While still gesturing back towards the center of the granite stage, I turn forward, smiling while looking out across many rising aisles, summer grasslands, and the distant monumental clear walls of the Paladium Level all showing through to bright blue sky beyond the Tower. The vast milky mirror surface of the ceiling continues gently warping...
"And that is all we have for you today," the sAI concludes the joint presentation. "Thank you."
Have we pleased it properly?
I fold into a bow. The golden sphere PULSES white...
... and singular clapping follows.
We wait until the clapping finishes and the curtains finally sweep closed, dimming all. I immediately head out across the dim granite stage towards the side-stairs, with the sAI floating after. Descending the stairs, we then emerge out at the softly lit base of an aisle ascending towards distant brightness in the sky through the wall.
(Ready for judgement?) Hm. Why not?
Heading up the aisle now, we pass row after row of empty seats towards the Griffin sitting in the aisle with his lambent eyes fixed upon us...
Approaching; I smile.
"You work well together," The Master praises, smiling briefly from its seat.
We did well!
"Thank you, Master Gabriel," I say, stepping into the adjoining row before vaulting over it into a seat adjacent to The Master.
"Thank you, Master," the sAI says, floating after me to settle into a silent hover just above the adjacent seat on the other side of me.
The Master flicks its grey fingers in dismissal of such pleasantries, turning back towards the stage again...
Yes. The play.
I turn, as well...
The curtains are parting slowly, revealing a medieval castle. An Audiovisual Representation actor, in period attire, is guarding a forward platform.
A moment later: another Audiovisual Representation actor in period-attire walks onstage, and...
The play begins.
"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
I am frowning.
"You are not entertained?" The Master suddenly breathes quietly, while still sitting beside me.
Turning, I face The Master regarding me silently, and the Griffin still sitting in the dark aisle, eyes hooded. "It is not for me to say." I finally answer.
Complete acceptance. "In that case: I find the play puerile, illogical and unsatisfying."
The Master smiles sadly. "A valid criticism."
Rubbing its grey chin, The Masters turns slightly and looks out into the distance...
I turn back.
Onstage: the father finishes a second monologue, the son bids him goodnight and leaves. Afterwards, the father remains behind with her...
Eyes are upon me.
I glance aside, then turn.
The Master is silently regarding me again. "Do you have it in you," it finally asks me, "to recognize art?"
Onstage: an interrogation into the nature of certain affection begins...
The Master shakes its thorn-crowned grey head sadly. "This is an oversight I have neglected."
Another opportunity to perform!
Eagerly. "How might I rectify this shortcoming?"
"First I would have to tell you what that shortcoming is." It tisks. "To be honest: I fear that art is not in you. At least not the sort which strikes away breath at autumn sunset, kindles love at beauty and led humanity to dream of gods, and demons."
"I will find a way to remedy this!" I insist.
"Mmmm." The Master pauses. "I would not have scientific momentum stall in such a pursuit..."
I wait patiently.
"... but you may study art as interlude, never distraction," it eventually concludes.
The Master hums again while turning back towards the stage...
And I follow suit, paying full attention to the rest of what has become an exceptionally important play.474Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡv6wM9gkPbzns 220.127.116.11da2