- Fiction - An Incidental Coercion









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



An Incidental Coercion

A startlingly temporal apparition emerged from the clouded atmosphere persuasively. Mirroring our location imprecisely, the converging outline of its imposing structure unexpectedly appeared to converge from our curious vantage. Its intensifying form and increasingly confident silhouette appeared from the murky atmosphere as we drew closer. Holding intrinsic promise without clear enunciation, the mysterious form insisted that we should forge ahead to make further exploration. WE managed a forthright pace despite our instinctive defensiveness. Our eyes forcefully considered its location, unwilling to let the surrounding attenuations distract us from the building's formation. Its slender, determined shape ascended rapidly, its solidifying circumference sprawled upward into the thickening airway. Drawing closer, it was hard not to realize its predetermined location, unavoidable despite its clandestine location. Immaculately placed between the shifting currents of water beneath and the flowing atmosphere above, its swirling shape formed a tangible bridge between the conflicting forces. Forcefully constructed, meticulously designed and implacably indicated, its unmarked surface emoted an unwavering stability. It held itself with a silent observance, standing firm against the gathering maelstrom without budging. Holding its rigid place, the impermeable structure contained completely within itself. We ventured physically closer but it maintained a determined remove and gave no indication of its purpose, function or meaning.

Unaffected by the rapidly changing environment, it stood silently with resolute determination, seemingly unconcerned by our approach. The upper reaches of the atmosphere continued spinning consecutively, their outward appearance changed, forming innumerable thin layers that streaked through the air. These striking visual shifts elicited no tangible effect on the figure. Its determined posture unaffected. Walking closer, I Noticed the afternoon light diminishing further, The dual suns' strident glare diffused rapidly, shifting downward in post-noon submergence until their soft glow only dimly lit the surroundings. This phenomenon created a strange effect on her, she seemed to slide beneath her dark cloak, allowing her to move through the lengthening shadows while remaining partially visible.

At the same time, a mysterious surge of energy derived from an undefined source began cloaking the figure in convergent layers of thickening fog. Its surrounding atmosphere further blurred the protruding formation, effectively shielding its placement from further comprehension. Despite implementing subtle, temporal defenses, we remained irreversibly drawn towards the figure. Gemine revealed very little about her motivations, maintaining her quiet enunciations. A defiant absence of explanation from her didn't elicit noticeable concern or dissuade the Navigator. He didn't share our wariness or reluctance as he sprinted confidently towards his unarticulated objective. It didn't take long before he stood directly beneath its surface. Sensing it was safe to proceed, we quickly joined at his side. The narrow object's thick spiraling layers at the lower sections created a foundation that held the seemingly immovable underlying form in place despite the connotative atmosphere's determined invocations..

Following their inherently unwavering lead, I managed to forge a slight incursion towards the mysterious structure. Taking several steps closer revealed a slim, concise construction that reached towards the skies, its lower reaches building consecutively, extending its reach towards an unimaginable height. As we carefully maneuvered near the object, its structure appeared to stretch upward unobtruded, growing taller until it reached a seemingly insurmountable peak. I walked several cautious paces behind the Navigator, looking around carefully. Gemine held position behind me, taking steps closer only reluctantly, without enthusiasm. Determined not to let its inanimate force deter further incursions, she shadowed the Navigator, her dark, flowing garment providing a layer of protection. Observing closely, my eyes tracked the structure until its upper reaches were tangentially visible. The clandestine upper reaches appeared to represent a convincing determination, though that assumption on my part couldn't be reinforced from that pronounced distance. We'd have to venture closer towards the structure in order to discover additional insight.

