The Laser Fiction - The Surreptitious Entanglement









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



The Surreptitious Entanglement

Through luck and persistence, we managed to traverse through a threatening apparition overlooking the sea without encountering nearly the amount of disruption it appeared to foretell. The vessel streaked ahead, away from the tangential storm, at an externally fast rate, nervously gliding over the waves as quickly as possible. It worked tirelessly arriving at full-throttle to whisk us to safety until it sank beneath the horizon, disappearing out of sight. We stood carefully, half-kneeling to maintain balance until it slowly discharged its defensive posture. It began to disembark into the night, slowly releasing its defensive barriers. Its sails began to sink back onto the masts, the rudders loosened their hold while the noisy engine began to settle into a quiet murmur. We slowly engaged the atmosphere as it began to settle back into place. Walking carefully around its damp but undamaged surface brought relief. A further cursory visual inspection of the rims surrounding us revealed the vessel's outer portions were largely undamaged despite the strident assault of wind and light. He exhaled and resumed position at the point of control near the ship's head while she took a complimentary issue at the side near the center of the ship. Knowing instinctively what to do, I returned to the back of the vessel, finding the easel untouched by our brief confrontation with the unknown force. As we resumed our positions, the vessel further decentralized its hold, lowering its masts slightly, wrapping the long sails and slowing its velocity further until it arrived at an unexpected respite, quietly floating over the water with renewed calmness.

The atmosphere surrounding us calmed quickly without further elaboration complimented by an extended interval of serenity onboard our vessel. Swaying back and forth in subtle motions without apparent direction as we crossed the underlying currents, it gave no indication where it was headed. Looking across the surface, up towards the silent masts and undulating sails gave little notice as to our inherent objective. It felt like we were floating through a dormant passage, without clarity. Looking ahead towards the vessel's switches and ropes, the mysterious navigator appeared undisturbed by the lack of any tangible objective. Marginally adjusting aspects of the controls on occasion, he appeared to have taken a passive approach, reclining in place, lacking the engagement he'd previously displayed. His disposition wasn't particularly discouraging, however. It appeared he'd taken a respite from what had been an arduous excursion to that point. I noticed his suit and tie remained unblemished, resolutely tailored with a strong resilience that wasn't impacted by the destabilized surroundings. Walking several steps towards the central area where the steering wheel was located, he stood in front of it but decided not to take further action, there was no need to roil the excursion without prompting. Taking a step back away from the central area, he decided to resume his periodic task. disengaging from active control of the vessel's operation. There was an unlikely remove about him that wasn't articulated, the evident connection he shared with her seemed to have dissipated without residual inertia residing within his demeanor. He resumed his focus on the mission without distraction, their passionate connection seemingly swept to the margins without acknowledgement. It wasn't immediately clear what his rationale might have been, but he resumed a quiet remove from their previous formation without elaboration.

His unexpected change in disposition was disorienting, but appeared that it might have been prescient given the circumstances. I looked down-wind towards the vessel's center and she stood silently alongside the vessel's railings. Unmoved and no longer distracted, her relieved disposition encouraged by the silent interlude. Inherently determined to resume our excursion, she regained her focus immediately, effortlessly placing herself at an appropriate point. She wasn't swayed to perform any noticeable function, instead silently watching the waves undulating beneath her. Facing away from the boats interior, she purposely took an observant position, unwilling to allow even the slightest change in surroundings to permeate her resolute determination. It wasn't precisely clear what she was aiming for, but it wasn't immediately visible. She maintained her focused demeanor, undeterred by external forces. Her shoulders didn't flinch when the occasional strong gusts would blow overhead, blowing the sails across the masts. Her eyes didn't look up despite the loud thuds they made as they flapped above our divergent positioning onboard the vessel.

I watched her sink back into hiding at the vessel's edge. Hiding beneath her clandestine accouterments, the long flowing dark dress appeared to make her nearly invisible against the night skies. Resembling a cloak, it was completely covered with a shimmering arrangement of diminutive dots. They unexpectedly illuminated beneath the moon and reflected the cosmic atmosphere above. She appeared to almost vanish beneath a layer of tiny stars. This had the effect of further cloaking her enigmatic appearance, allowing her to move across the vessel nearly undetected. Despite her inherent reticence, she allowed a minor aspect, occasionally looking up towards the moon, extending her fingers, making what was apparently a rough measurement of distance, She was very quick about this, taking a clandestine approach, hiding her fingers at an angle in order to cloak the digits and obscure their exact measurement. However, she maintained a muted disposition for the most part, unwilling to surrender any of her determinations. She watched the waves coursing beneath the boat with steadfast resolve, carefully watching as they flowed and steered us deeper into the mysterious nocturnal ocean.

