain narrowed her eyebrows at him, “Uh, yeah–” she mimicked, nodding her head slowly, “we, do.”
“Good, glad to have you here!” he bursted. “The name is Jack Conrad,” Impact. He forcefully patted Sam’s shoulder, “We’re over here, come join us,” he said, already walking back to his circle. Sam shifted his body as if to go with him.
Mirain quickly grabbed his arm again, giving him a bewildered expression, “Uh, Sam!” she whispered, “what do you think you’re doing?”
Sam gave her a puzzled look, “Going over to the group?”
“Uh, not with ‘Jack Conrad’,” she imitated his voice, “He seems like a dick.”
Sam let out a small chuckle, “I agree,” he motioned to the rest of the group, “but I don’t really think we’re in a position to pick–and–choose who we associate ourselves with, right now,” He shifted his backpack to his left shoulder. “I’m assuming that not everyone here speaks English as their first language so it’ll be easier to get our bearings and talk to these people for right now.”
Mirain took a reluctant deep breath, “Fine,” she said in a defeated tone, “I guess you’re right.” They walked over to the group of seven; six boys, one girl. She looked around, “Hi everyone, I’m Mirain,” she gave a small wave.
Sam repeated the motion, “And I’m Sam. Hi.”
Nicholas stood up and extended his hand, “Hey, I’m Nicholas.” He shook Sam’s hand, and offered Mirain a smile. He kicked one of Travis’ shoes, “– and this here is my best buddy, Travis,” he grinned, “we’re from L.A.”
Sam gave them a smile and nodded, “Awesome. Mirain and I are from Connecticut.”
“Jack,” the roaring voice barged in. “But you already know that. I’m from Indiana.”
A younger boy lifted his hand and smiled, “Hi, I’m Wes,” he had a British accent; his voice, soft and calming. He was thinner, but not as thin as Travis, and even from sitting down he looked to be average height. Like Jack, he had ash–colored hair that was spiked up. He looked over at Sam and Mirain then toward Nicholas and Travis. He gave them all a concerned look, “Did you guys come together? Like, as two people?”
Nicholas nodded while looking at Travis. Mirain looked over at Sam and back toward Wes. “Yes,” she said quickly, “Did you not come in two?”
Wes shook his head, “No,” he said somberly, “My letter said it was only good for one person.”
The group grew quiet, and Mirain couldn't look away from him. ‘I couldn’t imagine doing this by myself,’ she thought. “You’re really strong for coming here alone,” she said briefly. “I don’t know if I could’ve done it without Sam, honestly,” she could see the hurt on his face. Quickly, she smiled warmly at him, “I think it’s really inspiring! I wish I could be more like you.”
He looked up at her and couldn’t help but let out a brief smile. He shook his head, “I’m not that inspiring,” he said softly. He looked around, “I bet a lot of people came here alone!” there were many nods around the group. Wes cleared his throat, “Anyway, I’m 17, and from London.”
“You’re from London?!” The girl from the group blurted, sitting up. She had a British accent as well. Her hair was beautiful – a large, very curly afro. Like her hair, her skin was dark and glowing. She looked around at everyone, “I’m sorry,” she smiled, “My name is Daisy. I’m 17 too, and I’m from Worcester!”
“Where?” Jack said loudly.
“It’s in England,” Wes said, glowering at him. Wes turned to Daisy and his face lit up. “I didn’t know you were from England, how did you –”
“Hi there,” a boy walked up to the group. He had very tanned skin, black hair and thick, but shaped eyebrows. He quickly smiled toward the group. His eyes were a mixture of hazel and green. “Uh, my name is Hadley,” he spoke slowly His accent was thick, “Sorry for, uh,” he hesitated and squinted one eye, “interrupting? Sorry, English isn’t my first language.” He was carrying a large dark brown book adorned with jewels. He lifted it up and motioned toward the group he came from, “We can’t read this. Can any of you?”
Jack reached out for the book, and grabbed it firmly. The writing was the same writing on the rib of the booklet he had received. He flipped through the pages. The same writing was inside. “Nah,” he said harshly, “it’s gibberish.”
Mirain grabbed the book from him and started to look at the pages, “Just because it’s different than English,” she said looking intently at the book, “doesn’t mean it’s gibberish,” Jack rolled his eyes and walked over next to Sam and sat down on the ground. The writing was hypnotic; the curves in the lettering, the ink somehow shimmered, the indents it made in each page. “Maybe, Arabic?” she asked.
