“The Tower cut a deal with that man at last. And he didn’t realise it then how much power he held in his mere existence, he was too dazed himself. The Tower couldn’t let the people see a man from the past. Everything that he knew, from the 21st century, was too dangerous. He knew how the people had led to the formation of the Tower itself. More than anything, he knew about God, and about religion. The Tower couldn’t risk the people believing in those things again. All control would be lost. Ironically, the reigning Head Lord even quoted a very Godly phrase in context to the matter- ‘All Hell would break loose.’ ”
Auxi stared at Vizas, as he held her hands and tried to explain.
“So the Tower cut him a deal, on which grounds he was to disappear in an excavation assignment. In fact, there was nothing we were actually trying to uncover, the Tower most certainly didn’t want any huge discoveries, and we just went round the world to Nepal to bury the man’s memory. He was actually, pulled into an underground settlement, along with some other top secret officers and projects. The man lived there for some while before he realised he was actually being killed, slowly, with every meal he took.”
“I don’t understand… why would he cause this winter… and why- why would he kill Bei?”
“That’s where we went wrong, Auxi. He had nothing to do with Bei. Or this winter. It has nothing to do with anyone actually. No Tower conspiracy, nothing. It’s just plain history, repeating itself. The world is constantly being born and living and dying. He knows tales himself, of how his generation came from an Ice Age. This is our Ice Age. This is our Judgement Day, our Apocalypse. It’s a circle, and these things keep happening.”
“But the Tower only momentarily lost control. They explained that the heat controls had collapsed. It all came to control after the S-Crisis.”
“The Tower didn’t know what had happened. They believed it was an internal failure. We are so advanced, we think we can manage anything. Actually, it was the first Ice Blast. The Tower only understood one thing. That the people who were on that excavation trip in Nepal would remember the snow that had permanently covered those mountains. They called in that team, remember?”
“Yeah- but what did they do?”
“The team, incidentally, comprised six of the remaining excavation base members. Some commoners were red-herrings…”
“But we selected that team. How could the Tower ensure they came?”
“The Tower was relying on our trust on those people. They were known for that excavation. That landslide, the pictures… the people were our heroes… and if those people weren’t chosen, the Tower was ready for a long drawn-out program to call in the people somehow or the other.”
“But what did they want with them?”
“Just assurance. When the team thought they were touring through the Tower controls, inspecting… they were actually going through interrogation. Lord Janei, by the way, was one of the people on the team. He knew everything, I think. And anyone you should signs of rebellion was immediately pulled out-”
“Killed?!” gasped Auxi.
“No Auxi. Just pulled out. They were put on the Tower as officer, often within the same control centre- thermal. That ensured confidentiality, as per Tower regulations. And the people could also help control the thermal crisis coming.”
Auxi’s eyes widened. “Befriend the enemy.”
“Something like that.”
“But they killed Bei!” cried an outrage Auxi. Nothing was wrong? Then why did Bei die?! She was tortured, if nothing else!
“Bei- it’s tough Auxi.” He gathered her close. “Bei thought he was onto a conspiracy. He thought there was something the Tower was hiding. He was right. That man from the past, the coming of the Ice Age… and when he started poking, they tried to kick him out. He wouldn’t stop. So the Tower cut the 21st century man a new deal. He was threatening their control now, since he knew he was being poisoned. The Tower had no choice but let him inside the control rooms. He did what he pleased. And soon he heard that Bei was poking around.”
“So he did kill him?!”
“Auxi, this man, was the exact image of Bei’s great-great-grandfather. And you know how Bei was always boasting of his noble bloodline. Bei saw his own an-descent, talked to him, and before he died, Bei knew everything. But what Bei did not know was that he had caused his own death by meeting the man.”
“Bei could not believe what he had seen. He started acting weird. The Tower was already troubled. If the man didn’t tell everyone, Bei could. But before they could do anything, Bei died of a nervous fit. Not heart attack. Nervous fit. Which is completely possible in his circumstances.”
“I don’t believe that.” Auxi grunted.
“I knew you won’t. But that’s where I will leave-”
“And me? Why did that man come after me?!”
“He realised that his own power stayed as long as he was the only, exclusive threat. Otherwise, the Tower would wipe out the entire problem without thought. He needed us to shut up, and the people must not know.”
“So he would have killed us!”
“No. He would only scare us to silence. He didn’t know himself how far he was willing to go, but not murder.”
“And he told you all this readily? Wow! Man suddenly has a conscience!”
“It came at a price…”
“I don’t believe it, I just don’t. The Tower wouldn’t waste so much time on a threat. This winter is totally under our control, and I intend to make that five moon donation for the heat machine. This man is a killer, Vizas, I’m telling you. He killed Bei.”
“I knew you would want to know on your own. So I’m leaving you this-”
“Leaving you?! Where are YOU going?”
“This information came at a price, Auxi.” Vizas smiled suddenly. But his eyes were sad.
“What price? Vizas? What’s going on?”
“I love you Auxi. I told you I would be saying that to you once I got out of Waratia. Here we are Auxi. I’m just one year and fifty-eight days early.”
“Vizas! Where are you going?!”
“He’s taking me with him. I don’t know where. But that’s how this will end. He is leaving the Tower to explain for themselves. The winter won’t get better Auxi, so get underground. Start building. I’ll come for you as soon as I can.”
“Vizas, you can’t go! How can you- Where-”
“Auxi, I want you to know I love you. And I always will.”
But Vizas pushed her away and walked to the door of her house. He opened it, gave her one last look and then vanished, forever.
In that last look Auxi saw that he was destroyed. Everything was over. Nothing meant anything anymore. And the winter had already thawed… because what was cold, heat, pain, or love, without anyone to share it with?
Ice Age may come next minute, and Auxi couldn’t care less. Because Auxi had already died.