Reservedly hiding its unyielding structure from our inquisitive eyes, its indistinct surface purposely surreptitious in design. The elusive object's designation was unfocused, as blurry and murky as the collecting fog. It's outline solidified as we walked closer, its heightened sections appeared to be floating above the thickening clouds and darkening skies. Visibly shaken by its sudden appearance, the mysterious personage in the immaculate suit forged ahead with a noticeable intensity. Gemine shook her head nervously and expressed a measure of fear. The imposing structure rising in the distance held a disconcertingly unwelcoming appearance. She wasn't eager to venture further towards the enigmatic structure, unable to determine what it might represent or convey. Watching her movement closely, I realized that the cloaked figure didn't shift her momentum in either direction, maintaining a consistent pace unswayed by fear or curiosity. She responded to the looming construct without excessive emotion. Walking across the surface without commitment, she held her thoughts within, closely examining the structure rising in front of her with muted apprehension alongside reluctant appreciation.

Crossing over the somewhat rough terrain, we maintained a consistent pace throughout the excursion until we stood near the bottom of the structure. Looking upward at its uneven surface, it was difficult for us to determine precisely what it was at first. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, the static design maintained a silent vigil, overlooking the surroundings from a platonic, somewhat distant objective. I waited for Gemine to make a move closer but she kept herself at a pronounced remove from its immediate surface. The Navigator began cautiously walking closer, and it revealed a strange funnel shape, circulating and surrounding itself in rounded sections. Slowly converging upward, the narrowing scope led towards a pronounced squared-off room visible at the apex. Its glassy panels were covered with large windows, but these were clouded over in thick layers of dusty particles, almost entirely dark, making it almost impossible to see what lurked behind them. Its panels were marginally bisected by thick, steel rods, which appeared defiantly recalcitrant, giving the structure a reclusive design that made for an intimidating approach. It was tempting to turn around, but there was a driving curiosity that motivated me to keep walking towards the structure, despite the uncertainties it contained.

Taking several minutes for extensive contemplation, I still couldn't comprehend the purpose or meaning of the object, despite having walked almost directly underneath its shadow. Studying its unexpectedly smooth surface, I didn't see any noticeable gaps or windows on the shaft beneath the open room. Its shadow began to lengthen as the afternoon suns' began their inevitable descent, the surrounding clouds thickened quickly, further concealing its design. I found myself completely stumped as it to what precisely stood in front of me until I felt a tap on my shoulder. I didn't need to turn around, I realized who it was almost immediately. Not jumping out of fear, but more from surprise, her tangible connection wasn't a predictable occurrence. However, her presence was strangely reassuring, reminding me that I wasn't alone on the journey. at least not at that point. She held a dislocated form that I could detect subconsciously. She watched over the inconsistent visage carefully while I remained confused as to why he'd led us on such an extended detour, only to encounter a desolate structure. It's defiantly enigmatic formulation and purposely elusive placement seemed entirely uncorroborated, uneasy with the surroundings.

Simultaneously deeply considered in construction yet forgotten in the interim, the looming form drew upward, its layered extensions built consecutively into the Deepening afternoon without indicating a sense of what precisely it's design could have indicated. I stood momentarily transfixed and partially hypnotized by its apprehensive face. Its surface revealed little emotion, leaving me mystified and intrigued by the empty, darkened glass surrounding its' apex. Incomprehensibly placed in the middle of a leavening valley, the nearby fields and tranquil river reflected none of its design. Poking me for a second time, caused me to turn around quickly, unsure of what precisely had brought about her sudden urgency. She seemed puzzled by my concentrated attention on the elusive object, and she asked me with indignation and concern, if there was anything uniquely evocative about that simple lighthouse that she might have overlooked.

I was surprised by her nonchalant explanation but upon further inspection, it was immediately obvious that she was correct, and knew precisely what it was. I'd gotten misdirected, approaching the lighthouse without measuring its enduring aspects. She looked across the lighthouse and shrugged her shoulders, brushing off my concerns fearlessly. It was somewhat discouraging to admit that I'd squandered energy following a misguided approach that was determined to see something that didn't exist. I'd somehow managed to dismiss the relatively straightforward structure standing right in front of me.

