They meet at black room’s third south-south-eastern-delta port and Orb bubbles Pab to keep a minimum glow so it can follow. Then they glide into the vast darkness. Other many-faced crystals can be viewed to hover through the immense space, very slowly according the room its due deference. The portals fade away gradually to become minuscule perforations of light in red, green, orange, blue and other sentimental hues.
The view is that of a true universe unto itself where the experiences from other rooms are to be reviewed, contemplated, expanded on within the dominion of undistracting blackness. Experiences might be revealed in their true form, other possibilities could float into view. No bubbles, no Trapezohedra to pass judgment, only peaceable drifting.
Pablo has mastered a new skill, that of textulating internally, which is the only way it can communicate with Orb in this environment.
– I need to show you something, a secret. Please follow me discretely, make absolutely sure no body is following. Give them a bounce if you have to.
Orb describes the circle “this might be the best way to go”. They float on and on towards a remote corner at a far distance from the polychromatic apertures that speckle the gigantic Icosahedron [the shape of black rooms]. Projecting from the uncertain view, Orb takes it that where they are gliding, three walls will meet in an obtuse, non-equiangular corner, a geometry many of the higher bodies carefully stay away from because they consider it not only unaesthetic but a portent for a botched ritual of passage and future lack of refinement in emoting. It is one of many strange convictions making the rounds.
But as they approach the intersection, it can be viewed that the blackness deepens, as though there is a straight-edged patch of absolute nothingness. Pablo floats ahead without stopping and right into what should be the walls but is actually an opening. Orb follows into the tunnel whirling in utter surprise. They turn a few angular corners as the passage first narrows and then re-expands.
– You never bubbled me about this? Most astonishing, I admit.
– I couldn’t. I am under surveillance. This is the most important matter in all the rooms that be, I couldn’t take the least risk. Certainly you view.
– Not precisely. What is it you mean to signify by “surveillance”?
– The Icosas have bodies following me wherever I drift. They project I am dangerous, they view me as subversive. But unlike with you, they do not emote dark-greyly in my presence. In a way, I am still one of them. As they textulate I “rebubble the trouble”.
At last, they enter a new room and the scene staggers all of Orb’s projections.
Orb has a secret of its own it has not bubbled anybody about, experienced especially during the last ten score rooms it has floated through. Two or three Icosahedron and a renegade Trapezohedra will approach a Tetra, inter-bubbling it as to its willingness to be subjected to the ritual of passage to become a Cube. Orb is certain the Trapezohedras are heretic because they have the near-imperceptible shimmer of secretly emoting, which would disqualify them as arbiters and masters of ceremonies [i.e. crystal masons].
If Tetrahedrons would not be so excessively nonconformist themselves they would realize that something malfeasant is adrift. For one, there always have to be at least seven bodies in attendance for a passage. And secondly, crystals are never more than two levels in refinement apart from the subject of the ceremony, so that it should be Cubes and Octahedrons in attendance. All of this goes unnoticed and the Tetras blindly glide after the Icosahedrons, for many rooms until they arrive at some isolated, out-of-the-way grey room with only one or two entries in it. It is the Tetrahedrons free and easy ways rather than their lowly ranking in the hierarchy that make them perfect for this nefarious purpose. Orb follows these faux, little congregations and floated in hiding at the portals of the grey rooms in question.
As in the true ritual the Trapezohedra begin rotating around the Tetra at a high velocity to daze the initiate so as not to experience the rigors of the ritual too immediately. But then, deviating from the right procedure, they accelerate to a blinding, stupefying orbital velocity that looks dangerous in every regard so that the Tetrahedron itself also begins spinning in stupefaction. Then the two heretic Trapezos will go back to seeming standard procedure, chipping and chiseling at the stunned Tetra to turn it through much artistry into the next refined shape: a Cube. Leisurely orbiting them, the Icosahedrons rapidly vacillate in sentiments between ruby and purple and deep blue, a pattern otherwise never exhibited. Meanwhile however, the Trapezos do not stop chiseling, they continue on and on, at times clipping away even asymmetrically until there is nothing left other than crystalline debris floating through the grey room. Orb feels a great sense of injustice and terribly ill every time it observes this perversion of the ritual of passage and though it wants to bound forward and bounce apart these terrible happenings from fear for its own integrity it never does intervene. It is this lack of reaction, shameful to itself, that locks the knowledge into a secret.