"Shouldn't you be designing the dock? Job's already setting up."

"I won't be long."

"OK, watch your step. This is only a makeshift gangplank."

"It's very tall."

"LC says it's broadcasting signals, but nothing lethal."

"So it's not just an antenna." MayLin and Lia chat on their way over to the spire.

"Hey, May. I'm not sure you should touch that." Lia reached for MayLin's arm, but she was already out of reach.

"Can't you hear it?" MayLin put her hand softly on the surface of the spire. "I can almost feel it." She touched her cheek to the basalt black enamel. "Like ocean waves . . . or rain."

With a little more caution, Lia put her ear to the spire. "Wow, you're right. Just like a rainstick. Listen, it's getting weaker."

"Almost gone."

"May, look up. See that light?"

"It's getting brighter. Do you think we can get up to it somehow?"

"Sure, we can build a lift or some kind of rig."