Gradually the ethereal Sassen moves to sit and as she does so a small glowing stool appears. She sits and smiles at us. “I am weary of always standing.”
I do not know what to think. “What do you mean the others failed? Failed at what?”
She peers at me through the veil. “The Spire, of course.”
I too sit. Leaves puddle around me. “There were others before?”
“Yes. This isn’t the first time our world has faced disaster. In the past, when it was most desperate as it is for you now, others realised there is a haven here. Naturally you cannot simply survive in Arc, not at first. With time you may grow food and build shelters, but initially you are able to die swiftly. The Spire is succour for some, defence for others, a weapon for yet others. It depends on what you need. Using the Spire requires certain talents, however, and I was the last to succeed.” Sassen sighs then. “Many died in failure.”
I swallow, for now fear of failure becomes real to me. “Tell me about the Spire.”
She spreads her hands. “It is a tower older than this world. It was brought here from another place, but that history is now forgotten. It is about frequency. Find the right resonance and you find what is most needed.”
“What did you need?” Hanna whispers, coming to sit beside me.
“We needed a siege wall. There was a war and we faced extinction. Desperate times, indeed.” Sassen points up. “The ring of mountains? That is the siege wall I created with the aid of the Spire.” Her arm falls back. “It worked, but we were too few and eventually all those who came here passed into dust and beyond memory.”
“How does frequency prevent an asteroid’s annihilation?” I ask.
Sassen smiles sadly. “That is your task to discover. I hope you succeed.”