The vessel navigated the docile currents flawlessly, maintaining its languid pace as it floated above the surface. Insisting on a steady course, it followed its pathway without diverging from the invisible line it followed I looked back towards the enigmatic figure hovering near the controls for any signs that he might have resumed taking a more active approach. His arms remained at his sides as he carefully observed the vessel's machinations from a careful angle. Taking a passive approach had taken us to that point without incident. It appeared he wasn't going to change tactics unless something untoward occurred. We continued moving over the currents for a while longer, manifestly moving forward steadily without a clear destination. Waiting for a tangible signal was difficult initially, but gradually the vessel's ease allowed for a temporary relaxation of our steady defensive posture. Its gradual tilting from side-to-side became reassuring after a period, almost predictable in its rhythm and motion, allowing the waves to steer, without any external assistance. I watched the pair as they interpreted and internalized the currents beneath them, drawing from their reservoir of stability to gain a rare balance within themselves. Tentatively watching the waves, I wasn't completely able to shake my residual defensiveness, but was able to arrive at a somewhat stable perspective. I watched the water roll outward from our position, looking carefully for the slightest disruption that might signal something was amiss, The night unfolded silently for an extended interval, floating onward unimpeded over the obtuse surface. It seemed that we'd found a relatively tranquil position within the larger ocean, and while it remained somewhat intimidating, the vast expanse surrounding us simultaneously provided a buffer protecting us from the elements.

An uneasy equilibrium created a strangely protective layer that surrounded us for an extended period that seemed to elongate from minutes to hours, giving us a rare serenity but also leaving us somewhat adrift. Without direction, a subtle doubt washed over, the transient serenity followed by an unsettling realization. Perhaps, we'd become overly relaxed and had accidentally become stranded within currents so strong we couldn't escape. Peering over the sides into the distance, there were no visible waypoints or signs visible, we could be headed anywhere, there was no way to tell. Fortunately, no additional encumbrances or disruptions were visible. However, the surrounding darkness encroached, leaving us little more than her intuition to follow. I looked ahead and began stepping nervously in her direction, only a handful of paces closer before stopping to keep a respectful remove. She appeared confident in the direction we were headed and looked straight ahead, directly into the dark breach, the lack of visibly only deepening her resolve. She maintained an uninterrupted line of sight overlooking the seas without reserve, never losing her concentrated focus despite the unyielding atmosphere surrounding us. Standing almost motionless, she allowed the swaying waves to gently adjust their oncoming flow, never conceding her power. Managing to create an unspoken balance without exertion, she displayed a practiced technique with allowed her to absorb the waters' energies without becoming inundated by their volume. Looking back towards the far side back at the circumspect navigator. While he held a largely defensive posture, he held position firmly repelling the oncoming waves with a recalcitrant demeanor. He changed the switches and controls with great reluctance, only doing so when absolutely required, implacably maintaining fidelity to his invisible lines without adjustment. Both approached the circumstances differently but managed to reach a largely similar, unaffected conclusion. They would stay on course regardless of any attempt by the oncoming currents to dissuade them.

Encountering little impediment, the vessel moved onward. taking an unwavering path ahead through the reticent currents. Watching carefully, I surveyed the surroundings, my eyes darting back and forth over the enveloping night with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. Unable to locate any signals in the immediate area, I looked ahead towards the navigator for a reinforcing moves. His stoic disposition remained unaltered as he kept focus on the path ahead, following its currents without altering his path. He stood in place for the most part, and his arms and fingers didn't mark any discernable path ahead, he was trusting her instincts. I turned my attention back in her direction and she seemed to have taken a slightly more pronounced approach. I noticed that her shoulders had straightened, and her posture had become forthright, she no longer reclined against the side rails, instead standing clear of their boundaries. Instead of marking the passage silently, she equated and noted the distance in an unexpected manner. Taking a step closer, I noticed she'd unfurled her mysterious cloak to reveal her convergent-light machine, surveying the waters surrounding us quietly with a renewed sense of purpose. It emanated a narrow beam of light that skipped over the ocean currents, fading gradually into the distant horizon, without further elaboration. It seemed she was looking for something but the encompassing darkness didn't reveal precisely what it might have entailed. Taking a step closer, I noticed she was aiming it systematically across the waves. It wasn't immediately clear what she was doing, but when I looked closely, it seemed that she was diligently searching for some type of pattern that might emerge. She quickly aimed the machine across the distant waves towards the darkened horizon, patiently awaiting for her objective to emerge.

