Daniel wanted to rush through the tour and find his friends (55 more sites to visit, he thought glumly), but he had to know if he was right.
“Is that what I think it is?” Daniel said, pointing at the glowing shapes.
"Please hold all questions until the end of the tour,” the Tour Guide said.
“Can I at least get some light?”
“Please hold all questions … My apologies. The last being to use this chamber hadn't needed light to see. At least at first,” the Tour Guide.
“That makes no sense. Do you practice being cryptic?”
“Please hold all questions until the end of the tour.”
And then the light came on and Daniel was well and truly flummoxed.
He stood in front of something so rare that people who had seen similar objects sold their memories of it for princely sums.
It was a cloud nest.
He’d seen one before in a borrowed memory that he had rented as a teenager. It had been expensive.
He didn’t even remember the memory now – he’d had to return it – but he did remember having the memory and that’s why this thing looked so familiar.
The nest was a structure of interlocking geometric shapes at least 100 stories tall, a spire of glowing rods and metal cubes and crystalline pipes and a thousand other myriad shapes that seemed to shiver and dance in an unseen wind.
Collections of pyramids and spheres stretched out like limbs; some of the spires branches were as big as the spire itself.
And despite his recent fatalism, Daniel hoped he’d live long enough to sell this memory.