Rather than continue the pointless conversation with a mentally unstable Aye, Daniel started walking as far from the tower as he could.
Moving quietly, he hoped that taking the long way around the nest would help him reach the next part of the tour -- without the clouds catching him watching them, of course.
Daniel tried not to stare, but the nest was beautiful and alien.
The top part of the tower, a smooth bulge of spheres and more octahedrons, was easily the size of the Afterthought. But just beneath that bulge, the tower tapered down to the width of Daniel's index finger before expanding again to another bulge of geometric shapes.
Though it looked flimsy, the material must have been as solid as diamondglass. Otherwise, in this single-gravity environment, the tower would have snapped like a twig.
Hypnotized, Daniel thought the nest seemed … nice. It was the product of a trillion trillion trillion tiny bored minds and didn’t have any purpose other than wasting time. A beautiful waste of time.
Definitely a doodle, Daniel concluded.
One of the clouds descended from high above and wrapped around a glowing pyramid on one of the tower’s limbs.
The shape begin to change.
Abruptly, the cloud stopped its work and rose two feet above the pyramid. The bulk of the cloud pointed straight at Daniel.
Daniel cursed. He’d been seen.
The swarm let out a fine mist, which Daniel knew as a cloud sigh.
As the clouds relayed the message that playtime was over, the tower dissolved into nothingness.
“No!,” Daniel said, and sighed.
Not going to see that again. At least I got the whole thing recorded and—
“Gods,” he said, remembering his broken augmem.