After an extended period looking over her shoulder, she noticed my presence and turned around quickly and gave me a resounding affirmation. Nodding her head horizontally, she signaled that we were indeed taking the correct course. It was still unclear exactly what she sought, but it was simultaneously imminent and tangible. Motioning for me to join her, I almost jumped over the vessel's floor boards and quickly took position alongside her. Hearing this commotion, the navigator retreated from the controls and likewise joined us on the convergent side. We commenced a joint-search of the surrounding area in order to locate the unseen object quicker. There was nothing visible, but we shared a hunch that there wasn't much longer to wait. Despite her silent observation, she appeared confident that our extended foray would soon reveal its clandestine purpose. Beneath us, the waters remained tranquil, rolling silently underneath but inexorably pushing us towards our destination, quietly working as we stood patiently on the surface. Observing the surroundings, she managed to keep focused on her mission, not materially distracted by my presence, aside from transitory glances. She remained focused on the machine, potentially awaiting any indications that might occur. After several minutes of silent concentration, there was an unexpected interruption. It wasn't immediately obvious, but her attention shifted to the outer horizon and her eyes began focusing distinctly on a specific location in the distance. It wasn't clear what she might have located, possibly some kind of mirage but as we drew closer, a distinct surface began to emerge. The navigator seemed to spot it soon after and his gaze was likewise drawn to the same, nearly hidden location.

Making visualization was difficult given the nocturnal skies that surrounded the location. She appeared to notice that I couldn't precisely locate its elusive position. Deciding to assist in a transient manner, so as not to expend to much of the machine's constrained energies, she quickly pointed her assimilated light-machine towards the distant object and hurriedly illuminated a portion of its shape for a few moments, brightening it form briefly. Forming a shadowy outline against the night skies, it quickly coalesced in form to create a strange formation at the edge of the ocean. The currents drew us in closer but it still wasn't immediately clear what the discordant object was. She recalibrated the machine slightly so it exerted a wider beam across its surface, revealing a surprisingly erratic uneven surface that appeared inconsistent within itself. It sharp edges clashed and spurned each other, jutting and jostling in a myriad of conflicting directions without clear function or design.

We remained a significant length removed but it began reluctantly revealing itself. Drifting closer lent it an increasingly coherent shape, as it became evident that the uneven shapes were uneven boulders alongside rock formations surrounding a larger form. We moved closer and a larger object was set beyond the rubble, these were set apart by elongated slabs leading to what slowly emerged to reveal a larger island lying just beyond their position. Intuitively waiting as the island came closer, he seemed to realize that no further action was required on his part. Standing at our side, he determined to maintain his alliance and resisted the urge to go back and make further adjustments to the switches and buttons on the other side of the vessel. Instead, he stood firmly and stoically waited for the oceanic forces to take us there.

While his maintenance was needed at that point, I waited nervously as the rocks came closer towards our position, their uneven and menacingly sharp forms became more threatening as we neared them. They jutted out of the water at threatening angles, demonstrably unyielding in their resilient defense of the island. Growing in size rapidly, I wondered why no one else was worried about our suddenly dangerous predicament. I looked towards their direction for any sign of counter-movements but they stood unaffected by the pending confrontation. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a particularly large and sharp formation thrusting upward, seemingly headed directly for a collision. I looked in his direction and he seemed distracted by the island's mysteries while she was engaged charting its outline. Without thinking about the consequences thoroughly, I quickly decided to take matters into my own hands and rushed towards the back of the ship. Grabbing ahold of the steering wheel with my hand and covering the thrust and brakes under my feet, though with prominent streaks of unease and nervousness. Our destiny was held in my shaky hands.

Despite acting impetuously, I managed to transiently take control of the boat. It responded roughly to my initial command but came to heel quickly. Turning eastwards, I managed to adjust its path to enough degree that I was able to narrowly evade a direct encounter with the outer rock formation. My skills weren't as polished as I would have liked, my rough navigational skills lacked precision and grace. It was a rougher turn that they were accustomed. The vessel tilted sharply towards the eastern side, rolling sideways for several uneasy moments before I was able to right it. This made both of them nearly lose their balance momentarily, and she looked back at me crossly, somewhat disappointed with my trenchant efforts. She waved for me to hold off additional action, holding her hand sideways across, signaling it wasn't the time for practicing maneuvers. He shook his head in agreement, seeming to disapprove of my sudden and unwarranted surge in confidence.