Hadley shook his head with a disappointed expression, “No, one woman over there, Alia, can speak and read Arabic, and she wasn’t able to read it.”
Mirain glanced back down at the book, and flipped through the pages again, dragging her hand across the words. The letters felt as if they were pressed into the paper and like the ink just seeped into the space that the letters carved into the page. She continued to flip through and noticed that some of the pages had drawings. They were depictions of the Tower, the machines and the trees. She closed the book, and handed it back to Hadley. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what this writing is, but I think it has something to do with the Tower.”
Hadley gave her a smile. “It’s okay.”
“Where did you find it?” she asked.
“The entrance to the building is over there. It was sitting in front of the doors,” he said pointing towards the trees.
Mirain’s attention immediately shifted, beguiled by this new information, “The entrance?” She set her bags down onto the ground and began to walk towards the trees. Sam set his bags down after her and began to follow her.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he said, catching up to her.
“To the entrance,” she said firmly.
“You’re not planning on going in, are you?”
She stopped and gave him a dumbfounded look, “Well, of course I am,” she said adamantly.
He looked at her intently and his nose crinkled. “Uh, no?” he said softly.
Mirain copied his face, “Uh, yes?” she replied.
“Come on now,” he said, his eyes widening, “You don’t even know what’s in there.”
She started to walk again, “Yeah,” she shrugged, “hence why I’m going to go in.”
Sam grabbed her hand, “Meerkat, please,” he said softly. She stopped and looked at him for a moment, “I’m not trying to tell you what to do, I promise. This has just been a really big day for everyone. This Tower probably hasn’t been found by people for hundreds of years,” he hesitated, “we can’t just rush in there with no plan.”
Her head tilted slightly, and she gave him a small grin, “so Big Sam is scared now,” she said in a slightly higher voice, tapping his shoulder lightly.
He rolled his eyes and smiled at her, “Shut up, dork. I’m saying let’s go over there, but let’s not rush into things. We should be careful.”
She smiled back at him, “Fiiiine–” she grabbed his hand and they walked over.
When they got to the entrance Mirain looked at the doorway. Two giant double doors, probably twice her size, sat in front of her. The doors were wooden and had eight carved panels into each side. The carvings were intricate and smooth. Each door depicted a group of people wearing cloaks and large headdresses, varying in different shapes and sizes. Their faces were covered with masks. The people were in groups of no more than five, and had no indication of if they were men or women. The top four panels on the left door illustrated the figures doing monotonous daily routines, such as eating together, walking together, and playing games together. The top four panels on the right door depicted the figures in front of a large palace, with a row of mountains in the background showing earthbound creatures flying through the air. The bottom four panels on the left door portrayed the figures bowing in front of someone, and presentations of them lighting candles and praying. The bottom four panels on the right door were of the figures in agony, on their knees, with their arms outstretched while a light shined on them radiating from the left corner. Some of the figures were lying on the ground, presumably dead.
“Wow,” Mirain said, dragging her fingers across the carvings, “these are incredible.” She motioned over to Sam. “Sam, look at these.” He got on his knees beside her and looked at the images.
“Geez, you’re right,” he said softly, “they are beautiful.”
“Haunting,” she said quickly, focusing closely on the design. “I mean, look at their faces,” she said, touching them. “Like, these ones! Look at these–” she said astonished, admiring at the panels on the bottom right door. “They’re all dying in this one, or something like that, and their masks don’t let you see their expressions.” Sam looked at her. “But I mean look,” she said tapping on their bodies, “you can tell by the way their bodies are carved that they’re in pain,” she continued. “It’s beautiful,” she exhaled. Sam smiled at her. She looked to him and smiled back, “What?”
“Oh, nothing,” he said, standing up. He walked over to the two trees outside of the doorway.
“And look at the casings on these doors, Sam, they’re gorgeous! Seriously – look at these floral designs, they’re incredible.”
“Hey Meerkat,” Sam interrupted, looking up at the leaves. She walked over to him, “have you ever seen leaves like this before?”
