The mayor stands before us; his round body looks as if it wants to escape the nice tuxedo.
"Apparently," he continues, "Tears are evidence of the world's demise. They are caused by the Keys being out of place. They haven't started occurring until a few months ago, when the rest of the odd behavior started taking place. Usually it is to be assumed that odd weather changes could be normal, but these," he gestures towards the Tear, "are dangerous and destructive. Tears appear out of nowhere for no tangible reason and they disappear as suddenly as they came. They happen to engulf anything that touches them and sometimes leave behind lethal substances."
"I see," I tell him, picking up the very worried Ky and nodding my head. It is hard to hold back those memories. That night...no. I don't think about it.
"Well," says the mayor, "On a brighter subject, I can tell you brought a friend. I was going to recommend bringing a ryg ponmik along. They are very helpful indeed. Good thing I brought ponmik food along. I have all your supplies in the plane."
His red puffy face curls into a smile. I'm glad he's excited. He makes a gesture to follow him and I do while still clutching my partner, who's raised fur seems to be slowly flattening.
After about an hour of listening to directions, uniform fitting, and looking through supplies, we finally get to the Tower. It's real tall, as it seems to extend forever. However, the tower isn't as wide as I expected. The plane we are in lands in the valley in front of the Tower. This valley is shallow, surrounded by a gentle, rectangular hill frame. The Tower sits in one corner of the hill frame. Everything looks green except for the slate colored structure. Ky, the mayor, and I get off the plane and approach the Tower. In his excitement, Ky skips around in little circles about us, squeaking happily. My newly received uniform is actually quite comfortable. Looking in the mirror, I had loved how the sleek black of the uniform looked with my long blond hair and bright red eyes. Red stripes bordering the jacket and pants showed off that I am a fire-elemental ryg, or a red ryg. Now, I admire how the fire-proof fabric feels.
"How do you get inside?" I ask, picking up my ponmik, who is just done wetting himself from excitement. Ew.
"I thought you knew," the mayor responds, looking up towards where the Tower's peak could be.
It's obvious this guy needs to do his research on ryges. It's everything I can do to keep my fuming on the inside: I really dislike when people make assumptions about ryges and/or are prejudice against us.
"Hmmm," I respond, and start striding closer to the Tower.
I walk around the Tower's perimeter, but there aren't any doors. In fact, there are no obvious entrances. However, something so holy probably wouldn't have an obvious entrance anyway, so I touch the Tower's cool, smooth surface so that maybe I can feel a hidden entrance. Again, I am left in the dark.
"Hey," says Ky excitingly, "What if, we are like, supposed to be able to just walk right into it? That would be awesome!"
"Ky," I reply, "It's solid concrete, that's not very possible."
Even so, I can't help but think about that possibility. I've only heard about how other ryges travel from one Side to the other: they do what Ky mentioned, basically focus on getting to the Other Side and just walk through the place where it seems spiritually odd. Wait, maybe he's right. It does kind of feel just a bit strange here when I think about it. Ky playfully sticks out his little pink tongue at me.
"Knew it," he giggles.
"Yes you did," I admit., "Now just focus on walking into the Tower, despite the fact that it's concrete. Pretend it's an open door."
With that, I concentrate on crossing into the Tower's world and pray that I don't bump into the very hard wall. Luckily, we don't crash into the holy structure.