My efforts weren't malicious but remained inadequate. I knew that I wasn't really up to the task of taking complete control of the vessel at that point. Standing at the helm for a several long moments, I was paralyzed, unsure of what to do next. I saw him begin to head in my direction and quickly realized what was happening. Reluctantly, I pushed down on the braking pedal and awaited further instruction. It didn't take long for the navigator to reach the back of the vessel, quickly retaking command of the vessel. I looked at his hands and feet as he confidentially moved through the maze of sharp rocks and was grateful. The formations in front of us quickly grew denser and complex, leaving little space for mistakes. As I examined them closely, I began to see strangely familiar patterns emerge in their placement and shapes. It seemed that this wasn't entirely unexpected, but still presented a complicated set of maneuvers to follow. Somewhat relieved that an unanticipated burden had been lifted, I rejoined her near the center of the boat and resumed passive observation. I realized that I still had much to lean and apologized to her for jumping out and prematurely taking command. She shrugged her shoulders, quickly returning focus to the larger mission. There'd been no visible damage to dwell on.

With renewed determination and a steady hand that showcased his graciousness and dexterity, he successfully steered across the waters maintaining a consistent yet reticent pace. It appeared that having the objective in sight had re-energized him, no longer furtively wandering through nocturnal surroundings aimlessly. He worked through the complicated arrangements of spiky rock cautiously, avoiding the sharp engorgements that appeared to rise from the water without much warning. This slowed our progress noticeably but we somehow managed to steer around them safely without taking any damage. This wasn't particularly easy and there were some close calls, but he had enough experience to keep out of their path. Moving with increasing confidence through the uneven currents, we were able to enter the island's outer section without encountering additional obstacles further along our trajectory. The unwelcoming shards of rock diminished. Its pointed surfaces began separating into smaller formations, drifting farther apart from each as we crossed the outer portion, entering the island's inner bay. Its shorelines began to smooth, gradually transforming into a strangely welcoming visage.

Floating closer towards the shoreline, I observed the docile waves lapping gently over their edges, pushing back and forth alongside the occasional surge that created larger waves. Little was out of the ordinary as we inched closer to its edge. It uneven perimeter had become docile as we passed through its imposing arrangements. Opening outward, the sea line beckoned without pushing us into something dangerous. It wasn't posing a threat and its calmness was something I hadn't anticipated. She appeared relieved by this turn of events and thanked him for pulling us through a difficult section, without apparent imposition or encroachments.That unanticipated occurrence was reassuring in one important aspect, there was a consistent, steady momentum to these waves that provided a temporary haven from the vermitude surrounding the immediate partition. The inner bay gave way to a shallow outline that stood as a minor impediment to the shore. I turned towards the back of the vessel and noticed that everything I'd arranged remained in place. I looked around and noticed that there wasn't anything that resembled a normal dock where we could attach the vessel. The landscape was largely empty, devoid of the usual accompaniments. The sands appeared to be largely untouched by external forces or intrusive demands. Turning back, I noticed that the vessel had come to a tranquil rest just off the inner shallows. There was just enough depth to the water, this allowed it to float without becoming stranded towards the back while the front of the vessel was set in place, resting gently above the sand-infused surface beneath.

It didn't take much effort to acquaint ourselves with the interior's unexpectedly tranquil atmosphere. Its environment remained steady and quiet, a reticent foundation provided serenity quite unlike many areas that we'd previously encountered. The boat entered a stasis, shuttering its controls, folding its masts and wrapping its sails around them quickly. The sides of the boat reached a clear level point and aligned themselves quickly with the adjoining shore. We wouldn't need any long chutes to walk over and the calm shoreline promised a serene encounter. Looking over the surroundings carefully, she walked from her side of the vessel to the opposing angle, leading against its railing quietly. He followed in her path, though a bit reluctantly, he appeared unsure of what his next step might be. She motioned for him to follow in her path onto the shoreline, pointing directly at its sandy shore, but he remained hesitant. It wasn't immediately clear what had caused his sudden shift inward. Standing in place silently he looked around and began nodding uncomfortably. It appeared he was unsure whether he could provide safe passage, despite the surrounding tranquil appearance. She expressed surprise, and didn't know precisely how to respond to his doubt.

Recounting our long journey and the perseverance required her to trust her intuition, which had led us to that point. He'd followed faithfully for the entirety of the journey but now found himself encountering unspoken misgivings. She had an innate confidence in the mysterious surroundings, despite never having stepped foot on that particular shorelines. We'd encountered little that should cause consternation to that point. Navigating past the minor obstacles we faced, he'd shown an effortless grace and she wondered out loud what was causing his fear. He walked in a half-circle, listening to her carefully, then stood in silence for several moments. His expression changed and he worked up the gumption to explain his rationale. He did it quietly, without excessive detail but clarified that his motivation wasn't fear of any imminent danger. Reiterating his unspoken obligation, he reminded her that the vessel's well-being was his primary responsibility, and his alone. He appreciated here extended efforts, he reiterated but it wasn't the time for him to go off on a potentially calamitous excursion. He emphasized that wished us well with our endeavors, but he'd decided to stand back and guard the boat from any unwanted incursions, no matter how unlikely that might have seemed at that point.