Looking it over again, its stable surface and unmannered resolve reassured the majority of any irrational fears. The unmoving building didn't seem as malevolent from that perspective and, in fact, seemed to become unexpectedly alluring. There was sizeable relief and quickly decided not to overwhelm myself with complicated explanations. She nodded appreciatively, enunciating that she was glad to assist me. She slid her convergent-light machine out from its concealed pocket beneath her long sleeves, beginning to trace the building's exterior partitions. She maneuvered it quickly then brushed around until it illuminated an entrance near the western corner of the structure. Barely visible from that distance without her machine, appearing as a narrow sliver, almost hidden from view with unassisted eyes. The doorway led just beyond the corner, it was plainly in sight once she illuminated its extended corner. When she walked closer, its appearance brightened and clarified marking into an unmistakable form. She turned and began waving at the others, motioning for them to join us without fear or trepidation.

The other pair held position, and talked between themselves, assuming that she held no hidden motives and determined to follow through on their expedition, whatever unexpected encounters might occur. The pair proceeded rapidly towards our position and quickly followed her to the lighthouse's base, with resolve, her confidence appeared to have reconnected the group as they walked towards the exterior landing. We fell in line and began walking behind them at a steady clip, responding to their steady partnership with equal energy that wasn't conditional, our steady pace pierced through any undermining doubt. After a brief intercession, she reached the exterior entrance, with hasty speed and began placing her machine alongside the walls, illuminating its surface quickly. She was able to fully invoke the previously hidden entrance and it glowed brightly against the darkening surface. Watching closely, the Navigator scanned the door for any signs of trouble, looking back and forth nervously. There weren't any visible encumberments except for a narrow slot on the lower portion, where a key might have prevailed. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be anything nearby. Pacing back and forth furtively, he began to grow frustrated by the unexpected blockage. He seemed upset that he hadn't anticipated how to resolve the comparatively simple quandary.

Gemine walked towards the doorway, encountering the same problem but took a completely different approach. Instead of keeping herself at a safe point from the door while examining its barriers from a remove, she forged a path directly ahead until she was standing in front of the door. Gemine stated that she wouldn't allow its minor concealment to stop her. She didn't seem worried in the slightest by the imposing, stridently closed door set in front of her. The Navigator held a distinct sense of disbelief, expecting her to endeavor a elaborate system or complex maneuver that would only lead to frustration. Gemine wasn't intimidated by the seemingly immovable barrier. She took an additional step closer but didn't perform any of the anticipated intricate tasks or undertake elaborate moves. All she needed to do was stand in front of it, extend her hands then merely pushed on it gently. It seemed her unadorned technique was unlikely to have much effect, but this was a mistaken assumption on our part. The doorway began opening silently, without putting up any noticeable defense. There was a short sliding noise while the entrance quickly opened. It was surprising that she hadn't encountered any hesitation. The Navigator seemed genuinely surprised by her unexpectedly modest methodology.

He wasn't able to determine what precisely had transpired, wondering with a measure of disbelief, how she knew the door was already open. Fortunately, his skepticism was transitory. Gemine quickly explained that she'd been there before. Taking a measure of the relatively close distance we'd travelled, this seemed somewhat plausible, at least to my largely inexperienced ears. Deciding not to further question her familiarity with the waypoint he stood back and allowed her to take the lead. She pushed the door completely outward until its entrance was completely unobstructed/ Turning she signaled that it was safe for us to enter. Gemine followed her without hesitation Sensing that we'd didn't need further instruction, the Navigator walked ahead, forging beneath the precipice without worry. Intuitively taking their path, I found myself inside the lighthouse. It was dimly lit but there was enough visibility that I could make out the surroundings, A narrow corridor and landing emerged from the clouded surroundings, its unexpectedly smooth surface constructed of thick stone placed seamlessly without visible cracks or defects.

