The newest one had them all stumped.
Previously, all the names had been one thing. Now, Kim was two. A sketch book and a piano.
“But why does a sketch book or a piano even have a name?” Glass asked.
“Maybe they’re just both called Kim?” Wayside noted. “You know, to save space.”
“Seems sort of strange. Not like there isn’t enough space,” Cometh said. “And what’s the point of telling us these are names of things? I don’t think that’s what the board is telling us.”
“We don’t know what the board is telling us yet,” Glass said. “But maybe we’ll find out Up Above.”
That was the name they had settled on as they became aware it was more than a ceiling. The Up Above. It seemed to span the entire hall, maybe even the entire buildings and warehouses around them, as they continually found connections between rooms they thought only traversable by ground. Yet, by turning just the right way here, carefully jumping across three beams there, sweeping along the rail up there, and you found yourself somewhere entirely different.
Wayside and Glass were among the first to get lost up there, and they
stayed for what seemed to be an entire day—Song and Cometh heard little
of them, and From only caught them in glimpses. A network was set up,
of signs and posts, lights pointing in the right directions and avoiding
the dead ends and pitfalls they didn’t see at first.
The construction of the tower halted. As soon as they were able to reach up there, they could just use the Up Above to get higher, if they needed, and so the tower became just the way to get up there. Cometh and From wasn’t sure what they wanted to do, then, as the board itself was difficult to proceed with unless they had a specific idea, and the Up Above was less of an interest to them—it just seemed like more noise.
From was the most sceptical of the Noise, he noticed. The others
didn’t seem to mind it too much. But he felt it strongly, felt it almost
on his skin, prickling him like tiny crawling insects. It didn’t feel
good. But talking with the others, with Cometh and Song, he realized
that the others didn’t feel it this way.
Song retreated to reading again, and while the others explored, she learned who could possibly create such a colossal maze as that which existed Up Above, but it wasn’t anything she could ever imagine as being real. It must have been the same as the ones who made the board, as it seemed almost fit around it, like a glove, and used for crawling higher and higher up to see the top of it.
Maybe the Silence had done it, but if so, why give no instructions for how to use it? For what it was?
Song didn’t believe there wasn’t though. They must simply not be in a way they could easily read them. The trick was to learn the language.