In the Up Above, they heard screwing and clanking and melding and sewing, as Glass and Wayside made a doll.
The time they spent, the rest spent elsewhere, some not bothering with the board at all, some beginning to list out what else it could be or where else they could go, and who else could try to do something about it. Having excavated the Up Above more, it was clear that it was there to serve the board, and to make traversal around the place easier, to scout out the belongings of warehouses and stocks, to map the rooms and floors out for them.
It gave them a sense of what they were dealing with, but to Cometh
and From, who looked at the drawn maps, it still wasn’t clear how any of
it was connected. Or why any of it was there. Why did they have an
entire room filled with springs? Why did they have tables and drawers
and shelves with leather, capacitors, and various kinds of steel? What
did they need it for?
And why did they all know where it was when they began searching? None of it was a surprise—to any of them. They all knew where a thing was upon finding it—it was like remembering an old dream rather than a discovery. When they wondered where the stock of woollen fabric was, why did they instinctively know it?
Song was exploring, at first as a part of the mapping effort, then
later as a part of her own curiosity—if this was a place, there must be a
way out of it. Something told her an exit could be found, so she began
Up seemed as good a direction as any—better in fact, since up was the only direction they knew to not continue endlessly—all others were still joined by a new, unexcavated hall or a newfound door to the unknown. But a ceiling they had found. And with ceilings came endings. Maybe they were underground, Song realized. Maybe that was why things came from above—because they had nowhere else to go but down.
And so, she scouted around the Up Above, and found a door, a door she
almost believed to be the exit, a door that took her to a hidden
passageway to a hidden behind, to a hidden series of dark tunnels that
roamed and twisted and turned, to a hidden nothingness that did not seem
endless, yet felt like a hole, to a hidden door that took her back to
the very first room she remembered: Her own.
She stepped out and realized the wall had opened behind her.
A secret passageway, she thought to herself. Yet, no, not secret, invisible. Just out of sight and lost to those who did not know how to look.
She came back out to the board hall to tell the others the news, when she saw Glass with a finished doll, ready to present it.
They had all gathered, even those that didn’t believe her to witness any and all reactions.
Glass held it up and placed it down next to the board and stared at the text.
Mary, a doll
The board did nothing.