Sven advanced a bit, and asked Yo about the Kryptos.
“So Yo, do you want to be a good tour guide and give Mr. Nickel and I an up-close look at the Kryptos? I mean, as long as we’re here…”
“Of course not! There’s too much radiation in there. The radiation levels in that building would burn your flesh off within seconds. Luckily, the individuals who are in this building lack the flesh you have. They aren’t exactly the fragile beings you and Jackass Nickel are. They’re not affected by the energy due to their molecular structure.”
“You look more like a jackass than myself, shorty!” said Robert Nickel
“I’ve told you once, and this is the last time I’m going to repeat it: I’M YO, NOT SHAWTY. THAT’S MY BROTHER. I’VE BEEN COMPARED TO HIM MY WHOLE LIFE, AND NOW THAT WE’RE APART, THAT CAN FINALLY END!” Yo screamed.
Sven became alarmed by the anger and overall temperament of their tour guide.
“Look you two, we’re just taking a simple tour of the city. There’s no reason for you to call each other names, and get this pillowbeak’s tail in a knot.”
Sven suddenly remembered his urge to enter the Kryptos.
“What could be in there? Could it really just be a public service headquarters? How the hell am I going to find out with Yo’s restrictions on me entering the building? I’m positive that this pillowbeak doesn’t understand ions and isotopes and the like. I don’t care how he came to be; I know that he can’t contain and process that kind of information. Surely he’s just repeating propaganda meant to keep me from knowing the truth.”
Suddenly two mirrorlings walked past with glittery bell-bottoms and popped collars; outfits that resembled John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.”
“You said that disco was popular here, right Yo?”
“Yes, it’s all the rage with the mirrorlings, and to tell you the truth I’m sick of it.”
“Well, I’ll be honest Yo. I want to have some fun. And this beat in the distance… it’s sick. If there’s one thing that will bring me comfort, it’s dancing at the local disco. What’s the name of this establishment?”
“Well, the place where the idiotic disco-goers congregate is called ‘The Disco Stick.’ Are you sure you want to go there?”
“I think it’d be just right for me and Robert. We’ve been thinking too hard. We need to bust a kick.”
They walked a few hundred yards and saw in mirrored-English characters: “kcitS ocsiD ehT”
“This is it,” said Yo. “As I said before, I’m sick of this whole craze so I’m not going in. I’ll be waiting right here at the door while you guys go partake in that silly dancing.”
“Sounds good, Yo. Robert and I will just dance for a few minutes and meet you back here at the front.”
As Sven opened the double doors he saw a dark room with smoke and a huge disco ball in the middle of the floor, attached to the ceiling. The familiar tune of the Bee-Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” began erupting from the speakers. Just as Sven made the connection, he heard the mirrorling disc jockey come on the microphone: “Here’s the new Hee-Bees song, ‘Still Breathin’.’” There was an interior balcony that stretched all the way around the room, completely overtaken by mirrorlings who were watching others dance on the wooden floor. There was a variety of hues filling the room as the lights above shot streams of color through the smoky, dancing bodies. As they walked across the floor they found themselves completely surrounded by dancing mirrorlings. They mimicked their dance moves, which of course consisted of basically pointing their fingers up and down, swaying their hips simultaneously. After a few minutes of dancing, they looked at each other, nodded, and headed for the exit sign at the back door that read “TIXE.”
“I bet that idiot is still waiting for us at the front,” said Robert as he wiped the disco sweat from his brow and caught his breath.
“Yeah, too easy.”
Sven knew what he had to do, and began making his way toward the Kryptos. Robert followed him without so much as a word. It seemed that great minds really do think alike.
“We’ve got to get in that building and find out what’s going on in there, Robert. I don’t know about you, but things aren’t really adding up for me anymore. I don’t know if Dr. Octopi is telling me the truth because I heard Violet say something frantic in my head that sounded like she was in trouble.”
“Wait, you heard Violet speak inside your head? Did you disco too hard, or is there something here that I’m not getting?”
“I’d say the latter Robert because I discoed just enough. When Violet and I passed through the vortex we gained a sense; an ability if you will.”
“Go on,” Robert said, his eyes growing larger with every word Sven spoke.