Surprised by his steadfast loyalty to the vessel, she looked at him quizzically, not comprehending his sudden change in loyalty, She asked him if he truly thought the vessel was in any type of danger and pointed towards the docile water surrounding it. She seemed genuinely perplexed at the turn of events. Given the restored connected they'd created, it was strange that he'd be so quick to let their partnership slip away without some kind of external prescience. He tempered his brow and took a step back and reminded her that he didn't think she needn't worry. Inhaling a burst of air, he took a further pace back and turned, making a quick spin, reminiscent of his moves from the previous night. He'd never forget but this wasn't the time for that; he stand by and watch over the vessel, anticipating our return. He'd maintain a watch and she wouldn't have to worry about him abandoning us. It merely the condition of making sure everything would be ready for an efficient departure. He further elaborated. In addition to watching over the vessel, he'd need to perform maintenance and other configurations. He explained that despite its mechanical underpinnings, the vessel had grown weary and needed time to rest. It seemed that she'd reached and are where he wasn't needed immediately.

Praising her detached yet passionate demeanor, he robustly complimented her intrinsic curiosity, unarticulated resilience and boundless intelligence. If he wasted time standing at her side, his redundant battery would go to waste. He wouldn't able to simultaneously guard us and keep the vessel in good working order. She paused for a few moments and considered his opinions carefully before nodding her head in reluctant agreement. She knew he was right but didn't want to conversely leave him behind, either. It created a difficult quandary for her but she eventually decided that she didn't need him to watch over her every move. She decided to make one last flourish, She grabbed his hand walked towards the center of the boat. Without accompaniment, they held onto each other and swung around a few extra times, sealing their bond and reassuring each other that this moment didn't represent the end, merely an interruption. At the end of their short soiree, they stood across from each other, exchanged bows and hugged each other quickly. They'd take divergent routes, but would share the same path.

His determination and reassurance appeared to give her confidence a renewed boost, and she responded with of an unexpected burst of resplendence. Appearing somewhat relieved they'd worked out the details, she walked towards the boat's outer side and began to climb over the railings, somewhat haphazardly. She didn't hesitate and jumped right over the side, her feet splashing joyously, before almost recklessly into the shallow waters, rupturing its calm surface before quickly regaining her composure, standing straight against the onrushing shoreline. It had grown slightly more active, its waves had increased in size and density. Looking back and forth in both directions, I was unsure which one to follow. He looked back with indifference. He explained that I'd probably grow bored, the tasks I could complete were minor and tedious. Looking in her direction brought temporary reassurance, she appeared to have a reasserted her sense of purpose and had begun walking in a narrow line across the deepening currents towards the higher ground several feet away. It quickly became apparent that I should join her exploration. I looked back in his direction, gave him a respectful bow and thanked him before disembarking. Finding myself walking through the waters, I looked back on the boat and the serene figure standing onboard quietly. He appeared somewhat relieved, his posture more relaxed and calmer than I'd seen him. He was gradually detaching from the numerous defensive layers he'd built around himself, their release from his shoulders noticeably lightened his burden, allowing for a pleasant respite from our extensive, draining and occasionally arduous journey. He appeared relieved to finally inhabit a stable environment, even for a brief interval.

Taking several unbalanced steps forward until I regained residual balance, I was nervous but quickly resolved my fear quickly. I leaped into the shallows with proportionate energy and found the surface surprisingly uneven and murky, It was difficult to find my balance initially. Standing up straight, I looked back on the mysterious vessel, and it looked to have come to a complete rest. It had reached a pleasant resolution for the moment, and stood a little off-center, its front portal pointing inward, seeming to recline among the diminutive waves. His disposition settled further as he distanced himself further from his immediate surroundings, slowly unmooring himself from the accumulative fissures. She looked back quickly and waved slightly before assuming leadership. He might have taken a rest, but her mission wasn't finished. She forged ahead onto the shoreline, quickly approaching the sand-strewn displays that offered a stronger surface just above the high-water mark. Its dried contortions allowed her to walk at a quicker pace, her strides became more insistent. I followed her path carefully but quickly caught up until I walking slightly more than a shadow's length behind her. At that point, she seemed to know precisely where she was headed, and returned her mysterious machine beneath its cloak, keeping it hidden from view. Her feet no longer relied on its erratic signals and scattered beeps for direction.

