Episode 19, 20

Savage had never been to the top of the tower before. He was intrigued by the huge gears and inner workings that made the hands trail endlessly across the great moon-face on the apex of the tower. Finger showed Savage how he could place a slip of paper between the teeth of the great wheel and it would be passed smoothly from one part of the machine to the other. Finger was careful to caution the wild boy never to put anything thicker than a slip of paper between the gears or it would gum up the works…and cause no end of trouble.

From his sojourns in the other world, Finger knew the thing they were inside was called a clock. But, what one was doing here, in a place where the passage of time was relative, made little sense. But he liked the way each gear did exactly what it was supposed to keep the whole working…like a great symphony. Even the smallest spring or cog was important.

The monitor captain could almost imagine down-world was capable of functioning in such a way…big clubs, little clubs…the out-lands and the inner-circle all interdependent, helping one another for the betterment of all. No matter how diverse, everyone was important…provided they could all learn to work together.

The problems came when kids weren't interested in the big picture. Some 'springs' were envious that they weren't 'cogs'. The gears were so busy competing with one another they refuse to mesh and everything grinds to a halt. That was how things were under Macro…If someone didn't resolve the situation soon the whole system Brad had built would come crashing down.

Seemingly summoned by Fin's stray thoughts, the tower rocked along with the last great earth tremor. Savage vaulted over a railing to land next to his captain. The giant pendulum of the clock shifted from its easy back and forth to a more circular path…the tremendous weight of it seemed to help stabilize the magnificent structure.

"Hun." Savage watched the weight reorient itself and the tower along with it… the ancients were sure clever, weren't they to figure how to put this stuff together…I'll bet bow-tie boy would even have trouble with something this big."

Normally Fin would be quick to remind his lieutenant that the inventor's name was Fractal and he should use it…but at present the monitor captain was somewhat captivated by the way the pendulum moved. It called to mind another pendulum he had seen recently.

That one belonged to Media…and it was surely magic. i"Who is the power in the tower?" Media had asked the teardrop shaped artifact was not an inert thing in her hand it swung, alive with purpose. Like a load-stone drawn to iron the pendulum pulled on its chain till it defied gravity and pointed directly at Fin. But Media wasn't quite finished her 'demonstration' "What threatens it?" She asked again. The pendulum swung around in a tight circle as if reorienting itself when it pointed again it was aimed directly at him. /i

"It can't be true." Fin mumbled, half mesmerized by the timekeepers rhythm. "I can't… I must…"

"--Make sure the quake hasn't made something in tower-boy's lab explode?" Savage volunteered a probable end to his captain's dazed comment.

Fin shivered and shook off his daze and regarded the other boy as if seeing him for the first time. "Y-yes…we should check on Fractal."

"If he's not in the lab, I'll bet he's in the library with Alpha."

"Alpha?" Fin frowned, noting it took a bit more effort than it ought to focus on the boy's words.

"Yup," Savage almost giggled skipping down the steps two at a time as they descended from the heights, "I heard 'Ginia say the big 'A' is through with Jay…she's a tower-gal now. What's more she's like to turn bow-tie boy into a moon-cow."

"What are you talking about?" Fin asked when he made it to the landing beside the wild boy.

"Virginia," Savage sounded a bit hurt. "You remember Virginia…she and Mary were outside the motor-pool when we brought the cart back. She's the one with the big brown eyes…the one who said she wouldn't mind playing tag with me."

"She agreed to…?" Fin gasped surprised then realized what Savage was speaking about must have happened while he and Mick were displaced. He passed it off as best he could. "Remember you need to be gentle with tower-girls."

"I can play soft." The boy pouted a bit.

"Are you suuuure?" Fin raised and eyebrow at his lieutenant.

"I think so…well, mostly anyway…so long as its still fun." Savage gave his commander a sharp toothed grin.

Fin sighed.