Tower of Babylon   by David Alexander Vallieres

Tower of Babylon

All towers fall, every last one of them. This tower was no exception. “Bring me the bag.” said Atin. “You should probably jump first.” His companion wiped the sweat off of his face, threw the leather satchel onto the ledge above and jumped into the darkness below. He disappeared almost immediately after taking the leap into the abyss. The wasteland was well-known for it\'s ruthlessness and particularly avoided for it\'s seal of darkness.

The bag had landed with a loud thud, which annoyed Atin. The contents were precious. He wasted no time with his task, he gently removed the pulsating sphere and placed it down. The sphere could have been mistaken for common scrap to an untrained eye, it was full of repairs and adjustments, adorned with simple fasteners. As soon as Atin placed the sphere down he stepped away and found his distance. The sphere seemed to know it\'s fate, it started shaking violently. “Farewell.” Atin whispered. With those words he took the same leap of faith into the deep as his companion. Just as Atin committed to the murky depths, the sphere opened and spewed a colourless, shimmering plasma. This plasma instantly became part of and melted every bit of matter in it\'s path. The plasma gave off a light that could be clearly seen but would cast no shadow, truly unnatural light. Atin had always been entranced by the glow of m3lt so entranced in this instance that he almost forgot to engage his parachute. “Hard landing!” he shouted.

The tower was made of old world metals and had old world smells, it was a payday. Atin had never found such a harvest-able site. With the iron-credit he would make from selling all the gathered ore, he could finally make an appearance in Novo-Dubris. He would finally have the resources to re-establish himself. The job wasn\'t over, now that he had joined his partner below they would have to quickly search for the most precious ore of their melt-job. They both knew they had limited time to scour through the melt of the felled tower. They had met the residence of the Murk before, and understood the pertinence of timely work and escape. The Melt had liquefied the building in mere seconds, as fast as gravity would permit. The m31t plasma would not only melt through anything but could be coaxed, through the work of a skilled practitioner, into leaving behind only the desired ores. Melt was Atin\'s new toy, it was the quickest way to spend 15 mille of iron-credit but the trade was fair, a sure bet. The 6.5 ounces of m31t bought for 15 mille was a fair trade for 10 lbs of craft-grade ore and 8 lbs of EM-Grade ore. At market value in Nova-York, his haul of craft-grade would sell for 40 mille, the 8lbs of EM-Grade would sell for nearly double of the 10lbs of craft-grade ore.

“Sixty, Forty.” said the companion.

“Yes, the forty and I can catch a ride next train.”

“I reserved a seat on the next lift, it hasn\'t been paid for. I\'d wager we sell the load for 110mille all-in. Four point four mille for you, have the the price of the ride up and we\'ll call it 40 mille.”

There was a shriek that was heard, originating roughly half a mile West of them. Atin smiled.

When one lives in a tower, gravity is known. Atin was born in the lowest tier of the tower, the Unkept. One quarter sewer, one quarter fire, one quarter free and one quarter dire. This was the common knowing. Truth be told, the sewer quarter was the most industrious and fertile of quarters. The fire quarter was in-fact cold as ice and needed large fires to shield from it\'s chill. The free quarter was hardly free - Markets, whores, temples, the poor and five or so affordable meals. Most sectors of the dire quarter were off limits to non citizens, the common born rarely travelled to this quarter. The dimensions of this tower must be understood. This tower stands at 4% of it\'s total circumference, the tower stands 2 kilo-meters Tall and 5000 squared kilo-meters. The quarters are in fact 4 distinct rings. The Outer ring, commonly known as the dire. The free quarter, which is the 2nd ring boarding the interior of the outer ring. Then comes the sewer followed by the fire sectors. Dire, Free, Sewer, Fire, 5th and 6th are only higher. There were 2 more known sectors, but they were above. He was going above, only two weeks until the train promised.