Gemini 6. In the far north an ancient tower carved of ice.
The cold allowed the water to achieve a stillness it could never attain in the sea. A waterspout arose and froze and a man filled it with stairs and visited the top, where he witnessed the aurora borealis casting its tremulous lights across the white land. The tower patiently absorbed his fear of falling, and even invited him to sleep for awhile in the air, for to traverse the long arctic night required many dreams.
A book of formulas.
An ancient and neglected book of formulas was found in the Library of Peth. It was nearly 700 pages in length and had been written in exceedingly small script by a careful and meticulous hand. But since it was indicated nowhere in the book what any of the formulas were for, interest in the book soon waned, and it was placed back on its shelf to continue its work of gathering dust.
“I memorized one of those formulas once,” said Irnad, “in the hopes that were I to know it by heart its purpose might be revealed to me. All I can tell you is that I feel the deep familiarity I formed with it changed me, though I cannot tell you how. I would not be the same person I am today had I not carried it with me all these years in my memory. And I love it, I love what it has done to me, what it still does, though I cannot being to describe what that is.” “And so, “ asked a student, “would you care to return to the book and memorize another formula?” “No,” replied Irnad. “First things first. I’m not done with this one.”