“Keep going but slowly,” directed Nikita.
With hands laid on each other’s shoulders, Maxi and Arpin carefully walked down the stairway. While they descended Nikita would guide them with descriptions of what the Escher Spiders were doing.
“It looks like a spiral that’s looping back in on itself,” said the spirit, “It looks a bit like a flower that’s continually blooming.”
“I’m sorry and also grateful that I can’t see that,” commented Maxi.
“Oh yes, you’d be very much trapped,” replied the spirit.
They continued down the stairs with the direction of Nikita.
“I’ve been thinking,” said Arpin.
“That seems like something you’d do,” said Maxi.
“There’s something strange about all this.”
“You think so?” replied Maxi with a laugh.
“Obviously, the whole event is strange, even for the Arrondissement.”
“I can’t argue with that.”
“But we have seen people and locations fluctuating in time, the unraveling that the Repairperson spoke of.”
“It’s hard to miss.”
“Agreed. But I wonder why we are unaffected?”
They went down several steps as they pondered this.
“If I had to guess, it’s whatever prevented us from being frozen in time when things went sideways back at the Tower Cerulean.”
“Very likely. It is the most prominent factor we all have in common.”
“Always the detective.”
“It is my nature.”
“Sorry, please go on.”
“If that is the case and we are immune to the dissolving of time, what will happen if we fail?”
“Are you saying we’re doomed?”
“No, I still believe we can correct this. But if we don’t, will we be left behind?”
“Well-“ began Maxi
“What will be here?”
“Will it be an unending storm of time rushing back and forth with no meaning or purpose?”
“Could we survive in such horror or would we eventually be overwhelmed and swallowed by the chaos?”
She did not reply.
“Are you done?”
He sighed and said, “Yes.”
“Well then, that all was very inspirational.”
“I’m sorry- “
“No, no, no! Once this is all over, you might consider a career as a public speaker. I think you would be in great demand.”
“I take your point.”
“Perhaps you can give lectures to school children about what awaits them in life. Their tears will be a small price to pay.”
“Are you done?”
“Yes. Wait, I’ve got one more. Toasts at weddings! You could say something about the ephemeral and fleeting nature of love. Now I’m done.”
Maxi and Arpin continued to descend.
“Arpin?” softly said Maxi.
“I’m worried too.”
“At least we are not alone in that.”
“STOP!!!” screamed Nikita.
“Apologies Mademoiselle, we were lost in thought, even as you have generously guided us. If I have disturbed you with my own worries, I am truly ashamed. Standing together, we will preserver and set this madness to right.”
“Maybe he should be a public speaker,” thought Maxi.
“No! The stairs in front of you have disappeared. You’ll need to jump.”
Arpin paused as Maxi unsuccessfully stifled her mirth.
“Is it a big leap?”