26 \ 114

“We’ll go now from the foot to the peak.  But alas,” Woollibee said with a playful tone, “no peeking.  You are here as guests of Arctyri’s.  What we do here, as well as the Arch’s purpose for existence, is outside of your business.  Luckily for you, or it might be another year before you once more took to the air.”

“Whatever you do, it must be fascinating,” said the General.

The builder nodded sharply.  “At times.”  It was then that the door opened, and they beheld someone with an unmistakable resemblance to their host.  “Bux!”  The two kin raised their arms at each other.  “This is he,” said Arjun as he gestured them out of the room, “my brother and partner in science, Buckminster Woollibee.  He is the leading mind behind the tensile force technology you just witnessed, as well as many of the other systems that keep us comfortable and secure.” The researcher was dressed in a buttoned floor length off-white overcoat with a closed-neck collar.  The General and the Councillor approached him and made handshake introductions.

“Bux Woollibee, at yours and Arctyri’s service.  When I was informed that a seeker would be arriving, I knew it would be worth whatever inconvenience.  I sought Arctyri myself long ago, and I know doubtless that without that significant experience, I and my teams couldn’t have accomplished the feats within which we now stand.”

General Claymore began to wonder what the seeking process would impart to him, rather than to them.  Other proposed options had seemed poor and ineffective to his preliminary glances; but he hadn’t fully considered himself an actual part of the Viridian Phasing protocol.  That it might somehow empower him hadn’t been a goal, but now he perceived it may be a key matter.

“Let us travel,” said the mechanical scientist.

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