He sensed the other watching him.
"This is you, isn't it?" he asked, holding the Ortrix up.
"In a manner of speaking," replied the other in a way that sounded melancholy, even though it lacked tone.
"All the Torim below created this? Became this before they died?" asked Rex.
"Instead of dying," the other corrected, "and not just the Torim below."
"Although the other Torim lived, what little power they possessed was a power they all shared"
"And now it's all in the Ortrix?"
For an object that contained the essence of an entire race, it was underwhelmingly nondescript. It even lacked the ostentatious metalwork it would eventually pick up on its travels.
Rex felt the weight of it in his hand. Not just its mass - again it felt not-enough - but the weight of it's future.
He could sense its journey from here, had seen it in reverse, and knew where it ended up.
If he concentrated, he could hear every soul that had created it.
But the Torim below survived.
Not as physical beings. Not when their bodies were forcibly taken. Reduced to so much ash and dust.
Not as minds. The Torim below had found a power that linked them deeper than that simple structure.
Not as a single being, but as an entity of thought and presence and power.
And in the caverns of Torim, an Ortrix.
"I recognise this world."
"We came past here a little while ago, I think - but we were moving so fast I wasn't paying attention."
Rex was solid again and standing next to an enormous featureless skyscraper.
"The Ortrix will be here again some time in the future."
He put his hand on the stonework of the building.
"These stones are enormous!"
Stepping back, he wandered away from the buildings to get a better look at it's entirety.
"That's no skyscraper," he gasped, "that's a stone hut!"
The Other travelled with him.
What will you do with it when you have followed the Ortrix to it's source?
"I suppose I'll see if it can be destroyed, or use it in some way to take Jones' power away from him again. If I can't do that, maybe I can stop it being made in the first place."
A sound plan, his companion replied, although perhaps more difficult than you expect.
"No doubt. But if there's one thing I've learned since I died, it's that nothing worthwhile is easy."
The pair sped on into the past.