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Above The Seventh Spire
Posted By: Mr Bill Jr V<mr_bill_jr_5@hotmail.com>
Date: 17 February 2006, 2:01 am

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      I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
      When I reached up, there was nothing to find. Tell me why?

      Nevermore shall we see the sun. She hath gone and ne'er shall be again. Seven whom fell from heaven lived through the fire. Morn broke over the solar rise, a billion billions folded into evanescent light glorying and reveled in its own wonder. The blue sky and melted ocean of azure peace fell away from the new sun and the darkness swathed around the world. The sky rippled as a thousand starships swooned through time itself, engulfing everything in sight. The guns thundered. The guns of hell. And it rained from heaven as though the sky herself had fallen low, and the endless struggle began again. Swept the clouds black, the stars dark and the sky empty, as the very depths of tyranny loosed all their minions upon the face of man. For ever and ever and then again the moon burned with a radiance overborne and toppling like the oceans of pitiful creation. All hate and love, all rage and fire, all horror and passion breathed at once; extinguished themselves in that single moment. Had God Himself appeared before them, even He, in all His glorious magnificence and immortal Love, would not have been able to persuade them to turn back.

      The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
      Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
      Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
      Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
      Morn came, and went - and came, and brought no day.

      The waves rose and fell, swirling amongst their natural infinity. The ocean became swollen with their silence, whisps of memory washed abroad the coral sea. How many had tread that distance and lived? How many had died? The water spoke for them all. Each wave a life, one swam amongst the heavens. Clouds, white and perfect above fell in place. The misted tops of mountains curdled and swam in their own sea of light. Oh, what beauty to describe? How, how could it ever be told- less seen? The spirit of Man swam in those celestial beings, his worship and life all twinkled through each plume of ever white. Through the tropic, or through the deep; the clouds swayed and billowed forever. Lord, imagine a world devoid of such tranquility: then you would know of this story. For a century of millennium did Man stand beneath those clouds and have love… for ever more should he never again. The end hath come and no man shall walk upon the morrow.

      So it was that the sky, bright and orange as the rising dawn, lit afire, and burned. A coal drawn forth, then lain out upon the mantel fades slowly before it dies. Though a faint breath may illume it with some feeble fire, the passion of the hearth becomes but a memory of the past. The night grows older, and the coal turns dark, withering in its own impudence. What choice was ever made on its behalf?
      Pity not those who died that day, for their suffering was quite and is no more. Pity those who lived, for not a soul amongst them would have risen that morn by choice.
      Find yourself…
      …Starting back.

      Above the seventh spire the haze lifted orange. Pale tones of yellow fell soft below, each new cloud fading dark across the sun. Rolling storms of dry cloud and velvet dust tempered as the evening grew. Across the plains far and away, lightning struck the scortched soil 'til it lay still. Endless shadow draped the ruin, each scattered over heavy stonework. Bleached sand floated over warm tile, settling where upon a million more had come before- only to be drifted on their way by the quite rolling breeze. Even atop the highest spire, even amongst the empty valleys, the wind did not blow. The wind rose with such subtle force, with such perfect grace, that her beauty still shown even on this dead world of worlds.
      Burning radiance, that dwarf sun gleaming behind dark clouds. High above, deep among the still glowing stars, in silence. Engine fire lit the darkness like a furled trumpet, or wondrous sailing ship, masts open to the wind. A trail of fire heralded her decent to the wastes below, catching the clouds with her light and scattering them across the tattered sky. The ship's trail crossed the spire tops, searching across the ruin for an open patch of desert. She passed through the emptied valleys, over the wastes and ruined landscapes. Dust billowed mindlessly in her wake, thrown into the multitude of atmospheres above. She slowed and rotated about, engines burning to stabilize her landing. The sun dipped lower, the hues of orange growing darker.
      The ship's running lights glowed to life, her computerized systems silently monitoring the changing patterns of nuclear air and burning dust on the soil below. In the distance, one could still see the faint outline of the emptied cityscape, dipped in that most pale of yellows- it still shown below the cloud lines.
      Atop the landing hill, as the sun glinted off the darkened ruins, two beings stepped clear of their shuttle, each taking those first steps upon the forgotten world. One's boots fell lightly into the terrestrial soil, the other landing with heavy gait. They stood for a moment there, watching the pools of shimmering light fade over the horizon and dip behind the haze. One turned to the other, looking down at the smaller creature with a paternal gaze.
      "This was once the home of your species, so many years ago."
      The other stayed her gaze, still fixed on the deepening hues of orange, layered before her in brilliance.
      "Does it sadden you, friend, to see this sight?" spoke the alien figure.
      The human ran her eyes down from the hilltop across the shimmering plains and up over the ruins until she could see no more, and the city spires vanished amongst the clouds. As the sun finally slid away beneath the deep haze of the horizon, she closed her eyes and watched no more.
      All those who has survived, for generations and generations, so few had ever returned to see this vision. Why had they fought so? All those years ago… why had they fought to their destruction? And now all that remained to answer was the silent landscape itself. Such a war it had been. For nothing.
      She wept.
      She would be not the last, but still she asked the question which haunted her, and, she knew, haunted her alien companion too.
      The taller creature, blue features dressed all in the thick warm toned cloth favored of his culture, gave the only answer he could ever have given- for it was the truth.
      "It was so long ago, so many years… I cannot know."
      Her tears fell upon the silent soil, vanishing into the dust.