She gave him a strange look, “Uh, I’m not sure, why?” she asked, “They don’t look that strange–”
“No,” he said softly. “Look at them,” he pointed up to the leaves above them. “Those leaves look kind of reddish, like on a tree changing color,” he said, focusing more on the leaves, “but move around and watch them. Let the light hit them. They turn purple,” he looked at the bare ground, and back at the leaves. Those are healthy, purple leaves,” he said in an astonished tone. “Have you ever seen such a thing?”
Mirain looked closer, “How can you tell it’s not just changing colors?”
“Well, trees that change color do so because of a shift in weather,” he started, “usually, the colder weather makes the chlorophyll in the leaves start to break down, which is why they change colors,” he looked at her and smiled, “but it’s not cold here. It’s warm,” he looked back up towards the leaves. “Which means, this tree has naturally reddish-purple colored leaves,” he smiled and let out a deep breath in disbelief.
Mirain smiled at him, “I don’t get it, is that a big deal?”
He looked up to think for a moment and then looked back at her, “You know, I’m not sure. But I think it is.”
She smiled at him, “Why?”
“Well, have you ever seen a naturally reddish-purple leafed tree before?” He looked at the leaves again, “Because I sure haven’t.” His attention then deviated from the leaves to the tree itself. “What kind of tree is this even?”
She followed his glance and as she did she noticed the fruits hanging from the vines. “Hey leaf–boy,” she said teasingly, “what kind of fruit are those?”
His attention veered from the leaves to the fruit. His eyes closed slightly trying to focus in on what the fruit looked like. They were round and at first glance they seemed to be completely black, though with a closer inspection there were marks spiraling around the fruit that were a slightly lighter than the fruit’s skin. “Uh, I’m not sure,” he paused. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fruit like that before.”
She looked down at the ground and noticed the signs. “Hey Sammy,” she said softly, “help me find English.”
He looked at her and down at the hundreds of palm–sized signs at their feet, “Uh, what?”
“These signs are in languages,” she pointed “Like that one! That’s French, but I don’t know how to read French, so help me find English!” They both looked down for a few minutes scanning the ground.
“Eat Me,” he said out of the silence.
Her eyebrows rose and she let out a small laugh, looking over at him, “Excuse me?”
He looked up at her confused for a moment. Realizing what he said, he laughed and pointed at the sign in English, “There,” he laughed to himself. “The sign says, ‘Eat Me.’”
She started laughing, “Oh my God, that’s hilarious! I totally thought you were saying that to me for a second.” The two laughed together for a moment, and Mirain walked closer to Sam.
He straightened his posture slightly, and gave her an inquisitive look, “Can I help you?” he asked.
“Well, boost me up!” She said in a staccato, pointing up towards the fruit.
His eyebrows came together slightly, “You’ve got to be kidding.”
She shrugged and gave him a devilish smile, “The sign does say ‘Eat Me.’”
He shook his head and smiled at her, “Seriously? You’re actually a child,” he let out with a small chuckle. “Just because a sign says ‘eat me’ doesn’t mean you actually eat it! That’s like a ‘non–toxic’ label on a marker. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!”
Mirain opened her mouth in an animated fashion. “I never,” she said sarcastically. “Fine then, if you won’t help me, I’ll get that Hadley boy to!” She walked over to another group of people, and smiled at them, raising her hand to say hello. “Hi, everybody,” she said into the group. Her attention shifted over at the boy with the book, she grabbed his hand and tugged slightly on his arm towards the trees. “Hadley, isn’t it?” she smiled.
“Uh, no?” the boy said confused. Mirain gave him a puzzled look. She was positive that he was Hadley.
A laugh came from the other side of the group, “I’m Hadley,” said Hadley proudly. He walked over and grabbed Mirain’s hand. “This is my twin brother, Grey–”
“Yeah,” Grey began, “But you can call me Fritz.”
“Fritz?” Mirain asked. Grey nodded. “Okay then, boys!” she began, “Do either of you want to help me get one of those fruits down from that tree?”
Hadley stepped toward her, “Yeah sure, I will.” The twins and Mirain walked over to the tree.
“Sam, this is Hadley if you remember, and this is his twin brother, Grey–”
“–but you can call me Fritz,” Grey said quickly.
Mirain smiled, “Yeah, Fritz!”
“Hey Fritz,” Sam shook his hand, “I’m Sam. Where are you guys from?”
Hadley walked towards the tree, looking up at the fruits, “Athens, Greece.” He lifted his finger and started counting the fruit.