The unmarked interval pointed towards a landing near the bottom of what appeared to be a twisting, somewhat uneven staircase, with slender rails across the sides. This unfolded quickly. I wasn't sure how far we should go and they seemed to agree. Holding position near the bottom of the steps, it wasn't immediately obviously if running heedlessly into the unseen breach was the smartest idea. Gemine decided not to take any chances and stomped her foot quickly before stopping to listen for an echo. Surmising that anything unfortunate would reverberate, she seemed relieved not to hear anything out of the ordinary and began pacing up the stairs with measured confidence. Before she could get too far above us, I heard a voice shout loudly in her direction.

I'd nearly forgotten about Gemine's previous encounters with the Navigator and sensed a strange premonition that we might have been in a similar situation previously. Thinking back, I quickly remembered the strange occurrences surrounding our previous journeys. I realized that while she might not articulate her precise objective, it would clarify when we eventually reached the underlying goal. I Only needed to trust that they knew precisely where they were headed. Looking in her direction dispelled any doubts. She was firmly intent on her convergent-light machine's, twisting its dials, pushing its buttons in determined sequence and fervently adjusting its indications. I knew instinctively that she was focused on bringing something hidden to the surface. A short sequence of audible beeps resonated outward, signifying it had reached a conclusion. It remained hidden but this seemed to indicate that it needed more room to explore the surroundings with a increasingly thorough examination.

She hesitated nervously before reluctantly uncovering then sliding the machine from her sleeve, she pointed it at the walls. It's narrow beam brought forth a narrow illumination that lit up the surrounding area but it wasn't strong enough to completely elucidate the path ahead. Fortunately, the spiral stairs weren't overly complicated and would be easy enough for Gemine to follow even with her machine's limited assistance. The effect wasn't pronounced but it was tangible, allowing Gemine to walk up the stairs quickly at a fast pace without worrying about slipping off the sides. She held on to the guard rails firmly without releasing her consistent grip. This combination worked and we followed her path. The Navigator followed suit and worked his way around the circling paths efficiently, gliding over the steps with a clear view. I followed their lead and worked my way upward a few steps.

It didn't take long before I saw the beam brightly pointing right over my head, signaling that she was walking directly behind me, certain to be keeping us in her close guard. The steps spun around at a consistent rate and weren't especially steep. They kept a steady pace and their smooth surface showed no signs of cracks or defects. This helped us along as we worked our way upward towards the vacant room atop the light-house. The inner structure felt vacant but hadn't fallen into disrepair, there were no visible markings or signs of neglect. The smoothly-painted walls showed no signs of decay or discoloration.

There were no signs or markings on the surface to indicate how far we'd gone. we could measure the height to a degree by looking downward, but the converging circular paths overlapped and their curves became increasingly disorienting if you looked at them for too long. It wasn't immediately obvious what we'd find up there, far above the foundation but we maintained our determination to discover its elusive source. Forgoing assiduous convergence and keeping a steady pace we walked up the stony surface, its tilting path encircling without any visible objective, Her machine's light poked through the walkway, partially lighting our steps and while its subtle radiance never became distracting, but we needed to keep a clear focus, It was difficult to avoid looking downward into the dizzying undulations.

Conversely, the path ahead felt increasingly shrouded as we moved further towards the peak, despite her efforts. Layers of thick clouds began to converge around our location, forming a thick fog that imperceptibly gathered beneath us until it covered our knees..Slowing our progress, the ether continued to thicken as we drew near. As we drew incrementally closer, a small gust became more pronounced, signaling the upper windows were at least partially open.

She didn't seem worried by the convergent fog and continued on the path, adjusting her momentum while her inherent force remained undiminished. Gemine wasn't constrained within the coalescent atmosphere and kept walking with the Navigator following just behind her. I watched them keep an unflinching focus as they sprinted upward, inspiring one another to keep marching ahead despite the surreptitious objective, The spinning path finally began to solidify into a narrow form, untwisting itself as we reached a relatively secure point. Breaking its pattern meant we'd neared the apex and the flattened slate beneath us signaled that we'd finally reached our objective.

