I walked between empty buildings. The air was still. My boots crunched on loose stones and tarmac, a brittle sound that followed me and echoed from bare metal walls. Miles of roads and pipework stretched away from me in every direction. I was completely alone.
I had arrived at night some two days ago, expecting to see the bustle of humans about their work. I imagined there would be noise and pollution in the air. Instead there was silence. Judging by the state of the roads and buildings, this place had been abandoned for a few years. Grass and small trees eked out a perilous existence between the cracks and crevices of the brickwork and paving stones. Most of the windows were intact and the slab sided walls of the anonymous units were complete. The dark streaks and flaking paint told a different story of neglect.
I had seen places like this before in areas far from the cities. Small communities unable to defend themselves from outbreaks of dyybuks had either fled or had been consumed. Scarred concrete walls arranged in a makeshift pattern around the perimeter suggested that the humans had tried to defend it for sometime. Perhaps the cost had been too high. There was of course another possibility. The threat had in fact come from within, and the walls had been placed to contain the horror.
I reached an intersection and looked each way. Even the plant life seemed absent here, with the black and dusty remnants of trees the only evidence that life had ever been there. To my right was a large concrete waterway leading to the heart of the complex. The water was dark and unusually clear. A body of water so still should have been stagnant and green, but it had the cold transparency of a river that is utterly dead.
I followed the channel deeper into the complex, the chill wind my only companion in the silence. The channel ran ruler straight towards a wall where the water continued through two metal pipes. Darkness welled from those openings like a fog, two great eyes that dared me to approach.
I touched my wristband and spoke a single command. My ship would take a few minutes to arrive, concealed as it was in the marshes nearby. The concrete face continued to stare at me, so I looked away and watched my reflection in the water instead. I did not enjoy my new appearance or status. It stirred rebellious thoughts and dreams of freedom from these cares and responsibilities. It reminded me of the choices that had brought me here.
A squawk and the flutter of feathers came from high above me.
I looked up and saw a mass of eyes staring down at me. Every rooftop, pylon and cable was filled with birds. Each one was damaged and deformed in some way, and their faces were filled with hate.
-- Sylenia ny Kleneptra ny Hybritta hept Zilaerion
Space craft is an original model created in Cinema 4D. City greebles by Stonemason.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R13 Visualise. Post processed in Photoshop CS2