“Oh wow,” Sam said briefly, “that’s pretty far. How did you get here so fast?”
“Fast?” Hadley gave him a confused expression, “What do you mean fast?”
“Well, you guys got an invitation, right?”
“Yeah? Didn’t you?”
“Yeah – we did, like two days ago.”
“Oh,” Fritz interjected, “We got ours three days after the announcement.”
Sam looked at Fritz with dubiety, “Really? That’s odd,” he hesitated, “Or, convenient I guess in your case considering you had to get here somehow.”
The twins shrugged off the conversation. Hadley turned to Mirain, “Well, there’s 30 fruit up there, so I guess there’s one for everyone,” he smiled. “Hop up!” he said exposing his back. Mirain jumped on his back, and he lifted her up towards the fruit. She grabbed two of them and he set her down.
She lifted the fruit up towards Sam’s face, “Wanna bite?” she smiled teasingly at him.
“No,” he snickered, “I don’t, thanks.”
Mirain handed the other fruit to Hadley. The fruit were quite large, the size of a basketball, and they were fuzzy to the touch – somewhat like a peach. She clonked the fruit together with Hadley’s and they both took a bite, exposing a bright neon blue color inside with swirling black lines throughout the fruit. They both jolted up straightening their backs. The taste was sweet but it made their tongue tingle, like they were eating the 1970s candy, Pop Rocks.
Sam grabbed ahold of Mirain and started speaking to her, but when she focused on his voice it sounded like he was mumbling. He continued to speak, and she gave him an odd look.
“Sam,” she said, “What the hell are you saying?” Sam developed a grim expression, and began to shout things that made no sense to her. She looked over at Hadley and nodded her head towards Sam, “Do you understand what he’s saying?”
Hadley shook his head, “No, I don’t.” He looked over at his brother, “Hey, do you want a bite?” he said in Greek. Fritz grew a haunted look on his face, and like Sam he started to shout mumbled phrases. Hadley grabbed Fritz tightly, “Grey, what’s wrong, are you alright?!” he said harshly.
Mirain turned toward the panicked Hadley, “What’s wrong? He didn’t want a bite?”
Hadley turned toward her and gave her a confused look, “Wait, you speak Greek? Why didn’t you say anything before?”
Mirain gave him a baffled look, “No, I don’t speak Greek. You were just speaking English,” she said softly.
Hadley’s eyebrows rose. “No,” he shook his head, “No, I wasn’t.” He looked at her, shocked. “My name is Hadley Agnes, I’m 18 years old, I’ve got two dogs, I just graduated last May,” he looked at her.
“Okay..?” she said confused.
“Could you understand me?” he asked quickly.
“Of course I could, you’re speaking English!”
Hadley grabbed onto Mirain’s shoulders. “No, Mirain, I’m not speaking English!”
She looked at Hadley and back down at the fruit. She looked over at Sam, who was continuing to shout nonsense at her. She held the fruit out to him. He looked at her with dismay and shook his head. She nodded, took another bite, and again held it out for him, giving him a look that said ‘you better eat this, Sam’. He looked at her, down at the fruit, and then back at her. He leaned his head in and took a bite out of the fruit. As he did this, a fruit fell off of the tree and onto the ground. It shriveled up and rotted immediately upon making contact with the grass
Sam heard the loud thud from the fruit. “What the hell was that?” he said looking over at it.
“Oh my God!” Mirain exclaimed, “I can understand you!”
He glanced back at her. “Mirain, what the hell was that all about?” he touched her arm. “You took a bite of that fruit and you started, like,” he swayed his head back and forth trying to find the words, lifting his shoulders, “I don’t know, you started to like speak another language or something, and then Hadley started to do it too.”
Hadley looked at Sam and Mirain and down to the fruit. He looked over at Fritz, who looked like he was in the middle of a panic–attack. He lifted the fruit to Fritz’s mouth, causing him to back away from it. Hadley pointed at the fruit and motioned for his brother to take a bite. When he didn’t, Hadley took a handful of the fruit and practically force–fed it to his brother. As he did this, another fruit fell from the tree, and once it hit the ground it instantaneously shriveled up and rotted.
“What the hell, Hadley, I didn’t want to eat that!” Fritz shouted scraping his tongue with his sleeve.
Hadley looked at him completely mystified. “Oh wow, that’s messed up,” he uttered, letting out a terse chuckle from the absurdity.