The uncluttered ground at that point offered little encumbrance and was devoid of an expected grassy portion and instead reflected a dispatched surface, unfettered with recent growth. I was expecting some residue but the flat, dusty plain in our wake responded otherwise. She wasn't overly concerned with its seemingly dormant state, and continued following her path resolutely. Closely hewing to her narrow path, she maintained a remarkably steady pace walking confidentially over the uneven surface, keeping an almost straight line that slowly changed direction until it led deeper into the environment. The ground began to slowly reach upward and we began climbing upward without impediment. Its flat unobtrusive surface offered a visible path that calmly maneuvered to form an unmistakable to follow. Slowly, the gradually rising ground led us onto a series of increasingly pronounced steps that rose at a steady rate. We began rapidly scaling the outer portion of a larger structure coursing through the edge of its perimeter. This required us to take measured steps, the stones appeared to have been deliberately fabricated, carefully set in place. The stone walkway emerged then rose from the surroundings at a rapidly steepening rate. However, its wide surface unfolded in a straight and narrow direction. This made it relatively simple to traverse without difficulty. Despite the extensive length we'd come to, the steps weren't nearly as strenuous as they might have been. There was an over-riding anticipation that motivated us to keep going without becoming weary.

It didn't take long for us to reach a point close to its tenuous apex. There were only a few dozen narrow steps ahead but they rose enough to obscure what awaited us on the surface above. It still wasn't precisely clear what she was seeking, but it felt distinctly within reach. We unexpectedly encountered a sudden burst of cold air, seeming to arrive without warning from the distance above. It appeared to form an unarticulated signal that conveyed a contradictory affirmation; we were headed, conversely, in the right direction. The unexpected chill caught me off-guard, but she was prepared, anticipating its arrival prematurely. Unfastening her cloak quickly and pulling it around her body offered enough protection, and she continued onward. She continued her climb without the need for additional layers. We took a measure upward into the skies until we encountered a sudden gust of wind accompanied by a few scattered snows squalls. They didn't materially affect our visible path, but their sudden onset seemed unnatural and strange. She wasn't bothered and continued until she eventually reached the mountain's top. Its long plateau was smooth and stable, gusty traces of snow blew across the surface, swirling around our feet like plumes of fine-dust. The gusts didn't impede our progress, but effectively covered our progress. The relentless squalls made it near impossible for anyone to follow in our footsteps. We took a few steps ahead and noticed a perplexing formation come into view with great reluctance, its tangible outline emerging from the swirling gusts of snow as when we drew closer, finding ourselves standing just beyond range of its immediate circumference.

Surveying it carefully was a vexing task, the majority of its structure was obscured by the intensifying squalls. Between sheets of snowfall, I was able to observe a portion of the structure. Its narrow form was surprising, compact and unobtrusive, it would have been easy to overlook without the surrounding storm. It seemed purposely designed to blend into the background, but for its height towering above us. Walking closer for a closer perspective, its angular surface didn't surrender much more in the way of detail. She moved towards it quickly, examined its seamless contours carefully and appeared to gain on its elusive location. I stood back and kept a careful distance from the structure, remaining somewhat unsure of what its emergence might portend. Not intimidated in the slightest by its looming presence, she continued on her direct path ahead until she drew ever closer to the object. Pausing for a brief interval, she stood across from its outer fringe, and looked it over carefully. She stood forthright and resumed her straight path until she stood near its base, just outside its outer perimeter. It appeared to be strangely dormant, there were no visible defenses that would dissuade her from perusing it further, and she maintained a steady pace, drawing ever closer to its base. She signaled that it wasn't dangerous and shook her arm for me to rejoin her.

