"Blast those pesky human alarm things! I haven't seen one since the grandfather clock Rose used to rig up when she was the Dreamer." exclaimed Aksei.
"It's an iPhone, and rather useful too," offered up Orb helpfully.
"A what?" asked Aksei sharply.
"Never mind," sighed Orb. "I'd forgotten that you didn't have the sight."
Aksei sat stonily, his hair fading to black to reflect his dark mood.
"Oh, don't mope about."
"I'm not moping," said Aksei testily.
"Yes you are."
"So what if I am?" replied Aksei. "Are you even sure this is going to work?"
"You know that I can't see ahead," admonished Orb gently. "I can only view the other world. At the moment, she appears to be about to change her clothes-"
"What? Don't look!" Aksei was horrified. "At least offer the girl some form of decency."
"Of course, you know my sight is blocked when she removes any article of clothing," chastised Orb. "I can't believe you'd think otherwise of me. Morals were coded into me, as they were into you, with the very creation of Araset many centuries ago."
"That's right," Aksei said grudgingly, "but it doesn't mean we don't get urges-"
"You might, but I was not created with a free mind unlike you and other races belonging to this world," said Orb, somewhat sadly. "My job is too important to be distracted, so I have no other options but to follow the Morals. I have no urges. There is no time for excess, for pleasure. I am simply a tool, to the other side. Perhaps it is a good thing. There are two few of us left with the ability to see."
"I didn't know that," replied Aksei, wide-eyed. "I just-"
"Assumed that I was like you?" replied Orb. "I am. But I was created to be less, and was granted the horrible knowledge to know the difference, unfortunately."
"So you mean, you've never been tempted to break Morals."
"I don't have the ability to," replied Orb. "I can't believe you didn't know this before. We've been working together for over ten years. Since you were barely matured."
"But surely- you know what an urge is? Why not follow it?"
Orb sighed like a mother of a petulant child asking a rather obvious question.
"I have no desire to. I only hold the desire to see, to communicate. So that is what I do. I know what urges are, I just have never experienced it myself. Ah, she is presenting something to her peers. Look." Orb projected the image for Aksei.
Aria appeared in the center of a cold, concrete floor, pacing, and biting a torn thumbnail nervously. Makeup couldn't hide the bruised circles under her eyes from lack of sleep.
"She looks more proper here," mentioned Aksei, eyeing her dress and stockings with approval. Though he didn't want to admit it to Orb, her short pajama bottoms from before had stirred a rather unwieldy urge within him.
"Shush," said Orb. "You'll miss her presentation."
"I was assigned to design a building based off an airplane. So this is my sketch model based off of the concept of it flying through the air based off of the wings of the airplane. As you can see, it is curved on the bottom, and flat on the top, theoretically creating lift where it propelled fast enough," she explained to a row of unsmiling professors, voice shaking slightly. "While I thought it was successful in what I wanted to capture, I thought I'd take it a step further."
She unveiled the concept drawing of the skyscraper with skyhooks. Aksei noted the way the way the professors' eyes widened. One shook his head, another squinted and furrowed her brow.
"So I created a structure suspended in space," she explained. "The hooks attach to a load bearing structure that appears to be almost non existent from this angle to people. But in fact," she revealed her model, showing the encasing structure holding up the building, "It is in fact a structure in its own."
She paused, and waited, holding her breath, it seemed, for them to respond. Aksei held his breath with hers.
"Ok. Aria, was it?" asked the professor, gently, almost condescendingly. "Too far. I rarely say this in this school, but you took it too far. If you enlarged the scale, say, a hundred times this model, would it still work?"
"Uhh...theoretically," replied Aria, her voice cracking. Aksei gripped his hands, his knuckles whitening.
"Maybe's not good enough," he said gently, now quite condescendingly. "I get the concept, I really do, but the execution..well, it's rather lacking. Skyhooks? Really? Now if you could give me an example that worked with gravity, perhaps I'd agree with your approach, but this...Aria, this isn't fantasy land. Gravity affects the structures we build. Bass wood, your material might be light enough to be suspended like this, but skyscrapers are built of steel, much heavier. I wouldn't call the overarching structure load bearing at all."
"Can't they see the innovation? The creativity?" He ranted. "They're boxing her away!"
"That's what schools in this land do," replied Orb. "It's why we haven't had a Dreamer since you were two years before maturation. It's why the Malos have been able to destroy so much. We need a Dreamer every five years at the very least and we haven't had one for twelve. Long overdue."
"What is practical for them is not practical for us," growled Aksei. "Limiting their thoughts destroys us. No dream is too crazy here."
"Their world has limits that ours does not," replied Orb. In the projection, Aria's face looked white in pallor against the harsh concrete.
"Look at her, she looks like she's close to passing out!" cried Aksei.
"She'll be fine," said Orb.
"How are you so sure?" asked Aksei angrily.
"This is maybe the third time I've seen her go through this sort of grueling debate amongst her teachers."
"What?" exploded Aksei. "Why would any human go through that? Rose didn't have to!"
"Times have changed, I suppose," replied Orb. "Rose is gone now."
Aksei was silent. "Was she killed?"
"No, in their world their lifespans are not immortal like ours. Perhaps that is why they create buildings and art and music, all the things we covet, to be remembered."
Aksei pondered Orbs words, then spoke.
"She will do well here. Better than there. She is perfect for Araset. We have been waiting for her for far too long."