page thirteen:

A Change Of Plans

eventually the woman spoke:

"this tower and the locked chamber and the spiral staircase and the adventurers have been here for a very very long time. when i first found myself here i saw that this was a way of self-evolution for many people, that nobody knew all the answers, and that we were in store for surprises."

"the path started out as finding new experiences of the mind and emotions that could help humanity grow so that the natural world could be restored."

"I have watched many many adventurers and learned many things from them. Some of it was wonderful, but sometimes some of the things they said to me, or the pictures they painted of me, really hurt my feelings, but i did get over it. that was part of the learning process. i learned to appreciate positive energy and saw the damage negativity can do."

"It's been a very long time since adventurers have climbed the staircase with a concept of self-evolution. Some reached higher intellectual states than they had known previously, and instead of understanding the experience and moving on, they learned to set up a constant loop between their own emotions and their intellect, and since then they haven't evolved one iota. I don't forsee any of them opening the padlock with a song. One of them even accessed an intellectual realm that other people might perceive as 'god' and is singing songs calling the 'devil' to the world."

The Great Spirit chuckled.

"I know that you are amused by all that," she went on, "but i thought the idea was to restore nature to what the world would have been if history hadn't taken the wrong turn. that seems like a worthwhile goal. I really don't care to sit here for endless days just to watch some adventurers amuse themselves with their own intellectual states. I'd like to do something better with my time, like ride my horse. The reason i asked you to come here is to ask if there is another way the padlock could be opened."

The dragonfly zoomed back and forth across the room a few times enjoying being a dragonfly, then flew out the window, letting the woman know that he would be back with an answer.

>* 4MM4$