Quin never gives up.

I have heard that said both as criticism and as compliment.

Earlier today, I used the coordinates Quin sent me and went to take a look at his latest experiment, Time Vault. I did not go in a professional capacity – not as explorer nor as time traveller. I was off duty. I just wanted to go have a look after reading Quin’s message about this project. Partly out of simple curiosity, as I had not been to one of the ages in Time Vault, and partly because I couldn’t believe he was expanding the experiment at this point and just had to see it for myself.

It is quite the undertaking. Here, he continues to work on his Future Past experiment…but that is not all. In this one place he has brought Illusion and Starfyre together with Future Past. Yes, Illusion. This was most surprising. I could tell the last time we spoke that he could not get this age – and his lack of success with it – out of his head.

I arrived in Starfyre, the age I had not seen before in person, only in pictures. The terrain was a very rocky one. A green-blue rock…or maybe blue-green. I was not about to study the color of the rock…as I say, I was off duty.

I was standing at the foot of a mountain. With the aid of flight, which appeared to be the only means available to me, other than climbing the mountain – which I was by no means prepared to do – I made it to the large structure at the top. I did not spend any time investigating the structure because two things distracted me. At first it was the large horns on the outside of the structure. Speakers? That is surely what they are. There was no sound coming from them, it was dead quiet here, in fact, but those are undoubtedly speakers up there. (This intrigued me as separately I am investigating what appears to be a series of towers scattered around some of the Devokan ages which I believe may be the antennas of an ancient relay system.) But before I could make any further observation about the speakers, came the second distraction – a shining, shimmering glow from inside the structure – crystals! Giant ones. Large examples of the blue crystals I have seen in several of the ages were sticking out from the top of the mountain. Not only that but green crystals of the same size as well. I tried to recall if I’d seen green ones before in my travels through these worlds. I will surely have to come back to Starfyre when I am on duty.

I headed over to Future Past which I could see in the distance. As best I could tell it was there intact, at least as it was when I last saw it. The blue orb still inside the spinning wooden frame, the fog or mist coming from inside the building that housed it, and so on. The sun was shining brightly in the night sky. Yes, you read that correctly. But at least it was to the west this time, rather than to the south as in Quin’s previous attempt to stabilize Future Past.

I wasn’t sure whether to enter Illusion or not. With much hesitation, I did so but briefly…just as in my last encounter with it. The place, as colorful as it is, still has the look of the aftermath of an earthquake. I am not sure how safe it is to be there. I suppose I should take a closer look sometime but today…that’s right, I am off duty. I moved through Illusion quickly and headed to the towers in the distance I recognized as the Devokan hub.

I arrived there and went down inside to the linking book room. Quin has turned some of the books facedown. The books for Deepwater and Waysmeet were in that position, apparently denoting their disappearance “from the current universe” as Quin had put it in a recent letter. A few of the other books were facedown as well. I could only wonder what else Quin had been up to.

Other books were open in the normal position. I hesitated to use them as Quin had mentioned in his most recent notes that these books were not working properly, if it all. I was not in the mood for experimentation, myself.

But then I saw the book for Selenitica back in Evergreen, my base in the Devokan ages.  Hmmm. Should I? No, I should go back the way I came…well…maybe…

At the risk of being “catapulted out of the current universe” I placed my hand on the picture of Selenitica, closed my eyes (which isn’t actually necessary but it’s what I did), and waited.

After a minute or so, I was back in Selenitica. Unharmed. I exhaled. And walked up to my room in the castle to pour a drink and resume my day off.

 

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