Somewhat nervously, I followed suit but made sure to keep a careful watch in case something unexpected occur. This slowed my progress noticeably but I quickly arrived at her side. She seemed pleased that I'd managed to overcome my lingering fears and pointed upwards to the skies. It seemed to coalesce to form a sharp point above and I noticed the outlines of similar towers in the background. Looking back towards the primary structure, it seemed to be strangely silent. I looked it over carefully and after several minutes thinking about it, several unanticipated aspects emerged. It took awhile for me to figure out what was missing, but after looking over the object carefully and the complex of towers emerging behind it, I came to the perplexing realization that their flat, unadorned surfaces lacked something. There were no visible windows, which lent them a recalcitrant appearance, while protecting their inner workings from unwanted exposure. The main tower seemed like it wouldn't be moved or swayed, even by a strong gale. Its stoicism was imbued into the firmament. It appeared to stand defiantly, scaling upwards to rise fearlessly against the otherwise innocuous surroundings. Looking closer, I detected no visible flaws in their conformed appearance. The mysterious towers emerged from the torrent of icy constructs, and reluctantly reflected more of themselves. They hid a shining silver sheen that was surprisingly slender and uniform in appearance. No visible cracks or breaks could be seen disparaging its resplendent surface. Looking into the outer surface. the lack of visible interruption seemed purposely designed to shield it from intrusion. I examined the lower portions and couldn't locate any doors, it seemed that it was sealed completely shut. Walking closer gave us no indication of potential entrances in any tangible form. There were no gaps or insets along its silver barrier where we could insert keys or implement other exculpatory techniques. The sheer, slate surface was completely solid, impermeable and manifestly unbreachable, serving an immutable objective with an inherently defensive function.

Nervously gazing in her direction for any tangible guidance, it appeared that she was perplexed how to proceed. She walked a length to locate a more promising perspective, but her efforts weren't going to locate any outer weakness. Nearing the tower's elongated base, she appeared stymied in her efforts, but remained determined to complete the task. After deliberating for a short time, she unsheathed her convergent-light machine and began scanning the tower's surface with its narrow beam. I watched carefully as she swirled it around covering its eastern front the winding it until it faced westward. She made several consecutive motions to cover each side, scaling up and down thoroughly over its stark surface, attempting to uncover and expose any divergent location. After repeated attempts to determine any intrusion came to no apparent effect, she refocused its beam and moved at a more deliberate pace. Slowly moving alongside its slender edges, she moved it across the tower systematically, but couldn't locate anything detrimental to its determined resolution. Making additional attempts proved increasingly redundant and she eventually decided that further intrusions wouldn't reveal anything further. She appeared to become increasingly resigned to performing an unpromising task and quickly resolved to conclude her frustration unambiguously. She took the machine, slid it without fanfare back into its dormant position, folding it into itself without premonition and slipped it back under her nocturnal, starry dot-strewn cloak.

This led her to take an indeterminate position, where she was unable to come to a rationalization about the imposing formation lying above her. She looked above towards their apex, and carefully looked over its arrayed sharp apexes. Eventually deciding to take additional steps forward appeared to bring forth the opposite of the intended effect. The towers almost deceptively appeared to play a trick on us when we neared, growing incrementally taller as our footsteps intruded into their space. This gave her pause and she stood in place silently at first, before beginning to contemplate further actions. She grew nervous and began shifting her arms back and forth sideways. This made her appear uneasy but it slowly built until she began moving, this time without clear direction. Pacing back and forth in circles for several minutes she looked across its base curiously, attempting to decipher its seemingly intractable quandary. She nodded her head in its direction with a mixture of admiration and frustration, unsure how to proceed. She hesitated for a long-time and continued pacing for awhile before something seemed to strike her, that stopped her divergent row, and appeared to give her renewed purpose.

She didn't articulate her plans, but I was able to determine that something had changed. She resumed a steady disposition, standing firmly and silently at the front tower's base, no longer intimidated by its presence. Apparently deciding to pursue a different approach, instead of attempting a direct encounter, she unexpectedly walked away from the base, taking several long initial paces towards me until she stood several lengths behind. Before I realized what was occurring, she stood a significant measure apart from me, overlooking the surface below from a higher angle. She moved further away from my location. I walked backward in her direction where I'd ne able to watch her clearly. She observed silently for a moment before commencing an unheralded series of furtive maneuvers. She began by elaborately folding her hands together, clasping them in place against her outer cloak before maneuvering them into strange formation where her fingers overlapped in divergent angles, crossing each other at precise sharp angles. She withdrew her shoulders until they were at her side and took a series of deep breaths, inhaling loudly.

Her counter-intuitive approach created an enigmatic preparation unsheathing subsequentially resonant tactics. Gracefully and resolutely, she tilted her head slightly upward, looking directly into the tower's upper portion before focusing on its peak. Staring at its apex intently at first, she closed her eyes firmly. It wasn't immediately clear what she was doing. Quietly waiting for something to occur but couldn't anticipate the loud bang that occurred. It shattered the peaceful interval, but I couldn't place its source initially. At first, It seemed that it came from the tower, but there was no mistaking the source where a second, longer engagement came from. She unleashed what sounded like a conscious sequence of timed explosions emanating within her. They were pronounced to such a degree that they shook the grounds. Their intemperate volume instantaneously unsettled the surrounding areas, temporarily causing me to release my balance. Several minutes' of silence followed but this was broken by another unexpectedly loud yell that permeated the tower effortlessly. The sheer force of her voice seemed like it would shake apart and nearly anything in its path but the tower itself remained unmoved after the discourse subsided. Looming above, the disruption seemed to have effected little change in the existing environment. Icy sheets continued their descent undiminished by her efforts, continuing to cover the surface unimpeded despite the pronounced distraction.