By this time, the rest of the group had noticed the scene being made by these four and decided to walk over to see what was going on. The four attempted to communicate with the others but to no avail. Hadley held his fruit in front of his mouth, took a bite, and pointed at the fruit in the tree, almost beginning a small game of charades. He looked at them and motioned for them to eat one. One by one, they all took a bite out of one of the fruits, and one by one they all began to not only speak to one another, but understand one another.
“What is this?”
“Why can I understand you?!”
“I can speak Spanish?!”
“What kind of fruits are these?!”
A loud roar of confused voices filled the square as if it was a small room.
“Hey! Hey! Hey!” Jack boomed in. “Now, clearly something strange is happening. Let’s all just calm down. We shouldn’t get into a panic over this,” he exposed his hands. Mirain rolled her eyes. Sam, looking at Mirain, smiled and bumped his shoulder into hers. “Let’s look at this like a blessing,” he spoke firmly. “At least now we can understand each other. Now, does anybody know what kind of fruit we just ate? Or maybe why we are able to understand each other? Are we hallucinating?”
“Oh my!” an elderly woman gasped out of the group. “We must be! It’s the only thing that would make sense. Heavens…” The group began to get lost again in side conversations.
“Hey now, come on, let’s stay on track,” Jack demanded. No one came forward. “Now I think we should all maybe just, relax – it’s getting late. Maybe we start a fire, and in the morning we can–”
“No,” Mirain said cautiously. “I don’t think we should do that,” everyone looked over at her.
“And why is that, Sweetie?” Jack said in a demeaning tone.
Mirain gave him a side–eyed look and walked more into the circle of people. “Listen, I’m assuming we were all given the same instructions on how to get here,” she said quickly, “and there were signs posted outside of these trees,” she looked over at them. She could no longer read any of them, even the one she knew was in English. She paused for a moment, having a premonition of an unavoidable disaster, and looked back into the group. “Don’t you think this is all a little too much to be coincidence? I agree with Jack, we shouldn’t panic, but I don’t think we should stop here. I think we should look around a bit and look for something...else,” she looked at everyone, and shrugged. “I mean, it’s been relatively pretty straight–forward up to this point, it’d be a little weird if things began to get cryptic at this stage. There’s gotta be something else around here that will give us an idea of what we should do next.”
“Whatever,” Jack exhaled, “You all can look around like idiots, but I’m gonna go start a fire. It’s getting dark out, and it’s been a long day of hiking to get here.”
Jack went off and collected branches as firewood from the surrounding trees as the rest of the 30 went to look around the Tower in search for something significant. When they all came back to the front of the Tower, Jack had started a fire and was sitting in front of it flipping through the book Hadley had earlier.
Mirain came up to him, “What’re you doing?”
“Readin’,” he replied.
“I thought you didn’t understand ‘gibberish’,” she said.
“I don’t,” he said rigidly, “but for what it’s worth, it ain’t gibberish anymore. You can read it as plain as day.”
“What? You can read it now?”
“Uh–huh,” he hummed.
She reached out her hands, “May I?”
He let out a sigh and stretched, “Yeah, here you go,” he handed the book to her, “it’s just a bunch of fairy tales anyway.”
‘Fairy Tales, huh?’ she thought to herself. She looked down at the book and read the first few lines to herself. She looked up at him, “Jack,” she whispered, “You know, this is sort of what I meant by finding something else.”
Jack gave her a phony smile, “Well then Sweetie, you have your ‘else.’” She just looked at him for a moment, and didn’t say anything. She took a deep breath and looked back down at the book.
“Hey guys,” Mirain announced to everyone, “You might want to come over here and listen for a bit.” The group came back together and sat down in front of the fire. “Listen, I’m going to read this off to you guys.”
She spoke clearly, and slowly from the brown book in front of her:
‘If you are reading this, then you have taken a bite from the Mother Fruit
A fruit we also call the Golden Berry
This fruit is the last remnant of the Original Earth, and as such it contains
The Original Word
As you will soon find out, many secrets are hidden among these pages
Written in the mother tongue for those who Know.
You come from a time that believes magic is myth,
And your stories are labeled as such
Know this to be Truth, as you read these pages
Many of your myths stem from true pasts.
For an example, we shall give
Existed a Tower not far from this.
Many know it as the ‘Tower of Babel,’
Created by man as a pathway to seek a God.