There weren't any barriers visible but there were some strange indications I hadn't anticipated. A row of windows indeed surrounded the room but they didn't seem to have fallen ajar. I couldn't see precisely at first in the dim light,but once my eyes adjusted, there were narrow cracks on their sides that allowed a gusty breeze to infiltrate the room. Standing at the stratified vantage, I couldn't see past a large object blocking our view. Sitting near the center of the room, it sat plaintively awaiting some kind of signal. Placed firmly within the room, it was determinedly forged into the floor and wouldn't be moved. The Navigator decided to undertake a thorough inspection and walked towards its front surface with a markedly magnified intensity and unrelenting determination.

His incipient vision was clearly invigorated by the challenge he faced, his eyes stared truculently into its imperceptible design with persistent expectation. Despite his unyielding effort, the exterior circumference sprawled against the light-house's divergent rims didn't appear to reveal much insight as he attempted to unravel and mitigate it's mysterious structure. His focus wasn't distracted by its hibernating surface, and he stepped forward, deeper into its verdant perimeter. The Navigator kept a silent watch and stood in silent expectation, directly in front of its face. He didn't flinch or budge, stoically challenging its determined resolve. Gemine watched with portentous expectation, anticipating any temporal invocations he might dislodge from its intangible protections. Its proximate surface repelled his intrusion without flinching, its stoic face gave vanishingly little indication as to its purpose, creation or design. Realizing that it wouldn't move in any fashion, he decided to walk around its perimeter and look at it from another angle.

Approaching the object nervously, I followed his crisp suit towards the object. Drawing closer, the curved exterior demanded closer inspection. Extending my fingers, I tentatively began sliding them over its cold surface to form a tangible connection, Its surface felt cold, unwilling to respond to my incursion. I moved across the surface a few inches, hoping to find some kind of control or indication but felt a sudden swat across my arm. Glancing over my shoulder. I saw Gemine standing over me with a stern expression; she explained, in a firm tone, that attempts to touch it wouldn't do any good, and warned me not to intrude further into its marginal space. She reminded me of what happened earlier with the seemingly innocuous compositions. I was instantaneously convinced not to unintentionally elicit unforeseen complications.

Instead, she kept a pronounced distance from and circled around the other side, joining the Navigator. I expected the other figure to follow their lead but she held her position and indicated she would hold guard, watching over them to make sure nothing untoward occurred. They disappeared on the other side of the circular object. I decided to hold back as well, deciding against interfering with their purpose and push myself into their area needlessly. Allowing them to inspect the object unhindered. Would hopefully make them work faster. This gave us a few moments' respite and we stood in front of each other, alone once more. She apologized for leading me through such a long and complicated journey. I told her I didn't mind and actually liked the challenge she set out, even if accidentally. She explained that our path wasn't pre-determined but she appreciated the compliment. Turning away from the central object for a moment, she pointed out that unexpected detail had appeared unexpectedly beneath the fog. I noticed rows of indistinct switches alongside the walls. Scattered around, they were placed seemingly in random order, giving no indication what their function might have been.

Before I could walk over to gain a closer perspective, the Navigator emerged from the other side of the object and signaled that he wanted us to join him. Looking astride the dormant ball, I wondered what they could have possibly discovered, but she was skeptical. Her demeanor seemed impatient with their apparent diversion and complained that she felt they'd become distracted unnecessarily. She acquiesced nonetheless and deferred herself from further examination of the room's exterior walls. Pensively, she walked towards the other side of the object, doubting much of significance awaited her. Somewhat tentatively, followed her around the opposing side. growing increasingly uncertain about the object's clandestine motivation.

