Chapter Thirty-One – Part Two
Finally back to Obernewtyn! So Elspeth has just arrived at the city under Tor, and has just descended into the water. She has decided to go and see the monument that the Tecknoguild has discovered in the foyer of the Reichler Clinic. Why? Because it is of her! And the building might collapse at any time, meaning she has to go and see it now, or never.
As Elspeth sinks into the water she starts to freak out. Everything is pitch black and it feels like she is suffocating. But Elspeth has to continue. Wearing weights meant that Elspeth sank without any effort, and using a guideline, she didn’t have to do anything but sit back and enjoy. They descended into the forest of aquatic plants, that seemed impossibly tall. They reached the bottom, which was once a road, and followed another rope to the clinic. Elspeth could now understand why the divers overstayed their time limits, because time down there wasn’t the same above the water. Thinking of how the city of Tor operated back in the Beforetime, apparently Tor had its own miniature sun to ensure that plant life could grow under the mountain.
The two of them enter the opening into the clinic and climb the steps into the foyer. Now in the foyer and out of the water they could remove their mouthpieces. It took Elspeth a moment to see the monument, but once she did, there was no mistaking it. The head of the statue that they brought up to the surface had already been broken off during the Great White and its upheaval. Elspeth studied the statue, and found that the young woman was encircled by a long creature, possibly a snake. But upon closer inspection, the snake is actually some sort of dragon. The rest of the statue with the multitude of animals reminds Elspeth of the shawl that the Futuretellers created for Elspeth. Elspeth could tell that though very similar to Kasanda’s work, this looked like a poor emulation of the master’s work.
Elspeth is shown the plaque for the monument which says: ‘Through the transparency of now, the future.’ Underneath that it reads: ‘For one who has the courage to see what will come, and hope.’ Below that is the name of the creator of the monument, it is Cassy Duprey. Is this the same Cassy from Elspeth’s dreams? Elspeth doesn’t have too much time to ponder things, as the room starts to make creaking sounds, the collapse is nearly upon them. Elspeth tries to figure out what exactly she is looking for, this key that the translation speaks of. Is it something that Hannah Seraphim, whom both the monument and the translation seem to point, has hidden? Or is it actually a key that the statue is hiding?
Elspeth tries to find some sort of place for such a key to hide in, but has no such luck. Unfortunately time is running out as a loud cracking sound rips through the foyer once again. More cracks follow, signalling that they need to leave and soon. The two of them start putting back on their air tubes, but Elspeth can’t help but look at the monument with pleading eyes, trying to make it reveal its secrets. But Elspeth has to leave, and soon she was making her way back to the surface. Elspeth hopes that she didn’t stuff up and leave something important behind in the foyer. If she did so, does that mean her quest is over? Has she failed? But how can the Destroyer complete his quest if he doesn’t have this important key either? That is a question that I have been wondering. Unless the key only destroys the weaponmachines and doesn’t activate them. Maybe all the Destroyer has to do is walk into wherever the weaponmachines are, and they will activate in self defence, and set off the nuclear weapons?
As they are about to rise, Zadia points towards the city. There is a great cloud of dirt that has mushroomed from the surface, the clinic has collapsed. Not long after, they were back above the water. Garth was nearly beside himself, and was so relieved to see Elspeth safe and well. He was less happy to find that the airlock had been breached, and that the clinic had been destroyed. I wonder what other wonders they will be able to find hidden in the depths. Now that The Casual Vacancy has been completed, The Keeping Place posts will resume their daily accumulation! Not long now until TKP is over!