“You are apprehensive, I can see that,” said the Archon. “Please, before we continue, let me know how I may put you at ease.”

“It’s just…I’ve looked up at this place all my life, but I’ve never been allowed inside,” said Avelline. “The Founder Crags are museum and church, government and god, made all the more mysterious by the prohibition on entry.”

The Archon leaned over a railiing, which gave an excellent view of the great metropolis below. It had been installed by the Forebears in the Founder Crags between two sides of a great chasm, leaving raw and living rock as the walls on either side. “Some of the Archons, I think, take themselves a little too seriously,” she said. “When the Forebears settled here, they came to the Founder Crags for protection. The entire population lived here, within these walls, until we were secure enough to spill over them.”

“Then why allow no one but the Archons and Subarchons inside?” Avelline asked.

“Mostly for our own safety,” the Archon said. “Assassination and physical violence are, after all, the oldest tools of politics. I think that some of the others, and myself if I’m being honest, enjoy the exclusiveness of it all.”

“I see,” said Avelline. “So why hold the interviews here? I am neither Archon nor Subarchon.”

“Convinience, and to gauge your reaction,” said the Archon. “We cannot expect one such as you to sacrifice her life and her soul for the wellbeing of our way of life without seeing every facet of what you are being asked to preserve.”

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