Striking any residual silence, purposefully ignoring the rapid disbursement of snow and ice, she asserted herself with an unsparing sequence of strident invocations that echoes through the atmosphere. Reverberating loudly overhead, her loud silent towers repeatedly, almost shaking the skies. Her sudden emanation of unnerving velocity caught me completely unprepared. This was especially striking given her predominant silence throughout our previous encounters. I looked to her for some kind of explanation but she didn't offer resolution and maintained her unorthodox tactics. She raised her unsheathed voice into the frigid air. Its tenor quickly amplified until it created an incomprehensible scream that seemed like it could crack through and break nearby walls, no matter how thickly constructed. Her voice further intensified and rose until it attained a disorientingly high-pitch. This was unexpectedly ferocious, almost unnerving. I defensively took a step away from its direct path. it was frightening to witness her in such a pronounced state.

Her interjection sounded immediately unnatural, arriving from an internal point, without pretext. The power she held within was unnerving. Its unmistakable tenor created a harsh interpretation, that created an unavoidable rupture within its boundaries, despite my precautions. Her unrestrained tenor created an disconcerting ferocity I'd never seen her unleash before. She was able to sustain its intrinsic power with resolve that lasted for several inescapable, nearly excruciating minutes. I watched this unfold without a barrier, the lack of explanation added further uncertainty to the proceedings. An addition length passed without reception, the tower remained unresponsive despite her elaborate, determined manifestation. Sensing its resolve wouldn't falter, she decided not impose further. Changing her entreaties, she gradually lowered her incursion.
The buffeted surroundings responded by settling, seemingly unharmed. Taking a step back from the imposing tower appeared to release her from its immediate grasp. She quieted the rapacious force, corralling it back within thoroughly. She quickly brought it to submission, before its almost-overwhelming pull overcame her. Purposely inhaling a deep breath of cold air, she narrowed and refocused her sharply-focused eyes. This indicated her inner resolve, and allowed her to resume outward command. She retracted her defensive posture, looked over the surroundings, before releasing her hands from the rigidly clasped position, she quickly reclaimed inner calm that restored her predominant serenity. She managed to over-ride its inner pull and didn't sustain this temperament. Mitigation of her initial force occurred quickly and successfully, it quickly gave way to a measured streak of noises that resounded with what appeared to be a complex structure. Modulating into different tones, she appeared to be speaking at a significantly reduced yet consistent measure.

She continued articulating between herself and the enigmatic structure, implementing an elusive, incomprehensible method that couldn't be deciphered easily. I couldn't comprehend what she was attempting to communicate, but she appeared to know exactly what she was saying. Listening carefully gave me no insight as to what she was attempting to accomplish with her elaborate ritual. Despite her elaborate and strenuous efforts, the tower remained unmoved, not divulging the slightest detail. Its steady reluctance gave her pause and she gradually lowered her voice even further until resuming a silent watch over the looming tower and its accompanying diminutive reinforcements standing firm just beyond its deceptively robust perimeter. The snow slowly subsided, and left a residual layer on the ground that caused only a minor hindrance, yielding scant obtrusion beneath our steps. I gradually slid across the surface, moving back into the fringe of her field of vision, standing just out of the way. Keeping quiet, I followed her example and resisted the urge to pry into the temporary divergence from her usually silent disposition. I didn't delve further into the unspoken source of her clandestine capabilities and simultaneously decided not to interfere with her methodology.

The purpose behind her unusual methods wasn't immediately obvious, and remained unarticulated on her part, she had no need or desire to elaborate, even tangentially. Taking a modest, somewhat reserved approach allowed her to maintain a measure of secrecy and deferred excess inquiries. She carefully and firmly set predetermined lines of precise discourse, effective to that point, there was no reason to intrude. Instincts told me to follow her muted approach, consistent and efficient on its face; requiring no additional or excessive elaboration. Recalibration and reaffirmative focus quickly followed and our attentive focus quickly returned to face the unavoidable external imposition. She appeared counter-intuitively satisfied with her elaborate efforts, despite the intimidating structure's lack of reciprocation. Standing quietly at a respectful remove, she watched expectantly, staring directly into the structure's impenetrable surface with innate determination, patiently anticipating its response, whether temporal or tangible.

(Continue to part two)