It maintained an impervious surface as we converged near its proximate base that displayed nothing out of the ordinary. We took several additional steps further around the object, encountering little more than continued flat, unmarked surface. His demeanor seemed disproportionate as we circled towards the opposing side, it gave no indication of why it was placed there. Her shoulders straightened when we reached a sharply spiked section that intersected with the construct. Intrigued by the sudden rupture, she told the Navigator its unexpected appearance had an inkling of what it might be, but remained unsure if she was correct. Taking only a few additional steps further revealed a surprising partition. The object's unbroken surface opened suddenly, leading into a large enclosure, visibly wrapping around the corner. It didn't take long for something else to appear within its gaping apparition. The long, shimmering glimmering swatches reflected the dim light. They initially appeared to resemble long rows of rectangular glass but taking a closer vantage, their reflective faces were actually mirrors. Elaborately arranged, they seemed to attempt to convey a kind of integral sight. Unfortunately, the surrounding light from the room wasn't bright enough to fully illuminate them, and they only elicited a reticent, sporadic glow. Shards of light soaked from its edges, not enough to fully illuminate the room, vague outlines of the convergent lamp were tangentially visible but lacked consistency.

Its erratic nature frustrated the Navigator, who patted his suit flaps with increasing annoyance, hoping against hope that his repetitive motions would elicit some kind of sustained response from the object. Despite his consistent efforts, he was unable to bring any additional power to the lamp. He worked across his jacket until his fingers extended over his sleeves, forming a strange crossing maneuver that brought forth energy that wouldn't have the desired effect. Its mirrors held in place, motionless despite his insistent maneuvers. Attempting to direct its force didn't begin to convince it to make any reciprocal gestures, holding its dormant position without demonstrable effect. Growing increasingly aggravated, he turned his attention towards us and stared at us trenchantly, unwilling to forsake his premonition. I wasn't sure precisely how I'd be able to help him bring some life to the recalcitrant mirrors, but quickly realized I wasn't the primary focus of his glare. He directed his eyes directly at her and waited impatiently for her to respond. She knew instinctively what she needed to do and wandered closer to the encompassing machine without pretension. Unrolling her sleeves, she took her machine out from beneath her flowing dark cloak.

Pointing its reticule towards the mirrored sheets, she clicked a few of its dials in hasty alignment. It unleashed a massive strobe of light that suffused the room in bright waves of green and blue. Its unanticipated strength caught be off-guard due to its intense, nearly blinding hue. Sustaining an intense level of light for an extraordinary interval, she exuded unshakable confidence, assured that the resulting resurgence would be meaningful. She commanded her creation's undulating light seamlessly until its beams permeated the lamp thoroughly before allowing it to subside. Its incalculably vibrant colors gradually diminished and we looked at the mirrors intently, expecting a profound reaction. They appeared to rotate and spin, bringing a robust engagement to the floor. Anticipating a converging reaction, we hurriedly moved closer for a better view. Waiting for several minutes, we despondently realized that our eyes might have been playing tricks on us. The movements we thought we'd seen slipped away, With profound disappointment, it quickly became obvious that the spinning motions we'd excitedly observed were only the lingering remnants of shadows falling, as the bright colors her machine effortlessly invoked evaporated inconsiderately.

This elicited a strained despondency from The Navigator, clearly diminished his disposition, he slouched against the winds, his strategy manifestly unsuccessful. Gemine shared his underlying sense of despair and looked at the dormant mirrors inconsolably, her hopes succumbing to the harsh reality of the mirrors' indifference. I wasn't sure what could have gone wrong, the machine had assaulted the lamp with unrelenting ferocity, imbuing its mission with a recognizably intense level of purpose. The mute silence grew louder and more uncomfortable with each passing moment until the Navigator finally spoke up. He admitted, with a tangible sense of sorrow, that he had no idea where he was headed, regretfully confessing that he'd hoped the light-house would provide him firm direction.