However, this God saw their act as rebellion
So He separated your people and created different tongues
Thus the Creation of The Golden Berry.
This is simply one of many
Stories you were told as children made to seem like Tales of Wonder
Though the Mother Tongue has remained hidden within the Golden Berry
Waiting to be given as The Last Gift
Prophecy speaks of the downfall of Man
Thirty shall be plucked from those who remain
Run to the Trees that Hide a Magnificent Tower and
Initiate Humanity’s Last Labor by taking The Last Gift
Eight Floors made to Lose Most
Above It All is what Everyone Seeks
A Common Tongue, for a Common Mind
Climb the Tower
And save the Human Race.
One of thirty must make it to Heaven’s Gate
And a new Era of Peace will be brought upon the Earth.
Though if none pass this Last Test
The Human Race will destroy itself upon emerging from its glass cages.’
Mirain looked up from the book and out towards the others in the group. Her hands were shaking. The old woman who spoke before pushed up her glasses, “Well, go on!” she insisted. Mirain looked back down to the book.
‘We of Eight have created Your
Peace on Earth
The Tower is the Last Test of Humanity
Make it to Heaven’s Gate and
The Last Labor will be Complete
All Will Be Known when the Gate opens for You
The Birthright of The Eight is as Shown
Pass Along for the Thirty To See’
Mirain looked up again. “I think everyone has to see this,” She handed the book off, and they all passed it around the circle, each taking a moment to look at the symbol. When she received the book again, she continued to read.
‘Into the Tower the Thirty Must Go
To enter a World the Living has forgotten
On each Floor a Human Struggle will sit
Waiting for its Final Battle
Destroy its presence on the Floor and
A door marked by our Birthright will open to You
Though a word of Caution before the Thirty begin
The struggle lies within You as well
Destroy its presence on the Floor, but be sure to rid Yourself of its pain
Or your Souls will be Forgotten in the World you Find yourselves in
Challenges Await All Who Enter
But Connected You Are Before You Go
On Each Floor Your Memory Wiped
Though the Birthright of Eight Will Bring You Back
Thirty Shall Come to Claim What’s Known
One Must See, For All to Know
Together You Are Connected
Together You Shall Go
Only One Must Reach the Gate’
Mirain closed the book. “The rest of the pages are blank,” she said softly looking down at the cover.
“Well what in the Hell does that mean?” Jack blurted out.
Mirain looked up at him, and looked off into the empty space between them, “It means,” she hesitated, and looked over to the doorway, “We go in.”
“The Hell I will,” Jack said proudly. “You couldn’t pay me to go in there after reading all that Hocus Pocus shit.”
Mirain stood up, “Okay, you know what, Jack” she said angrily, “I’ve had it with your sour-ass attitude.” She pointed at him, “For an adult, you sure act like a damn five-year-old.” Sam grabbed Mirain’s leg, and she stopped to look at Sam who was looking away from her. She took a deep breath, “Listen, this is a lot for everyone to take in. I get it. But the bombs go off in a few days here, and the inside of that Tower, whatever is in it, is something that could save us. Something that could save everyone.” She looked down at the book she was holding. “It’s a chance. Let’s take it together.”
Hadley stood up, “Yeah,” he agreed, “I mean, if we don’t we’re just going to die here anyway,” he shrugged, “we’ve come this far.”
Jack looked over at them and scoffed. “Fine,” he said grudgingly, “if we’re gonna do this, we might as well go now.”
“That’s the attitude Jake!” Hadley said in a cheerful tone.
“It’s Jack!” he said angrily.
“My bad, dude, my bad.”
Mirain looked around, “If you need a few minutes to collect yourselves, you should do that now before we go in,” she tapped the cover of the book, “We don’t really know what’s going to be on the other side.”
The moon was hanging in the center of the sky when the thirty met in front of the entrance to the Tower. Mirain gave Sam a hug before turning to everyone else. “Is everyone ready?” Nods from around the group were given and she turned towards the doors. ‘Okay, here it goes’ she thought to herself. She grabbed the handles and pulled them open, a deafening silence spilled from the black void from the inside of the Tower. She looked inside, and saw nothing. She looked around to everyone else, and then looked at Sam. She grabbed his hand, and they walked through the doorway.
One by one they all entered, and when the last one went in, the doors shut behind them, and the world turned black.