“Welcome to the central Babylonian library, Sulmu, Princess Jasmine.” Said the Omani owl which perched on the desk before her.
“I-is this the Tower of Babylon?” Jasmine asked.
“It is. Here, you will find records from a thousand thousand world and times and languages.” The owl hooted. “We’ve so been looking forward to your arrival, items which have been touched by you from throughout the kingdom, have been brought here for our records, for the comfort of the geanie king.”
“He has forbidden the use of his name.” Smiled the owl. Somehow.
“You’re not an owl, are you?” Jasmine asked.
“Then what are you?”
“Why I’m a… well I don’t suppose I remember. I came from the Old Kingdom you see, the one that existed before your sun was ignited. I am an old thing of sorts; why, many of your strangest nightmares are based on what I am, but I can’t quite remember what that is.” The strange creature pivoted its head. “But I’m sure there’s record of it here somewhere.”
“What’s at the top of the tower? Is it him?” Jasmine said, taking a step forward.
“You need a certain level of understanding to ascend to successive levels of the tower. You need to be able to comprehend art, mathematics, physics, metaphysics, in order to comprehend the existence of each level. It is the purpose of Akkadia, to educate our people such that we can continue to progress up the tower and continue to learn its secrets. But we suspect at the top, is the Epilogue World. The current geanie king, is trying to hasten access to it.”
“Is that why Aladdin’s stealing dreams? He thinks it will give him- a better understanding of the al amin, so that he can access the Epilogue World? Why? What is he looking for?” Jasmine takes a seat, fully aware there hadn’t been a chair there a moment ago.
“We are in the Progenitor World, a place where ‘love’ is created and is defused and also attracted to. The Epilogue World, is the far reaches of that ‘love’, a stranger reflection of the unknown universe we can hardly imagine. He believes it is a universe of jasmine flowers. You will know it as ‘Heaven’.”
“Heaven? What’s he looking for in heaven?”
“The only power in the unknown universe greater than that of a geanie. He’s looking for nur. For light.” The owl smiles again. “For you Jasmine. He’s doing all this for you.”
“An angel… He’s trying to capture an angel.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to stop him. How do I reach him?” Jasmine says, hand reaching for her sword.
“Oh dear. There will be none of that here, princess. I cannot allow you to foil him, but I am a curious, strange old thing, so if you can read your way to his level of the tower, before becoming lost in the library’s secrets, you can pass. You have ten thousand years, starting now.”
“You’re a sphinx.” Jasmine smiled at the owl.
“Every civilization to discover the sphinx has believed it to be ten thousand years old from their own time. If any of us could ever really crack the riddle of your kind, we could inherit time itself and ascend. That’s why you’re a part of Akkadia and why time means nothing here. Because the lock on reality here, is a sphinx.”
“Well, then, can you bypass eons of mystery? What is the answer to the mystery of the sphinx? Ageless and timeless and unknowable.” The creature challenges and Jasmine merely smiles.
“I will give you the answer and then I will alter your understanding of yourself, with an answer only I understand, so I can find my way back from any world or time or universe, known or unknown.”
“What a bold claim. Well, what is your answer?”
To be concluded.