“We’ve got telepathic powers, Robert. I don’t know the extent of these powers, or really how to use them. All I know is that I’d never mistake my own sister’s voice. I heard her speak what seemed to be a warning earlier as we were walking with Yo.”
“Well this could be vital information. What on earth did she say?”
“She told me to hear her before it was too late. I don’t know what that means, but it can’t be good. I wish I could just concentrate and know what she’s doing, and why she needs me to hear help her.”
“That’s just it, Sven. Concentrate on your sister’s image and try to block all other things out. We should be far enough away from the disco that ‘The Hee-Bees’ can’t interfere.”
Sven sat down outside of the Kryptos building and concentrated. He closed his eyes, and slowly but surely saw Violet’s face. He could see her lips moving, but he couldn’t make out her speech. Robert watched Sven’s eyes squinting in a way that almost looked painful as he used all the power he had to focus on his sister’s voice. He began to hear her voice grow louder with each passing second. It was like someone was slowly turning up the volume dial on an old radio.
“Sven! You’ve got to hear me! Before it’s too late. Oh my God, Sven; you have no idea how important my words are right now. Probably more important than any you’ve ever heard.”
“I can hear you Violet, but it’s not exactly easy. Tell me what I need to know, and do it fast!” Sven replied to his sister as he concentrated with all of his might.
“Dr. Octopi is evil Sven! I can’t believe you can finally hear me. I’d better tell you everything while I have the chance. He’s probably told you that he plans to save Earth, but you must believe me when I say that that couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s got you in his grip brother! He’s going to use you to get the Hadron Collider going again, and once he does all hell will break loose. He plans to kill us all eventually; once he’s used us to complete his master plan.”
“Oh my God, Violet; I knew something was off. I wanted so badly to trust him as a man of science, but it seems he’s using his genius for evil. What more can you tell me?”
Sven couldn’t hold his concentration any longer because tuning his mind in to his sister’s voice had brought on the worst migraine he’d ever experienced. As he began to lose his concentration, his sister’s voice grew faint.
“Sven, you’ve got to…”
Her words trailed off into noise that Sven could no longer make out.
“What is it Violet?! What have I got to do from here?”
As soon as he uttered those words he lost all concentration because of the pain.
“Damn it, Robert! I could hear her! She said that Dr. Octopi is evil; not the wholesome genius we see him as. If what she says is true, he’s going to use our expertise to further his plans to end not just the alternate universe, but our own.”
“You mean he’s actually trying to gain control of everything and rule supreme as some sort of scientist king?”
“I don’t know if he has a monarchy in mind, Robert; but from the desperation in my sister’s voice I know whatever he’s doing is going to be detrimental to us all.”
Sven took a deep breath, regained his composure, and together the men ventured into the Kryptos.
When they walked in they saw a huge atrium with floors and walls that seemed chiseled out of exquisite, polished marble. Along the back wall was a bank of elevators that would burst open periodically with mirrorlings who were emerging from some other level that wasn’t visible from their vantage point. They got into an empty elevator as the last mirrorling rushed out. The elevator rocketed downward immediately after the doors shut. Through the elevator’s glass walls the two men looked below and saw a huge underground chasm hollowed out of the ground beneath the building. There were complex industrial machines everywhere, which belched out steam and struggled to be contained by the chasm’s walls.
“My God, Robert; this must be where Dr. Octopi manufactures the mirrorling beings.”
“I think you’re right,” Robert exclaimed as the elevator stopped. Its doors opened, and the two men rushed out of the elevator as a new batch of mirrorlings piled in. They almost didn’t escape before the doors closed, but at the last minute they found themselves in a lobby.
“Where the hell are we?” said Sven.
“I don’t know exactly, but if my assumptions are correct, this is the office of the manufacturing plant,” Robert said with a shaky voice.
The two men walked through the first door they saw, and found a room full of filing cabinets with a desk at the front.
“There are no humans or mirrorlings present, so I think the coast is clear,” said Robert. As the men wandered around the room searching for information, Sven’s attention rested on an open file laying on top of one of the filing cabinets. His face grew ashen as he read the name. It was his.