Entry Eight.

- So, I asked again, what are we supposed to do now ?

- First of all, analyse the current status. Sharon ?

- I'm only superficially wounded ; nothing that could hamper my movements or efficiency. Bad news is : I'm nearly out of ammunitions.

- Great. Adam ?

- Well, one of them bit quite deeply in my ankle, as you know ; it hurts to walk, so I guess it will slow my running. But what is the point...

- I, myself, am quite well, thank you." interrupted Simon. "But obviously Sharon's firepower was a factor in our survival up to now, and I doubt we could get through another encounter with these baby monsters as it is. So, we obviously have to find a solution, or we might quite well die here.

- Great, I said. And what do you propose ?

Then, Sharon said the first sensible, if very unpleasant, thing I ever heard from her :

- I propose that we find out how in hell you're supposed to be useful to us.

- Whaaat ?! Listen, Miss All-Mighty Warrior, what do you think gives you the right...

- She's right, you know, Simon interrupted again. If you are here, and if we met you prior to entering this new trial, it is no coincidence. So we have to understand what you can do for us, and to do so before it is too late.

Now, I have to admit that I was quite puzzled there...

- Would you please care to explain, Simon ?

- Sure. When I first met Sharon, I had been stuck on Level 375 for quite a long time now. And she, herself, tried to get out of it without me, as she wasn't sure at all that I wasn't an enemy in disguise.

- I'm so glad to learn she has always been her little paranoïd self.

- Why, you schmuck...

- Easy, now, lads. So, as I was saying, we could not get out... separately. So we had to get to know each other, and what each of us could do that the other could not.

- Ok, I get the meaning. So what can each of you do ?

- Well, if we lay on the physical side of things, you'll have guessed that Sharon is an expert at armed and unarmed combat, while I am specialised in athletism and acrobatics, and proficient at fencing with heavy swords. Now, you have to know that our dear friend also is an expert anthropologist and sociologist (there I must admit my jaw dropped to the floor) and I have some knowledge in the medical, zoological and botanical fields. But even that would be occulting one third of the truth.

- So, would you please get to the point pefore we starve to death in a jewelry store ?!

- Adam, Sharon said, please shut up. And grow up some, we'll need that too.

- But I...


- All right, go on.

- So, Simon pursued, the most important thing is that Two can find the Completeness that One cannot achieve ; or, in other words, Sharon perceives the Outside in the way that I do the Inside. As to what your place is, it is up to you to understand it and explain it to us.

- Oh, I see ! And what if what you just said is nothing but a load of incomprehensible bollocks to me ?

- What Simon means to say is that I have a way to see things that cannot normally be seen, like secret entrances, the traces a person leaves where she has treaded, and such ; Simon can enter trances in which things are revealed to him, maybe from his unconscious mind or, as he prefers to believe, from some sort of "collective source of universal knowledge" ; that also allows him to exit his own body and send his spirit forth to explore a variation of this material world - which can be quite a dangerous experience in this place, from what I gathered. So, as much as I despise imagining such a thing, I would tend to think that you are the missing link, the one who completes the trinity, the tier between what lies inside and what awaits outside."

For the third time in a few minutes, I was astonished to find that Sharon was, to say the least, not exactly what I had pictured her to be. She had never spoken that much, or that wisely, in my presence before - you'll notice that at that point I felt like we had know each other for an eternity, which could well have been the case, but most probably was not.

I gathered my thoughts, and asked :

"- So, I'm the tier, uh ? Ok. Then what do we do, now, sit in a circle, gather a Pow Wow and call the spirits to us ?

- Simply put : yes.

- Oh, great !!"

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