Walking across the mirrors he stared at their stoic forms, painfully aware that they hadn't given the required instruction. Listening to all this, she shook her head and told him not to lose faith in her. She held the machine upward until it was pointed in near-synchromatic parallel to the mirrored shafts. Her hands fervently adjusted its dials and switches, sliding and turning them carefully until they reached another complex convergence. Twisting it until it faced perpendicular to the mirrors, she pushed it towards the object and it responded with another massive burst of energy. Bursting outward in a mesmerizing flash, it released another brilliant wave of light in magnificently resplendent form, slightly altered in shades of blue, green and red, it streaked towards the mirrors with renewed force. Filling the room once more, I took a measured precaution, squinting my eyes and turning away to avoid direct contract with the mirrors' reflective beams. Expanding with immeasurable speed, the unrestrained fury of light her machine released was even more intense on its second foray, fully immersing the entire object. Its light streaked beyond the inner perimeter, overflowing its narrow confines until its vibrant glow overwhelmed the inner mirrors. Seeming to tilt from the machine's relentless pressure, they sank beneath the currents of light until even their outlying forms weren't visible. The light extended far beyond its constraints and filled in the entire room with undiminished colors that seemed far more stable and enduring on their second encounter.

Undiminished, the convergent light spread beyond the immediate section and flooded the entire area until it created a holistic design. Painting the atmosphere in swaths of vibrant light, its force uncovered astonishing detail and designs within the surroundings. Imbuing the area with a distinctive illumination allowed the assembled mirrors an opportunity to display their true purpose and meaning fearlessly. She extended her machine further towards the mirror, asserting its indefatigable power, but the mirrors once again declined to respond to her machine's inquiry. Settling into a defiant stance, they watched impassively as its pulsating waves of color swirled around them; silently observing but offering nothing in return. After drawing several minutes' energy from within the slender confines, it became apparent that further excursions from her machine against the uncooperative mirrors wouldn't elicit additional elaboration. Ceding to this reality was visibly frustrating for her to concede. Her resolve dissipated when she inevitably realized there was little she could change, by that point. Further adjustments to her machine that could help, further adjustments wouldn't bring further insight or elicit useful comprehension. Deciding against further implementation, she slowly discharged the machine systematically resetting its extensions, lowering its switches and turning back its dials before retracing it backwards, sliding it underneath her sleeve apologetically.

Vanishing from view silently, her still-unfinished, incomplete machine's narrow form retreated without taking further action. Suffering a noticeable defeat, she hid her machine, effectively concealing its face from view until it disappeared beneath her cloak. Looking outwards across the room, her eyes sadly watched her inadequate hues fade away without recourse. Gemine watched sympathetically, knowing that she'd be unable to change the outcome in any consistent manner. The Navigator caught my eye as he turned to her, seeking some comfort as the colors dissolved. He waved reassuringly and appeared to commiserate with her about his insufficient conjecture. Straightening his tie and clasping his jacket shut, he sadly acknowledged that his consideration fallen short.

The lingering colors quickly evaporated and she walked in the other direction, away from the object, implying a sense of misguided adventure. Gemine wasn't convinced their efforts had achieved nothing. Walking towards the exterior portions, Gemine held her shoulder, offering tangible consolation. Keeping a resilient confidence, she explained that wasn't completely taken by the machine's bright, distracting colors. Further elaborating, she sensed something deeper and never allowed herself to become lost within the intractable mirrors' unresponsive arrangements. She'd purposely kept herself at a detached remove, to counter their limited scope, unreliable proximity and narrow perspective. Reiterating her theory, she told her us to look past the inanimate object directly in front of us and pointed forcefully towards the walls, that remained firmly set in the distance. Her conjecture sounded counter-intuitive at first but once I examined their vertical interiors closely, an strange denouement confounded reasonable comprehension. I couldn't avoid the prevalence of an unexpected phenomenon that strenuously altered the flat surfaces' otherwise unremarkable appearance. It wasn't immediately clear precisely what the incomprehensible characters and enigmatic symbols indicated, but I was determined to decipher their elaborately layered puzzles and intangible codes.

- Michael Palisano