Notes spat from the grammophone broke on the empty buildings, shrank and stretched, echoing in the dead city.
No one but the corpses was left to hear it.
...a malis mors abducit...
The Traveller was running on the hill, his back to the city.
He’d witnessed the Architect make his ascent, with eyes mad with doubt. He had watched – too late – as the man’s cracked mind debated his final step, a hand trembling over the lever.
And Time had opened its doors for them both to glance ahead.
What the madman had seen, the Traveller couldn’t know. He didn’t know why he’d fallen to his knees between the rotten hearts marking the end of his creation. The hand had moved to the lever, and the wheels had turned, and at once the city had trembled.
The Traveller had fled.
Humanity burnt, miles above them, and the Architect died alone, the black hearts seeping venom, consuming him.
“What makes a man? I condemned thousands, and you ran away.”
The Traveller was on the hill. A breeze carried the music to his ears.
...damno lumina nocte...
What in the sun had been a city in its prime was now cold rock, sinking in dark waters. Frozen trees reached with skeletal fingers to the skies. Towering legs walked in the mud of blood and bones that glistened under the crescent moon. The Architect’s legacy. If he waited, it would walk out into the light and he would see.
He couldn’t wait. He’d seen what Time had destined for him.