The Stone Key – Chapter 39 – Part Two

3 days till my The Sending predictions post!

Chapter Thirty-Nine  – Part Two

Elspeth approaches the Earthtemple, and is greeted by one of the guardians with the standard question, “What do you seek of the earth?”. I do like how this question is phrased, instead of asking “what do you want US to do”, or “what do you want”, or “how may I help you”, which is pretty standard here in our world, they are asking what the person really desires not from the guardians, but from the earth itself. Elspeth doesn’t give any pretence, and says she is seeking what Kasanda left for her, the Seeker. As Elspeth is lead into the Temple she wonders if she really is here for that. After all isn’t she supposed to have Gahltha, Maruman and one of Kasanda’s blood with her? Or does that just mean in Sador with her, but even so, who is the Kasanda’s blood?

Elspeth is brought to the chamber where all of Kasanda’s carvings are on display, and of course nothing has changed since she was last here. Though she is picking up on a few more details like a moon (which keeps popping up, reason?) in one of the panels. The new overguardian arrives, and somehow Maruman is beside her (so that’s one of the three, and maybe the Kasanda’s blood just means the overguardian herself, but Cassy didn’t have a child with a Sadorian did she?). The overguardian is interesting, she seems to be incapable of not listening to Elspeth’s thoughts, yes she is a Misfit, but is this some sort of added Talent which means she can hear everything people think? And that would be quite a curse, all that constant noise!

The overguardian suggests that the prophecy simply means Sador instead of the Temple itself, and Elspeth immediately feels the same anger she does talking to the futuretellers. They always deal with mysteries and uncertainties, and give vague, cryptic answers, when all she really wants is the clear truth. Even so, it appears that maybe the prophecy has changed since the last overguardian, and it was unclear to the new overguardian what should be done, so she sent out Jakoby and let it all happen as it chose.

Elspeth asks for the fifth sign, and the overguardian goes over the panel with the Great White depicted on it, and puts her hand on it, and then a secret opening reveals itself. Only Elspeth and Maruman are allowed inside this chamber, and it is so exciting and mysterious! Going down the passage and through a small opening, she finds herself in some sort of reflective space. And it reminds Elspeth of a ‘thunder egg’, though I think she means a geode, but that information came from Fian not her. The area is lined in purple amethyst, and she was so entranced by the amethyst that she takes a while to notice what is in the middle of the floor. It is some sort of thin case, with a glass panel. And it sounds like a computer, but, how? She tries to open the case, and for a second she fears that she was supposed to use the key that was supposed to be with Hannah, but that is not quite the case.

The chamber then begins to hum, and the computer turns on, and the case opens to reveal what seems to be a laptop computer. It is a strange device since it is somehow powered by this crystal chamber, I don’t really understand the science behind that, there is of course the piezoelectric effect, but I don’t think that is relevant. I guess the Beforetimers figured something out, after all there wouldn’t have been electricity for Kasanda to power this computer with, so she had to get creative.

And now it is Elspeth’s turn to get creative and figure out what to type into the computer to get it to work and reveal its secrets. She tries a few things, but nothing seems to work. So Elspeth tries what Dell did with Ines, and speaks to it. She says that she is the Seeker, and somehow that gets it to work. And before us comes a message straight from the Beforetime, from Cassy herself! Cassy soon tells Elspeth there is limited time, because the crystal’s energy is too strong and will fry the computer (though that explanation wastes more time!) and so Elspeth must remember everything as there will be no other time when she can see this. Honestly, I know you are trying to explain what is going on Cassy, but you are wasting the ‘precious’ time you have!

Elspeth is going to take something from this chamber, but first she must record her voice. And she must remember exactly what she has said, as I am guessing whatever she is taking away is some sort of device that will allow her access into the weaponmachine’s location, but she must confirm her identity via the voice message. Then Maruman (or Merimyn as he is called) must do the same. The ‘memory seed’ is now encoded with their voices, and then Elspeth was told to press eject (and she takes maybe too long as the computer starts to fry) and then take the object, which looks like plast which she has seen plenty of times before. Is this the STONE KEY?????????

The writing reappears and tells Elspeth that the object will give her access to all levels of the Sentinel Complex, I am guessing that the other keys allow her to destroy the weaponmachines. Elspeth just has to load it into a port, any port, as ‘all roads lead to the Sentinel’, which is a strange thing to say. Without this device the place would start defending itself, which is not a good thing. And only Elspeth and Maruman are allowed inside for their voices are the only ones recorded, so how would the Destroyer get in?

Then a most frustrating thing happens, as the words say ‘Only remember that’, the computer short-circuits and we will NEVER get to know what she was trying to say. Elspeth can’t panic though, she must remember all of the words that actually showed up, for there is a lot she doesn’t understand, like a ‘port’, she needs to know what that is. It is a real pity that we don’t get to find out the rest of that sentence, and we have to hope it wasn’t too important. If only Cassy didn’t waste time with all that added nonsense about ‘no time’, there would have been if she stopped talking about it!

Elspeth tries to ask Maruman who called him Merimyn, but he refuses to answer as usual. Honestly how much stuff does he know that he refuses to share? He just dislikes human curiosity, but honestly, I WANT TO KNOW MARUMAN! Let me hear your secrets! But there are many more secrets than what Maruman knows, and Elspeth really wishes (as do I) that she could have asked Cassy one of her thousands of questions she has. But, the computer didn’t mean Cassy was alive, it just gave that illusion. The only way I guess would be to somehow meet on the dreamtrails, but can you even do that with someone who is dead? The next best thing is to gain more glimpses from the mindstream! But that is infrequent, and we might not find out everything.

But it is not quite over yet, the overguardian has something else for Elspeth that Kasanda left her. I wonder what it is?


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