Due to spoilers, please click Read More after reading the previous chapters.
Chapter Nine: Meeting
“We’re leaving,” Reyskaw said as Nero returned to the viewing chamber. The Emperor was surprised to hear those words immediately upon his reutrn. Reyskaw had clearly been waiting for him with a renewed spirit.
“Where are we going?”
“You were right. It’s time to meet with James Radcliffe and tell him what has happened to Cara.”
“I’m glad to see you’ve regained your spirits so quickly,” Nero said.
“As am I. Let’s go now.”
“Wait, Reyskaw. I have something to report. When I was in the Arcane Sphere, I think I found a way to that new world. Normally, at the edge of the Arcane Sphere there’s just a purple surface and a faint image of what’s on the other side. At one point, I saw a solid stone slab. It resembled a sealed passageway and I’m sure that if we destroyed it there would be a path to The Kara.”
“Thank you for telling me about this. It might be possible if The Kara is positioned so that the Library Complex faces that direction. Well, even that might not be necessary considering we don’t know much about the Arcane Sphere. However, when we talk to James Radcliffe, do not mention it, okay?”
Nero smiled at this. Reyskaw was once again theorizing with enthusiasm and coming to various conclusions at a quick pace.
“That’s fine, but can I ask why?”
If they were going to tell Radcliffe about The Kara, then why not tell him how to access it?
“I have a theory that it might be dangerous if Radcliffe knows about it. If he needs to know then we can tell him later. So, are you ready to leave?”
Nero responded yes and began to walk with the Reconstructionist toward the basement of the Great Library. The two of them left through the doorway and traveled into the Arcane Sphere. On their way out of the Great Library, Reyskaw thought about the stone slab. If Cara had created The Kara, then it was likely that she created that method of entry as well. A stone slab was probably some sort of seal to prevent anyone without a certain power from entering The Kara.
That made everything even more mysterious. Cara was trying to protect The Kara from outside threats so, seeing as how the seal hadn’t been destroyed, how was it that Cara was kidnapped? Regardless of all that, the existence of that seal was probably similar to an emergency door. It was something that shouldn’t be used without hesitation and that was why he didn’t want Radcliffe to know about it. That man decided things on a whim and he would probably burst through, excited at the idea of a new world to conquer.
Nero led Reyskaw to the edge of the Arcane Sphere that led to the unknown facility where John had been taken on April 16th. The entrance was in the opposite direction of the Library Complex. Looking at the Arcane Sphere from above, it was like a clock with the Flame at the center and the entrances to various locations at certain times: 3 – Unknown Facility, 6 – Great Library, 9 – Library Complex.
“Nero, where is the sealed gateway that you found?”
Nero pointed in the direction that Reyskaw had expected. 12 – The Kara.
It all seemed too perfect. Reyskaw began to wonder about many things, but as they arrived at their destination, he focused on Cara once again. The answers to all of the mysteries would come eventually, but Cara’s survival depended upon his and Nero’s actions at this very moment.
The two of them stepped through the Arcane Sphere and into the facility. They were greeted by two guards who then detained them and alerted someone to their presence. Reyskaw and Nero hoped that this someone would be James Radcliffe, but it would be more likely that there was a head of security who would learn of their existence first.
In less than ten minutes, James Radcliffe himself arrived.
“Reyskaw and Nero Claudius Caesar. To whom do I owe the pleasure?”
“Cara,” replied Reyskaw. “She’s in danger.”
“That’s interesting. Weren’t you there when she died? I should think there’s nothing that can harm her now.”
“When she died, she used the power of the Flame to create a new world. That new world is like a copy of this one where the events in the Library Complex never happened. The Cara of that world has been kidnapped.”
Reyskaw knew he was saying things that sounded unbelievable. However, he expected that the leader of the Alpha Group was probably dealing with concepts far more difficult than alternate realities.
“That’s interesting, but why have you come to me?”
“I know that you’re interested in Cara and why she was able to use the power of the Flame. The fact that another version of her exists in a world that she created must be relevant to your search for answers.”
James Radcliffe smiled. “Yes, that’s true. I’m glad that you’ve come here to tell me about this new world. I’ll launch an investigation into the matter.”
“How?” Nero asked. “You don’t have any way of traveling to the new world.”
“We’ll soon find out whether or not that’s true. At least one of my ideas has to work and, if not, we’ll just have to find one that does. Now, is there any other information you have for me?”
“We told you something that you needed to know, so it’s only fair for you to do the same for us,” Reyskaw said.
“Go ahead. Ask,” Radcliffe replied.
He was still smiling, clearly entertained by the meeting he was having. Reyskaw and Nero were beings from another world who had maintained interest in the aftermath of April 16th. They were two intelligent people, but they had given him invaluable information. There was nothing that they could ask that would be equivalent to the quality of the information they had given him.
“What is this facility? What is its purpose?”
“To study the Arcane Sphere,” Radcliffe replied. “After the Ravager incident, we established safety protocols to allow for further study of this area. We’ve been moving inside of the Arcane Sphere, collecting books, and archiving them. The translation of whatever language they’re written in is going more slowly than I had hoped.”
“Next question. Why send John to the Alpha Academy?”
“…it seems there is no limit to what you can reconstruct,” Radcliffe said. “Tell me, can you see what he’s doing all the way in Scotland?”
“I can,” Reyskaw replied. “And I’m just as confused as he is.”
“Well, you already know about Acrotorus then. Quite amazing, isn’t it? Returning to your question, you should already know why he is there.”
“You’re raising him to become a member of the Alpha Group. Why?”
“On a whim.”
“Is that really how it works? The Alpha Group leaders just doing whatever they want?”
“Yes, that’s it. We each have our own individual goals, but other than pursuing those goals we do as we wish.”
“Last question. How do you know about Nero and I?”
“Through Program Blue. He allowed me to watch his actions within the Great Library when he controlled it and so I know all about you, Nero, Diana, Alan, and Trixie.”
“I see,” Reyskaw said. “Nero and I will continue to investigate Cara’s disappearance. Please alert us if you learn anything.”
Radcliffe laughed briefly. “What makes you think that I’m going to let you return to the Great Library? You must have walked into here knowing that your return to the Great Library would not be guaranteed.”
Reyskaw was taken aback, but Nero had already imagined something like this would happen and so he had already prepared a response.
“You know what happened in the Arcane Sphere, don’t you? All of it?”
“Yes, I was watching the entire time.”
“Then you know that I’m the author of the ancient book. You just admitted that you can’t translate those books, but I can.”
Radcliffe smiled once more. He had never intended to hold the two of them hostage, but now Reyskaw had offered him an invaluable service. Those two had walked into the Archives facility to get information from him, but they had received far less in return for what they had offered.
Radcliffe was pleased with receiving so much for free.
“Fine, you can return to the Great Library. I’ll keep you updated and then one day you’ll translate one of these books for me. Does that work for you?”
Reyskaw agreed and Radcliffe escorted the two out of the Archives facility. Now that they were gone, Radcliffe prepared to gather as much information on “The Kara” as he could. He wasn’t sure that he liked the name The Kara, which Reyskaw mentioned as he was leaving, but that was a secondary concern. For now, he needed to gather information and there was only one method he could think of that would be the most effective.
If it wasn’t, then he would have to form an entirely new division of staff members to deal with the affairs of other worlds. That would take a considerable amount of time and effort, so he decided to return to his study and work on the matter personally.