It turns out 175 Varick Street is where Ackerly Publishing House moved when it changed its name to A&L Printing and became a paperback printer. And where it burned down in the 70s. My father wrote a last entry to me which the location unlocked and I’ll share anything that seems relevant when I can. It’s been hard. Not just everything that happened, but knowing this is it. This entry was his goodbye and I’m just… It’s too much right now.
I knew if we made it here I would have to say goodbye but I wasn’t ready.
I still have to tell you what happened at the vault. I’m working on it. I’ve just been in a daze. Sleeping beside Cole’s bed, or wandering the streets around the hospital. I can’t even bear to go back to Neithernor. It feels all the more empty. It’s strange to lose a father I never knew and have all those strange feelings, and then get to know him, spend a year with him in a way, then lose him all over again. And finally feel the true grief, the pangs of loss…
It’s over. For me at least. I know there are wonderful things to look forward to, things to cherish, Cole, the publishing company, actually experiencing my new life… I’m just not ready yet. I had this extraordinary last adventure with my father. And now it’s over.
The chronocompass didn’t work at the address. But it did reveal a letter my father wrote you. His goodbye to you as well.
You have come further than anyone ever has. Done things that most thought were impossible. But you have one final task ahead of you. A difficult task.
Shifting through time is a dangerous and traumatic experience. Even for books. The Book of Briars doesn’t remember what it is. It doesn’t remember its purpose. It is most likely confused, and even afraid (if you believe that books can be afraid.)
You have to remind it.
Tell it about the fragments.
Tell it histories of its time with you, and your own memories.
Tell it poems, sing it songs.
Create art and objects that will help it remember what it is and what it’s meant to do.
Tell it what all this has meant to you.
It is a ceremony to wake The Book of Briars.
The last fragment and your final assessment.
Know, once the Book is awakened this time will be over. You will usher in a new age, and nothing will ever be the same.
Though we never met it has been an honor to work alongside you in our common goal. I believe the peak we’ve sought is now in sight, mountaineers.
You’ve reached the final climb.
We all believe in you.